Help! Academic Concession

If you are affected by illness, accident or family tragedy, you should immediately consult UBC Student Health Services, Counselling Services, or another health care provider.

Academic Concession will be considered if the illness or affliction has shown to be a serious impediment to your ability to complete the course requirements.

Types of Academic Concession

Midterm exam or other work during the term:

  • Make a request directly to your instructor and if permitted, make arrangements to make up or complete the incomplete term work.
  • If your instructor refers you to Arts Academic Advising, you may request Academic Concession. If approved, a Letter of Consideration will be sent to the instructor, requesting that appropriate considerations be made.

Standing Deferred for a final exam or final term work:

  • A Standing Deferred (SD) is granted when a student has a valid reason for not completing a course.
  • If your request is approved, an SD will be placed on your academic record to indicate that you have been granted a deferral for a final exam or final term work.  An interim grade will be posted and your sessional average will not include courses with an SD.  After you have completed your SD work, a final grade will be submitted and your sessional average will be recalculated.  The deadline for completing all Standing Deferred courses is August 23 for Winter Session courses and December 25 for Summer Session courses.

Withdrawal from the course after the deadline:

  • In very exceptional circumstances, a late withdrawal from the course may be granted.  A standing of W will be placed on your academic record.
  • Late withdrawal from a course is not possible if you have written the final exam or if the course is otherwise deemed complete.  (Some courses do not have final exams).  In some cases, we may be able to consider other forms of concession.  For example, if you’ve written the final exam but you submitted an assignment late;  or if you’ve written the final exam but you did not submit an assignment, we may be able to ask the instructor to offer you consideration for late or missed term work.

Procedures for Requesting Academic Concession

Applications must be received as soon as possible after the incident and before the deadline.

1) Fill out the Request for Academic Concession form for BA/BFA Students. Obtain appropriate documentation to support your request (see Guidelines for Documentation).

2) Meet with an Academic Advisor in Arts Academic Advising (Buchanan D111). If you are unable to meet with an advisor in person, call 604.822.4028 to arrange a phone appointment.

3) When you meet with an academic advisor, you will be expected to have the Request for Academic Concession form completed and provide appropriate documentation.

Academic concession is only granted in extenuating circumstances. Both Arts Academic Advising and the course instructor need to support a request for Academic Concession. Academic Concession requests may be not be granted for the following reasons:

  • You have not attended course regularly
  • You have not completed a sufficient amount of term work
  • Your supporting documentation is insufficient (see Guidelines for Documentation).
  • Your request has not been made in a timely manner. See Deadlines.
  • Your application has missing or inaccurate information

Guidelines for Documentation

All requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. Supporting documentation should be issued on official letterhead (or on the form Authorization for Disclosure of Information in Support of Request for Academic Concession) and must include the following information:

  • Date that the healthcare provider saw the student.
  • Duration of the illness or impairment. In the case of an on-going disability/impairment, documentation must include information indicating how the severity of the condition prevented the student from completing coursework or examinations.
  • Comments on the effect of the illness/impairment on the student’s ability to meet specific academic requirements.
  • Signature of the healthcare professional.
  • In the case of compassionate requests, an obituary, death certificate or other appropriate documentation is required.

What is the next step if I have been granted Academic Concession?

What if I can’t arrange an alternate exam date with the instructor?

You may contact your instructors who might be available and willing to invigilate separate exams for you at an earlier date but instructors are not obligated to do so. If this is not a possibility, the official rewrite period with Enrolment Services is the only opportunity you will have to write the deferred exams.

Deadline for writing deferred exams / completing deferred term work:

If your request for Academic Concession is approved, Arts Academic Advising will be in touch with your instructors. In the case of a deferred final exam or deferred final paper, an SD (Standing Deferred) will be placed on your record.

It is your responsibility to make arrangements to finish incomplete course work and/or exams:

Incomplete Course Work —If you have course work incomplete, the next step is to contact your instructor to discuss course work completion deadline(s).

Final Exam —If only your final exam is incomplete, do the following:

  • You will be required to write the exam during the official Deferred Examination period set by Enrolment Services.  This period is in late July for Winter Session courses and mid-November for Summer Session courses.  Note that some departments in Faculties outside of Arts set alternate exam dates that differ from the formal exam period set by Enrolment Services.  If the course you are in is offered outside the Faculty of Arts, contact your instructor immediately to find out if an earlier SD exam is to be offered and to get more detailed information.To write the exam during the official Deferred Examination period set by Enrolment Services, refer to the following website for exam application information ( Please note that you will not be able to apply to write your deferred exam until after the SD has been posted to your record (about one week after the exam period for the term ends).  It is your responsibility to ensure that an exam is scheduled. You will lose your SD standing if you do not complete your deferred exam.  Note:  Some instructors are willing to allow the student to write a SD exam outside of the formal SD exam period.  You may want to ask your instructor if this is an option for you, particularly if you have other commitments that will make a late July exam sitting difficult.  In these cases, the instructor will arrange the exam invigilation.  Instructors are under no obligation to provide an earlier, alternate exam sitting, but may be willing to accommodate your request.
  • The SD will be removed at the end of the SD period.  If you complete your deferred exam or term work earlier than the end of the SD period and want the SD removed, it is your responsibility to contact Arts Advising and make this request.
  • When you have a Standing Deferred, it is important that you continue to work on the course(s).  If you have an SD, you should reduce your course load in the following session.  For example, if you have 3 credits deferred from the Winter session you should not enrol in more than 9 credits in the following Summer session, although the permitted maximum is 12.
  • If there is a Vista component to your course(s), you have to ask your instructor to extend your access to Vista.


