Petition Submission

Engineering science students may request course substitutions by completing a College of Engineering petition form. This can be used for any course, including those needed to meet requirements for General Education and for the major.

Students must use the Course Substitution Request System to submit a petition request.

If the petition concerns a department requirement, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator will decide whether to approve it. Petitions concerning General Education, or other College or University requirements, must first receive a recommendation from the ESM department, and then are forwarded to the Assistant Dean for Student Services for a decision.


  1. Plan to submit the petition and receive a decision before taking the substitute course. (In some cases, this is not possible, but be aware that not all petitions are approved.)
  2. Go to the Course Substitution Request System website and fill out the online petition form. It will then be routed electronically to your academic adviser, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and if needed, to the Assistant Dean for Student Services.
  3. You will be notified by email if the petition was approved or denied. If approved, appropriate change(s) will be made to your degree audit.
  4. Retroactive adds, drops, or withdrawals require different actions, depending upon when they occur. Please contact Jessa Leskovansky, undergraduate program assistant, or Dr. Gary Gray, undergraduate program officer, for details.

Petitions will be placed in your official file after completion by all required authorities.

How to Write the Petition

  1. State your request clearly and completely. The evaluators will base their decisions upon your written statements (and the information on your transcript).
  2. Do not ask to waive or set aside a requirement or course; instead, cast the request in terms of what you wish to substitute for a particular course or to meet a particular requirement.
  3. Give an adequate justification and explain the circumstances that have led to your request. Do not simply state “To allow me to graduate on time.”
  4. Attach supporting documentation. Petitions without course syllabi attached are highly unlikely to be considered.

Please note: the Dean of Engineering will not consider petitions in the semester that you graduate; petitions must be submitted prior to the beginning of your final semester.

All Petitions are treated in strict confidence.



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523