Petitions must be filed online using eService.
What is a Petition?
UofT Scarborough is governed by a series of rules and regulations that are intended to ensure that all our students are treated equitably and fairly. Official rules, regulations and the formal articulation of policy can be found in the Calendar as well as petition information under the special consideration, petitions and appeals section of the Calendar
UofT Scarborough acknowledges, that in some instances, there are valid reasons why students should be granted an exception from these rules. A petition is a student's formal request for an exception to these rules and regulations. It is important to note that UofT Scarborough is sensitive to the needs of students who are experiencing problems that are beyond one’s power to foresee or control, but may not always be able to grant the student’s request.
A petition is not necessary or appropriate in every case. The following are NOT petitionable:
- fee refunds
- late enrolment in a course after the published deadline
- most term work
- minor illness is not ordinarily grounds for a petition; students are expected to make every effort to write exams and complete assignments
- matters involving the conduct of an instructor, grading practices and course organization should be dealt with in the relevant Academic Department.
How to Submit a Petition
UofT Scarborough students complete and submit petitions online using eService. Petitions should be submitted by the published deadline, explaining the reasons for the petition and, in most cases, you must submit supporting documentation (within 10 business days). Once your petition has been submitted, it is assigned a petition reference number that is made available to you on eService.
To access eService you will need a valid UTORid account. If you need assistance with your UTORid account, visit the IITS Student Computing Help Desk, rooms B487 or IC35.Top
When filing a petition you authorize the release of relevant parts of your University record to certain members of the University staff and/or faculty. Please be assured that anyone involved in the petition process will hold all information in the strictest confidence. To view the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act and information click here.Top
In most cases, you will need to provide official documentation that supports your case. Generally speaking, the stronger your documentation, the stronger your case.
Proper documentation is both a formal requirement for a petition and a necessary tool to ascertain the facts. You should not take it personally that UofT Scarborough requires, for example, evidence of a relative's death. Such documentation simply must accompany a petition to justify an exception being made to the published rules.
Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form
The most common documentation is the Verification of Student Illness or Injury form. The verification form can ONLY be completed by a physician, surgeon, nurse practitioner, registered psychologist or dentist. Those doctor's notes with 'Patient was ill' or "Off school" scribbled on little prescription pads do not provide sufficient information. Also, the Verification of Student Illness or Injury form must indicate that the doctor diagnosed and treated you when you were ill; it cannot just report that you told the doctor after-the-fact that you were ill previously. See the Petition section in the " Calendar."
- Verification of Student Illness or Injury form
- How to complete the Verification of Student Illness or Injury form - see sample
- Frequently asked questions about the form
Other Supporting Documentation
Other documentation can certainly be relevant. If you have to work, a letter from your employer; if you've had a traffic accident, the police accident report; if someone died, the death certificate or a funeral notice; if your request involves travel, your ticket or itinerary. If you have been seeing someone for help with your personal problems, a letter on official letterhead is sufficient. This person should not complete the verification form since they are not strictly "medical," but the letter should answer some of the same questions, as that sort of information is what the Committee needs to decide your case, so you won't have to go back a second time for more details. Letters from family members are generally not helpful.
If you are unable to get the supporting documentation by the deadline to petition, submit your petition without it. You will have up 10 business days from the date you submit your petition to provide supporting documentation. Needless to say, your petition will not be processed until the documentation has been received so it's in your best interests to get this documentation in as soon as is possible!
Documentation must include the Petition Reference number and be submitted to the UofT Scarborough Registrar’s Office.
Deadlines & Late Petitions
You are expected to petition by the appropriate deadline. If there are justifiable and compelling reasons why you are petitioning after the deadline, you will need to explain this on the petition. "Ignorance" (never a good justification in a place dedicated to knowledge) is not an adequate reason. If there are legitimate reasons, you will be asked to explain them as part of the petition or appeal. The lateness issue will be addressed first, and only if the reasons are considered legitimate will the Dean’s Advisory Committee address the substance of your petition.
