How to Write a Letter of Appeal to Retake a College Course

College and university classes, especially required classes, fill up fast and student space is often limited. Most colleges and universities limit the number of times a student can sign up for class so that other students have a chance to take the course. Students who need to retake a course, but have reached their maximum allotted attempts, can write a letter to a request an additional chance to take the course. Permission to retake a course is granted at the discretion of the college or university, but a well-written letter may help sway a decision.


Check the college website before you begin writing your appeal letter to see if there is a specific process to follow, specific forms to submit and a list of what department or staff accept course appeal letters. If the information isn't available online, consult with your college academic counselor for guidance on the process. Sending the letter to the wrong department or person can further slow down the process and may make it more difficult to appeal.


Write your address at the top left of the paper with the date one line below your address. Below the date, write the recipient's name, department, and address. Check the college website beforehand to see if there is a specific process to follow, specific forms to submit, who you should submit your request to and what department and address receives these letters for processing.


Begin your letter with a salutation followed by the recipient's name. Use "Dear Sir or Madam" if the correct recipient name at the college's is unknown or not listed.

State Your Intent

The next step is to state the intent of your letter. This is a simple request to make that you will support in other sections. The main intent is that you would like to retake a course at the college and are unable to do that using the regular channels available. Further, if you have been denied registration, state that this letter is an appeal to retake a course.


After you address the letter and state your intent, include the reasons why you were unable to complete the course successfully on previous attempts. Detail any medical problems, learning disabilities, financial or personal hardships, or family issues that affected your class performance. Also state why you need the course in your college schedule and how it will potentially affect your college career if you aren't allowed to retake it. State your plan to successfully complete the course on your next attempt, including study strategies, tutoring options, coping techniques or a lighter academic schedule.


If you were initially unable to successfully complete the course due to medical reasons or other reasons that can be supported by outside references, include any documentation that may strengthen your case, such as doctor's notes, grade reports and other records.


As you write your appeal letter, keep basic etiquette in mind throughout. Conclude the letter with a thank you to the reader for his or her time and consideration. Close your letter with "Sincerely" or "Best Regards," and then sign your name.