What is a student petition?
A student petition is a formal request for a waiver of a Senate Policy. Waivers would include any Senate policy 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
Students initiate a petition by speaking with an adviser at their college/campus advising center. Students should not send petition letters or supporting materials directly to the Faculty Senate Office.
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.
For students enrolled at another campus:
- The petition will be submitted through the campus in which they are enrolled.
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
- School of Languages and Literature, College of the Liberal Arts
- Humphrey Fellowship Program
- Office of Global Programs
Review of Petitions
Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards reviews petitions continuously throughout the academic year, including summer sessions, 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.
If a petition is denied, the student may appeal the decision if he/she can provide additional information to support his/her case.
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.
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.