For a list of petition deadlines click here.
You are expected to check your registration status and view your courses on ACORN/ROSI during the course enrolment period and periodically afterwards to ensure your registration is correct. However, there may be occasion when you have made an honest mistake or the University has made an error, in which case, you should petition to correct the error.Top
Dropping Courses after the Deadline
The "last date to drop courses without academic penalty" (see dates in calendar) is the last date you can go onto ACORN/ROSI to drop a course and not have it show on your transcript. If you miss the deadline or decide afterwards that you do not wish to finish the course you may withdraw late (LWD) from the course on eService. For information about this process and the timelines, click here
If you miss the deadline to withdraw late (LWD), you may submit a petition for late withdrawal provided you have justifiable and compelling reasons for submitting this type of petition as you already had two opportunities to withdraw from the course. Note: This is not a matter for an Instructor's discretion. Instructors cannot grant late withdrawal. After the deadlines, this can only come as a response to a petition.
The academic drop date is more than 3/4 of the way through a course. This means you have had most of the course to decide whether you can or want to complete it. The grading practices policy requires that your Instructors return to you at least one significant piece of marked work (worth a minimum of 20% of the final grade) so you have an idea how you are doing. Most Instructors do much more than the minimum, so you usually have a pretty clear idea of how a course is going.
Once the drop date arrives, it is assumed that you have reviewed your situation, assessed your health, your personal circumstances, your ability in the subject, your marks so far in the course - all the factors you need to review when deciding whether or not to drop the course. You are assumed to have made an informed decision -explicitly or implicitly- and, having made your decision, you are accountable for it.
Essentially, the only reason for requesting to drop a course after the late withdrawal deadline is if something serious happened after the deadline that you could not control or foresee which prevents you from completing the course. Something may have emerged unexpectedly, or a personal or medical situation may have gradually grown worse or taken an unexpected turn after the drop date, but something has happened that you were unable to factor into your decision or allow for in your planning. Speak with an Academic & Learning Strategist if you are having such problems.
Requests & Results
In your petition you are requesting "Late Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty." The "academic penalty" is not an especially punitive mark; you will simply be assigned whatever marks you have earned for completed work and then be assigned zero for any uncompleted work. The result will likely be an unwanted mark. If your petition for late withdrawal is granted, the course will still appear on your transcript, but with a 'WDR' entered instead of a mark (indicating withdrawal). It is a neutral designation and is not factored into your GPA.
You will not receive any refund for a course dropped by petition, nor for courses dropped for any reason after the last date for refunds as outlined in the Refund Schedule. The question of refunds is not connected at all to the academic withdrawal; refunds are driven entirely by the Refund Schedule and the date of the transaction, not the reasons for dropping.
Students often think that, if they must drop for reasons beyond their control, they should not be charged the fee. The University's fees policy makes it clear that students enrolled in a course past the course change period will be charged the relevant fee. There is no fees appeal mechanism for presenting your reasons for a refund.
Many reasons for wanting out of a course are perfectly legitimate -before the drop date - but not accepted after the drop date as reasons for granting late withdrawal. Some familiar ones are:
- I'm going to fail.
- I won't get a mark that reflects my true ability.
- I don't like the professor.
- I'm not going to get the mark I need for medical school, law school, grad school, etc.
- I don't need the course any longer.
- My parents wouldn't let me drop my failing course until now.
- I didn't want to lose the tuition I paid for the course but now I'm going to fail
- I've had money problems and was too busy working to think about dropping.
Again, these may be real enough reasons for wanting to drop, but they are not sufficient for late withdrawal. Weigh your situation carefully as the drop date approaches. Consult an Academic & Learning Strategist beforehand for help assessing your situation, or help handling your general academic situation if a petition appears not to be the appropriate remedy. If you are registered with Access Ability Services you should speak to your Primary Counselor if your disability is impacting your work.
