Petitions for Policy Exception

Overview and Basic Guidelines

In extraordinary circumstances, the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, in collaboration with the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty, may grant exceptions to University policy. Petitions requesting such an exception must present a well-reasoned argument—supported by documentary evidence—that the policy is inappropriate to the situation in question and strict adherence to the letter of the policy would compromise the spirit of the policy or undermine KU's values.

To be considered, petitions must include the following:

  • Reference to the policy or policies in the Policy Library
  • Clear statement of the exception requested
  • Cogent argument about the extraordinary circumstances warranting an exception
  • Documentary evidence of the extraordinary circumstances and wisdom of the exception
  • Statement of endorsement by department leadership
  • Statement of endorsement by school or College leadership (usually from the Dean's Office or Graduate Division)

Petition Process

All petitions for exceptions to Graduate Studies policy will be reviewed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies in collaboration with the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty. To be included on the Council's agenda, petitions must be complete and submitted according to the deadlines and standards established on the EC Dates and Deadlines page. Graduate Studies staff will decline incomplete petitions and will notify petitioners when a petition is declined. Graduate Studies staff will notify petitioners of the Council's decisions no later than the end of the second business day following a Council meeting.

All petitions for exception to Graduate Studies policy must be submitted through one of two workflow systems:

  • Petitions for student exceptions to the Graduate Admissions policyEnglish Proficiency Requirements for Graduate Admission, or Seniors and Graduate Study (Co-Enrollment) policy must be submitted using the workflow process in Slate. Notifications to the petitioner will be delivered through the Slate workflow process.

  • Petitions for all other policy exceptions must be submitted using the Progress to Degree (PtD) system. Department staff have access to this system and can provide guidance to faculty and students. Notifications to the petitioner will be delivered by the PtD workflow system.


    • Please note that if the petition type you are requesting requires a student ID, it will also require an active student plan except in the case of 700+ appointments, which may be submitted before a student has returned from a leave of absence.


Graduate Staff may consult the PtD Guide on the OGS Resource Hub for more information. 

Petition Documentation FAQ

Please review the detailed information about this petition type as provided in the PtD form for 700+ petitions.

Please be diligent in safeguarding the privacy of our students. Please minimize submission of individual medical records or personal health information and documentation because everyone in the PtD workflow can view all attached documents. In some cases, it may be more prudent to attach a doctor's note confirming the medical need rather than documentation of the specific health concerns. Please contact Graduate Studies for more guidance on this topic.

Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to work closely with students to determine the best possible evidence that supports their request for an exception to policy. The Office of Graduate Studies is committed to reviewing any documentation that students, departments, and schools feel demonstrates the inappropriateness of University policy in a specific situation.

Examples of acceptable documentation in cases of personal crisis might include death certificates, proof of travel or other preexisting commitments, police reports, etc.