Deferral of a Final Examination

Students in the Faculty of Engineering who were unable to write one or more final examinations due to circumstances beyond their control (such as serious illness, family affliction, fire, or severe emotional stress) may receive permission to defer their final exam.

Students who are ill prior to an examination should make arrangements to see an advisor in the McGill Engineering Student Centre (FDA 22) for proper evaluation of the situation to avoid a final grade based on an incomplete examination.

It is assumed that upon entering the exam room, it is the intent of the student to complete the examination. Students are warned that it is their personal responsibility to judge their own state of health before entering the exam room to assess whether they are able to undertake the examination.

In conjuction with University exam regulations, incomplete examinations will still be graded.

Application Procedure & Deadline

Fall and Winter Term Courses:

 All requests to defer a final exam must be submitted online through MINERVA no later than one week or five (5) working days after the missed exam.                                                                                                              

Students must sign-in on MINERVA:

  • Select Student Records Menu
  • Select Deferred Exam Application
  • Under Reason(s) for deferral:  students must include a detailed explanation in this section of the application indicating the factors that led to their inability to write their final examination
  • Submit all supporting documents to the McGill Engineering Student Center (MESC ) - FDA 22

Note:  Students who have already written an examination may NOT subsequently request that the exam be deferred.

Summer Term Courses:

 For courses offered in the Summer term, the deferral application is not available on Minerva.  Students must submit a request to defer a final exam by email to [at] no later than one week or five (5) working days after the missed exam.

Required Documents

Pilot Project for first time requests to defer a final exam:

Students are not required to provide supporting documents if requesting to defer their final exam for reasons of a medical or mental health nature.  For further details on this project, please refer to the following link:

For all other requests to defer a final exam, please follow the instructions for required documents that follow below under ‘subsequent requests’.

Subsequent requests to defer a final exam:

Students must provide complete supporting documentation to the McGill Engineering Student Centre, Frank Dawson Adams Bldg., room 22 within one week or 5 working days following the missed exam.  It is the student’s responsibility to provide comprehensive and valid documentation that substantiates the request.

  • Requests due to medical reasons:  students must present an original medical document, signed by the residing health practitioner which covers the nature of the illness and the date of the missed exam. Deferrals for medical reasons are only granted if, in the Faculty’s judgment, the nature of the illness is serious enough to render a student incapable of attending the exam.  The nature of the illness/issue must be clearly indicated on the medical document to be accepted.  Students may be required to meet with an advisor.
  • For all other situations, original documentation is required such as an official notice (i.e. obituary) or a letter from a qualified professional. The relationship to the student must be indicated and cover the date of the missed exam.

Supporting documents must support the student’s reason for the request to defer which will be reflected in the comments section of the Minerva application form.

Application Status and Decision

Students are to check Minerva regularly for the status of the deferred exam application to determine whether any additional information is being requested.

Decisions will be made progressively on completed applications where all supporting documentation has been received.  Students will receive an email notification when a decision has been made.

The following conditions apply to deferred final exams (including summer term) for students in the Faculty of Engineering:

  • For each deferred exam that is approved, an “L” (deferred) will appear on the student record beside the course, but will not appear on official transcripts after the final grade has been determined. In calculating the mark in the course, the mark the student receives in the deferred exam will take the place of the mark the student would have received in the original final exam.
  • The format of the deferred exam will not necessarily be identical to the final exam of the same course. Students are responsible for contacting the professor of the course should they require information about the deferred exam format.
  • Students are not permitted to redo any portion of the coursework such as assignments, projects, labs, midterms, quizzes, etc. (i.e. all grades previously obtained will calculate with the final grade of the deferred exam received in order to determine the final course grade).  Students may request access to all course material including MyCourses for the term in which the exam is to be written by contacting the course instructor.
  • Once a deferred exam has been granted, the maximum number of courses a student may register for will be limited to ensure that no more than 6 examinations may be written in a single term (including the deferred exam). This will provide a student with sufficient time during the semester and the exam period to properly prepare for the deferred examination(s).
  • The Faculty of Engineering does not grant extensions to deferred examinations.  Students who were unable to write their deferred exam must contact the McGill Engineering Student Centre within the deferred exam application deadline.

Important Notice regarding Academic Standing Decisions

Standing Decisions for previous terms in which a deferral was granted may change once a final grade is obtained (the deferral has been cleared). Your final standing decision may not be known until L grades are resolved; it is important that you understand the possible standing decisions that may result (Satisfactory, Probationary, Unsatisfactory). Students are responsible for verifying their unofficial transcript for all final grades and academic standing decisions.

Provisions for Writing a Deferred Exam in a Fall or Winter Term

Engineering Courses

Deferred exams for courses administered* by the Faculty of Engineering are offered during the final examination period the next time the course is given (excluding summer term).

If taking the deferred examination at this time will result in an unreasonable delay for graduation, students should indicate this in their Minerva application to defer an exam. The Student Affairs Office may grant an earlier exam in such cases. This decision will be communicated to the student via their McGill email.

To access the schedule:  Final Examination Schedule

Other Faculty Courses

Deferred exams for courses administered* by the following faculties are offered during the supplemental/deferred examination period:

  • Faculty of Arts (Engineering: Humanities and Social Science courses)
  • Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty of Education
  • Desautels Faculty of Management
  • Faculty of Religious Studies (Engineering: Humanities and Social Science courses)
  • Faculty of Science (Engineering: Year 0 and faculty specific science courses)
  • School of Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • School of Social Work

To access the schedule:  Deferred Examination Schedule

School of Continuing Studies Courses

Deferred exams for courses administered* by School of Continuing Studies are to be written at the first available opportunity.

To access the schedule:  Continuing Education Examination Schedule

* The administering faculty is located on the course "crn" under ‘view catalog entry’.

Provisions for Writing a Deferred Exam in a Summer Term

Courses Administered* by

Summer Studies:

Deferred exams for all summer term courses will be held in mid-August concurrent with the Winter Deferred exams.

To access the schedule:  Summer Course Deferred Exam Schedule.

Faculty of Engineering:

Deferred exams for courses administered by the Faculty of Engineering are offered the next time the course is offered.

To access the schedule:  Final Exam Schedule.

* The administering faculty is located on the course "crn" under ‘view catalog entry’