This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2021-2022 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
The Academic Regulations Appeals Committee considers appeals for exceptions to undergraduate program academic regulations listed in this bulletin. The committee is a standing committee of the Office of Academic Affairs and reports to the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
Undergraduate students who wish to petition the university for a waiver of the academic regulations in this bulletin may do so through the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee. Students who have been accepted to the graduate portion of a five-year bachelor’s/master’s program may also need to make an appeal through the Graduate School. A petition for waiver must be submitted prior to conferral of the undergraduate degree and within three years of the last day of classes for the semester in which the waiver would apply.
To begin the appeal process, students should contact the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee representative in the dean’s office of their school or college; nondegree-seeking students should contact University Academic Advising at (804) 827-8648. The student then works with the representative to prepare the petition following guidelines established by each school or college. The first step is for the student to prepare a letter that details the extenuating circumstances supporting the student’s belief that the university should waive its regulations and grant the request. All circumstances cited in the student’s letter must be documented, and the student is responsible for gathering all necessary documentation. Examples of documentation include medical records, police reports, death certificates and employer reports. Things that may not be used as documentation include letters from parents, friends or relatives. Any petition that does not have the required documentation will be tabled and can remain tabled for at most two additional meetings. If the requested documentation has still not been provided by the student after this period, the committee will vote based on the information that it has.
After the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee representative receives the student’s letter and all necessary documentation, he or she will prepare a petition cover sheet and, if appropriate, gather pertinent information from faculty. When the petition is complete, it will be submitted to the committee and discussed at one of its meetings. Requests are granted or denied by a majority vote of the committee. Decisions are effective immediately, and students are notified by their representative. All committee procedures are confidential and ensure the right to privacy of the student.
Since a request to waive a regulation is itself an appeal, committee decisions are final, and there is no further appeal within the university. Once a petition is voted upon, if denied, it cannot be brought back for future vote even if new documentation is found. However, a student on academic suspension can bring a request for a waiver of the continuance policy back to the committee once a full semester has passed since the last petition. In exceptional circumstances any member of the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee and/or academic dean may refer a case to the provost who has the right, but not the obligation, to consider remanding it back to the committee for further review.
Certain exceptions may affect current and future financial aid. Students should consult with a financial aid staff member before submitting an appeal. Students with a Student Accounting hold on the first day of an academic semester (fall, spring, summer) due to failure to pay a bill from the previous semester are unable to request a retroactive add of a course during that semester. Students who did not have a Student Accounting hold on the first day of a semester are eligible to request retroactive adds to courses, but they must have all subsequent holds cleared before the request can be considered.