Academic Concession

Students » Academic Concession

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. 

» 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*
Per UBC Policy 65: Religious Holidays, UBC permits students who are scheduled to attend classes or write examinations on holy days of their religions to observe them by absenting themselves from class or examinations. Instructors will provide opportunity for these students to make up work or examinations missed without penalty. Students are not required to provide documentation, but they must notify their instructor(s) two weeks in advance of their intended absence.

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.

The types of conditions supported by the Centre include, but are not limited to:

  1. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, or bi-polar disorder
  2. Neurological disabilities such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, head injuries, and Autism Spectrum Disorder
  3. Chronic health conditions including ongoing medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, or migraines
  4. Physical or sensory disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing loss, or mobility impairments

Determination of whether to grant an academic concession and which type of academic concession is most appropriate will depend on your individual circumstances. 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 the most common concessions granted are:

  • 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). 

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.

Per the UBC Calendar, Discipline for Non-Academic Misconduct: Student Code of Conduct (section 4.2.6 False Information and Identification): 

No student shall knowingly furnish false information to any person or office acting on behalf of the University, or forge, alter or misuse any University document, record or instrument of identification, or knowingly furnish false information to any person regarding their standing, status, or academic record at the University.

If you need to request an academic concession, please choose the category that you believe most accurately reflects your situation and read the instructions carefully. Supporting documentation and/or a discussion with an academic advisor may be required before a concession is granted. 

In-term concessions

An in-term concession encompasses everything from the start of term, up until but not including the final exam (or final assignment). 

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. To request an in-term concession, reach out to your instructor as soon as you know you will require a concession. The professor will work directly with you to determine what concession can be granted.

Various Faculties have different procedures when it comes to in-term concessions. If you are taking a non-Science course, you may need to explain to your professor that Science Advising doesn’t approve in-term concessions.

Deferred Standing for missed final exams or final assignments

Once you have started an exam, the grade you earn will stand. You will not be given another opportunity to increase your mark.

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). 

Final exam concessions must be requested within 48 hours of a missed exam. Please visit Science Advising (in person, by phone or by email) to inform Science Advising that you have missed an exam. Science Advising will then inform you how you can fill out the required paperwork. Additional information can be found on our Exam Issues page here.

If you are registered with the Centre for Accessibility (CFA), and your disability or chronic condition informs the grounds of your concession request, CFA may be able to support you in your deferred standing request. You must still inform Science Advising of your absence and provide the necessary information.