How to File an Appeal

You may file an Academic Appeal with the ADFG Office IF you have already exhausted all divisional avenues. 

This means that you may file an Academic Appeal with the ADFG Office if all of the following criteria are met:

1) An appeal has already been filed with your respective Academic Division;


If you are an undergraduate student, majoring in History and English, your Division is the Faculty of
Arts and Science

If you are a graduate level student, regardless of your area of study, your Division is the School of
Graduate Studies

2) A decision has been issued by your Division’s final appeal body; and,

3) Ninety (90) calendar days have not elapsed since the Decision from your Division's final appeal body.

If the 90th calendar day falls on a holiday or weekend, you may file your appeal by 5:00 p.m. the next business day.

For example, the Decision from your Division is dated May 27, 2011. You have 90 calendar days to file your appeal. As the 90th day falls on Saturday, August 27, 2011, your deadline is actually Monday, August 29, 2011 by 5:00 p.m.

If you are unsure what remedies are available please see our What Remedies are Available? section. 

There are a number of possible remedies.  You will have to determine which remedy or, remedies best fit your circumstances and will have to verify that the remedy or, remedies, that you are seeking is/are applicable to you. Available remedies differ for undergraduate and graduate students.  

For information about the University's Undergraduate Grading Practices Policy, please click here

Examples of Remedies

Please Note: Each circumstance is unique and the decision regarding your case will be made by the Academic Appeals Committee ("AAC").  The examples below are not exhaustive.

Permission for Late withdrawal without Academic Penalty (LWD) 
LWD can be designated on a student's transcript if the Division approves a student's petition for late withdrawal without academic penalty from a course. The LWD designation carries no credit for the course in that it does not count towards your credit requirements, and it is not considered for averaging purposes.  

For Example: You were required to be out of the country unexpectedly because your mother was critically ill.  Due to the nature of your mother's illness and the difficult circumstances that you were facing, you were unable to officially drop your course by the course drop date set out by your Division.  You wish to have no grade or credit assigned to the course that was affected by your absence.     

Permission to Write Deferred Exam 
Request by the Student to write an exam (not a test) at a later date. The mark received on the deferred exam will be calculated into the Student’s final grade in the course.

For Example: You were seriously ill with the flu on the day of your regularly scheduled exam. You were unable to attend or write your exam that day and have medical documentation.  You wish to write the exam at a later date and time so that you can have the exam assessed as part of your final grade for the course.

Grade Appeal 
Request by the Student  to appeal the final grade for a course, if the Student believes that the grade received in that course is not a proper assessment of his or her cumulative coursework.  Please be aware that the Academic Appeals Committee cannot assess academic work and assign a grade.  They can only determine if a policy was applied fairly and consistently.

For Example: You have been enrolled in a course and have submitted coursework and completed the coursework and tests/exams as required.  Your Professor/Instructor has returned to you a final grade that appears to be much lower than you expected.  You can apply for a grade appeal to ensure that the Professor/Instructor has properly evaluated your work in accordance with the grading policy of your Division.

Reinstatement to Program 
Application for reinstatement to a program where the Student has been refused further registration in that program because they have not maintained the required GPA. This is not an admissions decision.  

For Example: You have been denied further registration to a program for not maintaining the required grade point average.  However, you believe that you should still be permitted to enroll in the program because of compelling circumstances, e.g. mental health issues, other health issues, or extenuating personal circumstances.

Permission to Return Early from an Academic Suspension 
Request by the Student to return early to a program where the Student has been suspended but wishes to resume his or her studies before the academic suspension is over. 

For Example: You have been suspended because of poor academic performance.  Your life at the time of suspension was incredibly stressful and chaotic due to family pressure and personal issues, which hindered your performance.  However, your circumstances have changed considerably and you are now ready to continue your studies and anticipate that you will be able to achieve the requirements of your program.

Exemption from Program Requirements 
Request by the Student to be exempted from program requirement(s) if the Student has already completed the requirement(s) at a recognized institution and the requirements are consistent with what is required in the course content in the course(s) that the exemption is being requested. 

For Example: You spent the summer at a university in Australia. You completed a course toward your program which you believe, according to your understanding of the program requirements, should contribute to your degree. You have the course syllabus and it is very similar to a course that is offered in your current program. You, however, did not get pre-approval or complete the required documents from the University of Toronto to confirm whether this course would be accepted toward your program of study. You wish to have this course considered towards your program so that you may be exempted from having to take a course that is almost identical. 

Extension on Coursework 
Request by the Student for an extension to allow work to be submitted after the course deadline, and have it assessed without late penalty. 

For Example: You were involved in an accident which left you unable to attend classes for a few weeks.  During your absence, you were unable to complete any of your course work.  You would like an opportunity to complete your assignment because you believe that you will be able to complete the assignment without detriment to your final grade. 

Remove Courses from Academic Record 
Request by the Student to have a course or courses removed from the Student's academic record/transcript. 

For Example: You were unable to start your program as scheduled in September due to difficulty obtaining your student visa and a number of family issues that kept you in your native country longer than anticipated.  You were not able to start attending your classes until early October, therefore you missed more than two weeks of the class.  You decided that you wanted to try to continue with the course, despite missing a number of classes already.  Upon completion of the course, you realize that you did not do well and should not have proceeded with the course.  In order to continue in your program you need to maintain a minimum GPA. With this course on your record, your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, and you will not be able to continue with your studies.  You would like to have the course removed completely from your academic record.

