Petitions

 If you wish to ask for an exception to college or university policy (for example dropping a course after the deadline) you must complete and submit the relevant petition. A petition is a formal written request for an exception to a published policy or requirement.  Petitions are available at the college advising office except where otherwise noted, and most petitions can be downloaded below.  Once you have submitted a petition, you will likely receive an email notification after a decision has been made about your request.If you wish to ask for an exception to college or university policy (for example dropping a course after the deadline) you must complete and submit the relevant petition. A petition is a formal written request for an exception to a published policy or requirement.  Petitions are available at the college advising office except where otherwise noted, and most petitions can be downloaded below.  Once you have submitted a petition, you will likely receive an email notification after a decision has been made about your request. 

Please be sure to fill out the form correctly and legibly (typed or in blue/black ink) with all of the requested information.  Any missing or incorrect information will delay the processing of your petition and in some cases may lead to a denial--for example, if you are missing documentation for a drop petition.  To obtain a petition in person or to receive assistance with a petition, please visit the College of Letters and Science Advising Office, 1117 Cheadle Hall.

IMPORTANT NOTE:   You must officially be a student in the College of Letters and Science to submit these petitions, except for Change of Major/Memo of Understanding for Double Majors and Appeal for Reinstatement in some instances.  If you are in the College of Engineering (COE)  or College of Creative Studies (CCS) , please visit your appropriate college advising office for assistance.  Even if the petition pertains to an L&S course, COE or CCS students must work through their home college.  

Links to detailed information regarding specific petitions:

General Education Requirements

To petition a transfer course or a UC EAP course for a General Education Program requirement 

Please note that UCSB courses cannot be petitioned for any General Education Requirements except for the  Special Subjects Writing Requirement because when UCSB courses are created, they  are evaluated by the Faculty Senate for how they will apply to GE requirements.

We recommend that before filing GE petitions that students meet with a Letters and Science advisor because, in many cases, an advisor may be able to apply a transfer or UC EAP course to a GE requirement without a petition.  Students, however, must file petitions for UCSB courses (that are not already approved) or for UC EAP courses to be applied toward the Special Subjects Writing Requirement.  See the Writing Petition Instructions below.  Only UCSB and UC EAP courses may be petitioned for the Writing Requirement; courses from other institutions including other UC campuses are not accepted for this GE. 

Also, please note that most California community college courses have already been evaluated and articulated for transfer and do not need to be petitioned.  Go to assist.org to determine if a California community college courses transfers to UCSB and to see whether it may count toward a GE requirement.  

Download

Details:

Please read the instructions carefully and supply all requested information, including a syllabus or course description for course.  In particular, if no statement is included regarding instructor feedback for the Writing Requirement petition, your petition will be denied.   For the Writing Requirement, a nonreturnable copy of the paper(s) written for the UCSB or UC EAP course must also be submitted (see below).  

Decision notification:   3-4 weeks

Writing Petition Instructions

Download the instructions below for petitioning a UCSB or UC EAP course for the GE-Writing Requirement. Please note that a General Education Requirements Petition must be completed and submitted with the materials specificed in the instructions.  Also, a maximum of two courses me may be approved by petition to fulfill the GE-Writing Requirement.

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Details:

Please read the instructions carefully and supply all requested information.  In particular, if no statement is included regarding instructor feedback for the Writing Requirement petition, your petition will be denied.

With your completed petition, please attach a syllabus or course description for the transfer course in question, as well as a nonreturnable copy of the paper(s) written for the UCSB or UC EAP course being petitioned. **Only UCSB and UC EAP courses can be petitioned for the Writing Requirement; courses from other institutions (including other UC campuses) are not accepted for this GE.

