CSE Petitions

Updated: December 22, 2023

CSE petitions are for students who would like to request CSE course equivalency for courses taken at four-year, out-of-state, private, community college, or study abroad institutions, or to request departmental exceptions.

Granting exceptions to prerequisites is rare and requires documentation of extenuating circumstances. 

Students who need courses for their CSE major graduation requirements have priority enrollment. Petition approval does not give priority enrollment in the class.

Petition Process

Be sure to complete all parts of the petition.  Incomplete forms will delay the process.

  1. Use the online petition tool: http://ugrad-petitions.ucsd.edu/ugrad/petitions/submit
  2. Select "CSE" Department.
  3. Select Petition Type: Course Substitution or Pre-Approval (see grid below).
  4. Enter the Petition Request.
    • Use the CSE Course Descriptions to compare courses.
    • Students may only receive credit for one CSE course per transferred course (e.g. a 6 unit transfer course may not count towards two CSE courses).
    • Transfer course units must meet or exceed the number of units attached to the CSE course credit being requested (e.g. a transfer course worth 3 units will not be approved for a 4 unit CSE course. For study abroad courses and transfer credit, please contact the study abroad office.)
  5. Fill in your Petition Reason.
    • Indicate when the course was taken, the grade received, and units.
  6. Upload supporting documents (course syllabi, course assignments, or course websites).  If you submit a copy of the course syllabus (for each respective quarter/semester you took the course), please include textbook information, the catalog description, and weekly schedule of topics. Syllabi submitted without course content information may be delayed, and an advisor may request additional documentation.
  7. Submit the petition. 
  8. Check the status of your petition through the online tool.  

Petitions will be reviewed, and students will be notified of a decision via @ucsd.edu email and Virtual Advising Center. It can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks for your petition to go through the process. There are no guarantees of approval on any petition. Petition approval does not give priority enrollment in the class. 

Pre-Petition Checklist

Before submitting a CSE Petition, students should carefully review the following checklist to reduce complications with their petition and help promote the timely processing of requests. Petitions that contain errors, lack required documentation, are submitted to the wrong department, or duplicate other existing petitions can impact the petition processing time for all students.

Before you submit your CSE Course Substitution Petition, review the information in each drop-down menu:

Have you submitted your transcripts to the Undergraduate Admissions Office? Does the course appear on your Academic History?

Students should generally wait until the transfer course is listed on their Academic History before submitting a CSE Petition.

  • Students may contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly for questions regarding the receipt of their transfer transcripts. For general questions about transcript submissions, please email receiptoftranscript@ucsd.edu.
  • If you are submitting a "Pre-Approval" petition for a course not yet taken at a study abroad or other institution, then the course does not need to be posted to your Academic History when you submit your "Pre-Approval" petition.
Did you take the course in California? If so, check if it's pre-approved on assist.org or the UC Articulated CSE Coursework page.
  • If the articulation is pre-approved on assist.org or the UC Articulated CSE Coursework page during the academic year that you took the course, a petition is likely not required and will be closed by CSE Advising.
  • Transfer Students: please submit requests for degree audit updates regarding pre-approved transfer articulations to CSE Advising through the Virtual Advising Center and do not submit a petition for these pre-approved courses.
  • If a CSE Petition is required for your case, a CSE Advisor in the VAC will inform you that a petition should be submitted. When in doubt, reach out to CSE Advising in the Virtual Advising Center first.
Is the requested course substitution a CSE Department course? If not, submit your petition to the appropriate department.

The CSE Department can only review course substitution requests for CSE courses. Course substitution requests for courses in other departments (Math, Physics, etc.) must be reviewed by the appropriate department. Please contact each department to learn more about their petition process.

Is the course you’re requesting credit for actually the course that you want to receive credit for? Please avoid duplicate petitions to different departments.

Once a course has been approved for credit via petition, it cannot be “un-petitioned” by the CSE Department. Please plan accordingly and only submit petition requests for courses that you would like to receive credit for, and do not duplicate requests.

  • For example, if you submit a CSE Petition to receive CSE 12 credit for a community college course, please do not submit a simultaneous request to the Data Science Department to receive DSC 12 credit, unless you are willing to receive either credit. 
  • Remember that 1 transfer course cannot be attached to multiple UCSD courses.
Is the course still offered by the CSE Department in the CSE Course Catalog?

Please note that the CSE Department can only grant transfer credit for courses that are currently offered. 

  • Even if a course is pre-approved for CSE transfer credit on assist.org, CSE Advising cannot evaluate requests for “end-termed” courses, which may still appear on past articulation agreements. All petitions for “end-termed” courses will be closed.
  • Note for Psych Majors: CSE 5A is no longer in the CSE Catalog, and transfer courses for CSE 5A can no longer be evaluated for credit via CSE Petition. Students may consider submitting a petition for CSE 6R or 8A, instead, but there are no guarantees of approval. Please contact your major advisors to discuss your major requirements.
Are you already receiving credit for the transfer course included in your petition request? If so, do not submit an additional petition.

If you are already receiving UC San Diego credit for a transfer course, please do not submit a petition to receive additional transfer credit for this course, unless it’s used as supplemental “evidence” of your knowledge of a topic (i.e. as evidence of Java programming experience).

Have you already submitted a different CSE Petition requesting to use the transfer course? If so, please await the outcome.

If so, please do not include this transfer course in additional CSE petitions. If the transfer course is “disapproved” for the initial credit you requested, only then should you submit another petition that includes this transfer course. Remember that 1 transfer course cannot be attached to multiple CSE courses, and plan to submit your petitions accordingly.

  • While your petition request is pending, any subsequent petitions requesting a different CSE course credit for the same transfer course will be “closed” until an outcome on your first petition is received. Please plan accordingly.
Have you collected and included your supporting documentation?

