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Short-term absence form

We recognize you may experience unexpected physical or psychological health concerns that affect your ability to attend class or submit coursework on time. The short-term absence form lets you submit your request for short-term medical accommodation without documentation like a medical note. 

The accommodation is designed for temporary situations that involve a brief period of absence within the following parameters:

  • your temporary situation is likely to last two consecutive days or fewer;
  • you are not using the form to cover a period of time in the past;
  • your absence cannot fall in the exam period;
  • your absence won't result in you missing coursework worth 30 per cent or more of your final grade in the course.

In other words, you can only use the short-term absence form for periods during which the coursework (including exams) you will be missing is worth less than 30 per cent.

Once you submit the form, we will automatically let your professors know you will be absent. If your absence will take place within the next working day, please also email your professor directly as soon as possible, once you submit the form. 

It is your responsibility to contact your professor within two consecutive days of your return to clarify how you should fulfill any outstanding academic responsibilities. 

Keep in mind the short-term absence form covers the classes or coursework you missed during your absence, but it does not constitute a request for future academic accommodation.

You can make the request if you are a graduate or undergraduate student in an academic program or you are taking courses as an independent student. If you are a continuing education student, please contact your professor directly.

Use the form if you are experiencing a health-related issue that means you cannot meet required academic course requirements for up to two days of class. Issues may include things like:

  • an acute illness such as flu or bad cold 
  • situational depression or anxiety
  • a significant distressing event (such as the death of a close family member or friend)  
  • sustaining an injury

Anything beyond a short-term physical or psychological health concern falls outside an acceptable request for short-term absence. Examples of ineligible situations:

  • a personal or family event (e.g. vacation, wedding) 
  • transportation problems
  • technological difficulties
  • other competing commitments 
  • any other planned absence or choice to miss class

Do not use the form if: 

  • Your absence would fall during the final exam period (for all students) or during a comprehensive exam, or thesis or dissertation oral presentation (for grad students)
  • Your absence would be longer than two days
  • You would be missing coursework worth 30 per cent or more of your final grade in the course 
  • If your request would exceed the maximum allowable number
  • If you’re completing fieldwork (including work-integrated learning for credit), a Co-op work term or another internship
  • You are no longer experiencing unexpected physical or psychological health concerns

Does the medical or compassionate circumstance genuinely affect your ability to complete your academic work? Do you expect the situation to be short-term (i.e. two days or fewer)? How difficult will it be to make up the missed work?

Twice over the fall/winter terms (September through April) and once in the summer (May through August), excluding the exam period. 

Example: if you request a short-term absence in the fall term, you may make a second request in the winter term. Conversely, if you make two requests in the fall term, you won’t be able to make another in the winter term.

Please note you cannot carry over an unused short-term absence request from a previous term.

You will receive an acknowledgment by email. At the same time, we will notify your professors. 

A two-day absence would start at midnight (12 a.m.) on the first day and end at 11:59 p.m. on the second day or when you are no longer experiencing unexpected physical or psychological health concerns, whichever comes first.

If you are registered with the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities and you already have accommodations that are directly related to reason for your absence request, please speak with your ACSD advisor.

If you do not have an accommodation plan, contact the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities to explore services what may be available to you.

If you have flu-like symptomsgastroenteritis symptoms or COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and contact the bilingual Quebec helpline: 1-877-644-4545 for a free and confidential consultation. A public health nurse will refer you to appropriate clinical services, as needed. Please also refer to Concordia’s protocols for a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

If you would like to make a confidential appointment to speak with a mental health professional, please refer to Concordia’s health and wellness page.

If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, please contact the Sexual Assault Resource Centre for support.

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Frequently asked questions

Once you submit the short-term absence request, it is final and cannot be cancelled or reversed and it counts as one of your allowable submissions. Please contact your professor directly if you need to clarify anything surrounding your request. 

No. The form allows you to request short-term medical accommodation related to unexpected physical or psychological health concerns occurring now.

Your course outline should contain the information you need to determine the weight of assignments, projects, and quizzes. If you are unsure, speak with your course professor.

The short-term absence request covers all the work you will be missing during your short-term absence, provided you won‘t be missing coursework worth 30 per cent or more per course.

Do not submit the short-term absence request form. Instead, get in touch with your course professor or graduate supervisor directly.

Do not submit the short-term absence form. Instead, get in touch with the Exams Office. Please note that midterm exams are administered by the faculty so if your unexpected absence happens during midterms (and that midterm is worth 30 per cent or more of your final grade), please reach out to your professor or department.

Speak with your course professors on how to make up missed hours and follow any course policies related to missing work in outside agencies.

Follow the process for missed course material in your course outline and speak to your professor.


Please contact your professor directly to let them know. 

No. The short-term absence form replaces the need for a medical note.

Granting accommodation is at the discretion of the instructor, since they are best positioned to explore options. Given the short-term nature of the circumstances, instructors are encouraged to offer flexibility whenever possible. Provided the short-term absence meets all the eligibility criteria, a medical note is not required.

The university is committed to responding to students with extenuating short-term circumstances in a fair and consistent manner. However, an academic consideration may be individualized due to the nature of each student, specific circumstances and differing program requirements. Professors have discretion in responding to requests for academic accommodation when there is an extenuating circumstance.

You must contact your professor within two consecutive days following the end of your absence unless the course outline states otherwise to discuss any available options for missed class work or assignments. 

Submitting the short-term absence form does not mean an automatic exemption from any academic requirements. How you'll make up any missed coursework is at the professor’s discretion. 

Your professor will consider the course requirements alongside your Faculty’s or academic policies in determining a reasonable academic consideration. Considerations may include an excused absence, an extended or deferred deadline, a modified schedule for assignments, labs, placements, projects or comprehensive exams, a deferred exam or project, an alternative assignment, or a re-weighting of marks.

If you end up needing to be absent for more than two days of class, rather than requesting another short-term absence, please contact your professor to discuss how you can make up for additional absences and missed coursework.

Professors may extend accommodations at their discretion, and do not require medical documentation to grant the extension. You may need to submit a medical note for conditions that last longer than two consecutive days.

In cases where you anticipate needing an additional day or two beyond two consecutive days and are comfortable sharing your circumstances, please speak with your course professor. It isn’t uncommon for an acute illness or illness to last longer than two consecutive days and professors have discretion to consider the circumstances and extend academic considerations for brief absences beyond two consecutive days when feasible. If you anticipate you will need consideration for a longer period of time or if your professor does not extend the brief absence, you will need to speak with your academic advisor or graduate program coordinator to explore options.

Acute illnesses may take a few days to resolve and students who are acutely ill should remain at home and rest to avoid spreading illness to their peers and others. Concordia Health Services does not provide documentation for brief, acute self-limiting illnesses. 

Please get in touch with your instructor to discuss your situation.

If you do not have an accommodation plan, contact the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities to explore services what may be available to you.

Please get in touch with your academic advisor or graduate supervisor to discuss options and resources for support. 

Technical issues

You may have reached the allowable limit for submitting this form. If this is not the case or for other technical issues, please contact Concordia’s Instructional & Information Technology Services (IITS) at or call 514-848-2424, ext. 7613.

If you submitted a short-term medical accommodation instead of a medical absence from, consult an academic advisor as soon as possible and explain your situation.

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