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Modification to Degree Requirements

A student who has a documented disability and is registered with Ramapo College’s Office of Specialized Services may be eligible for a modification to degree requirements if his/her disability prevents him/her from completing that requirement.


To be eligible to petition for a modification to degree requirements under this policy, the student must meet the following criteria:

  1. The student is registered with Ramapo College’s Office of Specialized Services (OSS).
  2. The student has a documented disability that precludes the successful completion of the requirement under petition.
  3. In situations in which a negative outcome cannot be predicted in advance, it is expected that the student has attempted to complete the degree requirement with all previously-approved accommodations available to the student.


It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the petition and to provide all required information and documents. The student must provide OSS with the following information and documentation, which will remain in the student’s confidential OSS file.

  1. Current, relevant, and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from an appropriate professional (e.g., physician, learning disabilities specialist, neuropsychologist, or psychiatrist). Documentation must substantiate both the specific disabling condition and its impact upon the student’s ability in the subject area.
  2. A complete case history documenting the student’s problems in learning related material from high school until the date of the petition, including the following:

a.   A typed personal statement by the student indicating the reasons for the request, including prior experiences with the subject matter;

b.  A history of academic accommodations, if any, used by student during course attempts at Ramapo College;

c. Information regarding special services and degree modifications received during elementary, secondary, and/or post-secondary education at other institutions, if relevant;


Phase 1:  Determination of Recommendation by OSS

  1. The student submits required documentation, as previously specified, to OSS for review. The student will be interviewed by the OSS Director or designee as part of this phase within 7 business days.
  2. The OSS Director will consult with faculty in the subject area under petition to determine if appropriate accommodations other than a modification to degree requirements can be made. The OSS Director will ask the dean of the school that houses the subject area to recommend appropriate faculty for this purpose.
  3. Within 7 business days, the OSS Director will notify the student in writing whether additional information is needed to consider the petition. If the student does not submit the requested information by the deadline specified in the written notice, the file will be closed. If the necessary information is secured at a later date, the student may re-initiate the procedure.
  4. Within 14 business days of receipt of required documentation, the OSS Director will make a determination and will notify the student of the decision in writing.

a. If the petition results in a recommendation for appropriate academic accommodations other than a modification to degree requirements, a meeting with the student will be conducted to arrange for implementation of the recommendation(s).

b.  If the petition results in a recommendation for a modification to degree requirements, OSS will send a portfolio containing the student request and relevant supporting documents to the Vice Provost. (See phase 2.)


After Phase 1: If the student disagrees with the recommendation of OSS regarding eligibility for a modification of degree requirements, s/he may file an appeal to the college’s ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer.  The Compliance Officer will review all pertinent material and will determine whether the review process should continue through Phase 2. The decision of the Compliance Officer is final.

Phase 2:  Determination of Appropriate Degree Modification by Committee and Provost Approval

  1. The Vice Provost will form an ad hoc committee to review the case. The committee members may request additional information at any time during this phase. The committee will be comprised of the following individuals:

a.  The Vice Provost, who will serve as chair.

b.  The dean of the school of the student’s major.

c.  The convener of the student’s major.

d.  One faculty member from the subject area under petition, appointed by the dean of the school that houses that subject area.

e.  OSS Representative.

2. Within 20 business days of review of all requested information, the committee will propose if a modification can be made and will design a plan if a modification is appropriate.

3. The committee will either forward its proposed modification to the Provost or notify the student in writing that a modification cannot be made.

4. The Provost will render a decision and inform the student in writing within ten business days of receipt of the committee’s proposal. Any approved degree modification will be documented in the student’s academic file. The Provost’s decision is final and may not be appealed.

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