In general, late withdrawal is a last resort, and other less-final remedies may help you salvage a course or your year. Timing is important with late withdrawal, both to meet the deadlines and to give you the best possible chance of addressing your problems and moving ahead with your studies. Get some advice from an Academic & Learning Strategist on issues that appear to threaten your success or completion, and sooner rather than later. If late withdrawal is not possible, you will know that you have to redouble your efforts and do the best you can under the circumstances. If late withdrawal is granted, especially before the end of the term, you will have more time to focus on your other courses. In any case, you will have a better opportunity to address your problems, perhaps using the many support services the University makes available.
Term work (e.g., essays, tests, lab reports) is generally a matter between you and your Instructor. Most term work is not petitionable. However, once classes end, then petitions come into play.
Diplomacy & Protocol
Policies for term work may vary from Instructor to Instructor. You will have to make arrangements for each course according to the expectations and requirements of that course's Instructor. In general, Instructors expect you to let them know if you are having trouble and to be responsible in how you handle it, i.e., contacting them as soon as a problem arises, accepting responsibility for prioritizing and managing your work-load, doing everything you can to get work done and in to them, etc.
There are three different periods relating to extensions for term work:
- If you cannot submit term work by your Instructor's deadline speak with the Instructor as soon as possible to request special consideration. This is granted at his/her discretion. That usually ends the matter, but if you need to appeal a decision you disagree with, you go up the academic route of appeal to the Departmental/Divisional Chair.
- If it is close to the end of the session and you need an extension of time to complete term work or to write a term test, your Instructor jointly with the Chair may give you an extension for up to a week after the last date to submit term work.
- If you need more than one week's extension or the classes have finished, you definitely have to petition to request an extension.
You must file your petition to submit work after the course deadline by the end of the final exam period at the latest. In your petition, you should:
- identify precisely the nature of the piece of work for which you are requesting an extension
- indicate the assignment's original due date and any extensions already granted
- explain why you were unable to complete the work
- propose a reasonable plan, including a new deadline for when you will complete the work.
- submit documentation to support your case
The Committee normally expects the extension to be proportionate to the delay caused by the problem that prevented you from completing it on time, e.g., a 2-week extension is probably appropriate for a 2-week illness. Mention in your plan any time you have to set aside to complete other term work under informal extensions or to write Deferred Exams.
In general, you should plan first to devote your energies to completing your final exams for this and your other courses, and then resume work on the overdue assignment immediately after your exams are finished (so you don't have to generate more petitions for the exams). If you need advice on managing your conflicting academic obligations, you should consult an Academic & Learning Strategist.
In the Meantime...
While waiting for a response to your petition, you are expected to be working on the assignment, i.e., don't wait for approval before starting back to work on the assignment. If a positive petition response arrives close to the deadline you proposed, you may be asked to submit the work on short notice, since UofT Scarborough expected you to be working on it in the meantime "in good faith" - rather than waiting for approval before you started to work. Also, if you have work from one session to complete after the session has ended, you should be careful about taking on new courses in the next session, since the two sets of obligations may interfere with one another.
Re-Reading (remarking of final examinations and term work)
Petitions for re-reading of final exams or of term work that was returned to you after the end of a session and after the Instructor has submitted grades for the course must be submitted within ninety days of the relevant final examination period and will be considered only if you:
- articulate clearly your grounds for reconsideration and identify specifically the substance of an answer where you feel the mark you were given was not evaluated fully.
- show that the alleged misevaluation is of a substantial nature:
- in an objective answer, that a correct answer has been counted as incorrect
- in a subject or essay answer, that the response has been under evaluated substantially.
- provide relevant documentation to support your argument (i.e. class notes, etc.) Make sure you highlight sections in your documentation that relate to your argument.
Evidence or documentation to support your argument must be submitted with the petition as well as a copy of the final examination (when available). See eService for exam copy information. Exam copies must be requested within ninety days of the relevant final examination period, via eService.
Note: There is a non-refundable administrative fee charged for approved requests to have a final examination re-read. Payment information and the payment deadline will be listed in your eService message upon notification of the petition result.Top
Academic Suspension - Requesting Deferral
You are REQUIRED to meet with an Academic & Learning Strategist before submitting this type of petition.
