COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH
HANDBOOK FOR GRADUATE CHAIRS
As you know, the first point of contact for graduate students
is their department, and the person within the department is
often the Graduate Chair. Your role is vitally important, for
graduate students look to you to guide them through their
programs. You are the face of graduate studies.
This handbook is one of the ways in which the College of
Graduate Studies and Research can support you in your
role. It contains relevant sections from the Policy and
Procedure Manual and is meant to be a handy reference.
Doubtless, it will not contain all the information you may
need, so we ask that you use this guide in conjunction with
the Policy and Procedure Manual. Both documents are
available online at www.usask.ca/cgsr. Please go online for
the most recent versions of both. We will advise you of
updates through the CGSR Newsletter.
Of course, the staff and Deans of CGSR are always there to
offer advice and clarify points when extenuating
circumstances arise. Please consider too becoming
involved in the CGSR committees; these are excellent ways
to become more knowledgeable about programs and issues.
Thank you for taking on the important role of Graduate
Chair, and please make use of resources provided by
CGSR, when needed. We ask that you share this handbook
with the Graduate Secretary, and let that person know of its
availability on the CGSR website.
(Acting) Associate Dean
THE ROLE OF THE GRADUATE CHAIR
(from the CGSR Policy and Procedure Manual)
The position of Graduate Chair is a critical one in ensuring the success of the graduate program
and of individual students.
The nature of the responsibilities of Graduate Chairs differs between academic units. Each
Graduate Chair has a formal role and responsibilities relating to the CGSR Graduate Council,
including the College’s Executive, Awards, Nominations, Master’s and Ph.D. Committees.
The Graduate Chair normally carries out the following:
1. Recruitment/Selection/Admission of Graduate Students
Information - Responds to queries regarding graduate programs in the academic unit;
prepares, assembles and updates appropriate informational material; coordinates
graduate recruitment activities.
Internal Consultation - Presides over the academic unit Graduate Affairs Committee and
carries through with the outcomes of its discussions and decisions.
Admissions - Receives all documents needed to consider student applications for
admission, consults with appropriate staff (usually involving the Graduate Affairs
Committee), forwards a recommendation for admission to CGSR Admissions when the
unit has so decided, and informs the applicant about the outcome of the application.
When the unit has decided negatively, documentation must be kept on file in the unit for
one year, but is not forwarded to CGSR; the decision may be appealed to the Admissions
and Recruitment Committee, effective September, 2007.
When the unit has decided positively, the unit notifies the applicant that he or she will be
recommended for admission. A copy of the letter is sent to CGSR Admissions. This
notification must clearly state that the unit's recommendation has been forwarded and
that the actual admission is made by the CGSR.
Consults with the Manager of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment in all matters
regarding student admissions and credentials.
2. Administration of Graduate Program
Ensures appropriate records for each graduate student in the unit are kept.
Ensures an Advisory Committee is named in a timely way for each graduate student,
Ensures graduate course offerings, supervisory resources, and other facilities are
adequate to meet the needs of graduate programs, and submits a Program of Studies for
each student on GSIS, generally not later than the end of the first year of study.
Ensures information on student programs and progress is kept up-to-date.
Ensures Advisory Committees meet at least annually with the student, with minutes kept,
and Progress Reports entered on GSIS.
Takes appropriate action when there is reason to believe students are not making
satisfactory progress in their program.
Schedules Qualifying and Comprehensive examinations (for Ph.D. candidates) and
serves as Chair of examinations or names a designate to chair the examination.
Ensures the student has met all program requirements before the defence is scheduled.
In the case of Doctoral theses, the Graduate Chair submits the names of potential
External Examiners to CGSR for approval. In Flex II departments, the Graduate Chair
approves the External Examiner for Master’s thesis defences. In non-Flex II departments,
the Graduate Chair submits the name of the External Examiner to CGSR. In all cases,
the Graduate Chair ensures that the defence is scheduled in accordance with CGSR
policies – a minimum of three weeks’ notice for Master’s defences and four weeks’ notice
for doctoral defences. He or She ensures all convocation forms are submitted in a timely
way to CGSR.
Is responsible for regular review of graduate course offerings; facilitates graduate
Ensures CGSR policies, regulations, procedures, and deadlines are known by graduate
students, faculty members, and staff.
Coordinates and deals with correspondence to and from the CGSR; advises the CGSR of
any particular problems or concerns.
