Academic Advocacy

The University’s academic policies and procedures and codes of conduct can be difficult to navigate but the UTMSU is here to help! The UTMSU works to protect your rights as students and can provide support and resources to guide you through the University’s policies and procedures, petitions and appeals, the academic offence process and many more! 

If you have any questions or would like more information please email UTMSU’s Academic Advocacy Coordinator: academic@utmsu.ca or UTMSU’s Vice-President University Affairs: vpua@utmsu.ca. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to discuss any academic matters please email academic@utmsu.ca or vpua@utmsu.ca. Please note that in-person meetings are currently unavailable.

Academic Misconduct FAQ

According to The Office of The Dean’s Academic Integrity Unit “Academic integrity represents a set of values connected to maintaining honesty and fairness in our learning environment. When submitting academic work, students are expected to acknowledge all sources of information and cite the scholarship of any authors’ contributing to their work” (University of Toronto Mississauga, 2012, para. 1).

Academic integrity is important because it not only allows you to develop your academic skills and acquire knowledge but producing original work also provides you with the opportunity to receive feedback which will help you become a stronger student. Academic integrity also helps maintain intellectual creativity and helps you develop essential traits and values such as honesty, fairness, truthfulness, reliability, credibility and integrity which are also highly valued in the professional environment. Finally, academic integrity is rewarding. It is very rewarding to be praised for putting in your own hard work, effort and dedication to produce original work rather than stealing the work of someone else.

Below are a few examples of what UofT considers an academic offence. Please note this information is not limited or definitive and we highly recommend you read The Code of Behaviours on Academic Matters or contact the Academic Integrity Unit: Office of the Dean UTM for more information regarding academic misconduct offences, sanctions and procedures.

  •  Forging, altering, or falsifying documents (e.g. Resubmitting of altered work for re-grading or altering medical certificates and UofT documents etc.) 
  • Using, obtaining or possessing unauthorized aids or assistance (e.g. Unauthorized devices, collaborative work via group chats and potentially tutoring etc.) 
  • Impersonating another person or having someone impersonate you (e.g. having someone write an exam or test on your behalf, singing attendance on behalf of another etc.)
  • To represent as one’s own any idea or expression of an idea or work (i.e. plagiarism)
  • Submitting, without instructor’s knowledge or consent, work that has been previously submitted in another course/program
  • Submitting work containing concocted/false references
  • Continuing to write after a test/examination is over

If your instructor discovers evidence of academic misconduct in your work, they will inform the departmental undergraduate advisor who will complete a Grade Withheld Pending Review form (GWR). Placing a GWR on your transcript prohibits you from dropping the course until the matter is resolved. If a sanction is imposed, you will not be permitted to withdraw to avoid the sanction.

No, you cannot. If you have already specified the CR/NCR option in a course for which an academic offence has been committed, the CR/NCR option will be revoked and the percentage grade will stand as the course grade.

No. If you have withdrawn or LWD from the course with an alleged offence, you will be re-enrolled. Please remember that it would be your responsibility to catch up on work that you have missed.

Yes, it does, lack of knowledge of an offence is not a valid defence under The Code of Behaviour on Academic Measures. As a student entering the University of Toronto, you are expected to learn the rules, policies and regulations of the institution. It is very important for students to become familiar with the University’s expectations to prevent such situations from arising in the future. Please read the Code of Behavior on Academic Matters!

After your meeting with your instructor, the Office of the Dean may contact you in a minimum of 2 months. Please note that the Office of the Dean is experiencing a high volume of cases and delays are expected.

Please click here for more information regarding the Academic Offence Process. You may also contact The Office of The Dean or the UTMSU for more information.

Yes, the University will consider your past academic offences when deciding on your sanctions. Please note that repeat offenders may experience more severe sanctions and normally include a suspension from attending the University of Toronto.

You may only get expelled if you plead innocent and are found guilty at the Tribunal (third) Level.

According to section C.I.(a).6 of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, you are entitled to seek advice and/or be accompanied by counsel at your meeting with the Dean’s Designate. It is up to you whether you would like a lawyer to accompany you. It is not common for lawyers to attend Dean Designate meetings. However, if your case is at  the Tribunal level it is very important that you have a lawyer. You may contact Downtown Legal Services (DLS) who are a free service that handles cases for University of Toronto students that involve academic offences under The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

You may bring anything with you to the meeting that you feel is relevant to your case. You do not need to bring a copy of your assignment/test/essay. If there were any mitigating circumstances happening in your life at the time the alleged offence occurred, you may wish to bring supporting documentation (e.g. medical notes).

