Graduate Policy and Procedure Manual

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Governance: College of Graduate Studies

The College of Graduate Studies works in conjunction with departments, programs, schools, and faculties to coordinate and maintain the quality of master’s and doctoral programs on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is responsible for the governance and direction of the College of Graduate Studies and its affairs and business.

Further information on the responsibilities of the College of Graduate Studies and Graduate Council is available in the document: Senate Policy O-4.2: Governance of the College of Graduate Studies.

senate Policy: o-4.2

Number & Title:
O-4.2: Governance of the College of Graduate Studies

Effective Date:
January 1, 2019

Approval Date:
November 22, 2018

Review Date:
This policy shall be reviewed five (5) years after approval and thereafter as deemed necessary by the Responsible Committee. Such a review shall be in consultation with the Graduate Council.

Responsible Committee:
Senate Academic Policy Committee

Authority:
University Act, S. 37(1)

“The academic governance of the university is vested in the senate and it has the following powers:

(i) to recommend to the board the establishment or discontinuance of any faculty, department, course of instruction, chair, fellowship, scholarship, exhibition, bursary or prize;

(p) to deal with all matters reported by the faculties, affecting their respective departments or divisions;”

S. 47(2)

A university must, so far as and to the full extent that its resources from time to time permit, do all of the following:(a) establish and maintain colleges, schools, institutes, faculties, departments, chairs and courses of instruction;

(f) generally, promote and carry on the work of a university in all its branches, through the cooperative effort of the board, senate and other constituent parts of the university”.

Purpose and Goals:
This policy is designed to:

  1. Provide direction to the College of Graduate Studies and the faculties on the structure and responsibilities of the College of Graduate Studies;
  2. Set out the membership, structure, and responsibilities of the Graduate Council.

Applicability:
This policy is applicable to graduate courses of study and courses of instruction at UBC Okanagan.

Exclusions:
Senate and the Board may, by resolution, declare the College of Graduate Studies to not be responsible for a graduate course of study and thus have all aspects of that course of studys administration be the responsibility of its awarding faculty.

Currently excluded courses of study are:

  • Master of Management
  • Master of Engineering Leadership in Resource Engineering Management

Excluded courses of study will not receive training, support or resources from the College of Graduate Studies.

Definitions:
For the purposes of this policy and in all other policies in which they are not otherwise defined:

  • College of Graduate Studies or College means the coordinating body for graduate education at UBC Okanagan established by the Senate and Board.
  • Course of instruction means a credit course offered by the University at its UBC Okanagan campus.
  • Course of study means an academic degree, diploma, or certificate program or other activity resulting in an academic credential from the University granted at its UBC Okanagan campus.
  • Graduate Program Coordinator means the Faculty Member appointed by a Dean or Department Head to administer a graduate program.
  • Course-based Master’s means a non-thesis graduate course of study offered by the University at its UBC Okanagan campus
  • Graduate Council means the governance body established under this policy for the government and the direction of the College of Graduate Studies and its affairs and business.

Policy:

  1. The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for the quality and administrative oversight of all graduate courses of study and other graduate educational matters on the UBC Okanagan campus.
  2. The College of Graduate Studies and faculties will coordinate specific tasks and responsibilities associated with graduate students and graduate courses of study as summarized in the Appendix: Coordination of Responsibilities for Graduate Education Matters.
  3. The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for post-doctoral support and advocacy on the UBC Okanagan campus.
  4. The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for maintaining a central coordinating role in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program as articulated in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program guidelines approved by the Okanagan Senate.
  5. There shall be a University Graduate Council appointed by and responsible to the College of Graduate Studies.

a. Graduate Council Membership

i. Ex officio members (with voting powers)

Dean of the College of Graduate Studies (Chair)
President
Deputy Vice-Chancellor
University Librarian or his or her designate
Provost
Vice-Principal Research
Dean of each Faculty or his or her designate
Associate Dean(s) of the College of Graduate Studies
Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies or equivalent from each Faculty

ii. Faculty members

a. The faculties shall select 18 members as described in the Appendix: Allocation of Faculty Representation on Graduate Council. The selected faculty members must be members of the College of Graduate Studies with satisfactory standing.
b. Each faculty shall determine its own procedures for selecting its representatives.

iii. Student members

a. One (1) doctoral student elected by and from doctoral students
b. One (1) research master’s student elected by and from research master’s students.
c. One (1) course-based master’s student elected by and from course-based master’s students.
d. No more than one student from any faculty. Student members can serve for a maximum of two years provided they remain registered as graduate students.

iv. Non-Voting Members

The Registrar or his or her designate
The Director of the College of Graduate Studies
The Associate Director, Admissions and Records of the College of Graduate Studies

b. Terms of Reference

i. Subject to approval by the Senate and to this policy, the Graduate Council shall be responsible for the governance of and the procedures followed by the College of Graduate Studies.
ii. Without limiting the generality of Section 1 or Sub-Section 4 (b)(i), the Graduate Council shall be responsible for:

1. Reviewing graduate-level courses of instruction and courses of study for academic quality and to make recommendations thereon to the appropriate committees of Senate;
2.
Assuring uniformity of practices and standards for master’s theses and doctoral dissertation defence oral examinations;
3. Establishing and revising standards for graduate- level theses, dissertations and comprehensive examinations;
4. Establishing and revising standards for the admission to candidacy of doctoral students;
5. Establishing and revising processes for determining admissibility to graduate courses of study;
6. Establishing and revising processes for determining eligibility to graduate from graduate courses of study;
7. Reviewing recommendations resulting from academic reviews of graduate courses of study and making recommendations thereon to the Dean of the College, the faculties, Senate, or others as appropriate;
8. Recommending the standards, criteria and terms of graduate scholarships and awards to the Board and Senate;
9. Recommending procedures under this policy to the Responsible Committee; and,
10. Establishing necessary standing and ad-hoc committees of the Graduate Council, setting out their compositions and terms of reference, and delegating to such committees such powers of the Graduate Council as the Graduate Council sees fit except for the power to further delegate.

iii. The teaching of graduate courses of instruction is the responsibility of the faculties.

c. Meetings of the Graduate Council

i. Regular meetings of the Graduate Council shall occur monthly, with the time and location for such meetings to be set by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies for each year prior to the start of term 1 of each Winter Session and notice of such being given at that time to each member of the Graduate Council. The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies is the Chair of Graduate Council.
ii. Extraordinary meetings may be called by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies provided that five (5) business days’ notice is given to members of the Graduate Council and must be called by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies within 5 business days upon receipt of a petition to that effect signed by a quorum of the Graduate Council.
iii. Quorum for the Graduate Council shall be ten (10) voting members.
iv. The agenda for each regular and extraordinary meeting of the Graduate Council shall be circulated at least two (2) business days prior to the meeting.
v. The Graduate Council shall set such deadlines for submission of agenda items for regular and extraordinary meetings as it sees fit. vi. Guests relevant to an agenda item may be invited by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies or upon approval by the Dean, at the suggestion of members of Graduate Council.

Calendar Statement
None required.

Consultations
The following individuals and groups have been consulted during the development of this policy:

  • Dean of the College of Graduate Studies
  • Associate Deans, Research and Graduate Studies (or equivalent)
  • Deans
  • Graduate Council
  • Graduate Student Advisory Council

History
This is the fourth version of this policy. The third version of October 2017 the contained changes to clarify the role of the College vis-à-vis the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program. The second version of May 19, 2010 contained different membership on the Graduate Council and set out terms for membership in the College of Graduate Studies. The criteria for membership in the College of Graduate Studies is now detailed in Policy O-9.

Related Policies
Policy O-9

0-4 Appendix
Allocation of Faculty Representation on Graduate Council
Of the 18 available non ex officio faculty seats on the Graduate Council, the seats are assigned as follows. The seat allocation of faculty members shall be reviewed by the Graduate Council and approved by the College of Graduate Studies every triennium.

IKBSAS (8)
FCCS (2)
FHSD (3)
Faculty of Management (1)
School of Education (1)
School of Engineering (3)

Coordination of Responsibilities for Graduate Education Matters

COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES FACULTIES
Student Recruitment
Promote graduate studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus Develop promotional materials, advertise and market graduate programs
Maintain a website for general information regarding available graduate programs, application and admission standards, funding, etc. Maintain individual graduate program websites and pages

Outreach efforts to best attract students

Admissions, Re-admission & Transfer
Receive, assess, sort and process applications (maintain files, track progress, remind program advisors of deadlines and deliverables) Review applications and make decisions regarding preferred candidates for admission, re-admission and transfer
Calculate or verify GPAs for applicants recommended for admission by programs Programs may choose to calculate GPAs for preferred candidates
Ensure general policies and regulations are adhered to (TOEFL criteria, average calculations, transcript interpretation, assessment of credentials, fraud detection) Perform quality assessment, prerequisite assessment, evaluation of referee letters, etc. as well as conduct general due diligence (e.g., phone interviews of international candidates to check language skills)
Manage application fee payments and application deposits
Send letters of acceptance and decline to students

Send funding letters for students in collaboration with the disciplinary faculty

Confirm faculty-level funding details for funding letter, prepare program letter if desired
Maintain contact with admitted students and forward orientation information Maintain contact with admitted students and forward faculty-specific information kits
Manage and approve exception requests/extraordinary circumstances (in collaboration with the program and disciplinary faculty Dean) Request exceptions
Student Funding
Develop and administer all merit-based student scholarships and fellowships that are external or campus/university-wide, and are not employment related. This includes:

  1. Instruction in process
  2. Vetting of applications for competition
  3. Creating and managing selection committees
  4. Notifying applicants
Manage Teaching and Research Assistant opportunities in collaboration with each faculty’s Dean’s Office (maintain strict adherence to work-related guidelines and union regulations, etc.)

Develop program-specific guidelines on overall financial packages for students

Graduate Studies Scholarship & Awards Committee Terms of Reference and Membership

Preamble

The Scholarship and Awards Committee is a standing committee of the College of Graduate Studies Graduate Council. This committee is responsible for the fair and equitable adjudication of various awards and scholarships administered by the College of Graduate Studies

1. Roles and Responsibilities

  • 1.1 Adjudicate major external awards such as: Vanier CGS, Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship, Tri- Council (NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) doctoral scholarships, Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Program (CGS M).
  • 1.2 Adjudicate internal awards such as: Killam Doctoral Scholarship, Governor General’s Gold Medal, Graduate Dean’s Thesis Fellowship, Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship, CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award, and various endowment funded awards.
  • 1.3 Report annually on scholarships and awards to Graduate Council.
  • 1.4 Members are expected to attend adjudication meetings in person; in the event of illness or other circumstances, submission of scores by email to the Data Analyst and Awards Officer may be accepted.
  • 1.5 Members must identify any conflicts of interest prior to the adjudication and not score applications where a conflict of interest exists.
  • 1.6 Members are bound by strict expectations of confidentiality regarding the substance of the Committee adjudication process.

