Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2020

Graduate Studies

ufv.ca/graduate-studies/

General Regulations for Graduate Studies

Note: This page was updated on June 17, 2019.

Administration of Graduate Studies

Associate Vice President, Research & Graduate Studies: The AVP, Research, Engagement, & 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.

Admission

General

Before applying for admission, students 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 a graduate program

The minimum requirements for admission to a graduate program are as follows:

  1. A bachelor's degree from a recognized post-secondary institution;
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 from a recognized post-secondary institution; and
  3. Evidence of the student's ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest, submitted in the form of three references: including at least one academic and two other references from qualified referees.

Conditional admission

Conditional admission may be offered to an applicant who demonstrates that they are substantially ready to undertake a program but who has not completed all admission requirements as stated above 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. In either case below, applicants with a GPA of less than 2.75 will not be considered for conditional admission.

  1. In the case of an applicant who has completed the degree required for admission to the graduate program, but whose academic average (GPA) is below the minimum required for admission to that program, an offer of conditional admission will specify the graduate courses that the applicant must complete, and the grades that are expected in order to be granted regular admission. These courses must be completed no later than the end of the second term of enrolment. Graduate courses taken while admitted conditionally may be applied to the student’s graduate program requirements. If the applicant does not meet the conditions of regular admission after the second term, the courses completed will not necessarily count towards the graduate program at a future date.
  2. In the case of an applicant who has not completed a bachelor’s degree, an offer of conditional admission will specify the graduate courses that the applicant may complete. All bachelor’s degree requirements must be completed no later than the end of the second term of enrolment, following acceptance of an offer of conditional admission. The student may take graduate courses during these two terms, but their admission remains conditional until they receive their bachelor’s degree.

Exceptions

Exceptions to the minimum requirements as stated above are rare. Some programs may occasionally allow for competency-based admissions when an applicant does not meet the requirements as above, and does not qualify for conditional admission. The requirements for a competency-based exceptional admission include evidentiary demonstration of academic competency equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

Evidence of competency will be evaluated against a rubric established by the program and approved by Graduate Studies Committee and the Associate Vice President, Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies. An applicant’s portfolio of evidence will be independently evaluated against the established rubric by three reviewers who have training in competency-based assessment.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the Graduate Program Committee, over and above the requirements listed above.

Students must satisfy the requirements of UFV's English language proficiency requirement.

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 reference may be required at that time.

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

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, Engagement, & 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 English language proficiency requirement section for further details.

Decisions on admissions

All decisions on graduate admissions are made by the AVP Research, Engagement, & 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.

Registration

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 their supervisor or senior supervisor, once this supervisor is appointed. In addition, registration for courses taken outside the student's program must 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 their 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 as on leave. A student in a per-semester fee program who 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.

Auditing courses

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:

Grade

Percentage equivalent

Grade point value

A+

A

A-

90–100

85–89

80–84

4.33

4.00

3.67

B+

B

B-

77–79

73–76

70–72

3.33

3.00

2.67

C+

C

C-

67–69

63–66

60–62

2.33

2.00

1.67

D

50–59

1.00

F

<50 (fail)

0.00

FD (Effective Fall 2019)

0

0.00

Note 1: Grades below B- are considered unacceptable for graduate programs.

Note 2: Effective Fall 2019, an FD grade denotes a fail due to academic discipline and is included in the GPA calculation. Rules for assigning an FD grade are found in the Regulations and Procedures document of Policy 70: Student Academic Misconduct. The FD grade is changed to an F on the transcript after a period of 12 months provided the student successfully completes a workshop on Academic Integrity through the Academic Success Centre, and commits no further violations during the 12 month period. Otherwise, the FD remains.

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.

For information on other grades, notations, and grade point averages, see UFV's Grading System policy (101).

Program GPA required for continuation and graduation

To continue in a program, students must maintain a minimum program grade point average of 3.00, 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.

Successful completion of a graduate-level credential at UFV requires the student to obtain a minimum grade of B- in every course, a minimum program GPA of 3.00, 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 3.00 be awarded a graduate degree, diploma, or certificate.

Graduate students retaking a course

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

  1. When the same numbered course covers different material in different semesters (as in the case of special topics or directed readings courses).
  2. When the student wishes to improve the grade earned in the course. Permission of the Graduate Program Committee is required.

Under point 1, 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 point 2, 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 supervisor or supervisory committee, as stipulated by the program, is appointed.

Senior supervisor

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, Engagement, & Graduate Studies shall be informed in writing of the arrangement.

Supervisory committee

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, Engagement, & 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, Engagement, & Graduate Studies for final approval.

Ethics review

All research plans must comply with UFV's Human Research Ethics policy (54) and Animal Care policy (51).

Residency requirements

Graduate 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 master’s degree, a graduate certificate, or a graduate diploma 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, Engagement, & 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 3.00. 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:

  1. Require the student to withdraw; or
  2. 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, Engagement, & 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, Engagement, & Graduate Studies.

Any decision of the Graduate Program Committee under the provisions of this section may be appealed to the AVP Research, Engagement, & Graduate Studies, whose decision 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 Continuity of registration requirements is considered to have withdrawn from UFV.

Examination of thesis

Examining committee

Each candidate for an applied master’s degree with a thesis shall be examined by an examining committee comprised of:

  1. The Chair of the student's Graduate Program Committee, or their 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, they shall designate a member of faculty at UFV, who is not a member of the student's supervisory committee, as chair.
  2. All members of the student's supervisory committee.
  3. An external or internal examiner who is approved by the Graduate Program Committee and the AVP Research, Engagement, & 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 program GPA requirements 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, their 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, Engagement, & Graduate Studies.

Prior to the examination, the AVP Research, Engagement, & 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, Engagement, & 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 committee.
  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

Examining committee

Each candidate in a program with a major paper, project, or extended essay shall be examined by an examining committee comprised of:

  1. The student’s supervisor.
  2. An external or internal evaluator, as stipulated by the program, who is approved by the Graduate Program Committee and the AVP Research, Engagement, & 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, Engagement, & 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, Engagement, & 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:

  1. A letter grade.
  2. Credit/no credit.

Recommendation for the award of degree

Once a student has successfully defended their 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, Engagement, & 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 licence

Except as noted below, the student shall sign a partial copyright licence 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, Engagement, & Graduate Studies may give this permission.

Reproduction

In the case of theses, except as noted below, 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 AVP Research, Engagement, & 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, Engagement, & Graduate Studies well before the distribution of the document. The AVP Research, Engagement, & 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 students

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 credential

Application for graduation

Every candidate for a graduate degree, diploma, or certificate is responsible for applying for graduation on forms available from the Office of the Registrar.

Award of the credential

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

Transcripts

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 ceremony

Convocation is held annually. Graduates meeting all requirements prior to the Winter semester grade deadline (see Important Registration Dates) 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.


Current Students