Religious Observances, Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for [June 29, 2005]

University of Toronto Governing Council

Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances

June 29, 2005

To request an official copy of this policy, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall 27 King’s College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1

Phone: 416-978-6576
Fax: 416-978-8182

Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances


The University of Toronto welcomes and includes students, staff and faculty from a broadly diverse range of communities and backgrounds. The University community comprises one of the most diverse campus populations anywhere. Students, staff and faculty have a wide range of backgrounds, cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs. With reference to the University’s commitment to human rights as articulated in the Statement on Human Rights and in accordance with the accommodation principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code, this policy is concerned with accommodations for students with respect to observances of religious holy days.


It is the policy of the University of Toronto to arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of students who observe religious holy days other than those already accommodated by ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays.

Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences. Instructors will make every reasonable effort to avoid scheduling tests, examinations or other compulsory activities at these times. If compulsory activities are unavoidable, every reasonable opportunity should be given to these students to make up work that they miss, particularly in courses involving laboratory work. When the scheduling of tests or examinations cannot be avoided, students should be informed of the procedure to be followed to arrange to write at an alternate time.

It is most important that no student be seriously disadvantaged because of her or his religious observances. However, in the scheduling of academic and other activities, it is also important to ensure that the accommodation of one group does not seriously disadvantage other groups within the University community.

On an annual basis, the Office of the Vice-President & Provost shall publish information concerning the anticipated dates of a number of holy days over the subsequent two academic years. While every reasonable effort should be made to provide accommodation, the publishing of these dates should not necessarily be interpreted to mean that no important academic activities can be scheduled on these dates.

This policy shall be applied in a manner which is consistent with normally applicable academic requirements and standards.


Administrative responsibility for this policy is assigned to the Vice-President & Provost.