Academic Concession

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At UBC, we care about your wellbeing and are committed to supporting you in your academic pursuits. We recognize that sometimes unanticipated events or circumstances can affect your ability to complete your academic responsibilities.

You may be eligible for academic concession if your circumstances fall within certain categories. An academic concession is an allowance for you to make up missed coursework or an exam at a later date or by alternate means. 

  • Academic concessions for coursework during the term (e.g. specific class activities and assignments) are at the discretion of your instructor.
  • Students with valid grounds can apply for another type of academic concession, deferred standing, in a course to write the final exam/assignment at a later date. Be sure to read the sections below in detail. You must apply for deferred standing no later than 48 hours after the missed final exam or assignment deadline. 
  • UBC BSc and BCS students should follow up with Science Advising for whole-course or final exam/project concessions for any course, regardless of which faculty (e.g., Arts) may be delivering the course.

Science Advising is available weekdays from 9:30 AM to 4 PM. Find out how to connect with us at science.ubc.ca/students/advising.

An academic concession is an allowance for you to make up missed coursework or an exam at a later date or by alternate means, or to account for work that you are unable to complete. 

Deferred Standing applications will open for the 2020 Winter Session Term 1 on December 3rd at 10am.

» UBC Academic Concession Policy

Medical circumstances

  • acute* physical or mental illness or a medical circumstance that emerges or recurs during a term
  • the emergence of, or a change in, a chronic physical or mental health condition

* An acute illness is one that has a quick onset and typically lasts for only a brief period.

Compassionate grounds

  • a traumatic event experienced by you, a family member, or a close friend
  • an act of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct experienced by you, a family member, or a close friend
  • a death in the family or of a close friend

Conflicting responsibilities 

  • being absent from campus to represent the University, British Columbia or Canada in a competition or performance
  • attending meetings required as a member of a University governance body
  • being called to serve in the military
  • needing to work to support oneself or one’s family but only when the need changed after you registered in the course
  • a change in the need to provide care for a dependent or family member
  • being required to attend a court session as a witness, jury member, or party
  • being required to attend a hearing on a matter of university discipline or academic standing
  • being required to report to a government office for immigration or citizenship proceedings
  • participating in a religious observance

Academic concessions are special allowances determined by your instructors and/or your home Faculty Academic Advising Office for you to complete missed coursework or exams resulting from extenuating circumstances such as an acute illness or a conflicting responsibility. Refer to your course syllabi to understand how concessions will be applied in each course for which a concession is requested and granted. See Requesting Academic Concession below for further instructions.

Academic accommodations are arrangements predetermined by UBC's Centre for Accessibility (CFA) to help students with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions overcome challenges or barriers that may affect their academic success. The Centre evaluates a student's eligibility for accommodations, and determines the type of accommodations most suitable for that student, as governed by the university's Policy 73: Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.

Determination of whether to grant an academic concession and which type of academic concession is most appropriate will depend on your individual circumstances, when the academic advisor reviews your request. One or more of the following considerations may apply:

  • the nature and duration of the issue that is affecting you;
  • confidential consultation with other appropriate units that can provide professional opinion on your situation;
  • the scope and type of academic work affected;
  • the proportion of prescribed academic work having been completed at the point in the term or program when academic work is affected; and,
  • your achievements in the course to date.

The following is not an exhaustive list, but some of the types of concessions include:

  • In-term concessions
    Your course syllabus will list the provisions set by your instructor for short absences and missed coursework, midterm exams, and deadlines for the course. In-term concessions typically take the form of an extended deadline, reweighting of missed marks to a later test or assignment, or an alternate exam. In-term concessions are granted at the discretion of the Instructor. It is your responsibility to reach out to your instructor to request an academic concession in alignment with the grounds for academic concession listed above.
  • Deferred Standing for missed final exams
    If an academic concession is approved for a final exam, Science Advising will assign a Deferred Standing for that course. You will be required to complete your final exam at a later date, most likely during the Deferred Standing exam period (late July to early August for winter session courses, or mid-November for summer session courses). 
  • Course Concessions 
    • Credit/D/Fail: your record will show a standing of Cr (credit), D, or F (fail) instead of a percentage grade. Students with Cr and D receive credit for the course, while students with F standing do not. Considerations may need to be made for impact on awards. 
    • W standing: this will withdraw you from a single course or multiple courses. Students with W standing do not receive credit for the course.

Per the UBC Academic Concession policy

Academic concession shall not lower the academic standards of UBC, its courses, or its programs, and shall not remove either the need for evaluation or assessment or the need for the student to meet essential requirements.

Self-declaration of your circumstances may be sufficient for:

  • the first occurrence of an acute illness
  • a request on compassionate grounds
  • a conflicting responsibility for which there is no practicable way to provide a letter or other official document from an organization relevant to the conflict
  • religious observances

For some circumstances, you may still be required to submit supporting documentation along with, or following, your self-declaration. 

We trust that the information you provide in a request for academic concession is accurate and truthful. The submission of false information for the purpose of obtaining academic concession is classified as non-academic misconduct, and will be investigated and penalized accordingly.

Students with first year standing

Deferred Standing is a form of academic concession. When you receive Deferred Standing for a missed final exam, this could have an impact on your promotion to second year standing. You must have second year standing to apply for a specialization, therefore Deferred Standing could also impact your specialization application. If you have reviewed the information about promotion to second year and have questions about what Deferred Standing in a course could mean for you, please find out how to connect with us at science.ubc.ca/students/advising . Please have your student number available so that we can look at your academic record and discuss your specific situation.

Students with second, third and fourth year standing

Deferred Standing is a form of academic concession. When you receive Deferred Standing for a missed final exam, this could have delay your promotion to the next year level. As a result, you may not be able to register for the upcoming winter session until the results of your exams and course grades have been finalized. This may limit your ability to register in your first-choice timetable and classes. If you have questions about what Deferred Standing in a course could mean for you, please connect with us at science.ubc.ca/students/advising. Have your student number available so that we can look at your academic record and discuss your specific situation.