Policies and Procedures
Programs/Course Change and Withdrawal
CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK
No student who is on academic probation may enroll in a course overload.
In the Faculty of Applied Sciences, approved majors who wish to enroll in an overload require permission of the director of their school. Other Faculty of Applied Sciences students require permission of the dean of the faculty. In the School of Engineering Science and the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, permission of the director is required for course overloads exceeding 22 units.
In the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences; Business Administration; Communication, Art and Technology; Education; Environment; and Health Sciences only, a student who requires an overload to fulfil graduation requirements in the term for which he/she is enrolling may be allowed, with the dean’s permission, to enroll in an overload.
In the Faculty of Science, a student entering the graduating term who requires specific courses to fulfil graduation requirements in the term for which the student is enrolling, may be permitted to enroll in courses totalling up to 21 units, provided either the cumulative grade point average or the most recent term grade point average is 3.0 or higher.
A limited number of overloads may be approved, by the dean of the faculty in which the student is enrolled, on an individual basis during the course change period.
Repeated Simon Fraser University Courses
Where a student repeats a course, the course(s) with the lower grade will be recorded on official records as an excluded course. If the same grade or grade equivalent value is earned for a repeated course, the course that was completed most recently is included in the term grade point average (GPA) and cumulative GPA, and the former course is excluded in the term GPA and cumulative GPA. A student’s academic standing for previous terms does not change even though the GPA changes.
When a course is repeated and the unit value has decreased, the student must, in consultation with the department, make up the missing unit component before being credited with the full original units.
When a course is deleted by the University, the department, in consultation with the affected student, will determine a suitable alternative that will be considered a repeat course for the purposes of this policy.
Limits on Repeated Courses
The number of courses which a student may repeat in a degree program is limited to five. The number of times a student may repeat a course is once. Courses completed at Simon Fraser University for which a student has already received transfer credit from another institution will count within five repeats limit.
Students attempting a course for the first time shall be given the opportunity to enroll prior to any students who are presently enrolled in the course or who have passed the course with a C- or better.
Students can only repeat special topics courses, which they have failed, when the topic is deemed to be the same as the one for which the student has already received credit. Normally special topics courses can be repeated because the course content changes with each offering.
Repeated Transfer Credit
Students may not receive transfer credit for a course which is a repeat of a course passed at Simon Fraser University. At Simon Fraser University, a grade of D and those above it are passing grades.
If a student enrolls for a repeat course, and completes the course with a passing grade, the transfer units will remain on the academic record as a repeat, with a zero unit value. If the course is completed with a failing grade, the transfer units will remain on the academic record. A department may permit units to count for both a transfer course and a Simon Fraser University course, if the course content is judged to be sufficiently different.
Current limits on course repeats, where one course is a Simon Fraser University course, will apply to repeated transfer courses. The implementation of this policy will not affect the method of calculating grade point averages. Current limits on course repeats, where both courses are transfer credit will not apply.
Courses at Other Institutions/Letters of Permission
Simon Fraser University students who wish to complete academic work at other institutions for undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate credit at this University must obtain permission in advance by applying for a Letter of Permission through Student Services. All students considering requesting a Letter of Permission should consult an academic advisor. The faculty advisor (and the department advisor if a program has been declared) will be contacted by Student Services for approval. Students should allow six to eight weeks for processing of their request. Normally, a Letter of Permission will not be approved retroactively.
Students must have completed a minimum of nine units at Simon Fraser University and must be in good academic standing at the time they submit their request for a Letter of Permission to Student Services. Since standing is achieved once all grades for the term have been received, students may have to wait until their third term at Simon Fraser University to be eligible to complete a course elsewhere.
Permission to complete a course at another institution will not be granted unless a valid academic reason is provided. For example, complete a course in a discipline not offered at Simon Fraser University, such as Czech language. While an approved Letter of Permission guarantees that the credit will count toward the overall credit requirement, it does not guarantee that the credit will meet a specific program requirement.
A Letter of Permission is automatically denied if a student's standing is 'on academic probation' (OAP), 'continued academic probation' (CAP), 'extended academic probation' (EAP), 'required to withdraw' (RTW) or 'extended withdrawal' (PW). Courses completed at another institution cannot be used to satisfy Simon Fraser University's minimum residency requirement and will not be included in the CGPA calculation. Therefore, such courses cannot be used to raise standing.
Students must achieve a grade of at least C (2.0 numeric equivalent) or 60% in order to receive transfer credit for courses completed at other institutions. Courses where the grade is pass/fail (P/F) cannot be processed for transfer credit. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that an official transcript from the host institution is forwarded to Student Services at Simon Fraser University in order for transfer credit to be granted.
The residency requirement for completing a credential at Simon Fraser University may include up to 15 exchange units.
Students participating in formal exchange programs should see International Exchange Programs for more information.
Course challenge is a method by which a student may obtain credit for course material learned elsewhere (i.e. outside Simon Fraser University). A maximum of 60 units may be obtained by the combined mechanism of course challenge and transfer credit.
A student must be eligible to enroll in order to enroll for course challenge.
