Allen School Petitions Process - Guidelines for Students

In general students should plan to take the required degree requirements. In some cases, a student may petition to take a different course in place of a stated degree requirement. This usually requires either a conversation with your assigned adviser in the Allen School, or sometimes it requires further approval with an official petition that would then be reviewed by the Director of Student Services and the Faculty Undergraduate Program Chair.

Below we articulate a few known exceptions or common responses regarding requests to petition. Please review this list in its entirety before requesting an exception.


CSE 311 Petitions

Sometimes a student will enter the Allen School with a significant number of MATH and STAT courses completed. If this is the case, you may try petitioning to waive CSE 311 via a substitution from a math course. Generally asking for just MATH 300 or just MATH/STAT 394 is not enough for a substitution. If you have not taken a significant number of MATH or STAT courses that cover this material, then generally you should plan to take CSE 311. A few known exceptions to this outcome follow:

  • MATH 134, 135 and 136: honors math track students have two options: 
    • You can take MATH 136 and CSE 311 at the same time (typically in the Spring) as the CSE 311 prereq is MATH 126 or MATH 135 
    • You can take CSE 311 and CSE 332 at the same time AFTER completing MATH 136. Note that you will need help from an Adviser when registering for CSE 332 as it generally requires CSE 311 to be completed.  Your Allen School adviser can help you get registered for both courses. 
  • If you have MATH 300 completed, you can take CSE 311 and CSE 332 at the same time. Your Allen School adviser can help you register since you won’t have CSE 311 pre-req credit yet. 


CSE 331 Petitions

Students sometimes decide to delay taking CSE 331 until the end of their time in the Allen School with the intention to waive the course based on prior internship/industry experience. These petition requests are always denied. If you are petitioning a waiver for any course, you typically need to prove how you have acquired the academic knowledge covered in the course. Simply having internship experience has been determined to not be a viable substitute for this course. Ideally students would complete 331 early in their academic career and before embarking on a software internship to get the most benefit from the course.


CSE 500 Level Course Petitions

Generally speaking, most students should plan to take the 400 level courses in the Allen School. There are exceptions however for students who have advanced understanding to occassionally take CSE 500 level courses.  Typically a PhD Breadth 500 level course where a student has not previously taken the undergraduate version of the course can be allowed to count as a Core course. Note that this is only for PhD breadth courses.  If a course is listed on our breadth requirements for PhD students they are often (not always) allowed as a Core Course substitution.  Sometimes there are restrictions however on whether or not a student has taken the 400 level version of the course. An example would be that you are allowed to take 421 and 521 because they differ enough to both count. However there are other courses where you are NOT allowed to receive credit for both, i.e. 446 and 546 for example. It’s best to check with an adviser about your long term plans before requesting an exception. We hope to have an explicit list in the future, but for now, you should check with an adviser.