Advises the CGSR Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs in matters
regarding goals and objectives pertaining to the delivery of graduate programs.
Coordinates development of new graduate courses and programs; arranges for the
revision of courses and programs as appropriate; oversees the deletion procedures for
graduate courses and programs; works collaboratively with the CGSR in the
implementation of Calendar revisions; prepares necessary documentation for Special
Case graduate admissions.
Graduate Chairs in academic units belonging to the Devolved Scholarship System will
follow their own academic unit scholarship action plan, approved by the CGSR, as to how
they are to administer their university graduate scholarship funds from the CGSR.
Graduate Chairs in non-devolved academic units, in consultation with the Graduate
Affairs Committee, coordinate the submission of nominations and rankings for University
Graduate Scholarships to the CGSR Awards Committee.
Coordinates submission of graduate student scholarship and fellowship applications to
external funding agencies and for all other external awards, providing information,
material and advice as appropriate.
Administers Graduate Teaching Fellowships in collaboration with the CGSR and the
As much as possible coordinates and provides information to students and to the CGSR
on all available sources of funding; works to enhance funding sources.
Ensures graduate students who receive teaching/service assignments are properly
supervised and they and their supervisors are fully informed in advance about the nature
of the assignments and CGSR/University policies and regulations which govern them;
facilitates the offering of instructional development training to graduate students.
Works collaboratively with the CGSR Director of Graduate Awards and Scholarships.
4. General Duties
Facilitates and authorizes on behalf of the unit, student registration in courses and any
changes in registration which conform to the student's Program of Studies.
Informs students regarding the policies, requirements and regulations of the CGSR and
of the unit.
Ensures students receive ongoing research supervision, meet regularly with their
supervisors, and the quality of supervision is adequate; investigates when there is reason
to believe relations between students and supervisors are not satisfactory.
Counsels individual graduate students and engages in discussions with student
organizations as appropriate; ensures necessary resources, facilities and support are
available to graduate students.
Ensures academic unit policies and university policies in areas such as safety, academic
integrity, sexual harassment, intellectual property, etc., are known by students and
faculty; mediates as necessary when students, instructors, supervisors or Advisory
Committee members come into dispute and, if necessary, reports such occurrences to
the CGSR Associate Dean; follows through when any such matters become the subject
of formal investigations or hearings.
CGSR Website Map www.usask.ca/cgsr
o Why Choose UofS
o Graduate Programs
o How to Apply
Step by Step
o Admission Requirements
Minimum Admission Requirements
o Tuition and Expenses
o Guide for Potential Graduate Students
o Electronic Thesis & Dissertations
U of S Registration Information
Registration in Two Colleges
U of S Course Calendar
o Student Responsibility
Roles and Responsibilities
o Program Information
o Interdisciplinary Studies
o Helpful Links
Special Case Admissions
o Course and Program Proposals
o Flexibility II
o Chairs and Administrator List
o Graduate Student Information System
o Special Topics Database
o Document Alert Database
o Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies
o Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement
POLICY and PROCEDURES MANUAL
o Index: PnP Manual
o Registration and Fees
o Programs, Exams & Convocation
o New Course/Program Proposals
o CGSR Awards
o External Awards
o Awards Database
Please see the CGSR website for admission requirements and procedures. The Admissions and
Recruitment Committee has been established by Graduate Council to address admissions and
recruitment issues, including admission appeals.
Assistance with GPA calculation and grade conversion can be found on the website as follows:
Administration > Flexibility II > Admissions > Admissions and Grade Calculation
>Grade Conversion Spreadsheet (Excel)
Revisions to the Policies and Procedures Manual on Admissions
3.2.1. Academic Unit Responsibility
Applications are made first to the academic unit in which the student proposes to study.
Applications sent directly to the CGSR will be forwarded to the appropriate academic unit.
It is the responsibility of the academic unit to compile the complete file, to review the application,
to judge the suitability/capability of the applicant, to recommend the acceptance of those
applicants they wish to have admitted. It is the responsibility of each unit with authority over
admission decisions to ensure that the criteria for admission, application procedure and the
process for evaluation of applicants are consistent with the University Policy entitled
Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and are stated clearly in the University of
Saskatchewan Calendar. When the criteria for admission include multiple elements, the weights
assigned to these elements shall be specified. If a unit uses media other than the Calendar to
advertise programs, such as brochures or web pages, either the media shall contain this
information or the material shall refer the student to the admissions policy in the University of
Saskatchewan Calendar. The academic units need to provide their account information so that
the Application for Admission fee can be deposited in the correct academic unit account by
CGSR. This should be done as soon as all documents are received.
