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Petition the Committee on Academic Status

Description: The Committee hears individual student requests for exceptions to academic rules and regulations. Students are required to continue attending their present class schedule until notified in writing of the Committee’s final decision.
Topics: Overload, Underload, Late Add, Late Drop, Late Withdrawal from a Course, Late Withdrawal from a Semester, Appeal of a Previous CAS Action, Change Registered Credit Hours for a Course, Academic Reinstatement, FlexTrack Status
Deadline: The deadline varies by petition type. For a petition to be heard at the bi-weekly CAS meeting, please have it submitted by the Friday before at 4:00pm.
Contact: [[academicwellbeing]]

Full Details

The Committee hears individual student requests for exceptions to academic rules and regulations. Students are required to continue attending their present class schedule until notified in writing of the Committee’s final decision.

  • Petition approval is not automatic and is generally given only when circumstances are extraordinary.
  • 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.

  • Students are required to continue attending their present class schedule until notified in writing of the Committee’s final decision.
  • A professor's supporting statement will be requested and is a required component of the review process.
  • 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.
  • All petition materials must be submitted in PDF file format. If your materials are in another file format, such as a Word Document, please convert them to PDF format before submitting them.
Physical or Mental Health Conditions

If the request is related to a physical or mental health condition, students should complete a Medical Review Committee petition instead. 


Students are encouraged to meet with a member of the Academic Wellbeing department 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 757-221-1327 for an appointment.

Types of Petitions

Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purposes.
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purposes.
Petition to Late-Add or Late-Drop

If a student wished 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.

Petition for a Late Withdrawal

 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.

Petition to Overload

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.

Please note that Overload petitions for the Fall 2022 semester will be heard in August 2022. If the Overload petition is approved, the student would be able to add the extra course(s) during the Add/Drop period.

Petition to Underload 

Students who are in their final undergraduate term and have applied for graduation may enroll in fewer than 12 credits as long as they are enrolled in all courses required for their degree. Students that meet these requirements would submit a Final Semester Underload request through the Registrar's Office.

Students that do not meet those requirements may petition the Committee on Academic Status for an underload. 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.
Petition to Change Registered Course Hours

If a student registers for a course that is variable credit (ex. from 1.00 to 3.00 credit hours) the student may select the number of credit hours they want. If they select a variable credit course, the system will automatically register them for the minimum number of credit hours allowed for this course. To make changes during the add/drop period, the student would use the Schedule and Options tab in Banner 9 Register for Classes.

If they are trying to change the credit hours after the add/drop window, they will need to file a petition with the Committee on Academic Status. The student only needs to complete these steps if they are taking the course for more than the minimum number of credit hours allowed.

Petition for Academic Reinstatement

To be reinstated, a student who has been suspended for academic reasons must present convincing evidence that the barriers to academic success have been corrected or eliminated. All documentation should be sent to Student Services at or faxed to 757-221-2538. To apply for reinstatement, a student should do the following:

  1. Petition the Committee on Academic Status in writing, including:
  • A detailed account of activities the student participated in during the period of academic suspension from William & Mary.
  • A discussion of the factors that were barriers to academic success and the manner in which those factors have been overcome.
  • An explanation of current academic goals and a specific plan to achieve them.
  • Up to date contact information.
  1. Arrange for transcripts of all courses the student has taken while on suspension (or letters from professors of courses in progress) to be sent to the Dean of Students Office. An official transcript is required before reenrollment to William & Mary.
  • The student must complete at least two courses at another institution, earning grades of "B" or better. These courses cannot be taken as independent study, online* or at William & Mary and must be comparable to courses offered at W&M. The credits earned while a student is not in good standing at William & Mary will not transfer and do not count toward a William & Mary degree. While taking two classes away from W&M students should make sure to not register as a "degree-seeking student" at the other institution.
  1. Provide letters of reference from employer/volunteer supervisor sent directly to the Dean of Students Office. Letters must be signed and on letterhead. If the recommender does not have letterhead, a business card should be attached. Letters from next of kin cannot be accepted as sufficiently objective documentation for a character recommendation, an employer's letter of support, or the primary medical documentation necessary when requesting reinstatement with medical clearance.
  • Successful employment averaging at least 20 hours per week, during the period of suspension also is required by the Committee. Comparable volunteer work with a non-profit agency may be substituted for paid employment.

After a student receives the notification of reinstatement, the student must submit an application for reenrollment if the student wishes to return to William & Mary and has not enrolled as a degree-seeking student at another institution since last attending William & Mary. 

*Exceptions may be made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Petition for FlexTrack Status

FlexTrack is a program for non-traditional students with significant time constraints outside of the classroom, an example being family commitments, full-time employment, etc. FlexTrack students can take anywhere between 3 to 18 credits per semester, however, many FlexTrack students, do take a full course load (taking up to 12 credits or more). To request FlexTrack status, please file a petition with the Committee on Academic Status.

Submit a CAS Petition Now