Student Responsibilities


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other academic offenses.  Students are urged to read the section on Scholastic Offenses in the Academic Calendar.  Note that such offenses include cheating on an examination, submitting false or fraudulent assignments or credentials, impersonating a candidate, or submitting for credit in any course, without the knowledge and approval of the instructor to whom it is submitted, any academic work for which credit has previously been obtained or is being sought in another course in the University or elsewhere.  In writing scholarly papers, you must keep firmly in mind the need to avoid plagiarism.  Plagiarism is the unacknowledged borrowing of another writer’s words or ideas.  The following rules pertain to the acknowledgments necessary in academic papers:  in using another writer’s words, you must both place the words in quotation marks and acknowledge that the words are those of another writer; in adopting another writer’s ideas, you must acknowledge that they are his/hers.  If you are in doubt about whether what you are doing is inappropriate, consult your instructor or TA.  A claim that “you didn’t know it was wrong” will not be accepted as an excuse.

The penalties for a student guilty of a scholastic offense may range from refusal of a passing grade in the assignment, refusal of a passing grade in the course, suspension from the University, to expulsion from the University.


The grounds for an appeal may be one or more of:  medical or compassionate circumstances, extenuating circumstances beyond the appellant’s control, bias, inaccuracy, or unfairness.  All grounds must be supported by a clear and detailed explanation of the reasons for the appeal together with all supporting documentation.

In the first instance, all appeals of a grade must be made to the course instructor as soon as possible after a mark is issued (informal consultation).  In the event that the student is not satisfied with the decision of the course instructor, or if the instructor is unavailable to the student or fails to act, a written appeal must be made to the Department Associate Chair.  The deadlines for appeals to the Associate Chair are January 31 for Fall Semester marks and June 30 for Winter Semester marks.  If the response of the Department is considered unsatisfactory to the student, he/she may then appeal to the Dean of the Faculty in which the course or program was taken (with submission of written request).  Only after receiving a final decision from the Dean may a student appeal to the Senate Review Board Academic.  A Guide to Appeals is available from the Ombudsperson’s Office.


Any student who, in the opinion of the instructor, is absent too frequently from class or laboratory periods in any course will be reported to the Dean (after due warning has been given).  On the recommendation of the Department concerned, and with the permission of the Dean, the student will be debarred from taking the regular examination in the course.


You may also wish to view the Social Science website "Having Problems?" at:


If, on medical or compassionate grounds, you are unable to write term tests or final examinations or complete course work by the due date, you should follow the instructions listed below.  You should understand that academic accommodation will NOT automatically be granted on request.  Instructors are under no obligation to offer more than one opportunity to write a makeup exam.  You must demonstrate to your instructor that there are compelling medical or compassionate grounds that can be documented before academic accommodation will be considered.  Different regulations apply to term tests, final examinations and late assignments.  READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.  In all cases, ACTION MUST BE TAKEN AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY, preferably PRIOR TO the schedule examination, test or assignment.


Policy on Medical Notes


1.  You require the permission of the instructor, the Chair of the department, and your Dean to write a special final examination.

2.  If you are unable to write a final examination, contact the Academic Counselling Office of your Faculty in the first instance to request permission to write a special final examination and to obtain the necessary form.  You should also contact your instructor at this time.  If your instructor is not available in person, contact him/her by e-mail.

3.  Be prepared to provide the Academic Counselling Office with supporting documentation (see below for information on documentation).

4.  You must ensure that the Special Examination Form has been signed by the instructor and the date, time and location of the special examination are noted. The form must then be submitted to the Undergraduate Coordinator, Susan Smith-Goddard in SSC 7400.  She will obtain the Department Chair's signature and ensure the form is returned to your Faculty Academic Counselling Office for approval.

N.B.  Make sure you note the date, time and location of the special examination for your own records.


1.  Advise your Faculty Academic Counselling Office and the instructor if you are having problems completing the assignment on time (prior to the due date of the assignment).

2.  Be prepared to provide documentation to your Academic Counselling Office (see below for information on documentation).

3.  If you are granted an extension, the instructor will establish a due date.

4.  Extensions beyond the end of classes must have the consent of the instructor, the Department Chair and Dean.  Documentation is mandatory.  In these instances, please follow the procedure for Final Examinations above.

5.  A 'Recommendation of Incomplete' form must be filled out indicating the work to be completed and the date by which it is due.  This form must be signed by the student, the instructor, the Department Chair, Dean or the Dean’s representative in the Academic Counselling Office.



If you miss a class due to a minor illness or other problems, check your course outline for information regarding attendance requirements and make sure you are not missing a test or assignment.  Cover any readings and arrange to borrow notes from a classmate.


If you are absent more than approximately two weeks or if you get too far behind to catch up, you should consider reducing your workload by dropping one or more courses.  The Academic Counsellors of your Faculty can help you to consider the alternatives.  At your request, they can also keep your instructors informed of your difficulties.


Personal Illness:

If you consulted Student Health Services regarding your illness or personal problem, you should complete a Records Release Form at the Academic Counselling Office.  This form will be forwarded to Student Health Services which in turn will provide confirmation of the problem to your Faculty Academic Counsellor.  The Academic Counsellor will send confirmation to your instructor.

If you were seen by an doctor off-campus, obtain a certificate from his/her office.  In either case, the doctor should provide verification of the severity of the illness for the period in question.  Notes stating “For Medical Reasons” are not considered sufficient.

In Case of Serious Illness of a Family Member:

Obtain a medical certificate from the family member's physician.

In Case of a Death:

Obtain a copy of the newspaper notice, death certificate or documentation provided by the funeral director.

For Other Extenuating Circumstances:

If you are not sure what documentation to provide, ask your instructor or an Academic Counsellor from your Faculty.

N.B.  Forged notes and certificates will be dealt with severely.  To submit a forged document is a scholastic offense (see below) and you will be subject to academic sanctions.

See the Social Science Academic Counselling Medical Accommodation webpage for further information:


You need to know if your instructor has a policy on late penalties, missed tests, etc.  This information may be included on the course outline.  If not, ask your instructor.

You should also be aware of attendance requirements in courses such as Business and English.  You may be debarred from writing the final examination if your attendance is not satisfactory.

If you are in academic difficulty, check the minimum requirements for progression in your program.  If in doubt, see your Academic Counsellor.

If you are registered in Social Science courses but registered in another faculty (i.e., Arts or Science), you should immediately consult the Academic Counselling Office in your home faculty for instructions.


In courses with term paper assignments, students should hand their papers directly to the instructor on or before the due date unless other arrangements have been made.  The Psychology Department will assume no responsibility for late or missing papers if the papers are left in the instructor’s mailbox.