Academic units are encouraged to contact the Manager of Graduate Admissions and
Recruitment, should they have any questions regarding equivalence of transcripts or other
matters related to the admission application. Academic units will recommend admission only for
students they believe are likely to succeed in the program and for whom they have necessary
resources (including supervisory personnel, facilities and financial support, where appropriate).
Any submission of fraudulent or plagiarized documents must be reported to the Manager of
Graduate Admissions and Recruitment.
Applicants rejected by the academic unit are notified by the unit. University Council policy
guarantees an appeal in such instances. Grounds for an appeal from an admission decision shall
be limited to (1) unit procedural errors, or (2) evidence that the information used in the decision
was wrong or incomplete. A failure by the candidate to provide accurate and complete information
in accordance with the admission policy shall not be grounds for an appeal. Admissions appeals
go to the Admissions and Recruitment Committee, which decision is final.
Academic units should keep the files of rejected applicants for one year.
Applicants accepted by the academic unit should be informed that their application has been
forwarded to the CGSR and that the student has been recommended for admission. Academic
units must ensure, however, that prospective students understand this is not an official offer of
3.3.1 Positive Decisions by the CGSR
As soon as a positive decision is made, the Manager of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
sends a letter of admission to the student, with a copy to the academic unit, indicating conditions,
if any, for admission. The offer of admission is valid for a limited period of time, as specified by
3.3.5 Negative Decisions by the CGSR
Negative decisions will, in the first instance, be reported to the recommending academic unit.
After consultation, the academic unit may file an appeal on the student's behalf against the
CGSR's negative decision. Grounds for an appeal from an admission decision shall be limited to
(1) unit or College procedural errors, or (2) evidence that the information used in the decision was
wrong or incomplete. A failure by the candidate to provide accurate and complete information in
accordance with the admission policy shall not be grounds for an appeal. This appeal will be
heard at the earliest possible time by the Admissions and Recruitment Committee of Graduate
Council. The Associate Dean (Programs) of the CGSR will advise the student and academic unit
of the final decision.
The decision of the Admissions and Recruitment Committee is final.
The Student Advisory Committee
As soon as possible following a student's first registration in his/her program (ie. first course), an
Advisory Committee, including research supervisor, should be named. Responsibility for naming
the members of a student’s Advisory Committee lies with the academic unit Head or Graduate
Chair, or designate, in a formal meeting with the academic unit’s Graduate Affairs Committee. It is
the responsibility of the Advisory Committee to assist in course selection and definition of
research area, to provide support and advice, to regularly evaluate the student's progress by
meeting at least once yearly, to take appropriate and timely action in view of this progress, and to
keep records of this evaluation and all actions taken.
The list of faculty, Adjunct Professors, and Professional Affiliates can be found in the front of the
academic Calendar. http://www.usask.ca/calendar/gradstudies/faculty/ . The Master’s Advisory
Committee consists of at least three members; the Ph.D. Advisory Committee consists of at least
five members, as follows:
Advisory Chair - May be the Graduate Chair, Head of the academic unit (Dean in the case of
non-departmentalized colleges) or designate
Supervisor - A member of Graduate Faculty, including Adjunct Professors, but cannot be a
Co-Supervisor, if applicable - Persons who are not members of Graduate Faculty, may be
granted permission to be a co-supervisor by the Associate Dean, CGSR. (Note: co-supervisors
share a vote in decision-making at the oral defence, thus count as one member).
Additional Members - [need a minimum of 1 for a Master’s and 2 for a Ph.D.]. Must be Graduate
Faculty, Adjunct Professors, Professional Affiliates or be granted permission by the Dean, CGSR.
Cognate Member - [need 1 for a Ph.D. program]. Must be Graduate Faculty, or be granted
permission by the Dean, CGSR.
The Dean of the CGSR is an ex officio member of the Advisory Committee.
When one of the proposed members of the Advisory Committee is not a member of the Graduate
Faculty of the University academic community, the proposed member’s curriculum vita and a
written rationale as to why the person should be involved must be provided. Please note this is a
one-time exception for that person to serve on the particular committee.
