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Forms and Policies

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Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar’s Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

If you have a scheduling conflict between final examinations scheduled by the Registrar’s Office and religious, Indigenous or spiritual observance, please complete the RISO form and submit it to Gilmour Hall 114 or by email at least 10 working days before the start of the examination period.

RISO exams are not permitted to be written before the original exam date. Final examinations will be rescheduled within the same exam period as requested.

The McMaster RISO Policy can be found here.

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy


  • Permanent Disability is where a functional limitation will occur for more than one academic term or as defined by a regulated health professional.
  • Temporary Disability may be a short-term injury or illness (such as mononucleosis, a broken limb or concussion) or an episodic condition (e.g. mental illness) where a functional limitation generally occurs within one academic term or less or as defined by a regulated health professional.
  • A Retroactive Accommodation may be for either a Permanent or Temporary Disability when the request is made after-the-fact (e.g. after a course has been completed), as the result of the discovery or diagnosis of an existing disability of which the student was previously unaware.


  • Students must submit an Academic Accommodation Request Form with the appropriate documentation (see Documentation in link) to either the Faculty Office or Student Accessibility Services in order to request an Academic Accommodation.
  • SAS or other Intake Offices (e.g. Faculty Office) may refer the request to another office, as deemed appropriate in order to review the Academic Accommodation request.
  1. SAS is responsible for all PERMANENT DISABILTY requests. Students may elect to drop off the Academic Accommodation Request Form to their Faculty Office; however dropping the form off at the Faculty Office may delay the facilitation of the request.
  2. SAS or the Faculty Office may process Temporary Disability requests and Retroactive Accommodation requests.
  • Students requesting Academic Accommodation for Permanent Disability must meet with a Program Coordinator in SAS.
  • At the meeting the Program Coordinator will review with the student the following:
  1. the request, including documentation, and academic program information;
  2. the need for accommodation and other supports; and
  3. the process for the activation of Academic Accommodations.
  • The office facilitating the request (SAS or the Faculty Office where appropriate) shall review the request for Academic Accommodations and determine whether the request meets the criteria for Academic Accommodation under this Policy. The office may consult with the Equity and Inclusion Office, or other relevant resources throughout the process

Use of Calculators For Examinations:

The McMaster Standard Calculator is designated by the appropriate Associate Vice-President on behalf of the Undergraduate Council and may be specified as an aid for a final examination. If an instructor permits the use of the McMaster Standard calculator, the student will be informed, and it will be included as part of the course outline.

The McMaster Standard Calculator is the Casio fx-991 MS or Casio fx-991 MS Plus. The Casio fx-991 is available with various letter configurations, however only the MS or MS Plus models are acceptable when the McMaster Standard Calculator has been designated for use. The McMaster Standard Calculator may be purchased at the Campus Store. Students who have accommodations with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) may use an approved accessible calculator.

At the Exam:

ID – McMaster student photo identification cards or government-issued photo identification is required at all examinations.

  • If students do not have any photo ID on them, they will not be allowed in the exam room.
  • A single use verification card can be obtained for that exam only ($30.00 fee applies) at IWC B122 or PGCLL M25. No extension of the examination will be permitted to compensate for any delay encountered to obtain a temporary ID.
  • Students who seat themselves at an examination without photo ID cards will be accompanied to a location where they can obtain an ID card. No extension of the examination will be permitted to compensate for any delays.


  • Punctuality is essential and no extra time will be allowed to those arriving late. No student will be admitted to an examination room more than 30 minutes after the start of any session.


  • No conversation or any form of communication between students is permitted. No communicating devices or cell phones are permitted. No books, papers or instruments may be taken into any examination room unless specifically prescribed on the examination paper. No examination books or supplies are to be removed from the examination room. Small personal belongings must be left beneath the chairs, not on the desks. The University can assume no responsibility for lost articles.

After the Exam:

Leaving the Exam

No student may leave the room to withdraw from an examination during the first 45 minutes of any session. Students must leave the room immediately after handing in their examination materials.

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at guidelines/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • Improper collaboration in group work.
  • Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Some Helpful information can be found on the Student Support & Case Management website.

