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 Manager of Outreach & Support Services at the Health Center or the Director of Counseling & Psychological Services. 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 the semester).
    • Please note that  in order for CAPS to sign off on a medical deferral, a student must: 1) have had at least 1 meeting with a CAPS clinician and 2) have had treatment of some kind with CAPS during the current semester (e.g. at least 1 clinical appointment).
  • 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. 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 the semester).
  • If the deferral is needed because of an extenuating academic circumstance, the student should 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 the semester).
  • If/When the professor approves the request, the student completes  the Deferral Request Form . This should be done as quickly as possible following the meeting with the professor and no later than the last day of classes (not finals).
  • The Administrative Coordinator for Student Affairs will review the request and submit it to the appropriate parties for electronic signature via Adobe Sign.  The faculty member will required to set the new student work deadline (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of the semester) and a grade deadline date (recommended no later than two weeks following the student work deadline).
  • Once all parties have signed the Deferral Request Form, all who signed the form will receive a final copy for their records.

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 the semester. While a professor may reduce the window of time to submit the work, the deadline may not exceed four weeks after the last day of the semester.

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 two week maximum is not possible.

Deferrals are not available for Short Term courses.