If you have been suspended for poor academic performance and think you might want to petition, you should understand the purpose and rationale behind UofT Scarborough's policy on "Academic Standing."
Once students have attempted at least three full credits their "status" will be assessed at the end of each session. If your cumulative GPA falls below 1.60, you are no longer "In Good Standing." (See the Calendar for the full rules on "Standing, Academic Probation, and Suspension.")
The first time it happens, you are placed "On Probation." This is meant as a warning light -signaling "Proceed with caution". UofT Scarborough's intention with probation is to notify you that your results are not adequate and that, if you continue with this level of performance, you will not graduate.
All students on Probation receive an explicit warning from the Registrar in the form of a Probation Letter, advising them to read the explanation in the Calendar, and advising them to seek counselling or participate in support programs/workshops offered by the Academic Advising and Career Centre.
If you receive such a letter, you should definitely take up the invitation to speak with an Academic & Learning Strategist.
Probation is not petitionable, since you are permitted to enrol in further courses and work things out. It is assumed that you will do just that: heed the warning, seek advice, get help and then sort through and fix whatever problems led to Probation in the first place -by changing academic direction, working on study skills, sorting out family or medical problems, or whatever else is necessary.
If you do enrol in further courses when you are "On Probation" and your performance does not improve sufficiently by the end of the session when your Academic Standing is assessed again, you may find yourself "suspended for 4 months" in the first instance, or "suspended for 12 months" or "suspended for 36 months" if things do not improve subsequently. (Again, see the Calendar for the full rules.)
Very few students welcome a Suspension, and many want to petition to be allowed to continue immediately. They often want to "make up for lost time" and promise to redouble their efforts. However, they have just spent one whole session on Probation and their results are still marginal. They are not headed in the right direction.
When you petition to have a Suspension deferred, you must recognize that the Committee has three considerations when processing your petition:
- You were clearly warned in advance that you were in a "danger zone," by the letter from the Registrar. Your academic status is also available to you on ACORN/ROSI.
- You were advised to get help sorting things out and to get advice if things still weren't going well. You are responsible for seeking help from the variety of services available to students.
- You appear not to have resolved the problems since your results have not improved significantly.
For this reason, petitions to "Defer a Suspension" are infrequently granted. This is not meant to be punitive - indeed, just the opposite. Allowing you to enrol in even more courses without having resolved your problems just means that you will be in even deeper GPA difficulty at the end of the next session - so deep you may never get up to the 1.60 CGPA needed to graduate. When you are "suspended", it does just that. A suspension puts you "on hold" so you can sort things out, and then restarts you where you left off. Most students who make good use of the year "on hold" do sort things out, and then they return in a much better frame of mind and move ahead successfully to Good Standing and graduation.
A petition with a plausible chance of success generally has these features:
- It must provide a good explanation for the whole academic record that led to the Suspension in the first place.
- It must account for the fact that you did not, or could not, recognize the warning signs outlined in the Probation Letter, and that you did not take the actions suggested there, such as getting advice, dropping courses, etc. in the session when you were On Probation.
- It must also demonstrate that whatever problems you had before are now resolved so that there is a very good likelihood of immediate success if you were allowed to continue without sitting out.
This may sound easy enough -"Everything's okay now!" - but it is not. If in the previous sessions you have had problems serious enough and long-standing enough to lead to a Suspension at the end of one session, it is not easy to demonstrate that they are all now resolved at the beginning of the next session. It usually does take students on Suspension at least the full year to resolve their issues, recover, and then prepare to return in a frame of mind suitable for academic success.
No one likes to be told they are suspended; to be compelled to take time away. Even if students know they need a break, they would prefer to do it voluntarily. Most students do not want to take the time off at all. However, most students who have been suspended do report at the end of their year off that they have found the break very useful. Certainly, if you have been suspended and are considering petitioning, make an appointment with an Academic & Learning Strategist to talk over your chances and your options. It's often better to get on with the beneficial year off than to spend weeks and months in petitions and appeals that prevent you from fully dealing with the circumstances that produced the suspension in the first place.
