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Petitioning for Waiver of a Condition

Policy on waivers

A condition on your admission to the M.S. or Sc.D. program will be waived only if you document that you have taken the course or done coursework that the admissions committee judges to be equivalent and if you have performed sufficiently well in the course.

Passing some other course for which a condition course is a prerequisite does not satisfy the condition.

For more information about conditions, please see Conditions on Admission

Procedure for requesting a waiver

Look at the syllabus for the condition course you wish to have waived to make sure the content of the coursework you did matches the content of the condition course. If it matches -- and only if it matches -- submit the following materials to the CS Graduate Coordinator:

  • An official transcript, sent directly to the Computer Science department, unless the transcript is already on file. (The transcripts you submitted with your application are on file, as are any transcripts you may have submitted with previous petitions. Transcripts for condition courses taken at UMass Lowell are not automatically on file -- they need to be sent to the department.)
  • A graduate academic petition form. (Use a separate form for each condition you are petitioning to have waived.)
    In the top part of the form, provide information about the course you took.
    In the "Other Request" section, state two things:
    (1) "Request for waiver of condition to take ____(course number and name)____."
    (2) "Transcript is on file." or "Transcript is being sent to the CS department."
  • Supporting materials sufficient to allow the faculty to determine the content and level of the course (catalog description + syllabus + exams, homework, and projects). Catalog descriptions and syllabi must be official, not created by you. You do not need to submit supporting materials if both of the following are true: you took the course at the undergraduate institution you graduated from and the course has the same name as the condition course.

NOTE: The CS Graduate Coordinator may send you to specific faculty members to have your petition evaluated.

Case studies of waiver requests

SUCCESSFUL. A student applied to the MS in CS before her fourth year grades were available. She was given a condition to take 94.308 Operating Systems. She filed a petition that showed that she had taken the course in her fourth year and had received a good grade. Her petition was granted.

UNSUCCESSFUL. A student received a condition to take 91.404 Analysis of Algorithms. She petitioned for a waiver because she had taken a sophomore-level course called Data Structures and Algorithms. Her petition was denied, because she had not taken an upper-level course in the design and analysis of algorithms.

UNSUCCESSFUL. A student received a condition because he earned a low grade in a subject when he was an undergraduate. His petition for a waiver was denied, because he needed remedial work in the subject.

UNSUCCESSFUL. A student had a condition to take 94.301 Organization of Programming Languages. She requested a waiver, because she had studied several programming languages and used them in her job. Her waiver was denied, because she had not done coursework in the theory of programming language design.

UNSUCCESSFUL. A student had a condition to take 91.500 Fundamental Models. He petitioned for a waiver, arguing that he had seen an assortment of discrete math topics in his various mathematics classes. His petition was denied, since he did not have the experience of a full and cohesive course in discrete math and its relevance to computer science.