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E-Flag Policy

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Policy and Procedures to Exclude Credits and Grades from CGPA calculation (E-Flag)

Definition: What is E-Flagging?

The decision to E-Flag a course excludes the credit and the grade from the CGPA calculation. The grade remains on the transcript.


The decision to exclude specific credits and grades from a student’s CGPA calculation is an extremely serious one as it involves altering an official record. Therefore, the criteria in order to grant these requests should be stringent, approving only exceptional cases. At McGill, once a student receives a final grade for a course, this grade should stand and be part of the student’s record.


Grades in courses where the student was admonished or reprimanded for an academic offense under the Code of Student Conduct are not eligible for E-Flag.

Criteria for E-Flagging grades/credits in courses that exceed credits:

When a student takes courses that exceed their degree credits (120 credits for those entering as U0s), the grades for these courses will be automatically E-Flagged, unless the courses are necessary for program completion. Please refer to the policy on exceeding the 120-credit limit.

Criteria for evaluating E-Flag requests (compassionate grounds):

The following conditions must be met in order to approve an E-Flag request on compassionate grounds:

  1. The circumstances must be exceptional, beyond the student’s control, and of sufficient severity to compromise their overall effectiveness and capacity. Hence if E-Flag is warranted, it would normally (not always) apply to the entire semester.
  2. There must be clear and convincing documentation attesting to the above. Documentation may include medical notes from different specialists or notes from community leaders, among others.
  3. The grades in question must be shown to be anomalous.

Timing for request:

E-Flagging requests must be made in the beginning of the student's graduating term and by the following deadlines:

  • March 1st for Winter graduation
  • May 1st for Summer graduation
  • November 1st for Fall graduation

Requests received after this date will not be considered. Earlier requests will only be approved in exceptional cases.

ONLY current Arts students are eligible to submit an E-flag request for compassionate grounds. Students who have graduated or who have transferred to another university or college are not eligible to submit an E-flag request.

  1. In order to file an E-Flag request, students must meet each of the three criteria. Only documentation and written statements will be considered; requests to present verbal statements or arguments in-person will not be granted.
  2. If the student believes their request meets each of the three listed criteria:
    1. They must first meet with the designated Arts OASIS Faculty Adviser responsible for E-Flags to review their case.
    2. They must subsequently complete and submit the E-Flag request form which includes uploading a personal statement and supporting documentation (in PDF format). The personal statement must explain how their situation conforms to each of the three criteria. For reference, consult Tips for writing an academic appeal to complete this section of the application.
    3. The request is reviewed by the Associate Dean of Arts (Student Affairs) - or delegate - and a final decision is rendered within 2 weeks of the student's submitted request.
      • In the case of degree transfer students, E-Flagging for compassionate grounds is only possible for semesters after the student has transferred into Arts. In other words, the Faculty of Arts will NOT E-Flag for compassionate grounds credits completed while enrolled in a different degree at McGill. The decision to request such E-Flag requests is not subject to an appeal process.
    4. The decision is communicated to the student by Arts OASIS.
  • Requests are rendered on their own merits, taking into account the documentation provided, and weighed against the aforementioned criteria.
  • If the request is granted, Arts OASIS will follow up with Enrolment Services regarding the update to the student's academic record.
  • If the request is denied, no further explanation shall be provided. The refusal could be for any number of reasons, including but not limited to:
    • Circumstances are not exceptional and/or do not compromise the overall effectiveness and capacity of the student to pursue their studies.
    • The request has missing, inadequate, or non-specific documentation, for example: note does not include an actual observation by health practitioner, note is not specific about dates or dates do not correspond to E-Flag request, note is not on letterhead, note does not state clearly an inability, incapacity to pursue studies.
    • The grades in question are not anomalous.
    • The student's request pertained to courses taken whilst enrolled in a different degree.

Appeals process:

In order to appeal the decision on the E-Flag request:

  • The student must first meet with the designated Arts OASIS Faculty Adviser responsible for E-Flags.
  • Should the student still wish to appeal, they must submit their written narrative to the Arts OASIS Service Portal within 2 weeks of the decision.
  • Students must provide a concise (max 500 words, in PDF format) statement explaining why they are requesting an appeal, and what new and relevant information/documentation they are sharing to support their request.
  • Appeal requests that do not provide any new information/documentation will not be considered.
  • Appeal requests regarding credits completed whilst enrolled in a different degree at McGill will not be considered.

Appeals are reviewed by the Committee on Student Standing (CSS), which will review the request and decide within 1 month of appeal. CSS will review the original request and any additional information or supporting documentation provided as part of the appeal in light of the criteria established in the policy. CSS will only review documentation and written statements; requests to present verbal statements or arguments in-person will not be granted.

The decision by the Committee on Student Standing is final.

NOTE: Your Minerva record must be up-to-date. ALL grades and credits earned in preceding terms of study MUST be reported for your request to be considered.


Removal of E-Flag:

Students may request the removal of the E-Flag from their student record. They should do so in writing, and present the request to their Faculty Advisor. If the E-Flag was granted for compassionate grounds, the removal will be accepted. If the E-Flag was granted for other reasons, the request will be reviewed by the Faculty Advisor in consultation with the Associate Dean (Student Affairs). The decision to remove the E-Flag is final, irreversible, and unappealable.

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