If you are a student who is on academic probation, you will have received an email and a letter from the Office of the Faculty Registrar. Follow these steps to help you get back on track to academic success. Try to take the attitude that this experience can teach you a lot about yourself, your strengths and areas of development.
When in doubt - your best strategy is to ask for help!
Know what being on Academic Probation means
Read the letter you received from the Faculty again, and look at the graphic representation of the probationary process in the Calendar. Do you fully understand the process and consequences of being on probation? If not, make sure to take your questions to the Registrar or Academic Advisor for clarification
Read the complete information on the Faculty of Arts & Science Academic Calendar regarding the rules and implications of probation
- Learn more about how to avoid an academic offence from the Office of Student Academic Integrity.
Academic Support at U of T
- Book an appointment with an academic advisor through your college Registrar's Office
- Improve with your academic writing through the Writing Centres
- Improve your skills with U of T's free academic resources, including aid centres for Math, Economics, and Statistics
- Improve your academic English for English language learners
- Get help with your research skills through the libraries
- If necessary, register with Accessibility Services for disability-related academic accommodations
Meeting with an Academic Advisor
- Before your appointment, reflect on your last term – what were the difficulties you experienced, and what might help you resolve them? What strengths can you draw upon in this process?
- During your appointment, make a plan with your advisor on how to move forward, including a way of staying accountable to your plan. How often will you be able to follow up with them to stay on track? Take the initiative to make this request.
- During your appointment, make a decision about the coming term – is it wise to take courses? Can you realistically bring your grades up? Remember, if your grades don't meet certain thresholds (see the graphic representation for details), you may be placed on academic suspension.
- You may want to consider reducing your course load. If you are on probation, you cannot take more than 5.0 credits in the fall-winter or more than five courses in one term but taking fewer may be to your advantage,
- If you are considering reducing your course load, ensure that you first consult with an advisor within your college Registrar’s Office who can confirm how this may affect your student loans.
Additional University of Toronto Supports & Services
- Practice self-care. Take time out to be kind to yourself and celebrate the small successes – even in difficult times there can be lots to feel proud of and celebrate. When you get stuck, don’t forget the first task – ask for help!
- If necessary, book an intake appointment at the Health & Wellness Centre for personal and psychological support, and check out their helpful workshops & events
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 of 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.
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!