Academic Policies

Below is a list of common academic policies and procedures that students should familiarize themselves with. For the complete policies and procedures of the University of Guelph please view the Undergraduate Calendar, section Vlll

Academic Misconduct

Academic integrity is a core value and an identified learning objective at the University of Guelph. The University and the College of Biological Science do not take academic misconduct lightly and will penalize individuals who commit offenses related to the misappropriation of other’s work, misrepresentation and fraud, improper access and obstruction or aiding and abetting.

Specific details of what constitutes offences within these four areas can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar under Academic Misconduct

Details surrounding the procedures, appeals, penalties, recording of decision,  etc. can be found in the Academic Misconduct Protocol section of the Undergraduate Calendar.:

Within the College of Biological Science (CBS) the Associate Dean Academic (ADA) has been designated as the individual who ultimately investigates all allegations of academic misconduct. Student under investigation will be contacting by the ADA to set up a meeting to discuss the allegation. 

It is important for students to recognize that they can be investigated and charged with academic misconduct if they share their own work with an individual who then copies and submits the work as their own. CBS encourages students to work together to discuss and work through ideas and problems. However, when it comes to submitted work, students must be very conscious of working too closely together, and unless stated that students can collaborate, the work submitted needs to be each students own work. Students should not share hard or soft copies of work submitted for marks. 

Academic integrity and plagiarism resources can be found on the Library website.

Academic Consideration

Academic consideration takes many forms and can be related to missed course work; including midterms, assignments, labs and final exams. Other forms of academic consideration are requested in situations involving academic standing, final course results and grade reassessment. All requests for academic consideration should be accompanied by supporting documentation and would normally be based on medical, psychological or compassionate grounds.

A chart describing the categories for academic consideration, grounds required, timelines to submit requests and the appeal process can be found under University Policies and Procedures, Academic Consideration,

Any student who is unsure if his/her circumstances warrant academic consideration, the required documentation and/or the appropriate forms, is encouraged to speak with their program counsellor. 

Specific forms of consideration – within the semester


When a student requests consideration for semester work, he/she is directed to speak with and submit documentation directly to the instructor. The student should be in contact with the instructor of the course immediately following the date of the missed work. If the circumstances are affecting multiple courses or are on-going for a significant amount of time,  the student should be encouraged to approach a program counsellor for assistance.

Course outlines normally indicate to whom documentation should be submitted and the form the consideration will take. 

Please note that three midterm exams in 24 hrs, vacation plans or work are not grounds for consideration.

Academic Consideration - within the semester


When medical/psychological/compassionate circumstances arise during the deferred exam period, which will impact a student's performance on the deferred final exam, students can apply for an extension of the deferred exam. Students must contact their program counsellor within 5 days of the missed deferred exam. An extension will only be considered when there are documented extreme circumstances. The university does reserve the right to prevent registration in future semesters if the deferred exam(s) is/are not completed within the semester immediately following the offering of the course.

Academic Consideration - Beyond the last class day


Dropping a course after the last day of the semester – this type of request for consideration needs to be submitted to the academic review committee. If a student should encounter situations of a medical, psychological or compassionate nature we encourage the student to arrange a meeting to speak with a program counsellor immediately to discuss their options and requirements to submit a request for a late drop. 


If a student misses semester work and has documentation, the student is to approach the instructor directly to request academic consideration. If the request is denied by the instructor the student can appeal to the Academic Review Sub-Committee and should consult with a program counsellor.


A deferred privilege is considered when students do not complete a required final examination, or final assignment by the deadline date.  A deferred privilege is granted by the Academic Review Sub-Committee, (instructors cannot grant deferred privileges) once the semester is over. The nature of the deferred privilege may take the form of either a deferred condition or a deferred examination.  Deferred privileges are scheduled to be completed in the semester immediately following the semester in which the course was taken and must be completed by the end of the deferred exam period. Students need to apply for a deferred privilege no later than 5 days after the date of the final exam or the date the course work was to be submitted and  must provide documentation to support medical/psychological/compassionate circumstances the prevented the student from completing the final components of the course. 

