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Master's Regulations

Master's Regulations

Master's Regulations


Full-Time Graduate Student

A full-time graduate student must:
1. be designated by the University as a full-time graduate student;
2. be pursuing his or her studies full-time; and
3. normally, be geographically available and visit the campus regularly.

Without forfeiting full-time status, a graduate student, while still under supervision, may be absent from the university (e.g. visiting libraries, doing field work, attending a graduate course at another institution) provided that, if any such period of absence exceeds four weeks in any one term, written evidence shall be available in the Faculty of Graduate Studies to the effect that the absence has the approval of the supervisor and the Graduate Co-ordinator/Chair of the academic unit.

In accordance with the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies policy, the University recommends that a full-time graduate student will normally not be employed for more than an average of ten hours per week for any term. When the student is employed as a Graduate Assistant, the ten hours per week should represent the total time spent by the student in connection with this appointment. Requests for exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Part-Time Graduate Student

All active graduate students, other than full-time graduate students as defined above, are part-time graduate students. Graduate students registered part-time may not take more than one FCE during an academic year.


A student is not permitted to register as a graduate student until the application for admission has been approved. A graduate student proceeding to a degree is governed by the academic regulations and program requirements in the term of admission.

Before registering, students proceeding to a graduate degree must arrange their program with the assistance of the Graduate Co-ordinator of the program. Graduate students must complete all registration and withdrawal from courses by the published deadlines in the Academic Schedule of Dates. Late registration fees will apply after these dates. Any change in registration after the published deadlines must be formally requested on a "Request for Change in Registration" form.

The calendar year is divided into three terms: Fall Term (September-December); Winter Term (January-April) and Spring/Summer Term (May-August). Graduate students registering for the first time normally commence their program in the Fall Term. However, in some academic units students are permitted to commence their studies in January or May.

Registration is not complete until tuition and activity fees have been paid (or arrangements have been made to pay all fees) by the deadlines published in the University Fees, Fees Payment Information section of this Calendar. Default in fee payment may result in a student being de-registered. A student with amounts owing to the University will not be permitted to register in future sessions nor to receive a transcript or record of academic progress.


All graduate students must maintain continuous registration from initial registration until they have completed the requirements of their program. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are registered by the appropriate deadline for each term. Students who have failed to register by the deadline and have not applied for a Leave of Absence will be registered in a University placeholder course and will be assessed appropriate fees.

Students who have failed to register for two consecutive terms will be considered to have left the program and will be withdrawn. Students wanting to complete their program must apply for re-admission and pay the application fee.


Masters Programs

Students in a Master's program are expected to complete all requirements within six terms (2 years) of continuous full-time registration.

An exception to this Period of Study is the Flexible (Flex) Full-Time option, available to students in the Master of Education and Master of Public Health programs. Students in this option are expected to complete all requirements within twelve consecutive terms (four years) as follows:


- Six terms of continuous full-time registration
- Followed by up to six additional terms of continuous registration, during which no fees are required.

As the Flexible Full-time option is intended for working professionals, students admitted will not be considered for financial support from the University.

Under exceptional circumstances, a student may be allowed to complete a Master's program on a part-time basis with the following conditions:



A student is admitted to the program part-time with the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies, based on special circumstances, provided at the time of application.
- A part-time student may take no more than one full course equivalent per calendar year (12 months)

Part-time students are expected to complete all requirements within a minimum of fifteen terms (5 years) of continuous part-time registration.
Part-time students will not be considered for financial support from the University.

For co-op students, the duration of the co-op placement will be added to the above time limits.


A Leave of Absence from a graduate program may be requested for exceptional circumstances such as health problems, and external employment, and on compassionate grounds.

A Maternal/Parental Leave of Absence will be granted to students who are either biological or adoptive parents, while they are caring for a newborn or newly-adopted child of any age. These leaves will be considered up to a three term limit per pregnancy or adoption. There is no maximum number of Maternal/Parental leaves.

Requests for Leaves of Absence will be considered on an individual basis on the recommendation of the student's academic unit to the Leave/Extension Committee, which will in turn make a recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council. The decision to accept, vary, or reject a request lies solely at the discretion of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council, without right of appeal. 

When a request for a Leave of Absence is granted, a "stop-the-clock" policy will prevail with respect to payment of tuition fees, period of study, and other affected graduate degree requirements.

The request must demonstrate that the situation which has arisen is temporary and will be bridged by the Leave. The Supervisor and/or Graduate Coordinator MUST PROVIDE ADEQUATE DETAILS supporting the request. Requests will be returned to the academic unit if the information provided is insufficient.

A request for health reasons must be accompanied by a note from a licensed/registered health practitioner. A student returning from a health-related Leave of Absence must provide a note from a licensed/registered health practitioner, stating that the student is able to resume studies.

A request for a retroactive Leave will not normally be considered. The Leave of Absence Request must normally be submitted in or during the term PRIOR TO the Leave. Leaves of Absence are granted per term and therefore start and end at the beginning and end of a term.

A student is eligible for a maximum of three Leaves of Absence (four at the PhD level) in addition to an unlimited number of Maternal/Paternal leaves, provided that no single Maternal/Paternal Leave extends beyond three consecutive terms. If additional time away is required (more than the three-term limit), the student is advised to withdraw from the program and apply for re-admission at a time more suitable for completion.

While on a Leave of Absence the student WILL NOT have access to University faculty, laboratory or other facilities. Library access will be restricted to that of the general public.

After returning from a Leave of Absence, the student must be registered for at least the one term immediately following the Leave of Absence.

All personal information in requests for Leaves of Absence and in all related communications will be held in strict confidence and disclosed only to University faculty, staff and agents who need the information to carry out their duties, or as required by law.


