1. Overview
  2. Initiating a Petition
    1. Process
    2. Resources
  3. Guide to Submitting a Petition
    1. Deadlines
    2. Creating a Petition Package
    3. Supporting Documentation
    4. Types of Petitions and Required Documentation
    5. Communication
  4. Petition Decisions
  5. Undergraduate Academic Appeals
    1. The Difference Between Petitions and Appeals
    2. Initiating an Appeal
  6. Procedural Review
  7. Confidentiality


A petition is a formal request for accommodation with regard to the normal regulations and deadlines of the University. You can submit a petition when circumstances beyond your control have negatively impacted your ability to meet your academic obligations.

Note that Deferred Examinations and Appeals of Grade are not considered petitions.

There are two types of circumstances that may warrant an exception to published regulations or deadlines:

  • Personal circumstances such as illness or unanticipated serious events.
  • Regulations possibly being incorrectly applied to a student’s record. In this case, a student’s unique academic record may have conflicted with normal academic requirements or regulations to have an unintended outcome.

Initiating a Petition


  • Provide a completed “Academic Petition form” (please see the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this page), original documentation verifying the circumstances outlined in the petition, and any required additional forms based on the type of petition being filed.
  • Forms and documentation must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
  • All required documentation must be received before the Undergraduate Appeals Secretariat of the Registrar’s Office will process your petition.
  • Petitions should be submitted within the required deadlines immediately following the circumstances that lead to the request.
  • The Registrar’s Office staff is available to assist you with procedures behind the various types of petitions that can be submitted.


Guide to Submitting a Petition


Petitions should be submitted immediately following circumstances which prompted the request and must be submitted before the following deadlines, unless subject to an earlier due date:

  • Petitions for the preceding fall term: January 30
  • Petitions for the preceding winter term: June 30
  • Petitions for the preceding summer term: September 30

Creating a Petition Package

  1. Complete an “Undergraduate Academic Petition Form” (see the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this page).
    1. Your Carleton email will be used for correspondence.
    2. Attach a clear and concise letter to the petition form stating:
      1. The regulation or deadline you wish to petition
      2. The circumstances beyond your control leading to your request OR
      3. Why you believe that a regulation has not been correctly applied to your record
    3. Note: Failure to prioritize academic responsibilities or to be aware of academic regulations are not grounds for a petition.
  2. Provide all relevant supporting documentation and/or required forms.
    1. If documentation cannot be submitted as the petition is initiated, clearly describe:
      1. The type of documentation being obtained
      2. Reason for delay
      3. Specific information about when the documentation will be submitted.
  3. Submit your petition package to:
    1. The Registrar’s Office
      Attention: Undergraduate Appeals Secretariat
      Retain a copy of your petition and documentation.
    2. Petitions will not be processed until all required documentation has been received.
    3. If the issue is time-sensitive, please send an email from your Carleton email account to registrar@carleton.ca, to the attention of the Undergraduate Appeals Secretariat. The Secretariat will respond with further instructions on how to proceed.
    4. If it is determined that additional supporting documentation is required you will be contacted through your Carleton email account by the Secretariat.
    5. Failure to submit appropriate supporting documentation frequently results in the denial of a petition, especially in cases when administrative requirements necessitate an immediate response.
    6. Petitions without proper documentation will be held by the Registrar’s Office for a period of time dependent on the nature of the petition, and the rationale for the lack of documentation. After this time, the petition will normally be cancelled and you will be notified.

Supporting Documentation

  • Petition requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation that clearly verifies or substantiates the claims presented in the petition.
  • Original documentation is required, and photocopied documentation will not be accepted.
  • Supporting documentation will vary depending on the nature of the circumstances leading to the petition.
  • Common circumstances beyond a student’s control which may result in the filing of a petition are:
    • Illness
    • Family difficulties
    • Death of a family member
    • Other unexpected serious events
  • Please review the section titled “Types of Petitions and Required Documentation”  to ensure you are aware of the documentation normally required for your specific circumstances.
  • If you have any questions about documentation for petitions, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Types of Petitions and Required Documentation

  • You must submit your petition immediately following the circumstances which have prompted the request and within the required deadlines.
  • You must include clear, concise statement regarding why the request for accommodation from a regulation or deadline is being made. All required original documentation should be submitted along with this as a complete package to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Failure to submit appropriate supporting documentation can result in the denial of the petition.
  • The following is a guide for students preparing a petition, organized by the type of petition being prepared.
  • Please contact the Registrar’s Office if you have questions regarding petition procedures or documentation requirements.


Only your Carleton email account will be used for communication regarding petitions or appeals. Failure to regularly check your email account or respond to requests from the Registrar’s Office or the appeals Secretariat are not grounds for extending timelines or requesting further consideration of your petition.

Petition Decisions

  • You will be notified via your Carleton email account or by mail of the decision regarding your petition.
  • Unless administrative requirements necessitate an earlier response, your petition will take 2-8 weeks to process once all documentation has been submitted. This timeline depends on the type of petition submitted and the time of year.
  • The Undergraduate Appeals Secretariat of the Registrar’s Office makes decisions on petitions based on regulations established by the Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee and faculty Committees on Admissions and Studies.
  • The Secretariat may determine if it is appropriate to present a petition to either of the previously mentioned committees for a decision.
  • For Engineering students, all petitions are forwarded from the Secretariat to the Faculty of Engineering Committee on Admissions and Studies for adjudication.

Undergraduate Academic Appeals

The Difference Between Petitions and Appeals

  • A petition is the initial request for accommodation with respect to a regulation or deadline.
  • An appeal is a process by which you may challenge, in writing, the decision on a petition

Initiating an Appeal

  • You must submit an “Appeal of Academic Petition form” (see the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this page) to the Registrar’s Office within 14 days of receipt of the decision made on the original petition.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your appeal contains all relevant information and documentation.
  • The initial petition, along with the Appeal form and any other information you wish to provide, will be forwarded to either:
    • The appropriate Committee on Admissions and Studies.
    • Or the Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee.
  • In cases where the decision on the original petition was made by the Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee, an appeal will only be accepted where new or substantially different information is being submitted.
  • The Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee makes the final decision on appeals. The decision will be sent to your Carleton email account or by mail.

Procedural Review

  • You may request a procedural review of decisions made by the Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee. Contact the Clerk of Senate in writing to initiate the review.
  • The review is conducted by the Clerk to confirm that:
    • Proper procedures have been followed as set out in the appropriate approved policy
    • Issues of bias have been properly addressed
    • The decision reached is within the scope of the delegated authority and is consistent with previous practice.
  • A procedural review will not change the decision of an appeal. The Clerk will instead decide whether proper procedures have been followed and establish if any further actions are required.


  • We recognize and respect the importance of privacy at Carleton University. Collection, disclosure, and use of personal information is directed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
  • Officers of the Registrar’s Office and University Appeals Committees are legally authorized under Section s38 (2) of FIPPA to collect personal information, whether directly from the individual or indirectly through record collections in the custody or control of the University, as required in support of a petition or appeal.
  • In accordance to Section 42 (1) (b) of FIPPA, students must file for a Release of Information to a Third Party if they wish for Registrar’s Office staff to disclose information to family members or other persons or organizations outside of the university, in regards to information or facts contained in the petition or appeal.