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Arts & Science Program

Requests

Drop and Add

Drop and Add is done online via your Mosaic Student Centre. Please contact Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop if you have any questions or concerns.

Letter of Permission

  • Students request their Letter of Permission (LOP) via the Mosaic Student Centre. Please notify Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop (as appropriate) after you have submitted your Letter of Permission request.
  • Ensure that you are able to apply by the deadline as a Visiting Student to the institution where you wish to take the course (Host Institution).
  • Consult Mosaic for a list of pre-approved courses. If the course is not listed within Mosaic, may be necessary to check with an appropriate McMaster department for an equivalency. If the course is to be used as a prerequisite for another Faculty, you must ensure that it is acceptable to that Faculty.
  • If you decide not to take the course, ensure that you cancel your Letter of Permission. If you wish to register in a different course, you must contact Shelley or Rebecca (as appropriate) to arrange for a revised Letter of Permission.
  • If you decide to cancel the course after you have registered for it, ensure that you follow the course cancellation procedures of the Host Institution and arrange for a transcript to be sent to the Shelley or Rebecca (as appropriate).
  • Transfer credit will be granted only for courses completed with a minimum grade equivalent to C- (60%) at McMaster University. Successfully completed courses will appear as COM (COMPLETE) on your McMaster transcript. Grades for these courses will not appear and are not included in McMaster averages. If you require the grade for an application to a graduate or professional program, you must request a transcript from the Host Institution to be assessed along with your McMaster transcript.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that official transcripts are sent to the Arts & Science Program. For students expecting to graduate at Spring convocation, transcripts must be received by May 15. For students expecting to graduate at the Fall convocation, transcripts must be received by September 30. Failure to have an official transcript sent to clear Letter of Permission work will result in a Failure by Default being assigned.
  • For more information regarding how to apply for a Letter of Permission, please see the Letter of Permission page on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

REQUESTS FOR RELIEF FOR MISSED ACADEMIC TERM WORK

McMaster recognizes that students periodically require relief from academic work for medical or other personal situations. Students seeking relief for missed academic term work are expected to read the Senate Policy on Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work (if there is a discrepancy between the calendar copy and the approved Policy, the Policy prevails.) The Policy 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. Any concerns regarding the granting of relief should be directed to the Arts & Science Program Office.

The McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) is a Mosaic tool that:
1) is used to allow students to submit Self-Report (Type A) requests for relief; and
2) is used by Faculty/Program Offices for Administrative Report (Type B) requests to:
a) manage requests for relief; and
b) to communicate with students and instructors about these requests.

The MSAF is available in the MOSAIC Student Center (in the drop-down menu under Other Academics).

Self Report (Type A) requests for relief

  • are for missed academic work worth less than 25% of the final grade, resulting from medical or personal situations lasting up to three (3) calendar days;
  • are made using the MSAF tool in Mosaic;
  • may only be submitted once per Term;
  • requires no supporting documentation; and
  • apply only to work that is due within the period for which the request applies, i.e. the three (3) day period that is specified in the MSAF; however, all work due in that period can be covered by one request

An email will be sent to the course instructor(s) to inform them of the request. The instructor will determine the appropriate relief for the Self-Report (Type A) request. Students must immediately follow up with their instructor(s) after submitting the Self-Report (Type A) request. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.

 Administrative Report (Type B) requests for relief

  • are for medical or personal situations lasting more than three (3) calendar days; and/or
  • are for missed academic work worth 25% or more of the final grade; and/or
  • are for any request for relief in a Term where the MSAF tool has been used previously in that Term

Students must contact Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop (as appropriate) to discuss their situation and will be required to provide appropriate supporting documentation (see Documentation Requirements below). If warranted, the Arts & Science Program Office will process the relief request and will notify the instructor(s) and student. The instructor will determine the appropriate relief for the Administrative Report (Type B) requests. Students must immediately follow up with their instructor(s) after being notified their request has been processed. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.

The Policy on Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work cannot be used:

  • for academic work that has already been completed or work that has been attempted (which includes the viewing and/or partial completion of on-line assessments (quizzes, tests, etc.);
  • to seek an accommodation to meet religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (see the Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances);
  • to seek an accommodation related to a permanent or temporary disability, or a retroactive accommodation (see the policy Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities); or
  • to apply for relief for any final examination or its equivalent (see Request for Deferred Examination).

Documentation Requirements

  • If the reason for the request is medical, the approved McMaster University Medical Form covering the relevant dates must be submitted. The student must be seen by a health care provider 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 (3) business days.