You will have an opportunity to express why you think you did not commit an offence during your meeting with your instructor. However, if your instructor has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed after the meeting, it will be brought to the department chair’s attention and subsequently the Office of the Dean. During the meeting at the Dean’s level, you will have a second opportunity to explain why you think you did not commit an academic offence. Remember, you are entitled to seek advice or to be accompanied by counsel at the meeting with the Dean’s Designate.

It may be. You have a responsibility to protect your work at all times. This means avoid leaving notes, computers, USBs etc. unsupervised. In the case that a student copied your unsupervised work and submitted it, both of you may be accused of academic misconduct. Moreover, allowing a friend to copy work can result in an allegation of misconduct.

It’s great lending a helping hand to a friend in need but did you know you may be committing an academic offence if you are not cautious. Outlined below are tutoring practices that may pose an academic offence risk and tutoring practices, resources and services that are acceptable and safe.

Tutoring Practices That May Pose an Academic Offence Risk:

  • Collaborating with others, or sharing assessed answers, on social media platforms.
  • Posting your assignment online, or sending it directly to your tutor, to get assistance answering the questions.
  • Having someone help you complete all or part of your essay/homework/problem set, whether or not you are paying for the service. This includes someone making changes for you during the editing process.
  • Using a translation service, software, or asking another individual to translate your assessed essay/homework into English. This is because the translation software has changed the language so it is no longer considered your own work: The translation software has assisted you by doing the work of structuring sentences, selecting tense, and conjugating verbs. You cannot take credit for this work. Likewise, it also can be considered an academic offence to have another person (tutor, family member, friend, etc.) translate your work for you.
  • Attending supplementary classes or using tutoring businesses can be highly problematic if they use your instructor’s notes, slides, handouts, or other course material but are offered by individuals and businesses not formally affiliated with the University. There is also concern throughout the UTM community about businesses that sell course-related tutoring services that write or edit students’ assignments. While some learning support businesses are legitimate, others may lead you, even without intention, to violate UTM’s academic integrity policies.

Acceptable Tutoring Practices, Services, and Supports:

  • Studying with a classmate or in a group is an acceptable practice, as long as you are not working together to solve homework problems, writing assignments, or other work that is going to be assessed individually
  • Seeking the help of paid or volunteer tutors who are not affiliated with the University is acceptable – as long as they do not help you to complete your assessed work. Tutors should help you strengthen your knowledge of the subject area by clarifying concepts, and help you to improve your academic skills, such as time management
  • Getting tutoring support by someone who speaks your first language is acceptable – as long as this individual does not help you to complete your assessed work.
  • If you have questions regarding any coursework, attend the office hours of your Teaching Assistant or Professor for extra help.

Click here for more information on legitimate tutoring and FAQ’s regarding UTM’s academic resources.

General Academics FAQ

Yes you absolutely do! Below is a list of your academic rights as students. If you feel that your rights have been violated please contact the UTMSU or Downtown Legal Services for support, advice or assistance. 

  • Obtain a course syllabus either through accessing a copy on Quercus, through the UTM Timetable (accessible through the Office of the Registrar website), or one can be provided by the instructor. The course syllabus must be available/provided at the beginning of a course;  
  • Rely upon the information detailed within a course syllabus. An instructor may only change methods of evaluation, or their relative weight, by following the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy provision Part B: 1.3;  
  • Refuse to use turnitin.com (you must be offered an alternative form of submission); 
  • Have access to your instructor for consultation during a course, or follow up with the unit Chair or Director if the instructor is unavailable;  
  • Ask the person who marked their term work for a re-evaluation if they feel it was not fairly graded. Students must make any inquiries about the mark on a graded piece of work within one month of the return date of the work. If the student is not satisfied with a re-evaluation, they may appeal to the instructor in charge of the course if the instructor did not mark the work. If the student’s work is remarked, they must accept the resulting mark. They may only appeal a mark beyond the instructor if the term work was worth at least 20% of the course mark. See Re-marking Pieces of Term Work of this document for full details of the process;  
  • Receive at least one significant mark (weighted at 15% for H courses, 25% for Y courses) by the last scheduled class prior to the academic drop deadline (the academic drop date), with one exception: for courses that run the entire Fall/Winter Session (Y5Y or H5Y courses), the deadline shall be the last regular class meeting of the first week of classes in January;  
  • Submit handwritten essays, so long as they are neatly written; 
  • Have no assignment worth 100% of the student’s final grade; 
  • Not have a term test or combination of term tests in an individual course be worth greater than 25% in the last two weeks of class;
  • Retain intellectual property rights to their term work;  
  • Receive all their assignments, tests, and other term work once graded;  
  • View their final exams. To see a final exam, students must submit an online Exam Reproduction Request within 6 months of the date of the exam. There is a small nonrefundable fee (please note that this process is overseen by the Office of the Registrar); 
  • Privacy of their final grades;  
  • And arrange for representation from Downtown Legal Services (DLS), a representative from the UTM Students’ Union (UTMSU), and/or other forms of support if they are charged with an academic offence. 

