Academic Concession

If you are affected by illness, accident or family tragedy, it is important that you take care of your health and well-being.  This may involve consulting a health care provider, such as UBC Student Health Services, or other supports, like the UBC Wellness Centre. More information about services and resources can be found on the Health and Wellness section of the website.

If your situation is related to an experience of sexual violence, you have the option of contacting UBC’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) who can assist you with your academic concession.

Before Applying for Academic Concession

Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for an academic concession, which, if approved, is an allowance determined by your instructors and/or Engineering Academic Services for you to make up missed coursework or an exam.  Academic Concession can be requested for in-term work (all graded assignments, quizzes, and midterms during the UBC term dates) and final exams (exams scheduled during the UBC exam period). Before applying for concession, you should:

  • Review UBC’s policy on Academic Concession
  • Ensure the reason that you are requesting academic concession is included as a ground for academic concession:
    • Conflicting responsibilities
    • Medical circumstances
    • Compassionate grounds
  • Refer to your course syllabus for any specific instructions or information on requesting concession for the specific course
  • Inform your instructor, as soon as possible, about any missed lectures or coursework and confirm your understanding of how concessions will be applied and how the work will be made up
  • If you will be missing a final exam and are requesting a Standing Deferred (SD), ensure that you understand the possible implications of an SD, outlined below

Applying for an Academic Concession

Requests for academic concession should be made as soon as possible, generally within 72 hours of the missed coursework. Concession requests should be made no later than:

  • January 31 – Winter Session, Term 1
  • May 31 – Winter Session, Term 2
  • September 30 – Summer Session (both terms)

The process for requesting academic concession differs, depending on if your request for academic concession is during the term (in-term academic concession) or for the final exam (Standing Deferred “SD” academic concession). 

If you miss in-term coursework: In-term Academic Concession

When you miss work during the term (ie. assignment, mid-term, quiz), submit a Request for Academic Concession (In-Term Work) Form within 72 hours of missing the work.  A copy of your request will be automatically forwarded to your instructor for verification and feedback. 

  • Students who are registered with the Centre for Accessibility (CFA) should submit the request for concession directly to CFA
  • Consult your course syllabus to determine if there are additional steps you need to take to request concession.  The syllabus should also contain information about what types of concession may be available
  • Follow up with your instructor to determine if your request has been approved and confirm the type of academic concession that will be available
  • Your in-term concession request is only approved when you have received confirmation of approval from your instructor

Note: All Physics course requests should go through the Physics academic concession form. Please consult your syllabus for a link to this form.

If you miss a final exam or an end-of-term assignment: Standing Deferred (SD) Academic Concession

➢Considerations when applying for a Standing Deferred

If you miss a final exam, you may be eligible for a Standing Deferred (SD) exam.  A Standing Deferred means that the opportunity to write the final exam in the course is deferred to a later date.  When determining if you will apply for an SD, it is important to consider:

  • A Standing Deferred will only be considered if you have kept up with course material and have been regularly attending class and you need to miss the final exam and/or final project for valid reasons, as outlined in the UBC Academic Concession policy.  If you have not been able to keep up with course material and attendance, you are ineligible for an SD and may be eligible for other academic concession.  If you want to discuss if you are eligible for academic concession, meet with an EAS Academic Advisor
  • SD exams are often written several months after the course ends.  It is critical that you understand, by reading the course syllabus, reviewing the course exceptions list, or talking to the instructor, when the SD exam will be written and make arrangements to complete the SD exam.  Many SD exams are written during UBC’s Standing Deferred exam periods, which are in late July (Winter Session courses) and mid-November (Summer Session courses).  Some courses require that you be on campus to write the SD exam so you will need to plan to be in Vancouver at these times
  • While writing an SD exam off-campus may be possible, it requires that students make their own invigilation arrangements at an approved writing location, which can mean incurring additional costs for invigilation or travel to the writing location.  Additionally, it is not always possible for off-campus arrangements to be made so it is advisable that you look into this option well in advance of the SD exam if you want to explore this as a possibility
  • If you are in first-year, you must have completed a minimum of 27 credits (not including courses with SDs) by the end of April in order to be eligible for Placement.  If you have an SD, you can anticipate receiving your placement in late August once the final grade in the SD course has been finalized. You will not be penalized in the placement process as a result of the SD standing, however, you will not be able to register for the upcoming Winter session until the placement is finalized which may limit your ability to register in your first-choice timetable and classes
  • If you have an SD in a course that is a pre-requisite for another course, the SD may delay continuation or registration into the subsequent course.  If you are unsure, check with the professor of the subsequent course if you will be permitted to continue with an SD in the pre-requisite
  • Engineering students are required to complete 80% of the courses listed in the curriculum of your year level as outlined in the UBC calendar in order to be promoted to the following year level.  Courses with SDs are not included in the credit count and having an SD may delay year level promotion and registration
  • If you have applied to transfer to another Faculty, you may be ineligible for transfer if an SD is on your record.  It is advisable to consult with the Faculty you are interested in transferring to in order to determine if your application will be impacted

