How to Submit a Petition

A petition is a written request for special consideration related to non-compliance with mandatory course requirements or impact on academic performance. The following information outlines when and how petitions should be submitted. 

Under which circumstances should a petition be submitted?

If a  student:

  • Has missed a mandatory course requirement, e.g., a lab, an assignment deadline, a required tutorial or workshop, any type of exam, etc.;
  • Has experienced extenuating circumstances which he or she believes may have affected his or her academic performance — these are referred to as “general petitions” and are considered only in the event the student’s satisfactory performance in the program is in jeopardy.
Which reasons are considered valid for submitting a petition?
  • Medical;
  • Personal, e.g., family issues, personal relationship issues, illness of a family member, death in the family or someone close to you, religious observances.
What is the procedure for submitting a petition?
  • Download the petition form from the Faculty’s website or pick up a copy from the reception desk on the fourth floor;
  • Indicate on the petition form the request being made;
  • Provide a clear and concise statement which outlines the reason(s) for making the request;
  • Include required documentation;
  • For the 2020 Fall Term: Petitions and supporting documentation may be submitted to the Faculty Registrar via e-mail (to brenda.thrush@utoronto.ca).  If possible, these documents should be submitted as attachments in PDF format.
What form of documentation is required?

i)  For the 2020 Fall Term:   U of T has temporarily suspended the requirement for students to submit the Verification of Student Illness or Injury form for medical-related absences when submitting a petition.  Instead students must report their absence through the online absence declaration tool, which is available in ACORN under the Profile and Settings menu. 

ii)  When the reason for submitting a petition is personal, the documentation required depends on the particular situation.  Students should discuss their situation with the Faculty Registrar to determine the type of documentation that should be submitted.

Without relevant and appropriate documentation, a petition is not valid and a grade of zero will be assigned for the missed assessment.

What is the deadline to submit a petition?
  • For assessments and other mandatory course requirements that are missed during the term, petitions must be submitted within seven calendar days of the missed test, lab, assignment deadline, etc.;
  • For examinations missed during the December and April examination periods, petitions must be submitted by the last day of the relevant examination period; for make-up and supplemental examinations written during the summer months, petitions must be submitted within seven calendar days of the date of the examination. Late petitions will not be accepted.
  • General petitions (petitions that students submit when they believe their academic performance was affected by extenuating circumstances) are normally submitted as follows:
    • by the last day of the April examination period when the extenuating circumstances occurred during the fall/winter session
    • within seven calendar days of the date of the examination for make-up and supplemental examinations written during the summer months
How long does it take to find out if the petition is approved?
  • If a petition is submitted by the appropriate deadline, with a clear explanation of the circumstances, and any required documentation is provided, the request will be given prompt consideration – decisions are normally made within a few days;
  • The request will not be considered and the petition form will be returned to the student if the statement provided is insufficient or illegible, or if the required documentation is missing;
  • Once a decision has been made, the Faculty Registrar will send the student an e-mail message (via his or her University of Toronto e-mail account) advising him or her of that decision.
What if a student needs advice?
  • Students who feel that they have genuine difficulty complying with a particular course requirement should consult the Faculty Registrar as soon as they know a problem exists.
  • Students who are unsure if they should submit a petition or if their reason for submitting a petition is valid should also consult the Faculty Registrar.
Other important information:
  • Students who are given permission to write make-up examinations, or other mandatory course assessments/requirements must pay a Special Examination fee of $70 per make-up. When students receive confirmation that they are eligible for a make-up, they will also receive fee payment instructions and deadline information. Failure to make arrangements for paying this fee by the deadline provided will result in the loss of privilege to write/attend the make-up, and a grade of zero will be assigned for the missed assessment.
  • Candidates are expected to make appropriate judgments about their fitness to attend an examination and must accept the outcome of their choices.  
  • In the event that a candidate begins but does not complete an examination, the candidate is considered to have been present, and the examination will be graded.  A make-up examination will not be permitted.
  • If a candidate completes an examination, the examination will be graded and there will be no opportunity to re-write the examination.