A Time Extension in a graduate program will be granted for exceptional circumstances on a per term basis up to a three term limit.

First Term Time Extension
Recommendations for the first term beyond the allowed Period of Study originates with the Supervisor for approval by the academic unit. It is the responsibility of the academic unit to send notice, including reasons for this approval, to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Second Term and Final Term Time Extensions
Recommendations for the second term and for the final term beyond the allowed Period of Study will be forwarded by the academic unit to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council for consideration and final approval.

A graduate student who does not complete all requirements within one of the prescribed Periods of Study and does not receive an approved Time Extension is considered to have failed the program, unless the student applies for and is granted re-admission to the program.

A graduate student who does not successfully complete a graduate degree within the prescribed Period of Study must apply for re-admission to the program and pay the application fee. The academic regulations and program requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the academic program shall apply.


Waiver of fees during the period of an approved Time Extension will be granted for exceptional circumstances only, which will include such issues as unavailability of supervision, required courses or resources. Cases will be considered on an individual basis by the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council, normally on the recommendation of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled. At the time of request for a waiver, the Graduate Co-ordinator must present a plan to the Council outlining how and when the issues will be resolved.


The requirements of each graduate program are described in sections of the Calendar under the heading for the academic unit. Each student in a graduate program shall comply with any additional requirements of the academic unit in which the student is registered.

The course requirements for the degree will normally be at the fifth-year level. With the approval of the academic unit, a maximum of one full course equivalent at the fourth-year level may be accepted towards the Master's degree, provided the course has not been taken previously. Individual programs of study must be approved by the appropriate academic unit.

When a thesis is required, it will be on a subject approved by the appropriate academic unit upon the recommendation of the Supervisor following consultation with the student.

Each graduate student undertaking a thesis shall have the guidance of a Thesis Committee. The Committee is chaired by the Supervisor and consists of at least one other member of the academic unit. In addition, faculty from cognate academic units and other qualified persons from inside or outside the University may be appointed. An adjunct professor may be a Thesis Supervisor or a member of a thesis committee.

It is the responsibility of the Thesis Supervisor to ensure that a thesis involving human subjects and non-human vertebrates are approved, respectively, by the Senate Research Ethics Board, and the University Animal Care Committee, before a student's research begins. A copy of the approval notice must be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for inclusion in the student's file.

Any change to a student's program (e.g. from thesis to course degree, field of specialization, supervisor) must be formally requested on the "Graduate Request for Program Change" form and approved by the Graduate Coordinator and the Office of Graduate Studies before being submitted to the Office of the Registrar.


Course standings in the graduate programs will be reported as follows:














































Academic Dishonesty






(see University Regulations, V Standing)

To maintain registration as a graduate student, a student must achieve and maintain satisfactory academic standing at all times. A student whose academic performance does not meet the minimum standing will be required to withdraw from the program.


Graduate students must maintain at least a B overall average in their courses with no more than one full course equivalent graded C. A mark of less than 60% in a graduate course, or in an undergraduate course used towards a graduate degree, constitutes failure. A graduate student with "a passing mark" or "a mark of 50 to 59%" in an undergraduate or graduate course may repeat the course. No more than one full course equivalent may be repeated. If after exercising this avenue for improving course marks, a student is still unable to achieve the minimum B overall average, the graduate student will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Course marks below 50% are unacceptable in a graduate program. A graduate student with such a mark (half or full course) will not be permitted to continue in the program. Courses with a mark below 50% may not be repeated.


Graduate students enrolled in courses for credit must take all examinations in those courses.
A candidate may be required to take an oral examination during the Master's program.


Comprehensive examinations testing the student's knowledge in specified areas are required by some academic units.


Special examinations are not permitted for students registered in a graduate program.


The Master's thesis will be evaluated by at least two examiners, one of whom must be external to the academic unit/program. Upon receipt of each Examiner's Report a copy must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Internal Examiners are appointed following a procedure established by the academic unit/program. An oral defense of the thesis may be required as part of the internal examination.

The External Examiner is recommended by the student's Thesis Committee and approved by the academic unit. Following the approval of the External Examiner, a completed thesis is submitted by the Supervisor to the Graduate Coordinator. All correspondence with the External Examiner is conducted by the academic unit.

In evaluating the thesis, the Examiners will make one of the following assessments:
1. Thesis Accepted
2. Accepted Subject to Revisions
3. Appreciable Revisions Required
4. Thesis Rejected.

A thesis evaluated as 'Appreciable Revisions Required' must be revised and returned to the Examiner for re-evaluation, through the Graduate Coordinator of the academic unit. Upon receipt, a copy of the assessment of the revised thesis must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. If recommended by the Thesis Committee, a candidate receiving an evaluation of 'Thesis Rejected' will be allowed to resubmit the thesis to the Thesis Committee.

The final decision on accepting a thesis is made by the Thesis Committee after considering the reports of the Examiners. The student has failed the program if the thesis is rejected by the Thesis Committee following re-examination.


The final thesis in an electronic format must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  The thesis must be typed using a word processor such that if printed it would be on standard letter size paper (8.5 x 11"). A conventional font (11-point or 12-point) must be used. Line spacing must be double or 1.5.  All margins should be 2.54 cm (1 inch).

The electronic copy, in a locked pdf format, must contain a scanned version of the "Thesis Topsheet" signed by the Supervisor. The signature will signify that all comments made by Examiners have been considered by the author of the thesis and specified corrections have been made. A hard copy of the Thesis Top Sheet must also be submitted.  In addition, the academic unit/program must submit the "Departmental Recommendation" of the thesis and the form indicating that the thesis is "Ready for Final Submission". The student must sign and submit the "License to the University" and the National Library of Canada form.

Each student must have completed an Intent to Graduate form and submit it to the Office of Enrolment Services- Academic Advising Records and Registration.