Substitutions and Petitions

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In some cases, you may find it desirable to satisfy one of your degree requirements in a different way than described here (e.g., by substituting a different subject for one of the department requirements). Your first step in doing this should be to talk to your advisor, either in person or via email. They will help you decide whether your proposed plan makes sense for you.

Once you've done that, you can go to your Department audit and submit a petition (scroll down to the bottom of your audit). After you submit, the petition will be automatically sent to your advisor for their comments. After that, the Department will act on the petition.

I'm petitioning Subject A to meet degree requirement X; what's the likelihood that it will be approved?

We can't say! Every petition is handled on a case-by-case basis. There are no petitions that are always approved, and very few that are always denied. The Department does its best to work with you and your advisor to decide whether your petition makes sense for you, not for any other student in the Department.

I'd like to meet with someone in the Undergraduate Office before submitting a petition, to get a sense of whether it's reasonable. Is that possible?

The Undergraduate Office is always happy to meet with students, but in general, we prefer that you just submit the petition (after consulting with your advisor, of course). If you are worried about whether it would be better to petition Subject A or Subject B for a particular requirement, you can mention that in your reasoning when you submit the petition. Even if you don't, the Department will take a look at your full audit when ruling on petitions. In some cases, we may suggest an alternative petition that we think will work better for you.

How long will it take for my petition to be approved by the Department?

Once we have your advisor's comments, we aim to act on petitions within one week. Trust that we are well aware of academic deadlines; we know that petitions submitted on Reg Day likely affect your semester's registration, and will aim to act on those as quickly as possible.

Can I submit a petition to substitute a particular subject before I've taken the subject?

Yes. Emphatically, yes. If you are creating a degree plan that relies on substitutions, submit them as early as possible. We do not approve every petition. If your petition gets denied, you want to know as early as possible.

I've heard that Subject A always works for Requirement X, so is it okay if I just wait until the semester I'm graduating to submit that petition?

No. There is no petition that is always approved. Do not wait until your final semester to find that your petition is denied.