Absence & Academic Consideration


We understand that short-term absences happen and that all students must contend with ailments, varying demands, and the pressures of everyday life.  Missing an occasional tutorial/class/lecture/lab/quiz will not have a significant impact on a students’ academics as a whole, and for the most part, students are able to catch up without incident.  Part of being a student means learning to cope with and manage these ailments, demands, and pressures – all of which are reasonably expected to surface during the school year.  Obtaining medical notes or related documentation for short-term absences is not an acceptable burden to place on the medical system, nor is this practice appropriate in cases where short-term absences are handled by “best of” grading practices, or other strategies employed by an instructor for their courses.  If missing a tutorial/class/lecture/lab/quiz has no academic implication, there is no need for you to do anything . . . just get better and/or attend to reason behind your absence.  If there is something minor missed (e.g., a component worth less than 10% of your course assessment), please check your course outline(s) or OWL site to determine how the professor is handling absences for minor assessments.  If it is not mentioned in the course outline, please ask your professor about it.

Short-term Absences

Academic consideration for short-term absences that have minimal impact on academics (i.e., a component worth less than 10% of your course assessment) will no longer be recommended by our Social Science Counselling Office to instructors.  Instead, we will follow this policy on Academic Consideration, which allows for instructors to navigate consideration for course components worth less than 10% of a student’s final grade.  Supporting documentation is not required in these instances and should not be submitted to instructors. 

Long-term Absences

Long-term absences, that may include extended absences for positive Covid tests, which affect your completion of major course components (i.e., assessments worth 10% or more, like mid-terms and final exams) should be supported by medical (or other relevant) documentation and submitted to our office through the Help Portal.  Please remember that supporting documentation should be submitted promptly with dates that refer specifically to the start and end of your illness (or whatever is responsible for hindering your ability to complete the assessment on time).  In other words, medical and other documentation submitted to us long after an illness/absence has occurred is often not helpful in supporting your request for an academic consideration.  We also ask that you submit your request for academic consideration to our office within 24-hours of when you missed completing a major component of a course assessment.  If too much time passed between when a course component was due and the submission of your request with appropriate documentation this will delay processing of your request, and result in you losing the ability to catch-up, write make-up exams, be granted essay extensions, or approve re-weights, etc. 

Requests and supporting documentation can be submitted through our Help Portal by following Missed Course Work > Academic Consideration Request. All forms and examples of documentation can be found in Your Resource Kit.

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, we encourage you to visit Accessible Education for more information.

If your situation is related to a midterm or final exam, please visit our Exams section before reporting an absence or submitting a request for academic consideration.

Self-Reported Absence (SRA) - Discontinued September 2022

Self-Reported Absences will no longer be available to students as of September 2022. Please stay tuned for updates on a new absence reporting system.

SRAs are for absences up to 48 hours for course work that is worth 30% or less of your final grade. Documentation is not required.

SRAs may not be used for final exams.

Do not use an SRA for religious reasons or varsity commitments. These accommodations are supported through the Academic Counselling Office and require documentation to be submitted (see Documented Academic Consideration).

Follow these directions to submit an SRA:

  1. Log in to Student Center
  2. Click on the Self-Reported Absence link in the bottom right corner, under “Student Services Links”
  3. When completing the form, make sure you include each course and assignment or test you will miss during your absence.
  4. Email your course instructor(s) within 24-hours of submitting the SRA to make alternate arrangements to complete your work.

Up to date information about SRAs can be found at Requests for Academic Consideration using the Self-Reporting Absence Form and on the Registrar’s FAQ page.

Documented Academic Consideration

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, we encourage you to visit Accessible Education for more information.

Requests and supporting documentation can be submitted through our Help Portal by following Missed Course Work > Academic Consideration Request. All forms and examples of documentation can be found in Your Resource Kit.

2023-24 Notes for absences due to Covid: supporting medical documentation (medical note) is required for academic consideration.


Our academic counsellors require documentation from the treating physician or licensed health care provider before considering requests based on physical and mental health. Academic consideration is available to students who are seriously affected by their health, and as a result, are unable to meet their academic responsibilities.

Options for medical documentation include:

Documentation should be submitted within 48-hours of receiving it from your physician or licensed health care provider. Do not wait to advise your course instructors of any absence and your intention to request academic consideration.


If your course requirements fall on a religious day, or conflict with a spiritual ceremony, you may be eligible for academic consideration. Make sure you contact our office as soon as you are aware there is a conflict. 

Compassionate Reasons

We understand that life happens outside your student experience. We also know that an unfortunate event can disrupt your life without warning, bringing with it extreme consequences. We are here to support you as best we can, but we ask that you remember these considerations are not granted automatically and documentation must be provided.

Documentation must include dates and support your connection to the event. Some examples include:

  • For bereavement: funeral or visitation notices, a death certificate or obituary.
  • For weddings: an invitation and your relationship to the wedding party.
  • For non-varsity sporting events and non-Western academic events: proof of the date, time and duration, along with evidence that you are required to attend.

We advise you to submit your request as soon as possible, and avoid committing to any event prior to finding out if your absence will be supported. Taking action early will help to mitigate academic penalties. If you are unsure about your situation, or you are having difficulty getting the required documentation, please contact our office for help.

Varsity Commitments

Students who are unable to meet their academic requirements due to varsity commitments are eligible for academic consideration if appropriate documentation is submitted in a timely manner. Students are advised to submit their requests as soon as they are aware of a conflict. A varsity form must be completed and submitted with your request. The form is available in Your Resource Kit.