Special Consideration Policy

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Students who request a deferral of a term test/quiz/in-class assignment or require an extension of an assignment due date are required to follow the policy outlined in the syllabus. If the course policy is not followed, students will be assigned a mark of zero or lose a percentage for each day late. Please review your syllabus carefully to familiarize yourself with the course policies.

NEW for 2023-2024 - ACORN Absence Declaration Tool (one-time only per term)

A new policy has been implemented that allows students to submit a one-time only request for academic accommodation without supporting documentation. You may use the ACORN Absence Declaration Tool to declare an absence once per academic term (e.g., the fall term) for a maximum period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days. The seven-day declaration period can be retroactive for up to six (6) days in the past, or proactive, up to six (6) days in the future.

The ACORN Absence Declaration Tool helps you create an official record of your absence that can be used to support a request for academic consideration for missed term work, without the need to present additional supporting documentation.

The Student Note section in the ACORN Absence Declaration Tool must indicate the reason for your absence. Your Special Consideration Request must also indicate the same statement.

Requests for additional extensions/accommodations, outside of the one-time only exception:

Declare your absence in the ACORN Absence Declaration Tool.

Submit a Special Consideration Request, with supporting documentation, within three days (including weekends) of the due date unless demonstrably serious reasons prevent you from doing so.

If you are seeking a one-day extension for reasons of illness, your medical certificate or doctor’s note must confirm that you were ill on the due date of the assignment. If you are requesting a longer extension, your documentation must specify exactly the length of the period during which you were unable to carry out your academic work. Supporting documentation can be submitted electronically to hs.admin@utoronto.ca.

An online request must be submitted for each deferral or extension request.

If you are registered with Accessibility Services and would like to request an extension of time for an assignment in advance of the due date (based on an accommodation letter already provided to your instructor), please email both your instructor and your Accessibility Advisor directly in order to obtain approval.

Students may request special consideration due to reasons beyond their control, including:

  • illness or injury
  • disability
  • religious observances (e.g., holy days)
  • other acceptable unplanned and/or unforeseeable circumstances entirely beyond the student’s control (e.g., a court subpoena, a funeral, an accident, etc.)

Reasons such as vacations, pre-purchased plane tickets, family plans, attendance at a wedding, lack of preparation, technology failure, extra-curricular commitments, and academic work in other courses are not considered to be beyond a student’s control and will not be accommodated.

We strongly advise you to prepare for the make-up test/quiz and/or submit your assignment, even if you have not received a decision regarding your request.

Please follow the appropriate procedure below as determined by the type of request you are submitting.

PLEASE NOTE: If the syllabus indicates requests are managed by the instructor, email your instructor directly.

Missed term test/quiz/in-class assignment: Students who miss a test/quiz/in-class assignment, due to circumstances beyond their control, can submit a Special Consideration Request.

Missed final exam: You must petition the Registrar’s Office for a missed final exam, scheduled during the Examination Period. Ensure you are aware of the University regulations concerning final exams.

Extension of time to complete term work (assignments): Students who require extra time to complete their term work must submit a Special Consideration Request.

FAQ: What if I require an extension beyond the end of the examination period to submit my assignment?

All requests for an extension of time beyond the end of the examination period must be petitioned through the Registrar’s Office. Ensure you are aware of the University regulations regarding the extension of time.

Supporting Documentation

DO NOT submit the verification of illness/extenuating circumstances forms to your instructor(s). The documentation must be submitted to the department via hs.admin@utoronto.ca


i)         Verification of Student Illness or Injury

Note that it is not sufficient simply to visit a doctor's office; the documentation must show that you were incapable of writing the test or completing the assignment, for medical reasons, when the test was scheduled, or the assignment was due. The form must indicate that the student was unable to write the term test/quiz/in-class assignment on the specific day. Documentation MUST show that the doctor was consulted within TWO days. A statement merely confirming a report of illness made by the student is NOT acceptable.

Form: Verification of Student Illness or Injury

ii)        Verification of Extenuating Circumstances (for non-medical reasons)

The Verification of Extenuating Circumstances may be used by non-medical personnel as supporting documentation. A verifier is someone in a position of trust – this typically would not include a family member or friend, unless they have a professional designation (e.g., lawyer, spiritual/community/religious leader, etc.).

Form: Verification of Extenuating Circumstance(s)

iii)        Other Documentation

Other documentation can include but is not limited to a letter of support from Accessibility Services, a collision or police report, a death certificate, and/or supporting documentation from employers, lawyers, and other professional persons.



A Committee evaluates each request and provides a decision. Students can expect a decision by email within 48-72 hours if you have followed the procedure outlined above. The decision email will give you important information about whether your request is approved, denied, or pending, as well as instructions on next steps. Your instructor will be copied on the message, but the message will not include your medical/personal information.

It is your responsibility to ensure your @mail.utoronto.ca email account is working and able to receive emails. Claims that a departmental decision was not received will NOT be considered as a reason for further consideration.

You can check the status of your request by logging into the Special Consideration Request System: https://app.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest

It is your responsibility to follow the appropriate procedure and submit requests for special consideration on time. Failure to do so may result in refusing your request.

Should you require further information regarding special consideration requests, please contact the Academic Advisor at hs.advisor@utoronto.ca.


The University of Toronto respects your privacy. The information on this form is collected pursuant to section 2(14) of the University of Toronto Act, 1971. It is collected for the purpose of administering accommodations for academic purposes based on medical grounds. The department will maintain a record of all medical certificates received. At all times, your information will be protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

If you have any questions regarding FIPPA, please contact the University’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office, tel. (416) 946-5835. Address: Room 201, McMurrich Building, 12 Queens Park Crescent, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A1.