Academic Concession

If you are affected by illness, accident or family tragedy, please take immediate steps to care for yourself. This may involve consulting a health care provider, such as UBC Student Health Services, or other supports, like Wellness Advisors. In these situations, you should also contact Arts Academic Advising if your unexpected conflicting responsibilities or unforeseen circumstances prevent you from completing graded work or exams.

Academic Concession will be considered if the medical or personal situation is shown to be a serious impediment to your ability to complete course requirements. Academic Concessions are granted by Arts Academic Advising in consultation with instructors, and are a privilege, not a right. If you are registered with the Centre for Accessibility, and the request is related to your registered condition, make your concession request directly to your Accessibility Advisor. The Centre will work with Arts Academic Advising and your instructor(s).

Types of Academic Concession

In-term concession:

  • In-term concession may be considered when you have unforeseen circumstances or conflicting responsibilities that prevent you from completing coursework or in-term exams, or attending a small number of courses.
  • If concession is approved, you may need to speak with your instructor about making arrangements to submit the incomplete coursework or make up the missed exam.

Standing Deferred for a final exam or final term work:

  • A Standing Deferred (SD) may be considered when you have unforeseen circumstances or conflicting responsibilities that prevent you from completing final exams or final coursework.
  • 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. You will usually need to arrange with Enrolment Services to write your final exam, or with your instructor to submit your final coursework.

Withdrawal from the course after the W 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, Arts Academic Advising may be able to consider other forms of concession.

Procedures for Requesting Academic Concession

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

1) Fill out the Academic Concession Form for BA/BFA/BIE/BMS 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 to provide appropriate documentation.

Academic Concession is only granted in extenuating circumstances. Both Arts Academic Advising and the course instructor must support a request for Academic Concession. Academic concession requests may 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, submitted before the deadline. 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?

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 normally be expected 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 your course is 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.
    • Note: Some instructors are willing and able to allow the student to write a SD exam outside of the formal SD exam period, and invigilated by the instructor. You may ask your instructor if this is possible, but be aware that instructors are neither required nor expected to provide an earlier, alternate exam sitting.
  • 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 Canvas component to your course(s), you must ask your instructor to extend your access to Canvas.


Deadlines to initiate academic concession requests:

Winter Session, Term 1: January 15
Winter Session, Term 2: May 15
Summer Session: September 15

Deadlines to submit supporting documentation for academic concession requests:

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

Requests for Academic Concession and supporting documentation should be submitted to Arts Academic Advising in Buchanan D111 as soon as possible, and prior to the deadline.

Applying to write a deferred exam

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: early April to mid-June (see link above for exact dates)
Summer Session: early September to early October (see link above for exact dates)

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.

Deferred exam period

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 Academic 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 Academic Advising prior to contacting the instructor, particularly as some special arrangements may affect your ability to continue studying at UBC.

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. 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?

Speak with your Academic Advisor to make sure you understand why your request was denied. Such decisions are not made lightly, and are based on academic regulations, feedback from your instructor, and the content of your request. If you have additional information or documentation you wish to provide, meet with your Academic Advisor and ask that the decision be reconsidered in light of that information. Your Advisor may choose to consult with the Director of Arts Academic Advising, and you are welcome to provide a one-page written appeal letter to your Advisor that can be submitted along with that consultation.

If your request for an academic concession is denied by Arts Academic Advising, you may further appeal the decision to the Associate Dean – Academic, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts. Appeals can be submitted via e-mail to marcy.caouette[@], or can be submitted through Arts Academic Advising. For questions on how to appeal to the Associate Dean – Academic please contact marcy.caouette[@]