Latest about COVID-19 and W&M's Path Forward.

Info for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

Petitions to the Committee on Academic Status

The Committee on Academic Status hears individual student requests for exceptions to academic rules and regulations.

If the request is related to a physical or mental health condition, students should complete a Medical Review Committee petition instead. Petition approval is not automatic and is generally given only when circumstances are extraordinary. Students are required to continue attending their present class schedule until notified in writing of the Committee’s final decision.

If this petition is denied, the student has 5 business days from the day their decision email was sent to submit an appeal of the denied petition. Appeals are submitted online the same way the initial petition was submitted. 

Students are expected to be knowledgeable about William & Mary policies and regulations as set forth in the Course Catalog.

Please also consult the policies concerning academic standards and good standing.

NOTE: A professor's supporting statement will be requested and is a required component of the review process.

Types of petitions:


If a student wishes to add or drop a class after the add/drop deadline, the student must petition CAS. Petitions to drop classes are rarely approved except under circumstances beyond a student’s control.


A petition may be made requesting (1) a late withdrawal from a class or (2) a withdrawal from all classes after the deadline to withdraw has passed. Students wishing to withdraw from all classes should contact our office for an appointment.  Retroactive withdrawals refer to course withdrawals after the last day of classes or relating to a previous academic semester. The Committee will not hear requests for adjustments to semesters that reach back further than one year.


First-year students at William & Mary are not permitted to carry overloads (to enroll in more than 18 credit hours in the Fall & Spring semesters or enroll in more than 8 credit hours per session in the Summer). Students requesting to add courses for audit that will cause them to carry more than 18 registered hours (Fall & Spring) or more than 8 registered hours per session in the Summer must also petition for an overload. Overloads of more than 20 credits during the Fall & Spring semesters will be granted rarely and only for extraordinary circumstances.

Overloads are only granted in cases of extenuating circumstances. In addition, one of the following conditions must be met when applying for overloads:

  1. The student has a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA for the semester preceding the overload request (summer sessions do not qualify when requesting overloads for the Fall & Spring semesters)
  2. The student has earned less than a 3.0 average but needs the EXACT number of credits to graduate at the end of the overload semester, and is not currently on academic probation or below a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.

Underload requests (to take fewer than 12 credit hours) will normally be considered ONLY under one of the following conditions:

  1. There is a medical condition that specifically interferes with the student’s ability to succeed academically.
  2. The student has completed at least eight full-time regular college semesters, is not on probation, and the semester will be the student’s graduation semester.
  3. There is a personal hardship of such an extraordinary nature that an underload is absolutely necessary. The student will be asked to provide documentation whenever possible.

Important UNDERLOAD Information:

  • Full-time undergraduate candidates who are permitted underloads will receive a reduction in tuition (in proportion to the reduced load) if the underload is granted prior to the end of the Add/Drop deadline. No tuition refunds are granted after this date. However, all students are charged the standard student fee that supports fee-bearing facilities and services.
  • Students carrying unauthorized underloads are subject to withdrawal after the Add/Drop period at student’s expense, can be placed on academic probation, and/or can be referred to the Student Conduct process for failure to comply with university rules and regulations.
  • A student seeking an underload is responsible for determining if this will affect any insurance or financial aid by contacting his or her provider. Underloads are seen as part-time enrollment by most financial institutions. In most cases, your financial aid will be reduced by the amount of your tuition reduction.

Click here to fill out a CAS Petition

Students are encouraged to meet with a member of the Enrollment Services staff if they have questions concerning academic policies, the exception to academic regulations requested by this petition, or the Committee on Academic Status procedures. Please call 757-221-2510 for an appointment.