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Variance from Program Requirements

A variance from program requirements may be proposed by students who have:

  • previous graduate courses (from an accredited institution) they believe to be the equivalent of required courses; or
  • previous supervised experience they believe to be the equivalent of required field experiences; or
  • completed theses/research projects at other accredited institutions which demonstrate application of research to school problems (applies to credential-only students); or
  • educationally sound proposed variances from curricular requirements, required sequences, or program policies.

Procedures for Variance Proposal

Any variance from program requirements (including individual course waivers) must be approved by the School Psychology Faculty. Petitions for waiver of specific courses must be based on the satisfactory completion of graduate-level coursework at an accredited institution within the last seven years (university regulations). Students should begin the process to request a variance in the first semester of their studies.

Students must follow these steps to obtain approval of variance:

1. Consult with your advisor.
(a) If supported, develop your petition for the School Psychology Faculty under the direction of your advisor. You may be asked to obtain a review of previous coursework by the instructor of the SDSU course or to augment your petition with demonstration of competency (e.g., videotapes).
(b) If not supported, you may appeal to the program director.
  • If the program director supports your request, develop your petition for the School Psychology Faculty under her direction. You may be asked for specific documentation as described above.
  • If, in addition to your advisor, the program director does not support your request, there is a fairly strong likelihood that it will be denied by the School Psychology Faculty. You have the right, however, to develop your own petition for the consideration of the program faculty.
2. Submit a formal petition (with rationale and documentation) to the School Psychology Faculty.
This petition is usually submitted by your "sponsor" (i.e., advisor or program director), but you may personally present the petition if you wish. Petition of Variance Proposal Form (doc).
(a) If approved, take additional steps described in #3.
(b) If denied, you may appeal to the School Psychology Program Committee (which includes student representatives).
  • If the SPPC approves your petition, take additional steps described in #3.
  • If the SPPC denies your petition and you believe that you have a grievance, you may follow the steps outlined in the section on "How to Handle Concerns."
3. Additional steps depend on the nature of the requested variance
It is the student's responsibility to follow through on these additional steps:
(a) If variance impacts degree requirements, the student must file a Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements and obtain approval of the Graduate Division (complete with the Program Director).
(b) If the variance impacts credential requirements, the student must keep copies of the petition and written approval letter to be filed with the credential application.

Waiver of ED 690: A Special Case

ED 690 Procedures of Investigation and Report is required for all degrees offered through the College of Education. Waiver of this course subsequently falls under special College rules. After obtaining approval from the School Psychology Faculty or the School Psychology Program Committee, the student must:

  • obtain approval of the Department Chair, if waived on the basis of similar graduate coursework completed within the last seven years at another accredited institution; OR
  • pass an examination designed by the College Research Committee if the previous course was completed more than seven years ago; OR
  • pass an examination (designed by the College Research Committee) if the waiver is based on a demonstration of competencies not associated with a previous graduate-level course.