Mesa Journeys



Forms and Petitions

There are a variety of forms and petitions to address student's various academic needs.  Many forms are not available for download, as they require meeting with a counselor or faculty member to determine eligibility or the appropriateness of the request.

Academic Renewal

Academic renewal is a means whereby a student may have prior college work excluded from current grade point average. In all cases of academic renewal, the original courses and grades will remain on the transcript with a code in the reference column that indicates academic renewal has been applied to those courses. Once the petition is approved, action is not reversible. There are two types of Academic Renewal:


A student who receives a substandard grade (“D” or “F” or “NP”) in a course may repeat that course three times and have a new grade(s) replace the substandard grade(s) in the district's computation of a student's GPA. The course being repeated must be the same name as the original course, not its equivalent.

Registration into a course in which two grades of “D” or “F” or “NP” has already been received will be permitted by Reg-e for the first and second repeat of the course. No petition is necessary. At the end of the semester, the academic renewal will automatically be processed and the student's academic record will be annotated to indicate academic renewal.


  • No course in which a “C” or better grade has been earned may be repeated.
  • Students will not be allowed more than four enrollments in similar active participatory courses in Physical Education and Visual and Performing Arts, regardless of grade or symbol earned.
  • Academic renewal is not allowed for work experience courses.
  • Each course in which an unsatisfactory grade (“D,”“F,” or “NP”) has been earned may be repeated twice without a petition. The course being repeated must be the same as the original course, not its equivalent. Only the newly-earned units and grades will be used in computing the grade point average.
  • Students will not be allowed more than three enrollments in any course, regardless of grade or symbol earned.

Procedures to Petition for Course Repetition:

  • Students who have taken and repeated coursework in the past for which academic renewal has not been done should submit a Petition for Academic Renewal by Course Repetition in the Evaluations Office. If the petition is approved the student's academic record will be annotated to indicate academic renewal
  • Students who would like to repeat a course for a fourth time in which a "D” or “F” or “NP” or "W" was earned three times a “, must submit a petition for Exception to Course Repetition Policy. See the Academic Review Committee section for details on submitting the petition. If the petition is approved the student's academic record will be annotated to indicate academic renewal.

Note: A student may only earn three symbols (A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, W) in a course.

 Academic Renewal Without Course Repetition

A student with a semester of substandard academic performance that is not reflective of present demonstrated ability may petition to have the substandard semester disregarded in computation of grade point average.

  • Students with degrees or certificates: Course(s)/Semester/Session prior to earning a degree or certificate are not eligible for academic renewal.
  • A maximum of one semester/session or 12 units, whichever is greater can be disregarded.

Requirements for consideration:

1. Course(s)/Semester/Session must be substandard (below 2.0 GPA).

2. Transcripts from all institutions attended must be officially on file.

3. Successfully complete, in a regionally accredited college or university, 15 units with a GPA of at least 2.0 subsequent to the coursework to be disregarded. All courses taken during the semester/session in which the student reaches or exceeds the 15 unit minimum will be used in computing the 2.0 GPA.

4. One year must have elapsed since the most recent coursework to be disregarded was completed.

District Regulations:

1. A maximum of 12 units or one semester/session may be disregarded, whichever is greater. For purposes of academic renewal for summer session work, a summer session will be defined as all courses which commence after the termination of the Spring semester and end prior to the commencement of the Fall semester. Intersession work will be included in Spring semesters. Short-term or carry-over classes will be considered to be part of the semester or session in which credit is awarded or a grade is recorded to the student’s permanent record.

2. If grade alleviation has already been applied two times for a course included in the semester to be disregarded, the course will not be eligible for academic renewal without repetition and will remain on the academic record.

3. If previous action for academic renewal has been applied to coursework included in the semester to be disregarded, the course will not be eligible for academic renewal without repetition and will remain on the academic record.

4. Work taken at another institution may be forgiven in our computations for purposes of graduation from one of the District colleges under the regulations stated above.

5. The permanent academic record will be annotated in such a manner that the record of all work remains legible, ensuring a true and complete academic record.

