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Graduate Studies
http://ufv.ca/senate/gsc

General Regulations for Graduate Studies

Administration of Graduate Studies

The Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies is responsible for the general supervision of graduate work at UFV. The Graduate Studies program assistant is responsible for ensuring that registration of students, assessment of fees, maintenance of records, and other administrative duties related to graduate students are carried out.

The committees responsible for the supervision of graduate students are the Supervisory committee, Graduate Program committee and the Senate Graduate Studies committee.

Admission

General

Before applying for admission, the student should obtain information about admission requirements and procedures. This information can be obtained from departments and faculties.

Applicants meeting the minimum requirements for admission given below are not assured admission into any graduate program. Most graduate programs have admission requirements in addition to the minimum. Furthermore, programs must restrict admission to students whose interests are compatible with available resources and faculty expertise. Graduate programs may set limits on total enrolments.

Admission to an applied masterís program

The minimum requirements for admission to an applied masterís program are as follows:

a. a bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 from a recognized post-secondary institution;

b. submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the student's ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualification than in (a) when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the Graduate Program committee. Students whose native language is not English may be required to satisfy the University and the Graduate Program committee as to their capability in English.

Application for admission

Application procedures and deadlines for a graduate program may vary from program to program.

Application is through the relevant Graduate Program committee. Applicants are advised to contact the program before submitting an application. Transcripts of previous university work and proof of obtaining a degree are required at the time of application. All decisions on graduate admissions are made by the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies, on recommendation from the Graduate Program committee. Decisions on admissions are final. Final approval of admission for exchange graduate students is by the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies.

Conditional admission

Conditional admission may be offered to an applicant who is substantially ready to undertake a program but who has not completed all admission requirements at the time of application. An offer of conditional admission will specify the remaining requirements to be met and a limited time period within which the requirements must be met. Normally, the requirements must be fulfilled either prior to registering in the program, or within the first semester of registration.

Admission as an exchange student

Bona fide graduate students at other universities who wish to take courses at UFV, not leading to a degree at UFV, will be admitted to take specific graduate courses on the recommendation of the chair of the department and the dean of graduate studies (or equivalent officers) at the other university, and with the permission of the appropriate Graduate Program committee and the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies.

English language competence

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at UFV. UFV recognizes that applicants must have a proficiency in English sufficient to participate in the learning process. See English language proficiency requirement in the Admissions section of the calendar for further details.

Registration and academic records

Date of entry

Graduate students may enter programs at the beginning of any semester, unless a program requires students to start in a specific semester.

Registration

Registration normally begins two months before the start of each semester and must be completed by the Friday preceding the start of classes. New students are allowed an additional two weeks to finalize their registration, without financial penalty. The course or research-related work for which the student registers must have the approval of the Chair of the Graduate Program committee and of his/her senior supervisor, once the senior supervisor is appointed. In addition, registration for courses taken outside the student's program must have the approval of the senior supervisor and the Graduate Program committee.

Continuity of registration

Students going on leave are required to obtain the approval of the Chair of the Graduate Program committee and of his/her senior supervisor. Students must register as on leave.

A student who does not register in at least one of three consecutive semesters is considered to have withdrawn from UFV.

Course audit

Graduate students may audit graduate courses, with permission of the instructor, senior supervisor, and graduate program chair of the student's department.

Prior to registration, the student and instructor must agree on the requirements for auditing the class. These requirements must include regular attendance at class meetings, completion of readings and participation in class activities. Course fees for an audit may apply. Audited courses will not count toward degree requirements. Such audits are recorded as AU on the studentís transcript.

Normal grading system

The following grades are used at the graduate level in UFV:

A+ = 4.33 point
A   = 4.00 points
A-  = 3.67 points
B+ = 3.33 points
B   = 3.00 points
B-  = 2.67 points
C+ = 2.33 points
C   = 2.00 points
C-  = 1.67
P    = 1 point
NC = 0 points

When a student is working on a thesis or major project as part of the requirements for the degree, the notation IP (in progress) shall be entered on the transcript. IP is not a grade and is not used in calculating the student's program GPA.

