Committee on Academic Standing (CAS)

The Committee on Academic Standing deals with academic situations that are not routine. Faculty and University regulations do not cover all possible situations, so the Committee reviews requests that fall outside the rules. The Committee is made up of representatives from the academic staff, administrative personnel and student representative. The Chair prepares the case for presentation to the Committee members. The Committee approaches each case in a positive way, and attempts to find sufficient justification for the request in the evidence provided. The Committee is able to take into account a wide variety of information such as data on transcripts, supporting documentation from advisors or instructors, etc.

To obtain an application form for the CAS committee, please email the Faculty Advisor at saoadvisor.macdonald [at] 

Requests must include:

  • Completed CAS application form signed by the student and academic advisor
  • Letter of explanation from the student justifying the request in detail
  • Appropriate supporting documents, as outlined in the CAS application
  • Supporting documentation from advisors or instructors should be sent directly to the Chair of the Committee by email

The letter of explanation from the student MUST include:

  • the student’s name and McGill ID.
  • a clear statement of the request (e.g. substitute course X with course Y)
  • a clear explanation of the reason for this request (e.g. conflicts, etc)
  • a clear justification of the request (e.g. similarity between courses, etc)

The Committee's decision will consist of one of four possibilities:

  • the request is approved;
  • the student is asked to supply more information because the Committee finds that the request is not adequately justified (to expedite the procedure this may also be done during case preparation by the Chair);
  • the request is denied; or
  • some other decision as needed to deal with the situation.

After the case has been reviewed at a Committee meeting, the Chair informs the student of the Committee's decision by email within several days. Normally, the Committee meets every two weeks and the decisions are reported at a regular monthly Faculty meeting.



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