Information on Petitions

Any deviation from the department requirements as listed in the general catalog for the year you entered UCSD, any substitution of courses, whether from UCSD or another institution, a request to enroll into a course without meeting the prerequisites, etc.  must be approved by a petition process. Please fill out your request carefully and completely, and be very clear and concise about what you are requesting and why. 

Please note that if you took a series (general chemistry, organic chemistry) at two California community colleges within the same district, you may not be required to petition. If your coursework is articulated on and you took your chemistry coursework within the same California community college district, please send us a message on the VAC. In your message, please include the full details of the courses you took (title, number) and include the names of the colleges where you took your courses.

There are several different Petition types and different ways to petition  We have included some guidlines below:  

Petition Type: Course Substitutions

Courses taken at other accredited institutions may be applied toward major requirements with approved petitions.  Some Major requirements can also be substitutes with other courses offered at UCSD by petition.  Students planning to take courses at other institutions should petition beforehand, otherwise there will be no guarantee for approval. Use the online petition if your request matches one or more of the following criteria for a Course Substitution:

    1. You are looking to transfer a course from another 4-Year University into UCSD.
    2. You took courses at a community college or college outside of California and would like to receive transfer credit at UCSD.
    3. If the courses you took at a California Community College are not articulated on the website
    4. If you took a series (general chemistry, organic chemistry) at more than one California Community College in two separate districts.
    5. If you took a course through another department at UCSD and would like to use that course to fulfill a Chemistry requirement. 

If one of the above options matches your situation, please log into our online petition tool.  An example of how to fill out the petition is below: 


Please review CHEM1 A (General Chemistry I) from Grossmont College and CHEM 102 (General Chemistry II) from Cal State San Marcos) for equivalency for CHEM 6A, CHEM 6B, CHEM 6C and CHEM 7L at UCSD.       


Already completed 1 full year of general chemistry at 2 different schools in California.

You must upload the course syllabi for each course you are asking us to review for credit. The syllabus should contain the following information.  If the information is not listed, please include the information in your request:

    • The name of the college you attended.
    • The course number(s).
    • The year and term of the course and if it was a semester or quarter system.
    • The number of hours spent in lecture, recitation, and lab (if applicable).
    • Topics covered.
    • Textbook used

The review panel is looking to see that the topics you covered and the hours you spent in lab/ lecture are close to equal to the course offered at UCSD.  The more detailed and organized information you can prepare, the faster a decision can be made.

        Reverse Approved Petition
        If you would like to reverse a petition, you must re-petition the request online.

Petition Type: Prerequisite Waiver

If you would like to enroll into a Chemistry course but have not met the prerequisite requirements, you must petition with the instructor.  The instructor has the ability to determine if they feel you will be successful without having met the prerequistes. 

To petition, you will use the EASy System. Please send your petition to the Chemistry/Biochemistry Department.

This petition will be routed to the instructor teaching the course you wish to enroll in.  Once the course instructor makes a decision, the Student Affairs office is notified.  If the decision was an approval, we will clear your prerequisites for the course so you can enroll or stay enrolled. 

The Registrar's office does check to make sure students passed their courses that serve as prerequisites for the following quarter.  Beginning of week 1 of each quarter the Registrar's office will drop students who are enrolled into a course if they dont have the prerequiste completed, OR have clearance from the Student Affairs office.

Petition Type: Pre-Approval

This petition is typically used for students who are planning to take a class at another institution (e.g. a university abroad) and would like to get the course reviewed for equivalency prior to taking the course.  Students must identify the UCSD course they would like to be considered for equivalency.  Those who have obtained Pre-Approvals must show proof of completion with a passing grade.  To receive credit, the course must be posted on the student's academic history.

To petition you will use our online petition tool and select Pre-Approval in the drop down box.

EAP Coursework
Final approval on EAP course petitions will not be granted until you return, as we will need to evaluate your complete coursework. However, students are highly encouraged to seek advice in advance on proposed EAP coursework, especially if you have several course options. Instructions for petitioning EAP courses would be the same as outlined above.

Petition Type: Major Requirement Waiver

Students majoring in one of the Chemistry majors will use this petition to request for exceptions to a major degree requirement.  This petition can pertain, but is not limited, to: 

Requests for removal of the upper-division Bio Lab requirement for Pharm Chem majors prior to 2010
Requests for graduating with 2 "D" grades in upper-division courses for the major
Request to use a course (not including CHEM 199) taken with a P/NP toward the major (Note: for CHEM 199 to count toward an UD elective, a course substitution petition is needed).
Request to graduate with a Major GPA below 2.0.
Requests for changes that deviate from the degree audit

To petition you will use our online petition tool and select Major Requirement Waiver in the drop down box.

Petition Type: Late Add 

Students wishing to add a CHEM course after the Add Deadline may submit a Late Add Petition via the EASy System. These requests will be routed to the instructor of the course you wish to add. Such requests should be submitted no later than Wednesday of Week 3. 

Only students with extenuating circumstances should submit a petition.  Being on the waitlist for a class does not constitute an exceptional circumstance for a late-add request.  Petition approvals/disapprovals are largely based on the student’s justification for the request, instructor approval, and whether there is space available in the class. 

Other Petition Types

University Exceptions
Petitioning to request exceptions to University deadlines and policies (late/retroactive withdrawal with or without a ‘W’, change of grading option, receiving course credit from a different university etc.) all require extenuating circumstances beyond your control (computer error, hospitalization, etc) and you will need to provide sufficient evidence and documentation of those circumstances.  Please note that petitions of this nature have a lengthy wait time, as it will go through several stages and must be reviewed by the Council for Educational Policy (CEP).