V. Procedures

Academic Procedures and Policies outlined in this section are based on those detailed in the current Undergraduate Calendar. Refer to Section VIII—Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures at of the current Undergraduate Calendar for the complete text. If a discrepancy exists between this document and the calendar, the calendar copy will be upheld.

Academic Consideration

The Academic Consideration policy exists to recognize that situations beyond a student’s control may affect their academic performance. The procedure is designed to ensure that every effort is made to provide accommodation that is appropriate in order to support students in completing course and program requirements. Consideration may be granted on the basis of medical, psychological or compassionate grounds (work commitments are not generally grounds for consideration). It may take a number of different forms and may be granted by the instructor, the Program Counsellor or the Academic Review Sub- Committee of the program in which the student is registered (depending on the circumstances as well as the amount and timing of the incomplete work). The complete policy identifies grounds for consideration as well as responsibilities of specific individuals in the process and is available in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Academic Misconduct

The University believes that academic misconduct erodes the basis of mutual trust on which scholarly exchanges commonly rest, undermines the University's exercise of its responsibility to evaluate students' academic achievements, or restricts the University's ability to accomplish its learning objectives. For this reason the University takes a serious view of academic misconduct and stresses the responsibility of faculty, students, and staff to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent such offences from occurring. A number of Senate policies address academic dishonesty including the Student Academic Misconduct Policy, the Research Misconduct Policy, and the Students Rights and Responsibilities Regulations. The Academic Misconduct policy in the cites guidelines for identifying and reporting suspected cases of academic misconduct as well as lists of potential offences and penalties, retention of records of guilt, and is available in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Academic Review

The Academic Review Sub-Committee of each program committee meets three times each semester to review requests for academic consideration. The committee considers Requests for Academic Consideration submitted by individual students. Questions about the Academic Review process for a specific degree program should be directed to the Program Counsellor. General questions about the Academic Review process should be directed to the Undergraduate Academic Information Centre.

Academic Standing

At the end of each semester students are assigned a term academic standing based on semester and cumulative averages according to the Continuation of Study model. Valid term academic standings include Eligible to Continue, Probation, or Required to Withdraw. The Continuation of Study model is available in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar.

  • Eligible to Continue: A student who satisfies the continuation of study requirements will be eligible to continue.
  • Probation: Semester one students whose cumulative average is below 50% are placed on academic probation. Generally, beyond the first semester, a term academic standing of probation is assigned when a student (a) had a standing of eligible to continue in the term prior to the current term being evaluated and s/he does not obtain a 60.00% cumulative average or (b) had a standing of probation in the term prior to the current term being evaluated and s/he obtains a minimum semester average of 60%.
  • Required to Withdraw: Generally, beyond the first semester, a student will be required to withdraw if (a) they had a standing of probation in the term prior to the current term being evaluated and s/he does not obtain a minimum semester average of 60% or (b) their cumulative average falls below 50%.

Note: In Fall 2001 the University approved a change in how the Continuation of Study is applied. Degree students who should be Required to Withdraw at the end of a fall semester are allowed to continue on probation in the winter semester that immediately follows. If a student in this situation does not register for the winter semester immediately following, or if s/he registers and subsequently withdraws, the fall term academic standing reverts to required to withdraw. When this happens the University considers winter the first semester of the required two semester rustication period and the student is eligible to apply for re-admission to the University of Guelph for the following fall semester.

Access to Final Exam/Assignment Materials

Final examination papers and final assignments must be retained by the instructor / department for a period defined by policy. Printed or written materials directly related to examinations conducted in the final examination time period or related to final assignments are made available to a student, upon submission of a written request to the Department Chair by the fifth class day of the semester following the completion of the work. Specific materials that are to be made available to the student are identified in the official access policy in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Auditing Courses

Procedures for registration and course changes are the same for audited course attempts as they are for regular course attempts once approval for audit has been obtained from the instructor of the course, the Chair of the department offering the course and the student's Program Counsellor. In approving the audit of a course the department provides a written statement prescribing the extent to which the student may participate in the work of the course. An approved audit course cannot be converted to credit status after the end of the add period and does not constitute a course attempt. It does not receive a grade, appear on an official grade and it is not considered in the determination of the eligibility for continuation of study or in the calculation of full- time or part-time status. A student may, however, change from credit to audit status up to the drop deadline applicable to that course, with approval.

