Course Substitutions Based on a Disability Accommodation

All students must be able to meet the academic, accreditation and technical standards required for admission or participation in their chosen program of study. Students with disabilities therefore, are not excused from course prerequisites, GPA requirements, or degree requirements. However, in some limited circumstances, substitution of course requirements on the basis of a documented disability may be appropriate. Such substitutions are granted only when it is clear that the student’s disability makes completion of the requirement(s) almost impossible and when the course in question is not a fundamental element of the curriculum. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has consistently upheld the right of an institution to safeguard the integrity of its academic programs. A course substitution means that the credit hours for the course are met through an alternate course. A course substitution does not alter or reduce the number of credits needed for degree completion.

Students should understand that the Office of Accommodation and Inclusion (OAI) provides consultations to the academic programs based solely on students’ needs and the impact disabilities may have on specific courses. The College will collaborate with the appropriate program or chairperson to determine whether a particular course is fundamental to the degree program. Consideration of a course substitution is done
on a case-by-case basis during which the relevant University officials will consider alternative means to satisfy the requirement, their feasibility, cost, and effect on the academic program.

To request a course substitution, a student must complete the following:
  1. Any student needing academic accommodations must work through the Office of Accommodation and Inclusion (OAI). Students must follow the office policy of providing current documentation records of a disability that causes significant functional impact in the educational setting.
  2. The Director of the OAI will determine appropriate accommodations per documentation.
  3. It is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations every semester to receive support.
  4. In support of the request for a course substitution, a student’s documentation should contain specific and reasonably current information that supports the request and provided by qualified experts.
  5. The student must write a letter to the appropriate academic dean (e.g., College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, College of Education, College of Business, College of Sciences, College of Pharmacy, and College of Health Professions) with support of the student's academic adviser. This letter should include:
    1. The student’s name, address, student I.D. number and major;
    2. The name of the course for which the substitution is requested;
    3. An explanation of the disability and its impact;
    4. A rationale for the substitution request;
    5. Evidence of a history (course transcripts/faculty/staff statements) of any previous attempts to complete the course in question;
    6. Any past history of course substitutions granted by previously attended colleges or universities (this does not obligate UF to reach a similar conclusion);
    7. A statement that the appropriate documentation verifying the disability is on file with OAI.
The college dean will collaborate with OAI and the appropriate programs director or chairperson regarding the advisability of the course substitution request based on the available documentation. Be advised that the student requesting a course substitution may be asked to submit additional disability documentation if the documentation on file with OAI is deemed inadequate to make a determination.

Once the college dean has made a decision, the student will be notified in writing of the result within approximately 30 working days. A student with a disability who is denied a course substitution may appeal that decision through the University-defined appeal process.