Petitions & Forms

With the exception of OSD requests, all other petitions, forms, and documents needing the review and/or signature of a Physics instructor and/or the Physics Department Chair and/or the Physics Undergraduate Advising Team must be submitted through our Physics Department Document Submission Portal (appointments are not used for document processing). Document/request types: 

  • Physics Course Equivalency
  • Physics A-Level Exemption
  • Exception to the Physics Major Requirements/Regulations (for current physics majors, only)
  • Exception to the Physics Minor Requirements (for current physics minors, only)
  • University Exception (eg. Retroactive Withdrawal from a PHYS course)
  • Financial Aid (SAP) Appeal
  • Readmission Proposal
  • Double Major Packet (DMP)
  • Review of Qtr-by-Qtr Plan I Drafted
  • None of the above (for other document types)

The portal will guide you in properly submitting your material. If you get stuck at any point in the submission process, contact Physics through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) for assistance (non-UCSD students will email BEFORE submitting your request. 

Once your documents have been submitted, a confirmation page will pop up so that you know your material has been received by our department. Completed requests and documents will be routed to the required Physics reviewers/signers and you will be contacted through VAC once your documents have been processed. Incomplete requests will not be processed. If your request is considered incomplete, we will contact you through VAC to let you know what changes need to be made to your submission. 

If you need to make a change to documents you've already submitted but have not yet been processed, please alert PHYSICS through the VAC so we can cancel your earlier submission and process the new one once you've submitted it. 

If you independently submit multiple requests or the same request multiple times, only your latest submission will be considered (all previous submissions will be canceled). 

Campus Policies Related to Submitted Documents

Any incidents relating to suspected potential violations of Student Conduct policies (e.g. falsifying documents, furnishing false information) are reported to the Office of Student Conduct for their review. 


Document Processing Timeline

Documents/Requests are typically processed within 5-6 weeks, so please plan to submit your documents/requests well in advance of when you need them processed.

Please also keep the following in mind:

  • Due to the high volume of documents and requests received, we are unable to offer rush processing of documents and requests at this time.
  • UCSD students will be notified about the status of their documents and requests through VAC; non-UCSD students will be notified about the status of their documents and requests via email.
  • Document processing time excludes all school breaks, closures, and weekends.


Petition Types and Guidance

Remember, all materials must be submitted through the Physics Document Submission Portal (see above).

In Physics, course equivalency is determined by reviewing complete course syllabi to see if there is a match in the breadth, depth, scope, format, and length of time spent covering material at an equivalent level as one/more of our courses.


    1. The campus considers it the student's responsibility to retain course materials from their prior institutions if they plan to seek equivalency at UCSD. Equivalencies cannot be determined without the required information. 

    2. High school courses alone or combined with other coursework are not eligible for equivalency at UCSD. Only AP, IB, and A-Level Physics qualify for university-level credit or equivalency.

    3. Physics 1, 2, or 4 series lecture and/or lab equivalency will not be awarded for non-calculus based courses. Such courses covering core physics topics are eligible only as PHYS 10, even if part of a year-long series. No exceptions.

    4. During COVID-19 (2020-2021), "remote" lower and upper division physics lectures, and "remote" lower division physics labs conducted in real-time may be considered for equivalency at UCSD. However, "online" and "hybrid" courses (excluding those within the UC-system and articulated CA CC courses) are ineligible.


    Student Responsibilities and Resources:

    • Refer to the UCSD Physics Courses to determine which UCSD courses you want to request equivalency for. Note:
      • PHYS 1: Uses elementary calculus with applications corresponding to biology and other life sciences.

      • PHYS 2: Utilizes advanced calculus with applications for physical sciences and engineering.

      • PHYS 4: Requires all advanced calculus, with applications specifically corresponding to the core UD Physics program at UC San Diego. 

    • Petition well in advance of when you need equivalency and keep in mind that approval of your request is not guaranteed. If your coursework is not equivalent, you will need to complete the missing coursework.