- course challenge is not permitted for a course for which credit has already been obtained at Simon Fraser University or through transfer credit. A student may not enroll in one term for both regular enrollment and course challenge in the same course at the same time, but must select one or the other, and may not change that decision in that term later than ten days following the commencement of University classes
- a student is not entitled to enroll for course challenge if he/she has recorded two challenges as either unsuccessful or unattempted
- a student is not permitted to challenge a course(s) he/she has previously failed at Simon Fraser University
- course challenge is not included in the grade point average
- units through course challenge do not count towards term units or units for government student assistance programs (e.g., Canada Student Loan, BC Student Loan, etc.) or Simon Fraser University administered financial assistance programs including scholarships, bursaries, awards and loans
- a department may elect to offer or not to offer the opportunity for course challenge
Please note the following with regard to course challenges in the Department of French and in the Latin American Studies Program.
With approval, a student may enroll and pay fees for challenge in a specified course sequence in a given language. If the student satisfactorily completes a course in the given language at an advanced sequence level, the department may indicate ‘successful’ in the preceding course(s) of the sequence in which the student is enrolled for challenge. If the student does not satisfactorily complete the advanced level course, then formal challenge assessment of the preceding level(s) should be undertaken to avoid two challenges without success based solely on the advanced assessment.
A student who has satisfied the admission requirements of the University may attend a specific course(s) as an auditor upon completion of the necessary enrollment procedures, which include written approval of the department concerned.
Any eligible student who wishes to enroll for a course as an auditor must seek approval from the appropriate instructor and department chair. To enroll in a course as an auditor, complete the Undergraduate Course Change Application Form, with instructor signature, and submit to the appropriate department for approval.
Note: Course audit and special audit are for different categories of students. Those interested in gaining entry as special audit students should see https://www.sfu.ca/lifelong-learning/special-audit.html.
Audited courses do not count towards the completion of degree program requirements.
Program/Course Changes and Withdrawal
Any program changes are processed by the department as they require departmental approval. The program approval application form is available from the appropriate department or on the Student Services website at www.sfu.ca/students/forms.
You are urged to read the tuition refund policy and penalties for dropping courses very carefully to avoid, or minimize, financial penalty for dropping courses in which you enroll.
Details of the undergraduate policy, and deadlines, appear in the Undergraduate Fees section of the Calendar (http://www.sfu.ca/students/fees/policies.html)
The dates and deadlines for graduate students is found on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website at http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html.
Failure to attend classes does not constitute withdrawal from a course. Courses that are not formally dropped will be given a failing grade; payment for the course’s tuition fee is required.
Normal Course Change Period
Regular Term – First day of class to 7th calendar day
Courses may be added or dropped or tutorial times changed using the enrollment system without prior approval of the department offering the course. Courses that are dropped will not receive a notation on the student’s academic record.
Changes to courses registered for course challenge or for course audit must be approved by the department offering the course. During this time period a student may change enrollment in course challenge from one course to another, or to regular enrollment in the course.
Enrollment for course audit and course challenge is done by the department offering the course.
There is a 100% tuition refund for courses dropped on or before the 7th calendar day from the first day of class.
Extended Course Change Period
Regular Term – 8th calendar day to 14th calendar day
From the 8th calendar day to the 14th calendar day after classes begin, courses may be dropped by the student via goSFU at go.sfu.ca. However, if a student drops all term courses, the withdrawal will be noted on the academic record. During the first 14 calendar days of when the first day of classes begin, he/she may change enrollment in course challenge from one course to another, or to regular enrollment in the course. Permission of the department is required.
There is a 75% refund for courses dropped between the 8th and the 14th calendar day from the first day of classes.
Courses may be added with the permission of the department.
Course Drop Period
Regular Term – 15th calendar day to 21st calendar day
From the 15th calendar day to the 21st calendar day after classes begin, courses may be dropped by the student via goSFU at go.sfu.ca. Courses dropped within this period will be automatically recorded with a WD notation on the student’s academic record.
There is a 50% refund for courses dropped between the 15th and the 21st calendar day from the first day of classes.
Courses may be added with the permission of the chair and instructor.
No courses can be added or changed to audit status during this period.
Regular Term – 22nd calendar day to 56th calendar day
From the 22nd calendar day to the 56th calendar day after classes begin, courses may be dropped by the student via goSFU at go.sfu.ca. Courses dropped within this period will be automatically recorded with a WD notation on the student's academic record.
There is no refund for courses dropped after the 21st calendar day of when first day of classes begin.
No courses can be added or changed to audit status during this period.
No Course Drop Period
Regular term – 57th calendar day to end of term
From the 57th calendar day to the last day of the term, course(s) may be dropped only in extenuating circumstances. If approved, there will be a WE notation on the student’s academic record for specific courses dropped. Please submit applications to Student Services. Requests arising after the last day of classes, or requests relating to courses completed in a previous term, are referred to as ‘retroactive’ and follow the same procedures as above but may take longer to adjudicate.
Note: Extenuating circumstances are defined as unusual circumstances beyond the student’s control which make it impossible for the student to complete the course. If a course drop is being considered after the last day of classes, it is recommended that students seek advice from Academic Advising and Student Success or their department advisor.