All those involved in student project or thesis research should be familiar with the Calendar,
CGSR publications, Guide for the Preparation of a Thesis as well as other relevant CGSR and
University policies and publications.
Postgraduate Diploma students do not require an Advisory Committee.
Reports on Student Progress
The Chair of the Advisory Committee, or Graduate Chair in the case of Postgraduate Diploma
students, will report to the CGSR Dean at least annually on the progress of the student by filing
an online Progress Report on the GSIS student file. The Graduate Chair will submit a report
indicating unsatisfactory progress to the Dean of CGSR for further action.
Individualized Student Program of Studies (POS)
Within the first year of a student's registration in a graduate degree program, the Advisory
Committee is charged with the responsibility of developing an individualized Program of Studies
on behalf of the student. The Graduate Chair should develop the Program of Studies for the
Postgraduate Diploma student.
The Program of Studies in Flex II are approved by the Graduate Chair. In non-Flex II units, the
Graduate Chair approves the POS and submits it to the CGSR online via GSIS, for College
approval. Once the Program of Studies is approved on GSIS, the academic unit should provide a
printed copy to the student.
An approved Program of Studies forms a contract between the University and the student such
that successful completion of the noted courses and other requirements, passing required
examinations and defence of the thesis/exhibition (if applicable) will result in the conferring of the
Postgraduate Diploma or degree.
Changes in course work requirements, supervisor or committee membership, or significant
change in research area, require that a new Program of Studies be submitted online via GSIS to
the CGSR for approval.
Instructions for completing the Program of Studies:
List all members of the Advisory Committee
Indicate the Ethics course(s) required and the date completed
Indicate the Ethics Approval Requirements and date that approval has been granted.
Ensure the number of credit units listed matches the number of course credits required
by the program.
Ensure any core or compulsory courses are listed, and selected courses match required
program courses. For exceptions, contact the Director of Graduate Programs, CGSR.
List the student’s project (992), paper (993), research (994/995/996) and seminar (990),
Provide class titles for any Special Topics courses listed.
Indicate whether Qualifying/Comprehensive Examinations are required and the dates
Indicate any additional requirements such as UCACS Education and Training Program
(Animal Care/Handling), Ethics GSR 960, 961, 962, Laboratory Safety, Radiation Safety,
If transfer of credit from another University is requested, so indicate under ‘transfer credit’
and submit the original transcripts.
5.1.3 (Revised 2006)
Number of Undergraduate Courses* Allowed in a Graduate Program:
Program PhD Master’s Master’s Master’s Master’s Master’s
All Thesis with Thesis with Thesis with Non-thesis Non-thesis
programs minimum minimum minimum with minimum with minimum
requirements requirements requirements requirements requirements
of ≤ 9 c.u. of 10 - 15 c.u. of >15 c.u. of 15 c.u. of >15 c.u.
allowable 0 0 3 6 3 6
*Undergraduate courses credited towards a graduate program must be senior courses, as
determined by the College which offers the course. These courses are typically outside of
the student’s main area of study.
Students may take more undergraduate courses than tabulated above, if desired, but these will
not be credited towards the minimum credit units for the graduate degree. An academic unit may,
on a case-by-case basis, exceed the above guidelines if the Graduate Chair provides to the
CGSR a memorandum of explanation which is accepted and approved. Students are required to
pay tuition for courses they take which are not part of their program of studies.
Students who transfer from Master’s to PhD programs: starting in 2006, any additional
courses to be taken by students after they transfer from a Master’s to a PhD program will
normally be at the graduate level.
New Course Proposals
(CGSR Policy and Procedure Manual: Section 6.1. New Course Proposals)
New course proposals, modifications to courses (number, title, credits, content, exam exemption),
and deletion of courses should be submitted on the appropriate form: GSR 400.1: New Course
Proposal Form / GSR 400.2: Course Modification Form / GSR 400.3: Course Deletion Form /
GSR 400.4: Exam Exemption for Existing Course Form. Courses/modifications/deletions will be
considered by the appropriate CGSR Committee. For all new courses, or modifications to course
content/outline, a Course Outline (syllabus) with Reading List must be included. If undergraduate
lectures are included (hybrid course), also submit the undergraduate Course Outline (syllabus)
and include information on what additional activities make this a graduate level course.