Class Level Calculation

Programs that have a highly structured schedule of studies, such as Associate Diploma programs and D.V.M., have prescribed class levels according to their schedules of studies. All other programs determine class level on the basis of successfully completed credits plus the number of credits in progress. Class level for course selection in a future semester is determined by adding the number of credits that are in-progress to the number of completed credits. See Class Level Calculation in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Class Lists

If an instructor informs you that your name does not appear on the class list for a specific course you must present yourself to Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services to resolve why you are not registered. You are not entitled to attend any course for which you are not officially registered.

Continuation of Study

All undergraduate degree and associate diploma programs, the Open Learning program, and the General Studies program all have established conditions that must be met for continuation of study that are outlined in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar. Every student is assigned a schedule from the continuation of study policy which sets cumulative and semester averages that they must obtain in order to continuation in their program of study. The Continuation of Study policy is based on the principle that students must maintain a minimum cumulative average of 60% although it does provide some leniency to allow for transition issues during the first 5.00 credit attempts. Alternative course evaluations and results for courses taken on a letter of permission are not included in continuation of study calculations because they do not have numerical grades associated with them to factor into an average. Students negatively affected by the omission of these courses in calculations may appeal a continuation decision to the Academic Review Committee.


Convocation is the formal ceremony for the conferment of university degrees for students who have been approved to graduate.

In order to graduate from the University of Guelph, a student must satisfy both academic residence (at least 5.00 of the required credits and at least 60% of the 3000 and 4000 level required courses must be taken at the University of Guelph) and specific program requirements (outlined in Section X of the undergraduate calendar year identified on your Program Evaluation). University of Guelph courses include courses taken on exchange and on study abroad programs but do not include those taken on a Letter of Permission. Convocation ceremonies are held three times a year in October, February and June. In order to be considered for graduation approval a student must apply to graduate by a published deadline and pay a graduation fee. Graduation information is available on the Office of Registrarial Services webpage entitled "Graduation".

  • Application for a Certificate or Diploma: A student registered in General Studies or the Non-Degree category and who completes requirements for a certificate or diploma program must submit an Application for Completion of Certificate or Diploma form to the Convocation Clerk, Undergraduate Program Services.
  • Application for Graduation from Degree Programs: An email is sent to the University of Guelph email account of each student registered at the University in the fourth semester of an associate diploma program, the sixth semester of a general degree program and the eighth semester of an honours degree program advising them that Web Advisor is accepting applications for graduation. Students not currently registered but that wish to apply to graduate should refer to Graduation information.
  • Second Degrees: It is possible to graduate with a second undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph if the course content of the second degree program is substantially different from that of the first. If you have graduated with a first degree, you must apply for admission to the program for the second degree and may transfer a maximum of 10.00 credits from the initial degree program. If University of Guelph students apply to graduate with two different degrees at the same convocation only 10.00 credits may be transferred from the registered program to the undeclared program.

Course Add/Drop

Normally students can use WebAdvisor to add and/or drop courses (changes can also be processed by hard-copy, in person at Enrolment Services, UC Level 3). Program Counsellor approval may be required in specific situations (i.e. course overload is requested, there is a pending investigation for academic misconduct against the student).