Some courses may use a web-based service ( to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to or via an online learning platform (e.g. A2L, etc.) using plagiarism detection (a service supported by so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish their work to be submitted through the plagiarism detection software must inform the Instructor before the assignment is due. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to the plagiarism detection software. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). For more details about McMaster’s use of please go to the McMaster Office of Academic Integrity’s website.

All students have the right to:

    1. a) protection under the law and this Code;
    2. b) fair procedures and process under this Code;
    3. c) participate unhindered in their academic pursuits which includes the opportunity to participate in respectful dialogue that examines diverse views and ideas;
    4. d) live and work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, sexual violence, and violence; and
    5. e) have their personal privacy appropriately respected by other students.

All students are responsible for:

  1. a) acting in accordance with the law and this Code;
  2. b) being acquainted with the relevant related policies as they apply to all students as well as to their specific role(s) within the University;
  3. c) supporting an environment free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, assault, sexual violence, and violence;
  4. d) treating others in a way that does not harm them physically and/or threaten or intimidate them emotionally or mentally;
  5. e) appropriately respecting the personal privacy of other students;
  6. f) consuming legal substances in a safe and responsible manner; and
  7. g) complying with any disciplinary measures assigned under this Code, and respecting the authority of University officials in the course of their duties.

For a list of behaviours that may be considered a violation of this Code, refer to Section IV: Violations.

  1. The University recognizes that unusual situations may arise that are not necessarily covered by the above Rights and Responsibilities, but still raise concern for the safety or well-being of students or the University community. In such cases, the Dean of Students reserves the right to use the procedures outlined in this Code to ensure the safety and security of students and the University Community as a whole.

For more information, visit this link

This Policy prohibits Discrimination and/or Harassment on the grounds articulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code: age; ancestry, colour, race; citizenship; ethnic origin; place of origin; creed; disability; family status; marital status (including single status); gender identity, gender expression; receipt of public assistance (in housing only); record of offences (in employment only); sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding); and sexual orientation.

  • This Policy prohibits Harassment which is a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Harassment may include Sexual and/or Gender-Based Harassment, Workplace Sexual Harassment, as well as Harassment on any one or more of the grounds articulated in the Human Rights Code.
  • This Policy expressly prohibits any discriminatory or harassing action and/or conduct, verbal or non-verbal, directed at or about one or more individuals or groups, that creates a poisoned environment which interferes with academic or work performance, in a manner that exceeds the bounds of freedom of expression and academic freedom.
  • The Policy applies to:
  1. all Members of the University Community (“Community Members”) include: students (graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education), staff, faculty, medical residents, volunteers, visitors (including visiting professors), and institutional administrators and officials representing McMaster University; and
  2. all University-related activities, which are activities (authorized and non-authorized) where there is a clear nexus to the working or learning environment at the University (on and off University premises).
  3. When allegations of Sexual Harassment are to be processed under the Sexual Violence Policy, there may be circumstances where the allegations in a Complaint necessitate following the procedures under both this Policy and the Sexual Violence Policy.
  • Where a Complaint is filed that involves behaviour prohibited by this Policy, as well as behaviour more appropriately dealt with under the Sexual Violence Policy, the Complaint may be processed under the Sexual Violence Policy. However, any proceedings related to the Complaint will determine if there has been a violation of the Sexual Violence Policy, in addition to any findings related to this Policy. The decision regarding which policy or policies are most appropriate will be made by the University.
  • Unless otherwise specified in this Policy, the Policy and its provisions apply where the University has the jurisdiction to pursue, adjudicate, or take steps to safeguard the University community

For more information, use this link

MSAF A (self Report):

Self Report (MSAF) requests for relief are for missed academic work worth less than 25% of the final grade resulting from medical or personal situations lasting up to three (3) calendar days.

