Academic Petitions and Appeals

The purpose of academic regulations is to allow students to develop their interests and talents to the fullest in ways consistent with policy of the Faculty. In establishing academic regulations, the Faculty also recognizes that instances will arise where it makes sense, in the context of a student’s academic career, to waive regulations which would otherwise apply. The purpose of an academic petition is to request an exemption from an academic regulation or deadline. Being unfamiliar of regulations or deadlines does not constitute a valid reason for an academic petition.

Academic petitions and appeals in the Faculty of Graduate Studies are governed by the Senate Guidelines for the consideration of petitions/appeals by Faculty Committees.

Petitions must be initiated within 12 months of an issue arising. Petitions on issues beyond the 12 month timeline will not be considered, except in truly exceptional circumstances.

Only in exceptional circumstances will a retroactive (before start date of the current term) academic petition be considered and/or granted. Retroactive petitions must adhere to the 12 month time limit.

Academic Petition Submission Guidelines

  • Submit complete petitions to home program office. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing.
  • Include a statement with the academic rational for the request and attach any relevant documentation.
  • Making false statements on this form is a breach on the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.
  • A petition will not normally be processed if the student is not in good academic or financial standing.
  • Incomplete petitions will be cancelled after 10 days. Students will be notified if further action is required on their behalf.
  • Decisions will be communicated via email to the provided address with copy to the program.


Full regulations applicable to each category of request are available on the FGS website:

  1. Leave of Absence:The fee to be registered inactive is $169.49 plus $15.00 registration fee. This fee does not apply to No Course Available Leaves. A Leave of Absence will not be granted during an extension of program time limits. Terms for which a student is granted External Status will be counted as active terms towards the completion of the degree. Maternity leave of absence is available to students during or following a pregnancy. Parental leave of absence is available to students for whom parental responsibilities are such that they require the student to be absent from their studies. The maximum number of terms is dependent upon the type of Leave as per the table below:
    Exceptional Circumstances Up to 3 terms (over the course of program)
    External Up to 3 terms (over the course of program)
    No Course Available One term at a time (no limits)
    Elective One term over the course of a program
    Maternal Up to 3 terms per pregnancy
    Parental Up to 1 term per child

    Please note that the approval of any leave will affect your funding for that term. Leaves requested for a term that has already started will be considered retroactive.

  2. Reinstatement: Students who have withdrawn in good standing may petition for reinstatement within three terms (12 months) following a withdrawal. After that time, students must normally apply for readmission rather than reinstatement. Reinstatement into a program does not guarantee funding will continue as outlined in your original funding offer.
  3. Reinstatement to Defend: Students who have withdrawn in good standing may petition for reinstatement to defend a thesis/dissertation at any time following their withdrawal, on the condition that the thesis/dissertation is ready to proceed to defence. Such petitions must include evidence and support from the supervisory committee and graduate program director, who must confirm that the thesis/dissertation is ready to proceed to defence.
  4. Extension of Program Time Limit:
    1. All petitions for extensions will be assumed to be for part-time status unless otherwise specified with the exception of requests related to the provisions of the CUPE 3903 Collective Agreement.
    2. Extension of program time limit request must always be accompanied by:
      • A student statement with explanation of why timely progress was not made and progress made to date.
      • A detailed plan with timeline for completing the remainder of the degree, including post-oral examination revisions, and
      • A statement from the student’s supervisor commenting on the request and the plan.
    3. Extension of program time limit and/or priority pool entitlement requests may be made related to CUPE service (Unit 1 article 15.09.02 and 15.09.04; Unit 3 article 11.04.4) or disability/illness/injury (unit 1 articles 15.10 and 12.03.02; Unit 3 article 11.05).
      • The request should be accompanied by evidence of service on CUPE executive or bargaining team as applicable, or medical certification as to the effect of the disability or disabilities, illness or injury upon the progress of the student’s work. Petitions based on disability/illness/injury are reviewed directly by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
  5. Advanced Standing: Advanced standing requests must be accompanied by copies of transcripts and course descriptions for the courses for which advanced standing is being sought along with either a listing of York courses that would be considered equivalent or a statement from the student’s supervisor or the graduate program director attesting to the equivalency of the courses with specific program requirements. Advanced Standing will only be considered prior to completion of the first term of study.

Academic Petitions: Procedural Guidelines

1. Academic petitions in the Faculty of Graduate Studies are initiated by students by submitting a completed Academic Petition Form (.pdf). A completed academic petition form and any required or relevant supplemental documentation must be submitted to the office of the graduate program concerned. (Students in the Schulich School of Business should consult their program offices for petitions and appeals procedures.)

When preparing a petition, petitioners should seek the advice of the graduate program director or the graduate program assistant. In instances in which the graduate program director is the subject of the petition, petitioners shall seek the advice of another member of the program’s graduate executive committee. If the petition involves an undergraduate course, the petitioner should seek the advice of the undergraduate unit in which the course is offered.

2. Following submission of the completed petition to the graduate program office, the graduate program director or alternate (in cases where the graduate program director is unavailable or is the subject of the petition) reviews the petition and makes a positive or negative recommendation and rationale for the recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This recommendation, including the completed petition form and any required or relevant supplemental documentation, is forwarded to the secretary of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Petitions Committee.

3. The committee secretary, or designate, may record on the petition form information pertaining to the petitioner’s standing in the Faculty. This information includes Leaves of Absence, the number of courses that are Incomplete, any other pertinent information (e.g., the number of C or F grades), and a statement of any fees owing. If a petitioner is not in good standing, the petitioner will be asked to address the issue that is placing them in poor standing.

4. Petitions received in the Faculty of Graduate Studies are reviewed by an administrative officer who conducts an initial assessment of the petition.

5. Incomplete petitions. The administrative officer will inform the program and/or the petitioner (as appropriate) that additional information must be provided and that such information must be provided within 10 business days of notification. Where the petitioner fails to provide the information requested, the petition will receive no further consideration.

6. Complete petitions. Normally, such petitions will be processed within 20 business days of receipt of a complete petition by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Where the recommendation from the graduate program is to deny the petition, the petition is referred to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Petitions Committee for consideration at its next-scheduled meeting None of the parties involved in a petition may be present at the Petitions Committee meeting. Decisions are normally made available to petitioners within 10 business days of the Petitions Committee meeting.

7. Notification of decision. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will notify the petitioner of results, with reason(s), via email to the email address provided on the Petition Form, with a copy to the program. Petitioners are responsible for notifying the graduate program office of the means by which they can be reached throughout the petition process and must notify the University of any change in the relevant contact information. When a petition is denied, information regarding appeal procedures will be provided with the decision correspondence.