Fees are determined by the number of credits you take and by the program you are enrolled in.

Some programs are deregulated, meaning they have higher fees and a different fee structure. Refer to the Fees for Deregulated Programs section of the Program Selection Guide for details. 

Incidental Fees – These fees support student services such as athletics and recreation, student societies, and more. Incidental fees vary for full-time and part-time students. If you are enrolled full-time (3.0 credits or more), and then drop to part-time, you should do this within the 100% refund period, otherwise, you will be subject to full-time incidental fees. 

Ancillary Fees – These fees are associated with your program of study and specific academic activities such as lab or studio fees.

International Fees – International students are charged higher tuition fees than domestic students.  Determine whether you may be eligible for an international fee exemption.

 

Additional fees and resources:

Regulated programs require you to pay per course whereas deregulated programs have higher fees and require you to pay a flat program fee. 

 

If you are planning to pursue a program that is deregulated, it is important to be aware of the following information:

  • A list of Deregulated programs can be found here
  • Detailed program fee information can be found on the Student Accounts website.
  • You start to pay deregulated fees for your program once you accept the program invitation, and become active in the program. 
  • In the Fall/Winter session, students who are in a Commerce Specialist are charged a flat program fee if enrolled in 3.0 credits or more, and a per course fee if enrolled in 2.5 credits or less. 
  • In the Fall/Winter session, students who are in all other deregulated programs are charged a flat program fee if enrolled in 4.0 credits or more, and a per course fee if enrolled in 3.5 credits or less. 
  • Students in all deregulated programs pay a per course fee in the Summer session.
  • Students with a documented permanent disability who are registered with the Accessibility Services may opt to pay the per course fee instead of the program fee (meet with your Accessibility Advisor for assistance).

Please note, students who accept a deregulated program Subject POSt will be back-charged the appropriate deregulated fees for all courses commencing with the session after 4.0 credits were completed.

A Subject POSt, or Program of Study, is a group of courses in a specific Discipline. Students on track to complete 4.0 credits by the end of summer, or who have been granted 4.0 or more transfer credits, must apply for a program. Instructions and details are found in the Program Selection Guide.

TYPE 1 Program: Unlimited spaces available, this program has no entry requirements and you are able to enrol on ACORN anytime.

TYPE 2 Program: Unlimited spaces available, this program has requirements that can be viewed in the Calendar (i.e., specific courses, grades, CGPA), and you need to request it on ACORN during the Program Request Period.

TYPE 3 Program: Limited spaces available, this program has requirements that can be viewed in ​the Calendar (i.e., specific courses, grades, CGPA), and you request it on ACORN during the Program Request Period.

Click here for information about course enrolment or visit The Office of the Registrar for more information.

Did you know that as part of your Degree Requirements and in order to graduate you need to complete Distribution Requirements? You need to complete 1.0 credit in Science (SCI) , 1.0 credit in Social Science (SSc), and 1.0 credit in Humanities (HUM) within the minimum 20.0 credits required for your degree. It is not necessary to complete the Distribution Requirements in your first year. You may take two half (0.5) Credit or one full (1.0) credit for each category. The two half credits do not have to be under the same subject area, for instance you may take an Earth Science course and a Biology course which are two Science courses from different areas. If you are not sure which courses fall under Science, Social Science, and Humanities, check the Academic Calendar or Timetable. Please note that some courses do not fulfill any Distribution Requirements and are coded as (NDA), meaning No Distribution Assigned.

Yes! You only need a minimum of 20.0 credits to be eligible to graduate. 

AGPA is your GPA for a single calendar year. CGPA is your GPA for all courses you have taken since starting UofT.

The following regulations apply to students who have attempted at least 0.5 credits at the University:

  • Students who have a Cumulative GPA (CGPA) of less than 1.50 at the end of an academic session will be placed on academic probation. Students returning from suspension will have a status of on probation.
  • Students who, at the end of a session during which they were placed on probation, have a Cumulative GPA of 1.50 or more shall continue their studies in good standing.
  • Students who, at the end of a session during which they were placed on probation, have a Cumulative GPA of less than 1.50 but a summer sessional or annual (Fall-Winter Session) GPA of 1.70 or more shall continue on probation.
  • Students who, at the end of a session during which they are on probation, have a cumulative GPA of less than 1.50, and a sessional (Summer) or annual (Fall-Winter) GPA of less than 1.70, shall be suspended for one calendar year unless they have been suspended previously, in which case they shall be suspended for three calendar years.