2. Composition

  • 2.1 Members are recommended by Faculty Deans to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies (CoGS).
  • 2.2 The Committee consists of two primary sub-committees according to Tri-Council area and additional ad-hoc sub-committees drawn from the membership of 2.3 and 2.4 as required.
  • 2.3 NSERC and CIHR sub-committee (8 committee members)
    • School of Engineering (3)
    • Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (3) (not the same members as under 2.4)
    • Faculty of Health and Social Development (2)
  • 2.4  SSHRC sub-committee (9 committee members)
    • Faculty of Education (1)
    • Faculty of Health and Social Development (1) (not the same members as under 2.3)
    • Faculty of Management (1)
    • Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (3)
    • Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (3) (not the same members as under 2.3)
  • 2.5 Members normally serve for a two-year term with rotation as needed.
  • 2.6 At the discretion of the Dean, a member may be replaced on the Committee due to non-participation.
  • 2.7 The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies serves as the Chair of the committee.

3. ex officio membership

  • 3.1 Dean, College of Graduate Studies.
  • 3.2 Associate Dean, College of Graduate Studies.
  • 3.3 Director, College of Graduate Studies.
  • 3.4 Data Analyst and Awards Officer, College of Graduate Studies.

4. voting rights

  • 4.1 All members have voting privileges.
  • 4.2 Ex Officio members do not have voting privileges, except in the case of 4.3.
  • 4.3 The Chair of the committee casts the deciding vote in the case of a committee tie vote.

5. quorum

  • 5.1 Five (5) members of the NSERC/CIHR or SSHRC sub-committees respectively when meeting to determine NSERC/CIHR or SSHRC nominations to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (UBC Vancouver).
  • 5.2 Four (4) voting members from the selected sub-committee for nominations to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (UBC Vancouver) for Vanier, Trudeau, and Killam awards.
  • 5.3 Four (4) voting members from the selected sub-committee to determine internal UBC Okanagan awards.
  • 5.4 Four (4) voting members from the selected sub-committee for adjudicating applications for other external awards not explicitly listed elsewhere in these terms of reference.

6. procedures

  • 6.1 For the purposes of reviewing individual applications, the minimum number of committee members reviewing each application is three.
  • 6.2 Sub-committees will convene for adjudication as needed upon the request of the Data Analyst and Awards Officer.

Graduate Studies Program and Curriculum Committee

Terms of Reference

  • The Program & Curriculum Committee is a sub-committee of the College of Graduate Studies Council.
  • The Committee will review program & curriculum changes and make recommendations to the Senate Curriculum Committee on behalf of the College of Graduate Studies.
  • The department that is proposing the changes will present the changes at the Senate Curriculum Committee meeting.

1) Responsibilities

a. Review and recommend to the Senate Curriculum Committee for approval, amendment, or rejection, all proposals for curriculum changes, new graduate programs, and new graduate-level (500 to 699) courses.
b. A member of this committee will be chosen by the chair of the committee to represent the College of Graduate Studies on the Senate Curriculum Committee for a term of one (1) year, with option for renewal.

2) Membership

a) Dean of the College of Graduate Studies or delegate (Ex officio, non-voting, except in the case of a tie vote amongst the committee members, is chair in absence of Associate Dean)
b) Director of the College of Graduate Studies (Ex officio, non-voting)
c) Faculty representatives – Shall be appointed by the Dean of each Faculty or School

1) I.K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (2)
2) Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (1)
3) Faculty of Education (1)
4) School of Engineering (1)
5) Faculty of Health and Social Development (1)
6) Faculty of Management (1)

d) One elected graduate student from the Graduate Student Advisory Council.

3) Continuation of MembershiP

i) Members will be considered to have withdrawn from the committee if they miss three (3) consecutive meetings. The Chair of the committee will have the option of requesting from the relevant Faculty or School Dean a replacement representative.
ii) The term of membership on the committee is normally three years; Deans may reappoint members at their discretion.

4. Conduct of meetings of the Committee

a) The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies or designate is the Committee Chair.
b) The schedule for the regular monthly meetings is to be set by the Chair of the committee with the schedule distributed to committee members and to an identified contact person who has responsibility for graduate curriculum matters in the office of every Dean of a Faculty or School.
c) Extraordinary meetings may be called by the Dean of The College of Graduate Studies or the Chair of the Committee provided that five (5) days’ notice is given to members of the Committee.
d) The quorum for meetings of the Committee will be four (4) voting members.
e) The deadline for submission of items for the consideration of the Committee will be one week (seven [7] days) prior to a scheduled meeting. Items for the consideration of the Committee shall be circulated to the members a minimum of four (4) days prior to the meeting.

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program Committee

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program shall be governed by a committee of the College of Graduate Studies.

The IGS Program and Curriculum Committee reviews curriculum proposals and formulates guidelines and procedures for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program.

The committee meets monthly as business requires, and no less than once in each of the W1 and W2 semesters.

