Missed Course Work Policy

When a DeGroote student misses a mid-term test for legitimate reasons (as determined by the Student Experience – Academic Office) there are two possible options for making up the work:

  • If enough notice is given (10 business days) and the instructor is willing, the Student Experience – Academic Office can schedule a re-write of the test.
  • The weight of the test (how much of the final mark the test was worth) can be redistributed across other evaluations in the course by the instructor.

The Student Experience – Academic Office and instructor decide which option to use.  To review types of documentation required as supporting documentation, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

If the work is in a non-commerce course, submit a Notification of Absence (see below) and then speak with your instructor to determine how the marks will be made up.

Please note:  Unfortunately, if you write a test, midterm, or final exam while sick or under the influence of a crisis or compassionate situation, the results cannot be changed.

How to Report an Absence

Case 1

  • First missed course work this term and
  • Course work worth less than 25% of the final mark for the course

Use the self-submitted McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF).  Then follow up with your instructor right away to discuss how you can make up the marks.

You can only use the MSAF once per term.

If you try to use the MSAF for work worth 25% of your final mark or more you will be investigated for academic dishonesty.  Use the instructions for ‘Case 2’ instead.

Case 2

  • Course work worth more than 25% of the final mark for the course or
  • Absence was longer than 3 days or
  • You have already used your self-submitted MSAF once this term

Complete the Notification of Absence (Petition for Relief of Missed Course Work) form.  Submit it, with any required supporting documentation (outlined below), to the Student Experience – Academic Office (DSB-112) within five business days of the missed course work.  Students should meet with a medical professional at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed work and must submit a Student Health Certificate with their Notification of Absence form.

Fill in all sections of the petition and make sure to sign it.  You must provide documentation from a third party explaining or verifying the situation.

Students will receive a confirmation email from the Student Experience – Academic Office once their request has been processed.  The “extended MSAF” will be processed by the Student Experience – Academic Office and both the student and instructor will automatically receive a confirmation email from the Mosaic MSAF system.  It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with the instructor to determine how the missed marks will be re-allocated.

Students who have been approved for the “extended MSAF” as described above, and subsequently require the use of the “regular MSAF” will have to submit a Notification of Absence to the Student Experience – Academic Office in order to access the system.  In this case the Notification of Absence does not require any additional documentation be submitted.  Only that the missed coursework is less than 25% and this is the only “regular MSAF” submission for the term.

Case 3

  • You are expected to miss a final examination for medical or personal reasons or
  • You miss a final examination due to medical reasons

Complete the Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination Form (Form B). Submit it, with any required supporting documentation (outlined below), to the Student Experience – Academic Office (DSB 112) within five business days of the missed exam. Students should meet with a medical professional at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed final examination, and must submit a Student Health Certificate with their Deferred Final Examination Form. Please note: missed final examinations are typically rescheduled to be written during the following term’s Reading Week.

The Office of the Registrar will reschedule final examinations within the examination period for the reasons below:

  • Conflict with a religious obligation (RISO)
  • More than one examination scheduled at the same time
  • Three examinations in one calendar day (midnight to midnight)
  • Three consecutive examinations over two days (e.g., December 14 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm and December 15th at 9:00am)

Application to reschedule examinations within the same examination period must be made at least 10 business days before the scheduled examination period.

Supporting Documentation for Different Kinds of Absences

In all cases, make sure the documentation specifies the date or dates involved.

Medical ReasonsA physician must fill out and sign the McMaster University Student Health Certificate on your behalf. The university’s policy requires that you “be seen by a physician at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed work.” The physician must identify the degree of incapacitation as either “Severe” or “Serious”  in order to be considered.
Academic or Varsity EventsThis applies if you’re representing the university at an event. Please follow the Athletic and Recreation department’s procedure.  Confirmation of the conflicting Athletic event will then be confirmed by Claire Arsenault.
Case CompetitionsProvide a letter from the instructor supervising your team.
Citizenship CourtProvide the official judicial notice.
Death or Illness of a Family Member or FriendProvide a letter from the funeral home confirming that you attended the funeral, a death certificate, or an obituary. For illness, please provide a letter from the Attending Physician.
High School Graduation CeremonyThis applies to your graduation ceremony. Provide a copy of the invitation from your high school.
Job InterviewsProvide a letter from your potential employer on company letterhead (part time and graduating students only). For CIP interviews, please contact cip@mcmaster.ca to have your interview rescheduled.
Jury DutyProvide the official judicial notice.
MSU and DCS EventsThis applies to events sanctioned by either the McMaster Students Union or the DeGroote Commerce Society where you will be representing the university or DeGroote. Provide a letter on official MSU or DCS letterhead (from an MSU or DCS executive) confirming that your attendance at the event is required.
Overlapping or Conflicting Test SchedulesThis applies if two of your tests or midterms are scheduled for the same time or there is less than one hour between two scheduled midterms.
Professional Development EventsProvide a letter from your employer on company letterhead.  (Part time students only.)
Religious ObligationSubmit a RISO form in addition to the Notification of Absence form. If this is in relation to a Final Examination, please notify the Office of the Registrar directly. For further clarification of the RISO policy, please review the RISO Fact Sheet.
TravelPersonal travel will not be approved as a reason for missing an academic obligation. However, if in accordance with any other absence in this list, provide a copy of your travel documents.
WeddingThis applies if one of the people getting married is part of your immediate family or you are in the wedding party. Provide a copy of the wedding invitation or a letter from either spouse confirming your participation.
WorkThis only applies for part-time students.
Work-related TrainingProvide a letter from your employer on company letterhead  (part time and graduating students only).

If you know in advance that you will be absent due to one of these reasons, contact the Student Experience – Academic Office at least ten working days beforehand with the appropriate documentation.

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