Course Substitutions for Students with

at Florida Atlantic University

An Informational Brochure from the
Office for Students with Disabilities
Division of Student Affairs


Students who have a disability that prevents them from meeting Gordon Rule math or Foreign Language graduation requirements may request a substitution of the course requirement in question. Granting a course substitution will depend on the nature and extent of the disability and its impact upon the student’s ability to successfully meet the requirement. Requests for course substitutions that would result in a significant modification of the program, those required for certification or licensure, or those that would be inconsistent with the student’s academic program or objectives may be denied.


Following are the FAU guidelines to petition for a course substitution for a Gordon Rule math and/or foreign language when required by the major.

  • The course cannot be in an area of study deemed an essential element of the student’s major (e.g., a business major could not request a course substitution in math).
  • The student’s disability(ies) must impact her/his ability to successfully complete the course(s)
  • The student completes the Course Substitution Petition obtained from the OSD and attaches the following information to the completed form, then submits to the OSD:
    • Personal statement requesting that the Substitution Committee consider the petition. The student needs to state how the disability would affect her/his ability to succeed in the class.
    • Copy of unofficial transcripts from FAU. Community college grades not reflected on the FAU transcript need to be documented on that college’s transcript
    • Letter or support materials documenting remediation attempts, including any high school records
    • Documentation of the disability will be provided by OSD.
  •  Student’s OSD counselor reviews the petition packet to ensure all components are included and submits it to the OSD Director. Following the Director’s approval, a meeting of the Substitution Committee is requested. The committee meets once every semester after midterm exams are completed.
  • Substitution Committee reviews the request, makes a decision, and informs the student in writing regarding this decision.

The student does have the right to submit a petition for course substitution without following the procedures described above; however, it is not recommended. If the petition is denied, the student can submit it for reconsideration after satisfying any recommendations made by the Substitution Committee.

 If a student is approved for course substitution, he/she will take substitute course(s) designated by the university. For Gordon Rule math requirements, a student must obtain a grade of “C” or better in the substituted course.


 A student who has been granted a course substitution from another Florida public university must have this indicated on her/his FAU record. The student needs a letter or an official transcript from the former school noting that the student was granted the substitution. The OSD counselor will verify documentation, and following approval by the OSD Director, will send a letter to the Director of Undergraduate Programs requesting that the student’s FAU transcript reflect this course substitution.
FAU requires incoming students to have completed two years of a foreign language in high school. Students who have not fullfilled this requirement must complete two semesters of a foreign language prior to graduating from FAU. Students who have not fullfilled this requirement during high school due to a disability may petition for  a course substitution. If language is a graduation requirement of the student's major, the student will need to follow the procedures for course substitution due to a disability discussed under the heading "Course Substitution Process".
 If language is not a graduation requirement of the student’s choice of college, the student may petition for a course substitution through the Admissions Office. The student submits the following to the OSD:
  • Personal statement describing the reason for requesting course substitution.
  • Copy of the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) from high school or a letter from the high school guidance counselor. (If applicable)
  • Letter from the OSD counselor, approved by the OSD Director, confirming the student’s disability status.

Upon approval by the Office of Admissions, the student is given a list of courses from which two are to be chosen to satisfy the FLENT requirement.

If a student has been granted a FLENT course substitution, then changes majors to a college in which language is a requirement for graduation, the FLENT substitution course(s) may/may not be approved as a replacement for the language requirement.


If a student is seeking a substitution of a major requirement, he/she must go through her/his academic department and follow their procedures to request a substitution.


In accordance with FAU policy, a student may request an appeal of this decision by submitting a written request to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at within ten business days of the original decision.

 Last Modified 8/27/15