  • Students shall use the MOSAIC MSAF tool to make MSAF (Self-Report) requests, which:
  1. a) may only be submitted once per term;
  2. b) must be submitted within 24 hours of the end of the three (3) day period, and failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief;
  3. c) applies only to work due within the period for which the request applies, i.e., the three-day period specified in the MSAF; however, all work due in that period can be covered by one request; and
  4. d) where applicable, students must provide documentation proving they have not attempted the work if they submit a request for relief.
  • The MOSAIC MSAF tool will send an automated email to the course instructor(s) to inform them of the request.
  • The instructor(s) will determine the appropriate relief for the request.
  • Students must immediately follow up with their instructor(s) after submitting the request.
  • For absences that exceed three (3) calendar days, students are directed to the MSAF (Administrative Report), as described in the next section.

MSAF B (Administrative Report):

MSAF (Administrative Report) requests for relief are for:

  1. a) medical or personal situations lasting more than three (3) calendar days; and/or
  2. b) missed academic work worth 25% or more of the final grade; and/or
  3. c) any request for relief in a term where the MSAF (Self-Report) tool has already been used once.
  • Students must contact their Faculty/Program Office to report their absence within 24 hours after returning to their academic activities. Failure to contact and report an absence promptly will negate the opportunity for relief. Students may or may not require an appointment to process the request and will be contacted by the Faculty/Program Office within normal business hours. Where applicable, students must provide documentation proving they have not attempted the work if they submit a request for relief.
  • Students must arrange a meeting with an academic advisor for absences that last more than two weeks or relief may not be provided.
  • Supporting documentation may be required for an MSAF (Administrative Report).
  • If the request is granted, the Faculty/Program Office will process the relief request and notify the instructor(s) and the student.
  • Normally, relief for missed work will not be provided:
  1. a) where the cumulative value of missed work within a course is greater than 35% (prior to the exam period); or
    b) for more than two MSAF (Administrative Report) requests within a single term.
  • Students must meet with an advisor to discuss their options when the cumulative value of missed work within a course is greater than 35%, or they have exhausted their one MSAF (Self Report) and two MSAF (Administrative Reports), and further work is missed.
  • The instructor(s) will determine the appropriate relief for MSAF (Administrative Report) requests.
  • Students must immediately follow up with their instructor(s) after being notified that their request has been processed. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.
  • The MSAF (Administrative Report) applies only to the work due within the period for which the request applies; however, all work due in that period can be covered by one request. The exception is any work for which relief has already been granted either through an MSAF (Self Report) or another MSAF (Administrative Report) (see clause 7 above).
  • In some circumstances, students may be advised to submit a Petition for Special Consideration.
  • Students can apply only one request for relief (Self-Report or Administrative Report) to a single piece of work.

For more information about the MSAF policy, visit this link

The student appeals to which these procedures apply must fall into one and only one of the following three categories:

Re-Read/ Re-assessment:

A student questions their grade or the assessment of their performance on a piece of work or a program component (other than work that is excluded from a re-read/re-assessment under Section III C of this policy) and alleges error in the academic assessment of their work on the part of an instructor or a committee. In order to qualify for a re-read/re-assessment, the piece of work or program component must be worth 10% or more of the final course grade.

The results of a formal re-read/re-assessment are final and cannot be appealed.

Academic Process:

A student questions their grade or the assessment of their performance on a piece of work or in a course, or their academic standing or status in a program, and alleges error or injustice on grounds other than the academic assessment of their work, such as:

(i) the method of evaluation was not fair and reasonable in the circumstances; or

(ii) the instructor was biased against the student; or

(iii) the instructor deviated substantially from the course outline in contravention of applicable University policies;


(iv) the application of University regulations governing program or degree requirements was not fair, just, or reasonable; or

(v) a finding of academic dishonesty, or the penalty assigned, was not fair, just or reasonable. (see Section 13)


A student questions as unfair, unjust or unreasonable, a decision or action of a University authority or official, which has negative material consequences for their University life, and which is unrelated to courses, or to program or degree requirements


Any deadlines outlined in other policies such as the Academic Integrity Policy and the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities must be met. Where there are no deadlines imposed by another policy, a student must submit the appropriate form to the appropriate office by July 31 immediately following the Fall/Winter Session or by November 15 immediately following the Spring/Summer Session in which the grievance has occurred.

For more details on procedures for the three types of appeals, visit this link.