General Regulations for Graduate Studies
Administration of Graduate Studies
Associate Vice President, Research & Graduate Studies: The AVP, Research & Graduate Studies is responsible for the general supervision of graduate work at the University.
Coordinator, Graduate Studies: The Coordinator, Graduate Studies is responsible for ensuring registration of students, assessment of fees, maintenance of records, and other administrative duties related to graduate students are carried out.
A Graduate Program Committee is responsible for recommending admission, reviewing the student's progress and arranging for the supervision and examination of students enrolled in the graduate program. For most graduate programs, the Graduate Program Committee is the departmental graduate studies committee.
The student's supervisor or supervisory committee helps the student define and develop a program of studies and reports on the student's progress to the Graduate Program Committee. The supervisory committee forms part of the student's final examination committee.
Before applying for admission, the student should obtain information about admission requirements and procedures. This information can be obtained from departments/schools 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 master’s program
The minimum requirements for admission to an applied master’s 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 proficiency in English.
Application for admission
Application is through the Graduate Program Committee in the department/school in which the student wishes to work; applicants are advised to contact the department/school before submitting an application. Transcripts of previous university work and proof of obtaining a degree are required at the time of application, and letters of referencemay be required at that time.
Application procedures and deadlines for a graduate program may vary from program to program.
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/school 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies.
English language proficiency
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 the UFV Calendar for further details.
Decisions on admissions
All decisions on graduate admissions are made by the AVP Research & Graduate Studies, on recommendation from a Graduate Program Committee. These decisions may be appealed to the Senate Graduate Studies Committee by an applicant or a Graduate Program Committee. The decision of the Senate Graduate Studies Committee is final.
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.
Students are registered in one of two different types of programs. In ‘per semester fee’ programs, students are charged a standard fee for each semester of registration. In ‘per credit fee’ programs, students are charged a fee based on the number of credits taken.
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 supervisor or senior supervisor, once this supervisor is appointed. In addition, registration for courses taken outside the student's programmust have the approval of the supervisor or 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.
Students in per semester fee programs are required to register in every semester until all requirements for the degree have been fulfilled. This includes students registered on leave. A student in a per semester fee programwho does not register is considered to have withdrawn from UFV.
Students in per credit fee programs register only in those semesters in which they are taking courses or working on other requirements, such as a project or field exam. A student in a per-credit fee program who does not register in at least one of three consecutive semesters is considered to have withdrawn from UFV.
Graduate students may audit graduate courses, with permission of the instructor, senior supervisor and graduate program chair of the student's department/school.
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 student’s 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 policy 79- Academic Warning.
Successful completion of an applied master’s 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 (as in the case of special topics or directed readings courses).
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 policy 86- Course Repeat.
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 supervisor or supervisory committee, as stipulated by the program, is appointed.
In consultation with the student, the Graduate Program Committee will ensure that a supervisor is appointed as soon as possible after admission to the graduate program. The supervisor is the person principally responsible for supervising the student throughout the degree program. A supervisor must have received supervisory status from the Senate Graduate Studies Committee.
A 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies shall be informed in writing of the arrangement.
The supervisory committee consists of the senior supervisor and at least one other person. In consultation with the student, the Graduate Program Committee will ensure that the senior supervisor is appointed as soon as possible after admission to the graduate program. The senior supervisor, in consultation with the student, shall recommend the composition of the supervisory committee. Normally, this recommendation shall be made during the same semester in which the senior supervisor is appointed.
The composition of a supervisory committee shall be approved by the Graduate Program Committee and forwarded to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies for final approval. All members of the supervisory committee must have received supervisory status from the Senate Graduate Studies Committee.
The senior supervisor chairs the supervisory committee. 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies for final approval.
All research plans must comply with UFV policies 54 - Human Research Ethics, and 51 - Animal Care.
Residence requirement for applied master’s degrees
Applied master’s 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 percent of the academic requirements for the completion of an applied master’s degree must be completed by the student at UFV.
Courses in other universities
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:
a. 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
b. 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 completed within five years of starting the UFV program.
c. 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies.
Progress, withdrawal, and leave
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, on 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 a copy to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies. If required to improve within a specific period of time, the student shall be informed in writing as to what precisely is required, with a copy to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies.