 

If you find yourself on probation at the end of an academic session, visit an academic advisor in the Office of the Registrar before registering for courses in the next session, to be sure you do not end up being suspended.

Click here for more information on “Academic Status — Good Standing; Probation; Suspension.”

Click here to view the GPA & Academic Status section of our Frequently Asked Questions database.

No, once you CR/NCR a course you will not be able to see your final mark on your transcript. If you pass (at least 50%) you will receive a CR, if you fail (below 50%) you will receive a NCR. You may request your final grade from your Professor however they are not obligated to provide it to you and may decline.

Under the standard policy of repeating passed courses, the repeated course will be designated as “extra” and will not be included in the GPA calculation or in the degree credit count.

Effective May 1, 2019, University of Toronto Mississauga students can utilize the Second Attempt for Credit (SAC) option for up to a maximum of 1.0 repeated credits. By opting in to this, the first attempt will be designated as an “extra”, and the second attempt will count for degree credit and in the GPA calculation.

The Second Attempt for Credit option is restricted to U of T Mississauga students who have been approved to repeat a previously passed course (using the Course Enrolment Exception Form), but is not restricted as to year, level of course, or campus. 

In courses with a final exam, the SAC option must be requested no later than the last day of classes in the term in which the course was offered. In courses with no final exam, the deadline to request SAC is before the date of the final test or the due date of the final assignment.

If you miss the deadline to drop a course and have it removed from your transcript, your last opportunity to withdraw from the course at your own discretion is by requesting a late withdrawal (LWD) online for a maximum of 3.0 credits. The course will remain on your transcript, but will have no impact on your CGPA. A final numerical grade will be replaced with the grade “LWD” instead. The approval is final and cannot be reversed. For full details on the policy, and eligibility, please visit the Academic Calendar

A list of petitions and necessary information can be found here. 

A list of forms and necessary information can be found here.

A list of important dates can be found here.

This webpage provides the necessary information you need to know about examinations. There is information about the exam schedule, code of conduct, how to defer an exam you missed, requesting an accommodation for final exam conflicts or for religious observance, and many more.

Here is a list of resources that may be helpful to you:

Know Your Academics Campaign

Introducing our new campaign Know Your Academics! Every week we will be posting FAQs, Deadlines, Fun Facts and more to inform you about your rights and responsibilities in your academic studies. For questions please email vpua@utmsu.ca.

What’s the process when accused of an Academic Offence?

When a professor or instructor believes you have committed an academic offence they will inform you via email or in-person meeting giving reasons why they believe an offence was committed and provide you with the opportunity to discuss. Nothing you say in this meeting can be used against you/ used as evidence. 

  • If after the discussion, the instructor believes no academic offence has been committed, they will inform the student that no further action will be taken unless fresh evidence arises. 
  • If after the discussion, the instructor believes that an academic offence has been committed by the student, or if the student fails or neglects to respond to the invitation for discussion, the instructor is obligated to make a report to the department chair or through the department chair to the dean. 

This is a meeting with the Dean or Dean’s Designate. This meeting only occurs if your professor recommends it.

When the dean or the department chair has been so informed, they will notify the student in writing (via email), provide the student with a copy of the Code and subsequently allow the student an opportunity to again discuss the matter. In the case of the dean being informed, the chair of the department and the instructor shall be invited by the dean to be present at the meeting with the student, however, most time instructors will not be present. The dean will then conduct the interview.

  • Before the meeting starts the dean informs the student that they entitled to seek advice (aka UTMSU Academic Advocacy Coordinator) , or to be accompanied by counsel at the meeting (DLS), before the student makes any statement or admission, but will also warn that if the student makes any statement or admission in the meeting, it may be used as evidence against the student. The dean shall also advise the student of the punishments possible, but also inform the student that the dean can choose to not penalize the student at all but instead request that the provost lay a charge.
  • If the dean, on the advice of the department chair and the instructor, or if the department chair, on the advice of the instructor, decides that no academic offence has been committed and that no further action in the matter is required, the student shall be so informed in writing and the student’s work shall be graded. If the student was prevented from withdrawing from the course by the withdrawal date, they will now be allowed to do so. 
  • If the student admits the alleged offence, the dean or the department chair may either impose the penalty that they consider appropriate or refer the matter to the dean or Provost. In either event, the student will be notified accordingly.
  • If the student is dissatisfied with the penalty imposed by the department chair or the dean, the student may refer the matter to the dean or Provost for consideration. 
  • If the student does not admit the alleged offence, the dean may, after consultation with the instructor and the department chair, request that the Provost lay a charge against the student. If the Provost agrees to lay a charge, the case shall then proceed to the Trial Division of the Tribunal.