  • Course Adds: Addition of courses is limited to the Course Selection Period. These dates are in Section III--Schedule of Dates of the Undergraduate Calendar and are communicated to students through their university-issued email. The addition of a course outside of this period requires the approval of the instructor for the course as well as the student’s Program Counsellor and will only be considered in exceptional circumstances (i.e. illness). To add a course for which a student has not successfully completed the stated course requisite(s) s/he must complete a Course Waiver Request form, have it signed by the instructor, and present it to Enrolment Services. When adding a two-semester course, students must complete the course selection process for each part of the course during the appropriate course selection period for consecutive semesters (e.g. AGR*2351 in the Fall and AGR*2352 in the Winter).
  • Course Drops: One semester courses can be dropped without academic penalty until the last day of classes (see Dropping Courses in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures in the current Undergraduate Calendar). The dropping of a course after the deadline is allowed only in exceptional circumstances and normally requires a Request for Academic Consideration. A limited number of courses require instructor notification when being dropped (normally where students care for laboratory animals or when supplies on loan must be returned). If instructor notification is required this must be written in the course outline and announced in the first class meeting.

Course Selection

Course Selection Period is published in in Section III--Schedule of Dates of the Undergraduate Calendar and communicated to students through their university-issued email. This period allows students to select courses for upcoming semesters. The primary tool for this process is WebAdvisor but course selection can also be done in person at Enrolment Services, UC Level 3 using the Undergraduate Course Request Form.

Course Substitution

Students may need to replace required courses with suitable replacements in order to complete program requirements within a prescribed period of time. If a student suspects that a course that s/he has taken can act as a substitution for a requirement s/he should complete a Schedule of Studies Change Request Form which requires the signature of both the Faculty Advisor and the Program Counsellor. Course substitutions are not recorded in Colleague and do not appear in the academic evaluation.

Course Waiver

Students who wish to have a graduation requirement waived must make a request, obtain approval from the Faculty Advisor/Program Counsellor, and have that approval processed by Enrolment Services.

Declare and/or Change Specialization

Normally students contemplating a declaration (or change) of specialisation within their current degree program (i.e. French Studies to History, both in B.A.) should contact the Faculty Advisor for the program(s) in which they are interested. The Faculty Advisor will help the student determine if the program being contemplated is suitable and what schedule of studies would be most appropriate. Students contemplating a specialisation change within the B.A.Sc. or B.Comm. degree programs must consult their Program Counsellor. In order to declare (or change) a specialisation an Undergraduate Schedule of Studies Change Request Form must be completed by the student and signed by the appropriate academic advisor(s) prior to being submitted to Student Client Services, UC Level 3 for processing.

Deferred Privileges

When students do not complete course work, write a required final examination, or complete a final assignment by the deadline they may be eligible for a deferred privilege. A deferred privilege may be requested by making a Request for Academic Consideration to the Academic Review Sub-Committee based on medical, psychological or compassionate grounds. (Note: Instructors cannot grant deferred privileges.) The nature of the deferred privilege may take the form of either a deferred condition or a deferred examination and will be scheduled/have a deadline in the semester immediately following the semester in which the course was taken.

  • Deferred Condition: The instructor and/or the department determine the requirements and conduct of the deferred condition. The nature of the deferred condition may vary (i.e. a written test, an assignment, any other method of evaluation) and must be documented on the Terms of Supplemental/Deferred Condition form. It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor 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 as indicated on the original Instructor's Recommendation form.
  • Deferred Examination: Undergraduate Program Services (Schedules) schedules and supervises deferred examinations that are two hours in length. The Examinations Coordinator notifies departments of the deferred examination schedule and advises the students of the date, time and location of the deferred examination.

Degree Audit

Degree Audit (also referred to as a program evaluation or an academic evaluation) is an automated matching of a student's successfully completed and in-progress courses to the graduation requirements of their declared degree program and specialization(s). The results of the degree audit indicate which requirements have been completed and which are still outstanding. Students can view their own degree audits using WebAdvisor for Students through My Program/Academic Evaluation.

Degree Program Change

Students contemplating a change of degree program (i.e. Bachelor of Arts to Bachelor of Applied Science) should contact the Program Counsellor and/or the Admissions Counsellor for the program(s) in which they are interested. These advisors will help the student determine if the program being contemplated is suitable for her/him. The Internal Transfers and Readmission application is completed on-line and has a fee. Students who have received an offer of admission that they wish to decline must contact Admission Services within the first 10 class days of the semester admission was granted for and complete the Cancellation of Program Transfer form. Students who fail to decline will remain registered in the new program.

