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The petition process outlined below is an application to be granted a substitution for the Foreign Language/Global Language or Quantitative Reasoning general education requirements through the use of an approved list of substitute courses. The Office of Undergraduate Curricula oversees the substitution request process. Any student who has experienced “significant difficulties” in these classes at UNC or at a previous institution may submit a petition by personally completing the request form. “Significant difficulties” is defined as being unable to acquire the course content in spite of exerting considerable effort and using resources to overcome the problem.

Overview of Process

  • Petitions may be submitted at any time. The Course Substitution Committee meets at least three times in the fall and spring semesters. Students are notified when their petition will be reviewed.
  • Committee members determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the request for a course substitution.
  • The student is notified of the decision via email. When a request is denied, suggestions may be made for the student to submit additional evidence.
  • For approved requests, the Office of Undergraduate Curricula (OUC) provides the student with a list of courses that can be substituted for meeting the degree requirements for a language and/or quantitative and asks the student to meet with an Academic Advisor. The OUC also notifies the Academic Advising office of the student’s approval to be included in the student’s record.
  • When a request is denied, suggestions may be made for the student to submit additional evidence.

Committee Members

The review committee is made up of representatives from the Office of Undergraduate Curricula, Accessibility Resources and Service, The Learning Center, and faculty from language and mathematics departments.

Required Information

Step 1. Demographic Information (required fields):

  • Name
  • PID
  • Year at UNC
  • Email address
  • Which substitution are you requesting (Foreign/Global Language or Quantitative)

Step 2. Detailed history of your experience taking language or quantitative course that includes the following for each course attempted:

  • Explanation of why you are requesting this substitution
  • What language experience you have from high school (language requests only)
  • What, if any, placement tests/exams you have taken at UNC and your placement results
  • The following information for at least one previous course (up to 6 can be entered in the form; additional courses can be provided as attachments)
    • Institution where course was taken
    • Year and semester/term course was taken
    • Course name, number, section
    • Course instructor’s name and email
    • Specific examples of problems experienced (in and out of class)
    • Grades received. Final grade require-d for completed courses. Include test, quiz, and other grades if available.
    • Strategies and resources used

Step 3. Provide supporting documentation from a 3rd party that verifies the above information. This includes:

  • Required:
    • A statement from the professor/instructor in the most recently attempted course/s.  A guide for professors/instructors writing such letters can be found here. If you are unable to obtain a letter from a previous professor or instructor, please reach out to Dean Petschauer to discuss the particulars of your situation prior to completing the application.
  • When appropriate:
    • a statement from the Learning Center staff, tutors, academic coaches, CAPS counselors, or ARS staff who worked with you during your attempt to success in the above course/s.
    • If you experienced similar problems at a previous institution or during high school, letters from professors, teachers, tutors, learning coaches or specialist.
    • Copies of graded work that demonstrates student’s “significant difficulties.”
    • Reports or letters from professionals outside the university. Recommended if a disability or mental health concern exists that directly impacts the student’s performance in a language or quantitative class. Information helpful for any professional providing a letter to the committee can be  found here.

Submit a GE Substitution Request