Undergraduate Student Petition

What Can I Petition?

Petitions may be submitted for the multiple reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Course Substitutions
    • Substituting one UC San Diego course with another course at UC San Diego
    • Substituting one UC San Diego course with a course already completed at another institution. Submit a pre-approval petition (see below) if you have not yet taken this course.
    • Receiving Technical Elective (TE) credit for an upper-division course that is not listed in the pre-approved TE lists
    • Please see the specific requirements for petitions for MAE 3 below.
  • Pre-approval
    • Substituting a UC San Diego course with a course to be taken at another institution (follow-up documentation will be required for final approval)
  • Prerequisite Waiver (*A minimum 3.0 GPA is required to submit a prerequisite waiver petition)
    • Enrollment in a course without completing the required prerequiste
    • Enrollment in a course concurrently with a prerequisite course
    • MAE majors must submit prerequisite waiver requests through our online petition portal. Non-MAE majors should submit prerequisite waiver requests through the Enrollment Authorization System.


How Do I Submit a Petition?

  1. Have your UC San Diego student PID# and password ready.
  2. Log in via online petition portal.
  3. Select the department that you are submitting a petition to.
    • Note: Currently, only the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Computer Science and Engineering Department, NanoEngineering Department, and the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department have online petitions.  All others may require students to complete the paper form of the Undergraduate Student Petition - please check with each department on their petition process.
  4. Select the type of petition to be submitted.
  5. Complete petition request with course information and reason for petition.
  6. For course substitution and pre-approval petitions, attach supporting documents such as course syllabus, homework assignments, exam questions, project reports, etc., anything that will provide further information on the courses being petitioned.  Only PDF files will be accepted.


What is the Process of Submitting a Petition?

After an online petition has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the teaching faculty, followed by the Undergraduate Advisory Council (UAC) Chair.  Once reviewed, the student will be notified of the decision via Virtual Advising Center (VAC) - an email will be sent to the student's UC San Diego email account alerting them that a VAC message is awaiting their review. Note: Decisions on petitions may take 1-3 weeks.


Other Information to Note

  • Submit as early as possible!  With busy schedules, travelling faculty and faculty who go on sabbatical, petitions may require a longer review period than expected.  The sooner a petition is submitted, the sooner it will be reviewed.
  • Sometimes more information may be required than what was originally submitted.  The student will be notified of this and the petition will be rerouted back to the student requesting further documentation.
  • If you have any questions, please stop by the Student Affairs Office during walk-in advising hours and an advisor can guide you through the process.
  • Non-MAE majors should submit prerequisite waiver requests through the Enrollment Authorization System. For courses restricted to majors, non-majors cannot submit an EASy petition until the Friday of Week 9.
  • MAE 150 - Students must take ALL prerequisites. No petition to take MAE 150 without the prerequisites will be approved. 


Guidelines for Students Submitting Petitions Out of MAE 3 

MAE 3, Introduction to Engineering Graphics and Design, covers both Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Design. By design we specifically require a hands-on design project where students must consider a wide range of design options to solve a mechanical design challenge. The design must physically be built, and design iterations must be conducted until the desired design performance is achieved. The design of a functioning machine is an important learning process since it requires design creativity, project management, and typically teamwork. To see the type of projects built in MAE 3 see:


If you are petitioning out of MAE 3, you will need to show that you have taken a class that covers both CAD and hands-on design. The design project must be substantial in terms of time commitment and grade portion of the class (in MAE 3 the robot project is 50% of the class grade). Simply 3D printing a part designed in CAD is not sufficient, the design project must include hardware that achieves a specified physical objective, typically requiring design iteration. When submitting a petition please include the course syllabus, description of the design project, and a copy of the report you did on your design project with photo of the hardware built.

We recognize that there are many introductory CAD courses that cover CAD in depth, and sometimes even a paper design project. However, we do not approve these courses as substitution for MAE 3 because a student who does not have experience with a substantial design project before their senior year will be at a significant disadvantage when completing their capstone design course.


Online Undergraduate Petition Portal


If you have any questions, please contact an MAE Undergraduate Academic Advisor through the Virtual Advising Center