The mission 

Sometimes during your academic career, your particular circumstance may make it necessary to get an exception to an academic policy. For instance, you need  to withdraw after the deadline because of a health reason, or you are petitioning to add a class after the deadline . The Committee on Academic Status (CAS) is a committee of faculty, students and staff that reviews individual requests for exceptions to determine whether they are consistent with the overall academic mission and practices of the College.

 CAS  meets weekly to  hear any student exceptions and requests to these current academic policies.  

Decisions made by the committee are considered final unless new, substantive information can be presented within two weeks of the original petition date.  It is crucial that you submit all necessary paperwork, signatures, letters of support etc. along with your petition. 

How do I petition? 
Student must fill out  the petition form, collect all of the appropriate signatures and then email completed form to the CAS Committee at by Friday at 4pm. Your petition will then be heard the following Wednesday and you will receive an outcome letter via email by Friday. 
Please make sure you have met and worked with your  academic adviser, house dean and/or professor (if applicable) regarding the possible options and outcomes. 




Q:What information should I include in my petition?

A: Please include any and all relevant information in your petition statement. It is very important that you address why you are petitioning for an exception to policy and why your circumstances are compelling enough to make an exception. If there are health or extenuating personal reasons, sometimes it is helpful for a healthcare provider or a mentor/adviser to write a letter of support to add to your petition. The student should include a note mentioning additional documentation so that all letters are matched to the original petition.


Q: Why was my petition denied?

A:  One possible reason is that the circumstance was not substantial enough to grant an exception that would be consistent with the overall academic mission and practices of the College.

If you believe your petition has merit to challenge the policy then another possible answer is that not enough information was provided. It is best that you obtain as much support for your case as possible, this might mean reaching out to your adviser and professors so that they can write you a letter. It also means that if you are basing your petition on new medical information that your medical provider should be able to write the committee a letter supporting the documentation that you've submitted (the committee doesn't need to know your personal health information but we should be able to hear that the professional has reviewed your petition and can medically back the rationale).  Please see below for how to resubmit a denied petition. 


Q:  I received a response from the committee and my petition was denied, is there anything I can do?

A: Decisions made by the committee are considered final unless new, substantive information can be presented within two weeks of the original petition date.  It is crucial that you submit all necessary paperwork, signatures, letters of support etc. along with your petition. Please work with your house dean or academic adviser to review your petition . Depending on the circumstances surrounding the petition you may be required to submit a new petition with updated signatures. This new information must be submitted by Friday at 4pm within the two week deadline in order for the new petition to be heard. 


Q: I was born in a foreign country, I am not a US citizen and would like to waive the language studies requirement, what should I do?

A: We highly recommend that all students consider taking  a different language and you can view your opportunities at F&M by visiting the Languages landing page. If you would still like to waive the language requirement you may fill out this form and return it to Old Main 120. 


Q: I am off campus and cannot get any of the necessary signatures what do I do?

We always suggest you schedule a time to meet with Deans and Professors face-to-face; however if it is an extenuating circumstance like you are home with mono, then we understand getting  an electronic signature.  Students are responsible for making all attempts to contact the necessary parties. These should still be submitted by the Friday deadline. 


Q: I am submitting a petition to drop a class two days passed the deadline, what do I need to include?

No matter what you are petitioning you should always provide a clear and detailed rationale. The committee wants to understand what put you in your current situation and how you went about rectifying the situation as quickly as possible. It is best to include your house dean and adviser so that they can read your rationale and decide the validity and strength. Handing in a CAS petition is more than just a formalilty and we hope to see petitions that have truly expressed a reason for the exception. 


Q: I would like to waive the non-western studies requirement. 

A: Students who have enrolled in F&M in the Fall of 2014 or later are no longer eligible for a non-western waiver. 


Q. I have only withdrawn from one class so far in my career at F&M and I would like to take my second (and final allowable withdraw), where do I go?

A:  At F&M you are allowed to take one uncounted withdraw your first semester of your first year and then two additional withdraws thereafter. There are deadlines for when the forms are due, but you can fill out this form and return it to the Registrar's Office (Diagnothian Hall).


Q.  Where should I look if I have questions about important registration dates and what happens if I miss a deadline?

The Registrar's office has many answers to other Frequently Asked Questions like:


Important Dates for Fall 2019

Wednesday, August 28 Fall semester classes begin; 8:00 am
Wednesday, September 4

Last Day to ADD classes

Last day to ADD Independent Studies/Tutorials/Directed Readings/Internships

Wednesday, September 11 Last Day to WITHDRAW from course WITHOUT record
Wednesday, September 25

Pass/No Pass Deadline

Monday, November 25 Last Day to WITHDRAW from course WITH record


If you miss a deadline work with your academic support team to submit a petition, as quickly as possible, so that your request can be heard within a reasonable amount of time past the deadline.