Students who are experiencing difficulty in completing course work, have concerns about grades they have received, or who have been disadvantaged by academic regulations or degree requirements have the option to submit an appeal or petition.
Appeals are requests for reconsideration regarding grades in term work, final grades, penalties for academic dishonesty, or decisions made concerning recent petitions.
Petitions are requests for the waiver of an academic regulation, degree requirement or academic deadline, due to which a student has experienced undue hardship or disadvantage. Most petitions are reviewed by an Academic Advisor before they are submitted.
Academic appeals and petitions involve a student’s academic record, and not financial transactions. A successful academic petition does not automatically trigger a financial appeal or review of a student’s financial responsibilities to the University. For further information concerning the financial appeals process, consult the Student Accounts office.
The petitions process involves staff in the Office of the Registrar, the Academic Advisor and the Committee on Undergraduate Petitions (CUP).
For late add or overload petitions, the student completes the petition form, attaches the necessary documentation and/or statement of grounds, and submits the petition package directly to the Office of the Registrar.
For all other petitions, the procedure for handling petitions is:
- The Academic Advisor and student discuss the situation and determine if a petition is the appropriate procedure
- The student fills out the petition documentation and meets with the Academic Advisor to discuss the petition.
- The Academic Advisor reviews the documentation, ensures all supporting documentation is included, discusses the petition with the student and forwards to the Office of the Registrar
- Staff in the Office of the Registrar will process the petition, either approving it administratively in accordance with established practice or referring to the Committee on Undergraduate Petitions
- Staff in the Office of the Registrar will notify the student by email of the outcome of the petition
- If the petition is denied, the student may consider appealing the decision to the Special Appeals Committee through the University Secretariat. All decisions of the Special Appeals Committee are final.
Committee on Undergraduate Petitions (CUP)
The membership of CUP consists of the Chair, 3 faculty members and 2 student members. CUP meets regularly to consider petitions; students who submit a petition do not appear before the Committee.
Documentation verifying the circumstances outlined in the petition letter must be provided at the time the petition is submitted. Failure to submit appropriate supporting documentation could result in the denial of the petition. Personal documentation submitted in relation to a petition will be held in confidence.
Students may present different types of supporting documentation for their petition.
- Medical grounds: petitions submitted on medical grounds must include at least one of: an Attending Physician’s statement, a statement from the University or other health service, or a statement from the University or other counselling service. Only original medical documentation is acceptable. The forms are to be completed and signed by the physician or counsellor.
- If non-medical grounds are presented, the appropriate documentation must be submitted, e.g.: death certificates, obituary notices, automobile accident reports, airline/train/bus tickets/receipts for emergency travel, letters of explanation from employers, lawyers etc.
- course performance summary – the student must ask the Course Instructor for each course in which special consideration is being requested to provide details of that student’s attendance in the course, work completed and grades assigned (if any). If the Course Instructor is not available, the chair of the department/program should complete the form when acting on behalf of the Course Instructor. This information is only required for late withdrawal petitions.
Submission of the petition
In most cases, students will submit the completed petition package to their Academic Advisor, who will review to ensure that the package is complete. The Academic Advisor will forward the package to the Office of the Registrar. Students are strongly advised to keep a copy of the entire package for their records. Petitions for late adds or overloads may be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar.