Petitions and Exceptions

Any request for an exception or substitution to requirements or policies is called a Petition. Petitions may be used for General Education requirements, major requirements, and general university policies. The following guidelines are here to help you understand your options and the steps you need to take along the way.

Note that exceptions are exceptional – and are never guaranteed. Requesting an exception should not be considered a guarantee that the exception will be granted.

Substituting for a General Education Course

All Muir GE courses must be part of an approved GE sequence. If you wish to substitute a course not on the approved list – including courses not listed on ASSIST as equivalent to an approved UCSD course.

  • Complete a Muir General Education Petition.
  • Include all courses you plan to use in your GE sequence on the form, not just the substituted course. For example, list PSYC 1, PSYC 2, and San Diego City College PSYC 102 rather than just San Diego City College PSYC 102.
  • Submit the petition to the Muir College office at HSS 2126.
  • To be approved, the request must include a course that is UC-transferable, is a broad survey course, and matches to other courses in your proposed GE sequence.
  • We will not, for example, approve an accounting course for an ECON GE sequence (we don’t accept the course at UCSD,either), nor would we allow you to use two ECON courses and a PSYC course for a GE sequence.

Requesting a Transfer Course to Be Reviewed for UCSD Course Equivalence

If you completed a course at a community college that does not have a UCSD course equivalent noted on ASSIST or on your UCSD academic history, you may petition to have the department review the course to see if it can be accepted as equivalent to a specific UCSD class.

  • On the form:
    • Check “Departmental Exceptions.”
    • Complete your personal information.
    • Under “Request” write: “To have [transfer course you want evaluated] be considered equivalent to [UCSD course you think the course should be equivalent to.]”
    • Under “Reason for Request” write: “To avoid duplication of transfer credit.”
    • Attach to the petition:
      • A course description.
      • A course syllabus.
      • If this is for a lab class, the department may wish to see your lab book or lab reports.
      • If this is for a Muir Writing class, you must copies of the papers written for the class. Note that Muir Writing will not accept community college courses.
  • Submit the form to the department that offers the course. Thus, if you want credit for a Chemistry course, the petition goes to the Chemistry department, even if you are a Biology major.
  • To be approved, you must convince the instructor that the courses you have taken are equivalent to the courses you want credit for.

Substituting for a Major Requirement

  • Complete a UCSD Undergraduate Student Petition.
    • Check “Departmental Exceptions.”
    • Complete your personal information.
    • Under “Request” write: “To have [course you want to substitute] be used to satisfy [requirement you want to satisfy] requirement for the [fill in your major] major.”
    • Under “Reason for Request”, explain the reason for your request or write “See attached” and attach a 1-2 page explanation for why you would like the request.
    • You may need to attach to the petition:
      • A course description.
      • A course syllabus.
    • Submit the form to your major.
    • To be approved, the faculty in the major have to think it is a reasonable substitution. Because of this, you should discuss your request with your major advisor before submitting the petition.

Interdisciplinary General Education Sequence

Muir does allow students to propose an Interdisciplinary General Education Sequence in lieu of one of the existing approved GE sequence. Such a sequence

  • Complete a Muir General Education Petition.
  • Include all courses you plan to use in your GE sequence on the form.
  • Submit the petition to the Muir College office at HSS 2126.
  • To be approved, the request sequence must still fit into the GE category, include introductory courses from 2 or 3 different departments, and have a common theme for the classes.

For example, you could propose an interdisciplinary sequence that looks at different social sciences’ approach to cognition combining COGS 1 (Introduction to Cognitive Science), LIGN 4 (Language as a Cognitive System) and PSYC 3 (General Psychology: Cognitive Foundations.)

This cannot be used, for example, to allow two Math/Natural Sciences GE sequence to avoid taking a Social Sciences GE sequence.

