Course Substitution

Course substitutions in general education or major fields of study are not permitted when a course is deemed essential for a degree requirement. Furthermore, any student who receives a substitution must fulfill the university's requirements by completing an alternative course or courses as determined by the department chair and dean.

The following procedures must be followed if a student with a documented learning disability seeks a course substitution as part of an approved accommodation plan:

  1. The petition process should begin as soon as there is strong objective evidence (e.g., previous documented difficulties) that the student will be unable to fulfill the requirement.
  2. The student must provide the Accessibility Services Center with current, relevant and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. This documentation must substantiate a disability and its specific impact upon the student's ability in the specific area of required learning. Please refer to our documentation guidelines tab for more details.
  3. A complete case history is required to document the student's history of challenges in the specific area of learning from high school until the date of the petition. This case history should include:

1. A personal statement by the student indicating the reasons for the request, including prior experiences with the subject matter; and

2. The names of courses and grades attesting to the student's efforts and diligence in attempting to master the subject matter in high school, at a community college and/or at a four-year institution.

Upon completion of these steps, a staff member of the Accessibility Services Center will review the documentation and consult with the student, the student's academic dean, the chair of the department responsible for the requirement and other professionals, as needed. A recommendation for approval or denial of a request for substitution will be forwarded by a staff member of the Accessibility Services Center to the student's dean, who will make the final decision.

Deadlines for Requests

A student requesting a course substitution must submit all necessary documentation no later than the end of their sophomore year in order to allow sufficient time to review the material and update documentation, if necessary. Thus, if a student plans to request a course substitution, it is in their best interest to do so upon enrollment at the university to ensure adequate time to complete the petition process. A transfer student must submit all documentation by the completion of their first semester of enrollment.

Accommodations and adjustments are not retroactive. That is, the student is eligible for disability support services based upon the date that they return the completed accommodations forms to the Accessibility Services Center, or the date that an academic adjustment is approved.


If a student's request for a substitution is denied, they may appeal the decision in writing within seven (7) business days to the ADA/504 compliance coordinator for students/Associate Director of Academic Success & Accessibility, Martha von Mering. She may be contacted at 386-822-7127 or [email protected].