Exchange Programs/Study Abroad

For more information about programs offered by the Centre for International Programs you can visit their office in the University Centre on Level 3 (South End).

  • Exchange Programs: Exchange Programs are formal agreements between universities and involve a set number of students exchanging for a set period of time. Students pay tuition to their home institution, usually take regularly scheduled host university courses and are subject to the policies and regulations of the host institution. While on exchange the student is responsible for ensuring that s/he is taking courses that have Guelph equivalencies. Exchange program courses do not count towards the calculation of the student's averages.
  • Semester Abroad: Semester Abroad Programs are University of Guelph semesters conducted overseas. Courses are taught by Guelph faculty (or by on-site faculty contracted by Guelph). Semesters abroad tend to be designed for the widest possible student audience. Each application process is unique, and students should contact the coordinator for the specific program they are considering.

Extension of Residence Stay

Students who live in residence are normally required to vacate their rooms within 24 hours after the end of their last final exam of the semester. Students who have reason to stay longer must complete a Residence Extension Application/Contract form, available from residence desks and Student Housing Services (Maritime Hall). Permission to stay is contingent on approval from Student Housing Services. More information can be obtained from Student Housing Services or the student’s Residence Manager.

Final Grades

University grades are official on the day that they are made available to students on WebAdvisor (normally 8 days after the final exam period concludes). Students who require an official copy of their grade report can request an official transcript upon payment of the transcript fee. Transcripts for students who are on academic sanction will not be released by until notification is received indicating that the account has been cleared to the satisfaction of Student Financial Services.

Grade Reassessment Policy

Grade re-assessment is the process of reviewing the calculation of grades, the methods and criteria used to establish final grades for a student in a course or misapplication of an academic regulation. The outcome of a grade re-assessment may be an increase, a decrease, or no change to the grade. The grade re-assessment process must not be used to grant extensions for submission of work beyond the end of the semester, change the student's continuation of study status, improve the student's averages, or submit late grades. The complete University Grade Reassessment Policy is available in the current undergraduate calendar.

  • Calculation Errors or Omissions: Students who believe there have been errors or omissions in the calculation of their final grade for a course may request a grade reassessment, in writing to the Chair of the department offering the course, no later than the 10th class day of the following semester. The request must pertain to work completed during the semester, must contain a statement of the specific reasons why the grade does not adequately reflect academic performance in the course and include relevant assignments or tests.
  • Methods or Criteria Used in Establishing Final Grades: The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester defines the methods and criteria used in establishing final grades for a course. The methods and criteria must conform to the grading procedures established by Senate (see Grading Procedures below). Students, who believe that the methods or criteria used by an instructor in the determination of a final grade have been unfair, unreasonable or inconsistent with the course outline, should submit a written request the Department Chair of the department offering the course to review the methods or criteria used by the 20th day of the subsequent semester. If at any time the Chair decides that s/he cannot resolve the matter informally, s/he will terminate all efforts at reconciliation and notify both the student and the instructor of this decision. The student may then appeal to Student Petitions within 10 days of being advised of the termination efforts.
  • Misapplication of an Academic Regulation or Procedure: Students who believe that the misapplication of an academic regulation or procedure has affected their final grade in a course should discuss their concern with the instructor. If the concern is not resolved to their satisfaction they may submit a complaint in writing to the Department Chair of the department offering the course. If the Department Chair has reason to believe that the instructor has not adhered to the grading procedures established by Senate or other academic regulations of Senate, the Department Chair should consult with the faculty member and, if necessary, the College Dean. Ultimately, the Provost and Vice President (Academic) may have to take the necessary action to ensure compliance with Senate regulations.