Credit/no credit grading (CR/NCR)

With the approval of Senate Graduate Studies committee, a department may require that a designated course be graded credit/no credit (CR/NCR) for all students in the course. The grades CR and NCR have no grade points and are not counted in the GPA.

Program GPA required for continuation and graduation

To continue in a program, students must maintain a minimum program grade point average of 3.0, or higher if required by the program. Failure to meet the minimum program GPA is evidence of unsatisfactory progress and this will be considered by the Graduate Program committee as required under UFV's Academic Warning policy (79).

Successful completion of an applied masterís degree at UFV requires the student to obtain a minimum of B- in every course, a minimum program GPA of 3.0, or higher if required by the program, and successful completion of any other program requirements. Under no circumstances will a student whose program GPA is below 3.0 be awarded a graduate degree.

Graduate students retaking a course

A graduate student may retake a course under the following conditions:

a. when the same numbered course covers different material in different semesters (many special topics and directed readings courses are of this nature).
b. when the student wishes to improve the grade earned in the course. Permission of the Graduate Program committee is required.

Under a), both grades are recorded on the student's transcript, and the grade and the credit hours for both iterations of the course are used for the calculation of the program GPA and towards the credit hours required for the degree. Under b), both grades are recorded on the student's transcript. However, only the better grade is used in calculating the program GPA and the credit hours for the course are used only once towards the requirements for the degree.

Students may not take a course more than twice unless they also receive approval under UFV's Course Repeat policy (86).

Supervision

General

When a graduate student has been admitted, the Graduate Program committee will exercise general supervision and counselling for the student through the Chair of the Graduate Program committee or a faculty member designated by the Chair, until a senior supervisor has been appointed.

Senior supervisor

In consultation with the student, the Graduate Program committee will ensure that a senior supervisor is in place as soon as possible after admission to the graduate program. The senior supervisor is the person principally responsible for supervising the student throughout the degree program. A senior supervisor must hold a doctoral degree.

A senior supervisor who is planning to be off campus for more than three months shall arrange for proper supervision of the student during this absence. The Graduate Program committee and the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies shall be informed in writing of the arrangement.

Supervisory committee

A supervisory committee, constituted as described below, must be established.

The senior supervisor, in consultation with the student, shall recommend the composition of the supervisory committee. The supervisory committee consists of the senior supervisor and at least one other person. Normally, this recommendation shall be made during the same semester in which the senior supervisor is appointed.

A recommendation for a supervisory committee that includes a person who is not a faculty member at UFV should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of that person.

The composition of the supervisory committee, for which the senior supervisor is chair, shall be approved by the Graduate Program committee and sent to the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies for final approval.

The supervisory committee is responsible for helping the student develop a program of study leading to a degree and for reporting to the Graduate Program Committee at least once a year on the student's progress towards completing the degree requirements. The supervisory committee shall be available to the student for consultation on a regular basis.

Change in the supervisory committee

Continuity of supervision is important in all graduate work. As a consequence, after a supervisory committee is established, a change in supervisory committee, especially a change in senior supervisor, may be made only on the basis of strong reasons.

A request for a change in the supervisory committee may come from the student or any member of the supervisory committee. It shall be sent to the Graduate Program committee accompanied by the reasons, in writing, for the proposed change. If the Graduate Program Committee concurs in the request, it shall be sent to the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies for final approval.

Ethics review

All research plans must comply with UFV Research Ethics policies 210.10 and 210.07.

Residence requirement for applied masterís degrees

Applied masterís degree programs may allow the transfer of equivalent graduate level credits from other recognized institutions as well as, wherever appropriate, the recognition of prior learning. However, a minimum of 75% of the academic requirements for the completion of an applied masterís degree must be completed by the student at UFV.

Courses in applied masterís programs

A graduate student may apply to take one or more courses at another university for credit towards a degree at UFV under the following conditions:

Such applications shall be made at least one month before the course/courses start and shall be approved by the student's senior supervisor and the Graduate Program committee.