Decision notification:   3-4 weeks

Degree Requirements

For major substitutions, repeat/credit clarification, concurrent enrollment, and more

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Details:

In some cases, you may be required to obtain departmental recommendation before submitting this petition. Such cases include:

  • Major Substitution: If you are asking for an exception to published major requirements.  Please note that most major petitions are handled through the online system and do not require a paper petition. Please visit your department advisor.
  • Repeat/Credit Clarification:
    • If you are requesting to repeat  a course for a second time and the course is pertinent to your major (these petitions are almost never granted).
    • If you have taken a course at another UC campus and want it to be accepted as a legal repeat of a UCSB course (or vice versa).
  • Other:
    • Concurrent enrollment: If you plan on taking courses at another institution while enrolled at UCSB, UC EAP,  UCDC or UCCS (during fall, winter, or spring quarters), you must submit your petition to the College office before courses begin at either institution.

Decision notification:  1-2 weeks

Deficit Load

To enroll in fewer than 12 units for a regular quarter

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Details:

It is best to submit your petition before the start of the term in which you are seeking a deficit course load.

Please note that an approval of a deficit load does not automatically result in a reduction of fees. For details about fee implications and potential partial refund of the Education Fee, please contact the Office of the Registrar, 1101 SAASB.

Students on an F-1 visa must also submit an OISS approved Reduced Course Load (RCL) form with the deficit load petition.  The RCL must be signed by the College advisor and OISS before it can be submitted with the deficit load petition. 

In addition, a deficit load does not automatically grant an exception to the Minimum Cumulative Progress policy. You must petition separately for an exception to the MCP policy.

Decision notification:  up to 2 weeks

Permanent Deficit Load

To enroll in fewer than 12 units for the remainder of one's undergraduate studies

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Details:

It is best to submit your petition before the start of the term in which you are seeking a deficit course load.

Please note that approval of a permanent deficit load will automatically result in a reduction of fees. For details about fee implications, please contact the Office of the Registrar, 1101 SAASB.

This application, if approved, will eliminate the need to petition for a deficit program at the beginning of each quarter. In addition, a permanent deficit load will automatically grant an exception to the Minimum Cumulative Progress policy.

Decision notification: up to 2 weeks

Excess Load

To enroll in more than the published maximum units

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Details:

Obtain and submit this petition to the College Advising Office (1117 Cheadle Hall). You need this petition if you wish to enroll in:

  • More than 21 units in a regular quarter while in good academic standing.
  • More than 17 units in a regular quarter while on academic probation or reinstatement-probation.
  • More than 16 units in any single or overlapping summer sessions.

It is best to submit your petition before the start of the term in which you are seeking the exception.

Decision notification:  up to 1 week.  Please note that when form is turned in prior to the requested quarter, there is a hold for your current quarter's grades and then processed once grades are reported.

Extension

To apply credit from UC Extension to your degree program

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Details:

If you would like a UC Extension course to count towards your degree program, you must first obtain departmental recommendation. Your department’s approval, however, does not guarantee that your request will be granted. The final decision rests with the dean.

To avoid disappointment, it is strongly recommended that you file this petition before you invest time or money in a course.

When filling out the petition, be sure to list each course by its Extension course number and title (not the edp number that is also listed by University Extension).

Other important considerations:

  • UC Extension work, including UCSB Extension courses, do not apply to academic residency requirements. 
  • Grades for courses with an "X" designation (e..g, TMP X130A, X130B, X130C courses) do not apply to your UC GPA.  Note: if you are regularly enrolled at UCSB during the quarter and want to have extension units count towards degree credit,  you must remain regularly enrolled in 12 units during the quarter.  Please talk with the College if you have any questions, as some exceptions may apply.
  • Effective after Spring 2000:  If you are a registered UCSB student and also choose to complete a regular UCSB course through UCSB's Open University branch of Extension, the course grade will be applied to your overall and/or major GPA(s). However, UC Extension work taken at another UC campus will not apply to your GPA. 
  • Extension courses numbered 300 and higher are not acceptable for degree credit.

Decision notification:  2-3 weeks

Proposed Schedule for Graduation (PSG)

To register beyond 200 units

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Details:

The PSG is a planning tool for students who want permission to complete more than 200 units prior to earning their degree.

On the form, you must:

  • Explain why you need additional units and time at UCSB.
  • Provide a quarter-by-quarter plan to fulfill your remaining requirements for graduation.
  • Obtain the endorsement of the departmental advisor in your major(s) and minor (if you are pursuing one).

