Deferred Exams

A student who has missed an examination because of compelling medical or personal reasons must fill out the Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination (Form B) and normally submit the form within five working days of the missed examination. Please contact your Faculty office to obtain the form. Please note, deferred examinations may affect academic decisions including the eligibility to graduate, admission into a program and progression.

  1. Once a student has completed an examination, no subsequent request for special consideration will be granted.
  2. If the reason is medical, the approved McMaster University Medical Form must be used. The student must be seen by a doctor at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed exam and the doctor must verify the duration of the illness. Relief will not be available for minor illnesses. If the reason is non-medical, appropriate documentation with verifiable origin covering the relevant dates must be submitted, normally within five working days.
  3. In deciding whether or not to grant a petition, the adequacy of the supporting documentation, including the timing in relation to the due date of the missed work and the degree of the student’s incapacitation, will be taken into account.
  4. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Faculty office for a decision on the request for a deferred examination. If the deferred examination is granted, the student will be informed officially by means of the notation DEF which will appear against the relevant course on the student’s academic record and on the student’s grade report (available in Mosaic – My Academics -Grades).
  5. Deferred examinations are written during the next official University deferred examination period. Default of the deferred examination will result in a fail for that examination.
  6. Students who have been granted more than one deferred examination may be required by their Faculty/Program office to reduce their course load during the term in which the deferred examinations are being written. The decision on a reduced load will be made and communicated with the decision on the request for deferred examinations.
  7. At the discretion of the Faculty/Program office, students who have been granted one or more deferred examinations may have a hold placed on their record in subsequent terms. The hold will remain until all deferred examinations(s) are completed, and the Academic Standing is calculated. Students will be notified of this decision by their Faculty/Program office or through the ‘View My Grades’ page in the Student Center.

Students wanting to write their approved deferred examination at an institution other than McMaster must submit a Request to Write Deferred Examination Off-Campus form at least 15 working days prior to the start of the deferred examination period. Any fees incurred are the responsibility of the student. This includes the fee to courier the written examination(s) back to the Office of the Registrar.


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