MITCommittee on Academic Performance

Petition Process: Committee Review and Decisions

After confidential discussion, the CAP then decides to approve, deny, or table your petition. Decisions are usually made by consensus, occasionally by majority vote. Here are details of the review process and the three decisions.

Committee Review

The Committee reads each petition individually, giving significant attention to your request and statements from your advisor, instructor, and others. Voting members discuss your request in the context of Faculty policy and Committee precedent. The Committee acts solely based on the written information provided, in light of advice from the ex officio members, if given. Students, advisors, and instructors do not appear before the CAP. Discussions and votes are not recorded, and members observe strict confidentiality.


Petitions can be:

If you submitted more than one petition, the Committee will act on each separately; they may choose to approve one while denying another. Several petition requests approved at the same time will be charged only one filing fee and fine, if applicable.

Decisions are reported by email to you, your advisor, and your department administrator. You can also see decisions for registration petitions (Late Add, Late Drop, Late Change of Status) on your My Forms page.

Note that this process is for undergraduates only; graduate students should follow the petition process outlined on the website of the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

Approved Petitions

When a registration petition (Late Add, Late Drop, Late Change of Status) is approved, your record is automatically updated and you can see the change in WebSIS. For other petitions the CAP Administrator asks the Academic Records Office to make the requested change. Other offices and staff are notified when relevant—International Students Office, Student Financial Services, degree audit.

Some petitions are approved with a notation of administrative neglect. This is done when the student failed to meet the Institute deadline because of inattention or procrastination. Once administrative neglect has been noted by the Committee, further petitions of this sort are likely to be denied unless there is clear evidence that missing a future deadline was caused by circumstances beyond the student's control.

A $25 filing fee will be charged to your MITPAY account by the Registrar's Office for a petition approved by the CAP. Petitions approved with neglect will be charged an additional $25 fine; a second approval with neglect incurs a fine of $50.

Denied Petitions

The CAP strives to apply Faculty policies and maintain equitable treatment across all departments and undergraduates. Occasionally this means denying a petition that if approved would give a student an unfair advantage over classmates. Another guiding principle is that the transcript should reflect all work that a student did, in the term in which the work was done.

No fee is charged for petitions that are denied.

Petition decisions are final: the Committee will not consider an appeal unless the student and advisor can provide substantial and relevant new academic information. This must be information unavailable to the Committee when it made its initial decision.

Students who wish to appeal must submit a new petition that explains their situation and the new information now available. New signatures and statements that address the student's revised statement must be gathered. The CAP Chair will decide whether to accept the new petition for review by the full Committee. If accepted, appeal petitions are reviewed in the same way as initial petitions.

Tabled Petitions

Occasionally the Committee will table a petition in order to gather more information before making a decision. The CAP Administrator will contact the student and advisor via email, and specifically define the information sought by the Committee. Once the additional information is received, the CAP will review the petition at its next meeting.