Accommodation Requests

You’re in the right place to learn how to request, or activate, your academic accommodations. After you’ve registered with Student Accessibility Services, you must activate your accommodations at the beginning of each term to avoid delays. For example, you need to complete the registration process and activate your accommodation request at least 10 working business days (Monday to Friday) before the final exam period.

Need support? Contact us

Are you registered with SAS?

You must register before you can request accommodations.


How to request or activate accommodations

The process for requesting accommodations depends on your student status: undergraduate student, continuing education student, graduate/Medicine student or Mohawk-McMaster student. Keep reading to find out what you need to do to activate your accommodations.

You can request to activate your accommodations on the Student Portal.

Submitting the request

  1. On the Student Portal, select “Activate Accommodations.”
  2. Sign in with your McMaster ID (MacID) and password.
  3. The next page will show a list of all your courses. Select “Request” beside the first course on the list.
  4. The next page will show a list of all your accommodations. There will also be another list of your courses with checkboxes. Select all of the course checkboxes to ensure you receive accommodations for all your courses.
  5. Check the box near the bottom to agree to the terms.
  6. Select “Submit.”

Note: If your accommodations aren’t correct or you require changes, cancel the request and book an appointment with your SAS program coordinator.

After submitting the request

Your SAS program coordinator will receive an automated email after you submit your request to activate accommodations. Then, they’ll choose one of the following options.

  • They’ll contact you to arrange an appointment before moving forward.
  • Or, they’ll update your SAS record to include your accommodation(s) for each course. This will notify each course instructor.

After your instructor reviews your accommodations, you’ll receive an email requesting you to communicate with your instructor(s).

  • You and your instructor will work together to discuss implementing your accommodations. This applies to each course you requested accommodations for.
  • If your instructor(s) don’t respond within a reasonable amount of time (i.e., two weeks within activating your accommodations), then you can contact us.

Note: We recommend that you meet with your instructor(s) in person to discuss your accommodation plans.

The graduate accommodation request process is different from the undergraduate process.

Note: If you received accommodations while completing your undergraduate degree at McMaster, you still need to register for accommodations as a graduate student. Refer to the Registration and Appointments page for more information on this process.

Meet with your SAS program coordinator

  1. Request an appointment with your program coordinator on the Student Portal. If you previously registered with Student Accessibility Services as an undergraduate student, then you may need to provide updated medical information.
  2. Work with your program coordinator to determine academic accommodations for your graduate program of study.
  3. After your program coordinator reviews your accommodations, they’ll communicate with the appropriate Faculty administrators in the School of Graduate Studies.
  4. If and when your accommodations are approved, your academic department will share your accommodation needs with all the instructors and other relevant individuals in your academic environment.
  5. Follow up with the appropriate people based on the accommodations.
    • For course accommodations, you can follow up with each course instructor individually to ensure they’ve received your accommodation information and discuss the implementation.
    • For all other program requirements (i.e., research, thesis defence, comprehensive exams), follow up with your SAS program coordinator to discuss accommodations for your degree components.

Your respective site services will guide and review the accommodation process for you.

For retroactive accommodation requests, we follow the guidelines and principles in the Ontario Human Rights Commission and McMaster Academic Accommodation Policy of Students. You may be eligible for retroactive accommodations if any of these scenarios caused you to fail to meet class, course or program requirements.

  • You experienced a disruption in your functioning but couldn’t follow the university’s accommodations process.
  • You had a need for accommodations without prior warning.
  • You experienced disability-related symptoms for the first time and didn’t receive accommodations.
  • You received accommodations, but they weren’t enough to meet your needs based on the circumstances.

Retroactive accommodations may be for permanent or temporary disabilities. You can submit a retroactive accommodation request by registering with Student Accessibility Services and consulting your program coordinator.

Then, we’ll determine if you’re eligible for a retroactive accommodation. We’ll make a recommendation to the Faculty, who is then responsible to communicate and implement the outcome of the approved accommodations.

Note: If you’ve completed your graduation or degree and need retroactive accommodations, you should contact the Equity and Inclusion Office to submit a request.

Test and exam accommodations

We can help you access test and exam accommodations to meet your program’s assessment requirements. Keep reading to learn more about the process.

  1. You must activate your accommodations at least 10 business days (Monday to Friday) before your test date. For final exams, accommodations must be activated at least 10 business days in advance.
  2. After you activate your accommodations, we’ll work with your instructors to facilitate the accommodations for your test. No further action is required on your behalf.
  3. We’ll send you a confirmation email with your test booking details and a reminder text message three business days prior to the write date. You can also view your test schedule in the SAS Student Portal under “My Appointments.”
  4. Please note that you will not receive a confirmation email or reminder text message for final exams. You can view your exam schedule in Mosaic, under “My Exam Schedule.”

Changes in accommodation: If you need to make changes to your academic accommodations for tests and exams, please book a follow-up appointment with your SAS program coordinator using the SAS Student Portal.

Cancellation and no-show policy: If you need to cancel your scheduled test, please contact at least 48 hours in advance. Failure to provide 48 hours notice may result in a fee of $30 for appointments and $50 for tests/exams. View the full no-show policy and other procedures.

The Tim Nolan Testing Centre at SAS is available to help you access test and exam academic accommodations to meet your program’s assessment requirements. In-person test accommodations occur in the McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) basement, room B101. Refer to the campus map for directions.

McMaster program exams

  • Some McMaster programs require you to complete an exam for admission purposes (i.e., School of Social Work).
  • You should contact the McMaster program first if you need accommodations for an entry exam.
  • Contact your Student Accessibility Services program coordinator if you require accommodation assistance.

McMaster program exams (external)

  • Some McMaster programs require you to complete an external exam for admission purposes (i.e., graduate studies, medical school).
  • Contact the organization administering the exam if you need accommodations for this type of exam (i.e., GRE, MCAT, GMAT).
  • Student Accessibility Services may be able to administer an exam on behalf of a student. Contact if you have questions.

Accreditation exams (external)

  • Some McMaster programs require an external exam for accreditation after you complete the program (i.e., nursing, accounting, medicine).
  • Contact the organization administering the exam if you need accommodations for this type of exam.
  • Contact your Student Accessibility Services program coordinator or if you need any information on documentation, accommodations or other details to support your request.

In Student Accessibility Services, we follow multiple policies and procedures to ensure we can deliver effective support services for you and your peers. Review the test and exam policies on washroom breaks, missed tests and exams, snow day closures and more.