Petitions for Exceptions to University Policies

Students must petition the Academic Standards Committee to have a university academic policy waived or modified, to request readmission after academic dismissal, to request reinstatement after academic suspension, to request re-enrollment after medical withdrawal or emergency administrative withdrawal, or to request consideration of a special circumstance.


  1. A student must complete a petition form, which is available from the Office of the Registrar (Jones Hall, Room 013), and return it, along with a supporting statement from the academic advisor and other appropriate persons, to the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible.
  2. If a student discusses the petition with someone in the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Academic Advising, that staff member should also provide a supporting statement. In the case of academic dismissal/suspension, the student must contact a staff member in the Office of the Dean of Students. That staff member must make a recommendation to the Academic Standards Committee regarding the petition. The student must also secure a written recommendation from the academic advisor. The petition for readmission must include an Academic Performance Agreement which has been completed with an academic advisor or the Office of Academic Advising (Howarth Hall, Room 114).
  3. If a student desires to appear before the Committee at the time of consideration of the petition, a formal request must be made when the petition is submitted. In such a case, the student will be notified of the time and place of the meeting.
  4. The petition will be forwarded by the Office of the Registrar to the Academic Standards Committee, which will take action and communicate its decision, through the Office of the Registrar, to the student.

Back to Top

Non-petitionable Rules
The Academic Standards Committee does not approve petitions for waiver of the following university requirements :

  1. The 32.00 minimum units for graduation, the 8.00 units for a graduate degree or each additional baccalaureate degree.
  2. The 16.00 minimum units of residence credit required for an undergraduate degree, the 6.00 units of residence credit required for a graduate degree, the 8.00 units required for a second baccalaureate degree, or the 24 units required for two simultaneous baccalaureate degrees.
  3. The requirement that the Connections Core be completed by a Puget Sound course.
  4. The 8.00 minimum units, including the 4.00 units in residence, in a major.
  5. The 5.00 minimum units, including the 3.00 units in residence, in a minor.
  6. The minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all Puget Sound courses and of 2.00 in all graded courses (including transfer work) for the baccalaureate degree (majors, minors, and interdisciplinary emphases have the same Puget Sound and all-course grade requirements); the minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in all Puget Sound courses and in all degree counting
    courses in a graduate degree.
  7. Permanent grade changes.

Back to Top

Basis for Exceptions
The Academic Standards Committee will consider petitions for waiver of other university requirements if the situation is clearly exceptional and involves extenuating circumstances. Petitions will be approved only when, in the opinion of the committee, approval does not weaken the general integrity of the academic program. While the committee is aware of the cost of education, petitions based primarily on cost and/or convenience considerations will not be approved. These are some of the questions considered by the committee:

  1. Does the request involve a reasonable alternative rather than a lowering of academic standards?
  2. Was the petition received by the Academic Standards Committee in time that, if denied, the regular university requirements can be met?
  3. Do the unusual or extenuating circumstances, as judged by the committee on a case-by-case basis, warrant a waiver in university policies?
  4. Is there documentation for petitions requesting waivers on the basis of academic misadvisement or neglect not attributable to the student?
  5. Do requests for waiver of the last eight units in residence involve students who are transferred to another geographic area or experience other unusual or extenuating circumstances? Such students are expected to have completed at least 16 units in residence and all other university requirements except total units.
  6. Is the petition carefully, accurately, and logically presented? The Academic Standards Committee does not take lightly the decision to grant exceptions and expects students to be equally thoughtful in preparation of petitions. Incomplete petitions are denied.

Back to Top

Core Requirement Petitions
In evaluating petitions related to university Core Requirements, the following guidelines are applied:

  1. A course taken at another institution is accepted toward an appropriate Core Requirement if it is equivalent to a Core course offered in the Puget Sound curriculum. However, regardless of content,
    the Connections Core Requirement may not be completed with transfer credit and must be taken at
    Puget Sound.
  2. A natural science course taken at another institution is acceptable toward a Core Requirement only if fieldwork or a laboratory is a regular, integral component.
  3. A course taken at another institution, the Puget Sound equivalent for which satisfies one Core Requirement, may not be applied toward another Core Requirement.
  4.  A Puget Sound course may not apply toward a Core Requirement unless it has been approve specifically for that purpose by the Curriculum Committee.

