Graduate Student Handbook

10.1 Waiver of a Course

A “Waiver of a course” means that the faculty accepts prior work by the student was satisfactory to meet a program course requirement. The waiver excuses the student from taking the required course, but does not lessen the credits required for graduation. In effect, a course waiver creates additional elective time for the student because minimum degree credits still must be met.

A student may petition faculty at any time for a waiver of a course requirement (with the exception of the foundational (core) courses). A form for this purpose is available in Appendix J. The student should state the action requested and the justification and attach supporting documentation (such as the course syllabus, the grade received, etc.). The form requires that the request be reviewed and approved by the instructor of the course for which a waiver is sought.

Foundational (core) course waivers (for Master’s students)
The faculty advisor may approve a foundational (core) course waiver as long as the credit was earned at a CEPH accredited college/school/program and as long as the student earned a “B” grade or higher and the student earned graduate credit for the course(s).

Divisions/Programs may establish specific criteria, such as waiver examinations, in addition to or instead of the review of other documentation. The GSC chair will review the request for reasonableness and conformance with policy and may consult with other faculty in evaluating the petition. In general, courses will not be waived on any grounds other than equivalent prior or substitute coursework. If a course is waived, no credit is given for the course as part of the petition.

Biostatistics Course Waiver policy
Public Health Biostatistics (PUBHBIO) 6210 is the foundational (core) biostatistics course required by all degree programs in the College of Public Health. Under exceptional circumstances, students may place out of this course as described below. These policies pertain only to course placement and enrollment.

Students with a prior public health degree (MPH, MS, or similar) that included graduate-level biostatistics coursework may, in consultation with their academic advisor, enroll in PUBHBIO 6211 directly.  The Division encourage students in this category to take the waiver exam (see below) for advisement purposes as all future biostatistics courses build on the foundation material in PUBHBIO 6210.

All other students who believe they have had sufficient background and advanced coursework in biostatistics to place out of PUBHBIO 6210 must first discuss their request with their advisor and receive advisor support. With advisor support, the student may schedule the waiver exam administered by the biostatistics division faculty (given in August every year). Students who complete the waiver exam with a score of 80% or better will have the option of enrolling directly in PUBHBIO 6211.

Note: Students with more substantial graduate-level biostatistics coursework should speak with their advisor and the biostatistics division to determine appropriate placement and future coursework.
For waiver exam information or other biostatistics placement questions, students should contact shoben [dot] 1atosu [dot] edu (Dr. Abigail Shoben.)

Epidemiology Course Waiver policy
PUBHEPI 6410 is the foundational (core) epidemiology course required by most degree programs in the College of Public Health. Non-epidemiology majors wishing to obtain a foundational (core) course waiver for PUBHEPI 6410 should follow the general foundational (core) course waiver procedures described above. However, given the importance of epidemiology to the practice of public health, students are encouraged to consider enrolling in PUBHEPI 6410, even if they have had a prior similar course.