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Late Course Drops and Retroactive Withdrawals

Ryerson University has the responsibility to ensure that undergraduate program and Chang School program students meet their academic requirements in a manner that is equitable to all students. As such, Ryerson adheres to University policies, procedures and deadlines to ensure fairness and equity for all students. Ryerson recognizes, however, that students are sometimes faced with unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances beyond their control that may prevent them from meeting course drop and retroactive withdrawal deadlines.

With supporting documentation, a student may submit a Request for Late Course Drop/Retroactive Withdrawal FormPDF icon. This should be a last resort and will only be considered where a student has faced sudden and serious life events that directly prevented them from meeting the course drop/retroactive withdrawal published deadlines. 

Last updated: November 24, 2020


Instructions for Faculty and Program Administrators
  • Step 1: When a student contacts you to discuss their situation you will need to determine if their situation warrants consideration under the late drop and retroactive withdrawal guidelines. 
    Consideration will not be given to circumstances that do not meet the criteria as outlined in these guidelines. Students should also be advised that if they are an OSAP recipient or receive other loan/bursary support, if as a result of their appeal a course or courses are removed from their academic record, that this would result in a reassessment of eligibility.  Once removed, courses cannot be reinstated to the academic record. Students may contact Student Financial Assistance for further details via the ServiceHub.
  • Step 2: The program chair/director should review the request from the student, the documented evidence, and consider if the request constitutes an appeal that should have been made via another route (e.g. course management policy appeal, Senate appeal etc.) or if the appeal falls under the scope of the Late Drop and Retroactive Withdrawal Guidelines.
  • Step 3a: To recommend approval of the request, the chair/director must sign the appropriate section on the request form submitted by the student and return the form, along with the supporting documentation, to the Office of the Registrar, marked “confidential’ and Attn: Registrar’s Office Appeals Service (ROAS), POD 70.
  • Step 3b: If the chair/director decides not to recommend late drop or retroactive withdrawal, he/she (or designate) will communicate this to the student via email to their Ryerson account and the Form and supporting documentation should be retained in the student’s academic program department file.
  • Step 3c: If the chair/director is undecided, they may at their discretion defer the decision to the University Registrar.
  • Step 4: The Office of the Registrar will review the recommendation for consistency in application across the university.  To protect the integrity of the university and its academic records, the Request for Late Drop/Retroactive Withdrawal FormPDF and the supporting documentation will be added to the student’s permanent record.
Definitions And Examples Of Requests That Are Not Eligible For Consideration
  • Late drop: A request to be dropped out of a course after the final deadline to drop course/s in good academic standing and before the end of the exam period, or before the last day to submit a final assignment or course requirement has passed.
  • Retroactive withdrawal: A request to be retroactively withdrawn from a course after the course has been completed, i.e. after the final exam or submission of the last course requirement. Fee refunds will not be considered.  


  • Not knowing or forgetting published deadlines and procedures;
  • Requests to remove courses after a degree has been conferred;
  • Requests to remove courses with low grades to improve grade point averages;
  • Requests to remove courses with low grades due to course management and in-course issues (e.g. group work issues);
  • Requests for fee refunds;
  • Requests for late drops and retroactive withdrawals that have been considered through grade and academic standing appeals at the Department, Faculty or Senate level, cannot be looked at again through this process. See the Appeals page for detailed information on the grade and academic standing appeal process.
  • Requests for retroactive withdrawals for courses that have been considered as part of academic misconduct appeals at the Academic Integrity Council or Senate level cannot be looked at again through this process.


Note: Where circumstances do not warrant that a late drop be granted, you may wish to consider if the assignment of an INC grade is appropriate. 

  • Documentation in support of the request must provide substantial and compelling evidence of debilitation, personal or circumstantial, that verifies that a physical, psychological or exceptional hardship existed that caused a real inability to attend to academic matters as required (vs. choosing not to).


  • Letters from a medical doctor (M.D.) confirming dates of onset of illness, date of diagnosis, recovery period. A Ryerson Medical FormPDF will be required when medical circumstances form a basis for the request for exception. Doctor’s notes on prescription paper are not sufficient.
  • Airplane tickets (e.g. e-tickets) with passport stamp confirming the date of your departure and arrival in the event of sudden departure to deal with out-of-country family death, or family emergency
  • Certified death certificate confirming the death of a family member, published obituary notice or original note from a funeral home that indicates your relationship to deceased
  • Confirmation that medical or extenuating circumstances were of a nature and impact that the student could not be reasonably expected to deal with academic matters for the duration of the time from the end of the semester of the course in question, to the time of submission of the request for consideration on the basis of extenuating circumstances and/or compassionate grounds.
Approved Requests

Decisions are communicated to the student via their Ryerson e-mail account. Generally, students should receive a reply within 30 working days.


Ryerson University Calendar

Chang School WebsiteNew window

Senate Policy #46, #145, #167, #168


For questions about these guidelines, Faculty and Program Administrators may contact:

  • Carolyn Posa, Assistant Registrar, Student Records and Legislated Reporting (x7957)
  • Shaun Cavaliere, Assistant Registrar, Student Financial Services (x544366)
  e.g., "What programs do you offer?" or "How do i apply?"

Significant Dates