5. Academic Regulations

In This Section:

5.1 University of Toronto Policies

The University of Toronto has numerous policies that are approved by its Governing Council, which apply to all students. It is in all students' best interest to be familiar with these policies as the University will assume they have done so. All of the University's policies can be accessed through the Governing Council website, but those of particular importance to students include:

More information about academic policies can be found on the Office of the Vice-President and Provost website. 

As members of the wider University community, UTSC students assume certain responsibilities, and are guaranteed certain rights and freedoms. The academic rules, regulations and policies of the wider University, as well as those particular to UTSC, are identified in this Calendar. UTSC students are subject to all of these rules, regulations and policies, which may be amended from time to time.

5.2 Student Identification

Student Numbers:
Every student at the University of Toronto is assigned a unique student number that corresponds with their personal University record. This number is confidential, and the University assumes and expects every student to protect the confidentiality of their student number.

Each student is automatically issued a JOINid, which is converted to a UTORid once they begin the activation/TCard process. A valid UTORid is a virtual credential that grants access to online University of Toronto services such as ACORN, the University of Toronto email address (UTMail+), the wireless network, the University Library System, and UT Portal. A UTORid is also used to access eService and used to access software from some academic departments to submit term work. Students must activate their individual UTORid, and select a secure password of their choice in order to use these services.

To prevent shared access to internal or external communications and student records by a third party, including family and friends, students should not share their UTORid and/or password with anyone.

Student Cards (TCards):
All registered students are required to have a UTORid to gain online access to virtual University resources and services. A University of Toronto student card (TCard) is needed to access in-person campus resources and services.

A TCard must be presented to write in-person tests and final exams, request transactions at the Office of the Registrar, and use the Library, computer labs, and Athletic facilities, as well as for other campus service providers. Students may be required to present their TCard upon request by the University or its service providers.

The TCard and TCard photo remain the property of the University of Toronto, and may not be used for any illegal, improper, or unlawful purpose by students. It is every students' responsibility to ensure the safekeeping of their TCard, and they must not lend, or permit others to use, their TCard for any purpose. Altering, falsifying, misuse of, lending, or selling a TCard is prohibited and may be subject to sanctions, pursuant to the University's regulations, policies and procedures, including the Code of Student Conduct  (2019) and the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (2019), and may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.

A TCard is to be kept for the duration of a student's active registration, and is to be used only by the person to whom it is issued. Students cannot hold more than one TCard at any given time. If a student is found in possession of more than one TCard, they may keep the TCard with the highest barcode number, and are expected to surrender any previous TCards voluntarily, or by request, to the TCard Office or the Office of the Registrar.

Lost or stolen TCards must be immediately reported to the TCard Office and any meal plan provider. Students must replace lost, stolen, or damaged TCards at the TCard Office; replacement of TCards is subject to a replacement fee.

5.3 General Academic Regulations

This section of the Calendar describes general academic requirements students must meet, and procedures they must follow. Additional, and more specific, academic requirements and procedures are described in relevant sections of the Calendar; for example, requirements and regulations related to degrees are described in the Understanding Degrees section (6A) of the Calendar.

Class Attendance:
Class attendance is an important aspect of university studies. Although class attendance is not mandatory, students who “skip” class place themselves at a distinct disadvantage, and will not receive any special consideration on the grounds of non-attendance. Students who are unable to attend a class during the first two weeks of the session are strongly advised to wait until a future session before enrolling. New students who decide to wait until a future session should contact the Admissions and Student Recruitment Office to request a formal deferment of their Offer of Admission.

Copyright in Instructional Settings:
Students who want to record (whether audio, video or tape), photograph, or otherwise reproduce lecture presentations, course notes or other materials provided by instructors, must obtain the instructor's written consent beforehand. Otherwise, all such reproduction is viewed as an infringement of copyright, and is absolutely prohibited. In the case of private use by students with disabilities, the instructor's consent will not be unreasonably withheld. Where permission has been granted by the instructor, the reproduced materials are for the student's individual and private use only, and cannot be used for further reproduction, publication, online posting, or sale.

Students in Debt to the University:
If, at the end of the academic session, all debt to the University has not been paid, UTSC imposes the following academic sanctions until the debt is cleared:

  • Transcripts are not issued;
  • Diplomas are not released, nor is oral or written confirmation of degree and program completion provided. However, indebted graduands will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony and have their names appear in the Convocation program;
  • Further studies are denied;
  • Written certification of degree and program status is not provided;
  • Confirmation of enrolment status is not provided; and/or
  • Registration is refused to re-enrolling students (i.e. returning after any suspension or after an absence of twelve months or more).

