Important information to know prior to withdrawing from your course(s):
- Withdrawing from ALL of your course(s) can affect your health and dental insurance coverage. Additional details can be obtained by contacting the International Health Insurance Office (for international students) and SSMU (for Canadian and Quebec students).
- Withdrawing from your course(s) may impact your scholarships and student aid. To obtain further clarification, please contact the Scholarships and Student Aid Office.
- For international students, withdrawing from your course(s) can have consequences on your status in Canada. For additional information, please contact International Student Services.
Are you eligible for a late course withdrawal?
A) Late course withdrawals are meant to help students who are severely ill or dealing with unforeseeable, significant extenuating circumstances that prevented them from withdrawing by the posted deadline.
- Provided these circumstances do not apply to you, do not submit a late course withdrawal request.
B) You are not eligible for a late course withdrawal if the following applies to you:
- You are concerned about getting a poor grade in the course.
- You were unaware you were enrolled in the course.
- You require an absence for social activities, leisure events, or for pre-arranged holidays/vacations, including overseas travel.
- You are not/ no longer eligible to take this course as part of your academic program.
- You have a minor illness, or are experiencing minor personal matters (unless you were not in a position to complete your coursework for more than just a few days).
C) Please do not request a late course withdrawal if the following applies to you:
- You have already written the final exam for the course.
- You have received a final course grade (other than K, J, L, or NR).
If you have determined that you are not eligible for a late course withdrawal, please contact your Academic Advising office to discuss future degree planning and your academic trajectory.
Five things you need to consider prior to submitting your request
- You will need to provide adequate supporting documentation. Note that your request may not be granted, even with supporting documentation.
- In the case of a flare-up of a chronic condition, the note from your health practitioner will need to specify that they observed the flare-up and the date(s) during which you were not in a position to complete your coursework. Note: a diagnosed anxiety disorder is considered to be a chronic issue. However, if your note simply states anxiety, this is considered to be an incidental illness.
- If you have requested late course withdrawals or deferred exams in the past, future requests will be reviewed more stringently and are unlikely to be approved. We will need to see evidence that you have taken measures to manage your condition and your course load to avoid relying on late course withdrawals.
- If you are selectively asking to drop only one, or a select few, of the total number of courses in which you are enrolled in the term, your explanation and supporting documents must explain why you are able to complete some courses, but not others.
- As you have already missed the regular withdrawal deadline, requests submitted later in the term will be reviewed more stringently (see the following deadlines PDF). In addition, very late requests must be submitted no later than the dates below. Note, if you have received a final course grade (other than K, J, L, or NR), your request will not be considered.
Fall: January 10
Winter: May 10
Summer: September 15
How to submit your late course withdrawal request
To submit your request you must ensure you have the following:
- Your concise (max 450 words) statement.
- Your statement should explain why you missed the course withdrawal deadline, why you are requesting a late course withdrawal, and the measures you took to avoid relying on a late course withdrawal, such as support services or resources you used, reduction in course-load, etc. Please ensure to address any of the 5 considerations above if they apply to you.
- Your supporting documentation:
- Supporting documents must be sent as soon as you have submitted your request (e.g. medical certificate, hospital records, accident/police reports).
- For medical documentation, we recommend that you use the medical note template provided on this site. If you choose not to use the template, you must ensure the note includes the following important elements:
- Indicates your full name (and McGill ID#, where applicable).
- Be from a healthcare practitioner licensed to work in Canada who has observed and diagnosed your condition.
Note for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 late course withdrawals: medical notes issued from health practitioners licensed outside of Canada will be accepted
- Indicates the health practitioner’s name, title, address, license #, and signature.
- Indicates the date the practitioner consulted with you and on which they observed your symptoms. Specifies your inability to attend or to complete your course(s), including: The date(s) on which you were unable to complete your coursework. The date on which you’ll be able to resume your studies (ie. the prognosis for your return to health)
- Is in English or French (translations must be from certified translators)
The following is a list of registered and licensed health practitioners deemed acceptable:
- A Psychologist, Psychotherapist, or Social Worker
- A Physician, Psychiatrist or Surgeon
- A Nurse or Nurse Practitioner
- A health professional from the McGill Student Wellness Hub
3. Tuition and fee refunds will only be considered where this has been explicitly requested, and in exceptionally limited circumstances. Consideration may include but not be limited to the following: evidence as to when you stopped attending class and that you did not complete course work or exams after that date; and evidence that your circumstances were unforeseeable and beyond your control.
Decision Timeline and Understanding Your Decision
You will be notified of the outcome of that review within two weeks. We are not able to guarantee a response by a certain date. For example, if you submit a late course withdrawal request on April 13 for a course with a final exam scheduled on April 18, we cannot guarantee that you will get a response to your request before April 18.
If your request is approved, the course in question will show a grade of “W” on your transcript. Tuition and fees charged for that course are not refunded in the context of late course withdrawals, except in exceptional circumstances, unforeseeable and beyond your control.
If your request is refused, you may make a written request to have the decision reviewed by the Decision Review Committee, consisting of . Director of Service Point, the Registrar and Executive Director of Enrolment Services and either the Associate Dean (Arts OASIS) or the Associate Dean (Science SOUSA) . The Decision Review Committee will review the original request and any additional information or supporting documentation. The committee will only review documentation and written statements; requests to present verbal statements or arguments in-person will not be granted. Decisions made by this committee are final.
How to request a Decision Review
- Submit your written request no later than 5 business days after the refusal of your initial request.
- Write a concise (max 500 words) statement explaining why you are requesting a decision review, and what new and relevant information you are sharing to support your request. This could include details such as:
- The specific measures you took during the semester to avoid relying on late course withdrawals, including support services or resources you used, reduction in course-load, etc.
- If relevant, an explanation of why your documentation was not complete or specific for your initial request.
- Email your statement – including PDF-formatted supporting documents - to servicepoint [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Decision%20Review%3A%20Late%20Course%20Change) from your McGill email account, ensuring that the subject line reads “Decision Review: Late Course Withdrawal.