Academic Petitions and Appeals

Purpose/Senate Guidelines

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.

How to Submit

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.

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.

Appeals of Petitions Decisions: Procedural Guidelines

  1. Parties to a petition are persons who are directly affected by the petition decision and who have participated in the original petition submission.
  2. Parties to a petition reviewed by the Petitions Committee may appeal the decision to the Appeals and Academic Honesty Committee (AAHC) of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Appeals will be heard only if leave is granted by the AAHC.
  3. The Academic Affairs Officer in the Faculty of Graduate Studies will make the petition file available for review by any party who participated in the original petition submission.
  4. Leave to appeal will be granted only where the appeal makes out a prima facie case based on any of the following grounds:
    1. new evidence (i.e., evidence relevant to the decision made at the Petitions Committee level, but which through no fault of the appellant was not presented at that level. Generally speaking, events or performance subsequent to the Petitions Committee decision are not to be construed as “new” evidence.);
    2. procedural irregularity in the Petitions Committee’s handling of the case; or
    3. substantive argument that the original petition decision constitutes gross injustice or error.
  5. The appeal must be filed within 20 working days of the date on which the appellant was informed of the decision which is being appealed.
  6. Appellants have the right to have a representative assist in the preparation of written submissions and, if leave to appeal is granted, to act as their representative at the appeals meeting.
  7. Appellants must submit the appeal to the Academic Affairs Officer of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and must provide a copy of the appeal to all parties to the original petition.
  8. All appeals must be submitted in writing beginning with a completed Appeal Form (.pdf).
  9. Parties to the original petition have 10 working days from the submission date of the appeal in which to provide to the AAHC a response to the appeal. Responses will be disclosed to the appellant.
  10. Once the file is complete, AAHC will consider whether leave to appeal will be granted. AAHC will determine whether or not a prima facie case has been established. Parties are not present at this hearing. If the Committee defers a decision on leave to appeal to obtain more information, the appellant shall be so informed in writing using the contact information provided on the Appeal Form. Appellants are responsible for notifying the Academic Affairs Officer of the means by which they can be reached throughout the appeal process and must notify the Academic Affairs Officer of any change in the relevant contact information.
  11. If leave to appeal is granted, the appellant shall be given at least 10 working days notice of when the appeal will be heard.
  12. The appellant has the right to be present at the meeting at which the appeal is being considered for the purpose of presenting her/his case orally and for questioning by the Committee. Appellants must indicate if they will be accompanied by a representative. The Committee’s decision and vote shall be taken in camera.
  13. No one may sit on the AAHC hearing an appeal who is a party to the petition or who heard it.
  14. The Chair or Secretary of AAHC shall inform each appellant in writing of the decision of the Committee and, in the case of an unfavourable decision, of the right to appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee.
  15. It is the responsibility of the appellant to inform her or his representative of any decision made in the appeal.

Appeals to the Senate Appeals Committee (SAC)

Appeals to the Senate Appeals Committee (SAC)

The final route of appeal within the Faculty of Graduate Studies is to the AAHC. A candidate wishing to appeal the decision made by the AAHC may appeal to Senate Appeals Committee (SAC), which shall consider an appeal submission only if the candidate has exhausted the petition and appeals procedures of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Deadlines and procedures with respect to the submission of appeals to and consideration of appeals by the Senate Appeals Committee can be found at University Secretariat - Senate Appeals Committee. The Senate Appeals Committee does not consider appeals dealing with financial matters. Graduate students may submit a financial petition to Student Financial Services.

Petition Types

Information

Full regulations applicable to each category of request are available in the Registration section of the FGS Regulations.

  1. Leave of Absence: A Leave of Absence will not be granted during an extension of program time limits. The maximum number of terms and associated fees are dependent upon the type of Leave as per the table below:
    Leave of Absence Maximum Number of Terms Fees
    External Student Status Up to 3 terms (over the course of program) $169.49
    Elective One term (over the course of a program) $169.49
    Exceptional Circumstances Up to 3 terms (over the course of program) Not applicable
    Family Care Up to 3 terms per reason (over the course of program) Not applicable
    No Course Available One term at a time (no limits) Not applicable

    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.
    4. Students whose program completion in 2020–2021 is unavoidably delayed because of COVID-related public health restrictions may petition for a one-term extension in part-time registration status, cost-free, bearing no tuition or fee. See below for further details.
  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.
  6. COVID-19 Extension of Part-time Status: As announced on June 1, 2020, students whose program completion in 2020–2021 is unavoidably delayed because of COVID-related public health restrictions may petition for a one-term extension in part-time registration status, cost-free, bearing no tuition or fee.

Forms & Documents

COVID-19 Extension in Part-time Status

As announced on June 1, 2020, students whose program completion in 2020–2021 is unavoidably delayed because of COVID-related public health restrictions may petition for a one-term extension in part-time registration status, cost-free, bearing no tuition or fee.

Please Note: The Academic Petition Form is to be used for the COVID-19 Extension Request as indicated in the June 11 e-mail to students (attached below.)