The Graduate School’s governing policy document, the Code of Legislation of the Graduate Faculty (Code), allows students to request exemptions from certain regulations by submitting a petition with convincing evidence that the petition is needed and warranted.

Examples of typical petitions:

Many petitions have specialized forms to guide you through the process. Others may require you to submit a general petition form.

(View complete list of Graduate School forms.)

In Depth

The Code of Legislation describes the rules and regulations governing graduate education at Cornell but a hallmark of our graduate education system is flexibility in these rules when there is a compelling need.

At times, you might find that your circumstances merit an exception to a policy described in the Code. To request an exemption, you may use the general petition form and submit supporting documentation, for example, a letter from your committee chair or a detailed academic plan. Prior to submitting the petition, you should review the Code thoroughly to make sure you understand the regulation. You will need to submit convincing evidence that your exception is required and warranted.

Petition forms may be sent to the Graduate School’s Student Services office (143 Caldwell Hall or If your petition is denied, you may appeal that decision to the General Committee, the governing body of the Graduate School. 



Graduate Student Services Office