When unexpected circumstances interrupt your studies

Are you facing a challenge that impacts your ability to complete course requirements as indicated in the course outline?  Learn where to start – and find answers to some frequently asked questions. 

When taking courses at the University of Calgary, unexpected circumstances may occur that impact your ability to complete course requirements as indicated in the course outline. This page will help you determine where you can get help or advice – whether you should make informal arrangements for an exception directly with your course instructor or request formal accommodations through the Student Accommodation Policy.

Prior to registering - Select the correct course modality

Prior to registering in courses, please ensure the course modality is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

Most courses will be listed as on-campus or online, with some being offered as blended where there is a mixture of on-campus and online components. In addition, you should check whether the course delivery is ‘Synchronous,’ which means a component is scheduled at specific times, and students must participate or engage at the scheduled time(s). Asynchronous delivery means that a component is not scheduled at a specific time; therefore, students may engage with the course material and learning activities at a time that is convenient for them. Hybrid means that some learning activities for a component will be delivered synchronously, and some learning activities will be delivered asynchronously.

Individual exceptions to the published course modalities are not possible and it is unreasonable to request exceptions to the course modality directly from a course instructor.

Requesting an academic accommodation in your courses

Requesting an academic accommodation in your courses

Note: If your request is not related to academics, please download and complete the Request for Accommodation (General) form.

Frequently asked questions

Students who are temporarily absent from classes or school activities should first review the course outlines. The course outline typically includes information on what students should do if they miss a required component of the course. Students should also connect with their course instructors to see what informal arrangements can be made.

Your instructor may ask you for some documentation of your illness/medical situation/absence. The decision to provide supporting documentation that best suits the situation is at your discretion. While you cannot be required to provide specific supporting documentation, such as information about a diagnosis, you are encouraged to submit documentation that will support your situation. View more information about supporting documentation in the academic calendar.

If seeking formal accommodation on the grounds of disability, please see the supporting documentation requirements for registration with Student Accessibility Services.

Statutory declarations are one form of supporting documentation a student may choose to provide. Statutory declarations are made through commissioners for oaths and involve swearing an oath. Many commissioners for oaths are available for a fee and by appointment. You can download the statutory declaration form and swear an oath at your appointment and then share the form with the appropriate contact regarding your situation. The Government of Alberta offers information on commissioners for oaths

Protected grounds are outlined in Alberta Human Rights Act and are also listed in the Student Accommodation Policy.

If the request is related to an academic course, your course outline will indicate whether you need to contact a course instructor or an associate dean.

If the request is not related to academics, please complete the form and contact vpse@ucalgary.ca.

There are no formal appeal processes for informal requests, but you can connect with the department head, the associate dean or the dean of the faculty offering the course.

If the request was based on a protected ground, the appeal process is outlined in the Student Accommodation Policy and should appear in any decision letter you receive.

Please talk with an advisor in your faculty advising office or, if you are registered with Student Accessibility Services, with your access advisor. In some cases, they may be able to help remedy the situation or help you withdraw from the course.

An extenuating circumstances withdrawal (EW) is when a significant unforeseen incident occurs that prevents you from continuing with your courses. Typically, extenuating circumstances withdrawals apply to all courses in a term, and tuition fees are not refunded. If an EW is granted, the withdrawal does not count towards a program maximum. View more information about extenuating circumstances withdrawals in the academic calendar.

If you are unable to complete your term and you are enrolled in the SU Health and Dental Plan, the policy does, in some circumstances, cover up to $10,000 to cover tuition, fees, and the cost of textbooks for courses you’ve been unable to complete.