Requests for Exceptions to Academic Policy


In special circumstances, a student may submit a request for an exception to a university policy. Requests may be submitted for Academic Progress decisions, or for general academic policies or their deadlines. Students must present compelling, exceptional, and (sometimes) documented circumstances in making their request.

University policy and deadlines are established by the Faculty Senate to protect the integrity of the academic experience. Decisions about requests will be evaluated according to the standards and principles of university policies along with considerations of fairness and equity for all students. Requests will only be granted upon a demonstration of good cause. For official wording of Stanford's academic policies, refer to Stanford Bulletin: Academic Policies and Statements.


  1. Inform yourself thoroughly by reading the academic policy in the bulletin and the actual request form.
  2. Meet with an advisor in the Office of Academic Advising (your assigned Academic Advising Director, Academic Advisor from the Athletic Academic Resource Center, or Academic Advisor from the Sweet Hall office) to discuss your situation. If applicable, you will be asked to proceed with submitting a request.
  3. Write your request describing the exceptional circumstances that you are facing. Your explanation should be clear, factual and answer the writing prompt on the form.
  4. Depending on the request, written support from an instructor, advisor, or other university official may be beneficial or required. Compile documentation to submit with your request.
  5. Submit your request, paying attention to deadlines. Submission offices are indicated in the list below. Any request received after its deadline may not be considered.
  6. When requests are denied, students are urged to speak with an advisor to discuss plans for moving forward. Note that undergraduate advisors cannot reverse decisions, but they can help you address the consequences.

Requests and Forms Administered by the Office of Academic Advising*

*NOTE: Please be logged in using your Stanford SUnet/email address to download these forms.

Request for Exception to Exceed Maximum Units


Enroll in more than 20 units [PDF Fillable]

  • Contact an Academic Advisor
  • Submit by add/drop deadline
  • Must be registered for all other desired courses within 20 unit limit at time of submission.
  • If request is approved, the course will be added to your study list.

Request for Exception to Change Course Enrollment


Repeat a course a second time [PDF Fillable]

Add a course after the published deadline [PDF Fillable]

Change number of units in a course offered for variable units (e.g. 3-5) after published deadline [PDF Fillable]


Submit a study list after the published deadline [PDF Fillable]

  • Contact an Academic Advisor
  • Submit by end of week 4
  • A $200 fee will be assessed

Withdraw from a course after the published deadline [PDF Fillable]

Register for a minimum of 8 units (if registered with the Office of Accessible Education) – Reduced Course Load

  • Register with OAE to determine eligibility
  • Once registered, login to OAE | CONNECT and click on the “Academic Request Forms” gear to access and submit the Request for Reduced Course Load.
  • International students must also meet with an International Student Advisor
  • Contact an Academic Advisor
  • Submit before the course withdrawal deadline of current quarter
  • Notes: MUST be enrolled with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) and retroactive requests will not be considered.

Request to Return and Register in Undergraduate Study


Return from an un-submitted or expired Leave of Absence (also known as “Discontinued Status”) [PDF Fillable]

Return from an active Leave of Absence [PDF Fillable]

Return from a completed Academic Suspension [PDF Fillable]

Request for Reconsideration of Academic Suspension


Request Reconsideration of an Academic Suspension [PDF Fillable]

  • Contact an Academic Advisor or the Student Services Officer listed in the Academic Standing letter.
  • Must submit by the date indicated in the Suspension letter.
  • Requests after the deadline will not be considered.

Forms Administered by the Registrar’s Office

This is not an exhaustive list. Some of the more common undergraduate forms include:

  • 13th Quarter Petition
  • Application to Graduate
  • Coterm Application
  • Last Units Out of Residence

For a full list of forms, please visit the Registrar’s Office Student Forms page.

Request a Leave of Absence [Electronic Form]

Extend Leave of Absence [Electronic Form]

  • Contact an Academic Advisor
  • Contact Residence Dean for your residence or for off-campus
  • Must submit before current leave period ends
  • More information: see Leave of Absence

See also

Office of the University Registrar: Undergraduate Forms

Stanford Bulletin: Academic Policies and Statements