Undergraduate Component of Graduate Courses and Double-Numbered Courses
The University has only two kinds of credit courses: undergraduate and graduate. Courses may
be offered using ‘hybrid delivery’, in which a graduate course has some component(s) shared
with an undergraduate course. The following clarifies the requirements of a ‘hybrid’ course:
A graduate course with hybrid delivery is a course offered at the graduate level using
undergraduate lectures or seminars as a foundation. In such cases, this course must
include qualitative and quantitatively distinctive learning experiences and material to
make the course requirements graduate in nature. There are numerous ways that
graduate course requirements may be clearly distinctive from undergraduate course
offerings, including the following:
1. More research oriented and/or analytically oriented
2. Intensive application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of course materials
3. Opportunities to gain expertise or create new knowledge
4. Additional independent learning
5. Seminar presentations
6. Meeting with instructor to discuss particular research issues
7. Comprehensive research papers (potentially publishable)
8. May be tied to a research project
9. Use of primary sources (journals)
A hybrid course requires more work on the part of the instructor and the academic
unit/department should take this into account when assigning duties.
Normally students would not take a course with hybrid delivery for both undergraduate
and graduate credit; however, given the distinctive nature of graduate course
requirements, this should be permitted in some circumstances.
In addition, there are more demanding operational needs of a graduate course with
1. A hybrid graduate course requires its own course outline, assignments and
2. The syllabus must clearly indicate the distinctive expectations at the graduate
3. From a course load perspective, Instructor and Department Head should
consider these courses as equivalent to more than one course (i.e., both an
undergraduate and graduate course with some economy gained by hybrid
4. Operational hybrid courses must have a different number and name (i.e.,
Approved courses will be forwarded by the CGSR to the University Secretary’s office for
circulation through the Course Challenge procedure as required. Academic units may assume
that course changes have been approved if no Notice of Challenge is received from the Office of
the University Secretary by the end of the fourth week after circulation. Units will not receive
notification that the Course Challenge period has expired. When the Course Challenge period
has expired, it is the responsibility of the academic unit to open the course for registration by
informing the Registrar's office.
Selected Reading, Special Topic or Other Untitled Course (898.3, 899.6)
A Selected Reading or Special Topic Course is a reading course for one or several graduate
students focusing on areas for which there is no regular graduate course or for filling deficiencies
in the research program, and must be pertinent to the candidates’ goals. The Special Topics
Request form, GSR 204, is on our web site at
Deadlines for the GSR 204 to reach Grad studies are August 15 for courses starting in
September, December 1 or courses starting in January, April 1 for courses offered May to
A Selected Reading or Special Topic Course will conform to the academic requirements and
standards of regular graduate courses, including the rules of Student Appeals in Academic
Matters. Students and professors in Selected Reading and Special Topic courses are expected to
meet regularly for at least 25 hours per term. Special permission is required in advance if
Selected Reading and Special Topic courses do not terminate in the submission of a final grade
at the end of the term(s) during which the course was offered.
A Selected Reading or Special Topic Course can only be taught twice. For subsequent
offerings, the course must be regularized using form GSR400.1 according to procedures outlined
A Course Outline (syllabus) with Reading List must be included. If undergraduate lectures are
included, submit the undergraduate course outline as well and include information on what
additional activities make this a graduate level course.
New Graduate Program Proposals
(CGSR Policy and Procedure Manual: Section 6.2, New Program Proposals)
Instructions for submission of new graduate program proposals:
1. Use the proposal forms on the University Council website. Use form GSR400.1 to submit
any new courses and consult with the Associate Dean and Director of Programs. Use the
2. Meet with the Associate Dean to discuss the overall intention of the new program and the
3. Submit a Notice of Intent to the Chair, Planning Committee of Council and copy it to the
Associate Dean, CGSR. See instructions at the Academic Programs site.
4. Consult with the Associate Dean, CGSR during the preparation of the proposal.
5. Submit two paper copies of the final document and an executive summary [1-2 pages] to
the attention of the Associate Dean, CGSR, and e-mail an electronic copy of the
executive summary and the proposal for inclusion on the CGSR website.
6. The program proposal will be reviewed by the appropriate committee of CGSR.
Proposals for new Master's programs will be reviewed by the Master's Committee, and
those for new PhD programs by the PhD committee. There will be an opportunity for the
program proponents to meet with the committee to present the proposal and to answer
7. Program proposals approved by the above named committees are submitted for approval
to the Executive Committee and subsequently to Graduate Council.
