Petitions, Requests & Appeals

This page is a resource for students in the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering who find themselves in the position of petitioning for academic relief. Here you can find the necessary forms and links regarding academic policies and procedures. There is also a document on preparing a petition for readmission after dismissal or for early readmission after suspension. This information is provided merely as a convenient resource and does not supersede existing university policies or procedures.


There are two types of petitions generally used by students. Both are petitions for readmission to Mississippi State University after having been forced out for poor academic performance. The first petition is for Early Readmission After Academic Suspension and the second is for Readmission After Dismissal.

Before preparing either petition, you should review Writing a Statement for a Petition. This document will provide guidance on what the administrators and faculty in the Bagley College of Engineering expect to see in a petition. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions document for review.

Petition for Early Readmission After Suspension (FallSpringSummer)

This petition is for early readmission. According to the policy, a student may be automatically readmitted following suspension after they sit out for one regular (fall or spring) semester. Summer terms do not count as time out of school, nor can a student suspended at the end of the spring semester remain in school for the summer term. The Petition for Early Readmission After Suspension should be completed and submitted in accordance with Academic Operating Policy 12.15.

Petition for Readmission After Dismissal

Once a student has been dismissed from Mississippi State University, they must remain out of school for at least one calendar year before he or she can petition for readmission. Even then, there is no guarantee that the petition will be granted. Academic Operating Policy 12.15 governs the process. Those wishing to petition for readmission should complete the Petition for Readmission After Academic Dismissal.

Petition for Retroactive Withdrawal

There are times when, beyond a student's control, he or she does not complete the semester of school and is not able to withdraw via the normal means of withdrawing from the university. These situations are typically the result of medical conditions that take the student away from school and they are not physically or mentally capable of withdrawing before leaving. In these circumstances, students may petition for a retroactive withdrawal under Academic Operating Policy 12.02. Students who wish to petition for a retroactive withdrawal should complete the Petition for Retroactive Withdrawal within one calendar year from the end of the semester the student left school. It is important to realize that under no circumstances may a student receive more than one retroactive withdrawal during their matriculation at Mississippi State University. This petition requires substantial amounts of documentation justifying why the student was not able to affect a normal withdrawal.

Petition for Academic Amnesty

Occasionally a student finds himself or herself in a situation from which recovery is nearly impossible. For these students, we have a petition for academic amnesty. Under Academic Operating Policy 12.17, it is possible for a student to have courses in which they earned a "D" or an "F" excluded from the calculation of their GPA. There are some strict requirements on this policy, however. A student must have been out of any institution of higher learning for a period of at least five consecutive years. Generally, courses taken as a requirement of employment that are not considered college-level courses, e.g. blueprint reading, welding, etc., are not considered as enrollment. To petition for academic amnesty, a student should complete the Petition for Academic Amnesty and submit it to his or her adviser for consideration. If approved, the student will have to complete current degree requirements, and amnesty will not be reflected on the students transcript until a minimum of 12 hours have been completed with at least a 2.00 GPA. Under this policy, all courses will remain on a student's transcript, but those for which amnesty has been granted will be excluded from the computation of grade point averages. Students should be aware that employers, graduate schools and professional schools will see the entire record and may recompute GPA's for their own purposes.

Petition for Academic Fresh Start

Academic Operating Policy 12.17 governs Academic Fresh Start. Under this policy a student who has not attended any institution of higher education for at least two consecutive calendar years may have all of her or his grades excluded from the calculation of GPA's. Generally, courses taken as a requirement of employment that are not considered college-level courses; (e.g. blueprint reading, welding, etc.) are not considered as enrollment. Students who desire to have a second chance at college can complete the Petition for Fresh Start and submit it to their adviser for review. If approved, all college courses, including those transferred from another institution, will be excluded from GPA calculations at Mississippi State University. Students are required to complete current degree requirements. A notation that Academic Fresh Start was granted will be applied to the students transcript once they complete at least 12 hours with a minimum 2.00 GPA. Students should be aware that employers, graduate schools and professional schools will see the entire record and may recompute GPAs for their own purposes.


Waiver of Overload Policy

Students are limited in the number of courses they may take each semester in order to ensure academic success. Academic Operating Policy 12.22 allows students on probation to take no more than 14 hours (or four classes). Students with an MSU Cumulative GPA between 2.00 and 2.99 may take 19 hours. Students with an MSU Cumulative GPA of 3.00 to 4.00 may, with the approval of their adviser, department head and dean take up to 24 hours. These limits do not include ensemble or developmental courses, but they do included courses taken by independent study. Students desiring to take more than 19 hours should complete the Request for Waiver of Overload Policy and submit it to their adviser.

Request to Enroll in an Off-Campus Course

In some circumstances, students are permitted to enroll in courses at another institution and transfer the grades to Mississippi State University. This is often done when a student is co-oping for a semester and has an opportunity to take a class somewhere else or when they chose to go home for the summer and enroll at a local community, junior or senior college. To ensure that students are taking the appropriate courses they must obtain permission from their advisers, department head and dean prior to enrolling in the course. Failure to obtain permission in advance may prevent having the course(s) apply to your degree.  The Request to Enroll in an Off-Campus Course requires that the student provide specific course numbers and descriptions for each course they wish to take. They may also be required to supply catalog information and/or a syllabus for the course.


Grade Appeal

Occasionally a student will disagree with a grade he or she received in a course. The first step for the student is to discuss the matter with his or her professor and attempt to resolve the issue. When a resolution cannot be reached, the student may file a grade appeal which will be reviewed by the professor, the professor's department head and the professor's dean. If the problem cannot be resolved during the review process, the appeal will be forward to the vice president for academic affairs, who will generally forward it to the Academic Review Board, and a hearing will be scheduled. Either the student or the professor may request the appeal be forwarded to the vice president for academic affairs.

The grade appeal is handled through the submission of an effort that can be found here.

Note that a grade appeal can only be submitted for prejudicial or capricious assignment of grades. It is not to be used for general complaints about the professor or concerns about the class, and any appeals based on these factors will be denied. If you have concerns about the professional nature of the class itself, then you should contact the instructor and head of the department offering the class.

In submitting the appeal, you should prepare a coherent and logical document outlining why you believe the grade was prejudicially or capriciously assigned, provide any documentation you may have such as email correspondence, and provide the argument justifying the grade change you seek. This document should then be uploaded as an attachment to the eform, along with a copy of the syllabus for the course. Also, please upload any documentation you have of contacting your instructor and their response. Once you submit your form, you are not permitted to add additional information or change your argument for why you think the requested grade change is justified.

Some key points to keep in mind regarding a grade appeal:

  • It must be filed with the professor’s department head within 30 days of the beginning of the next regular semester following the semester in which the grade was received.
  • The assigned grade stands as given by the professor until the appeal process is concluded.
  • Any penalties imposed as a result of the grade given (probation, suspension, loss of scholarship, etc.) are enforced until the appeal is concluded.
  • A student and professor must have documentation to support the appeal. Only grades that have been prejudicially or capriciously assigned can be appealed. Simply not being happy with your grade or being unhappy with how the course was taught, are not grounds for a grade appeal and will be denied.

The policy governing Grade Appeals is AOP 13.14 and the form to be used to appeal a grade can be found here.