The Academic Regulations for the Faculty of Arts and Science are designed to ensure that academic standards are upheld and that all students are treated fairly and equitably.
In general, with the exception of appeals related to final examinations, final grades,or non-academic misconduct where other criteria will apply, petitions and appeals are only granted where there are significantly extenuating circumstances, which would merit the waiving of a particular Faculty regulation or decision. Extenuating circumstances normally involve a significant physical or psychological event that is beyond a student’s control and debilitating to their academic performance. These kinds of extraordinary situations should be supported by official documentation from a health care practitioner or other relevant professional.
Petitions and appeals in the Faculty of Arts and Science are detailed in Academic Regulations and Appeal Regulations in the Calendar.
University Governing Policies
The Student Academic Appeals Policy (SAAP) and Rules of Procedure for USAB (University Student Appeals Board) are the Queen’s University Senate approved appeal policies upon which the Faculty of Arts and Science’s appeal regulations and processes are based. In the event that an inconsistency arises between these policies and the Arts and Science regulations, SAAP and USAB will supersede.
Levels of Petition and Appeal in Arts and Science
There are three levels of petition/appeal within the Faculty of Arts and Science (instructor, Associate Dean (Academic) and Board of Studies) and one final level of appeal that is university-wide (USAB).
First level: Petitions to the Instructor
Two kinds of petitions can be made directly to instructors:
- An informal review of a grade in a piece of course work
- To request an exam deferral
First level (Faculty of Arts and Science): Petitions to the Associate Dean (Academic) and Second Level: Appeals of Instructor Decisions re: informal grade review (click should bring to current page with appeal options)
Second level (Faculty of Arts and Science): Appeal of Associate Dean’s decision to the Board of Studies
Third level (University-wide): Appeal of Board of Studies’ decision to USAB
Petition and Appeal Deadlines
|Petition for informal grade review to instructor||Refer to course syllabus for class deadlines and instructions|
|Petition to add classes after the add deadline||10 business days after the add deadline of term|
|Petition to waive a requirement to withdraw for one year/three years||15 business days|
|Petition for late course drop, credit standing, Aegrotat standing||Within one year of the end of the term in which the class was offered|
|Petition for extension of an incomplete grade or deferred exam beyond one term||Prior to the deadline for the submission of the outstanding work/exam|
|Appeal for formal review of instructor’s decision on coursework||Within 15 business days of receiving the instructor’s decision on the informal review|
|Appeal of Associate Dean’s decision on petition (to Board of Studies)||Within 10 business days|
|Appeal of Board of Studies’s decision on appeal (to USAB)||Within 2 weeks|
Petition vs Appeal
Petition: A petition is a formal request made by a student to an instructor or the Associate Dean (Academic) for an exception, special consideration or standing (review a grade assigned, waive a drop deadline, waive a requirement to withdraw, apply Credit standing, for example.) The decision maker will review the request and render a decision to the student according to the relevant process and policies.
Appeal: An appeal is the next step of the process when a petition is denied. A formal request made by a student to apply for a review of a decision made by an instructor, Associate Dean or the Board of Studies to a higher tribunal.
First Level: Petition to the Associate Dean (Academic)
The first level is a petition to the Associate Dean (Academic).
What can I petition?
A student can submit a petition letter requesting that various regulations be waived if they have experienced documented extenuating circumstances. Examples of various petition options that a student can request are as follows:
- Drop a course(s) if they missed the drop deadline. If this petition is granted, the grade would appear on the transcript as a DR.
- Credit standing in a course(s) if the student passed the course and completed the learning outcomes but, due to their extenuating circumstances, earned a lower grade (normally a grade that falls between a C to D-). If this petition is granted, the grade would appear on the transcript as a CR and would count towards the units needed for graduation but a grade would not impact the student’s GPA.
- Aegrotat (AG) standing in a course(s) if the student was unable to complete all the course components but did complete the learning outcomes. If this petition is granted the grade is pro-rated and based only on the course deliverables completed and the prorated grade would appear on the transcript with the notation "Aegrotat Standing - estimated grade".
- EXTEND an INcomplete grade. If the student received an INcomplete grade from their instructor at the end of the term, the student had until the end of the following term to complete the course. If the student was unable to do so due to documented extenuating circumstances and wishes to request additional time to complete the course deliverables, they must submit a petition and request an extension of their INcomplete grade. A student can submit a petition for only one additional term.
