Undergraduate - Exceptional considerations for final exams and grades at the Faculty of Social Sciences -Winter 2020 term only

Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2020

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, many of you are wondering how your assignments and exams will be assessed at the end of the term. Many of you are also concerned about the impact of the current situation on your ability to write your exams and submit remaining assignments at your usual standard. The Faculty of Social Sciences is aware of this and has therefore decided to adopt a series of very exceptional measures, in the context a broader social and public health environment that is equally exceptional. These measures are intended to reduce the pressure and tensions that are burdening all of us at the moment, while ensuring that you can complete your courses and obtain your diploma.

These measures were discussed and approved by the entire FSS management team, which includes the Dean, the Vice-deans and the Directors of each department. Rest assured that we all desire to support you through the difficult times that we are currently living through.


  1. Professors who teach courses with a written assignment (example, essay) with a submission date before the end of the session and before the exam period are strongly encouraged to accept late work without penalty for at least 7 days after the scheduled submission date.

  2. Students will not be penalized for failing to complete a final exam scheduled in the official exam period. As described in the University Ottawa’s academic regulation 9.2, a final exam includes classroom exams, home exams, essays, end-of-term assignments, etc. and is handed over during the official exam period. These final exams are described in the course outline.
  3. It is therefore up to each student to decide which final exams they will complete. Students do not have to inform their professors of their choice. At the end of the semester, FSS professors have been asked to submit the best of the following two final grades, for each student: 1) the final grade which includes all the assessments (re-weighted to 100%) other than the final exam, OR 2) the final grade which includes all assessments, including the final exam.
  4. The Faculty will offer to each student, after having received the final alphanumeric mark, the possibility of choosing between this final mark and a final mark of Satisfactory / Non Satisfactory (S/NS), and this for one or more of their courses. Please note that a S/NS score has no impact on your cumulative average for the previous session, either upward or downward. Converting to S-NS can, in some cases, adversely impact your eligibility to graduate, to obtain or continue to receive scholarships, as well as admission to professional faculties and graduate studies. So, when making this decision, we strongly suggest that you carefully weigh the pros and cons. For any questions, please contact SocialSciences@uOttawa.ca or 613-562-5709. During the first week of April, the FSS will contact you to explain how to request an S / NS score.
  5. No student will be able to receive a deferral for the April 2020 exam session. If the student does not take the final exam, the mark for the course will be calculated on the basis of the work submitted before the end of the session, and the student will then have the option of converting this grade to Satisfactory / Non Satisfactory, as stipulated in point 4.
  6. Measures 2 and 3 do not apply to internships, honours thesis courses, directed research courses, and directed reading courses.

For any questions about these measures, please contact SocialSciences@uOttawa.ca or 613-562-5709.

Victoria Barham
Faculty of Social Sciences

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