Submitting a Deferred Standing Request

Students » Submitting a Deferred Standing Request

Please review the following information carefully before proceeding to apply for deferred standing.


You must report your absence to Science Advising no later than 48 hours after the missed final exam or final assignment deadline by submitting the form requesting deferred standing (see link included on this page). 

If you then require time to collect appropriate supporting documentation, you have up to 14 calendar days to submit the additional information to Science Advising.

Academic concessions (e.g. deferred standing) are a privilege, not a right, and requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. When we (Science Advising) review a Deferred Standing request, we are looking for information to help us to determine what might be the strongest outcome for you and your studies. This includes the answers to three key questions:

  1. Are you in good academic standing in the course?
  2. Does the information available (e.g. reason provided by you, documentation) make sense and align with the valid grounds for academic concession?
  3. Have you requested an academic concession previously for the same reason or circumstance?

The answers to these and other questions help us to determine if you are eligible and if granting deferred standing is going to set you up for success in your studies. 

You will be notified by email if your request is denied. In this case, your grade in the course will be calculated using a grade of zero for the final exam. An academic concession in the form of “Standing Deferred” will be denied if you:

  • Are not in good academic standing in the course
  • Are not in good academic standing overall (i.e. in other courses)
  • Have requested academic concessions previously and are not eligible for more
  • Are deemed to have insufficient reason for missing the exam

To be eligible for Deferred Standing, you must be in good academic standing in the course. You need to be passing the course based on all graded coursework (e.g. midterms, assignments, participation, quizzes) prior to the final exam.

For example, if assignments in your course total 65% of your course grade (and 35% is remaining for your lab report and final exam), then you need to have earned at least 32.5% of the available 65% to be considered in good academic standing.

It is important for you to know that once you step inside the exam room, you are considered to have written the exam and your grade in the course will stand. You will not be able to retake the exam for increased marks and, if you have submitted a request for Academic Concession, it will no longer be valid.

If you attend your exam (on the standard scheduled date) after submitting a request for Academic Concession, you must let Science Advising know right away so that we can update your request as withdrawn.

If you’re not passing the course, please connect with Science Advising. You are not eligible to defer your exam, but we should talk about what’s going on for you and what other options you might have. When you come to speak with us, we might determine that setting up an appointment with an academic advisor is a good place to start – if so, we can book an appointment with you. We cannot schedule appointments over email.

The short answer is not necessarily. Academic concessions are designed to support students when they experience unanticipated events or circumstances that interfere with their ability to accomplish academic work.

When we review your current request, we’ll look at any other requests you’ve made previously as part of our consideration. We want to ensure you’re connected to the appropriate supports (e.g. medical professionals, UBC Centre for Accessibility, UBC Counselling) and taking proactive steps so that you are able to continue your studies to the best of your current ability.



The documentation required depends on the grounds under which you are requesting Deferred Standing. Documentation is required in most cases, however self-declaration may be sufficient for some requests:

  Medical Circumstances Compassionate Grounds Conflicting Responsibilities Exceptional Circumstances

Acute illness only ✓

Ongoing or repeated illness x


Contact Science Advising
to confirm

Exceptional circumstances refer to an extraordinary unanticipated event that prevented you from writing the exam. Exceptional circumstances are not typically grounds for deferred standing and therefore an academic concession is not guaranteed. You should do everything in your power to ensure that you do not require an academic concession.

If you’re unsure what documentation is required in your circumstance, please connect with us at Science Advising.

The form to request Deferred Standing includes a section to upload documents relevant to your request (e.g. medical notes, official letter with relevant info about being called to serve in the military)

If you do not have all of the relevant documents ready to submit when you make the request for Deferred Standing, you have up to 14 calendar days to submit the remaining information via a specific link we will send to you by email.



Once you submit your Deferred Standing request, we will review your submission to ensure that we have everything we need from you so far. At the same time, we will reach out to the instructor of your course to ask for information about your academic standing in the course. Once we have a response from the course instructor and any outstanding supporting documentation from you, this is when your request will be evaluated.

We review each request on a case-by-case basis. You can expect that it will take a minimum of ten business days to review your request. It is normal to expect that you will not have an answer about your request in advance of the scheduled date of the final exam.

If your request is granted, you will notice an “SD” designation on your Grades Summary page of the Student Service Centre. It is your responsibility to check here for updates once the final exam period has ended; you will not receive other notification if your request is granted.

If ten business days have passed since you submitted your request and you do not see an update on your Grades Summary page, you can connect with Science Advising to inquire about the status of your request. We are not able to provide status updates over email.

If your request is denied, you will be notified by email at the address listed on your Student Service Centre.

The policy on Deferred Standing (and other academic concessions) is included in the Academic Calendar, please ensure you are familiar with the policy before applying. If you are unclear on the information above or have additional questions about requesting an Academic Concession (including Deferred Standing), please connect with Science Advising over Zoom or by phone (do not email).