Academic Concession

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Important Details for Academic Concessions:

  • 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 has moved online and we are 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. 

» 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

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.

 

Potential Impacts of a Credit/D/Fail or W Academic Concession

Students with first year standing

  • Promotion to Second Year Standing: Deferring your exam or requesting to withdraw from a course may impact your eligibility to be promoted to second year standing. In another example, if you do not meet the eligibility to be promoted to second year standing by the end of April 2020, you will apply for a specialization in spring of 2021 (once you are eligible for promotion) instead. 

  • Which specializations you meet the requirements for: An academic concession could impact the courses that you have successfully completed by April 2020 and in advance of the specialization application. For example, deferring or withdrawing from a course could mean that you no longer meet the requirements for a particular specialization and need to apply to other specializations for which you meet the requirements. If you’re worried about the potential impacts of withdrawing from a course, we recommend discussing your options with Science Advising. 

  • Processes requiring grades/sessional average: Cr/D/F courses are not taken into consideration when computing your sessional average and may impact other processes which rely on this average for adjudication. For example, Cr/D/F courses are not included in the average calculated to evaluate your specialization application. Similarly, this may impact the calculation of your average for consideration of Science Scholar, Dean’s Honour List and Distinction. For the 2019 winter session only, the required course load for Science Scholar and Dean's Honour List has been adjusted to 24 percentage-graded credits.

  • Note: For courses taken in this term only, Cr/D/F courses will satisfy specialization and degree requirements. 

Students with second, third and fourth year standing

  • Promotion to the next year level standing: Requesting to withdraw from a course may impact your eligibility for promotion or graduation. If you have questions about what withdrawing from a course could mean for you, please connect with Science Advising. 

  • Processes requiring grades/sessional average: Cr/D/F courses are not taken into consideration when computing your sessional average and may impact other processes which rely on this average for adjudication. For example, choosing Cr/D/F may have an impact on your eligibility for awards; the current awards adjudication requires 24 credits of percentage-graded courses within the most recent session (i.e. 2019 winter session). Similarly, this may impact the calculation of your average for consideration of Science Scholar, Dean’s Honour List and Distinction. For the 2019 winter session only, the required course load for Science Scholar and Dean's Honour List has been adjusted to 24 percentage-graded credits. The requirements to graduate with Distinction remain the same as what is listed in the Academic Calendar

  • Note: For courses taken in this term only, Cr/D/F courses will satisfy specialization and degree requirements.

  • Graduate school: We don't know how graduate schools will consider Cr/D/Fail standing in courses taken this term as a result of COVID-19. Some graduate schools have already published information on their admissions websites to answer this question. Please review the websites of the schools/programs you're considering and reach out to them directly with your questions.

 

The deadline to submit a request for Academic Concession (Credit/D/Fail or W) has now passed. If you have extenuating circumstances that caused you to miss the deadline, please connect with Science Advising via one of our real-time options to discuss. 

More Information About Deferred Standing