Graduate Studies

General Instructions Regarding Filing of Petitions

Situations may occur as a graduate student works toward an advanced degree which require either exceptions to existing regulations or modifications and changes in his or her program or plan of study. For such situations it is necessary to file an appropriately prepared petition. This form must be returned to the School of Graduate Studies after it has been completed and signed by the student, the department chairperson, and one other member of the departmental Graduate Committee. To aid you in the completion of these petitions, the following instructions are given.

1. Petition to transfer to a graduate record at Western Illinois University credits earned at other institutions. The petition should state when the courses were taken, where they were taken, the course number and title, the number of semester hour credits received and grade received. One official transcript must be sent directly from the college or university where they were taken to the School of Graduate Studies of Western Illinois University. You will be notified by the School of Graduate Studies of the action of this petition, and if the action is favorable, the transferred credits may then be listed on your Degree Plan. Remember, transfer credit is acceptable only after you have been admitted to candidacy and only if you receive a grade of B or better.

2. Petitions to substitute, cancel, or add courses on a degree plan that has already been approved. A change in the plans of the student or a conflict in the scheduling of courses will occasionally make it necessary to ask that certain courses in an already approved degree plan be changed. Such petitions should be filed with their accompanying reasons after you have been notified that your degree plan has been approved. The petition should contain the department course number, descriptive title and number of credits of all courses affected, the grades received in them, if any, and the reasons for the change.

3. Petitions to be granted an extension of time for completion of the graduate degree. A graduate degree must be completed within six calendar years. If the degree is not completed within the time limit allowed, graduate courses carried outside of the time limit are not acceptable in the program submitted for the degree. Students who wish to have the time limits extended must revalidate courses taken outside the time limit as part of their graduate program and are required to file a petition in the School of Graduate Studies, supported by the approval of the major adviser. Such petitions should contain a statement of the semester and academic year in which all graduate degree requirements will be completed, grade and course titles of any work which will be validated by an extension of time, and a statement of when these courses were taken. Such petitions should be filed as soon as the student discovers that he or she will not be able to meet the stated time requirements. These petitions should be accompanied by, or followed by, letters from appropriate faculty revalidating the out-of-date courses.

4. Petition for grade replacement. If a course not designated as repeatable for credit is retaken, a student may petition to take the course for grade replacement. The petition must be submitted and approved prior to the beginning date of the course being retaken. Both the previous and new grade will be listed on the transcript but only the new grade will be factored into the GPA. The semester hours from all graduate work in which low grades are earned, including those replaced by grade replacement, count toward the maximum number of allowable hours towards the C rule. Please see the official grade replacement policy for additional stipulations.

5.  Some instances when a petition must be presented to Graduate Council:

  1. waiving the 6-hour "C" rule;
  2. late withdrawing from a semester after the semester has passed;
  3. requesting to hold an assistantship with less than a 3.0 graduate GPA;
  4. requesting to hold an assistantship as a probationary student.  

These are only a few examples.  Should you have any questions about your petition, contact the Graduate School.