How to Submit a Petition

A petition is a written request for special consideration related to non-compliance with mandatory course requirements or impact on academic performance. The following information outlines when and how petitions should be submitted. 

Under which circumstances should a petition be submitted?

If a  student:

  • Has missed a mandatory course requirement, e.g., a lab, an assignment deadline, a required tutorial or workshop, any type of exam, etc.;
  • Has experienced extenuating circumstances which he or she believes may have affected his or her academic performance — these are referred to as “general petitions” and are considered only in the event the student’s satisfactory performance in the program is in jeopardy.
Which reasons are considered valid for submitting a petition?
  • Medical;
  • Personal, e.g., family issues, personal relationship issues, illness of a family member, death in the family or someone close to you, religious observances.
What is the procedure for submitting a petition?
  • Download the petitions form from the Faculty’s website; 2023-24 Petition Form
  • Indicate on the petition form the request being made;
  • Provide a clear and concise statement which outlines the reason(s) for making the request;
  • Include required documentation. Failure to submit supporting documentation requested as part of the petition process will normally result in the petition being denied;
  • Petitions and supporting documentation may be submitted via e-mail (to  
What form of documentation is required?
  • In the case of illness, a University of Toronto Verification of Student Illness or Injury form must be provided (except when using the declaration of absence, which is applicable once per academic term). Note that the physician’s report must establish that the student was examined and diagnosed at the time of the illness, not after the fact. A statement that merely confirms a report of illness made by the student for documentation by the physician will not be sufficient; rather, the medical report must show:

    • that the student was examined at the time of illness;

    • the degree of incapacitation on academic functioning;

    • the duration of the incapacitation.

  • If the reason for submitting a petition is of a non-medical nature, the supporting documentation required will be determined based on the specific circumstances outlined in the petition.  This documentation may include, but is not limited to, letters of support from Accessibility Advisors, death certificates, and automobile collision or police reports.
  • The ACORN Absence Declaration Tool (ADT) can be used once per academic term (e.g., the fall term) to declare certain absences for a maximum period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days. The tool cannot be used in certain circumstances or for final exams during designated exam periods e.g. December, April. Please follow this link for details: You can use the declaration of absence as supporting documentation for one petition per academic term. Please follow this link for instructions on how to declare an absence: 
What is the deadline to submit a petition?
  • For missed assignments, the petition must be submitted no later than the due date for the specific assignment.  If supporting documentation is not available by this date, it may be submitted within two business days of the petition submission deadline.
  • For missed examinations and other mandatory course/program requirements, the petition and supporting documentation must be submitted within five business days of the missed examination or course/program requirement. Exception: For examinations missed during the regularly scheduled examination periods (December and April), petitions and supporting documentation must be submitted within five business days of the last day of the examination period.
  • A general petition with supporting documentation may be submitted if students believe there were extenuating circumstances affecting their academic performance. The deadline to submit general petitions is five business days after the release of the final grades.
How long does it take to find out if the petition is approved?
  • If a petition is submitted by the appropriate deadline, with a clear explanation of the circumstances, and any required documentation is provided, the request will be given prompt consideration – decisions are normally made within a few days;
  • The request will not be considered and the petition form will be returned to the student if the statement provided is insufficient or illegible, or if the required documentation is missing
  • Approval is not automatic and should not be taken for granted. Once a decision has been made, the Registrar will send the student an e-mail message (to his or her University of Toronto e-mail account) advising him or her of that decision.
What if a student needs advice?
  • Students who feel that they have genuine difficulty complying with a particular course requirement should consult the Faculty Registrar as soon as they know a problem exists.
  • Students who are unsure if they should submit a petition may also consult the Faculty Registrar.
Other important information:
  • Students who are given permission to write make-up examinations, or other mandatory course assessments/requirements must pay a Special Examination fee of $72 per make-up. When students receive confirmation that they are eligible for a make-up, they will also receive fee payment instructions and deadline information. Failure to make arrangements for paying this fee by the deadline provided will result in the loss of privilege to write/attend the make-up, and a grade of zero will be assigned for the missed assessment.
  • Candidates are expected to make appropriate judgments about their fitness to attend an examination and must accept the outcome of their choices.  
  • In the event that a candidate begins but does not complete an examination, the candidate is considered to have been present, and the examination will be graded.  A make-up examination will not be permitted.
  • If a candidate completes an examination, the examination will be graded and there will be no opportunity to re-write the examination.