Student Absences

Student Absences

During the academic year, as you work towards your degree, there may be circumstances that impact your ability to meet your academic obligations. If you are experiencing challenges (personal, academic, financial or other), please contact an advisor here at the Faculty of Information.  Advisors are available for pre-booked one on one appointments as well as drop in appointments both virtually and in person. You can contact us via email at:, or visit us at the Welcome Desk on the 4th floor in the Learning Hub, during regular business hours.

You can book an advisor by going to: Student Services – Faculty of Information (iSchool) | University of Toronto (

Additionally, there are many other U of T resources available to guide you:


Effective Fall/Winter 2023–24 Session

During the academic term, if you are absent from your studies and unable to complete course work, you should follow the missed term-work policy outlined in your course syllabus. This policy will normally outline what a student should do if they miss a deadline, term test or a class activity such as a studio or lab.

Your instructor may indicate that documentation is required to support your request for academic consideration (e.g., extension, make-up test, re-weighting). The following are recognized forms of documentation:

If you submit the above documentation to your instructors, you do not need to submit additional supporting documentation. The following documentation should not be requested or accepted by instructors:

For extended absences and for absences due to non-medical reasons, make sure to contact the Office of the Registrar & Student Services at: We can help you decide between a request for an extension or other types of academic consideration. Advisors will be able to assist you in determining the best course of action, contacting your instructor and/or connecting you with other helpful resources on campus.

If you suspect or know that you have a disability that is affecting your studies, we encourage you to connect with Accessibility Services.  You may also connect with our Faculty’s on-location advisor, Michael Mercer.  A disability can be a physical disability, sensory disability, a learning disability, mental health disorder or a short-term disability like an injury. Accessibility Services strives to provide equitable access to education for University of Toronto students with disabilities, health conditions, and diverse ways of learning. If you are not sure whether you have a disability, you can confidentially contact Accessibility Services with your questions.

If you observe religious Holy Days that might conflict with academic activities (e.g., a class or test), see U of T’s religious accommodations policy for more information.

Absence Declaration Tool

As a Faculty of Information student, if you miss an academic obligation and wish to seek academic consideration, you may declare an absence using the Absence Declaration Tool in ACORN. Students who declare an absence in ACORN should expect to receive reasonable academic consideration from their instructor without the need to present additional supporting documentation.

The ACORN Absence Declaration Tool is intended to be used in the following circumstances:

  • A health condition or injury (e.g., illness, serious physical harm, mental health issue, scheduled surgery)
  • A personal or family emergency (e.g., unanticipated and unavoidable familial incident beyond the student’s control)
  • Bereavement (e.g., the death of a student’s immediate family member or close friend)

The ACORN Absence Declaration Tool is not intended to be used in the following circumstances:

  • Personal social obligations
  • Travel not related to your academic program
  • Technological issues
  • The avoidance of deadlines or tests

Visit the ACORN how-to page for a step-by-step guide on how to submit an absence declaration. If for any reason you are unable to submit your declaration, please contact the Office of the Registrar & Student Services at

Follow the links below to learn about your options for absences due to the following circumstances:

Reason for Absence More Information
Religious observances Muti-Faith Centre
Athletic obligations Varsity Blues
Chronic and ongoing health conditions Office of the Registrar & Student Services
Mandatory legal obligations (e.g., jury duty) Office of the Registrar & Student Services


Absence Declaration Guidelines & Eligibility

Review the following main considerations and eligibility criteria for declaring an absence through the Absence Declaration Tool on ACORN. In addition, visit the University Registrar’s Office website for the complete absence declaration policy.

  • Students may submit one absence declaration per academic term, e.g., the Fall (F) term.
    • Students taking any Y-courses may declare one absence in the F-term and one absence in the S-term.
  • The Absence Declaration Tool can be used to declare an absence for a maximum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
    • The seven-day declaration period can be retroactive for up to six days in the past, or up to six days in the future.
    • For absences that extend beyond the seven-day period, a VOI form will also need to be submitted.
    • If you need to declare an absence outside of the seven-day period, please contact the Office of the Registrar & Student Services.
  • Absence declaration will only be available to students on ACORN from the first day of classes to the last day of classes during each term. It will not be available in the following periods:
    • During the final exam period
    • On study days
    • On any discretionary teaching day after classes end (as make up for a class missed due to a holiday)
  • Absence declaration must cover the period in which the missed academic obligation occurred.
  • After an absence declaration is submitted in ACORN, it cannot be cancelled.
  • Students seeking to correct information in the declaration may modify the absence declaration until the end of the submission day (11:59 pm ET). Students are granted the ability to update the absence end date, courses selected, notes and email addresses within this period.
  • Students seeking to modify an absence declaration after this period should contact the Office of the Registrar & Student Services.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to let their instructor(s) know that they have used the absence declaration so that they can arrange for academic consideration specific to the missed academic obligation (e.g., deadline, term test, essay submission).
  • Evidence of an absence from the ACORN Absence Declaration Tool cannot be used to seek academic consideration for matters that require a petition (e.g., missed final exam).