Decision notification:  varies, up to 2-3 weeks

Credit by Examination

To receive credit for a course by taking an examination

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Details:

To be considered for Credit by Examination, you must:

  • Have prepared independently for the examination, without having received formal instruction.
  • Be enrolled in a regular quarter (fall, winter, or spring) at UCSB.
  • Obtain approval from both the supervising faculty member and the chair of the department that offers the course.
  • Obtain the petition from the Office of the Registrar (petition is also available as a download above).
  • Submit the petition to the College Advising Office (1117 Cheadle Hall) no later than three weeks before the examination is scheduled.

On the petition, you must indicate how you have prepared for the exam and the grading option you wish.

If your request is approved, you will be assigned whatever grade the instructor reports as a result of the examination. Coursework completed by examination does not apply to academic residence requirements.

More information on obtaining credit by examination is available through the General Catalog.

Late Add

To add a course after the add deadline which fall on the 15th day of instruction during a regular quarter

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Details:

An instructor statement documenting the student's participation in the course is required.

Decision notification:  up to 1 week

Retroactive Add

To add a course after the quarter has passed

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Details:

Exceptions to retrocactively add courses after a quarter has ended are granted only in very unusual and compelling circumstances. An instructor statement and documentation of hardship must accompany your request.

Decision notification:  1-2 weeks

Late/Retroactive Drop

To withdraw from a course after the published deadline

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Details:

After the deadline to drop a course on GOLD has passed, students must petition for a late drop (granted during the term in which a student is enrolled in the course) or a retroactive drop (granted after the term) of a course.  See the Registrar’s Registration Calendar for quarter/session deadlines.

After the GOLD drop deadline has passed through the last day of instruction for a term, petitions for a late drop of a course will be considered if students can document an unanticipated personal or family hardship that affected their performance in a course.  Petitions to drop a course primarily for academic reasons (not because of a hardship) will also be considered if the student:

  • submits the petition no later than the Passed/Not Passed deadline for the quarter/session,
  • has not withdrawn from the course in a prior term,
  • is not repeating the course,
  • has not been granted a petition for an excess load,
  • has been granted no more than three course drops primarily for academic reasons.

After the last day of instruction for a quarter/session, a petition will be considered “retroactive.”  In a petition for a retroactive drop of a course, a student must not only explain and document a hardship that affected their performance in a course but also must detail how the hardship prevented the student from responding to the situation prior to the end of the term. Petitions to retroactively drop a course primarily for academic reasons will not be considered.

Questions regarding the Late or Retro Drop request procedure should be directed to the College of Letters and Science Walk-in Advisor, 1117 Cheadle Hall.  Walk-in advising is available Monday Thursday, and Friday mornings from 9-11:30 AM, and Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30-11:30 AM, and every afternoon, from 1-3:30 PM.

Decision notification for Late Drops:  1-5 days

Decision notification for Retroactive Drops: 2-3 weeks

Graduate Course

To Enroll in a graduate-level course

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Note:   form is available at the Office of the Registrar

Details:

If you are an upper-division student with a very strong academic record, you may request permission to enroll in a graduate-level course. To petition for your request, you must:

  • Secure the approval of the course instructor and the department chair.
  • Obtain the petition from the Office of the Registrar (available online using the above link), and return it to the Office of the Registrar once it has been completed.

The policy regarding enrollment by an undergraduate in a graduate course requires:

  1. The students must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0;
  2. The student must have at least 12 units of upper-division credit with a grade of B or better in the subject of the graduate course;
  3. Graduate courses completed by undergraduate students will not apply toward graduate degrees, unless taken while enrolled in a combined BS/MS program.

Incomplete Grade

To receive a grade of Incomplete

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Note:  form is available at the Office of the Registrar

Details:

To obtain an Incomplete, submit your petition to the Registrar’s office by the last working day of the quarter in question.

If I receive an Incomplete, how long do I have to make up the remaining coursework?

Incomplete grades must be made up in the first regular quarter immediately following the quarter for which the Incomplete was received. For example, Incomplete grades from spring quarter and summer session must be made up in the immediately following fall quarter, because summer session does not count as a regular quarter.