8. The Academic Programs Committee of Council has devolved to the committees of CGSR
the responsibility for reviewing new graduate program proposals on an ongoing basis.
9. Program proposals approved by Graduate Council must also be approved by the Budget
Committee of Council, Planning Committee of Council and finally by members of
10. New Graduate Program Proposals become operational after approval by University
Instructions for Submission of Credit Unit Reduction of a Graduate Program
1. Submit a proposal to the attention of the Director of Graduate Programs. The proposal should
contain the following information:
an academic rationale/background for the proposed reduction in credit units. Consult the
table in this Manual that lists the number of undergraduate courses that can be included
in a graduate program. (please refer to the chart in 5.1.3)
a comparison of your program requirements to those in other Canadian universities
a list of graduate courses offered by the Department
a description of how you envision the new policy will be applied to the graduate students
currently enrolled in your Department that includes grandfathering provisions.
a table comparing your current program requirements to the new requirements, as shown
PROGRAM CURRENT REQUIREMENTS PROPOSED MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
Master’s (thesis) XX cu XX cu
Ph.D. (after transfer from a Master’s XX cu XX cu including any relevant courses taken
program) before transfer to the Ph.D.
Ph.D. (after Master’s degree) XX cu XX cu
2. The proposal will be reviewed by the Joint Committee of the Master’s and PhD committees of
3. After it is approved by this committee, it then has to be approved by the Executive Committee
of CGSR and by the Graduate Council.
4. The proposal becomes effective after it is approved by Graduate Council.
(CGSR Policy and Procedure Manual: Section 22.214.171.124, Program Modifications)
For information on submitting proposals for program modifications consult the Proposal Form for
Curricular Change on the U of S website. For associated courses, use form GSR 400.1: New
Course, form GSR 400.2: Course Modification, form GSR 400.3: Course Deletion, or form
GSR 400.4: Exam Exemption for Existing Course as appropriate.
Include a table listing programs offered, current program requirements including all core courses,
electives, and other requirements, and proposed modifications, as shown below.
CURRENT COURSE/OTHER PROPOSED COURSE/OTHER
Transfer from Master’s to
Transfers from Unit to Unit or within Units
IN ALL CASES:
The transfer will require a written memo from the student and written approval of the
The Graduate Chair will submit to the CGSR a new Program of Studies via GSIS. A new
Advisory Committee must be set up immediately if appropriate.
Time in program starts from the first class credited towards the Postgraduate Diploma or
Transfer from One Academic Unit to Another
Students admitted to a graduate program in one academic unit may transfer to another at the
same level. It is the student's responsibility to consult with both units before any change is made.
The student may not begin work in the new program until the transfer has been approved by the
Requirements for transfer:
Student: form GSR 100: Application for Admission should be submitted to the new
academic unit which forwards it to the CGSR
Original Academic Unit: memo to CGSR indicating agreement with the transfer
New Academic Unit: form GSR 102: Recommendation of Department on Application for
Admission, or Flex II form GSR 102: Recommendation of Department on Application for
Admission should be forwarded to the CGSR. The new academic unit may request new
letters of recommendation or other relevant information.
Transfer from or into the Postgraduate Diploma
Postgraduate Diploma students who were fully qualified as Master's candidates at the time of
admission may transfer into a Master's program at any time.
Postgraduate Diploma students who were not fully qualified as Master’s candidates at the time of
admission to the Postgraduate Diploma may, at the invitation of the academic unit, transfer to a
Master’s program upon completion of 15 credit units (for transfer to Master’s with thesis) or 18-21
credit units (for transfer to Master’s with project) of 800 level coursework with a cumulative
academic average of 75%.
Master's students may transfer into a Postgraduate Diploma at any time during the program.
Transfer Between Thesis and Non-thesis Master’s Programs
After consultation with their Supervisor, Advisory Committee, and Graduate Chair, students may
transfer from a program with thesis to a non-thesis program, or vice versa, where this option is
Transfer from a Ph.D. Program to a Master’s Program
After consultation with their Supervisor, Advisory Committee, and Graduate Chair, students may
transfer from a Ph.D. program to a Master’s program with thesis or project.
Transfer from a Master’s Program to a Ph.D. Program
Transfer from a Master’s program to a Ph.D. program should take place after the end of the first
year and no later than the end of the second year in the program.
