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Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work

Information Box Group

The University recognizes that students periodically require relief from academic work for medical or other personal situations. This academic regulation aims to manage these requests by taking into account the needs and obligations of students, instructors and administrators. It is the prerogative of the instructor of the course to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work in their course.

Requests for relief should be made with a commitment to academic integrity in mind. Requests that deviate from this commitment will be handled under the Academic Integrity Policy and Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, where appropriate.

STUDENTS:  PLEASE DIRECT ALL QUESTIONS TO YOUR FACULTY OFFICE

Request for Relief (via MSAF)

REQUEST FOR RELIEF (via MSAF) for missed academic work worth less than 25% of the final grade resulting from medical or personal situations lasting up to three calendar days:

  1. use the MSAF (McMaster Student Absence Form) on-line self-reporting tool (no further documentation is required)
  2. students may only submit a Request for Relief using the MSAF tool once per term
  3. an automated email will be sent to the course instructor, who will determine the appropriate relief.  Students must immediately follow up with their instructors. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief
  4. a Request for Relief (via MSAF) applies only to work that is due within the period for which the request applies, i.e. the 3-day period that is specified in the MSAF; however, all work due in that period can be covered by one MSAF
  5. students experiencing technical difficulties at the time of the test should contact their instructor or designate and should not submit a Request for Relief (via MSAF).
  6. a Request for Relief (via MSAF) cannot be used to meet a religious obligation or to celebrate an important religious holiday
  7. a Request for Relief (via MSAF) cannot be used for academic work that has already been completed or attempted.  Attempting online work INCLUDES opening a test/quiz on Avenue to Learn or other platform.
  8. a Request for Relief (via MSAF) cannot be used to apply for relief for any final examination or its equivalent.  See Petitions for Special Consideration in the Undergraduate Calendar

Request for Relief (via Faculty Office)

REQUEST FOR RELIEF for medical or personal situations lasting more than three calendar days, and/or for missed academic work worth 25% or more of the final grade, and/or for any request for relief in a term where the MSAF has been used previously in that term:

  • students must report to their Faculty Office to discuss their situation and will be required to provide appropriate supporting documentation (see Documentation Requirements below)
  • if warranted, the Faculty Office will approve the absence, and the instructor will determine appropriate relief
  • students must immediately follow up with their instructors. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.

Documentation Requirements

If the reason for a request for relief is medical, the approved McMaster University Medical Form covering the relevant dates must be submitted. The student must be seen by a doctor at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed work and the doctor must verify the duration of the illness.  If the reason is non-medical, appropriate documentation with verifiable origin covering the relevant dates must be submitted, normally within three working days.

In some circumstances, students may be advised to submit a Petition for Special Consideration (Form A) seeking relief for missed academic work. In deciding whether or not to grant a petition, adequacy of the supporting documentation, including the timing in relation to the due date of the missed work and the degree of the student’s incapacitation, may be taken into account. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.  If the petition is approved, the Faculty Office will notify the instructor(s) recommending relief. It is the prerogative of the instructor of the course to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work in their course.  This form should be filled out immediately when students are about to return to class after your absence.

PRIVACY DISCLAIMER: By using the MSAF tool you understand that some personal information will be submitted to your Faculty Office.

MSAF is now available in MOSAIC Student Center (in the drop down menu under OTHER ACADEMICS.

Academic Accommodations - EXCLUDED

Students seeking an accommodation related to a permanent or temporary disability, or a retroactive accommodation are expected to read the policy Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require accommodations to meet religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances are expected to read the Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

The MSAF cannot be used to request these types of accommodations.  The MSAF may be used by the Faculty/Program Offices to communicate with instructors and students regarding these types of accommodations.