These deadlines apply whether or not you are registered and whether or not the course is offered in the deadline quarter. Failure to meet the deadline will result in a recorded grade of F or NP, depending on the grading option you have chosen. However, if the deadline is unrealistic for your needs, you may request a separate extension from your instructor.

I've missed the deadline to submit the Incomplete Grade petition, can I still pursue an Incomplete?

Occasionally, students are unable to complete the petition for an Incomplete by the end of the quarter of enrollment. In that case, you may request a retroactive Incomplete grade. The steps are the same as noted above (an extension is required), except the petition must be submitted to the College Advising Office (1117 Cheadle Hall) for the dean's consideration. Note that the dean will not approve an Incomplete if you were failing the course. If you wish to submit a petition for retroactive Incomplete later than the quarter immediately following enrollment, you must include a separate approval for extension of the deadline.

Grading Option Change

To petition to change the grading option after the deadline

Please note changes of grading option are RARELY approved after the deadline.

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Details:

If your request is not approved, the original grading option will continue to be reflected on your transcript. If your request is approved, your record will reflect the change, and a transaction charge will be billed to your BARC account. Please read the instructions carefully and supply all requested information.

Decision notification:   1-2 weeks for late, 2-3 weeks for retroactive

Change of Major

To change your major or to declare a major

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Note:  available at major department offices as well as College Advising Office.

Details:

If you know what major you wish to declare, simply visit your desired major department office.  You can also obtain and/or submit this petition at the College Advising Office (1117 Cheadle Hall).

In most cases, the department's approval is all you need. However, you will also need the approval of the dean of undergraduate studies if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are attempting to change your major after completion of 135 units.
  • You are changing to or from another college (Engineering or Creative Studies).
  • You are proposing a double major. In this case, your petition must be accompanied by a memo of understanding (see panel below).

Decision notification:   varies, depending on major change petition request.  Your GOLD account will be updated with the major change. 

Memo of Understanding for Double Majors

To pursue more than one major

Download**

Details:

If both the majors you propose are offered by the College of Letters and Science:

  • Using the worksheet included in the memo, you must provide an estimate of the term in which you will graduate and the number of units you will have earned at that time.
  • Complete and submit this petition, along with a Change of Major petition (available in the panel above).

If you propose to complete one major in the College of Letters and Science and another in a different college (Engineering or Creative Studies), you will need to provide a quarterly plan to fulfill all degree requirements.

** MUST be filed with the Change of Major Petition (see above).

Independent Study Exception

To Enroll in an independent study over published unit limits or as a lower-division student

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Details:

This petition is required if you fall into one of the following categories for independent studies courses (numbered 98/99/198/199/199RA):

  • You hope to engage in independent study for credit but find that you exceed the published unit limits which are 5 units max per term or 15 units max per year (listed in the "Independent Study" petition panel below).*
  • You hope to engage in upper division independent study (198/199/199RA) for credit, but you are a lower-division student.

* Please note that no more than 30 independent study units will be accepted towards the bachelor's degree, and no exceptions can be made for this policy.

Petition Requirements:

  • You must secure a recommendation from your faculty sponsor(s) and the chair of the appropriate department.
  • You must obtain and complete a proposal for each independent study course proposed (proposals can be obtained at your department’s office).

Decision notification:  1-2 weeks

Independent Study

To enroll in an independent study within normal rules

Please consult with the department.

Details:

Eligibility for Independent Study:

  1. You must have completed at least 90 units to register in upper-division independent study courses.
  2. No more than 5 units of independent study may be undertaken in a single quarter or summer session.
  3. No more than 15 units of independent study may be undertaken in an academic year.
  4. No more than 30 units of independent study will be accepted toward the bachelor's degree.

Petition Requirements:

  • You must secure a recommendation from your faculty sponsor(s) and the chair of your major department.
  • You must obtain and complete a proposal for each independent study course proposed (Proposals can be obtained at your department’s office).
  • Submit your completed petition and proposal(s) to your major department office.