Academic Consideration (Absences)

The following information is provided for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) who require academic consideration.

What is Academic Consideration?

is meant to help you manage a short-term that is beyond your control and could affect your academics.

Academic consideration refers to an action or actions taken by an instructor or the Faculty Office, in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance who requests academic consideration.
» See full definition: Academic Consideration

Extenuating circumstances refer to a personal circumstance beyond the student’s control that temporarily interferes with the student’s ability to complete academic requirements related to a course(s) for a short period of time, not to exceed three months.
» See full definition: Extenuating Circumstances

This might be a sudden physical or mental illness, a serious injury or required treatment for yourself or a significant other, bereavement (death of family member or close friend), or a traumatic event. Another example is an absence due to a significant event, such as participating in a varsity championship or performing at a national or international event.

Examples of reasons for Academic Consideration:

  • Accident
  • Illness (physical or mental)
  • Traumatic event (e.g., sexual assault, divorce)
  • Bereavement
  • Emergency Procedure
  • University-sponsored athletic competition or significant event
  • Compulsory legal duties (e.g. jury duty)
  • Unforeseen technological or workspace disruptions beyond student’s control, computer malfunction, power outage affecting access; documentation is required (dated receipt of repair [e.g.to demonstrate hardware/software repair], dated news articles, weather reports or screenshots from utility provider to demonstrate lack of internet access due to power outage)

Extenuating Circumstances do not include:

  • Work, volunteering, extracurricular activities
  • Vacations, social commitments, family events
  • Transportation delays
  • Technology issues
  • Course conflicts, teamwork conflicts
  • Misreading a deadline/timetable, sleeping in
  • Scheduled elective medical appointments
  • Technology malfunctions (chronic technological difficulties or workspace disruptions, such as long-term hardware/software failure, prolonged poor internet coverage, lack of planning or knowledge of program software/OnQ, missing notifications/reminders, use of unsupported/out-of-date software, or other persistent technological challenges.)

In cases such as these, you should refer to your course syllabus and contact your instructor(s) directly to request academic consideration. Note that your instructor has the discretion to approve or deny your request.

Other exceptions:

Note: Students should avoid making personal plans that fall within the official exam periods (refer to the sessional dates for the official exam periods). Until the final exam schedule is published (the Friday before Thanksgiving for fall term and Family Day for winter term) it should be assumed that exams could be scheduled any time from the first to the last day of the official period. Students will not be granted consideration for any personal plans (travel, etc.) made in conflict with their exam schedule. Section 8.4 of the Academic Regulations states that personal plans do not qualify as extenuating circumstances.

Academic consideration for an extenuating circumstance may include, but is not limited to:

  • an excused absence
  • a deferral of an assignment or other deliverable
  • an extension
  • a modified schedule for assignments, projects, labs, or placements
  • an alternative assignment
  • a re-weighting of term marks
  • permission for an
  • permission for a late course drop

Incomplete standing (IN) is a temporary designation where students, because of extenuating circumstances, have completed the majority of the graded work, but not all course work.
» See full definition: Incomplete Grade

Your instructor will determine what academic consideration is appropriate for your course based on the academic requirements you may miss and the or learning outcomes of the course. These should be listed in your course syllabus. All students who receive academic consideration must meet all essential academic requirements of the course. Academic consideration does not guarantee academic achievement in a course or program.

Essential academic requirements and standards refer to the knowledge and/or skill that must be acquired and/or demonstrated, for a student to successfully meet the learning outcomes of a course or academic work.

Please note that some instructors may be using universal design principles to provide considerations for absences (for example a grace period of 3 days beyond the submission deadline). In such cases you may not need to submit a request for consideration for 3 days without documentation. Please check your syllabus carefully, and ask your instructor for clarification when in doubt.

Academic Considerations for Extenuating Circumstances

The process of submitting a request for Academic Consideration varies depending on the timing of the request and the duration of the absence.

Requests for academic consideration up to 3 days:
  • Only one request without supporting documentation is allowed per term. Additional requests require supporting documentation. If supporting documentation is not available, a formal Attestation of Extenuating Circumstances form must be submitted.

  • Your request must be submitted as soon as you require academic consideration, and within 7 days of your absence.

Requests for academic consideration between 4 days and 3 months:
  • Should be made as soon as you require academic consideration. Requests must be submitted before the course has ended. Requests are not accepted after the end of the term.

  • Supporting documentation is required and should be submitted within 7 business days of submitting the request.

Requests for academic consideration during exam periods:
  • All requests made during final exam periods require supporting documentation. If supporting documentation is not available, a formal Attestation of Extenuating Circumstances form must be submitted. Submit the Request for Academic Consideration and request an Attestation appointment by emailing engineering.aac@queensu.ca.

  • If you are unable to write an exam because of incapacitating illness or other extenuating circumstances, you will need to submit an Incomplete Grade Request form to the Faculty Office, along with supporting documentation. If approved, a date of completion will be set and you will need to complete any outstanding course deliverables within that timeframe.

How to Request Academic Consideration for Extenuating Circumstances

    1. Fill out the form below, uploading the information shown. Your instructors will then be notified by email, which you will be copied on, regarding the duration of your absence. It is the student's responsibility to follow up with their instructors to complete any missed work.

Excused Absence for a Significant Event

If you are participating in an event at the provincial, national, or international level that is either a Queen's Varsity Athletics event or an event to which you were invited as a distinguished guest, you can request academic consideration.

  1. A minimum of two weeks before the sanctioned event, or as soon as the event is scheduled, complete a Request for Excused Absence of Significant Event form (PDF) and have the form verified and signed by either:

    • For Queen's varsity athletic events – a member of the Queen's Athletics & Recreation senior management team or Athletics Services Coordinator-Retention
    • For other significant events – the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

    You will need to provide additional information with your form. See page 2 of the form for details on what to submit and to whom.

  2. Once your form is signed, email it to engineering.aac@queensu.ca. Note: Your request should NOT be submitted in person.

  3. Once your form is received, the Faculty Office will email your instructors to inform them that you have been approved for an excused absence and the duration. It is your responsibility to follow up with your instructors to make up the missed academic requirements. You may be asked to complete the requirements prior to the event.

Forms and Policies

Forms and Documentation Required for Academic Consideration

Note: Engineering students must submit their documentation and forms to the Engineering Program Assistant (Accommodations & Considerations), even for their complementary studies (electives).

For delegates: If you are submitting a Request for Academic Consideration on behalf of a student, you should contact the Faculty Office to arrange to complete the proper forms: engineering.aac@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000, ext. 78013.

If you encounter any problems with these forms, contact the FEAS Program Assistant (Accommodations & Considerations): engineering.aac@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 ext. 78013.