Terms of Reference

Membership

  1. Dean/Associate Dean of CoGS — Chair (non-voting, except in case of tie votes on the Committee)
  2. Faculty Members
    a) One Theme Coordinator or designate from each IGS Theme
    b) The Associate Dean/Director (or designate) responsible for graduate studies in every Faculty that is participating in the IGS
    c) One Faculty-level IGS coordinator from each Faculty that is participating in the IGS program (note: this role is, at a minimum, responsible for overseeing the IGS program progress of students admitted under the previous guidelines and of PhD individualized option students, and for tracking all IGS students within a Faculty).
  3. Student Members (2 year terms)
    a) One student (s)elected from graduate students in the IGS Master’s
    b) One student (s)elected from the graduate students in the IGS graduate doctoral program.
  4. One non-voting staff member of the CoGS office, appointed by the Dean of CoGS, to provide timely policy, regulatory, and technical implementation expertise regarding changes that the Committee may

Continuation of membership

  1. Members shall cease to be members of the Program Committee if, as applicable, they cease to be a member of the IGS constituency they represent, or they cease in their official role as either Associate Dean (or equivalent), Faculty IGS Coordinator, or Theme Coordinator, or if the constituency they represent ceases to participate (as herein defined) in the IGS program.
  2. The Chair may grant members of the Committee a leave of absence for up to three consecutive ordinary meetings of the Committee. Any member who is absent without leave for more than three consecutive ordinary meetings will be considered to have withdrawn from the committee. The Chair of the committee will have the option of requesting a replacement representative from the appropriate administrator.

Responsibilities and activities of the program and Curriculum Committee

  1. Reviews and recommends for Senate approval any curriculum proposals for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program.
  2. Reviews and recommends for Senate approval:
    a) proposals for the establishment of new Themes;
    b) revisions to existing Themes;
    c) the dissolution of Themes it judges to be no longer viable.
  3. Undertakes consultations with Faculties and faculty in all cases as appropriate to produce recommendations to Senate.
  4. Establishes, reviews and amends as needed guidelines and procedures for the IGS program. (These items do not require approval by Graduate Council, but may be reviewed by that body for conformity to CoGS guidelines, policies, and procedures). Activities under this responsibility include:
    a) Develop rules and regulations for the IGS program;
    b) Review the structure of IGS and recommend changes as the Committee deems necessary;
    c) Periodically review guidelines and procedures for the IGS and recommend amendments as the Committee deems necessary.
  5. Engages in SEM consultations with relevant Faculties and with the Dean of CoGS as appropriate.
  6. Reviews and recommends to Graduate Council, as needed, resourcing agreements with Deans, Heads, and other pertinent administrators concerning instructional and other commitments for the operation of the IGS program.
  7. Oversees arrangements for applying pre-existing rules for of students in previous IGS program.
  8. Coordinates or directs review of each Theme every five (5) years.
  9. Conducts meetings of the IGS Program and Curriculum Committee:
    a) The schedule for regular monthly meetings is to be set by the Dean/Associate Dean of CoGS, with the schedule distributed to members and posted at the beginning of the Winter I term.
    b) Extraordinary meetings may be called by the Dean/Associate Dean of CoGS provided that five (5) business days notice is given to members of the Committee.
    c) The quorum for meetings of the IGS Program and Curricula Committee will be six (6) members, including the Chair.
  10. The deadline for submission of agenda items will normally be ten (10) business days) prior to the scheduled meeting. The meeting agenda shall normally be circulated to members of the Program Committee a minimum of five (5) business days prior to the meeting.

Graduate Student Advisory Council

Terms of Reference

Purpose

The purpose of the Graduate Student Advisory Council is to:

  • To provide advice and feedback to the Vice Provost and Dean, the Associate Dean, and the Director of the College of Graduate Studies on key issues for graduate students at UBC Okanagan;
  • To provide information on policies, procedures, workshops, other events and funding from the CoGS office and from Graduate Council;
  • To enable a forum for in-depth discussion on important issues, as identified by GSAC members and their graduate program colleagues;
  • To advocate for change, and to provide leadership, on key issues such as, but not limited to, student services and funding;
  • To provide a forum where GSAC members can also discuss issues and strategize with Graduate Student Senators
  • To help fill graduate student representative vacancies on relevant committees, as needed

Membership

  • Dean, College of Graduate Studies (Chair) (ex officio)
  • Associate Dean(s), College of Graduate Studies (Vice Chair) (ex officio)
  • Director, College of Graduate Studies (ex officio)
  • Graduate Student Senators (non-voting)
  • Representative, Health and Wellness (non-voting)
  • Two Graduate student representatives from the following:
    • Applied Science
    • K. Barber School – 2 representatives from each department
    • Education
    • Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
    • Faculty of Health and Social Development – 2 representatives each from  Nursing, Health Studies and Social Work
    • Faculty of Management
  • Invited guests, as appropriate

The CoGS office will issue a call to Graduate Program Coordinators for representatives annually each August in order to populate GSAC for the academic year, starting in September. Members will be appointed for a term of one year with the option of renewing for an additional year.

Meetings

Meetings will normally be held monthly and will entail one key issue for in-depth discussion, as identified by GSAC members.

Quorum is 10

GSAC members may at times wish to form Working Groups which would then report back to GSAC.

A summary of the discussion will be circulated to committee members within 5 business days of the meeting, to be shared with their graduate program colleagues.

Student Classifications

Master’s Students

Full-Time Classification

Students classified as full-time are expected to engage in their studies on a full-time basis. Master’s students are normally considered full-time students and are assessed fees according to Schedule A of the master’s full-time fees schedule. Full-time students are eligible for graduate scholarships and fellowships. Normally, teaching assistantships (TAs) and research assistantships (RAs) are limited to full-time students.