After reviewing the above-listed considerations, if you would like to move forward with applying for a Standing Deferred (SD):

  • Review UBC’s policy on Academic Concession
  • Ensure the reason that you are requesting academic concession is included as a reason for academic concession:
    • Conflicting responsibilities
    • Medical circumstances
    • Compassionate grounds
  • Complete the Request for Academic Concession (Final Exam) form.  Note that a copy of your request will be automatically forwarded to your instructor for verification and feedback
  • You can expect to receive a decision from Engineering Academic Services within 7-10 business days.  In the meantime, monitor your email, as an academic advisor may be in touch with you to ask for additional information, clarification, or supporting documentation

➢If your request for an SD exam is approved

  • A notation of SD will appear on your academic record for the course after the grade you have earned in the course to date has been entered by the professor
  • Determine, by reviewing your course syllabus, or talking to your professor, when the SD exam is to be written.  If your instructor indicates that you should write during UBC’s SD exam period, you will be required to submit an application to Enrolment Services through the SSC.  More information about the application process, including a list of instructions for particular courses, can be found on the Student Services website.
  • Ensure you understand the implications of an SD by reviewing the If you miss a Final exam or an end of term Assignment section of this website  
  • Continue to keep up with course material for the course in which you have an SD.  Your access to the Canvas course will be extended and you should expect to continue studying the material for the period of time between when the class ends and the SD exam is written.  Depending on your course load, you may want to consider reducing the number of courses you take to ensure you are able to continue to study the content for the SD course
  • Be aware of the deadline for completing all Standing Deferred course work
    • Winter Session courses: August 23
    • Summer Session courses: December 25
  • If you do not complete deferred requirements by the deadline for completing all Standing Deferred course work, the Standing Deferred will be replaced with a grade or standing that reflects requirements completed in the course
  • Students unable to meet the deadline for completion of Standing Deferred coursework because of additional extenuating circumstances must contact Engineering Academic Services as soon as possible. Extensions will not be granted for deferred requirements, but alternative academic concessions may be considered if new circumstances prevent completion of the course

➢If your request for an SD exam is denied

Academic concession requests may be denied on the following grounds:

  • you have made repeated requests for academic concession
  • you have already written the final exam
  • there is an investigation of academic misconduct
  • you did not make the request in a timely manner (within 72 hours)
  • if required, you have not provided supporting documentation to substantiate the request

If your request is denied:

  • The grade to date earned in the course, assuming a 0% on the final exam, will be the final grade
  • If your request has been denied and the final exam date has not passed, you are still eligible to write the final exam

If you want to withdraw from a course: Late withdrawal

If the withdrawal deadline (with “W” standing) for the course has passed and you have not met course requirements during the term but have valid grounds for academic concession that address the reasons for the lack of progress in the course, you may be eligible for a late withdrawal, per UBC policy.  Students will not normally be granted late withdrawal if the final examination or final assignment has been completed. 

If you want to discuss your eligibility for a late withdrawal please find a time to meet with an EAS Academic Advisor

Centre for Accessibility Related Late Withdrawal

If you are registered with the Centre for Accessibility and are requesting a late withdrawal based on disability grounds, you can submit your request through the EAS Standing Deferred Request form. There will be the option to choose Late Withdrawal at the end of the form.

*Note: You will need to connect with your CFA advisor to confirm your grounds after submitting the form.

Understanding what a W standing is

Please refer to the Late Withdrawal section of our FAQ for more information.


Please refer to our FAQ for commonly asked questions about Academic Concession.