A graduate student may apply to have credit for graduate courses taken prior to admission applied to the requirements for the degree, under the condition that courses must have been taken within two years of starting the UFV program.

Application for advance credit must be made at the time of application for admission, and must be approved by the Graduate Program committee and the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies.

Progress, withdrawal, and leave

Progress evaluation

The supervisory committee shall report on the student's progress at least once each year. This report will be sent, in writing, to the Graduate Program committee with a copy to the student. The evaluation of student progress in coursework will rely in part on their maintenance of a program GPA of 3.0. A graduate program may define any further expectation for progress.

Review of unsatisfactory progress

If a student's progress appears to be unsatisfactory, the supervisory committee or the Chair of the Graduate Program committee shall make a written report to the Graduate Program Committee, and provide a copy to the student. That committee shall consider whether the student's progress has been satisfactory. The Graduate Program committee, in consultation with the supervisory committee, if one has been appointed, may:

a. require the student to withdraw, or
b. inform the student of the unsatisfactory progress and require the student to improve in specific ways in a specific period of time.

The student concerned has the right to appear before the Graduate Program committee when the case is considered, and may submit any materials relevant to the case. A student who is required to withdraw shall be informed, in writing, with copies to the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Senate Graduate Studies committee. If required to improve within a specific period of time, the student shall be informed in writing as to what precisely is required, with copies to the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Senate Graduate Studies committee.

Any decision of the Graduate Program committee under the provisions of this section may be appealed to the Senate Graduate Studies committee through the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies. The student has the right to appear before the Senate Graduate Studies committee when the case is heard. The decision of that committee shall be final.

Withdrawal from courses and from UFV

A student must obtain permission of the senior supervisor and the Chair of the Graduate Program committee in order to withdraw from a course. If the senior supervisor is not yet appointed, or if the student is in a graduate diploma program, permission of the Chair of the Graduate Program committee is required. If such permission is granted, a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty up to the end of 50% of classes in any semester.

Under extenuating circumstances, a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty after 50% of the course duration. Such circumstances must be beyond the control of the student (e.g., medical or financial crisis). Permission of the senior supervisor, if one has been appointed) and the Chair of the Graduate Program committee is required.

A student may withdraw from UFV at any time by notifying the Chair of the Graduate Program committee.

A student who has withdrawn from UFV and who wishes to re-enter shall apply for permission under the same conditions as any other applicant.

A student who does not register in accordance with the continuity of registration section is considered to have withdrawn from UFV.

Examinations of project, extended essay, or thesis

Examining committee for an applied masterís degree candidate

Each candidate for an applied masterís degree shall be examined on the project, extended essay or thesis by an examining committee comprised of:

a. the chair of the student's Graduate Program committee, or his/her designate, who shall be a non-voting chair of the examining committee. If the Chair of the Graduate Program committee is also on the student's supervisory committee, he/she shall designate a member of faculty at UFV, who is not a member of the student's supervisory committee, as chair.

b. all members of the student's supervisory committee.

c. a member of faculty at UFV, or a person otherwise suitably qualified, who is not a member of the student's supervisory committee, must be included for examination of a thesis.

Preparation for examination of applied masterís project, extended essay, or thesis

Preparation for the examination of an applied masterís project, extended essay, or thesis shall not take place until the project, extended essay, or thesis is substantially complete and in the format laid down in the UFV Guidelines on the Preparation and Supervision of Theses, Extended Essays, and Research Papers (Report). This examination can take place only when the student has successfully met all the requirements in the program GPA section.

Possible outcomes of the examination

The possible outcomes are:

1. the project, extended essay, or thesis may be passed as submitted
2. the project, extended essay, or thesis may be passed on the condition that minor revisions be completed to the satisfaction of the senior supervisor
3. judgement on project, extended essay, or thesis may be deferred once, up to one semester, pending major revisions to be completed to the satisfaction of the examining committee
4. the project, extended essay, or thesis may be failed. In this case the candidate is required to withdraw from UFV.