Graduate programs may articulate specific limitations regarding concurrent paid employment as consistent with the definition of full-time study. Recipients of TAs must adhere to the TA union’s regulations governing number of hours worked while holding a TA.

Part-Time Classification

In some programs, master’s students have the option of pursuing their degree through part-time study. The expected academic workload of students classified as part-time is determined by the graduate program. Students classified as part-time are assessed tuition fees according to Schedule B of the master’s part-time fees schedule.

Students who wish to be classified as part-time must obtain approval from their graduate program coordinator and the College of Graduate Studies prior to the beginning of the first term of the program (i.e., prior to the commencement of the degree program) in which fees are first assessed.

Students classified as part-time are advised that:

  • they are not eligible to receive interest-free status government loans, University fellowships, or scholarships;
  • they are not eligible for TAs, RAs, student housing, or assigned desk space at the University; and
  • the five-year maximum time allowed for the master’s program also applies to part-time students.

No master’s student who selects Schedule B will pay total fees less than the first nine (9) installments (plus authorized student fees) of their degree program. Upon program completion, any installments not already assessed will be assessed at that time.

Students who pay tuition fees according to Schedule B are not permitted to revert back to Schedule A after the initial payment of the tuition fees in the first term of the program.

Master’s Students in Education (MEd or MA)

Students pursuing a Master’s degree in Education (MEd or MA) are normally part-time students and pay specialized master’s degree tuition fees according to Schedule B (see Specialized Master’s Degree Programs). Students in this program are not eligible for graduate scholarships or fellowships.

Doctoral Students

All doctoral students are considered full-time students and are assessed fees according to Schedule A of the doctoral degree tuition fees schedule. Full-time students are expected to engage in their studies on a full-time basis. Full-time students are eligible for graduate scholarships and fellowships. Normally, teaching assistantships (TAs) and research assistantships (RAs) are limited to full-time students.

Graduate programs may articulate specific limitations regarding concurrent paid employment as consistent with the definition of full-time study. Recipients of TAs must adhere to the appropriate union’s regulations governing number of hours worked while holding a TA.

ABORIGINAL STUDENTS

UBC Okanagan does not have a specific Aboriginal graduate admissions policy. However, we are committed to ensuring Aboriginal students receive the benefits of a first-rate graduate education. Aboriginal students should consult the following links for important services and resources.

FACULTY AS GRADUATE STUDENTS

Full-time faculty are not normally allowed to register for programs leading to UBC Okanagan campus degrees or diplomas.

QUALIFYING STUDENTS

A student whose academic background entitles him or her to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies but who is considered to be inadequately prepared to enter a graduate program in the specific discipline (e.g., three-year degree holders from other Canadian universities, a student changing from one field of study to another, or a student upgrading his or her academic standing) may be admitted as a qualifying student. Qualifying students are not considered graduate students.

If, at the end of a qualifying term or year, the graduate program and the College of Graduate Studies are satisfied with the calibre of the student’s work, the student may apply for admission to a graduate degree program.

Courses taken during a qualifying year or term that are necessary in order to meet the requirements for full admission to Graduate Studies cannot be transferred to a subsequent graduate program. However, other courses may be transferred upon the recommendation of the department and with the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Qualifying student status is available only to applicants who do not require a study permit to enter Canada.

VISITING STUDENTS

A visiting graduate student is one who is attending the UBC Okanagan campus to complete coursework and/or research toward the requirements of a graduate degree at another recognized university. To be eligible for admission as a visiting student to the UBC Okanagan campus, the student must be currently registered in a graduate program with good standing at the home university. Normally, students may hold visiting status at the UBC Okanagan campus for a maximum of 12 months. Prior approval of the home university, the UBC Okanagan campus graduate program, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies is required.

Visiting students, with the exception of those governed by the Western Deans’ Agreement, Graduate Exchange Agreement, and other special agreements, pay tuition fees on a per-credit basis.

VISITING STUDENTS FROM CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES

Students enrolled in graduate programs at other Canadian universities may enroll on the UBC Okanagan Campus as visiting students through one of three mechanisms:

  • Western Deans’ Agreement;
  • Graduate Exchange Agreement; or,
  • Regular Visiting Students.

WESTERN CANADIAN DEANS’ AGREEMENT

The Western Deans’ Agreement provides an automatic tuition fee waiver for visiting students from participating universities. Under the terms of this agreement, graduate students in good standing from UBC can register in any of the universities listed below without paying tuition or student fees. The same is also true for students of other participating institutions who wish to attend classes or conduct research at UBC.

Students may be required to pay student, activity, application, or other ancillary fees, according to general policies in effect. Wherever possible, these fees will also be waived.

To qualify at UBC Okanagan under the Western Deans’ Agreement, students must:

  • Be registered in an institution that is part of the Western Deans’ Agreement;
  • Be in good academic standing in a graduate program at their home institution;
  • Be up-to-date in the payment of all current and back fees at their home institution;
  • Be seeking to take courses that are considered integral to their degree program; and
  • Have completed the Western Deans’ Agreement

The Western Deans’ Agreement Authorization form must be approved by the relevant UBCO Graduate Program Advisor and the College of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the course(s) requested.

The fee waiver is not available retroactively.

Additional information about the Western Deans’ Agreement and participating institutions is available on the Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies’ website.

GRADUATE EXCHANGE AGREEMENT

The Graduate Exchange Agreement allows graduate students in good standing at UBC, McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Montreal to take courses at each other’s universities without having to pay tuition fees to the host institution.

