For undergraduate students applying to the School of Management, repeating a course to replace a poor grade will not erase the former mark -- and could result in a lower grade point average.
Since the fall of 1999, UB has maintained a policy which allows students to retake a course in order to replace the initial unsatisfactory grade. Both grades appear on the student's transcript but the second course grade is the only grade that is factored into the student's GPA, whether or not the grade has improved. Courses may be retaken only once.
According to the 1999-2000 undergraduate catalogue, "When a course is repeated, the credits earned count only once for purposes of satisfying degree requirements and for purposes of calculating the student's GPA. When a course is repeated, the grade that is counted in calculating the GPA is the grade earned the second time, even if that grade is lower than the grade earned the first time. All courses taken and all grades earned will appear on the student's transcript."
The School of Management takes a different stance on the matter. Students applying with a repeated course on their record aren't judged by the GPA listed on their transcript but rather by a recalculated GPA, averaging both grades received for the course.
The School's position closely echoes that of the university's policy prior to the fall of 1999. Students who matriculated before that time and who repeated a course received credit hours toward graduation for only one of the courses, but received both grades towards GPA calculation.
"In our opinion, the average grade is a better indicator of a student's ability to succeed in the School of Management," said John Della Contrada, director of communications for the school.
Officially, all undergraduate students taking a repeat are given the grade of the second course for GPA calculation, no matter the department or division, according to Suzanne Geib, clerk in the Office of Records and Registration.
"[Grade averaging] can't be done officially," she said, adding that if it were done, it would be done within the department.
However, grade averaging can have real consequences for UB students applying to the School of Management.
One student at UB has already experienced difficulties with the management school's policies. Laszlo Kerekgyarto, a senior geography major and NYSSA delegate, applied to the SOM as a management major but was not accepted, due to the recalculation of his GPA following a repeated course.
"That's not right, I've taken four upper level [SOM classes] ... and I've done B's and A's in them," said Kerekgyarto, adding that he earned a 3.0 or higher GPA in four out of six semesters at UB. The SOM requires students to have at least a 2.0 upon application.
" If I paid for my courses, to retake these courses, why are they going to average them?" asked Kerekgyarto, who is contesting the school's refusal of his application on the grounds that he has paid tuition to take both courses.
Kerekgyarto is also frustrated by a change in prerequisites for admission to the school. The year after his acceptance to UB, the management school dropped its requirement of basic sociology, which Kerekgyarto had previously filled.
Kerekgyarto's case is being reviewed by Dean of the School of Management Kerry Grant and Beth Wainwright, vice provost for undergraduate education in an effort to gain acceptance to the department.