Course Deferral Guidelines

Guiding Principles

Students are expected to complete all work assigned by faculty by the end of finals. In turn, faculty are expected to provide students with clear guidelines in their syllabi and in class discussions regarding all assignments, including test dates and paper deadlines.

The College recognizes that circumstances beyond the control of the student may occasionally necessitate the extension of a deadline for some course work beyond the end of the semester. In the interest of fairness and equity to all students, the reasons for such deferrals must be limited in scope. As a result, deferrals are possible only in the case of (a) extenuating academic circumstances, e.g. delayed lab results, (b) debilitating and documented medical or psychological conditions, or (c) unanticipated and documented personal emergencies beyond the control of the student. Although faculty and staff may recommend that a student seek a deferral, it is the responsibility of the student to initiate and complete the process outlined below.

The Office of Student Support and Community Standards and each student’s Student Support Advisor are available to assist students with questions about deferrals, to help navigate this process, and to provide referrals to on-campus resources for additional support.

Obtaining a Deferral

  • If the deferral is needed because of a debilitating and documented medical or psychological condition, the student should discuss their situation with the Associate Director for Student Health Support or Director of Counseling and Psychological Services. and have them sign the Deferral Request Form. The student then meets with the respective professor to discuss the need for a deferral and to set a new deadline that is acceptable to the professor (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams).
  • If the deferral is needed because of an unanticipated and documented personal emergency, the student should discuss their situation with the Senior Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards and have the Associate Dean sign the Deferral Request Form. The student then meets with the respective professor to discuss the need for a deferral and to set a new deadline that is acceptable to the professor (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams).
  • If the deferral is needed because of an extenuating academic circumstance, the student should discuss the situation with the respective professor. If the professor approves the request, the professor signs the Deferral Request Form and indicates the new deadline that is acceptable to the professor (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams).
  • The student then submits the Deferral Request Form to the Office of Student Support and Community Standards, 103 Lane Hall. This should be done as quickly as possible and no later than the last day of classes (not finals).
  • The Senior Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards reviews deferral requests and then emails the student as to whether the request is approved, approved with alterations, or denied.

Limitations of Deferrals

All work in the course in which a deferral is granted must be submitted to the professor by the agreed upon deadline, not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams. While a professor may reduce the window of time to submit the work, the deadline may not exceed four weeks after last day of final exams.

Deferrals may not be granted for assignments where the deadline has already passed, for exams that have already been administered, or for work that has already been turned in.

Students may petition the Academic Standing Committee if they consider the four week maximum inadequate. This petition must be submitted prior to the end of the deferral period.

The professor computes the student’s final grade for the course after the deferral deadline, including work submitted by the deadline. If the student does not turn in some or all of the work deferred by the deadline, the professor submits the student’s grade for work completed prior to the deferral deadline.

If a deferral is not approved and a professor does not submit a grade by the deadline the Registrar has set or if a deferral has been approved and a professor does not submit a grade by the agreed upon deadline, a grade of F will be entered for that student.

In some cases, withdrawal from the course or a leave of absence from the College may be more appropriate than a deferral. This is more likely when the student has not been an active member of the course, the deferral is for group or laboratory work, or completion of the work within the four week maximum is not possible.

Deferrals are not available for Short Term courses.