Student Petitions

What is a student petition?

A student petition is a formal request for a waiver of a Senate Policy. Waivers would include Senate policies listed in Policies and Rules for Undergraduate Students.

What types of petitions have students submitted in the past?

View the most recent Summary of Petitions Report on academic exceptions presented by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education.

Preparing a Petition

IMPORTANT: STUDENTS, please DO NOT send petition materials directly to the Faculty Senate office. It will cause a delay in the process.

STUDENTS, please make a copy of all documents that are included in your Senate petition prior to submission. If students are working with a Penn State office, such as the Office of Student Aid for an Academic Progress Appeal or the Office of the Bursar for a tuition adjustment, documents from a petition may be released directly to the Penn State Office with a student’s permission.

Students initiate a petition by speaking with an adviser at their college/campus advising center.

For students enrolled at University Park:

  • Students enrolled in a college will submit their petitions through the Dean’s office of the college in which the student is enrolled.
  • DUS and Provisional students will submit their petitions through the Division of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Non-Degree Conditional students will submit their petitions through the Dean’s office of the college in which the student plans to enroll.
  • Non-Degree Regular and World Campus students planning to enroll in a degree program will submit their petitions through the college/campus in which they plan to pursue a degree. Students who are not pursuing a degree at Penn State or are undecided about a college will submit their petitions through the Division of Undergraduate Studies.View University Park Petition Contacts

For students enrolled at another campus:

Student petitions are always submitted through the college/campus in which the student is currently enrolled, no matter where the student attended during the time of the request. Students are responsible for obtaining documentation from another college/campus if applicable. Students who are not currently enrolled will submit their petition through the college/campus in which they were enrolled while taking the course(s) in reference.

Translation of Petition Documentation

In the event that students provide petition documentation that is written in a language other than English, the academic unit submitting the petition is responsible for facilitating the translation of the document(s) before the petition is submitted to the Faculty Senate Office.

Resources that may be helpful with translation

Review of Petitions

Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards reviews petitions continuously throughout the academic year, including summer terms, and petition reviewing is not coordinated with meetings of the University Faculty Senate. Student petitions are reviewed at the college/campus level and submitters will make a recommendation of support or non-support to the Senate Committee. The petition will then be forwarded to the Senate Office where it will be reviewed by the Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards.

Denied Petitions

If a petition is denied, the student may appeal the decision if he/she can provide additional information to support his/her case. Prior to beginning the appeal process, students should contact the Faculty Senate office by phone at 814-863-0221 or by email to determine why their original petition has been denied, and to get suggestions for what may be helpful to provide in an appeal.

Time Frame

After a petition is submitted, students can expect a decision within three to five weeks from the time the petition is received in the Senate Office.

Financial Issues

The student petition process does not include the handling of refunds or waivers of money owed to the University. These matters need to be addressed through the Office of the Bursar.