Course Exemption & Substitution | PhD in Vision Science

Students may substitute courses toward the PhD in Vision Science within specified guidelines. All guidelines should be compatible with the university policy

Based on the student's prior coursework taken for credit, professional training and experiences, or current memorandum of understanding between an educational/research institute and Pacific University, students may apply for course substitution or course waiver in place of a required course. A maximum of one-third of the credit requirement for the degree may be satisfied by course substitution/waiver. Exceptions may be made by the VSG Committee.

Course substitution:

A course or courses of equal or greater credits taken earlier at Pacific University or another institution may be used in place of a required course in the VSG curriculum. To be considered for course substitution, the course credit(s) earned earlier must:

  • be taken for credit at an accredited academic institution within the past five academic years,
  • have covered comparable course content,
  • have completed with a grade of B or better (“pass” grade is not eligible), and
  • have not been used toward another degree.

Students must provide supporting documentation (e.g., copies of the official transcript, course description, syllabus) to the Office of Academic Programs. Approval of course substitution awards the student credits of the substituted VSG course, but the transferred grade will not appear on the transcript nor be included in the calculation of the student’s GPA.

Course waiver:

  • When a required course is shown to be met through non-credit-bearing activities (e.g., proficiency or exam results) or earlier coursework for another degree, a student may petition for waiver of the course. 
  • Students must provide official documentation (e.g., certificate, license, transcripts and syllabus, etc.) along with necessary details for application.
  • Course waiver does not result in the awarding of credit but excuses the student from taking the required course and creates additional elective time for the student; the student must register for additional elective credits equal to or greater than the credits that were waived.

Processes for Course Substitution/Waiver:

  • A student wishing to petition for a course substitution or waiver should present sufficient documentation and justification along with a written application for Course Substitution/Waiver to the Office of Academic Programs at the time for pre-registering for the next term’s course or at another designated time.
  • The Academic Dean will review the student’s petition and consult the instructor(s) as needed to decide whether to approve the student’s petition, and inform the student of the final decision. 
  • The petition may be reviewed by the course instructor(s), with any appropriate evaluation methods in deciding whether to grant the petition.