Any decision of the Graduate Program Committee under the provisions of this section may be appealed to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies, whose decision shall be final.
Academic appeals are governed by UFV policy 61 - Academic Appeals.
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 fifty percent (50%) of classes in any semester.
Under extenuating circumstances, a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty after fifty percent (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 3.3 continuity of registration, is considered to have withdrawn from UFV.
Examination of thesis
Each candidate for an applied master’s degree with a thesis shall be examined 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. an external or internal examiner who is approved by the Graduate Program Committee and the AVP Research & Graduate Studies. External examiners are qualified experts who hold no academic positions at UFV, while internal examiners are faculty members of UFV, but who are not from the same department or school as the student or senior supervisor.
Preparation for examination of applied master’s project, extended essay, or thesis
Once a student has completed the requirements described in section 3.7 and the thesis is substantially complete and in the format laid down in the Guidelines on the Preparation and Supervision of Theses, Extended Essays, and Research Papers, his or her supervisory committee will make a recommendation to the Chair of the Graduate Program Committee concerning the date, place and time of the examination and the composition of the examining committee. This recommendation will be submitted for approval to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies.
Prior to the examination, the AVP Research & Graduate Studies will notify the Registrar of the title of the project, extended essay or thesis, and the schedule for the examination.
At least two weeks before the date of the thesis examination, unbound copies of the thesis shall be distributed to the examining committee by the AVP Research & Graduate Studies, and one copy shall be made generally available for inspection by interested members of faculty and students. Department/school rules may require earlier submission of the completed project, extended essay or thesis.
Possible outcomes of the examination
The possible outcomes are:
1. the thesis may be passed as submitted.
2. the thesis may be passed on the condition that minor revisions be completed to the satisfaction of the senior supervisor.
3. judgement on the thesis may be deferred once, up to one semester, pending major revisions to be completed to the satisfaction of the examining committe.
4. the thesis may be failed. In this case the candidate is required to withdraw from UFV.
Examination of a major paper, project, or extended essay
Each candidate in a program with a major paper, project, or extended essay shall be examined by an examining committee comprised of:
a. the student’s supervisor.
b. an external or internal evaluator, as stipulated by the program, who is approved by the Graduate Program Committee and the AVP Research & Graduate Studies, An internal evaluator must have received supervisory status from the Senate Graduate Studies Committee.
Oral presentation as a part of examination
If the student’s program has an oral presentation as part of their examination, preparation for the oral presentation takes place after the student has successfully passed the evaluation of their major paper.
The candidate's supervisor shall make a recommendation to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies concerning the date, place, and time of the oral presentation and the name of the external or internal evaluator, as stipulated by the program. This information will be submitted for approval to the AVP Research & Graduate Studies.
The Chair of the Graduate Program Committee will ensure that a copy of the major paper, project, or extended essay is received by the evaluator well in advance of the oral presentation at least one week before the date of the oral presentation.
Outcomes of examination
As designated by the program, possible outcomes are:
a. a letter grade.
b. credit/no credit.
Recommendation for the award of degree
Once a student has successfully defended his/her thesis and completed any minor revisions that may be required, or completed the requirements associated with a major paper, project, or extended essay, the supervisor 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies, who will review the recommendation and send it to the Registrar for presentation to Senate.
The title of the thesis, major paper, project, or extended essay will be recorded on the student's transcript.
Publication of thesis
Submission theses to the library
If the examining committee has required minor revisions to a thesis, these must be completed within two weeks after the examination and checked by the senior supervisor.
Following the Library’s requirements as stated in Formatting and Submission Requirements for Graduate Major Papers, Theses, Extended Essays or Projects, the required unbound copies of the final draft of the completed document shall be sent to the library together with an approval form 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 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 10.4, 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies may give this permission.
In the case of theses, except as noted in 10.4, 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 the 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 AVP Research & 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 AVP Research & Graduate Studies well before the distribution of the document. The AVP Research & 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 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/schools 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 master’s degree must be completed within seven years of initial enrolment as an applied master’s 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 Office of the Registrar.
Award of the degree
Award of the degree is by approval of the UFV Senate.
Certified official transcripts of the student's graduate academic record may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Only individually signed copies with the
university seal are valid.
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.
Academic appeals are governed by UFV policy 61- Academic Appeals.