Forms

Request for Deferred Examination

  • Once a student has completed an examination, no special consideration will be granted. A student who misses an examination because of compelling medical or personal reasons may submit a Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination (Form B) to the Faculty office, normally within five working days of the missed examination.
  • If the reason is medical, the approved McMaster University Medical Form must be used. The student must be seen by a doctor at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed exam and the doctor must verify the duration of the illness. Relief will not be available for minor illnesses. If the reason is non-medical, appropriate documentation with verifiable origin covering the relevant dates must be submitted, normally within five working days.
  • In deciding whether or not to grant a petition, the 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, will be taken into account.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Faculty office for a decision on the request for a deferred examination. If the deferred examination is granted, the student will be informed officially by means of the notation DEF which will appear against the relevant course on the student’s academic record and on the student’s grade report (available in Mosaic Student Centre).
  • Deferred examinations are written during the next official University deferred examination period. Examination and deferred examination dates appear in the Sessional Dates section of the Undergraduate Calendar. Default of the deferred examination will result in a fail for that examination.
  • Students who have been granted more than one deferred examination may be required by their Faculty/Program office to reduce their course load during the term in which the deferred examinations are being written. The decision on a reduced load will be made and communicated with the decision on the request for deferred examinations.
  • At the discretion of the Faculty/Program office, students who have been granted one or more deferred examinations, may not be allowed to enrol in a subsequent term or session until all deferred examination(s) have been completed and the Academic Standing calculated. Students will be notified of this decision by their Faculty/Program office.

Form

Late Withdrawal

McMaster University provides a Late Withdrawal option to assist students who have become irretrievably behind in a course. Students who have fallen behind with assignments and/or are not prepared to write final examinations (or equivalent) in one or more courses may wish to make use of this option. To do so, you must meet with either Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop, with whom you can discuss the situation and consider steps that can be taken to prevent a recurrence.
The maximum number of units for which students may request a Late Withdrawal is 18 units throughout their undergraduate degree.
Students may request a Late Withdrawal, without petition, no later than the last day of classes in the relevant Term. However, it is important to note that:

  • Requests for Late Withdrawal cannot be made in courses for which the final exam (or equivalent)has been attempted or completed. This also includes courses where a final grade has been assigned (e.g. clinical courses).
  • Such requests will be cancelled or revoked if it is determined that the student attempted or completed the final exam (or equivalent).
  • Students cannot use the Late Withdrawal option for courses in which they are under investigation or for which they have been found guilty of academic dishonesty.

Course(s) approved for Late Withdrawal will be:

  • Assigned a non-numeric grade of LWD, in lieu of an alpha/numerical grade
  • Excluded from the calculation of the GPA
  • Ineligible for tuition refund

Approval of a late withdrawal is final, and requests to be re-enrolled in the withdrawn course(s) will not be considered. A withdrawal is will not preclude students from enrolling in the course(s) in a subsequent term.

Form

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous, and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

The following excerpt is from McMaster University’s Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous, and Spiritual Observances (effective September 2015):

McMaster University strives to be welcoming and inclusive of all its members and respectful of their differences. Students, staff, and instructors come from a range of backgrounds, traditions and beliefs. The University recognizes that, on occasion, the timing of a student’s religious, Indigenous, or spiritual observances and that of their academic obligations may conflict. In such cases, the University will provide reasonable academic accommodation for students that is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code, through respectful, accessible, and fair processes.

RISO Policy (PDF)
RISO Fact Sheet for Students (PDF)
RISO Fact Sheet for Instructors (PDF)

Academic Obligations Excluding Registrar-Invigilated Examinations

  • Students are to submit the RISO form, electronically or in person, to Shelley Anderson (A-L) or Rebecca Bishop (M-Z) in the Arts & Science Program Office within 10 working days from the start of each term in which the accommodations is necessary.
  • For observances for which the specific dates/details are not known in advance, please contact Shelley or Rebecca (as appropriate) to notify of the potential conflict.
  • Once the RISO form has been reviewed and approved, the relevant instructors will be notified by email of the days and/or times during which the conflict(s) is anticipated, with a copy to the student.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with their instructor(s) to make accommodation arrangements as soon as possible and no later than five working days prior to the date on which the scheduling conflict will occur.

Form

Registrar-Invigiliated Examinations

  • Students are to complete and submit a RISO-Examination form, in person, at the Scheduling & Examinations Office (Gilmour Hall 114) as soon as possible after receiving their exam schedule, and where possible, no later than 10 working days prior to the commencement of the examination period.
  • If the student fails to meet this deadline, it may not be possible to reschedule the examination within the current exam period. In such cases, students must visit their Faculty or Program office to request alternative arrangements.
  • The Registrar’s Office will normally inform students of their rescheduled examination(s) at least five working days prior to the beginning of the examination period.

Form

Reference Request

If you are requesting a reference from the Director of the Arts & Science Program for a graduate school application, scholarship application, etc., you must first meet with Dr. Wilson in person and then complete and submit a reference request form. Click on the link below to download and print this form, and submit it to Dr. Wilson via Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop.

Form