Recommendation to transfer from a Master’s program to a Ph.D. program must be initiated
through a formal meeting of the student's Advisory Committee that forwards its recommendation
through the academic unit to the CGSR. The following conditions must be met:
The student shows great promise both in terms of academic accomplishments and in
potential for research.
The student has completed at least 9 credit units, and has achieved a high-academic
standing in these 9 credit units.
There is evidence of good writing and oral communication.
There is evidence the student has requisite research skills and knowledge to be able to
successfully complete a Ph.D. dissertation.
The student has successfully completed the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination* prior to being
recommended for transfer. This examination for the purposes of transfer can only be
taken once. A student failing the Qualifying Examination or any part thereof cannot be
recommended for transfer.
*The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination must be at least as rigorous as that for a Master’s thesis
defence. The results of the examination must clearly indicate that the student has the "potential to
obtain sufficient knowledge of his/her general field of study to proceed towards candidacy for the
Ph.D. degree" (University Calendar).
Leaves of Absence
Leaves of absence are available to students for compassionate, medical, maternity, adoption and
parenting reasons. Reasonable accommodation is normally made. Short-term leaves of less than
one month should be managed within the home academic unit.
Leaves of absence are normally granted in four-month blocks only, to coincide with the
registration terms (Sept 1 to Dec 31; Jan. 1 to Apr 30; May 1 to Aug 31). Maternity, adoption and
parenting leaves may be granted for eight- or twelve-month blocks.
Requests for leaves should be discussed as early as possible with supervisors so that
appropriate accommodations can be made prior to the beginning of the leave. Requests should
be made in writing by the student for a minimum leave of four months to a maximum leave of
twelve months. The Dean of the CGSR will consider any petitions arising from students whose Comment [mam1]: Deleted: When possible,
request for leave has been denied by the supervisor or academic unit. students should coordinate their reqests with
the beginning of an academic term (Sept.1,
Jan.1, May 1).
The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree, and tuition fees
are postponed during the leave. Financial support offered to the student as a full-time, fully-
qualified student is not available to students on leave. Every possible accommodation should be
made, however, in assisting the student to delay for the period of the leave, rather than having to
decline, offers of financial assistance. Letters of support in this regard will be sent to external
funding agencies. Additional information regarding registration, fees, and funding for students on
leave may be obtained from CGSR.
Leaves are not ever available for reasons of personal convenience. A student may, however, with
permission of the Advisory Committee, take a leave of up to one year for personal reasons
without withdrawing from the program. In this case, regular tuition fees apply, and time in program
continues for the duration of the leave.
Compassionate, Medical Leaves
A graduate student who has developed an illness, who has been the victim of an accident, or who
has suffered grave events in his/her life is deemed, upon provision of appropriate documentation
(letter from student, from Supervisor, and from physician or other health professional if
applicable) to the Graduate Chair, to be eligible for medical or compassionate leave. The
Graduate Chair should forward these documents and a letter of support to the CGSR for
approval. At the end of a medical leave and before returning to active studies, the student must
provide to the Graduate Chair and the CGSR a physician’s certificate indicating the condition
necessitating the leave no longer compromises the graduate program.
Maternity, Adopting, Parenting Leaves
A graduate student who is bearing a child, and/or who has primary responsibility for the care of a
child immediately following a birth or adoption is deemed to be eligible for parental leave.
Maternity, adoption and parental leaves may be requested for up to one year in duration, upon
receipt of a letter from the student indicating the reason for the leave, and written
acknowledgement from the supervisor.
Graduate students are entitled to a minimum of two weeks of vacation per year, in addition to
weekends, statutory holidays and regularly-scheduled university breaks (e.g. December and
February breaks). Students planning to take vacation should inform their supervisor and
Graduate Chair in writing in advance of the planned absence. The student is expected to plan
vacations in consultation with the supervisor, and to make appropriate arrangements for care of
ongoing research projects as necessary.
Time in Program
Official program time limits are five years for Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s, and six years
for Ph.D., whether students are registered as full or part-time. This time is measured from the
beginning of the first term of registration for work which is included in the Program of Studies
(may be course work done at U of S or elsewhere, thesis, project, or practicum).
Prior to the final year of study, a Schedule for Completion must be developed by the student
and advisory committee, and submitted on GSIS as a Progress Report.