Grading Resolutions

The University provides grading resolutions that outline its standards for determining and assigning grades. The current text for all Grading Resolutions, as approved by Senate, appears in the current undergraduate calendar.

Grading System

The University's Grades policy is available in Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures of the current Undergraduate Calendar. Each course completed by a student is assigned a grade based on that student’s academic achievement. Letter grades are assigned against a numerical grouping (i.e. 85 – 89 is an A). Courses dropped by the 40th class day do not appear on the official transcript. Two-semester courses constitute two course attempts and appear on the student academic record twice, once for the first part and once for the second part. Exchange courses (as well as courses approved by the Board of Undergraduate Studies to use an alternate grading system) are assigned one of three alternate grades (Outstanding Pass, Pass, and Fail). Other valid grading notations also exist that are only assigned during the Academic Review and/or Academic Consideration processes (i.e. WF for a Withdraw with Failure from a course).

Letter of Permission

A Letter of Permission (LOP) is required if a student wishes to take courses at another institution for credit towards their University of Guelph degree. The complete LOP policy is in Section VIII of the current Undergraduate Calendar and the LOP procedure is detailed on the back of the Request for Letter of Permission form which is available from Enrolment Services (UC Level 3), program counseling offices and the Centre for International Programs (Level 3 University Centre). The LOP form must be completed, and all appropriate approvals met, prior to applying for admission to the host institution. The student is responsible for insuring that the host institution forwards an official transcript directly to Undergraduate Program Services. Grades received for a course taken elsewhere on a LOP are not recorded on the Guelph transcript and do not count as course attempts under the continuation of study. Students must request an official transcript for LOP courses from the institution where they were taken. Withdrawals or non-registration in courses taken on a letter of permission must be verified by official documentation from the other institution. Any changes in the courses taken must have the appropriate approvals from the University of Guelph. Follow Letter of Permission for Study outside of Canada for information about LOP for study outside of Canada.

Missed Exam or Assignment

See Academic Consideration or Deferred Privileges above. Students who do not meet the criteria to be granted a deferred privilege will be assessed a grade on semester work that was completed.

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a mechanism whereby students who have acquired substantial experience in a non-traditional environment have an opportunity to challenge whether it is equivalent to a course(s) offered at the University. PLA is only available when sufficient evidence is provided that the course material was acquired outside a degree program at a University. A request to challenge a course that has already been attempted at university will not normally be granted. The maximum number of credits a student can challenge is 5.00 for degree programs (30% of the certificate requirement for open learners). Credits acquired through PLA are assigned credit status (CRD) and do appear on the official transcript.


Probation is an academic term standing assessed during the Academic Review process that measures the student’s academic record against the requirements of an appropriate Continuation of Study schedule. Students on probation must obtain a minimum semester average of 60% in order to continue on probation and a minimum cumulative average of 60% in order to become eligible to continue.


To be considered for readmission an Internal Transfers and Readmission application must be completed and a fee paid. Students must re- apply if they were required to withdraw from their program, were suspended from the University for academic misconduct, have graduated from the University and wish to take additional courses, registered at another post-secondary institution and wish to return to Guelph, have not registered 6 or more consecutive semesters or are attending the University of Guelph on a letter of permission from another institution and wish to continue past the term of the letter of permission agreement. Note: Students who are required to withdraw must complete a minimum two semester period of rustication before they can reapply and readmission is not automatic. Students who have been required to withdraw, and who take credit courses during their rustication period, may be eligible for up to 1.00 credits provided they meet the criteria for readmission and for the transfer of credit. Students who take university courses after the two-semester rustication period may be eligible to transfer all these credits provided s/he meets the criteria for readmission and for the transfer of credit. Note: Students who have been suspended for academic misconduct will not receive any credit for courses taken during the suspension period.

Scholarships and Awards

The Senate Committee on Awards is responsible for the supervision of the administration of Senate approved awards. This Committee formulates policies regarding the effective use of funds designated for awards and establishes the terms and conditions attached to the awards. Each College also has an Awards Committee, which is responsible for the awarding of scholarships and bursaries. In addition, there is a University Bursary Committee that is responsible for bursaries, which are based on financial need and do not have an academic requirement. You can learn more about Scholarships and Financial Aid on the Student Financial Services website.

