Course Substitution

Students with documented disabilities can access support services through Disability Resources and Services (DRS) located in 140 William Pitt Union. The goal of DRS is to provide students with the opportunity for the development of skills and strategies that will assist them in successfully fulfilling University policies and requirements. In instances where the documented disability precludes learning with accommodations, the University will permit the substitution of specific courses in order to best serve the student. Because these requirements are important elements of a program, each case must be carefully considered on an individual basis before the appropriate Dean of the student’s School or College makes a decision.


The following are procedures that must be adhered to if a student with a documented disability is seeking a modification of course requirements:

  1. The petition process should begin as soon as there is strong objective evidence (e.g., previous documented difficulties, current documented difficulties) that the student will be unable to fulfill the requirement.
  2. The student must provide the Disability Resources and Services (DRS) with current, relevant and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. Detailed guidelines for documentation are available from DRS. This documentation must substantiate both the specific learning disability and its specific impact the student’s ability in the area of concern.
  3. A complete case history is required to document the student’s history of problems in the area of concern 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, as well as letters from high school personnel and/or college faculty attesting to the student’s efforts and diligence in attempting to master the subject matter.
  4. All relevant materials are forwarded to the Documentation Review Board for evaluation. The Dean of the student’s College or School will make the final determination and will notify the student. Any student who is granted the petition is expected to fulfill the University’s course requirements according to the guidelines for selecting alternative courses.