Time extensions may be granted to students who encounter problems while actively trying to
finish their program. Employment is not a valid reason for an extension request.
Students who have reached the time limit of the program without completing program
requirements should meet with their Advisory Committee. Requests for time extensions should
specifically address the question of why the Schedule for Completion was not followed. If the
Advisory Committee supports an extension, students may apply in writing to the CGSR by
completing form GSR 205: Request for Extension to Time in Program, with written support from
the Supervisor and the Advisory Committee, indicating reasons for the slow progress and
providing a detailed plan, with a timetable, for completing remaining requirements. While on
extension, students are expected to work on their programs full-time. They will be registered as
full-time students and are assessed full-time fees.
5.3.6 Scheduling the Oral Examination of the Thesis
Flex II units: Eligible academic units may opt to schedule their own Master’s theses defences
and appoint the External Examiners for these defences. The Graduate Chair on behalf of the
advisory committee will recommend the person chosen to be the External Examiner to the Head
of the department or Dean of the college. The Dean of the CGSR must be notified of the
defence date using the Memorandum template normally used for notification of Master’s
defences. CGSR will verify that the requirements for convocation have been fulfilled.
The department/program must maintain a record of External Examiners approved, as well as
retain copies of documentation such as C.V.s where appropriate, and correspondence with the
External Examiner. The CGSR must be notified a minimum of three weeks prior to the desired
oral defence date.
Non-Flex II Units
As soon as the student's Advisory Committee determines the student's thesis is ready for
defence, a memo is sent by the Graduate Chair to the CGSR using the template available on the
CGSR website (Administration> Forms).
The CGSR must be notified a minimum of three weeks prior to the desired oral defence date.
Upon receipt of the memo, a convocation check is carried out by the CGSR to verify that all
program requirements have been met, including current registration, before approval of the
External Examiner is given. CGSR will inform the academic unit when the thesis may be released
to the External Examiner.
For Ph.D. Defences
As soon as the student's Advisory Committee determines the student's dissertation is ready for
defence, form GSR 300.1: Recommendation for Examination of the Ph.D. Thesis and Award of
the Ph.D. Degree should be sent to the CGSR, along with the names of three potential External
Examiners. The cv of the first choice of External Examiner and a rationale for the choice must be
submitted to the CGSR.
The CGSR must be notified a minimum of four weeks prior to the desired oral defence date.
The defence should be scheduled at a time when all examinees are known to be available. The
academic unit should work together with the CGSR Programs Officer to determine a suitable date
for the defence.
At least seven days prior to their defence, students must provide a Dissertation Summary (not
bound with the thesis) to the CGSR Programs Officer. This Summary will be published in the UMI
Dissertations Abstracts International.
All arrangements for the Ph.D. thesis examination (time, date, location) are made by the
academic unit. The CGSR Programs Officer forwards the dissertation and any necessary
documentation to the External Examiner. The contribution of the CGSR to the expenses of the
External Examiner is a maximum of CDN$1000.
Any special equipment requirements for the defence should be brought to the attention of the
Programs Officer. An overhead projector is available at all times. A slide projector, TV/VCR or
laptop computer and/or data projector must be reserved at least three days in advance.
The External Examiner or a member of the Advisory Committee may participate in the oral
defence via video-(preferable) or tele-conference. Arrangements can be made through the
AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Please see the CGSR website under ‘Financial Aid’ for information on CGSR and external
awards and scholarships.
The CGSR has created a searchable Awards Database on the website. This guide contains
descriptions of CGSR awards and awards administered by other Colleges and Departments on
Students should note the CGSR is neither aware of nor administers every award available. While
the CGSR tries to provide comprehensive information on financial support, students should not
assume that the material on the Database is exhaustive, but should continue to explore other
avenues of funding. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information. If in using the
Database you note any errors or admissions, please advise the Director of Graduate Awards and
Scholarships in the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
Information on procedures for academic units exercising Flexibility II responsibilities is found on
the CGSR website under ‘Administration> Flexibility II’. Headings include Admissions, Programs,
Master’s Defences, and Special Topics courses.
The CGSR adheres to University policy in all matters involving academic integrity. Please see the
University website at http://www.usask.ca/honesty/.
The CGSR adheres to University policy in all matters involving student appeals. Please see
Student Appeals in Academic Matters, at http://www.usask.ca/university_council/reports/12-06-