University of Toronto’s policy on religious accommodations makes every effort to accommodate students, staff and faculty who observe religious Holy Days.
Staff at the Multi-Faith Centre can help you navigate the process associated with religious accommodation requests. See Considerations & Exceptions below for student, staff and faculty responsibilities and the escalation protocol.
NOTE: Documentation from faith leaders is not required.
Relevant dates and accommodations
For future dates refer to interfaith-calendar.org.
- Accommodation for the Hajj pilgrimage
- Accommodation for scheduled term work or tests
- Accommodation for deferred exams
All undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff
Privacy & Policies
Considerations & Exceptions
Students must email instructors with a request in writing for religious accommodation, then immediately follow up in person with the instructor. Normally this should be a minimum of 3 weeks before the date in question.
Escalation path for students
- Remember to a) email your professor and b) follow up in person three weeks prior to requested date of accommodation. Proceed to step 2 if you are unable to reach your professor.
- Contact your registrar’s office. They may be able to explain accommodation policies and/or help you get in touch with the appropriate faculty/coordinator etc. If you have exhausted your options and are unable to receive an accommodation, move to step 3.
- Contact Office of the Vice-Provost. Explain your situation clearly along with your request for an accommodation.
Faculty and staff responsibilities
The University encourages members of the teaching staff to accommodate students who celebrate Holy Days other than those formally recognized by the University through regular scheduling or statutory holidays. This means that instructors are expected to make every effort to avoid scheduling tests, examinations or other compulsory activities at these times, or, if that is not possible, to give students the opportunity to make up work that they miss.
Scheduling of tests, exams, assignments and events should be especially aware of:
Jewish High Holidays
Orthodox Jewish students may have as many as 5 days of religious observances during September and early October due to the High Holidays each year.
Ramadan consists of 40 days of fasting for Muslims from dawn until sunset concluding with Eid-al-Fitr. For 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Ramadan will overlap with some days during the final exam schedule in April. With this in mind:
- Students may bring water in a transparent bottle and quiet, odourless, nut-free food in a transparent bag or container (wrappers on pre-packaged food products must be removed) into the exam room. This allows students who may need to break their fast, as well as students who may have medical conditions that necessitate food consumption at frequent intervals, access to food and water when they need it.
- Students may leave the exam room to observe prayer or meditation. This accommodation will be treated in the same manner as a bathroom break and does not necessitate extra exam time.