6. Recalculation of the grade point average may be used toward qualification for graduation with honors.

7. Academic standing for the semester/session(s) will not be adjusted.

8. Once the petition is approved, the action is not reversible.


  • Students must see a counselor to complete the Petition for Academic Renewal Without Course Repetition form.
  • The student files a completed Petition for Academic Renewal Without Course Repetition in the Evaluations Office.
  • An Evaluator will determine whether all conditions for academic renewal without course repetition have been met. These conditions are listed on the back of the petition.
  • If the petition is approved the student's academic record will be annotated to indicate academic renewal for the appropriate term(s).
  • Students will be sent a copy of the petition indicating the decision after the process is completed.

Certificate of Performance

A Certificate of Performance recognizes the attainment of knowledge and/or skill through the successful completion of two or more courses as specified by a department. Certificates of Performance are designed to prepare students for employment, job enhancement and/or job advancement. To qualify for the Certificate of Performance, students must satisfy the requirements and follow the procedures listed below:


  • Achieve a grade of "C" or better in each of the required courses.
  • Complete all required course work in the San Diego Community College District.
  • Course substitutions or course equivalencies from other colleges may not be used to satisfy Certificate of Performance requirements. For additional information please see a counselor.

Procedures: All coursework for the Certificate of Performance must be completed, and grades are posted, before a student can petition for their Certificates of Performance.

  • Student completes a Petition for a Certificate of Performance in the Evaluation's Office.
  • The petition is processed by the Evaluations Office.
  • Student is contacted by phone or email when certificate is ready to be picked up.

Credit by Examination

Students who wish to receive credit for academic work completed in non-traditional ways or through non-educational sources may be able to obtain credit by taking and passing a departmental examination. (Policy 3900.1)


  • A list of courses approved for credit by examination is established by the Office of the Vice President of Instruction and is available here and can also be found in the Evaluations Office.
  • Examinations for courses not on the approved list must be requested from the chair of the department in which the course is offered.
  • Credit by examination is not available for any course that a student has audited or for which a student has received a grade or symbol of any kind on a transcript. If the student is currently enrolled in the course, no more than 20 percent of the class meeting time may have elapsed.
  • All credit by examination processes must be completed within five days of the end of the term specified on the application.
  • A processing fee equivalent to the current enrollment fee will be assessed
  • Student files an Application for Credit by Examination in the Evaluations Office.
  • The Evaluations Office will review the student's eligibility.
  • Student must indicate whether they wish to receive a P/NP or a letter grade for the class. Students need to take into consideration graduation, major area, and departmental policies and may want to speak to a counselor regarding this option.
  • Upon approval by Evaluations Office, the student takes the Processing Fees for Nontraditional Education form to the accounting office to pay the appropriate fee.
  • The student returns to the Evaluation Office with proof of the fee payment.
  • Evaluations Office sends approved petition to the appropriate department chair.
  • The department chair arranges for an instructor to administer the examination to the student.
  • Student is notified by mail, within 10 days, of the instructor assigned to administer the examination.
  • Student contacts the instructor to arrange a time for the exam.
  • Upon completion of the examination, the instructor records the results on the petition and returns it to the Evaluations Office.
  • Credit is posted on the student's academic record, and the student is sent a copy of the completed petition.
  • Student takes an Application for Credit by Examination for Courses Not on an Approved List to the appropriate department chair for a decision to offer an examination for a course not on the approved course list.
  • After a decision is made, chairperson returns petition to Evaluations Office for verification of eligibility.
  • Evaluations Office notifies student of eligibility.
  • If petition is approved and student is eligible, the procedures outlined for courses on the approved list are then followed.


Credit for Military Experiences

Policy 3900.3

Students who have completed at least six months of continuous active U.S. military service have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • 4 units of credit towards the Associate degree: health Education and Physical Education (2 courses) requirements
  • The California State University General Education Breadth Pattern (CSUGE) Area E requirement.

Credits for the requirements listed above are automatically posted to student's record upon receipt of the applicable document listed below.