Double Majors

Double majors are not automatically approved for UCSD students. To make sure you can qualify for and complete a double major:

  • Schedule an appointment with a Muir College Advisor.
  • To qualify for a double major:
    • You must be between 90 and 135 units.
    • You must have a 2.500 or higher cumulative UC GPA.
    • You must have completed most prerequisites for both majors.
    • You may overlap any lower-division courses.
    • You must have at least 10 upper-division courses unique to each major.
    • You must complete both majors in a maximum of 240 units and 15 quarters if admitted as a freshman (or 9 quarters if admitted as a transfer student.)
    • If you qualify for a double major, you will be given a double major petition and major planning sheet.
    • You must complete both the double major petition and planning sheet.
    • Your double major petition must be approved by both majors.
    • After both majors have signed, bring the petition, major planning sheet, and a brief statement of purpose explaining your reason for completing 2 majors to the Muir College Office at HSS 2126.
     

Repeating Courses for a Third (or More) Time

A student who has two or more grades of D, F, or NP in a single course will not be able to take the course again at UCSD. In order to repeat the course again, you must petition the college for an exception.

  • Complete a UCSD Undergraduate Student Petition.
  • On the form:
    • Check “University Exceptions.”
    • Complete your personal information.
    • Complete the course department, number and course ID, and grading option for the course you are petitioning.
    • Under “Request” write: “To repeat [the course you wish to repeat] beyond repeat limit.”
    • Under “Reason for Request” write: “See attached.”
    • Attach to the petition a one-page explanation not only of why you need to repeat the course, but why you believe that you will be able to pass the course this time.
  • Submit the form to the Muir College Office, HSS 2126.
  • These petitions are rarely approved. To be approved, you will need to be in good academic standing and make a case that you were unable to complete the course in the past due to exceptional circumstances that no longer apply, such as illness or family emergency.  You may need to discuss options for alternate courses or alternate majors.

Adding a Class After the Week 2 Deadline

Departments may allow students to add a class after Friday of week 2 but before Friday of Week 10. Many departments have a firm policy against late add requests. Contact the department offering the course regarding your options. After week 10, you may not add a course.

Exceeding the Maximum Unit Limit

  • UCSD students may enroll in a maximum of 200 units.
    • This goes up to 230 units for students pursuing a B.S. degree in engineering.
    • This goes up to 240 units for a student with an approved double major.
  • The units we look at will be your total credits, listed on your Academic History under “Crdts Pssd”, the listing for “TOTAL” at the bottom of that column.
  • When we review units, we deduct the following:
    • AP credits.
    • IB credits.
    • If you are a transfer unit, we deduct any transfer units above 60 that you started with at UCSD. Thus, if you came in with 105 units, we deduct 45 units, but if you came in with only 90, we deduct 30.
  • If you will exceed the maximum unit limit after deductions, you must petition to exceed the maximum unit limit or have a hold placed on you to prevent further enrollment.
  • To petition, submit a Maximum Unit Limit Appeal with a copy of your planned courses through graduation.
  • To be approved, your request must show that you are taking the minimum amount of time to complete your courses required for your degree. We do not consider completion of a minor or completion of courses to qualify for graduate or professional school as required for your degree. Only courses used to meet minimum graduation requirements are considered required.

Changing Grading Option After the Week 4 Deadline

The Friday of Week 4 deadline for changing grading option from pass/no pass to letter grade or from letter grade to pass/no pass is firmly enforced. Requests for exceptions must be made by petition.

  • Complete a UCSD Undergraduate Student Petition.
  • On the form:
    • Check “University Exceptions.”
    • Complete your personal information.
    • Complete the course department, number and course ID, and grading option for the course you are petitioning.
    • Under “Request” write: “To change grading option for [COURSE] in {Quarter & Year] to [Letter or Pass/No Pass].”
    • Under “Reason for Request” write: “See attached.”
    • Attach to the petition a one-page personal statement describing why you were unable to change the grading option.
    • The petition must be approved by both the instructor and the department.
    • Petitions of this sort are rarely approved, and only for one of 2 reasons:
      • If you attempted to change grading option, but errors in the WebReg system (not problems with your personal computer) prevented you from being able to. We will ask the WebReg administrators for a log of your transactions to verify errors on the system.
      • If you were unable to change your grading option due to exceptional circumstances such as  family emergency (such as a death in the family) or health issues (accident or hospitalization). You will need to include documentation (health records, death notice, etc.) to verify your circumstances.
  • Submit the form to the Muir College Office, HSS 2126.
  • If the college approves the petition, the form must also be approved by the Academic Senate Educational Policy Committee, who may deny the request.