Full details on how to apply for a deferred privilege can found on the B.Sc. Advising website.


Instructors and/or the department determine the requirements and conduct of a deferred condition.  Deferred conditions may be a written test, an oral test, an assignment, a laboratory practical, or any other method of evaluation and must be documented on the Terms of Supplemental/Deferred Condition form.  Once the deferred condition is granted, it is the students’ responsibility to contact the instructor(s) and make arrangements for the details of the condition.  If the condition is not completed by the deadline date, a grade is assigned based on the term work completed. 

Deferred conditions are normally considered when a student has not completed a final assignment, lab exam or other major components of the course other than the final exam. A deferred condition can be granted for a final exam allowing the faculty member to supervise the exam.  The deferred exam can be written in the deferred period or at another time mutually agreed upon by both the instructor and the student.  Full details on how to apply for a deferred privilege can found on the B.Sc. Advising website.


A deferred exam is one for a deferred privilege.Students requesting deferred exams must submit the request to the e-mail or drop off the request to the B.Sc Academic Counselling Office within 5 days of the missed exam. Official  dates of the deferred exam period are posted in the undergraduate calendar under theschedule of dates The examination coordinator, schedules and supervises deferred examinations that are two hours in length.  Students will receive an official e-mail notice confirming the granting of the deferred exam a few weeks prior to the deferred exam period. This e-mail will also include a link to the deferred exam schedule posted on WebAdvisor.  

Please note that deferred exams and conditions normally take precedent over semester work. Find full details regarding deferred privileges  in the Undergraduate Calendar.


  • Late drops of courses after the 40th class day and beyond the end of the semester
  • Withdraw with failure from courses
  • Credit standing
  • Semester withdrawal
  • Extension of probation

Student interested in applying for any of the above types of consideration,  should set up an appointment with a program counsellor as soon as possible.  Please note all requests for consideration are taken seriously and should be accompanied by supporting documentation and a letter from the student.

Auditing Courses

Students require permission in the form of a signature on an Undergraduate Course Request Form,  from the Instructor of the course and Chair of the department that offers the course, in order to audit a course. In addition, the student must obtain the signature of the Program Counsellor.  The form is then submitted to Undergraduate Program Services.Upon receiving permission to audit the course the student should discuss with the instructor to what extent the student may participate in the course. 

If a student is enrolled as a full time student no additional fees apply however if a student is not enrolled in full time studies there is a fee to audit a course. For students enrolled in less than 2.50 credits there is a fee for audting a course. The fee schedule is available on the Student Financial Services web site.

When a course is audited, no record of the course will appear on the transcript and no grade will be associated with the course.  Students can change to an audit status in a course they are currently enrolled in up to the 40th class day, with the appropriate approvals. A student who starts a course in audit status may not change to a credit status once the course has started. Audited courses are not used in calculating semester averages or part/full time  status.

Academic Standing

At the end of each semester students are assigned a term academic standing based on semester and cumulative averages. Valid term academic standings include Dean's Honours List, Eligible to Continue, Probation, Probation 2 or Required to Withdraw.


Any student who has a cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 60%, regardless of semester average is considered eligible to continue. Students in class level 1, attempting 0 to 2.50 credits are considered eligible continue if they have a cumulative average greater than or equal to 50% after first semester.


Students who have a standing of eligible to continue in the term prior to the current term being evaluated, who’s semester average brings their cumulative average down below 60%  but above 50% will be allowed to continue on probation in their next registered term.

Students who have a standing of probation in the term prior to the current term being evaluated and who obtain a minimum semester average of 60% will be allowed to continue on probation in their next registered term. Once a student’s cumulative average is equal to or greater than 60% the student is off probation and is again considered eligible to continue. 

Please note that students completing their first year (2.50 – 5.0 credit attempts) are allowed to continue on to the next semester with a cumulative average of 50% or greater, regardless of their semester average. If the cumulative average at the end of first year is between 50 and 60% the student will be put on academic probation for the next semester.


This standing is only assigned at the conclusion of the fall semester for continuation into the winter semester. It is assigned to Undergraduate Degree Program students who were on probation for the fall semester who do not achieve a semester average of 60% or higher in the fall term.

This standing is assigned during fall academic review because of a University decision in 2001 to no longer require degree students to withdraw after the fall semester. At the end of the fall semester a student has a choice of taking the two semesters off (ie being required to withdraw) or they can return for the winter semester with the goal of achieving the required 60% semester average. If the student does not achieve the required 60% semester average in the winter semester they will be required to withdraw for a minimum of 2 semesters.  

 If the student does take the two semesters off after the fall, he/she must apply for re-admission and take two courses through Open Learning to upgrade for re-admission purposes.  Note that an average of 70% in each courses is normally required to support re-admission.    Also, should a student be required to withdraw after the fall semester and does in fact choose to withdraw from the winter semester, he/she will automatically be required to take off two semesters (winter semester included) and apply for re-admission based on upgrading through Open Learning or another post-secondary institution.


A student eligible to continue, whose cumulative average drops below 50% would be required to withdraw from the University for a minimum of two semesters. (Except students in class level 1 who attempted between (0.0 – 2.50 credits).

A student who is on probation, and receives a semester average less than 60%, would be required to withdraw from the University for a minimum of two semesters. (Exception at the end of the fall semester, see probation 2 for information)

Students who are required to withdraw can appeal the decision.  Such students would need to see their program counsellor and would submit a request to the Academic Review Sub-Committee.  Normally,  students who are required to withdraw must take two semesters off and must apply for re-admission which is not automatic.    During the two semesters, students can take 2 courses or 1.00 credits total through Open Leaning or at another institution. Students who are required to withdraw can apply a maximum of 2 courses (1.0 credits) towards their degree at Guelph when they apply for readmission.

Students wishing to return after two semesters need to re-apply to Guelph using the readmission application. The Admissions website provides information regarding admission deadlines, readmission requirements as well as the application form.

Full details on the policies regarding probation and required to withdraw status can be found under continuation of study within the Undergraduate Calendar.


The final exam schedule is posted on WebAdvisor prior to the start of the semester. Students must check their exam schedule at the start of the semester to ensure that they have no conflicts with their exams. If a conflict does exist a student should look to change their courses to resolve the conflict where possible. If the courses cannot be changed, ie the course add period has ended, or they are both required courses for the major and it is the last semester, please see a program counsellor immediately.    

Note that when changing courses once the semester has started, students must check the exam schedule to ensure that there are no exam conflicts that were created when adding these new courses.

The institution does not have a policy which states students cannot have three exams in a 24hr period. 

Students who are not fit to write their final exams and wish to apply for a deferred exam can do so through their program counsellor. See above for deferred exam information

The University of Guelph has numerous guidelines regarding the timing of exams, take-home exams, final semester work etc. Students are encouraged to review the following information if they have questions regarding any of these issues. 

If a student would like to see their final exams or final assignments, they have up to 5 days into the semester immediately following, to submit a request, in writing to the chair of the Department that offers the course.  A complete listing of the Chairs for each department on campus can be found on the Undergraduate Academic Information website.


A student’s grades are official only when published on WebAdvisor by the Office of Registrarial Services. Faculty are not required to post a student’s grade prior to the official release date.

For any student who did not complete the final exam or assignment, the mark will appear as an INC. This indicates that not all end of semester forms of assessments were completed in the course. For any student who applies for and is granted a deferred privilege, a DEF will appear within 2 - 3 weeks after the end of the examination period,  indicating a deferred privilege has been granted. For any student not granted a deferred privilege or who does not apply for a deferred privilege, the mark will appear based on your work completed up to the end of the semester. 

