The Essentials of Your Rights

The YFS Student Rights and Support Services Coordinator, Niraj C. Maharaj is available to assist students with academic challenges such as Academic and Financial Petitions and Appeals, Academic Honesty Hearings, Complaints regarding Faculty and/or Staff. You can book an appointment by calling (416) 736-5324 or emailing 

Academic Student Rights

You have the right to:

  • A comfortable academic atmosphere in the classroom
  • See all of your written work for a course, including the final exam
  • A complete course syllabus within the first two weeks of a course
  • Object to a change in the course syllabus
  • Petition any rule or regulation within your department
  • Appeal any petition ruling should it not be in your favour
  • Representation at all meetings and hearings involving an issue of academic honesty

Academic Petitions and Appeals

Academic petitions and appeals are to ensure that your rights are protected. A petition is a formal request for a waiver of a Faculty's regulation and/or deadline. Students have the right to petition on reasonable grounds for special considerations. Petitions are submitted to a student's home Faculty Committee which will consider the request and make a determination. Petitions Forms Can be found on the Registrar's Office section of the York website.

  • To initiate a petition, students must submit the following items:
  • A completed copy of the Petitions Checklist
  • A completed copy of the Undergraduate Petition Form
  • A personal letter outlining the reasons for the request
  • All relevant supporting documentation

Most Frequently Petitioned Regulations

  • Academic standing waived (e.g. required withdrawal waived)
  • Add course(s) past the published deadline(s)
  • Drop course(s) past the published deadline(s)
  • Degree requirements waived or altered
  • Request for a Deferred Standing (extension to complete outstanding work).

Common Grounds for Petitions

  • Medical (Attending Physician's Statement is required)
  • Personal Misfortune (death, accident or illness of a family member)
  • Compassionate (financial hardship, other stressors)
  • Procedural Irregularity (The rules are not being followed by university staff)

Additional Hints

  • Photocopy everything you are submitting
  • Provide supporting documentation (support letters)
  • Everything related to a petition is confidential
  • You can request to review the information in your file.

Student-Instructor Conflicts

If your concern is with the decision of a Professor or Teaching Assistant, or how you are being treated, if you are comfortable in doing so speak to them directly. If you would rather not or if the conflict is not resolved contact the Undergraduate Program Director or Chair of the Department.  If still there is no resolution set up an appointment with the Associate Dean of the Faculty. If the situation is in regards to harassment, and/or discrimination contact the Centre for Human Rights and Equity at

If you require assistance, advice or support prior, during or after pursuing this process, then contact the Student Tights and Support Services Coordinator at for free, confidential advice, assistance and advocacy.

Contact: Niraj Maharaj
416-736-2100 ext. 77678