The following debts are taken into consideration when applying sanctions:

  • Tuition fees;
  • Residence fees and other residence charges;
  • Library fines;
  • Loans made by colleges, faculties or the University;
  • Health service accounts;
  • Unreturned or damaged instruments, materials and equipment; and/or
  • Fines levied under the Code of Student Conduct (2019).

5.4 Academic Regulations Related to Final Examinations*

*Regulations for mid-term exams and tests are determined by the individual academic units and may differ from those for final examinations. Students are advised to consult their course syllabus, instructor, or the academic unit offering the course for regulations related to mid-terms.

Final examinations are held at the end of each session (Fall, Winter and Summer). Students who make personal commitments during the examination period do so at their own risk, and are warned they will not receive any special consideration, nor will special arrangements be made to accommodate them.

As soon as they are finalized, examination schedules are posted on the Office of the Registrar website under the "Examinations" tab. The date of posting is normally no later than:

  • End of May for the Summer "F" examination period;
  • End of June for the Summer "S" and "Y" examination period;
  • End of October for the Fall examination period; and
  • End of February for the Winter examination period.

Information regarding dates and times of final examinations will not be given by telephone, email, through Live Chat, or social media accounts.

Students are responsible for reading the examination schedule carefully and appearing at their exams on the date, and at the time, specified. Examinations can be scheduled at any time of day during the examination period: students taking daytime courses may be required to write evening examinations, and students taking evening courses may be required to write daytime examinations. In addition, final examinations (including deferred examinations) may be held on any day of the week, including weekend days.

Examination room procedures for students can be found on the Office of the Registrar website under the "Examinations - Code of Conduct" tab.

Final Examination Timetable Conflicts:
Students scheduled to write two or more examinations at the same time should report their conflicts through eService. For more information about examination timetable conflicts, see the Conflicts page on the Office of the Registrar website.

Accommodation for Religious Observances:
It is the policy of the University (Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances, 2005) to arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of students who observe religious holy days other than those already accommodated by ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays. If the date of a final examination falls on a holy day observed by a student, the student should submit, through eService, a request for accommodation no later than three full weeks before the commencement of examinations. This will normally be granted.

Procedure for Rescheduling Final Examinations Cancelled Due to Winter Weather:
If the campus is closed because of inclement weather for a day or part of a day during the Fall examination period, all missed examinations will be rescheduled on the following Sunday within the same examination period, or on the first Saturday following the start of classes of the Winter session. For more information, check under the "Examinations" tab on the Office of the Registrar website.

Student Identification at Final Examinations:
For in-person exams, students are required to identify themselves at examinations by means of their TCard. It is in every student's best interest to ensure they have obtained a TCard well in advance of the day of their first examination since students who do not have this card risk not being permitted to write their exam.

For online exams, students may be required to identify themselves at examinations by means of their TCard; if this is not possible, then by means of government issued IDs. Students must check with their course instructors well in advance of the day of their examination to ensure they are prepared.

Use of Aids in Tests and Final Examinations:
Instructors will let their students know whether the use of aids (eg., calculators) is permissible during tests and examinations and, if so, which models are approved. The use of an unauthorized aid will be treated as an academic offence, and may result in serious penalties.

Materials and Personal Belongings in the Exam Room:

  • It is an academic offence for students to bring unauthorized materials and/or electronic devices into an exam whether they are used or not. 
  • Students who bring any unauthorized materials or electronic devices into an examination room, or assist, or obtain assistance from other students or from an unauthorized source, are liable to penalties under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (2019), including the loss of academic credit for the course, suspension, or expulsion from the University.
  • No materials or electronic devices may be used at an examination except those authorized by the instructor. If the instructor has permitted the use of any aids, this will be explicitly stated on the front page of the exam.
  • Bags and books should, whenever possible, be left in students' lockers. The University is not responsible for personal property that is left in the exam room.
  • Paper coffee cups, plastic water bottles with labels, pencil cases, smartwatches, and smart/cell phones are not permitted on exam room desks/tables. Students wearing hats or peaked caps will be asked to remove them prior to sitting down to write their exams.
  • Bags and books are to be deposited in areas designated by the instructor/invigilator and are not to be taken to the examination table.
  • Students must place their valuables, including all smartwatches, smart/cell phones, tablets and laptop computers, in the re-sealable plastic bag provided for this purpose, and place the bag, closed, on the floor underneath their chair. Use of the plastic bags is mandatory since possession of an unauthorized electronic device is an academic offence. Students who are not automatically provided with a plastic bag, should request one. At the conclusion of the exam, students should return the re-sealable bag so that it can be reused.

