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Petitioning the CBS Scholastics Committee for special circumstances

The CBS Scholastics Committee is a group of faculty and staff who meet regularly to make decisions regarding students’ requests for policy exemptions. The committee only reviews written requests and does not meet with students individually, so it is important to make your written request as complete as possible.

To petition the CBS Scholastics Committee:

  1. Download the Academic Policy Petition (PDF).
  2. Provide a typed explanation of your request in the Request and Reason/Explanation fields on the petition form (attach a separate sheet if necessary)
  3. Submit documentation in support of your request based on the table below
  4. Turn in the petition form, explanation, and any supporting documentation to the CBS Student Services office
    1. You will receive a decision regarding your request via email from the CBS Scholastics Committee
      1. The Committee meets every week September through May
      2. The Committee meets every three weeks June through August

You must request permission from the CBS Scholastics Committee to make requirement substitutions within your CBS major, to request exceptions to University policies, and to make changes to your registration if the cancel/add deadlines for the semester have passed.

Please include the appropriate documentation for your petition based on the table below. Failure to submit appropriate documentation may delay the review of your petition and/or result in the denial of your petition. Your documentation can be returned to you upon request.

Type of request

Required documentation

Adding a course or courses

  • Instructor’s signature in the Instructor/Department field prior to submitting the petition to CBS Student Services

  • Your petition explanation should include the reasons you were unable to add the course by the semester add deadline

  • Include the correct class number(s) in your petition form – the class number is the red registration number in the Class Schedule

Changing directed research registration

  • Faculty sponsor’s signature in the Instructor/Department field prior to submitting the petition to CBS Student Services

  • A copy of your approved directed research contract

Changing grade basis

  • Evidence in support of an extenuating circumstance that influenced your registration

  • Please note these petitions are rarely approved

Changing sections of a course

  • Instructor’s signature in the Instructor/Department field prior to submitting the petition to CBS Student Services

  • Your petition explanation should include the reasons you were unable to change sections by the semester add deadline

  • Include the correct class number(s) in your petition form – the class number is the red registration number in Class Schedule

Exceptions/petitions to liberal education requirements

  • For U of M courses, according to the University policy, course substitution are never granted and course waiver is rarely approved. For more information, please contact your CBS academic advisor

  • For non-U of M transfer courses, see the U of M Admissions Web site for information on petitioning these courses to be used for liberal education requirements

Exceptions to major requirements and/or substituting courses in your CBS major

  • The Director of Undergraduate Studies for your major must sign your petition form in the Instructor/Department field prior to submitting the form to CBS Student Services

  • If you are petitioning to have internship abroad credits counted toward your major requirements for the area where BIOL3610 counts, please include a description of your internship experience.

One-time-only late drop (OTO)

  • No petition or documentation required – you should meet with a CBS academic advisor during Drop-in advising hours before the last day of instruction as stated in the calendar section of the One Stop web site

  • You may not take the final exam for a course if you plan to use your one-time-only late drop

Enroll in an ODL section of biochemistry, genetics, or cell biology

Readmission after and absences of greater than 5 years

Reinstatement after suspension

Reinstating former degree requirements

  • The Director of Undergraduate Studies for your major must sign your petition form in the Instructor/Department field prior to submitting the petition to CBS Student Services

Request to move to most current requirements in a major

  • Meet with a CBS academic advisor with a completed petition during drop-in advising hours or by appointment to review differences in requirements

  • If you wish to petition for requirements other than the most current term, submit a petition to the Scholastics Committee according to the instructions at the top of this page

Request to exceed the 20 credit maximum course load per semester (fall, spring only)

  • Evidence demonstrating your success with challenging course loads and multiple responsibilities

Withdrawing from a course or courses

  • Written proof of an extenuating circumstance such as a doctor/counselor note, family obituary, letter from employer, etc.

  • Your petition should include an explanation of why you were unable to drop the course(s) by the deadline (i.e. what happened after the semester drop deadline that made it difficult to be successful?)

  • In your explanation be sure to include a timeline of events (i.e. I went to the doctor on Monday, August 12 (see doctors note) and that was after the drop deadline of July 11.)

  • If you are petitioning to only withdraw from part of your registration (i.e. two out of your four courses), include the reasons you should stay registered for some courses and not others in your petition (i.e., why did your extenuating circumstance only influence your performance in a few courses?) Note: selective withdrawals for only a few courses are rarely approved

  • Include the correct class number(s) in your petition form – the class number is the red registration number in the Class Schedule

Special circumstances

Students should be aware that help is available when unexpected situations arise. Many students face extenuating circumstances at some point in their undergraduate careers, which can make it more challenging to keep a healthy balance between academics, personal life, and work. CBS advisors are committed to helping students find ways to successfully overcome these challenges and make whatever changes are needed for maintaining personal well-being and academic achievement. In some cases, it may be necessary for students to limit their course load, seek Incomplete grades in courses, take a temporary leave of absence, or gain assistance from one of the following resources: