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Missed Academic Work

The University understands that there may be instances where students need to miss an academic deadline or assessment. For these situations, we have a Policy on Requests for the Relief for Missed Academic Term Work that describes how students can request a McMaster Student Absence Form, or MSAF for short.

About the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

There are 2 types of MSAFs:

  • MSAF (Self-Report) – Students can self-report absences that result in missed academic work that is valued for less than 25% of their final grade online in Mosaic via the Student Center. Absences can be self-reported for up to 3 days.
  • MSAF (Administrative Report) – Faculty/Program Office staff may record approved longer-term absences for students that result in missed academic work, or absences that result in a greater value of missed course work (worth 25% or more of a student’s final grade for a course). Contact your Faculty or Program Office for more information.

We know that the semesters get busy and there are often competing deadlines, but the MSAF is not a time management tool. It should be used when you must miss any course work due to illness, dealing with an emergency, or situations where you are otherwise unable to complete your course work.

Expandable List

  • Use an MSAF (Self-Report) if you’re ill or have an emergency that prevents you from completing course work valued at less than 25% of your final grade.
  • Submit an MSAF to self-report your absence as soon as possible.
  • For self-reported absences, email your instructor within 24 hours of the end of your absence, or as soon as possible. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.
  • Follow-up with your Faculty or Program Office if your absence is more serious and you need to extend it beyond three days.
  • Contact your Faculty or Program Office if you miss academic course work valued higher than 25% of your final grade.
  • The MSAF (Self-Report) can be used up to one time each semester.

An MSAF cannot be used:

Can I submit an MSAF for an assignment or course work that I have already received an extension for or has been moved to a new date?

No, students can apply only one request for relief (Self-Report or Administrative Report) to a single piece of work.

How many MSAFs can I use in a semester?

Students can self-report their absence using an MSAF once per term, such that they follow the guidelines outlined in the policy. For absences longer than three days, missed work valued at 25% or more of the final grade, or additional needs for relief due to unforeseen circumstances, students may contact their Faculty or Program Office to discuss their options, which may include an MSAF (Administrative Report).

How do I self-report my absence using an MSAF?

Log-in to Mosaic using your MacID and password. Click on “Student Center”. Under “Academics”, you’ll find a drop down menu filled with “other academic…”. Click on the menu and you’ll find “MSAF” as one of the options. Once you select “MSAF”, click on the circle button to submit.