Requesting Copies of Final Examinations:
Within 90 days of the relevant examination period, students may request a copy of their final exam. Students must submit this request through eService. Where copying of the final exam is permitted, students will receive a photocopy of their exam. Where photocopying of the final exam is not permitted, students will be given an opportunity to view their exam under the supervision of a staff member. A non-refundable fee is charged. After 90 days, examinations are no longer available.

5.5 Exceptions to Academic Regulations: Special Consideration, Petitions and Appeals

From time to time students may need to ask for special consideration in their academic work or for exceptions to be made to academic regulations. Such requests normally arise as a result of their being affected by something outside their control, such as illness, accident or the death of a family member. Very occasionally students may find themselves in a situation not foreseen by the regulations, or feel they have been unreasonably affected by a deviation from University Policy or approved practice. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is important you follow identified procedures and meet all published deadlines.

Students should seek special consideration only when there are circumstances that are truly beyond their control, which they could not reasonably have anticipated or overcome, and which have seriously affected their studies.

Students who take courses at another campus, should refer to the FAS and/or UTM Calendars for regulations regarding their courses. Students are responsible for observing the regulations governing any courses they take on other campuses. However, all UTSC students must adhere to UTSC deadlines for petitions and appeals, irrespective of the campus on which the course is taken.

For complete information on special consideration, including petitions and appeals, visit the Office of the Registrar website under the Petitions tab.

Exceptions Regarding Submission of Term Work:
Students should speak with their instructor as soon as possible to request special consideration, if:

  • They are unable to write a term test;
  • Their performance on a test is adversely affected by illness or other extenuating circumstances; or
  • They cannot submit term work by the instructor's deadlines.

In these instances, special consideration will be granted at the instructor's discretion. If students wish to appeal the instructor's decision they must speak with, or write to, the Chair or Director of the academic unit offering the course.

If it is close to the end of the session and a student needs an extension of time to complete term work or to write a term test, the course instructor, jointly with the Chair/Director of the academic unit, has the authority to grant an extension for up to a week after the last date to submit term work, which typically will be one week following the last day of classes. If students need more than a week's extension for term work, they must submit a formal petition.

Deferring Final examinations:
1. Students who miss a final examination can petition through eService for a deferred exam, and submit supporting documentation, within 5 business days of the missed examination. Complete information regarding how to submit a petition is available under the Petitions tab on the Office of the Registrar website. Students seeking to submit a petition to defer an exam should bear the following in mind:

  • Petitions will be considered only for cases of illness or extreme emergency at the time of an examination. Petitions based on vacation, employment, or personal plans will not be considered.
  • Petitions based on medical grounds must be supported by an original Verification of Student Illness or Injury form stating both that the student was examined and diagnosed at the time of illness and was examined on the day of the exam or the next day. A statement from the physician that merely confirms a report of illness and/or disability made by the student will not be accepted.
  • Petitions based on other than medical grounds must provide supporting documentation.
  • All supporting documentation must be submitted within 5 business days from the date of the missed examination. Students who are graduating in June or November must submit their supporting documentation within 3 business days from the date of the missed examination. Documents must be in their original form; photocopies or faxes will not be accepted.
  • Late petitions will not be accepted.

2. Students who choose to write an examination may not petition to rewrite it, except in circumstances such as a significant illness that suddenly manifests itself during an examination. In this instance, the claim of illness requires both corroborations from the examination invigilator and documentation from a health care professional.

3. Deferred examinations for all UTSC courses are held as follows:

  • Exams deferred from the June Summer session are held in the immediately following August final examination period, or the study period that precedes it;
  • Exams deferred from the August Summer session are held in the immediately following Fall session, during the Reading Week in October;
  • Exams deferred from the Fall session are held in the immediately following Winter session during the Reading Week in February; and
  • Exams deferred from the Winter session are held in the immediately following Summer session in the August final examination period, or the study period that precedes it.

4. Students must pay a fee by the given deadline to write any UTSC deferred examination. The payment deadline and instructions are indicated in the petition decision message in eService. Failure to pay the fee will result in a loss of privilege to sit the examination.

5. Students writing deferred examinations are strongly advised not to exceed a credit load of 2.5 credits in the session leading up to the deferred examinations.

6. Students are given only one opportunity to sit a deferred exam and are expected to be available for the entire deferred examination period.