Recommendation for the award of degree

When a student has successfully defended the project, extended essay, or thesis and made any minor revisions required, the supervisory committee shall recommend that the degree be awarded. The Chair of the Graduate Program committee will ensure that all program requirements have been met and forward the recommendation to the Graduate Program committee for review. If it is approved, the Chair of the Graduate Program committee will forward the recommendation to the Senate Graduate Studies committee, which will send it to the Registrar for presentation to UFV Senate. The Senate has the final authority to award the degree.

The title of the project, extended essay, or thesis will be recorded on the student's transcript.

Publication of thesis

Submission of the project, extended essay, or thesis to the library

If the examining committee has required minor revisions to a project, extended essay, or thesis, these will be completed within two weeks after the examination and checked by the senior supervisor. A minimum of five unbound copies of the final draft of the completed document shall be sent to the library together with a memorandum from the senior supervisor certifying that all required revisions have been made. In addition, an electronic version of the final draft of the project, extended essay or thesis shall be submitted to the library, in a format stipulated by the library.

When a library representative has checked the project, extended essay or thesis and accepted the format, the representative will notify the Registrar. No degree will be approved by Senate until the Registrar has been so notified.

Partial copyright license

Except as noted in the postponement of publication section, the student shall sign a partial copyright license which grants to UFV the right to lend the project, extended essay, or thesis to users of the library, and to make partial or single copies for such users. Multiple copying is not permitted without written permission from the author except that, if the author is unobtainable, the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies may give this permission.

Reproduction

In the case of theses, except as noted in the postponement of publication section, the student shall sign an agreement form authorizing The Library and Archives of Canada to reproduce the thesis and make it available in a variety of formats.

Postponement of publication

The results of research conducted at UFV should be available freely to the public, and it is expected that projects, extended essays, and theses will be placed in the library immediately following final revisions. It is the responsibility of graduate students to ensure that this policy is communicated clearly to relevant individuals and organizations outside UFV prior to the initiation of any research project.

A project, extended essay, or thesis may be withheld from circulation and from copying for a period of 12 months from the date of defence in order to protect confidential commercial information, patentable material, pending application, or where immediate commercial publication is anticipated. No extensions to this time limit will be permitted. At the time of defence, a project, extended essay or thesis withholding document requesting and authorizing such delay shall be signed by the student, the senior supervisor, and the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies. The official copies of the project, extended essay or thesis and all pertinent forms shall be deposited in the library along with the withholding document. A copy of the thesis shall not be sent to The Library and Archives of Canada during the restricted period but the abstract of the thesis shall be sent with the period of restriction duly noted.

Under exceptional circumstances, portions of a project, extended essay or thesis may be withheld from the reference copy of the document that is made available to faculty members and students. This procedure must be authorized by the Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies well before the distribution of the document. The Associate VP, Research and Graduate Studies must ensure that only the most confidential material is withheld from the document, and that the overall integrity of the document is preserved.

Publication of the project, extended essay, or thesis by the student

None of the clauses above preclude the student from publishing the project, extended essay, or thesis in any form at any time.

Maximum time for completion of the requirements for the degree

The maximum times for completion given below are not intended to be the normal times for completion. They are intended to take into account a wide variety of extraordinary circumstances and events that may delay completion. Individual departments may specify their expectations of normal degree completion times as a guide to determining whether a student's progress is satisfactory.

All requirements of the applied masterís degree must be completed within seven years of initial enrolment as an applied masterís student.

Award of the degree

Application for graduation

Every candidate for a graduate degree is responsible for applying for graduation on forms available from the Admissions and Records office.

Award of the degree

Award of the degree is by approval of the UFV Senate.

Transcripts

Certified official transcripts of the student's graduate academic record may be obtained from the Admissions and Records office. Only individually signed copies with the university seal are valid.

Convocation ceremony

Convocation is held annually. Graduates meeting all requirements prior to April 30 of a given year convocate in early June of that year.

Graduate student appeals

Graduate students are advised to seek informal resolution of problems through discussions with their senior supervisor and the Chair of the Graduate Program committee.

Progress evaluations may be appealed through the Senate Graduate Studies committee (see the Review of unsatisfactory progress section). All other appeals go through UFV's Academic Appeals policy (61).