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Advice for students on academic suspension

Some students struggle academically at the University of Toronto, there are many reasons for this.  No student welcomes an academic suspension, but there are a number of positive things you can do to make good use of your time away from the Faculty of Arts & Science and improve your likelihood for academic success in the future.

If you are an international student facing suspension, visit the Centre for International Experience to discuss  UHIP and immigration implications.

All suspended students are encouraged to discuss their situation and review options with an academic advisor at your College Registrar’s Office.

I’m on academic suspension – what do I do?

Here are some options to consider:

Take a break

For many suspended students, taking a break from their current routine and setting may be the best path to success, even if it involves an unexpected detour. 

  • Working while on suspension may be a good option for some students to gain experience and perspective while away from studies. This option also has the advantage of allowing you to save money for future studies.  Working now might allow you to reduce your work schedule once you return to your studies, especially if you have to work while in school and you know that balancing school and work has been a challenge for you.
  • If your academic performance has suffered due to personal or family illness or personal or family issues needing your attention, then you should use this time while out on suspension to heal, recuperate, and/or attend to family concerns. 
  • Take stock of your academic strengths and weaknesses and your future goals. Is your current major right for you? Do you have a major yet?  If you can honestly assess your academic strengths and weaknesses and choose a program of study that allows you to excel rather than struggle academically,  you will find yourself a much happier and more successful student.

Study somewhere else

You may decide to take a course or two at another post-secondary institution to achieve some success and/or explore a new area of study.  If you are suspended from the Faculty of Arts & Science, you will not be eligible to earn transfer credits from another institution during the suspension period; however, you may wish to enrol in a course at a college or continuing education program that will help improve your academic skill level before you return to university studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Petition for reinstatement

The purpose of this kind of petition is to allow you to explain extenuating circumstances or to provide additional information that may not have been available at the time that the decision to suspend was made.  You may be able to demonstrate that some circumstance has changed – perhaps a health situation, work situation, family situation, or even a change of focus or field of study.  It is important that you remember, however, that an appeal is meant as an exception and to demonstrate extraordinary circumstances.  It is not meant as an avenue simply because you are unhappy with the decision of the Faculty.  An appeal may not be in your best interest !