Policy, Definition and Self-Declaration Form

Policy, Procedure and Self-Declaration Form
Please take the time to review the policy and procedures for self-declaring a brief or temporary student absence.

Students Registered with Student Accessibility Services 
Students with disabilities may have academic accommodations that include extensions on course work and test deferrals. These accommodations are separate from this policy and will not require the Self-Declaration form to be submitted. A student or faculty member can contact an Accessibility Coordinator to discuss academic accommodations related to disability.

However, if the extension is for a situation that is not related to their disability, the student should submit the Self-Declaration form. Please consult the Accessibility Coordinator to discuss what is appropriate.


Brief and Temporary Absence | Lasting no more than 120 hours (5 days)

Extenuating Circumstance |  A situation outside of a student’s control such as a medical event or condition, that temporarily affects their ability to fulfill their academic obligations and requirements.

Commonly asked questions about the brief and temporary student absence policy

Non-valid and valid reasons for use of this policy

Examples of non-valid reasons

  • Attending a personal or family event (e.g., vacation, wedding)
  • Optional travel
  • Technological difficulties
  • Competitions or events, related to personal interests (choir, acting, pageants, exhibitions)
  • Employment-related commitments

Examples of valid reasons

  • Sudden illness or injury on the day of an exam
  • Unexpected compassionate circumstances
  • Known conflicts of religious observance
  • Bereavement or loss of a loved one
  • Participation in an inter-university, provincial, inter-provincial, national or international scholastic or athletic event

Please be aware that students are obligated to be available for the duration of the examination period (if they have final exams scheduled). Students should not plan travel during this time as it is not a valid reason to defer a final exam.

Be sure to check with an advisor in your home faculty (or your faculty’s website) to confirm which events and other reasons may be supported by the Self-Declaration form. There are some circumstances in which documentation may be required by your faculty. If you are experiencing anxiety around your academic obligations, please use the student supports resources available to you, such as:

Is this the right process for my situation?

  • The Self-Declaration policy is intended to be for occasional, short-term circumstances lasting 120 hours or less.
  • This means that students should not be submitting multiple forms for each course. If you are in a situation where you may need to submit multiple Self-Declaration forms (for example, if you have recurring or ongoing circumstances, we encourage you to speak to an advisor in your faculty to consider other academic options that may be more suitable to your situation.
    • Although it may seem helpful to have extensions on assignments and deferred tests and exams, the deadlines can pile up and interfere with other deadlines, work and courses. We encourage you to seek advice from an advisor and seriously consider whether requesting extensions and deferrals is your best option.
  • Other options that may be more suitable to your situation include:
    • Authorized Withdrawal
    • Accommodations with Student Accessibility Services
      • Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides supports for students with disabilities. If you have a chronic or permanent medical condition, please contact SAS to discuss options for long-term supports
    • Leave of absence
      • Check whether this is an option for your program

Who do I submit my form to?

  • For course work in a class, submit the completed form to your instructor
  • If this is for a lab assignment, submit the completed form to your Lab TA (your TA may ask you to send your form to your instructor)
  • For final exams, submit your completed form to an academic advisor in your faculty of registration

My Self-Declaration form has not been approved by my instructor, what are my options?

If your self-declaration form has not been approved by your instructor, it could be for one of these reasons:

  • It was not submitted within the time frame noted in the policy (48 hours after the missed work)
  • The time period of absence was more than 120 hours/5 days
  • The reason for the absence does not fall into a category for an approved absence

In this case, you should be prepared to complete your academic work, or speak to an advisor in your faculty if you have an absence longer than 5 days, to discuss other options that may be more applicable to your situation.

If you have concerns about the reasons why your request was not approved, you can contact

  • Department Head offering the course
    • If your faculty has no departments, contact the Dean's office for your faculty
  • The Student Advocacy office
  • Your academic advisor (use the find my advisor tool to connect to your advisor)

If you are requesting a Deferred Final exam from your faculty, there are some situations in which they may not accept a Self Declaration form (such as multiple requests for deferred exams), and instead, advise that documentation is required. In this case, please speak to an academic advisor in your faculty of registration for more information.

When do I need to provide medical documentation?

  • If you will be absent for more than 120 hours (5 days)
  • Authorized Withdrawal
  • Accommodation for a disability
  • Incomplete status in a course (time extension)
  • Leave of Absence
  • If requested by my faculty after having submitted multiple Self-Declaration forms

Graduate student information

Graduate programs may have additional academic requirements, beyond coursework as stipulated in the program’s supplementary regulations (e.g., attendance at seminars, clinical/practical components). If supporting documentation was previously required to be absent from these required activities, a Self-Declaration form can be submitted instead. Students must still follow program regulations regarding notification of an absence.

The Self-Declaration form cannot be used in lieu of medical documentation to support requests for leaves of absence, time extensions, Authorized Withdrawals, or appeals. When appropriate, these requests must include medical documentation that addresses the date of onset and duration of the student’s condition/circumstances, as well as the impact on your ability to complete academic requirements.

If you are unsure whether your situation falls under a Brief or Temporary Student Absence, or what the future implications of absences or missing work may be, contact your department/unit to discuss further.


Supports and resources for students

These offices can provide help and support if you are having health, personal or compassionate extenuating circumstances.

Contact us

Any questions about the policy, procedure and self-declaration form can be directed to the Student Advocacy office.

Student Advocacy
Room 520 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellor's Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada