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Academic Accommodations

General Information

The following guidelines create the framework under which Rotman operates for handling Academic Accommodations. Rotman, in its sole discretion, reserves the right of final decision on the interpretation and implementation of these guidelines.

This Accommodation Policy sets out the conditions and procedures for requesting and obtaining academic accommodations, including exam deferrals and extensions for other academic work such as papers and assignments. In general, students can request two categories of academic accommodations:

  1. academic accommodations for disability-related barriers (handled by The University of Toronto’s Accessibility Services); and
  2. academic accommodations for non-disability-related barriers, including accommodations for religious holidays (handled by the student’s respective Rotman Program).

Rotman will not make academic accommodations such as adjusting participation marks for missed classes. Please see the Attendance section below for more information.

Contacts for Types of Accommodations

Full-Time MBA Program

All Other Programs

  • Disability-Related Accommodation: Accessibility Services
  • Non-Disability-Related Accommodation: Program Associate Director

Students experiencing difficulties that affect their learning who have a disability or believe that they may have a disability may want to register with the University of Toronto’s Accessibility Services.

Students are encouraged to register with Accessibility Services if they identify with any of the following disability categories:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Brain Injury or Concussion
  • Chronic Health Issues (for example, Bowel Diseases, Epilepsy, Migraines)
  • Deaf / Hard of Hearing
  • Learning Disability
  • Mental Health – both permanent and temporary (for example, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders)
  • Mobility / Functional Issues
  • Low Vision / Legally Blind
  • Temporary Issues (for example, Broken limbs)

If students are experiencing functional limitations that are impacting their academic performance but don’t know which category of disability best describes their situation, they should consult with Accessibility Services.

After registration, Accessibility Services will reach out to the student to arrange an intake appointment with an Accessibility Advisor who is familiar with the area of disability identified in the student’s registration packet. The Accessibility Advisor will work with the student to recommend appropriate and reasonable academic accommodations and supports for both temporary and permanent disabilities.

Recommendations may include:

  • Academic accommodations for classes, coursework and practicum (if applicable)
  • Adaptive technology assessment
  • Financial resources for eligible students
  • Learning disability / ADHD assessment
  • Learning strategy support
  • Test and exam accommodations

General Principles for Non-Disability-Related Accommodation Requests

  • Accommodations will be designed within the framework of Rotman’s academic policies.
  • It is the obligation of students in need of accommodation to identify their needs in a timely fashion.
  • Where an accommodation is granted by Rotman, students are expected to prioritize the completion of outstanding academic obligations at the first opportunity. Outside obligations cannot be prioritized over outstanding academic obligations.
  • Students are required to provide supporting documentation for their accommodation requests.
  • With the benefit of advance notice regarding exam schedules, deliverable due dates, and religious holidays, students are expected to make the necessary adjustments to their study schedules to be able to observe a religious holiday before and during the exam period or deliverable due date.
  • Students should not contact their instructors to request accommodations for exam deferrals or deliverable extensions. Students who make such requests violate the principle of anonymity of grading governing the evaluation of student work at Rotman.
  • While Rotman may consider requests for accommodations after the fact, students must make every effort to arrange accommodations in advance of due dates. Retroactive requests for accommodation must include a justification of why the request could not be made in advance of the deadline, and those explanations should be accompanied by appropriate documentation. Students who do not make timely accommodation requests without a valid reason may be subject to the ordinary academic penalties for lateness.

Policies for Non-Disability-Related Accommodation Requests

Exam Deferral Policies

Rotman expects students to prepare for and make themselves available to write all final exams as scheduled. Exam periods, including make-up exams periods are posted well in advance to the start of the term. Students are expected to be available for the whole exam period, including the make-up period, regardless of when the course exam may occur, and should not make personal travel arrangements or plans during those periods.