Withdrawal from the University
Students wishing to withdraw from all courses in a term must follow the same schedule as outlined above in Term Course Changes. Specific term dates can be found in www.sfu.ca/students/calendar/academic-dates
For regular intersession and summer session terms, there is no refund for withdrawal from all courses in a term after day 10 of classes.
Official records will be updated to record the date on which term withdrawal was effected. The withdrawal date for students who withdraw after the fifth day of classes will be recorded on the academic record.
Final examinations will normally be held during the last two weeks of each term (Intersession and Summer Session exams are held in the last week of the session). Students must check the exam schedule when planning course selections. Students are reminded that final examinations may be scheduled at any time during the examination period and that students should avoid making travel or employment arrangements for this period. Students are not normally allowed to enroll in courses with conflicting examination times. Students who have a good reason to enroll in classes with conflicting exam times must seek permission from the departments who are offering those classes.
There are instances where students are faced with examination hardship, which is defined as
- three or more end-of-term examinations scheduled within a 24 hour period
- an examination at one location (e.g. the Burnaby campus) followed immediately by an exam at another location (e.g., the Surrey campus).
For three or more exams, a student shall be given a new exam date (within the established exam period) for the second exam causing hardship by the respective instructor or department/faculty. For students with exams at more than one location, advance arrangements will be made by the instructor or department/faculty to write both exams at a single location. Students must notify the instructor(s) and department one month prior to the exam date.
Each student is required to participate in assigned work during the term. The grades obtained for that work may be used to determine the final course standing. A passing grade in any exam does not ensure a passing grade for the course.
Students who miss exams because of illness or for compassionate reasons must communicate with their instructor (see DE grade). See Grading Systems and Policies.
In-class final examinations are not to be held before the beginning of the official examination period. Take-home examinations cannot be due until the commencement of the official examination period.
Instructors are required to submit grades within 96 hours after the exam via the on-line grade roster to Records and Registration. Please refer to exam procedures at www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity/faculty/examprocedures.
See policy GP4 for details.
Criminal Record Check
It is the responsibility of all students (and parent or guardian for students under 19 years of age) who work with children and/or vulnerable adults, or have unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults, during the course of a certificate, diploma or degree program, to authorize a criminal record check (CRC) through Simon Fraser University, for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General as per a legislative requirement under the British Columbia Criminal Records Review Act which took effect January of 2012. This authorization is submitted to the Criminal Records Review Program for review.
Specific courses that require a CRC as a prerequisite and the process for obtaining clearance can be found at www.sfu.ca/students/criminalrecords.
Simon Fraser University does not require a preadmission medical examination, but the University reserves the right to require a student to submit a medical certificate at any time.
Medical Insurance Requirements
All students are required to have adequate hospital and medical insurance coverage. Adequate medical and hospital insurance is that which is provided under the Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP), or any other plan, government or private, which provides coverage equivalent to that offered under the Medical Services Plan of BC. Students who seek medical treatment through either the University Health Services or off-campus medical facilities must provide evidence of medical insurance. Failure to provide adequate information will result in the student being charged directly for services rendered.
The University assumes no liability for any failure by the student to maintain adequate medical or hospital (or dental) insurance, nor is the University responsible for any costs not covered by the student’s personal insurance plan(s), whether it is the Medical Services Plan coverage or otherwise. It should be understood that the University itself carries no medical, hospital or dental insurance coverage on students’ behalf.
All residents of British Columbia must enroll with MSP. Unmarried students whose parents are covered by MSP as dependents are covered until their nineteenth birthday. The coverage may be continued until the student’s 25th birthday providing the student is in full-time attendance at university and mainly dependent on his or her parents. However, students must notify MSP of their student status each September, in order for MSP coverage to continue past their nineteenth birthday.
Students who are not covered by their parent’s medical insurance plan must obtain MSP insurance coverage.
Non BC Residents
Canadian students who are not BC residents should maintain coverage in their home province. All Canadian provinces accept responsibility for physician visits and hospital costs for their students attending SFU provided the hospital insurance premiums (where required) have been paid.
International, and Exchange & Study Abroad Students
New international and exchange & study abroad students must apply by themselves for coverage under the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) if they will be a resident of BC for longer than 6 months. Effective January 1, 2013, all new international students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or exchange program at SFU will be automatically enrolled in a mandatory 4 month primary medical insurance plan for their first term through guard.me@SFU.
Great Northern Way Campus/Centre for Digital Media students are also covered by the plan. International students who have previously attended SFU and were absent from the University for three or more consecutive terms or are readmitted to SFU under SFU's policy of reactivation and readmission will also be enrolled in the guard.me@SFU plan in the term they continue their studies at SFU.
This plan provides interim coverage during the waiting period for the BC MSP, if eligible. Students will be able to opt out providing they have coverage under the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP) or coverage under an eligible plan. For more details, see http://www.sfu.ca/medical-insurance.html. For further information, contact International Services for Students at 778.782.4232; firstname.lastname@example.org.