Absence & Academic Consideration

We understand there may be times when you are unable to complete your academic responsibilities. You may be able to avoid academic penalty by knowing your options when these situations arise. To learn more, you can visit What is Academic Consideration?

Before requesting academic consideration, review your course outline to know the dates, deadlines, and the value of the work toward your final grade. Check the syllabus to see if the course instructor has made any provisions for extensions, or make-up tests and exams. Once you have confirmed this information, you can decide which reporting method from the options below is best for your situation.

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)

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

Absences longer than 48-hours, course work worth more than 30% of the final grade, religious/spiritual accommodations, varsity commitments, and final exams must be approved by the Academic Counselling Office. Documentation requirements will be determined based on the reason for your request.

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. All forms and examples of documentation can be found in Your Resource Kit.


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:

  • A Student Medical Certificate, available for download in Your Resource Kit (preferred).
  • Supporting documentation from Student Health Services.
  • Emergency and Urgent Care notes may be accepted if sufficient information is provided, e.g. duration and severity of the illness or injury, and the impact on academic participation.

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. Compassionate reasons can range from bereavement to weddings and other organized events. 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.