Petition decisions are posted in the message section on eService. You should check eService regularly for the petition decision. Your petition is considered on the basis of your written materials using the guidelines and past practices of the Dean’s Advisory Committee. You receive a response via eService, either granting the petition or refusing it. Be sure to read the full decision, as the details may be as important as the result itself. Sometimes there are further steps for you to follow. If your petition is granted, where relevant, the University of Toronto Scarborough may record a notation on your transcript. For details, click here.
If the petition is granted, the situation is resolved. If the petition is refused, you have the choice of taking it to the next step - the Appeal.Top
Where to Get Help With Your Petition
If you think your petition is not of a straight-forward nature or if you are having problems that interfere significantly with your academic work, your best source of advice and support is a Academic & Learning Strategist. They are familiar with how things work, have experience helping students through their problems, and are able to take your whole experience as a student into account in advising you, including any personal or medical problems, financial issues, and academic difficulties you may have. The front line staff in the Office of the Registrar can also help you with general questions about the petition's process. If you have a disability that is impacting your academic work, Access Ability Services is also a good source of support.
You should definitely speak with an Academic & Learning Strategist if your problems have been piling up. Instructors and departments will often be very reluctant to grant extensions or make-up tests if, for example, a student approaches them in the second half of a course but hasn't managed to complete any of the work for the entire first half. Even with documentation, multiple exceptions and make-ups are sometimes not possible.
Students Registered with AccessAbility Services:
- If you are notified by the Office of the Registrar that your petition to defer an examination has been granted and you require accommodations, immediately complete and submit the Deferred Request Form.
- Once you have received the letter notifying you of the date and time of the examination make a copy and submit it to AccessAbility Services. This can be done after you have submitted the Deferred/Rewrite Request Form.
You are responsible for informing AccessAbility Services of your Deferred Examination arrangements by the necessary deadlines. The deadlines are required to ensure the Exam Coordinator is able to make the appropriate arrangements for your examinations.
The Appeals Process
If your petition is refused, you may appeal the decision, which essentially asks the Dean's Advisory Committee to review your case. It is a good idea at this point to meet with an Academic Advisor. Since a petition refused has already not met the normal criteria for an exception to the rules, successful appeals are often ones that provide more detailed information, further explanations or new documentation that might give a different perspective on the initial request.
Appeals must be commenced no later than ninety days after the decision being appealed has been communicated to you. An appeal is commenced by submitting a Request for Review of Petition Decision form provided through the Office of the Registrar, room AA142 (416) 287-7001. You will be notified, via eService, as to when your appeal will be heard.
The result of your appeal will be communicated via eService.
If your appeal to the Dean's Advisory Committee is denied, you may appeal further to the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals. The appeal must be commenced no later than ninety days after the decision being appealed has been communicated to you. To commence the appeal complete the appropriate form available in the Bladen Wing, room BV504/BV502, 416-287-5639. You will be notified of when your appeal will be heard. You are not required to attend, but it is very much to your advantage to do so. Information concerning the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals can be found at www.utsc.utoronto.ca/governance/academic-appeals
If your appeal to the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals is denied, you may take it to the next level. This is the Academic Appeals Committee of Governing Council and is a more formal panel chaired by someone with legal expertise. Appeals must be commenced no later than ninety days after the decision being appealed has been communicated to you. Students are more inclined to seek legal assistance at this level, although it is not mandatory. An appeal is commenced by filing a Notice of Appeal to the Director or Coordinator of the Appeals Committee on the form provided for this purpose. Full information may be obtained from: Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances, room 106, Simcoe Hall, St. George Campus (phone 416-978-6576). For additional information go to http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/ADFG/Notice+of+Appeal+Form.pdf?method=1
The Academic Appeals Committee of Governing Council hears appeals from across the entire University and draws its membership widely.