7. Students who miss a deferred examination will receive a mark of zero for the examination. Only under exceptional circumstances (e.g., hospitalization or severe personal emergency), which are supported by strong and compelling evidence, will a petition for a second deferral of the examination be considered. After a third missed deferred exam, students will not be permitted to write the exam and will receive a WDR for the course.

8. Under truly exceptional circumstances, students who are unavoidably outside the Toronto area during the deferred examination period may petition for permission to write their exam at an outside centre. The petition must detail the reasons for the request, and must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the beginning of the deferred examination period. Late requests cannot be accommodated, and fees in addition to the fee to write a deferred examination will apply.


  • Deferring a final examination may affect students' ability to gain access to courses and/or limited enrolment programs since they may not enrol in any course listed as a prerequisite in the course for which they have deferred the examination.
  • Deferred examinations in the other arts and science divisions of the University may be scheduled at times other than those for UTSC.

Disagreements Regarding Marks and Grades:
1. Grades in Term Work
Students who think that a mark on a term test or assignment has been calculated incorrectly should ask the course instructor to check the mark as soon as possible, and certainly before the end of the session. Students who wish to appeal an instructor's decision about the grading of term work should speak with, or write to, the Chair/Director of the academic unit offering the course.

  • Students who believe a mark should be reviewed on term work returned after the end of term, and after the instructor has submitted grades for the course, may submit a formal petition within 90 days of the relevant examination period.

2. Final Grades
Students who think there is an error in the calculation of their final grade can, within 90 days of the relevant examination period, request a clerical check through eService. A clerical check is arithmetical only; final exams will not be re-read or re-marked. Students are cautioned that a fee is charged for this service. If an error is discovered which results in a change of the final letter grade, the fee will be refunded. If the clerical check results in a grade change, the amended grade will stand whether it is higher or lower.

  • Students should be aware that before submitting any failing grade, instructors are required to recheck the calculation of term and final marks.
  • If, after reviewing a copy of a final examination, a student wishes to request it be re-read, s/he must submit a petition for re-reading within 90 days of the relevant examination period. When approved by petition, re-reading is arranged by the academic unit offering the course, which also authorizes any change in grade. Normally the re-reading is done by the course instructor, unless the student makes a convincing argument that the work should be re-read by another faculty member. Claims of prejudice must be supported in detail and wherever possible confirmed by a third party. Whenever a grade is changed, the amended grade will stand whether it is higher or lower.

3. Violations of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy

  • Students who believe an instructor has violated the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy (2020) should discuss the complaint with the instructor. If the violation relates to the announced schedule of assignments or the marking scheme, students must do this no later than the fourth week of classes. If it relates to changes in or divergence from the announced marking scheme, students must do this before the end of the final examination period.
  • If discussion with the instructor does not result in a satisfactory solution, students may appeal the instructor's decision to the Chair/Director of the academic unit offering the course. If this appeal does not resolve the problem, students may appeal to the Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum.
  • Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the last day to withdraw without academic penalty on the grounds of a violation of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy must submit a formal petition. If the petition is granted because a violation of the policy has occurred, no record of registration in the course will appear on the transcript. Students cannot petition to withdraw from a course on the grounds that no work was returned before the last day to withdraw without academic penalty if this is the result of their having been given an extension to complete the work for reasons relating to the individual student and not the rest of the class.

The University is governed by a series of rules and regulations to ensure that all students are treated fairly and equitably. A petition is a formal request made to the University asking to be exempted from an academic regulation or policy. Students must have good reason to make such a request, and must show they have acted responsibly and with good judgment in observing the academic regulations. In particular, students are expected to seek support when needed, and make informed academic decisions proactively. The University understands that, in some instances, students may have valid reasons to ask for special consideration.

While students have the right to petition, the University reserves the right to grant or deny requests. Students are cautioned that some academic matters cannot be petitioned, although they can sometimes be resolved by working directly with the instructor or academic unit offering a course.

Where a petition is justified, it must be filed by the appropriate deadlines, and with the appropriate documentation. Even if a petition has been filed by the deadline, it will not be considered if documentation is not provided within 5 business days of its submission.

When they file a petition, students effectively authorize the release of relevant aspects of their University record to be reviewed by authorized members of the University (staff and/or faculty). Such information is held in strictest confidence.

Students should submit their petition online via eService. If the issue is simple and the solution straightforward, students may not need advice or assistance with their petition. However, if there are more complex academic issues involved, students may want to speak first with their instructor, program supervisor, or discipline representative. If serious personal problems are involved, students should meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Advising & Career Centre or a personal counsellor in the Health & Wellness Centre. Students should not let this recommendation interfere with submitting their petition by the deadline. Students must submit whatever documentation is necessary to support their request.