Only a small number of emergencies can be important enough to prevent a student from writing an exam. If, for example, something happens the day before an exam that means a student missed one day of studying, he or she should still be sufficiently prepared to write. Makeup exams, only with approved academic accommodations, are written during the make-up periods as posted, and not before the regularly scheduled exam occurs.

Students who are ill or have a significant emergency that prevents them from attending an exam should request permission to defer writing the exam. Exams are deferred only when a student is unable to write them. When reviewing a petition for deferral, the question Rotman will consider is not, “Were these the optimal conditions for the student to write this exam?” but “Was the student so incapacitated that he or she could not write this exam?”

Students must make appropriate judgments regarding their fitness to attend examinations. Students who begin writing an exam but are unable to continue due to illness (or other extenuating circumstances) must advise the invigilator immediately and ask to be excused. All examination materials (exam questions, answer booklets, etc.) must be submitted to the proctor and the student should reach out to their Program Staff contact for accommodations. Students seeking a make-up exam under these circumstances should be prepared to submit supporting documentation as per the missed exam policy.

If a student writes an exam but realizes in hindsight that their performance was compromised due to illness (or other extenuating circumstances), they must contact their Program Staff and should be prepared to submit supporting documentation, but should be aware that accommodation under such circumstances is unlikely.

Students who have a minor emergency that delays their arrival at an exam late should continue to go immediately to the examination hall and follow the instructions of the invigilator. Rotman will attempt to schedule the student to write the exam during the time remaining. If it is not possible to find a space for the student to write the exam, he or she will be asked to return, but the new exam time shall be reduced by the number of minutes the student was late on the day of the exam. Students without valid reasons for lateness or non-appearance at an exam will be assigned a penalty.

Deliverable Extension Policies

Rotman students are expected to schedule their time with consideration given to the possibility that they may become ill or other extraordinary circumstances may arise. Deliverable extensions are provided only when students are unable to meet the original deadline. Any extension granted will be proportionate to the delay caused by the problem that prevented the student from completing the assignment on time (e.g. a one-week extension will typically be granted for a one-week illness). Rotman expects students to prioritize completion of their overdue academic work.

Examples of Reasons for Non-Disability-Related Accommodations

Examples of reasons for which exam deferrals or deliverable extensions may be granted include:

  • Illness or injury having a significant impact on academic performance, with supporting documentation.
  • The serious illness of a person in the immediate family which requires a student to take on significant caregiving responsibilities. Documentation from the immediate family member’s physician is required.
  • Bereavement (2 categories). A student may request a deferral to attend a religious or other memorial service. A student who suffers the loss of a person to whom they are extremely close (e.g., a member of their immediate family), may find that more extensive accommodations are necessary. In some cases, students may be asked to submit appropriate documentation.
  • Accident, victim of crime, sudden loss of housing, or similar traumatic experience that interferes with exam preparation. A police report, or similar documentation, is required.
  • Delivery of a child (all parents).
  • Exam conflicts with another exam for a cross-registered or combined program course.
  • More than three exams scheduled in a 24-hour period.
  • Unanticipated work emergency of sufficient duration and scale in circumstances in which a student’s ability to meet the deliverable deadline is unreasonably compromised.
  • A deliverable due date falls on a religious holiday in circumstances in which a student’s ability to meet the deadline is unreasonably compromised.
  • An exam falls on a religious holiday.
  • Such other extraordinary circumstances as deemed appropriate by Rotman.

Examples of reasons for which exam deferrals or paper or assignment extensions will not normally be granted:

  • Employment reasons (including job interviews).
  • JD/MBA Students & First Year Firm Recruitment
  • Travel / vacation / social plans, including weddings.
  • Case competitions and conference attendance.
  • Airline flights and schedules.
  • Other assignments due on or around the same due date.
  • Common printer or computer problems, including computer crashes, network failures, etc. (Among other things, students are expected to continuously back up their work.)
  • Common commuting issues including parking, traffic and transit problems.
  • Religious holiday falling before or during the exam period, without directly conflicting with a scheduled exam.

