Student Petitions to the Committee on Courses and Degrees (C&D)

When is a petition to C&D necessary?

The C&D committee is charged with the general supervision and development of policies concerning undergraduate entrance requirements, courses of study, curricular standards, and degrees. Examples where students would petition to C&D include:

  • exceptions to major requirements, beyond department head substitution;
  • exceptions to general education or foundation and distribution requirements, including for elective transfer credit;
  • approval of external credit for major, FDR, or degree requirements, beyond current transfer, summer school and/or study abroad policy;
  • approval of external language testing in non-W&L languages for native speakers to meet the general education requirement in languages. (The detailed process is described at;
  • approval of Independent Work majors;
  • change of grade petitions (other than for error in original report) beyond deadlines or after graduation;
  • extension of incomplete (beyond maximum of one term);
  • exceptions to the repeat policy; and
  • other policy exceptions.

How do you submit the petition?

Student petitions are due in to the Office of The Dean of The College by Tuesday at 5:00 pm for consideration at the next week's C&D meeting. There is no form for student petitions; instead the student should write a letter outlining the circumstances and making the case for the petition. The letter must contain all pertinent information that the Committee may reasonably need to come to a decision; otherwise, consideration of the petition will be delayed. Submit your petition via email to; please make sure to use C&D Petition: Student Name as the Subject heading for the email. Any supporting materials must also be submitted electronically by the Tuesday 5:00 pm deadline. Before submission, students should provide a copy of the petition letter to their academic adviser(s) and department or program head(s), and the course instructor if appropriate, in order to seek their endorsement. Faculty members should submit supporting statements directly by email to; please make sure to use C&D Petition: Student Name as the Subject heading for the email. It is the obligation of the student to make sure such faculty endorsements or recommendations have been submitted in a timely fashion.

Who is on the committee?

The committee is comprised of certain administrators, faculty appointed by the president for six-year terms, and students nominated by the Student EC and appointed by the president. The current committee membership is listed on the Provost's website.

How often does the committee meet?

The C&D committee meets each Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. during the term. Actions by the C&D committee require approval of the faculty at their regularly scheduled faculty meetings (usually the first Monday of the following month).

How will you hear of the status of your petition?

Official notification indicating if the petition has been approved or denied is sent to the student's W&L e-mail account. Students are responsible to watch for this e-mail notification and act on any approvals accordingly (see below). If your petition is denied, and you believe it still has merit, you may appeal by meeting first in person with the Dean of The College.

What should you do if the petition is approved?

Upon approval of a petition, the student must submit all appropriate paperwork with necessary signatures to the appropriate office. For example, if a petition for a summer transfer course is approved to count as a FDR HL course, the student must obtain the Application for Degree Credit for Off-Campus Study form, get the appropriate adviser and department head signatures, and turn it into the University Registrar's office. Students are encouraged to take care of the necessary paperwork in a timely manner.

last revision: April 3, 2018