Deadlines for Submitting Academic Concession Requests:

Winter Session, term 1: February 1
Winter Session, term 2: June 1
Summer Session: October 1

Applications for Academic Concession should be submitted to Arts Academic Advising Services in Buchanan D111 as soon as possible.

If Arts Academic Advising has approved an SD and it has been added to your record, the application period to arrange to write a deferred exam with Enrolment Services is:

Winter Session: April 1-June 15
Summer Session: September 1-October 15

Note that you cannot apply to write a deferred exam with Enrolment Services if Arts Academic Advising has not approved Academic Concession and/or the SD has not been added to the course(s) on your record.

If you were approved for an SD by Arts Academic Advising and then applied to write the deferred exam with Enrolment Services, exam period dates are:

Winter Session: late July-early August
Summer Session: mid-November

Please be sure to view your exam schedule and read all emails from Enrolment Services carefully.

Deadlines for Completing All Standing Deferred Course Work:

If a Standing Deferred is granted for a final exam or final term work, all incomplete course work must be completed by the following dates:

Winter Session: August 23
Summer Session: December 25

If you are unable to meet the deadline for completing Standing Deferred course work because of additional extenuating circumstances, you must contact Arts Academic Advising as soon as possible.

Incomplete SDs

If you are unable to complete a deferred course due to extenuating circumstances, you may appeal for additional academic concession in the form of a late withdrawal.  You must submit current documentation of your extenuating circumstances to Arts Advising to support your appeal.

In rare cases your Instructor or Department may permit you to write a missed deferred exam, possibly either by having your Instructor invigilate the exam or by having you write the exam with the next sitting of the same course.  Note that the Instructor is under no obligation to offer another opportunity to write the incomplete exam and some are unable to offer this option due to Departmental regulations. Please consult with Arts Advising prior to contacting the Instructor.

If the deferred course is not complete by the end of the SD period, the SD will be removed from your record and your sessional average will be calculated using all posted grades and a grade of 0 for any courses without a grade. This new average may impact your ability to continue studying at UBC so please make Arts Advising aware of any special arrangements between you and your Instructor to allow you to complete a deferred course later than the SD deadline. Note that your sessional average will be recalculated if the course is later withdrawn or a change of grade is submitted.

What is the next step if I have been denied an Academic Concession?

First, if your request for an academic concession is denied, you have 6 months, from the date of your decision, to file a letter of appeal with the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts.

Second, please ensure you are directing your appeal to the correct area:

  • If you wish to change an assigned grade or notation on your academic record (transcript) OR you wish general graduation requirements be waived or altered (i.e. Second Language requirement, Writing Requirement, Science Requirement, 50% residency) OR you wish to appeal an admission or transfer decision; in these cases, your appeal would be directed to the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts (email  Please note the Office of the Dean will not alter the academic record for purposes of receiving a tuition refund.   Students are expected to be fully versed in UBC’s tuition policy and are urged to drop courses as soon as possible.  Your Arts Advisor will be able to help you to understand what is/isn’t a valid reason for a refund.
  • If you believe an Instructor did not adhere to the official course outline and, as a result, you failed to achieve all possible marks, you may request a “Review of Assigned Standing” after the course has concluded.  Please note that you must supply ALL graded material which has been returned to you during the course.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • If you believe your Instructor is not acting in a respectful and professional manner your first step is to speak to your Instructor’s Department Head.

Third, before submitting an appeal, you must meet with an Academic Advisor (Buchanan D, First floor, to discuss your specific situation.  Arts Academic Advisors are well acquainted with all UBC policies and precedents set through past appeal decisions.  They will offer excellent advice on the potential of your appeal.  Also, you may wish to seek advice from the UBC Ombudsman’s Office.  Please review the Ombudsman website.

Fourth, all appeals must be filed in writing with supporting documentation/evidence included.  The appeal should outline the policy the student is requesting be waived and why this student’s set of extraordinary circumstances warrants such a decision.  Students are not interviewed.  Please address your appeal to the Associate Dean – Students.   To file an appeal please –

  • Hand in your letter of appeal with the receptionist in the Dean’s Office, Buchanan A Room 240.  Business Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 AM; or,
  • Attach your letter and documents to an email and send this to marcy.caouette[@] ; or,
  • Fax your letter to 604 822 6906 Attn: Marcy Caouette, Academic Student Coordinator, Office of the Associate Dean – Student Success

What is the next step if my appeal to the Dean is denied?

If your appeal to the Dean is denied you may appeal to the UBC Senate Sub-Committee on Academic Standing to request a change to your academic record.  Please carefully review the official website to ensure you aware of important submission deadlines.

What if I am past the deadline dates outlined above?

If you have passed the deadline outlined above you may request the deadline be extended.  This request will be made to the Academic Student Coordinator, Office of the Associate Dean – Student Success, Faculty of Arts (marcy.caouette[@]  In this request you would provide evidence/documents outlining why you were unable to meet the deadline date.