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HDS Student Petitions

To submit a petition to HDS, make sure you are signed into Google with your UCSD account for this process

Submit your Petition here

Petitioning Courses

Generally, there are three circumstances under which course petitions for HDS major or minor credit will be considered: Transfer Coursework, Study Abroad Courses, and Newly-created UCSD classes.

For your above submission, you will need the following information ready:

  • A fillable course petition
    (please review our sample petition for guidance in filling out this form)
  • The course name, number, title, institution
  • The published course description (with website location).
  • Recommended: Full course syllabus, with lecture topics, assignments and readings. If the petition is submitted without a syllabus, it may be returned if we do not have enough information for a review.

HDS Policy on Courses Petitions

You are responsible for understanding the below policy on HDS course petitions.
Please contact us if you have questions.

Circumstances for Course Petition Consideration

  1. Transfer Courses
    • All courses transferred from a community college or US university must be petitioned for major credit.
    • Articulation agreements for many courses offered by the California Community College System have been developed in order to facilitate the petition process. Please refer to to find these articulation agreements.
      • Note: If a course articulates to an HDS course according to, then a petition will not be required for that particular course.
    • Incomming transfer students are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment with an HDS advisor in order to review completed transfer coursework and petition relevant courses for major credit.
  2. Study Abroad Courses
    • All courses transferred from an international university must be petitioned for major credit.
    • Students may receive credit for up to four (4) courses taken at an abroad university.
    • It is strongly recommended that students receive pre-approval for any courses that may be taken while abroad. This should be done as early as possible before the student leaves to study abroad.
      • Students are encouraged to submit as many courses that are potentially applicable to HDS for pre-approval approval as possible.
      • EAP Coursefinder can be used to find courses that other UC San Diego students have taken abroad and (note that the courses listed are not pre-approved for any specific UC San Diego credit).
      • Note: while the pre-approval process for study abroad does not guarantee that the actual course will be approved once transferred to UCSD, the nearly all courses for which pre-approval has been obtained are approved when the official syllabus and petition is submitted upon the student’s return.
      • Please refer to the Preliminary Approval Process (below)
    • For further information, please refer to the Study Abroad section.
  3. Exceptional Courses & Newly Created UCSD classes
    • All courses taken at UC San Diego that are not currently approved for the HDS major must be petitioned for major credit.
      • Students who identify new UC San Diego courses that have the potential to fulfill an HDS requirement may petition to request credit for such courses.
      • It is important to note that very few such petitions are successful and students are strongly cautioned to petition and receive preliminary approval for such a course prior to enrollment.
      • For a list of currently approved courses for the HDS major, please consult the HDS section of the UCSD Catalog.
    • All courses taken outside of UC San Diego (such as at a community college or university) while the student is in-residence must be petitioned for major credit.
      • It is strongly recommended that any courses taken outside of UC San Diego be petitioned for preliminary approval prior to enrollment.
      • Please refer to the Preliminary Approval Process (below)

Preliminary Approval Process

When requesting credit for a course not yet taken:

  1. Confirm UC transferability and division level.
    • Please note that courses taken at a community college are considered lower-division courses.
    • Upper-division courses not taken in-residence must be taken at an accredited university.
  2. Identify courses that look to be applicable to the HDS major.
    • Possible departments at other universities that may offer relevant courses include anthropology, biology, child development, cognitive science, communication, culture studies, development studies, education, ethnic studies, gerontology, health science, history, human development, human services, linguistics, literature, neuroscience, nursing, psychology, sociology, urban studies, woman’s studies, etc.
    • Note: This is not an exhaustive list of possible departments, students are highly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities offered by other universities to supplement the UC San Diego curriculum.
    • Please note that courses should have a significant developmental component. Key phrases such as: development, growth, change, aging, acquisition, learning, lifespan, etc. should be included in the course description. Classes that focus on issues specific to a certain phase in the lifespan (such as adolescence, aging, dying) are also relevant. Classes that focus on human behavior or processes but do not look at the growth or development of that behavior or process are not considered developmental.
  3. Obtain materials which describe the course and its content.
    • Course description.
    • Narrative Syllabus (if available) that covers content and lecture topics (not just the course grading requirements).
    • Textbook information (if available).
  4. Submit these materials, along with a completed course petition, via the COURSE PETITION SUBMISSION FORM to the HDS Office for review by the HDS Executive Committee.
  5. Students will be notified of the following decisions:
    1. Formal approval: HDS has enough information to make a final approval and the completed and approved course petition will be uploaded to the Virtual Advising Center (VAC). Students should notify HDS when the course has been posted to their academic history so their degree audit can be properly credited.
    2. Pre-approval only: HDS has indicated the course appears to qualify. However final approval will not be granted until the full syllabus from the specific term the course is being taken is provided, along with relevant course assignments, essays and tests. Please retain all course information. Note that ALL STUDY ABROAD is pre-approval only before attending an abroad program.
    3. Needs more information: it is not clear from the documentation provided if the course will qualify. More information would be needed about grade criteria, lecture topics, or details of specific essays or projects.
    4. Denied: the class would not qualify for a specific HDS requirement
  6. While enrolled in a pre-approved course, students should save all course materials (syllabus, coursework, textbooks, etc.).
  7. Following the successful completion of the course, students should contact HDS...
    1. when an formally APPROVED course has been posted to their academic history, so their degree audit can be properly credited. 
    2. To submit documents for a pre-approved course.  Please refer to the Petition Process below for processing a completed course that does not yet have formal approval.

Student Petition Process (Final Approval)

When requesting credit for a course that has already been taken
(with or without preliminary approval):

  1. Obtain UCSD course petition
  2. Completely fill out the petition. Each petition should include and clearly describe the following:
    • All personal contact information.
    • The course number and name of the course being petitioned (e.g. SOCO 101 – Principles of Sociology).
    • The institution the course was transferred from (e.g. San Diego City College).
    • The requirement the course is being petitioned to fulfill (e.g. lower-division social science requirement).
    • Student signature and date.
    • Along with the official petition, students should submit as much information as possible detailing the content of the course (e.g. syllabus, course description, notes, coursework, etc.).
  3. Submit the completed petition along with the course description, syllabus and supplemental information via the COURSE PETITION SUBMISSION FORM  for review by the HDS Executive Committee.
    • Note: Courses are not officially approved for credit until the written petition has been approved by the HDS Executive Committee and signed by the HDS Director. Petitions are reviewed once a month.
  4. Students will be notified of the approval/disapproval status of their petition, and a copy will be uploaded to VAC.