Dropping a Class After the Week 4 or Week 9 Deadline

  • Complete a UCSD Undergraduate Student Petition.
  • On the form:
    • Check “University Exceptions.”
    • Complete your personal information.
    • Complete the course department, number and course ID, and grading option for the course you are petition.
    • Under “Request” write: “To drop [Class] after the deadline [noting with or without a “W”].”
    • Under “Reason for Request” write: “See attached.”
    • Attach to the petition a one-page personal statement describing why you were unable to drop by the deadline.
    • The petition must be approved by both the instructor and the department.
    • Petitions of this sort are rarely approved, and only for one of 2 reasons:
      • If you attempted to drop the class, but errors in the WebReg system (not problems with your personal computer) prevented you from being able to. We will ask the WebReg administrators for a log of your transactions to verify errors on the system.
      • If you were unable to drop due to exceptional circumstances such as  family emergency (such as a death in the family) or health issues (accident or hospitalization). You will need to include documentation (health records, death notice, etc.) to verify your circumstances.
      • As a general rule, petitions to drop without a W are not granted..
    • Submit the form to the Muir College Office, HSS 2126.
    • If the college approves the petition, the form must also be approved by the Academic Senate Educational Policy Committee, who may deny the request.

Retroactive Withdrawal From Quarter

Withdrawing from a quarter may be done through week 9. After week 9, you must withdraw from the quarter by following the steps for “Dropping a Class After the Week 4 or Week 9 Deadlinefor each class in which you were enrolled.

Extending an Incomplete

Extensions of Incompletes only be considered if circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent the student from completing the work by the deadline established by the instructor. Students must request the extension prior to the deadline to complete the missing coursework. All requests for extensions must be for good cause, such as continuing illness or hardship. Extensions will not be granted for a period lasting more than one academic quarter, and will not be granted if a student is enrolled in and completing current courses while asking for an extension on previous quarter classes.

  • Complete a UCSD Undergraduate Student Petition.
  • On the form:
    • Check “University Exceptions.”
    • Complete your personal information.
    • Complete the course department, number and course ID, and grading option for the course you are petitioning.
    • Under “Request” write: “To extend deadline for incomplete through (new date of completion”].”
    • Under “Reason for Request” write: “See attached.”
    • Attach to the petition a one-page personal statement describing why you were unable to drop by the deadline.
    • The petition must be approved by both the instructor and the department.
    • Petitions of this sort are rarely approved, and only for one of 2 reasons:
      • If you attempted to drop the class, but errors in the WebReg system (not problems with your personal computer) prevented you from being able to. We will ask the WebReg administrators for a log of your transactions to verify errors on the system.
      • If you were unable to drop due to exceptional circumstances such as  family emergency (such as a death in the family) or health issues (accident or hospitalization). You will need to include documentation (health records, death notice, etc.) to verify your circumstances.
      • As a general rule, petitions to drop without a W are not granted..
  • Submit the form to the Muir College Office, HSS 2126.
  • If the college approves the petition, the form must also be approved by the Academic Senate Educational Policy Committee, who may deny the request.

Request a Waiver of the Senior Residency Requirement

Students must complete 35 of their last 45 units while in residence at UCSD. To ask for an exception to this requirement because of study abroad or transfer courses taken away from UCSD:

  • Complete a Senior Residency Waiver.
  • Have the form signed by your major deparment advisor.
  • Submit the form to the Muir College Academic Advising Office in HSS 2126.

Useful Links

Questions?

Current Students:
Please send us your academic questions via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

General Inquiries:
muiradvising@ucsd.edu