How to apply to WE

You can only apply for a Withdrawals Under Extenuating Circumstances (WE) after week eight of the term. Before that date, withdraw through goSFU and receive a WD notation instead. For the last day to drop courses with a WD notation, and other add/drop dates, visit Academic Dates and deadlines.

Before you apply

Review the application and FAQ's

Review the WE form, application process and WE FAQs. Before applying for a WE, consider consulting with your instructor to explore alternatives that would allow you to successfully complete the course. Explain in your letter what (if any) steps you have taken prior to applying for a WE. 

Seek advice and support

You may wish to seek advice from a Student Services Academic AdvisorStudent Advocacy Coordinator, or the Ombudsperson.

If you have been impacted by sexual violence, please connect with the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO). The SVSPO can provide assistance in various areas and support you in applying for a WE.

If you require other kinds of support but are not sure how to find them, connect with a Case Manager from the Office of Student Support, Rights and Responsibilities (OSSRR). The OSSRR can provide additional assistance and can support you in applying to WE.

Prepare your Documents

Gather the documentation related to your request for a withdrawal. If everything except the final exam has been completed for a course from which you are requesting a withdrawal, you must also include a note from the instructor attesting they were unable to defer your exam. Documentation should include grounds for a WE (see below) and these should be original dated documents, on letterhead where appropriate, not photocopies. 

Write a personal letter: Write a personal letter (no longer than two pages double-spaced, 12 point type) indicating why you are applying to withdraw. (See Writing an Effective Appeal Letter). If your withdrawal is selective (ie, not all courses in a term), include a detailed explanation of why some courses are included and not others.

Medical grounds: Download the Health Care Provider Statement form and have your doctor fill it out.  (Sample) Medical information presented on a prescription pad, pictures of prescription vials, hospital bracelets or of personal injuries are not accepted as appropriate medical supporting documents

Employment grounds: A signed and dated letter from your employer on letterhead, indicating the change in employment status which occurred after the course drop deadline date. (Sample)

Compassionate Grounds: Documents supporting travel for attending to family emergencies: death certificate (see Note), published obituary, funeral or burial notice, police report, fire report, victim impact statement, completed insurance forms, airline ticket, flight boarding pass (screenshot acceptable), a Health Care Provider Statement if applicable. (Sample)

Other Grounds: Documents attesting to and explaining the precise circumstances. (Sample)

Scan your documents

To scan documents, you can use printers/photocopiers at all SFU Library locations to scan to email, or use your phone camera/photo library, or scan documents with your phone or tablet.


All documents must be presented in English and/or translated into English by a professional from the Society of Translation and Interpreters of BC (STIBC) and must be stamped and certified. It is your responsibility to have them officially translated. You should keep all of your documents for your own records.

After you submit

Wait to hear from the WE office by email. Continue to attend classes and complete all course requirements (including mid-term and final exams) if applicable, as you wait for a decision.

The wait varies. Peak volume is immediately prior to the last day of classes at the end of a term, or during the exam period, when final grades are posted, or when the enrollment period is about to start.

When a decision has been made, you will be contacted by email and the decision will be recorded on your Academic Record on goSFU. Please check your SFU email account regularly. Due to the high volume of WE appeals submitted, it is difficut to say how long it will take to adjudicate a request.  For processing questions about WE appeals, contact the Office by email at