You may at some time face an unexpected situation that makes it tough to handle academics and the rest of your life. Your academic advisor is here to help you meet those challenges that are temporarily impacting your personal well-being and academic achievement.

You may petition for a policy exemption that would help you face an extenuating circumstance.

What’s an extenuating circumstance?

Typical extenuating circumstances are temporary illness or disabling injury, violence or abuse, depression or anxiety, chemical dependency, and death in the family.

These are usually not considered an extenuating circumstance: heavy work schedule, family commitments, “getting in over your head.”

What are some possible policy exceptions?

  • Withdrawing from courses after the 10th week deadline
  • Changing the grade basis of the course (from A-F to S-N), rarely approved

How do I petition?

The College of Science and Engineering Scholastic Committee, a rotating committee composed of CSE staff, reviews most petitions.  The CSE Scholastic Committee generally meets weekly during the academic year and bi-weekly in the summer.  Other petitions may be reviewed by an academic advisor during drop-in hours Monday-Friday from 2-4 p.m. in 105 Lind Hall.

Petitions for the following exemptions to university or college policy must be completed using the Academic Policy Petition (PDF) unless otherwise noted.  Incomplete petitions including those without a signature or supporting documentation may result in an automatic denial.  Please submit your petition to 105 Lind Hall or to csestudent@umn.edu for review by the CSE Scholastic Committee.  Petitions to use your One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal or to add a course past the deadline must be signed by an advisor during drop-ins.  Your petition should be clear and concise, as you will not be meeting with the committee in person.  Explanations and personal statements should not exceed one page typed.

You will be notified of a decision within two weeks of submitting your petition.  There is no guarantee of approval, regardless of circumstances and supporting documentation.  If your particular exemption request is not listed, please consult with your academic advisor.

Course withdrawal using your One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal

(OTOLW; meet with an advisor during drop-in hours for approval)

Complete petitions must include:

  • The course from which you want to withdraw (including section number and five-digit course code).
  • A brief explanation as to why you want/need to withdraw from the course.

Other information:

  • You may only withdraw from a course after the 10th week of the semester once during your undergraduate career, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Read more about what qualifies as an extenuating circumstance.
  • You may not use your OTOLW if you have taken the final exam or equivalent for the course.
  • You may not use your OTOLW after the last day of instruction for the semester.
  • After an advisor approves your petition, you need to take the petition to One Stop Student Services for additional processing.

Visit the course withdrawals web page for more information.

Add a course past the deadline; change sections after the add deadline

(Meet with an advisor during drop-in hours for approval)

Complete petitions must include:

  • An explanation of why you were unable to add the course or change sections prior to the deadline.
  • The specific course you want to take (including section number and five-digit course code).
  • The instructor’s recommendation and signature.

Other information:

  • It is your responsibility to make up any work you missed while you were not enrolled in the course.
  • After an advisor approves your petition, you need to take the petition to One Stop Student Services for additional processing.

Third attempt at a course

Complete petitions must include:

  • A plan outlining how you will successfully pass the course on the third attempt as well as why you were previously unable to pass the course.
  • The specific course you want to take (including section number and five-digit course code).

Other information:

  • The committee may look for success in other major courses before approving third attempt.
  • The committee will deny your request if the course you wish to repeat can reasonably be taken at a nearby institution.
  • Petitions to take courses for a fourth time will not be considered.
  • If approved, your petition will be sent to One Stop Student Services during your designated registration time, and you will be added to the class at that time.
  • Read petition guidelines for enrolling in a course a third time (PDF).

Course withdrawal

(Selective withdrawal: withdrawal from only a few courses; Full withdrawal: withdrawal from all courses)

Complete petitions must include:

  • A personal statement detailing your extenuating circumstances.
  • An explanation of why you were unable to withdraw by the 10th week of the semester, as well as a timeline of events of how your circumstances changed after the withdrawal deadline that prevented you from successfully completing the course.
    • If you are requesting to only withdraw from a few courses (selective withdrawal vs. full withdrawal), you must also demonstrate how your circumstances did not impact the courses you wish to remain enrolled in.
  • The following documentation in addition to a personal statement:
    • Medical Supplement form (if requesting withdrawal due to medical/health circumstances). View the Medical Supplement form (PDF).
    • Proof of non-completion emails from instructors sent directly to csestudent@umn.edu that include your last date of attendance and verification that you did not take the final exam or equivalent for the course
    • Other supporting documentation you think is important which may include obituaries, supplemental letters from healthcare providers, copies of plane tickets, etc.