    Course Equivalency Request Submission Instructions and Requirements:

    • Submit ONE request including ALL the physics courses you want us to review (do not submit a separate request for each course). 
    • Include ALL requested materials in a single PDF:
      • COMPLETE and ELIGIBLE syllabus for each physics course. Specifically, each syllabus must detail:
        • Instructor's name and contact information.
        • General course description.
        • Required textbooks.
        • Lecture schedule (including daily/weekly topics and textbook chapters).
        • Grading criteria (types of exams, breakdown of grades/points).
        • For lab courses, include lab topics and one fully graded lab report per course (exclude instructions/manuals).
    • Do not include any material/information not explicitly requested.
    • Do not request equivalencies you've already been awarded (eg. based on ASSIST) 
    • Do not request both PHYS 1 and 2 series equivalencies


    Additional Notes:

    • Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.
    • Appeals require additional official course information (eg. exams, additional lab reports).

    Please click here to learn more about petitioning for A-Level exemptions.

    This request type is only for current Physics majors. You must provide the following information:

    • Your major code
    • The requirement your request relates to (eg. LD Core, LD Breadth, UD Core, etc.)
    • Your request
    • A justification for your request
    • A course syllabus

    This request type is only for current Physics minors. You must provide the following information:

    • Your request
    • A justification for your request
    • A course syllabus

    Please note: ASTR courses are not accepted toward the PHYS minor. No exceptions are granted.

    This type of petition is typically for retroactive withdrawals, extensions of incompletes, etc. All submissions must be made within one-quarter of when you took the course. Follow the steps below, and we will handle routing the request to all necessary parties on your behalf (you do not need to route it to instructors, department chairs, or colleges).

    • Be sure to read the campus procedures for these types of requests. Every reviewer is expected to apply the campus criteria for approval and to approve only those requests that meet these criteria.

    • Be sure to download and complete the required Undergraduate Student Petition for each physics class. Be sure to clearly indicate on each petition what you are requesting.

    • Be sure to draft a personal statement. Include a statement explaining your request and the reasons behind it. For retroactive adds/withdrawals, detail any circumstances beyond your control that prevented timely action in WebReg or at the Registrar's Office. Be sure to include a timeline of events.

    • Be sure to collect required Supporting Documentation:

      • Include third-party supporting documentation that lists the date(s) of extenuating circumstances. Ensure documentation is independent of the student (written statements by the student or family will not be accepted). Please note:

        Per the campus procedures, "For circumstances involving medical conditions, medical documentation will only be accepted from an authoritative source (e.g., the student’s attending physician) and must clearly show how the medical condition impacted the student’s capacity to follow campus procedures."
    • Be sure to combine all materials above into a single PDF packet. ​​​​​​

    PLEASE NOTE: If you are requesting to retroactively withdraw from ALL courses for the term, you will submit your PDF packet with all petitions directly to your college (instructor or and department chair signatures are not required). 

    Additional Notes:

    • Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.
    • Appeals require new information and must be submitted within one quarter of the initial petition.

    Please work with the Financial Aid Office to obtain required Financial Aid forms. Submit completed forms well in advance of when they are due back to Financial Aid.

    Please work with your college to learn about returning to UCSD and click here to obtain required forms. Submit completed forms well in advance of when they are due to your college.

    Please follow the Instructions for Filling Out & Submitting the Double Major Packet in the Physics Department Handbook.

    Physics majors must follow a plan posted/provided by the Physics Department. For more information, please see Having a Qtr-by-Qtr Plan Reviewed in the Physics Department Handbook.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Petitions and Forms

    Please contact us through VAC so we can assist you.

    To ensure the appropriate processing of your material, we do not review/sign/process documents on the spot. Please refer to our Document Processing Timeline information, above. 

    No, we do not use appointments for having documents signed/processed. Please follow the procedure outlined above to have your document processed.

    Contact the instructor and dept. at the school where you took the course to request this material (most schools save copies of syllabi because they know students who transfer will need this material). You may also find success by contacting students who took the courses with you. If you still are unable to retrieve this material, please contact us through VAC so we can provide next steps.

    Potentially! Please contact us through VAC so we can look into this.

    Contact us through VAC for advice on your specific case.

    No. Course clearance requests are processed through the university's Enrollment Authorization System (EASy). However, please note that we strictly enforce the listed prereqs for our courses. If you are missing one/more prereqs you will not be cleared to enroll. Instead, you must complete the listed prereq in advance of taking our course, as outlined in our prereq policy information.

    We do not accept petitions via email. You must submit your material through the Physics Department Document Submission Portal.

    As per the bounce notification you received when you sent your email, your message was not received. You must submit your material through the Physics Department Document Submission Portal.