Definition of Petitions
A petition is a student’s formal request for an exception to the rules and regulations of the University. A request must be submitted via the online petition system.
The reasons that support the petition must be clear and concise and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The onus is on the petitioner to demonstrate the validity of the request(s). All petitions are considered in confidence by or on behalf of the Committee on Standing.
The University is governed by a series of rules and regulations that are intended to ensure that all our students are treated equitably and fairly. We acknowledge, however, that in some instances there are valid reasons why students should be granted an exception from these rules. In considering petitions, the Committee on Standing is sensitive to the needs of students who are experiencing problems that are beyond their power to foresee or control, but may not always be able to grant the request.
Students who feel they have genuine difficulties complying with a particular regulation(s) should consult an Academic Advisor in the Office of the Registrar as soon as they are aware that a problem exists.
For a complete list of all petition types and guidelines for submission see the Office of the Registrar website under the Petitions section.
In case of illness or extenuating circumstances at the time of a final examination, afflicted students should consider not writing. Instead, they should seek medical attention on the day of the exam, declare their absence on their ACORN account, and petition online within 72 hours of the missed examination. All supporting documents and payment must also be submitted within 72 hours of the missed examination. Students cannot re-write an examination that they have already attempted.
The examination period is published well in advance and students are expected to be available during this period. Students who make personal commitments during the examination period do so at their own risk.
Students who are granted a petition to defer their final exam are not excused from any of the work of the course, but may be allowed to write their examination at a later date.
Students will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of $70 for each deferred examination.
Students who miss a deferred examination will receive a mark of zero for the examination in the calculation of the final grade. Only under exceptional circumstances (e.g., hospitalization, severe personal emergency), and when supported by strong documentation, will a petition for a further deferral be granted. Students should seek academic advising in the Office of the Registrar when submitting a request for a further deferral of their unwritten final examination. Students who are granted further deferrals of unwritten final examinations write the exam the next academic session in which the course is offered.
When a student’s petition for a deferred examination in a given course is granted, an "SDF" notation is assigned in place of the original grade on a student’s transcript. Courses with the notation SDF are not included in grade point average calculation. If the student does not write the deferred examination, the "SDF" notation will be replaced by the original grade with a grade of "0" for the final examination in the calculation of the final grade. If a petition for a further deferral is granted, the SDF notation will remain on record until the deferred exam has been graded and the amended grade has been approved.
A student who writes a deferred examination in a course that serves as a prerequisite for subsequent courses may enrol in those courses at the discretion of the department, provided that the term mark in the prerequisite (deferred) course is at least 60%. Failure to pass the prerequisite course or to meet other departmental grade standards may result in cancellation of enrolment in the subsequent courses.
Late Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty (WDR)
Petitions requesting late withdrawal from courses must be filed within six months after the end of the session in which a course was taken. Late withdrawal petitions are not granted if the student has completed the course (i.e., written the final examination or completed the final major assignment/test in a course without a final exam).
Students who have been sanctioned for committing an academic offence in a course are not permitted to request late withdrawal from a course. Please note that when late withdrawal without academic penalty is granted, a permanent notation of "WDR" is placed on the academic record in lieu of a course grade.
Extension of Time Beyond the End of Term
Instructors have the authority to grant an extension of time for students to submit completed term work before the end of the examination period. Petitions concerning extensions of time to complete term work later than the end of the exam period must be filed by the last day of the examination period.The student is expected to consult the instructor about a proposed deadline before petitioning for an extension of time.
When a petition for an extension of time in a given course is granted, an "SDF" notation is assigned in place of the original grade on a student’s transcript. Courses with the notation SDF are not included in grade point average calculation. If the student does not hand in the term work by the deadline, the "SDF" notation will be replaced by the original grade with a grade of "0" for the term work in the calculation of the final grade. If a petition for a further extension is granted, the SDF notation will remain on record until the term work has been graded and the amended grade has been approved.
Supporting Documentation for Petition
Petitions must be supported by original documentation; photocopies and faxes are not acceptable.
It is the responsibility of the student to provide medical or other supporting documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining documentation (e.g. a doctor’s note) is the responsibility of the student.
If illness is cited as the reason for the petition, it must be accompanied by an original U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form (available at www.utm.utoronto.ca/forms) stating that the student was examined and diagnosed at the time of the illness and, in the case of exams, on the day of the exam or immediately after (i.e. the next day), and must indicate a serious degree of incapacitation on academic functioning (e.g. unable to attend classes, write a test/examination). A statement from a physician that merely confirms a report of illness and/or disability made by the student is not acceptable.
If support has been obtained from someone other than a practitioner listed on the U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form then a Verification of Extenuating Circumstances Form is acceptable.
Other documentation can include, but is not limited to: letter of support from Accessibility, automobile collision or police reports, death certificate, and supporting documentation from employers, lawyers and other related personnel.
If a student's initial petition request is denied, they may appeal (through the following process).
- Committee on Standing: The Committee on Standing will review an appeal with new information not presented in the original petition request within 90 days of the original petition decision date. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar.
- U of T Mississauga Academic Appeals Subcommittee: In order to appeal the decision of the Committee on Standing, students may download the appeal form from the Academic Appeals Subcommittee website. Appeals must be submitted by fax or e-mail within 90 days of the decision of the Committee on Standing.
- Academic Appeals Committee of the Academic Board of Governing Council: Appeals of the U of T Mississauga Academic Appeals Subcommittee must include a Notice of Appeal Form. Students looking to file an appeal to the Academic Board of Governing Council should carefully read and follow the instructions outlined here www.adfg.utoronto.ca/processes/acappeals.htm.