Absence Declaration in ACORN

Update: New policy effective September 5, 2023   

We understand that circumstances outside of your control may arise that prevent you from meeting your academic obligations. When this occurs, complete an Absence Declaration (AD) and notify your instructors of your situation. We recommend that you also use the academic support and or physical or mental health services offered by the university, should you need them.   

When to use Absence Declaration on ACORN  

Use Absence Declaration (AD) on ACORN if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from meeting your academic obligations, such as; submitting an assignment, taking a quiz, test, or midterm. You do not need to submit additional supporting documentation for this first declaration although instructors may request a copy of the declaration. When submitting the AD, you will have the option of emailing a copy (consult your syllabus to find out who your instructor wants ADs emailed to) or printing a copy for your own records. You can only use the AD once per term for a maximum of seven days, and you may use it to declare absence for one or for several courses during the 7-day absence period. The AD cannot be used as supporting documentation to defer final exams.  

You can submit an AD up to 6 days either before or after your absence and the AD has to identify the absence dates. For example, if you submit an AD on November 7 you can apply that up to November 1 to cover missed work during the November 1 - 7 period, or you can apply that up to November 13 to include work that will be missed during the November 7 - 13 period.

The Absence Declaration can be used in circumstances such as, but not limited to:  

  • Illness or Injury  
  • Important and unavoidable personal or family commitments or emergencies  
  • Bereavement  
  • Athletic or artistic obligations (varsity/provincial/national) or other significant University sponsored activity (such as a field trip)  

   The Absence Declaration is not intended to be used for:  

  • Social activities  
  • Recreational travel  
  • Technological issues  
  • Avoidance of assessments or deadlines  
  • The AD cannot be used for final exams, and it is no longer a sufficient supporting document for petitions to defer a final exam.   

The AD can be edited on the day it is submitted but cannot be cancelled. If you submitted an error on the AD, please email our frontline team at askro.utsc@utoronto.ca  

Subsequent Absences after AD  

If you have already submitted an AD, but have another absence, you may be asked for supporting documentation if you are seeking academic consideration for subsequent absences. These requests will be considered at the discretion of instructors.    

Examples of documentation can include:  

  • The University approved Verification of Illness (VOI) form.  
  • A death certificate, funeral announcement, or other supporting document for bereavement.  
  • A note from a University staff member (advisor, coach, residence staff, etc.) who can substantiate your claims, sent directly to the instructor by email.   

Falsification of information through the AD or through a documented absence is considered a violation of the Academic Integrity policy. Read more about it here.  

Chronic Health and Disability Related Absences  

If you have ongoing health or disability concerns, you can use the AD within the regular guidelines or provide a VOI if needed. We recommend that you regularly connect with AccessAbility Services to get the right accommodation for your situation. 


Let your instructors know about upcoming religious observances and expected absences. Instructors will do their best to avoid scheduling tests or compulsory activities during those times. If this is unavoidable, instructors will do their best to accommodate where possible.  

Late Submission of Term Work Beyond the End of the Term  

Term work may only be accepted until the last day of the term. Extensions up to 7 days beyond the end of term may be granted at the discretion of the instructor and at the approval of the departmental chair. Extensions beyond 7 days after the end of term require a student to petition with documentation.  

Final Examinations  

Students are discouraged from missing final examinations, unless they are prevented from doing so by illness, injury, or significant extenuating circumstances. Students who miss a final examination may request a deferred examination by submitting a petition with supporting documentation.


*Updated November 7, 2023.