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Request an Exception to Academic Policy

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In rare and extreme circumstances, students may be granted an exception to Stanford academic policy on behalf of Student & Academic Services. You may request an exception to university policies that fall within the purview of Student & Academic Services via the process outlined below. Exception requests are subject to review and approval by an internal committee within Student & Academic Services, including representatives from the Registrar’s Office and Student Services Center. 

You are expected to submit your request in a timely manner. For full consideration, it is strongly recommended that you submit your request in the same quarter in which the policy exception would apply. 

The exception request procedures outlined on this page will apply only to policies within the purview of Student & Academic Services. Including, but not limited to, areas such as:

  • Applying to Graduate
  • Enrollment
  • Coterm Admission Eligibility
  • Coterm Course Transfer
  • Grading
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Special Registration Statuses
  • Transfer Credit
  • Tuition Assessment

Exceptions to university policy falling outside this scope will be addressed via alternate channels. The committee will not review requests falling into the following categories:


  1. Gather all supporting documentation relating to your request. Examples of supporting documentation include letters of support from your department, related communications with university staff, or other other materials relevant to the request. 
  2. Once you have gathered your supporting documentation, you will need to draft a written statement outlining your situation. This written statement must clarify why you were unable to adhere to the relevant policy and outline why an exception should be granted. This written statement has no length requirement but should be as thorough as required to fully detail the request. 
  3. Your written statement and supporting documentation should be submitted via the Request an Exception to Academic Policy form. All relevant materials must be included in the submission. The committee will only evaluate information provided within the request materials. 

Important Note about the Request Process

The request process does not relieve you of any ongoing financial or academic obligations. For example, if your request relates to tuition assessment, you will be expected to meet all billing deadlines while your request is being considered. 

Timeline and Decision Process

The internal review committee meets the first Monday of each month to review active student requests. You must submit your materials before 5:00 p.m. PST on the prior Friday to have your request reviewed promptly. Materials submitted after the first Monday of a given month may not be reviewed until the following month. For situations that the committee determines to be time-sensitive, the committee will review and adjudicate off-cycle.

After your materials have been reviewed and the committee has reached a decision, you will be notified of the outcome via email. Once a request has been addressed, all decisions are final and the committee will not review the matter again. Student & Academic Services retains discretion to determine when a matter has been substantially addressed.