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USC Academic Review and Retention Office


Petitions (exception requests) are requests by a student to set aside an official policy or rule that the Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures (CAPP) deemed important to maintain high standards, ensure integrity of the USC transcript, and ensure equity for all students. Permission to deviate from published regulations is neither automatic nor pro forma, and each request receives consideration on its own merits and in light of the petitioner's complete academic record. The Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures and the Office of Academic Records and Registrar reserve the right to approve, deny, or void requests at any time.

Registration-Related Petitions (Exception Requests)

It is the student's responsibility to ensure accurate enrollment by the assigned deadlines. In general, if a student was unable to officially register for classes by the deadline, or subsequently discovers that attempts to do so were unsuccessful, the student may initiate an Exception Request with an Academic Review Counselor in TRO 101. Prompt action to file a request is essential. Students may not attend classes unless they are officially registered. In filing an Exception Request, students must provide a written explanation of their circumstances, instructor verification of attendance information, and relevant supportive documentation. There is a $150.00 petition processing fee. The $150.00 charge appears in the student's university account upon completion of the petitioning process, regardless of the outcome. Examples of Exception Requests include:

Students may not request to retroactively register or add if activity restrictions such as Collections, Loan, Admissions, Student Conduct, Vice President of Student Affairs, or Probation/Disqualification prevented their enrollment.

There is a two-year time limit for all registration-related petitions. Students may not file a petition if more than two years have elapsed since the end of the semester in question. If adequate attendance and grading information is available and reasonable cause for the delay exists, a student may request a waiver of the two-year time limit from the dean of the academic unit in which the student seeks a degree for a period not to exceed five years.

Credit to Audit/Audit to Credit Issues 

Students should make changes from audit to credit or credit to audit by the add deadline of each term/session (the end of the third week of classes or equivalent date for special sessions and summer sessions). As retroactive requests are rarely granted, students must carefully check their registration confirmations. Petitions to retroactively make such changes are initiated in the Academic Review and Retention Office, TRO 101. Students who wish to request to retroactively make such changes should prepare a brief statement that explains their circumstances and e-mail it to

Departmental Petitions

The following petitions are initiated in the student's academic department and require a student statement, relevant supportive documentation, and the endorsements of the student's instructor, chair, and dean. Completed petitions should be returned by the student to their academic department, which will forward them to the Academic Review and Retention Office for review by CAPP.

  1. Extension of time to complete an incomplete.
  2. To count excess PHED activity units towards an undergraduate degree.
  3. To count excess units in a course with a maximum toward the degree.
  4. To count a repeated course for non-repetitious credit for GPA or subject, unit and grade point credit.

Extension of Time to Complete an Incomplete

One year is allowed to remove an IN, e.g., an IN assigned in Fall 2009 will expire at the end of Fall 2010. The removal of an IN should be the student's first priority before completing new course work; extensions beyond the specified time limit are rarely approved if the student has enrolled in subsequent semesters.

In all cases, a petition for an extension of time for removal of an IN must receive departmental approval and include a statement from the instructor. The statement must include the pending course work and why the work warrants additional time.