All students must be qualified to participate in any program of academic study with or without reasonable accommodations. Therefore, students with disabilities are not excused from course prerequisites, GPA requirements, or degree requirements. However, in some limited circumstances it may be appropriate for a substitution, not a waiver, of a peripheral academic requirement such as a course. Such accommodations are made only when it is clear that the student's disability makes completion of the requirement impossible and that such an accommodation does not alter the integrity of the academic program.
Consideration of a substitution is done on a case-by-case basis, and the final decision rests with the Dean of the student's college or school. Evidence of a disabling condition affecting the skills needed for the required course must be provided to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), and the Director of SSD will work with the Deans of the academic colleges and schools. Course adaptation or accommodation must be considered before a substitution is granted.
Considerations Regarding Foreign Language Substitution
Please be advised that Northwestern does not grant foreign language waivers to any students. Visit the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) website for guidelines regarding foreign language substitution. Students with disabilities impacting foreign language acquisition who are registered with SSD can work with the Assistant Director of SSD, who is the office liaison to Northwestern's Council on Language Instruction.