Students who wish to appeal a final grade may request a grade reassessment, in writing, to the instructor of the course within 10 days of the following semester. The grounds for the appeal should be stated in the e-mail or letter and fall within the following three areas: Calculation Errors and Omission of Grades, Methods and Criteria used in Establishing the Final Grade or Misapplication of an Academic Regulation or Procedure. Before submitting a request for a grade reassessment, we encourage students to review the policy regarding the grounds for such an appeal. Grounds to Appeal a final grade

Letter of Permission

A letter of permission is required for any course a student wishes to take at another institution.

Students must complete the Letter of Permission form (LOP) prior to signing up for courses at another institution.  The form is available on-line under the Forms and Documents section on WebAdvisor, at the Registrar's Office or in the Academic Advising office. 

Students must bring the LOP form and the course outline(s) of the course they wish to take at the other institution to either the faculty advisor or to the B.Sc. Advising Office to have the course evaluated. Once evaluated, the program counsellor will complete the assessment portion of the form which will let the student know what type of credit, if any, that they will receive towards their UofG degree. Once approved, the student will submit the form to the Registrar's Office (Student Client Services, 3rd floor UC). Please note there is a $50.00 processing fee that must be paid prior to the form being processed. Once approved by the Registrar's Office, a copy of the LOP will be sent to the school the student hopes to enroll at. The student would then apply and enroll at the other institution using their application procedure for visiting students.

Please remember the student is responsible for having the final transcript sent back to the University of Guelph. If the course is dropped the student must ensure that the visiting institution sends proof to the Registrar's Office at the University of Guelph that the course was dropped without penalty.

The grade from the course(s) taken while on a letter of permission will not show up on the University of Guelph transcript. The course grade will simply be denoted as a credit if successfully completed and will appear on the academic evaluation.

Religious Obligations

The University of Guelph recognizes that there are a number of times during the semester when academics can interfere with religious obligations and therefore has developed a policy supporting academic accommodations for direct conflicts with various religious and academic obligations. This includes conflicts with midterm exams, final exams, laboratories and scheduled tests. In order to receive accommodations, it is the student’s responsibility to submit a request for accommodations within two weeks of the distribution of the course outline to the course instructor or through their program counsellor.

Full details on the policy can be found under Academic Accommodations for Religious Obligations in the undergraduate calendar. 

A complete listing of major holy days can be found on the Human Rights and Equity website

Supplemental Privilege

When a student does not pass their last remaining required credit in their final semester, or a final requirement that will not be offered again within the next three semesters they can apply for a supplemental privilege. A supplemental privilege is an opportunity for a student to gain credit for the course by completing some form of comprehensive assessment. The privilege is graded on a pass/fail basis and the final grade in the course does not change, a P or F would be included with the mark indicating whether the credit was passed or failed.

The form the privilege takes is up to the instructor and could be any of the following forms and combinations of assessment;  exam; written or oral, a lab practical exam or formal paper. The assessment is normally comprehensive in nature.

The student must apply for the supplemental directly through their program counselling office by completing the Request for Academic Consideration form. The Academic Review committee will review the student’s request and take in to consideration the student’s performance in the course. The committee will also consider the instructor’s recommendation regarding the feasibility and appropriateness of the privilege based on the structure of the course and what components were completed by the student. If the supplemental is granted the student must pay a 50.00 fee and complete theTerms of A Supplemental / Deferred Condition 

Undergraduate Calendar

The Undergraduate Calendar outlines the learning objectives, regulations, policies, degree requirements, course descriptions and more for all programs offered at the University of Guelph. It is a student's responsibility to familiarize themselves with the calendar and to abide by the policies within it. This also applies to all faculty and staff.

When you enter the institution your program/major is assigned to the calendar in effect the year you started. Your degree requirements, on your academic evaluation, will reflect the requirements for your major as outlined in  that calendar  You are required to meet the requirements as stated in this calendar, in order to be granted the degree and specific major. Each year a new calendar is published and requirements for a major or minor may change. As you go forward in your degree, you can change calendars to follow the newer requirements; however, you cannot switch to older calendars. To change academic calendars, please see your program counsellor.

Archived Undergraduate Calendars