Graduate Studies | Petitions for Exceptions to the Rules & Regulations

Questions?

  • Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies
    202-885-3753
    gradstudies@american.edu
    Wisconsin (4200), Suite 230 Washington, DC 20016-8075

    Tubman, Jonathan G.
    Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies

Mailing Address
If you wish to pursue an exception to the Graduate Regulations, please fill out this form.

The following are the steps that graduate students should follow for requesting exceptions to the graduate academic regulations.

  1. Graduate students should first discuss with their academic advisor a request for an exception to a specific academic regulation. Advisors should discourage requests that are not substantive or compelling, that attempt to circumvent regulations or policies, or that compromise the integrity of the academic program.
  2. A petition for an exception should include, in written form: (a) the specific regulation that the petition references; (b) the reason for the requested exception, and, (c) all relevant supporting documentation.  Evidence of relevant medical issues should be in the form of a memo from the Office of the Dean of Students verifying receipt of documentation of pertinent medical problems, without a specific description of the medical problems.
  3. AU advisors, faculty members, or administrators may write a petition on behalf of a student if the student cannot write the petition.
  4. All written petitions should be submitted to the student’s academic advisor. Petitions submitted by a faculty member or an administrator are forwarded by the advisor to the next level of review within the academic unit. Petitions submitted by a student and rejected by the academic advisor are returned to the student with a written explanation for the rejection decision. Petitions submitted by a student and accepted by the academic advisor are forwarded to the next level of review within the academic unit, with a statement of written support from the advisor.
  5. If the graduate student’s petition is for an exception to a regulation that can be decided by the academic unit, then the final decision is made by an Associate Dean of the academic unit.
  6. If the graduate student petition is for an exception to a university-wide regulation, the Associate Dean of the academic unit or designee reviews the petition and attaches a written recommendation before forwarding the petition to the appropriate university official for the final decision.
  7. Decisions regarding petitions for exceptions to graduate academic regulations should be made in writing and kept by the academic unit for audits and other record-keeping purposes. At the end of each academic year, reports summarizing final decisions about petitions for exceptions to the graduate academic regulations made by academic unit Associate Deans and Deans will be forwarded to the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Research for review.
  8. A petitioner may appeal a rejection of a petition only once. The appeal process follows this sequence:

When the Rejection Decision is Made by the: The Appeal is Addressed to the:
 Academic Advisor  Associate Dean
 Associate Dean  Dean
 University official (other than Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research)  Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research
 Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research  Provost