3150P Exceptions to Degree or Certificate Requirements (Procedures)

Original Date: 1/26/1998 * Last Revision Effective: 4/6/2015
Policy Contact: Vice President, Student Services


Bellevue College has established and values high levels of academic achievement in awarding its degrees and certificates. These high standards satisfy the articulated agreements the college has established with the Inter-College Relations Council and individual colleges and universities. Every student enrolled in a degree or certificate program at the college must meet the specific program requirements to receive the award. General and specific degree requirements are outlined in detail in the college’s official catalog.



On rare occasions, students may experience exceptional or extenuating circumstances which may warrant a request to alter the college’s requirements for a certificate or a degree. Should these conditions exist, the student may petition for a substitution or waiver of a specific requirement. Before submitting a petition, the student will first consult with the evaluations office and the appropriate department or program chair to ensure that the proposed course substitution or waiver is needed to fulfill degree or certificate requirements. If the request is appropriate, the student should complete a petition form and submit it to the evaluations office for a preliminary review. The evaluations office will discuss the proposed course substitution or waiver with the appropriate department or program chair. After the review is complete, the evaluations office will forward the petition to the executive dean of instruction or designee for approval.

Course Substitution

In completing a petition for a course substitution, a student must explain why a course previously taken or a proposed substitute is appropriate for fulfilling the specific requirement. The vice president of instruction will consult with the appropriate department or program chair in making decisions pertaining to course substitutions.

Waiver of Requirement

A waiver of a degree or certificate requirement will only be approved when a student demonstrates that extenuating circumstances necessitate the waiver and that the student has exhausted available options to meet the specific program requirements. The petition must include sufficient detail about the nature and extent of the waiver, sufficient additional explanation and documentation of the extenuating circumstances, and sufficient evidence that all options for fulfilling the requirement have been attempted or considered to provide a basis for determining the necessity of the waiver.

Reasonable Accommodation

Requests for course substitution or degree requirement waiver made under the Bellevue College student reasonable accommodation procedure must comply with the provisions of that procedure.

Timeframe for Petition

All petitions should be submitted to the office of the vice president of student affairs (who will forward the request to the vice president of instruction for approval) at least eight weeks prior to the end of the quarter for which approval is requested, when possible. Lack of sufficient advance notice may preclude consideration of the request in time to meet the student’s desired timeline.

Revision History

Original 1/26/1998
Revisions 11/1/2004; 3/22/2005; 5/21/2009; 9/11/2012; 4/6/2015

Approved By

President’s Cabinet

Last Updated April 6, 2015