Other information:

  • Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to: illness, accident, or family emergency.
  • Selective withdrawals are rarely approved.
  • If approved, future petitions to withdraw from courses past the withdrawal deadline due to the same circumstances will not be approved.
  • If you were receiving financial aid during the semester for which you wish to withdraw, please speak with a One Stop Student Services counselor as there may be negative implications.
  • International students will need to be approved for a reduced course load before course withdrawals can be processed. Read more about how to request a reduced course load.

Increase credit limit

Complete petitions must include:

  • An explanation of how the additional course or courses fit into your graduation timeline and why it is necessary to take more than 20 credits to stay on track for graduation.
  • A complete list of all courses you intend to take.
  • The exact credit total you are requesting.

Other information:

  • The committee will look for the following information when reviewing your request (meeting these guidelines does not guarantee approval of your petition):
    • Past success in similar coursework
    • GPA from a past semester with 17 credits or more
    • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
    • At least one semester of coursework completed at the U of M Twin Cities
    • Appropriate balance of proposed courses and other responsibilities
  • Approved petitions will be processed after open enrollment to ensure equitability.
  • Petitions to add an audited course will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Special consideration may be given to graduating seniors.

Visit the maximum credit load petition guidelines web page for more information.

Change grading basis

(A-F to S/N or S/N to A-F)

Complete petitions must include:

  • An explanation of why you would like the grading basis changed.
  • An explanation of why you were unable to adjust the grading basis within the first two weeks of the semester.

Other information:

  • These petitions are rarely approved unless the course is a requirement for your major.

Move Major Declaration Required (MDR) hold

Complete petitions must include:

  • An explanation of why you have not been admitted to your major.
  • A personal statement detailing your plan for success in your future courses.
  • Your intended major (whether in CSE or a different college at the U of M Twin Cities).
  • A complete list of courses you plan to take.

Other information:

  • Petitions will not be approved past the add deadline.
  • If you indicate you will continue to pursue a major in CSE, the committee will conduct a GPA calculation to determine whether you can reasonably be admitted to your major after an additional semester of coursework (based on past performance).
  • Read the University’s policy on Promoting Timely Graduation by Undergraduates.
  • The MDR hold will remain on your record until you are admitted to your major or transfer colleges.

Learn more about applying to your major.

Reinstatement of One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal

Complete petitions must include:

  • A personal statement outlining why you were unable to withdraw by the 10th week of the semester, as well as a timeline of events of how your circumstances changed after the withdrawal deadline that prevented you from successfully completing the course.
  • A statement demonstrating how your extenuating circumstances did not affect your remaining courses.
  • The following documentation in addition to the above personal statements:
    • Medical Supplement form (if requesting withdrawal due to medical/health circumstances)
    • Proof of non-completion emails from instructors sent directly to csestudent@umn.edu that include your last date of attendance and verification that you did not take the final exam or equivalent for the course
    • Other supporting documentation, including obituaries, supplemental letters from healthcare providers, copies of plane tickets, etc.

Other information:

  • Generally, a petition to reinstate your One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal will be treated as a selective withdrawal.
  • Selective withdrawals are rarely approved.
  • Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to: illness, accident, or family emergency.
  • If approved, future petitions to withdraw from courses past the withdrawal deadline due to the same circumstances will not be approved.

Reinstatement after suspension

(View the Petition for Reinstatement After Suspension form (PDF))

Complete petitions must include:

  • All requested information on the Petition for Reinstatement After Suspension.
  • A personal statement demonstrating that you are academically ready to resume coursework at the U of M along with a description of the barriers that prevented your success, your detailed plan for improvement (including changes you have already made), and a complete list of courses you wish to take the first semester you return.
  • If you are petitioning to return early from suspension, you will need to explain how the extenuating circumstances that led to your suspension were isolated events that are now resolved (i.e. death in the family).

Other information:

  • Petitions received after the deadline will not be reviewed unless you provide a relevant explanation as to why your petition was late.
  • Petitions to return early from suspension—before the full year is over—are rarely approved.

Learn more about academic probation and suspension.