To qualify at UBC Okanagan under the Graduate Exchange Agreement, students must:

  • Be registered in an institution that is part of the Graduate Exchange Agreement;
  • Be in good academic standing in a graduate program at their home institution;
  • Be up-to-date in the payment of all current and back fees at their home institution;
  • Be seeking to take courses that are considered integral to their degree program; and
  • Have completed the Graduate Exchange Authorization form.

The Graduate Exchange Authorization form must be approved by the relevant UBCO Graduate Program Advisor and the College of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the course(s) requested.

The fee waiver is not available retroactively.

REGULAR CANADIAN VISITING STUDENTS

A visiting graduate student is one who is attending the UBC Okanagan campus to complete coursework and/or research toward the requirements of a graduate degree at their home university. To be eligible for admission as a visiting student to the UBC Okanagan campus, the student must be currently registered in a graduate program with good standing at another recognized university. Normally, students may hold visiting status at the UBC Okanagan campus for a maximum of 12 months.

Applicants for regular visiting student status (other than those applying under the Western Deans Agreement or the Graduate Exchange Agreement) must submit the following documentation:

  • a graduate studies application;
  • an application fee;
  • one set of official transcripts from the student’s current graduate program;
  • evidence of English proficiency, where applicable, in the form of an official TOEFL or IELTS score;
  • individual graduate program requirements (e.g., GRE, statement of intent, research proposal, CV, etc.); and
  • a letter of permission from the home university’s registrar or department head confirming that the coursework and/or research undertaken at the UBC Okanagan campus while a visiting student is for the purpose of completing the graduate degree requirements at the home university.

At the recommendation of the graduate program, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will issue a formal offer of admission to the visiting student. Visiting students cannot use the Student Service Centre to register; they must be registered in coursework or non-credit activity (if doing research only) through the College of Graduate Studies.

Visiting students must be registered in coursework or non-credit activity (if doing research only) through the College of Graduate Studies.

Those students involved in research activity only (no courses) must register for the non-credit activity Visiting Graduate Research Student (VGRS 599), which is equal to the tuition fee for one credit of coursework plus authorized student fees.

VISITING STUDENTS FROM INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES

Students enrolled in graduate programs at non-Canadian universities may enroll on the UBC Okanagan Campus as visiting students through one of two mechanisms:

  • Visiting International Research Student (VIRS); or
  • Regular International Visiting Student.

VISITING INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH STUDENTS (VIRS)

A visiting international research student is one who is enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or graduate-equivalent program at another university, or is a participant in a UBC-recognized (through Go Global) “bridging” program between undergraduate and graduate studies, who visits UBC for one month or longer to conduct research only.

A VIRS must be supervised by a UBC faculty member throughout the visit, and must have the written permission of their home institution or sponsoring program to visit UBC to conduct research. The head for the department or laboratory with which the visitor will be affiliated has final authority to approve a VIRS visit. Students whose home institution has a formal academic student exchange agreement with UBC will be registered as exchange students unless reciprocity quotas are filled; in which case additional students may come under the VIRS designation.

A VIRS will normally come to UBC for a maximum of one year. At the end of the approved visit period, the student may request an extension for up to one year. A visit lasting more than one year will require renewal of their permissions, registration, and fees.

Detailed application information is available on the Go Global website.

REGULAR INTERNATIONAL VISITING STUDENTS

A visiting graduate student is one who is attending the UBC Okanagan campus to complete coursework and/or research toward the requirements of a graduate degree at their home university. To be eligible for admission as a visiting student to the UBC Okanagan campus, the student must be currently registered in a graduate program with good standing at another recognized university. Normally, students may hold visiting status at the UBC Okanagan campus for a maximum of 12 months.

Applicants for regular visiting student status (other than those applying under the Western Deans Agreement or the Graduate Exchange Agreement) must submit the following documentation:

  • a graduate studies application;
  • an application fee;
  • one set of official transcripts from the student’s current graduate program;
  • evidence of English proficiency, where applicable, in the form of an official TOEFL or IELTS score;
  • individual graduate program requirements (e.g., GRE, statement of intent, research proposal, CV, etc.); and
  • a letter of permission from the home university’s registrar or department head confirming that the coursework and/or research undertaken at the UBC Okanagan campus while a visiting student is for the purpose of completing the graduate degree requirements at the home university.

At the recommendation of the graduate program, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will issue a formal offer of admission to the visiting student. Visiting students cannot use the Student Service Centre to register; they must be registered in coursework or non-credit activity (if doing research only) through the College of Graduate Studies.

Regular international visiting students must be registered in coursework through the College of Graduate Studies. They will be assessed tuition fees at the prevailing graduate per credit rate along with authorized student fees.

Other Exchange Agreements

Graduate programs may have exchange agreements with similar programs at other institutions. Students should consult their Graduate Advisor or UBC’s Go Global: International Learning Programs for more information.

Applications & Admissions

UBC Graduate Admissions Student Declaration

Declaration

  • I agree that my post-secondary grades may be released to UBC.
  • I agree to notify the graduate program(s) to which I am applying of any additional post-secondary studies taken or registered courses from which I withdraw subsequent to the date of this application.
  • I certify that information provided in written responses are accurate and my own.
  • I agree that if I knowingly or carelessly provided untrue, incomplete or plagiarized information with this application then UBC may in its sole discretion do any or all of the following: (a) cancel my application; (b) withdraw any offer of admission, whether accepted or not; (c) require me to withdraw from UBC; (d) subject me to academic discipline; (e) share the information I provided with other post-secondary institutions, law enforcement agencies, or other third parties.
  • I agree that UBC may verify the information provided by contacting any references provided and institutions attended.
  • I agree that UBC may release my name to my previous institutions if I am a Scholarship recipient.

