Course substitutions and waivers

You should complete your program curriculum outlined in TCC’s College Catalog. However, in some circumstances, it may be appropriate to substitute or waive a course requirement.

Course substitutions

A course substitution is a course that takes the place of a required course in a curriculum, provided the course substitution meets the content and/or spirit of the required course.

Approved substitutions will appear on your academic record as soon as the petition has been processed, as long as the course is either graded or enrolled. The substitution will not be visible on your student record in SIS if you have not yet enrolled in the substitute course. Note: substitutions granted by TCC may not be transferable to other institutions. 

Course waivers

A course waiver exempts you from taking a required course in your curriculum because the academic dean has determined you already have the knowledge and skills taught in the course, and would not benefit from repeating the content.

You do not earn credits for a course that has been waived. If sufficient unused credits are not available to replace the waived credits, you may be required to complete additional course work; see your advisor.

Approved waivers will appear on your academic record as soon as the petition has been processed. However, the overall units on the advisement report will display a deficiency equal to the number of credits that have been waived. The graduation team will review the deficiency when you apply for graduation.

How to obtain a substitution or waiver

Follow the steps below to obtain a course substitution or waiver:

  1. Gather sufficient documentation and justification to warrant a substitution or waiver. Course substitution requests must include a description of the course to be substituted and explanation of how it meets the content and spirit of the requirement. Course waiver requests must include documentation explaining how you have met the course content requirements.
  2. Review your documentation with an academic advisor. Work with the advisor to complete either the Petition for Course Substitution form or the Petition for Course Waiver form. If the advisor believes the request merits further consideration, your student's petition will be forwarded to the appropriate academic dean.

Approval & notification

The academic dean will make a decision on the request (usually within 1 week) and inform the Office of the College Registrar. You will receive an email from the College Registrar once your petition has been received and processed.

Important information

Credit is awarded or waived based on the curriculum indicated on the petition form. You must submit a new Petition for Course Substitution form or Petition for Course Waiver form if you change your curriculum.

Contact us

Phone: 757-822-1900
Fax: 757-822-1955

Mailing address:
Tidewater Community College

Office of the College Registrar
P.O. Box 9000
Norfolk, VA 23509-9000