Exceptions and Petitions

Students are responsible for complying with all policies and deadlines at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The University academic policies, procedures, and deadlines can be found online in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs along with the Academic Calendar. A petition may be used to request an exception to some academic rules and policies.

Academic petitions are not automatically granted, but rather reviewed and evaluated with consideration of fairness and equity for all students, and on the basis of strong and well-documented arguments which clearly support a student’s case for an exception. An exception to University policy is warranted only in cases involving unusual or extenuating circumstances that would normally not be faced by other students. Students should be aware that not every academic policy is petitionable. For a list of petitionable academic policies students should consult the Student Petitions webpage.

For cases unrelated to academic policies, such as disputing a grade, non-academic cases, or other equity concerns, students should seek the counsel of the University Ombuds for a referral to the correct policy or relevant office.

Procedures for Filing Petitions:

Petition requests must be submitted prior to graduating from the enrolled degree program and within three years of the petitionable event, unless otherwise specified in the policy governing the topic of the petition. 

  1. Complete the online Academic Policies Petition Form, found on the Student Petitions webpage, including preparing a well-supported rationale describing the request for an exception to policy.
  2. Attach all supporting/relevant documentation to the form. Some examples are hospital records, a letter from a physician, a statement from a counselor, or court records. If the circumstances relate to a death, an obituary or death certificate should be submitted. Students are encouraged to make copies for their personal files

NOTE: When an academic action is reversed as a result of an approved petition, students may lose eligibility/benefits. There, students should consult with the appropriate offices (e.g., Financial Aid, Veterans Affairs, Athletics, etc.) to assess the potential consequences before submitting a petition. Once submitted, the petition and supporting documents become a part of a student's educational record (link is external).

Please allow approximately four to six weeks for the petition to be reviewed. Students will be notified by email or mail of the decision.

Examples of Appropriate and Inappropriate Requests

If a student is hospitalized before the withdrawal deadline, ideally the student would withdraw before that date.

  1. However, if a student is hospitalized and misses the semester withdrawal deadline, it may be appropriate for the student to file a petition requesting a retroactive withdrawal, which needs to include official documentation such as hospital records or a letter from their physician.
  2. If the student was hospitalized and fully recovered before the withdrawal deadline, a petition would not be appropriate because the student would have been able to act within the deadline.

Petitions Evaluation Process

Petitions are reviewed on a regular schedule. Depending on the type of petition, the following offices are involved in the review and approval process:

  1. College Advising Office
  2. Graduate Staff
  3. Faculty
  4. Graduate Program Director
  5. College Academic Standards Committee[1]
  6. Office of the Dean
  7. Office of the Provost

Financial Aid recipients and students who receive Veteran Educational benefits are advised to meet with the appropriate office to review any possible effects from the petition approval.


[1] Each unit shall have a committee serving as an academic standards committee (ASC) with a minimum of three faculty members. ASC will include an ex officio academic advisor (non-voting) who will present objectively to the committee, provide context for each case, answer questions and provide clarifications.