External Assessment of Academic Work 
Request by the Student to have his or her course work assessed by someone other than the Instructor or Examiner. 

For Example: You wrote a final exam in a course and failed.  You, however, were well prepared for the exam and believe that you should have passed.  You believe that you did not pass because you have had a difficult relationship with the instructor.  You believe that your instructor is biased against you and as a result did not mark your exam fairly. You would like to have another party review your exam.

Permission to Rewrite an Assignment/Exam 
Request permission to rewrite an assignment or an exam, where the Student has already completed the assignment or written the exam. The grade earned on the rewritten test or assignment will be averaged into the Student’s course average and will contribute to the Student’s overall GPA.  And the original mark earned in the assignment or exam will not be reflected in the final mark. 

For Example: You were severely ill at the time that you wrote your exam. Your illness negatively impacted your performance on the exam and ultimately your final grade. You feel that your performance on that exam is not a accurate reflection of your abilities and you would like an opportunity to rewrite the assignment/exam.

Remove Notation from Transcript 
Request by the Student to have a notation taken off of his or her transcript. (eg. A notation of suspension, etc.) 

For Example: You were suspended for poor academic performance after your first year of study.  The suspension is noted on your record and transcript.  You have since improved your grades and are an honours student approaching graduation.  You plan on applying to graduate studies, but believe that the notation for academic suspension may affect your admission to the graduate program of your choice.  You wish to have the notation removed from your transcript.

Defer Academic Suspension 
Request by the Student to have a suspension deferred to an alternate starting date other than the one determined by his or her respective Division. 

For Example: You have been suspended for poor academic performance.  You, however, would like to complete the summer courses in which you are registered. You would like to request that the suspension begin after your summer semester, in order to finish the courses.

Aegrotat Standing (AEG) 
Request by the Student to receive credit for the course but there is no mark assigned and therefore it does not impact his or her GPA or CGPA. 

For Example: You are a student with a very strong academic history.  You have always done well in your courses and have ranked consistently within the top of your class.  However, close to the end of one of your semesters you suffer a severe depressive episode.  You are unable to attend classes and miss your final exam.  You know that you would have done well in your course, had you been well.  You do not want to have to repeat the term work, but would like credit for the course.

The ADFG Office cannot assist you with the merits or legal issues regarding your case, but the Office can provide information about the appeals process and procedures.

You have the right to be represented before the Academic Appeals Committee, although some students choose to represent themselves or have a friend or family member represent them.  For information on hearing attendees, please see Who Is Going to Be At The Hearing?  There are also resources that may be available to you.

Here are two options:

Downtown Legal Services
655 Spadina Avenue 
Toronto, ON M5S 2H9 
Downtown Legal Services 

DLS is staffed by law students working under the supervision of lawyers, and is a service provided free of charge to students who qualify.

Law Society Referral Service
416-947-3330 (within the GTA) 
Law Society Referral Service 

The Law Society of Ontario operates the Law Society Referral Service.  You will be able to speak with a lawyer or paralegal, and receive up to a 30 minute consultation for free.

Since the Academic Appeals Committee is reviewing the previous decision for reasonableness, you must file all documents you submitted to the previous body whose decision you are appealing. If there is additional information that you are filing, please specifically identify the additional information by page number and document type and/or title.

PLEASE NOTE: It is at the discretion of the chair assigned to your hearing to determine whether to allow the additional information you have submitted.

In order to file an appeal with the ADFG Office, you must submit one electronic file in PDF format including bookmarks with corresponding titles, a table of contents, and page numbers using the bates numbering tool in Adobe Acrobat. 

The electronic file must include the following:

  • A completed, signed, and dated Notice of Appeal Form
  • A copy of the decision from the divisional appeals committee denying your appeal or the equivalent
  • A copy of all the materials you submitted to the previous appeals committee whose decision you are appealing (including any evidence, petition forms, email correspondence, etc.)
  • A statement written by you or your representative/counsel setting out:

1. The grounds of your appeal (e.g., medical)

2. The remedy that you are seeking (e.g., late withdrawal without academic penalty, permission to write a deferred exam, etc.);

3. A brief description of the background to your appeal (i.e., in your own words, describe what happened); and

4. Additional information, if any, identified by page number and document type and/or title.

Normally, you will not be allowed to add any documents past the 90-day deadline.

Normally, there are predetermined hearing weeks in which hearings are scheduled. However, you can make a request to have your hearing heard outside of the predetermined hearing weeks, but you will also need to provide a written rationale for your request to expedite your appeal. Please note that, this request is only granted in exceptional circumstances. For more information on hearing scheduling, please see When Will My Hearing Be Scheduled?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your appeal must meet ALL of the above criteria and be filed with the ADFG Office by the 90th calendar day from the decision of your Division's final appeal body. The ADFG Office has the right not to accept your appeal and to close your file if one or more of the above criteria are not met by the deadline. You are urged to file your materials prior to the 90th calendar day in case your appeal package is determined to be incomplete.

You are responsible for maintaining and advising the University, through the Repository of Student Information (ROSI), of a current and valid postal address, as well a current and valid “utoronto” email address. You may also provide other email addresses that you access/use, send/receive correspondence from, and check on a regular basis. 

Failure to do so may result in missing important information. This will not be considered an acceptable rationale for failing to receive official correspondence from the University. 

You are expected to monitor and retrieve your mail, including electronic messaging account(s) issued to you by the University, on a frequent and consistent basis. You have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. 

You are also expected to respond to communications from the University as required. See the Policy on Official Correspondence with Students.