Petitions for re-reading of final examinations and of term work returned after the end of a term or session and after the instructor has submitted grades for the course will be granted only if students:

  • Articulate clear grounds for reconsideration, addressing the substance of an answer in relation to the mark given it or otherwise identifying the nature of the alleged misevaluation;
  • Show that the alleged misevaluation is of a substantial nature: in an objective answer, that a correct response has been counted as incorrect, or in a subjective or essay answer, that the response has been under-evaluated substantially; and
  • Support their argument with evidence or documentation that must be submitted with the petition along with a photocopy of the final examination (when available).

Students will be notified online via eService of the decision on their petition. The Petitions Office attempts to respond as quickly as possible, normally within 6 weeks of submission. Students should not inquire about the progress of their petition within that period. Complex cases and petitions submitted during very busy periods may take longer.

If a petition is granted, the following will be recorded on the student's transcript (academic record):

  • Withdrawal from courses after the published deadline (LWD or WDR depending on the circumstances);
  • Allowed to return early from suspension;
  • Deferral of suspension ('suspension deferred');
  • Award of aegrotat standing (AEG); or
  • Deferred examinations (SDF).

In cases of an error on the part of the University, including violations of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy (2020), withdrawal from courses is not recorded on the transcript.

The following deadlines apply only to UTSC. Deadlines and policies for courses taken on other campuses may differ.

1. Term Work

  • Requests for special consideration on term assignments and term tests within the jurisdiction of the instructor: last day of classes.
  • Petitions to submit term assignments or write make-up term tests after the last day to submit term work: last day of the examination period.

2. Final Examinations
Summer, Fall and Winter Sessions

  • Petitions to write deferred examinations: 5 business days after the missed examination.

3. Missed Deferred Examinations

  • Students who miss a deferred exam will receive a mark of zero for the exam in the calculation of the final grade.
  • Only under exceptional circumstances (e.g., hospitalization or severe personal emergency), and when supported with strong and compelling evidence, will a petition for a second deferred exam be considered.
  • Petitions to write a deferred examination, which has been missed: 5 business days after the missed examination.

4. Errors in Course Registration or Withdrawal From Courses
Petitions to correct errors in course registration or to withdraw from courses without academic penalty after the published deadline should be submitted as early as possible but not later than: January 31 (Fall Session courses); May 31 (Fall/Winter or Winter Session courses); September 30 (Summer Session courses).

5. Checking of Marks and Appeal of Grades

  • Requests for checking of marks on term tests, essays and other term work made to the instructor of a course: last day of classes.
  • Petitions for reconsideration of term work returned to students after the end of term: 90 days after the relevant examination period.
  • Requests for a photocopy of a final examination: 90 days after the relevant examination period.
  • Requests for recalculation of marks through the Office of the Registrar: 90 days after the relevant examination period.
  • Petitions for re-reading of a final examination: 90 days after the relevant examination period.

1. Tier 1: The Office of the Registrar

  • Petitions are reviewed at the Office of the Registrar, where they are granted or refused. If a petition has not been granted, students can appeal this decision, and the petition will be reviewed by additional University Committees and Councils as follows:

2. Tier 2: Review by the Dean's Advisory Committee

  • Students must submit a request for review no later than 90 days after the petition has been denied by the Office of the Registrar. Obtain a Request for Review of Petition Decision form from the Office of the Registrar. Students will be notified via eService as to when their appeal will be heard, as well as when a decision has been made.

3. Tier 3: The Subcommittee on Academic Appeals

  • If a request for review to the Dean's Advisory Committee is denied, students may appeal to the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals.
  • Students must submit their request no more than 90 days after the second refusal of the petition has been communicated to them. Students must file a Notice of Appeal, which is available via email to nisha.panchal@utoronto.ca.
  • Students will be notified in writing as to when their appeal will be heard. Students are not required to attend in person, but it is to their advantage to do so.

4. Final Tier: Academic Appeals Committee of Governing Council

  • If an appeal to the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals is denied, a final appeal may be made to the Academic Appeals Committee of Governing Council. This is the most formal panel, and is chaired by a legal expert. The normal time frame for a hearing and response at this level may extend anywhere from several months to a year.
  • Students must submit their request for an appeal no more than 90 days after the refusal of the Appeal described in Tier 3 has been communicated to them.
  • An appeal is commenced by filing a Notice of Appeal form to the Director or Coordinator of the Academic Appeals Committee of Governing Council.

For complete information on petitions and appeals, including deadlines and guidelines for submission click on the Petitions tab on the Office of the Registrar website.