Procedures for Students Requesting Non-Disability-Related Accommodations

COVID-19 Update: At this time, students will not normally be asked to supply a doctor’s note or medical certificates normally required for any accommodations request. This practice will be assessed over time and as the University receives additional information and guidelines from Public Health authorities.

Requests for exam deferrals and deliverable extensions due to illness or other extraordinary circumstances are to follow the following steps:

  • Students must make all reasonable efforts to notify their Program Staff before the exam is scheduled to begin or before the deliverable is due. To request an exam deferral or deliverable extension, students must use the Rotman Academic Accommodations form to explain the issue and attach the relevant documentation.
  • Students must submit the form and all documentation as soon as is reasonably practicable. In most cases, this will be within a week. For accommodations for religious holidays, students must submit the form and documentation at least two weeks before the exam date or the deliverable deadline. If the documentation is not submitted as soon as is reasonably practicable (and barring exceptional circumstances), the request will be rejected.
Accommodation ReasonRequired Documentation
COVID-19 Related AbsenceAt this time, students will not normally be asked to supply a doctor’s note or medical certificates due to medical reasons. This practice will be assessed over time and as the University receives additional information and guidelines from Public Health authorities.
ReligiousNone
MedicalThe University of Toronto Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form is the only medical documentation that will be accepted. Medical documentation must be written by a physician, surgeon, nurse practitioner, registered psychologist, dentist or other medical practitioner. The form must be completed in full. The medical documentation must establish that the student was examined and diagnosed at the time of illness, not after the fact. The documentation must show the dates of the medical problem. Even when a condition is chronic, students must have a recent completed Verification form that specifically covers the relevant portion of the term.
Death in familyDeath certificate, obituary, or funeral program. In circumstances where a death in the family leads to a lengthy bereavement period, a Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form is required.
Unanticipated work emergencyEmployer Letter (PDF) from the employer stating that the commitment could not be avoided and noting the dates and extent of the work commitment.
Other non-medical issuesDocumentation should be on official letterhead from an independent professional not related to the student.
  • While waiting for a response to an accommodation request, students are expected to be working on the deliverable as soon as they are able (i.e. students should not wait for approval before starting back to work on the deliverable).
  • If a student receives a deliverable extension and is unable to meet the deadline, a new extension request must be made and updated medical or other relevant documentation provided.
  • If the accommodation request for a final exam is approved by the Program Staff, the student is expected to write during the relevant deferred exam at the date provided in the confirmation email. While approval emails will be sent as soon as possible, this may result in less than 24-hour notice of the makeup date. Exam and makeup exam schedules for the Full-Time and Morning/Evening MBA programs are published in advance of each term and students are expected to be available during the entire period. Requests to write exams on earlier times/dates will not be considered.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend every class. This program requirement applies to all Rotman school courses; individual courses may have more specific attendance policies which take precedent over the more general Rotman policy. Students in full-time programs should not accept outside obligations that would interfere with this requirement. Students in the working professional programs should work with their employers to assure their regular class attendance. Students are encouraged to consult with their Career Centre to reschedule any conflicting employer interviews which would cause them to miss a class.

Students missing more than one-sixth of a course (i.e. one week in a six-week course or two weeks in a 12-week course) due to illness or personal circumstances should inform their Program as soon as possible. Students struggling to submit work for any significant period of time should make an appointment with their Program to discuss a petition for a leave of absence.

Full-time employment recruitment activity for graduating students begins each year in September. Students must balance their academic commitments with professional activities, keeping in mind that academic commitments are considered the priority. Students are expected to work with the Career Centre and/or the recruiting companies directly to avoid conflicts with tests, assignment deadlines, and examinations. Requests for academic accommodations based on unavoidable interviews should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

For more information about attendance expectations, please see the Rotman Code of Conduct.

Last Updated: 2021-01-14 @ 3:00 pm