CSE Petitions for course substitutions require supporting documentation. If submitting a course substitution request, you need to provide documentation that outlines the concepts learned in the transfer course beyond what is stated in the course description - the course website, previous assignments, or a syllabus that outlines more than course policies are useful to include.

Types of Petitions Reviewed*

Course Substitution

  • Course Equivalencies: to receive transfer credit for courses already completed (from study abroad, 4-year, private, or out-of-state institutions).  Example: Use Course #  from ___ for CSE Course #
  • Major Exceptions
  • Requests Involving CSE Prerequisites - Granting exceptions to prerequisites is rare and requires documentation of extenuating circumstances.
    • CSE Petitions for prerequisite exceptions are exclusively for lower-division courses + CSE 100/100R, 101, and 110. To request an exception to course prerequisites in other CSE Upper-Division courses, please submit this request via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy).


  • Course Equivalencies: to receive transfer credit for courses not yet completed or taken (from study abroad, 4-year, private, or out-of-state institutions).  Students will be required to submit a copy of unofficial transcripts after the course is completed.

Important Reminders & CSE Petition Tips

If you are planning to petition for CSE credit for a transfer course, be prepared to provide a course syllabus and evidence of your learning.

  • For students who do not have a copy of their transfer course syllabus/assignments, we recommend contacting your transfer institution or instructor, if possible, to request a copy of the course syllabus.

The petition tool has a limited number of supporting documents that can be attached to a petition.

  • To include more documents, please create a public Google Drive with your additional documents and link this public Google Drive folder in your Petition Justification.

For all petitions surrounding prerequisites (for lower division CSE courses + CSE 100, 101, and 110), please be prepared to request individual exceptions for each course.

  • The CSE Department does not issue blanket exceptions to its prerequisites, and granting exceptions to prerequisites is rare and requires documentation of extenuating circumstances.
  • Prerequisite exception petitions can only be reviewed for the current enrollment period/academic year.

Please do not submit a “new” petition request when you’d like a status update. Instead, you may contact the CSE Advisors via the Virtual Advising Center to check the status of your petition.

  • Submitting more than 1 identical petition request to the CSE Department can delay the processing time for all student petitions.

State your petition reason clearly in the Petition Justification section. If CSE Advising cannot determine the purpose of your CSE petition, the petition will be returned to you for clarification.

  • e.g. “I am requesting to receive CSE 12 credit for CISC 123 taken at San Diego City College” or "I am requesting Theory Elective credit for a course that I plan to take abroad."
  • If you’re having trouble outlining your CSE Petition request, you can always check in with a CSE Advisor during drop-in advising hours or through the VAC for assistance.

Most requests should be submitted as “Course Substitution” requests -  we suggest using “Pre-Approval” requests only when requesting credit for a course not yet taken at another institution (i.e. study abroad).

  • Requests for major requirement substitutions and prerequisite exceptions should generally be submitted as “Course Substitution” requests.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How will I be notified about the petition decision?

Students are sent a message via the VAC (Virtual Advising Center) with the petition decision.

How long does the petition process take?

The petition process can take 1-6 weeks depending on the reviewing faculty, time of year, and the number of other petitions we are receiving at the time.

Is an email from an instructor sufficient to replace the petition process? 

An email from an instructor is not sufficient for the petition process. The CSE department has a multi-faculty review process for petitions. An officially approved petition is required. 

Should I submit an EASy request or a CSE Petition to request an exception to CSE Prerequisites?

For lower-division courses, CSE 100/100R, CSE 101, or CSE 110, a CSE Petition is required and an EASy request is not sufficient to request exceptions to CSE Course Prerequisites. All EASy requests for students to “bypass” course prerequisites in these CSE courses will be denied without a copy of an approved CSE Petition. Please remember that granting exceptions to CSE prerequisites is rare and requires documentation of extenuating circumstances.

For CSE Upper-Division courses (except for CSE 100, CSE 101, and CSE 110), students may submit a prerequisite exception request via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy). Granting exceptions to CSE Course Prerequisites via EASy in upper-division CSE courses is up to the discretion of the course instructor, and there is no guarantee of approval.

All requests for prerequisite exceptions must provide a thorough justification for their request and include any supporting documentation, external coursework, or descriptions of extenuating circumstances that support their prerequisite exception request. If not, this request will be returned to you to provide more information.

The faculty review process for prerequisite exceptions may take up to 6 weeks, and this process cannot be “expedited”. All requests will be forwarded for faculty review, but there is no guarantee of approval before the add deadline, even if your request was submitted before the add deadline.

If you have questions about the appropriate exception request process for a specific CSE course, please contact CSE Advising via the VAC.

I’m submitting petitions for courses I am going to take when I study abroad. When should I submit these petitions?

Submit PRE-APPROVAL petitions prior to studying abroad, then you will know if the courses you are petitioning will count towards CSE course equivalencies or your CS major requirements.

Can I list multiple course options to petition for transfer credit and have the faculty pick one?

No, students must choose the ONE CSE course equivalency they are petitioning for potential credit. If the petition for that course is disapproved, another petition may be submitted for a different CSE course equivalency.

How can I check on the status of my petition?

Students can send CSE Advisors a VAC message to check on the status of their petition(s).

Can I petition to use courses from 2 institutions to count for one CSE course?

No, courses from multiple institutions can’t be used as credit for one CSE course.

I have an approved petition from the CSE Department. Can I "un-petition" the course credit?

No, once a petition for CSE course equivalency is approved, the petition can't be undone (CSE credit cannot be removed).

Can I use courses from UC San Diego Extension for my major requirements?

Only courses numbered 1-299 from UC San Diego may be petitioned for CSE BA or BS Major Requirements.

UC San Diego Extension - Academic Level Information