Students occasionally have reason to ask for an exception to the University's requirements for Essential Studies (or the General Education requirements if you began at UND before fall 2008 or transferred in before fall 2009). If you believe that you have a valid reason for such an exception, you may submit a petition to make your request.
Contact your academic advisor prior to submitting an ES petition. Especially if the course in question is a transfer course. Advisors can often resolve the issue without the need for a petition.
How to File an ES Petition
Student petitions are acted on by the ES Committee. They approve or disapprove, based on the quality of your petition.
- Submit your petitions on the official Essential Studies Committee Student Petition Form.
- In your petition, clearly and specifically provide your reasons why you believe an exception is warranted. Please give careful thought to your reasons and provide a full explanation for the exception that you are requesting.
- A complete current academic transcript must be attached.
- Submit your petition, with attachments, on the electronic form. Attach information that will help the Committee understand your request (e.g., if you are petitioning to include a course from another college as a ES course, attach a detailed course outline or full syllabus for the course you propose to substitute).
How the ES Committee Reviews a Petition
When it reviews your petition, the Committee will use the following procedures:
- During the Fall and Spring semesters, student petitions will be reviewed at the Essential Studies Committee meeting following submission. During the Summer sessions, the Essential Studies Committee will consider student petitions within 5 business days of submission.
- Following consideration of the petition by the Essential Studies Committee, the Director of Essential Studies will promptly notify you about the Committee's decision.
- If you want further information about how the ES Committee arrived at its decision about your decision, you may email the Director of Essential Studies.
The Essential Studies Committee's denial of a petition should be considered final. However, you may resubmit your request one time under these circumstances: if you believe that the committee might have misunderstood the petition or if you can strengthen the petition with additional information or a fuller explanation. If you resubmit your petition, you must do so during the same semester in which the denial occurred (If the denial is at the end of the semester, you have a maximum of 60 days to resubmit.). The Essential Studies Committee will not consider more than one resubmission.
Fall 2023 Essential Studies Committee Meeting Dates
- Thursday, September 7
- Thursday, September 21
- Thursday, October 5
- Thursday, October 19
- Thursday, November 2
- Thursday, November 16
- Thursday, November 30
- Thursday, December 14
Common Reasons Why a Petition is Denied
- ES Committee doesn't have enough information about a substitute course to make a judgment.
- Be sure to attach a course syllabus or similar information that describes the goals, activities, assignments, and evaluation system of the substitute course.
- The student's reasons for the exception are not related to the purposes of general
education at UND.
- Refer directly and specifically to the goals, learning outcomes, and the philosophy of Essential Studies in your petition. Explain how your alternative (e.g., substitution) helped you learn the ES goal and/or special emphasis that is part of the requirement that is in your petition.
- The main reason for the request appears to be that the student wants to graduate soon.
- Add reasons why the request fits within UND's philosophy of general education. Also, give specific evidence of any scheduling or advising obstacles that may have prevented you from taking the course(s) that would have fulfilled the requirement in the petition (Do not simply state that "I couldn't fit this course in my schedule due to conflicts ...").