February 28, 2002
The School of Graduate Studies sets deadlines for the completion of coursework and grade submission for all courses taught under its aegis. Students are expected to meet these deadlines and are advised to plan their research projects accordingly. Students who find themselves unable to meet the relevant deadlines can, under certain conditions, receive extensions for completing coursework after the dates set by SGS.
Note: Graduate units may establish deadlines earlier than those set by SGS for the completion of coursework and may prescribe penalties for late completion of work and failure to complete work, provided that these penalties are announced at the time the instructor makes available to the class the methods by which the student performance shall be evaluated. The policy below concerning extensions pertains only to extensions of the deadlines for completion of coursework set by SGS.
1. Petitions for Extensions to Complete Coursework
The authority to grant an extension for the completion of work in a course beyond the original SGS deadline for that course rests with the graduate unit in which the course was offered, not the instructor of the course. Students will petition the graduate unit for extensions, using a standard form provided by SGS.
The deadline for requesting an initial extension is the deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission for courses offered in the relevant session, as specified in the SGS Calendar.
A student on extension who is unable to complete the required coursework in the extension period specified by the graduate unit may apply to the graduate unit for a continuation of the extension (subject to the time limits and deadlines for extensions, set out below); the student must, however, make such a request before the expiry date of the extension period in place.
2. Grounds for Extensions
Legitimate reasons for an extension can be academic in nature (e.g., unexpected problems of research in a course) or nonacademic (e.g., illness). In order to ensure as much uniformity and fairness as possible in the granting of extensions (or continuations of extensions), the relevant graduate unit must be reasonably certain that:
(i) the reasons for the delay are both serious and substantiated: the student is to provide a statement detailing the reasons, together with a physician’s letter in the case of illness;
(ii) the student would not be granted an unfair academic advantage over fellow students in the course;
(iii) the students would not be placing in jeopardy the normal and satisfactory completion of new coursework; and
(iv) the student does have a reasonable chance of completing outstanding requirements within the time to be allotted.
3. Time Limits for Extensions
If a graduate unit grants a petition for an extension, it must specify an extension period, which is not to run beyond the SGS deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission following the original SGS deadline for the course. (Thus, an extension may be granted for a period of up to roughly four months beyond the original SGS deadline for submitting coursework for that course.) The dates for these deadlines for course extensions will be listed each year in the SGS Calendar.
A graduate unit may grant a continuation of an extension that is already in place provided that it does not extend the total period of the extension beyond the SGS deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission following the original one for the course.
Extensions beyond the deadlines will require the approval of both the graduate unit and the SGS Admissions and Program Committee.
4. Grade-Reporting Procedures
The graduate unit will assign the temporary course report of ‘SDF’ (‘Standing Deferred’) to a student on extension, pending receipt from the instructor of a final course report. The final course report will take the form either of a regular grade or of the non-grade report ‘INC’ (‘Incomplete’), as appropriate. It is due no later than the SGS deadline for completion of coursework and grade submission following the original one for the course. If, by that date, a final grade is not available and the student has not submitted the outstanding coursework, then the report of ‘SDF’ will be replaced by one of ‘INC’. This will be a permanent transcript entry. (Amendments will require the approval of the SGS Admissions and Program Committee.)
5. SGS & Home Graduate Unit Notification
Graduate units are to notify SGS of extensions no later than the original deadlines for submitting grades for the relevant courses or, in case of continuations, no later than the expiry dates of the original periods of extension, providing in each case the new deadline for completion of coursework.
A graduate unit should, in addition, notify the graduate unit in which the student is registered when it is not the same as the one granting the extension.