Academic Appeals

Appeals regarding evaluation, grading, and academic standing will be managed according to Student Appeals in Academic Matters.

The first step is an informal consultation with the instructor or individual who evaluated the work.

  • This informal consultation should take place as soon as possible, but in any event, not later than 30 days after the assessment has been made available to the student.

The second step involves consulting the gradaute chair of the program or the dean of gradaute studies and research. 

If, after these consultations, the student is unsatisfied, student may engage in a formal process, petitioning the graduate academic affairs committee of the College of Graduate Studies and Research for a formal ruling on the matter.

Further details can be found in the Student Appeals of Evaluation, Grading and Academic Standing.

Leaves of Absence

General Information

Leaves of absence are available to graduate students under the following categories: Personal or health; maternity/parental; professional; and leave to pursue an additional program of study. The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree, and tuition is not assessed during the leave. Typically, nominal student fees are assessed during the leave period. While a student is on leave, all advisory and supervisory processes and progress on academic and research work are paused.

While on leave, students are registered into a ‘maintenance of status’ placeholder which allows them to retain registered student status.

Types of Leaves

There are several scenarios that are relevant for leaves:

  • Personal or health
  • Maternity/adoption and parental 
  • Professional
  • Leaves to pursue an additional program of study

Details can be found in the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Policy & Procedures.

Implications of a Leave

Students pursuing a leave of absence should be aware of the implications a leave from program may have on other aspects of their academic and non-academic affairs. It is important to consider and manage the following carefully when pursuing a leave from graduate studies:

Health and Dental Benefits - Depending on when you are taking your leave and for how long, your access to student health and dental benefits may be impacted. We recommend that students pursuing a leave visit the GSA Health and Dental Plan site for additional information.

Funding/Awards - Financial support offered to a full-time, fully-qualified student is not available to a student on leave unless otherwise permitted by the funding source. If you are planning to pursue a leave, and are studying on scholarship or other types of student funding, you must contact the office from which your funding is coming prior to going on leave. Failure to do this could be detrimental to current or future funding opportunities and could result in a requirement to repay any payments made in error. The source of your funding should be identified in your award letter - usually, it will be coming from within your own home academic unit, OR centrally from the CGPS Awards office. It is also advised that you contact your award office when you are returning from leave so that appropriate arrangements can be made where necessary.

Immigration Status/Study Permits - If you are an international student, taking a leave of absence could impact your study permit and/or your status in Canada. We strongly recommend that any international graduate student pursuing a leave of absence from study contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) as soon as possible to be advised appropriately.

Extension to Time in Program

General information

Time in program extensions may be granted to students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to finish their program within the time limits.

Well before a student reaches the time limit of the program without completing program requirements, the student will meet with their advisory committee and/or graduate chair to discuss whether an extension to time in program would be a suitable alternative to program withdrawal.

Applying for an Extension

Thesis-based and project-based students who have reached or will soon reach the time limit of the program without completing program requirements should meet with their supervisor to discuss a plan and timeline for completion, using the Request for Extension Discussion Guide. Once a plan has been drafted, it should be distributed to the advisory committee, and an advisory committee meeting should be scheduled to discuss, finalize, and approve the plan. The plan must also be approved by the program's Graduate Chair.

Approved plans must be submitted to the CGPS by a staff or faculty member from the student's academic unit via the Request for Extension to Time in Graduate Program eForm in the CGPS Service Desk.

Course-based students, as well as project-based students who do not have a supervisor and committee, should meet directly with the Graduate Chair to discuss an extension and submit their request.


Students who wish to withdraw from their graduate program must submit a Notice of Withdrawal from Graduate Program form to the CGPS.

As soon as a student decides to withdraw from their graduate program, they must also withdraw from any courses they are currently registered in through the registration channel in PAWS. Please note that registration and withdrawal deadlines each term are applicable, as they pertain to tuition/fee assesment, and grades. Those deadlines can be found in the Academic Calendar. 

Failure to submit an appropriate withdrawal form when leaving a program can result in a faculty action of Required to Discontinue (RTD) that will remain on an official academic record. Failure to withdraw from courses can result in failing grades on an official academic record. As such, it is important to complete these tasks when choosing not to continue in a graduate program.