Petitioning Courses

There are three circumstances under which petitions to receive credit for courses not explicitly approved for the major will be considered (all approved courses are detailed in the Human Development Program section of the UCSD General Catalog).

With the exception of courses petitioned by transfer students, all requests for approval of courses not explicitly listed in the UCSD Catalog should be submitted for preliminary approval before the course is taken by the student.

Circumstances for Course Petition Consideration

  1. Transfer Courses
    • All courses transferred from a community college or university must be petitioned for major credit.
    • Articulation agreements for many courses offered by the California Community College System have been developed in order to facilitate the petition process. Please refer to Assist to find these articulation agreements.
      • Note: If a course articulates to an HDP course according to Assist, then a petition will not be required for that particular course.
    • Transfer students are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment with an HDP advisor in order to review completed transfer coursework and petition relevant courses for major credit.
    • For further detailed information, please refer to the transfer student section of this website.
  2. Study Abroad Courses
    • All courses transferred from an international university must be petitioned for major credit.
    • Students may receive credit for up to four (4) courses taken at an abroad university.
    • It is strongly recommended that students receive preliminary approval for any courses that may be taken while abroad. This should be done as early as possiblebefore the student leaves to study abroad.
      • Students are encouraged to submit as many courses that are potentially applicable to the HDP program for preliminary approval as possible.
      • EAP Coursefinder can be used to find courses that other UCSD students have taken abroad and (note that the courses listed are not pre-approved for any specific UCSD credit).
      • While the preliminary approval does not guarantee that the actual course will be approved, the great majority of courses for which preliminary approval has been obtained are approved when the official petition is submitted upon the student’s return.
      • Please refer to the Preliminary Approval Process (below)
    • For further information, please refer to the Study Abroad section.
  3. Exceptional Courses
    • All courses taken at UCSD that are not currently approved for the HDP major must be petitioned for major credit.
      • Students who identify UCSD courses that have the potential to fulfill an HDP requirement may petition to request credit for such courses.
      • It is important to note that very few such petitions are successful and students are strongly cautioned to petition and receive preliminary approval for such a course prior to enrollment.
    • All courses taken outside of UCSD (such as at a community college or university) while the student is in-residence must be petitioned for major credit.
      • It is strongly recommended that any courses taken outside of UCSD be petitioned for preliminary approval prior to enrollment.
      • While the preliminary approval does not guarantee that the actual course will be approved, the great majority of courses for which preliminary approval has been obtained are approved when the actual petition is submitted upon the student’s return.
      • Please refer to the Preliminary Approval Process (below)

Preliminary Approval Process

  1. Confirm UC transferability and division level.
    • Please note that courses taken at a community college are considered lower-division courses.
    • Upper-division courses not taken in-residence must be taken at an accredited university.
  2. Identify courses that look to be applicable to the Human Development major.
    • Possible departments at other universities that may offer relevant courses include anthropology, biology, child development, cognitive science, communication, culture studies, development studies, education, ethnic studies, gerontology, health science, history, human development, human services, linguistics, literature, neuroscience, nursing, psychology, sociology, urban studies, woman’s studies, etc.
    • Note: This is not an exhaustive list of possible departments, students are highly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities offered by other universities to supplement the UCSD curriculum.
    • Please note that courses should have a significant developmental component. Key phrases such as: development, growth, change, aging, acquisition, learning, lifespan, etc. should be included in the course description. Classes that focus on issues specific to a certain phase in the lifespan (such as adolescence, aging, dying) are also relevant. Classes that focus on human behavior or processes but DO NOT look at the growth or development of that behavior or process are NOT considered developmental.
  3. Obtain materials which describe the course and its content.
    • Course description.
    • Narrative Syllabus (if available) that covers content and lecture topics (not just the course grading requirements).
    • Textbook information (if available).
  4. Submit these materials to the HDP Office for review by the HDP Executive Committee.
  5. Students will be notified via e-mail when decisions are rendered. Students will be able to pick up their copy of the list of pre-approved courses from the HDP Office.
  6. While enrolled in the pre-approved course, students should save all course materials (syllabus, coursework, textbooks, etc.).
  7. Following the successful completion of the pre-approved course, students will need to submit an official Undergraduate Student Petition (please refer to the Petition Process below).

Final Approval--Student Petition Process

  1. Obtain Undergraduate Student Petition
  2. Completely fill out the petition. Each petition should include and clearly describe the following:
    • All personal contact information.
    • The course number and name of the course being petitioned (e.g. SOCO 101 – Principles of Sociology).
    • The institution the course was transferred from (e.g. San Diego City College).
    • The requirement the course is being petitioned to fulfill (e.g. lower-division social science requirement).
    • Student signature and date.
    • Along with the official petition, students should submit as much information as possible detailing the content of the course (e.g. syllabus, course description, notes, coursework, etc.).
  3. Submit the completed petition along with the course description, syllabus and coursework to the Student Affairs Officer at the HDP Office.
  4. The petition will then be reviewed by the HDP Executive Committee.
    • Note: Courses are not officially approved for credit until the written petition has been approved by the HDP Executive Committee and signed by the HDP Director. Petitions are reviewed once a month.
  5. Students will be notified of the approval/disapproval status of their petition via e-mail. Copies of the petitions will be available for pick up at the HDP office.