What is a Petition?

A petition is a request to the Committee on Standing for an exemption from a rule, regulation or deadline of the university, as set out in the U of T Mississauga Academic Calendar. In particular, please refer to the following sections:

  • Sessional Dates
  • Degree Requirements
  • Program Requirements
  • General Regulations (Petitions and Appeals).

These rules, regulations and deadlines are an important part of the university's academic program. They are necessary to manage registration, assessment and records for a large, diverse student population. They are made known to all students, faculty and administrators in a transparently equitable manner in the calendar (online and print versions). Students are responsible for knowing the rules and regulations pertaining to their period of study. The university's concern is to apply these rules and regulations fairly and equitably to all students.

U of T Mississauga acknowledges that, from time to time, students encounter unforeseen and uncontrollable situations that can severely interfere with their capacity to fulfill their academic obligations. Through the petition procedure students may seek a remedy for the academic consequences that may result from such situations. Students are expected, however, to take responsibility for their academic obligations, to inform themselves using the materials provided for their reference, and to use ACORN, the student online service, correctly. At the same time those students who encounter such situations — for example, who are unwell, or who are dealing with overwhelming domestic difficulties or job responsibilities — should seek counselling assistance at an early stage and adjust their course load if necessary. Petitions arising from failure to prioritize academic responsibilities or from inattention or carelessness will not be granted.

Matters involving term work, such as the organization of a course, grading practices or the conduct of an instructor fall under the authority of the department offering the course and should be raised with the instructor or the departmental office.


Students should not hesitate to seek clarification about any of the rules and regulations in the Academic Calendar from an academic advisor in the Office of the Registrar or from the faculty advisor in their department.

There are various other counsellors with special skills on staff at U of T Mississauga to whom the advisors can refer students if they feel this would be helpful.

Academic progress is of paramount importance and if students are experiencing difficulties, they should not allow embarrassment, shyness or cultural reticence to prevent them from seeking counselling assistance, whether academic, personal or financial.

All such consultations will remain confidential.

The U of T Mississauga registrar staff is available to assist in clarifying and interpreting the rules and regulations and can advise students regarding petition procedures and issues.

The registrar staff is not required to support all requests and may inform a student when the request is unlikely to be granted due to lateness or insufficient grounds.

Filing Petitions

  • Seek an appointment with an academic advisor at the Office of the Registrar if counselling is required.
  • Complete an online petition form.
  • Write a clear and concise statement (no longer than two pages, double spaced, 12 point font) stating the reasons why compliance with the rule, regulation or deadline is/was not possible, or why special consideration is being requested.
  • Documentation must be provided within 72 hours of a missed examination or within one week of initiation of a petition for all other petition requests, if it cannot be provided immediately. Students are also required to declare their absence on ACORN on the day of the examination (or by the day after at the latest).
  • Incomplete or late petitions will be returned to the student unprocessed.

Petition Deadlines

All petition matters are urgent and petition requests should be initiated at the Office of the Registrar without delay. Specific deadlines have been established for filing petitions and will not be waived (see the Academic Calendar).

Term Work

Petitions concerning term work must be filed before the end of the examination period.

Instructors have the authority to grant extensions of time for term work that will be completed up to the end of the examination period. However, instructors are under no obligation to grant such requests for extensions if they judge there are insufficient grounds.

The student must consult the instructor about a proposed deadline to submit the course work and is expected to continue to work on assignments while awaiting the decision.


Petitions concerning final examinations must be filed online ( and supporting documentation submitted within 72 hours of the missed exam. Students are also required to declare their absence on ACORN on the day of the examination (or by the day after at the latest). Note there is a fee for each deferred examination. The Committee on Standing will not consider requests to defer final examinations based on vacation, personal plans, or employment obligations. Students cannot re-write an examination that they have already attempted.

Late Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty

Petitions must be filed within six months of the end of the session in which the course was taken or the status was earned. There are two ends of sessions, May (Fall/Winter) and August (Summer).

Late withdrawal petitions are not granted if the student has completed the course (i.e., written the final examination or completed the final major assignment/ test in courses without a final exam).

Please note that when late withdrawal without academic penalty is granted, a notation of 'WDR' ("late withdrawal without academic penalty") is placed on the academic record in lieu of a course grade.

Students requesting late withdrawal by petition must show, through strong supporting documentation, that they were unable to complete the course due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control. This type of late withdrawal differs from the Late Withdrawal after the Drop Date (LWD) policy, as outlined at in the Academic Calendar.

Appeals of Decisions

Appeals of decisions made by the Committee on Standing must be filed at the Office of the Registrar using the U of T Mississauga Academic Appeals Subcommittee form within 90 days of the date of the Committee's decision.

Course Overload

Petitions requesting a course overload must be submitted (online) prior to the start of the term in which you wish to take a course overload.

Supporting Documentation

Petitions must be supported by original documentation; photocopies and faxes are not acceptable.

It is the responsibility of the student to provide medical or other supporting documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining documentation (e.g. a doctor’s note) is the responsibility of the student.

If illness is cited as the reason for the petition, it must be accompanied by an original U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury form (available at stating that the student was examined and diagnosed at the time of the illness and, in the case of exams, on the day of the exam or immediately after (i.e. the next day), and must indicate a serious degree of incapacitation on academic functioning (e.g. unable to attend classes, write a test/examination). A statement from a physician that merely confirms a report of illness and/or disability made by the student is not acceptable.

If support has been obtained from someone other than a practitioner listed on the U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury form ( then a Verification of Extenuating Circumstances form ( is acceptable.

Other documentation can include, but is not limited to: letter of support from AccessAbility, automobile collision or police reports, death certificate, and supporting documentation from employers, lawyers and other related personnel.

IMPORTANT: The Office of the Registrar verifies the authenticity of ALL verification of illness or injury forms by contacting medical clinics. Students who submit forged documentation are subject to severe academic penalties.

When in doubt, students are encouraged to seek advice in the Office of the Registrar regarding appropriate documentation for their petition requests.

Response Time

Most petitions will be answered within two weeks after submission of supporting documentation.

Note that if complete documentation has not been provided or is delayed, delays in receiving a response are inevitable.

Contact the Office of the Registrar with questions or concerns if a decision seems to be unduly delayed. Note that some petitions, especially those that need to be referred to instructors and departments for grade breakdowns or departmental comment, confirmation or approval, will take longer.

NOTE: You are responsible for providing an accurate UTOR e-mail ( e-mail address on the petition. Although the petition decision will be e-mailed to you, it is your responsibility to check on the online petition system for the result of your petition. Claims that petition decisions have not been received will not be considered as a reason for further petitions. Go to ACORN to update your contact information