Back to Top

Foreign Language Graduation Requirement Petition

Students seeking a substitution for the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement must:

  1. Provide documentation of a learning disability that affects the ability to learn a foreign language to the Office of Student Accessibility and Accommodation. The documentation must be current, thorough,
    and prepared by an appropriate and qualified diagnostic professional. For details on documentation requirements see:
  2. Submit a completed Academic Standards Committee petition form (available in the Registrar’s Office)
    including signatures and recommendations from both the student’s faculty advisor and from the Office
    of Student Accessibility and Accommodation.*
  3. Propose two courses to substitute for the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students
    are expected to propose courses they have not already taken and that are outside of the Core
    Requirement and the first major. Students may select two courses from the pre-approved list below or
    may compose an argument for two other related courses with a cultural component. This explanation
    should accompany the completed petition form.

*If the Office of Student Accessibility and Accommodation does not support a petition, students may
still pursue the substitution by writing a statement to include with their petition explaining their history
with learning a foreign language and why they feel unable to complete successfully the requirement. The
committee will then evaluate the petition and make a decision either supporting or rejecting the proposal.

Foreign Language Substitution  Pre-approved Options
Students may select two courses from any one area:

Chinese Civilization:   
ART 278 Survey of Asian Art
HIST 245 Chinese Civilization
HIST 246 Chinese History 1600 to the Present
REL 234 Chinese Religious Tradition

Japanese Civilizations:
ART 278 Survey of Asian Art
HIST 247 Japanese Tradition
HIST 248 Modern Japan
REL 233 Japanese Religious Tradition

CLSC 210 Greek Mythology
CLSC 211 Ancient Greece
CLSC 212 Roman History
CLSC 222 Greco-Roman World
CLSC 225 Gender and Tradition in Rome
CLSC 230 Classical Tradition
HUM 210 Power and Culture in Periclean Athens and Augustan Rome

REL212 Islam
REL221 Jihad and Islam

Latin America:
LAS 100 Introduction to Latin American Studies
HIST 280 Colonial Latin America
HIST281 Modern Latin America

Ancient Israel:
REL 200 History and Literature of Ancient Israel
REL 201 History and Literature of the New Testament


Back to Top

Readmission/Reinstatement Petitions
A student petitioning to re-enter the university from an academic dismissal or suspension must complete a
comprehensive plan for academic improvement. The outline indicates information which should be included but does not preclude providing other information pertinent to the petition such as a letter of support from an instructor at another institution, a reference from an employment supervisor, or a statement from a health care provider.

  1. Address the problem(s) which caused the poor academic performance.
  2. Explain how the problem(s) will be rectified and indicate any support systems that will facilitate a
    return to academic work; for example, a change of major, a change in living arrangements, or the
    planned use of the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching.
  3. Provide a proposed schedule of courses for at least the next year including a rationale for repeating (or
    not repeating) courses in which unsatisfactory grades were received.
  4. Indicate any specific persons from whom help will be sought if problems occur during the term or any arrangements set for review of academic progress.
  5. Address the reasons for continuing or changing academic major, career goals, or other plans.
  6. Include an Academic Improvement Plan that has been completed with an academic advisor or the Office of Academic Advising (Howarth Hall, Room 114; 253.879.3250).
  7. Include a letter from the academic advisor outlining the advisor’s opinion of the student’s potential for successfully resuming an academic program.
  8. Include a letter from the Dean of Students (or the Dean’s designee) projecting whether or not the student has a reasonable chance of succeeding at Puget Sound and specifying the basis for any opinion.

Back to Top