Supplemental Privileges

The Supplemental Privilege Policy discusses information related to the request and approval process for a supplemental privilege. Students wishing to be considered for a supplemental privilege must submit a Request for Academic Consideration no later than the fifth day of classes of the semester following the failure. If the Academic Review Sub-Committee approves the request, the department or instructor responsible for the course will determine the nature of the privilege (i.e. written exam, an assignment). An instructor must not proceed with any privilege until receiving official notification of the privilege from the Office of Registrarial Services.

When a student fails a course attempt and is subsequently granted a Supplemental Privilege her/his final grade does not change when s/he completes the supplemental. The original failing grade is replaced with XXP or XXF, where the XX represents the original failing grade and the P or F indicates a passed or failed supplemental.

Time Away from Studies

Students who do not register at the University for six or more consecutive semesters are required to apply for readmission. Students who are studying on exchange programs, study abroad, or work terms are considered to be registered at the University. A withdrawn term is considered to be a registration.


Transcripts are a record of all course attempts (as well as transfer credits assessed) at the University. Unofficial transcripts can be accessed by students using WebAdvisor however this record does not display the student’s name or university identification number. An official transcript may be ordered by submitting the Request for Transcript form, with payment, to Undergraduate Program Services (UC Level 3). Transcripts required for any academic purpose should be mailed directly to the recipient. Transcripts are normally prepared within three to five working days. Official transcripts from the University of Guelph will show that a degree has been conferred only after the convocation ceremony.

Transfer Credit, Exchange Programs/Study Abroad

Transfer students have their credits assessed for equivalencies at the time of admission. This process is coordinated by the Program Counsellor and Department Chair based on the application, and is dependent on the program. Students participating in exchange programs select the courses they wish to take prior to leaving on exchange. Credits completed while on an exchange appear on the University of Guelph transcript as non-specific courses and are graded using alternate grades.

Unofficial Transcripts

See Transcripts above.

Verification of Medical or Compassionate Grounds (for Academic Consideration)

The University’s policy regarding the verification of compassionate or medical reasons for consideration within the semester is that faculty members should exercise discretion when requiring documentation, particularly when the assessment in question constitutes a small proportion. Discretion should be exercised because O.H.I.P. does not cover the costs of medical visits that are required by a third party for the sole purpose of providing that party with documentation of an illness.

  • Verification of Illness Form: For academic consideration based on medical or psychological grounds a student may be asked to provide documentation. The necessity for documentation will depend upon the length of the illness and the amount of work missed during this time.
  • Letter for Academic Consideration: If an illness interfered with the completion of requirements of the academic program throughout the semester and more details are required then a Letter for Academic Consideration may be requested. A Letter for Academic Consideration provides a more detailed review of the circumstances of the illness and its impact on the student’s academic performance. To obtain a letter the student must book an appointment with the physician for follow-up and pay a fee.


  • Required: A student who does not satisfy the program requirements for continuation of study will be required to withdraw. After two semesters (period of rustication) the student may apply for readmission to a program at the University of Guelph. Readmission is not guaranteed. Students who are required to withdraw may submit a Request for Academic Consideration to the Academic Review Sub-Committee to ask to be allowed to continue on probation. A student will not be allowed to attend classes until an appeal has been granted.
  • Voluntary: Students may cancel their registration up to, but not including, the first day of classes. Students may withdrawal from a semester by dropping all their class sections on WebAdvisor up to and including the last day of classes. A student that wishes to withdraw from a semester after the last day of classes must make a request for academic consideration. Withdrawn semesters do not appear on the transcript. (Also see Time Away from Studies above.) Note: Students receiving assistance through the Ontario Student Assistance Program are advised to contact Student Financial Services prior to withdrawing from a semester.