Additionally, credit may be available for courses taken through the various branches of the military as recommended by A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services published by the American Council on Education.

 Additional Credit for Military Service

To receive additional credit for military service or military school students must be enrolled and, in most cases, must have an education plan on file.

  • Military credit cannot be used to satisfy the American Institutions requirement or the English Composition requirement.
  • Credit in the major must be approved by the department.
  • Contact the Veteran's Office or see a counselor to request additional credit for military service or school.

Credit for Standardized Tests

Policy 3900.4

Academic credit is available for students who take and pass, at the appropriate level, examinations offered through the following standardized tests:

  • Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

For detailed information on tests scores and applicable credit, refer to the college catalog.


  • Credit for examinations is based upon the score received.
  • Credit will not be granted for equivalent course completion.
  • Tests cannot be used to meet the:

American Institutions requirement,

Laboratory requirements,

English Composition requirement (except for Advanced Placement which will satisfy the English Composition requirement).

  • Use of this credit in a major requires the approval of the department.
  • A maximum of 30 cumulative units may be granted for acceptable scores on any combination of standardized tests.

Petition for Modification of Graduation Requirements

Any variation to major requirements for a degree or certificate must be approved by the academic department under which the major is offered.

Approved petitions are only applicable for majors offered at Mesa College.

Click here to view information on why and how to do a Modification of Grad Requirements.


  • An electronic Educational Plan must be on file. If you are unsure if you have an electronic educational plan, please see a counselor.
  • All transcripts from other institutions attended must be on file. **If you are submitting official transcripts with the petition, please be sure that the transcripts are in the original sealed envelope. Opened transcripts are not considered official.

Please note:

  • Substitution = to replace a course required with another course(s).
  • Waiver = exemption from taking a required course in the major or District Graduation requirement. District General Education requirements cannot be waived.
  • A minimum of 18 units is required for the major for all degree programs.


It is highly recommended that you meet with a counselor to determine if you meet the eligibility and if a modification is necessary.

  • Obtain a Petition for Modification form.
  • Provide information requested on the form, including necessary documentation.
  • Obtain signatures from the Department Chair and Dean. Depending on the major, other signatures, such as from the program director, may be required.
  • Submit the completed form in Evaluations Office.
  • The Evaluations Office will determine whether all modification conditions have been satisfied.
  • Petitions to Waive a District Graduation requirement will automatically sent to the Academic Review Committee to be reviewed.
  • If the modification cannot be made, the student will be notified.
  • If the modification is approved, the necessary adjustments in the student's educational plan will be made by the District Evaluations Office.
  • Students will be notified regarding the approval or denial of the petition.

Please see a counselor for assistance.

Petition for Approval of Major-area Electives

This petition is only used for the Associate in Science and Certificate of Achievement in Business Management, the Honors Global Competencies Certificate of Achievement at Mesa College and for course selection when students are seeking multiple degrees.


  • Student meets with counselor to select appropriate courses or major electives.
  • The student and the counselor sign the Major Area Electives form.
  • The student takes the form to the department chair for approval.
  • The form is returned to the Evaluations Office.
  • The evaluator makes the necessary changes in the student's educational plan.

Petition for Graduation

Graduation is not automatic. Students must file a Petition for Graduation form to request a graduation evaluation for an AA or AS degree or Certificate of Achievement. Students can petition for graduation with a counselor or at student web services

Be sure to meet all deadlines for Petitioning to Graduate.

To learn more about graduating, see the Graduation section for details.

Exception to the Policy

Students who believe that they have a compelling reason for an exception to a policy (i.e., any academic policy) may file a petition. There is one petition for exception to policy:

  • Petition for Exception to Course Repetition Policy

This petition must go through the Academic Review Committee process.

See the Academic Review Committee section for details.

Request for General Education Certification

Students who need certification of completion of lower-division general education requirements for transfer to UC or CSU, must complete the Request for Certification.

Please refer to the General Education Certification section for information.

San Diego Mesa College Evaluations Office | Room I4-306  

619-388-2680 |