You’ve chosen SAF as your educational partner and the place where you will develop the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to launch your career. School faculty and staff care deeply about your progression and success in the program. Sometimes extenuating circumstances arise that impact your ability to succeed and you may need accommodation in the form of an exception to a rule, faculty policy or program requirement.
The undergraduate calendar describes faculty and program rules and policies, as well as academic and co-op requirements. If you require an exception to a rule, policy or requirement, we ask that you submit a petition to the Arts Examinations & Standings (E&S) Committee. Sometimes petitions include a request for exception to more than one rule, policy or program requirement. SAF staff is available to help you through this process.
A list of academic petitions
- Exception to the policy requiring a 70% major average and seeking to have numeric grades changed to credit/no credit (CR/NCR), and if applicable, be re-admitted to the AFM program. Please see here for additional information regarding an exception to this policy.
- Exception to the policy requiring a minimum 80% Major Cumulative Average and seeking to enroll in an additional course (above 2.5 credits).
- Exception to the academic deadlines policy and to withdraw without academic penalty
A list of co-op and work/study sequence petitions
- Exception to the policy requiring four work terms, after having not completed a co-op work term due to extenuating circumstances and seeking permission to: 1) remain in the program and, 2) graduate with three out of four work terms and two out of three work term reflections.
- Exception to the policy requiring that one of six prescribed work/study sequences be followed and seeking permission to follow a unique sequence. This would include requests of time off of less than one year or when a unique sequence is needed to accommodate missed courses.
- Exception to the policy requiring submission of a work term reflection by the specific due date.
The petition process
Step 1: Begin by emailing the Academic Advisor about your concerns and she will work with you to determine if a petition is needed. She’ll also work to get you any additional help or support you may need.
She may request a meeting with you.
Step 2: If a petition is needed, the next steps are to:
- Complete a Petition for Exception to Academic Regulations (form 70A) .
- Draft a supporting letter of no longer than two pages. Your letter should clearly identify:
- The rule(s), policy or requirement(s) you are requesting exception for and the result you are seeking. For reference, see the list of petitions on this page.
- The academic term(s) impacted as the result of the circumstances.
- An overview of the circumstances, in chronological order, leading to the need for the petition.
- Compile your supporting documentation.
Step 3: Email your 70A form, supporting letter and document(s) to the Academic Advisor at SAF and she will submit it on your behalf after she and the Undergraduate Officer (Darren Charters) add comments to your petition. Alternatively, you can take the package of documents directly to the Registrar’s Office and their staff will send it to the appropriate individual at SAF for their comments.
Step 4: A decision will be made by the Arts Examinations and Standings Committee about your petition and you will be notified by email.
- Supporting documentation is required for all petitions.
- If your petition has been initiated due to a mental or physical illness, the committee will require appropriate supporting documentation. This could include doctors’ letters, a letter from a counsellor, hospital documents, etc.
- A Plan of Acton: SAF requires you to develop a 1-page plan of action. This includes a description of why you believe that you are ready to resume your studies. The Plan also should identify how you will respond (and what resources you will utilize, if applicable) if faced with adversity in the future.
- Confirmation of Fitness to Return: SAF and/or the E&S Committee may require a “Fitness to Return to Studies” (FTRS) letter from a medical professional familiar with your case. This is what it sounds like; a professional opinion as to whether or not your illness is likely to continue to interfere with your future studies. In some cases a doctor will be able to say that a student has recovered completely, and in others they may be able to say that the illness can be managed. Depending on your circumstances, this might also be included in your medical documentation (a physical injury, for example, might be expected to heal within a certain time frame).
Timing of Petitions
- Petitions can take time to be reviewed and decided upon by the Arts E&S Committee. The sooner you submit your petition, the sooner you will learn about the decision.
- If you are taking time away from your studies or co-op for reasons due to health, your petition should be submitted when your fitness to return is supported by documentation.
What types of decisions are made?
- Granted: The Committee supports your petition and an exception to the rule, policy or requirement is granted.
- Not Granted: The Committee does not support your petition and an exception to the rule, policy or requirement is not granted.
- Deferred: The Committee deemed that here was insufficient evidence and/or further information is required in order to make a decision.
- Not Granted as requested – The Committee supports an exception, but not as presented in the petition, and so modifications are made to request and a decision is made.