This is a meeting with the Tribunal. This meeting only occurs in no decision can be reached by the Dean, or you enter a not-guilty plea.

Important note for tribunal: UoT will bring a lawyer to represent them, you should also bring a lawyer to represent you. Check out Downtown Legal Services for a free lawyer to assist you in your case. Do not go to the tribunal without a Lawyer. At the tribunal level, you can be permanently expelled.

The process for prosecuting an alleged academic offence begins with the laying of a charge by the Provost against the student. This is done when the student does not admit guilt; when the sanction desired is beyond the power of the dean to impose; when the student has been found guilty of a previous offence; or when the student is being accused simultaneously of two or more different offences involving more than one incident. Notice of the charge shall be in writing, addressed to the student, signed by or under the authority of the Provost and filed with the Secretary. It must contain a statement of what the student is charged with and contain sufficient evidence to allow the student to understand what and why they are being charged with said offence.

  • Once the Secretary receives receipt of the charge they will determine when the tribunal will take place.
  • The prosecutor (lawyer) hired by the university then has to prove that an offence has indeed been committed. The student is not required to testify at their tribunal. 
  • The members of the Trial Division of the Tribunal who decide on the punishment shall consist of a Senior Chair, at least two Associate Chairs and at least fifteen co-chairs, appointed by the Academic Board.No member of the Trial Division of the Tribunal shall be a full- time student or a full-time member of the teaching staff or a member of the administrative staff.
  • The Tribunal shall,

(i) hear and dispose of charges brought under the Code;

(ii) report its decisions for information to the Academic Board;

(iii) make recommendations to the Governing Council for punishment according to the code.

  • Once the tribunal agrees on a charge, they assemble a panel to be the decision-makers of the charge. Similar to a jury. Hearings in the Trial Division of the Tribunal shall be by a hearing panel composed of three persons, of whom one shall be a student, one shall be a faculty member and the third shall be the Senior Chair, an Associate Chair or a co-chair of the Tribunal.
  • At trial hearings of the Tribunal, the chair of the hearing shall determine all questions of law and has a vote on the verdict and sanction; and the panel shall determine all questions of fact and render a verdict according to the evidence.
  • The verdict of a panel need not be unanimous but at least two affirmative votes are required for a conviction.
  • The decision of the panel does not need to be unanimous but at least two affirmative votes shall be required for a conviction. If there are not two affirmative votes the charges are dropped.

What is Credit/No Credit? How is it used?

  • UTM students may select up to a maximum of 2.0 credits throughout their undergraduate career to be assessed as Credit/No Credit.
  • Courses that are passed with a final mark of at least 50% will receive a ‘credit’ (CR) notation on a transcript. Marks below 50% will receive a ‘no credit’ (NCR) notation on a transcript.
  • Students who select CR/NCR for a course are able to use it toward distribution requirements, but it cannot be used on program requirements.
  • CR/NCR assessments have no effect on your GPA.
  • Courses with a final status of CR will count as degree credits.
  • The deadline to select or cancel CR/ NCR is the last day of classes for the relevant semester.
  • They can be used for any year and in any program.
  • The credit/no credit policy allows you to satisfy degree requirements.
  • It allows you to take courses without having it affect your GPA which in turn gives you as a student the opportunity to broaden your horizons at university and take new classes. Additionally, it allows for a grade to not affect your GPA if you are doing poorly in a class.
  • or cancel CR/NCR is no later than the last day of classes if the relevant term.
  • In courses with no final exam, the deadline to request or cancel CR/NCR is before the date of the final test or due date of the final assignment.
  • The CR/NCR option cannot be used for a course in which the student has committed an academic offence. If a student has specified the CR/NCR option in a course in which they commit an academic offence, the CR/NCR option will be revoked and the percentage grade will stand as the course grade.
  • When you are taking a course that you don’t need for your program and are using them to complete your degree.

Warning: Some programs specify that courses with a grade of CR/NCR will not count as part of the 4.0 credits required for program entry. Program entry requirements are detailed in departmental listings in this calendar.