Graduate Program

Graduate Petition Forms



These forms are in PDF format. Please complete, print, and attach all documentation.

All hard copy petitions should be submitted to the Graduate Assistant.
Further inquiries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies.


Waivers of Course Requirements

Graduate students who seek exemption from a specific graduate program requirement must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for a waiver of that requirement.  Such petitions will only be granted if the student can produce persuasive evidence that she or he has previously done equivalent work in a similar graduate program elsewhere and has earned a grade of B- or better.  Petitions must be submitted during the student’s first semester in residence and must include: (1) the completed petition form; (2) a transcript from the student’s previous graduate program; (3) for each course, either the relevant syllabus or a description that sets forth the information usually contained in a syllabus (e.g., author and title(s) of the principal readings, course requirements).  Petitions will be considered by the entire Graduate Studies Committee and, if appropriate, by a faculty member with expertise in the relevant area. 

Note that the waiver of a required course does not reduce the number of graded credit hours that the student must complete, unless a separate petition for transfer of credit is also approved.

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Transfers of Credit

Students who have completed coursework in Sociology in another graduate program with a grade of B- or better may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for transfer of up to 24 credit hours toward the Department’s coursework requirement for the Ph.D. degree.  (By University regulation, no more than 24 credit hours of work completed at another graduate school may be counted toward the credit hours required for a Ph.D. degree.)  Petitions must be submitted during the student’s first semester in residence and must include: (1) the completed petition form; (2) a transcript from the student’s previous graduate program; (3) for each course, either the relevant syllabus or a description that sets forth the information usually contained in a syllabus (e.g., author and title(s) of the principal readings, course requirements).  Such petitions are ordinarily granted if, in the judgment of the Director of Graduate Studies, the student’s prior graduate courses relate to a recognized subfield or topic area within the discipline and are substantially equivalent in scope and quality to courses offered by the Department.  If the Director of Graduate Studies approves the petition, it will be forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for final approval.

Note that transfer of credit hours does not automatically entail waiver of any specific course requirements.  A separate petition is required for this purpose.  However, if a transfer of credit is granted for a course that is substantially equivalent to a specifically required course (for example, Classical Theory or Intermediate Statistics), then a petition for waiver of the requirement will ordinarily be approved.

If a student is allowed to transfer 24 credit hours, the student will be considered a second-year student and will be expected to earn his or her Ph.D. degree in at least one year less time than would otherwise be the case. 

Students who wish to obtain a Master of Arts degree should note that by University regulation, no transferred credits may be counted toward a University of Virginia M.A. degree. 

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“The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.”