- Taking their 3rd or 4th year away is a petition option for students who are in an Honours degree and wish to take more than 6.0 units at another university in 3rd and/or 4th year due to extenuating circumstances. They can submit a petition outlining the reasons why they cannot complete the degree requirements at Queen's and provide relevant documentation (to be outlined below), as well as a letter of support from the Undergraduate Chair of their Plan(s) (Major/Joint Honours Plans).
- ADD a course late. If a student missed the deadline to add a course, they can submit a petition requesting to ADD that course late. See the appeal deadline chart noted below.
- Re-read an assignment, essay, or exam if a student believes they earned a lower grade than should be assigned and would outline in their petition why they believe the grade is incorrect.
What do I need to include with my petition?
- Students should submit with their petition letter, documentation that supports the circumstances outlined. Documentation should include information related to the timeline of the extenuating circumstance(s) as well as the impact the circumstance(s) had on their studies and attests to the severity of the circumstances. If the petition is to take their 3rd or 4th year away, they will also need to submit support from their Undergraduate Chairs. If the petition is for a re-read of an assignment or essay, they must submit a copy of the unmarked assignment or essay in question.
- Documentation to support late Drops, Credit standing, Aegrotat standing, and to Extend an INcomplete grade includes documents such as medical letters, an Off Campus Physicians document, death certificates, legal documents (if relevant).
- There are deadlines related to the submission of petitions. Please see this website for information: https://www.queensu.ca/academic-calendar/arts-science/appeal-regulations/
Second Level: Appeal to the Board of Studies
A student may appeal the petition decision of the Associate Dean (Academic) to the Board of Studies, with the exception of decisions on matters related to appeals of grading of term work or final examinations (those decisions are final).
Appeals must be submitted via the portal within 10 business days of the date that the petition decision letter was emailed to the student by the Faculty Office.
If additional supporting documentation is to be submitted but the student has not been able to acquire it yet, they still need to submit the appeal letter by the deadline. A student can then indicate in the portal what supporting documents will be submitted and the anticipated date of submission. Waiting for supporting documents is not a valid reason to miss the appeal deadline.
Appeals must be submitted via the portal and include a letter explaining the reason(s) for appeal, based on one or more of the Grounds for Appeal set out in Appeal Regulation 3.4. It is important in the appeal letter to:
- Specifically address the written statements made by the Associate Dean (Academic) in denying the petition and
- Identify and explain which grounds you are basing your appeal on
Note: all letters and documentation considered by the Associate Dean (Academic) in reaching a decision on your petition will be forwarded to the Board of Studies for review as part of your appeal.
Outcome of the Appeal
After a careful review of the evidence, the Board of Studies, will act as a true appeal board to determine if
- the original decision maker failed to meet the standards of procedural fairness or
- if the original decision maker exceeded their jurisdiction (see section3.4).
If the appeal is found to meet either of these grounds, then the decision shall be overturned. If not, the original decision will be upheld.
The Board of Studies will inform the student in writing of the decision, normally within 10 business days after the date of the meeting of the Board of Studies to decide the appeal.
The Board of Studies is the last level of appeal on academic matters for students whose appeal does not affect the progression in their program.
The decisions of the Board of Studies on academic matters are final (see SAAP).
Third Level: Appeal to the University Student Appeal Board
For those students whose appeal does not affect their progression in their program the Board of Studies is the final level of appeal. The University Student Appeal Board (USAB) is the third and final level for an appeal that does affect a student’s progression in their program.
Appeals to the University Student Appeal Board relate only to the process by which the previous decisions were rendered and does not deal with the merits of the appeal itself. USAB is intended to ensure that fair procedures have been followed and that there has not been a clear error in the exercise of discretion.
You will have 14 days (2 weeks) from the date that you receive the Board of Studies decision letter to submit your appeal. To do so, you would need to contact the Secretary of USAB in the Office of the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further details on the jurisdiction of USAB see Rules of Procedure for University Student Appeal Board.
You may also consult with the Office of the University Ombudsperson (https://www.queensu.ca/ombuds/appeal-process) for information about student rights and responsibilities and guidance on policy and procedure.
For general information please refer to the Student Academic Appeals Policy.