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Petition Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to petitions written for Arts and Sciences requirements:

Foreign Language: No waiver. Students with documented learning disabilities must be reviewed by the Office of Disability Services to determine if a substitution is warranted.  If Disability Services recommends a substitution, the student should be referred to Melissa M. Parker for appropriate course substitution.

Natural Science Lab Sequence: Transfer students who have two lab science courses (i.e. Geology LD and Chemistry 120) may petition to use the courses for the Natural Science Lab Sequence even though the courses are not a sequence or a package.  UT freshmen and sophomores (non-transfers) must complete a full sequence of a lab science.  These students have ample opportunity to fulfill the requirement as stated.

Social Science: Two departments must be represented.

Arts & Humanities: All students MUST have at least one List A course.  Two departments must be represented.

Non-US History: US History is not acceptable except in the case of an international student who did not have US History in high school.  If a graduating student is unable to complete a sequence because the required course is not being offered, the student may petition to take two courses from different sequences.  The courses should be from different periods of History.  For example, History 261 matched with Africana Studies 236.

Global Challenges: Substitutions must focus on international issues facing today’s world and cannot simply address issues of the past (though a combination of historical and contemporary concerns is acceptable).  Courses taken at UT that are not on the approved list will not be accepted for Global Challenges.       

Connections: All study abroad coursework not appearing in the requirement can be petitioned with proof that the course(s) were actually taken outside of the United States (this can typically be found on the syllabus).  Appropriate substitutions for individual Connections Packages can be petitioned and are reviewed by the chair of that package.  At least two departments must be represented, and only one Connections course can overlap with the primary major.  Courses taken at UT that are not on the approved lists can only be accepted for Connections packages if they are petitioned ahead of time.        

Major Requirements

Petitions concerning major requirements must have departmental approval prior to coming to Advising Services. Petitions received at the counter not having departmental approval will be logged into the database and then forwarded to the department. Petitions approved in the department regarding major requirements may not be delivered to Arts & Science Advising Services via the student. 

Graduation Requirements

  • 120 total hours required for a degree is never waived!
  • 42 upper division hours: Waiver of this rule is rarely granted, especially if the student has elective hours remaining to reach their 120 hour total.
  • 60 hours at a four-year college is never waived.
  • 30-hours of final credit at UT Knoxville: During the last 30 hours, all students are allowed to take up to 6 hours outside of their major from another institution as long as the student has completed at least 30 hours at UT Knoxville.  Although we automatically allow up to 6 non-major hours to be taken elsewhere, a petition still needs to be filed.  Major courses taken outside of UT Knoxville within the last 30 hours must be granted departmental approval first.  This rule is waived for students who have studied abroad during their last 30 hours.  NOTE: If a student is earning his or her last required hours at an institution other than UT Knoxville, the credit may not arrive at UT in time for graduation.  The student will then be eligible to graduate during the term following the enrollment in the transfer institution.
  • 2.0 graduation GPA is never waived.
  • “C” in all courses counted toward the major may only be waived with the major department’s approval.  Most departments do not allow “D”s to be petitioned to count in the major.  A “C-” can only count in the major if it is approved by petition.  It is rare that more than one C- or lower is accepted to count for the major.

General Guidelines

Please make sure that ALL information is filled out accurately at the top of the petition.

  • Name and ID: the name and student ID that are listed on the petition are what get added to our database, so if they are incorrect, then we will not be able to effectively search for the student’s petitions.
  • Catalog Year: should be the one that the student is following. If the student is following a different catalog year than what is listed in the system, feel free to make a note of that on the petition (and make sure it gets updated with Arts & Sciences Advising Services).
  • Classification: freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Major/Minor: what the student ultimately intends to graduate with.
    • PLEASE note the concentration that the student plans to pursue. For example, do not just write “Global Studies”…write “Global Studies-Politics and Econ.”  This is extremely important for certain majors (particularly Global Studies, Biological Sciences, English, Physics, Philosophy, Poli Sci, Sociology, MFLL, LACS, Art, and Music), because students cannot graduate with many of these as general majors.
    • Please include ALL majors and minors. If the petition is for a second major or minor, still indicate the primary major since that is the DARS in which the petition will eventually be added.
    • IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: we cannot add petitions to the University Exploratory or Arts & Sciences Exploratory If the petition is for an exploratory student, the major in which the student is leaning most towards ideally should be written on the petition (it can always be changed in the future).
  • UT E-mail and Phone Number: we almost always communicate with students via e-mail, but a phone number is still nice to have.
  • Intended Graduation Date: please ALWAYS include this. Petitions are reviewed based off of graduation priority. If the student has no clue, please guesstimate.
  • A syllabus MUST be attached to the petition any time LD and UD courses are involved. If it is a “special topics” course involving variable content, the syllabus will be required as well.
  • First state the substitution or waiver request, then add other pertinent information and rationale. Example: “Allow Biology LD, 4 semester hours, grade A, taken at Roane State Community College to count toward Natural Science Lab requirement. Student will complete the sequence with Biology 102.”
  • All quarter courses must be petitioned in order to be entered manually into DARS.
  • Petitions do not alter the transcript.
  • Transfer courses must be listed on the transcript before requesting a substitution or petition.
  • Students requesting accommodations in the curriculum based on a documented learning disability should be referred to Melissa Parker.
  • Include the full name of the course as written on the academic history when writing a petition.

June 28, 2017