I agree, if admitted to UBC, to be bound by the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) of the University of British Columbia, and of the faculty or faculties in which I am registered, and any amendments thereto which may be made while I am a student of the University, and that I may be subject to discipline or other consequences for failure to comply with the same.

Collection and use of personal information

Legal Authority: UBC collects, uses, retains and discloses personal information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), R.S.B.C. 1996, c.165, as amended, and the University Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468, as amended.

Collection: During the admissions process, and throughout your university career, UBC will collect personal information from you for the purpose of carrying out its mandate and operations.

Use: UBC will use your personal information for the purpose of carrying out its mandate and operations, including but not limited to the following purposes:

  • making decisions about your academic status, including but not limited to admission, registration, academic progress, funding, and graduation
  • providing you with ongoing service and assistance
  • operating athletic, residential, alumni and other UBC-related programs and activities (including issuing UBC Card and U-Pass)
  • other purposes authorized by the FIPPA

Disclosure: UBC may disclose your personal information, inside or outside Canada, as follows:

  • within UBC to carry out its mandate and operations
  • to the UBC Alumni Association for the purpose of registering individuals with the Association and to allow the Association to communicate with its members concerning UBC and Association initiatives, including fund-raising and marketing products and services
  • to UBC student societies (such as UBC Alma Mater Society and Graduate Student Society) for the purpose of running elections, managing and communicating with their membership, and administering student programs (including the UBC Alma Mater Society and Graduate Student Society Health Plan)
  • to other UBC student organizations to carry out their mandates
  • for the purpose of graduate supervision and examination, including disclosure to your external supervisors and examiners as well as to members of the public who attend your doctoral defence
  • to organizations providing financial support to you (such as student loan issuers, government sponsors, and research funding agencies)
  • for the purpose of facilitating your educational or professional development activities, experiential learning activities, internships or other work/research placements
  • to other educational institutions when necessary for academic purposes
  • to professional organizations for membership and licensing purposes
  • to the provincial government to carry out its mandate
  • to entities participating in or operating UBC-related programs (e.g., U-Pass)
  • to third parties for statistical and research purposes (e.g. to conduct surveys in order to gain feedback from students regarding their experiences at UBC)
  • to Canadian immigration officials to expedite my visa processing and verification of student status in Canada
  • for other purposes authorized by the FIPPA

For more information, contact the Registrar of the University of British Columbia.

College of Graduate Studies Responsibilities

The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for compiling application materials, which includes verifying the authenticity of references and of any documents it has received to fulfill admissions requirements. The College of Graduate Studies sends completed application files to graduate programs for review.

When an academic department recommends an applicant for admission, the College of Graduate Studies will ensure that the applicant meets all admission requirements. If a recommended applicant does not meet the minimum admission requirements, the College of Graduate Studies will follow the Exceptional Admissions process.

The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for sending all admission offers and rejection notifications to applicants.

Academic Program’s/Department’s Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the academic program or department to review all complete applications and make admissions decisions regarding all application files. Department, program, or faculty graduate committees make recommendations to the College of Graduate Studies to accept applicants to fill available positions in their departments and programs.

When recommending an applicant for admission, the academic department should ensure that the applicant meets all admission requirements. Academic departments should only recommend admission for students they believe are likely to succeed in the program and for whom they have the resources that are required to adequately foster student success in the program. These resources include supervisory personnel, facilities, and financial support where appropriate.

Offers of Admission

The College of Graduate Studies has final approval authority for all graduate admissions.

Once an admission is approved, the College of Graduate Studies sends an admission offer letter to the successful applicant through the online application system.
If a successful applicant is to receive funding from their program, the program should send a letter outlining the funding opportunity. This information is especially important for international applicants who may need to provide proof of funding when applying for study permits.

Unconditional/Full Admission

Unconditional admission is granted when an applicant meets all requirements and the College of Graduate Studies has received and officially accepted all required documentation.

Conditional Admission

Applicants receive offers of conditional admission when they must meet certain conditions before they can receive an unconditional offer of admission.
Such conditions may include:

  • Submission of a criminal record check;
  • Completion of required prerequisite courses, or verification that such courses have been completed;
  • Submission of final documentation showing degree conferral; or
  • Submission of academic records from previous institutions.

The offer of admission letter will stipulate any conditions that must be met prior to the start of the program. Failure to meet conditions prior to the program start date listed in the admission offer letter may result in revocation of the admission offer.

Negative Admission Decision by the College of Graduate Studies

If the College of Graduate Studies does not approve the admission of an applicant whom a program or department has recommended for admission, the College of Graduate Studies will first report the negative decision to the recommending program coordinator. The program will have five business days to respond to the negative decision and/or schedule a meeting with the Dean or Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. If the program does not respond within five business days, or the Dean is not satisfied with the response of the program, the applicant will be sent a rejection notification. The Dean has sole discretion to reject an applicant, subject only to an appeal to Senate.

Accepting or Declining Admission Offers

All applicants will receive a formal decision concerning their applications.

Applicants are responsible for accepting or declining admission offers by the response date indicated in the notification email.

