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Student Declaration of Absence

The Faculty of Computer Science is piloting a new program where doctor's notes is replaced by a student self-declaration of absence. This policy should take effect across campus later this year, but is in effect only in CSCI, INFX, HINF, and ECOM.

Here is the digest of the policy:

  1. If you miss an event (midterm, assignment) for a condition lasting no longer than 3 days, you must inform your instructor of your absence on the day of the test/assignment deadline. You then have 3 days to file the self-declaration (attached).
  2. An instructor may require that you file your self-declaration on Brightspace, or by email. Actual paper with your personal information is to be avoided.
  3. Actual doctor's notes are still required:
    1. If you self-declare more than 2 times in one term.
    2. If you are absent for more than 3 days. 
    3. Disabilities and chronic conditions must be accommodated using the services of student accommodation.
    4. Final tests, final presentations and term projects cannot be accommodated by self-declarations
  4. Fraudulent use of self-declaration of absence constitute an academic offence.
  5. Otherwise, rules on acceptable accommodation are unchanged. 

Student health services aim to refocus their services away from writing notes to providing timely healthcare. Here are some key points to know about STUDENT HEALTH & WELLNESS 

  • Every Dalhousie student and immediate family members have access to same day primary health care on campus including mental health support.
  • An interdisciplinary team provides same day appointments 7 days per week
  • Students and direct family members can access health and wellness support by:
    • calling 902-494-2171;
    • using the DALSafe App;
    • searching “health services” on Dal’s website
  • Appointments are available 8:00 am - 7:30 pm weekdays and 11:00 - 6:00 weekends through Student Health Services. Same day appointments as well as appointments for later dates are available.
  • Students will be seen by a primary health care provider and referred to additional support.
  • Immediate family members include students’ spouses and/or children. International students must have the family DSU health plan to have their immediate family members access Student Health Services.
  • Counselling and Psychological Services staff can also be reached at 902 494 2081 Monday – Saturday.  Limited same day appointments are available.
  • Dalhousie’s interdisciplinary Student Health and Wellness team includes: registered nurses, advance practice nurse, doctors, social worker, psychologists, a psychiatrist, a health promotion team as well as the Dalplex and athletic facilities team.

Comments/feedback on the pilot project should be sent to Emily Huner ( Emily.Huner@Dal.Ca). 

We sincerely hope that you'll never need to be absent because of illness or distress, However, life happens and that's why the policy is there for you.

Read the full Student Declaration of Absence form.