Course Substitution Policy and Forms

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, qualified students with disabilities may request that appropriate course substitutions be considered.

The appropriate College Advising Office within the university, in conjunction with Disability Resource Center (DRC), will review such requests on a case by case basis to determine eligibility and to reasonably accommodate qualified students with alternative course work. Where appropriate, the College Advising Office will refer the question to the student's major department when the issue pertains solely to a requirement within the major.

Reasonable accommodations include but are not limited to:

  • Course substitutions - other NIU courses, courses at community colleges or other universities
  • Residency requirement waiver to allow course completion at another college or university
  • Time extensions to complete course work

Request Procedures

  1. Contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to schedule an appointment with your coordinator.
  2. Provide the coordinator with documentation of the disability and history of any previous attempts to complete the course work in question. Students with learning disabilities should refer to the Guidelines for Documentation of a Learning Disability.
  3. Sign a release form allowing the DRC to notify the appropriate College Advising Office that the necessary documentation is on file with the DRC.
  4. The student must write a letter requesting the course substitution. This letter should be addressed to the appropriate College Advising Office of the student's declared major. A copy of this letter should also be sent to the student's DRC Coordinator.

The letter must include the following information:

      • the student's name, address, social security number, and major
      • the type of course substitution requested (e.g. foreign language, math)
      • an explanation of the disability
      • rationale for the substitution request
      • a history of any previous attempts to complete the course(s) in question
      • any past history of course substitutions granted by previously attended colleges or universities
      • a statement that the appropriate documentation verifying the disability is on file with DRC
  1. The student should also request that the DRC coordinator write a letter addressing the student's request.
  2. Both the student letter and the DRC coordinator letter are submitted to the appropriate College Advising Office.

Notification of Action Taken on Request

Once the appropriate College Advising Office has received the student's request, the following action will be taken:

  1. The College Advising Office will review the student's request. The student's major department and the DRC may be consulted.
  2. The College Advising Office will contact the student, in writing, (cc: DRC), notifying the student of the decision to grant or deny the request.
  3. If the request is granted, the student will be asked to schedule an appointment with the appropriate College or Departmental Advising Office to discuss appropriate courses for substitution. The college advisor will complete the "Waiver of University Graduation Requirements" for the Associate Provost's consideration.
  4. Upon receipt of the approved "Waiver of University Graduation Requirements" the student may register for the appropriate course work.
  5. If the request is denied by the Departmental or College Advising Office, the student may request a review from the Dean. If the request is denied by the Associate Provost, the student may request a review from the Provost.