Normally, a response is expected within three weeks of the date the admission offer is sent.

Applicants accept or decline the admission offer by logging into the online application system and responding to the admission offer.

Declined Admission

Applicants who are not successful will receive an admission decline email through the online application system.

Each year, many strong applications are declined. Common reasons include the unavailability of an appropriate faculty supervisor, the unavailability of funding for the applicant, the less competitive academic record of an applicant, or the limited number of available graduate placements in a given program.

NOTE: Because of the large number of applications the College of Graduate Studies receives, it is unable to provide unsuccessful applicants with specific explanations for why their application has been declined.

Admission Deferrals

Admission offers can only be deferred with the permission of the College of Graduate Studies and the department or program to which the applicant has been admitted.

Admission offers can be deferred for a maximum period of one year. Applicants seeking deferrals for more than one year must reapply for admission.

Master of Data Science students are not eligible for deferrals.

The process for an admission deferral is as follows:

  1. Email the College of Graduate Studies the request to defer admission, which must include the intake period to which the applicant seeks to defer;
  2. The College of Graduate Studies will evaluate the request and confer with the relevant program concerning approval of the request;
  3. If the deferral request is approved, the College of Graduate Studies will generate a new admission offer with the revised program start date; and
  4. If the deferral request is not approved, the applicant must either accept or decline the original admission offer.

NOTE: During the deferral period, the applicant must declare and submit official transcripts for any courses taken that were not included in the original application to the College of Graduate Studies.

Minimum Admission Requirements

Minimum admission requirements are set by the College of Graduate Studies and listed in the Academic Calendar. Programs may set higher admission requirements than the College of Graduate Studies.

MASTER’S DEGREE
Students with Credentials from Canadian or American Institutions

Applicants for a master’s degree program must hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC with:

  • a minimum overall average in the B+ grade range (76-79% at UBC) in third-year level and above courses; or
  • academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year courses in the A grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in the field of study; or

Applicants who have a four-year bachelor’s degree, or its academic equivalent, which does not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program or faculty and approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

These are the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies. Individual graduate programs may have additional admission requirements. Consult the graduate program listings in the Calendar to confirm the admission requirements for specific degree programs.

Students with Credentials from International Institutions

The College of Graduate Studies welcomes and encourages applications from international students who hold a credential deemed academically equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC and who demonstrate superior academic standing. Specific minimum admission requirements for graduates of different countries are listed in the International Student Evaluation Manual.

Students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must apply for a study permit (student visa) to enter Canada. Applications can be made through any Canadian Consulate or High Commission.

These are the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies. Individual graduate programs may have additional admission requirements. Consult the graduate program listings in this Calendar to confirm the admission requirements for specific degree programs.

PHD. DEGREE
Students with Credentials from Canadian or American Institutions

Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) must have completed one of the following requirements prior to admission:

  • a master’s degree (or equivalent) from an approved institution, with clear evidence of research ability or potential and a minimum overall average in the B+ grade range (76-79% at UBC) in all graduate courses;
  • a bachelor’s degree, with one year of study in a master’s program with 12 credits of first-class average, of which, normally, 9 credits must be at the 500 level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first-class standing, and clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer directly into a doctoral program is normally accomplished after the first year of study and will not be permitted after the completion of the second year in a master’s program; or
  • in exceptional cases, applicants who hold an honours bachelor’s degree with an overall average in the A grade range and who demonstrate advanced research ability may be granted direct admission to a doctoral degree program on recommendation of the admitting graduate program and approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

To maintain registration as a doctoral student, students entering directly from a bachelor’s degree must, during the first year of study, complete 12 credits with a first-class average, of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500 level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first-class standing.

These are the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies. Individual graduate programs may have additional admission requirements. Consult the graduate program listings in this Calendar to confirm the admission requirements for specific degree programs.

Students with Credentials from International Institutions

The College of Graduate Studies welcomes and encourages applications from international students who hold a credential deemed comparable academically equivalent to an approved Canadian two-year master’s degree and who demonstrate superior academic standing. Specific minimum admission requirements for graduates of different countries are listed in the International Student Evaluation Manual.

Students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must apply for a study permit (student visa) to enter Canada. Applications can be made through any Canadian Consulate or High Commission.

These are the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies. Individual graduate programs may have additional admission requirements. Consult the graduate program listings in this Calendar to confirm the admission requirements for specific degree programs.

English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants from a university outside Canada at which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 (paper version); 90 overall with a minimum score of 22 in Reading & Listening and a minimum score of 21 in Writing & Speaking (Internet version);
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 6.5, with no individual score less than 6.0; or

Individual graduate programs may set higher English language proficiency scores than those listed above.

To be officially accepted, proficiency tests must have been taken within 24 months prior to application, and they must be submitted directly to the College of Graduate Studies in sealed envelopes by the testing agencies. The College of Graduate Studies will not accept photocopies of test results.

TOEFL scores must be issued directly to the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia from the testing agency using institution code 2499.

Criminal Record Check

Students admitted to the Social Work (MSW) program or Clinical Psychology program are required to submit criminal record checks before their studies commence. Detailed information concerning these record checks are posted on the program websites:

Exceptional Admissions

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for admission are normally denied admission, but may be admitted under exceptional circumstances. If a department wishes to recommend admission for an applicant who does not meet the minimum admission requirements, the department must provide the dean of the College of Graduate Studies with a letter of rationale outlining why the applicant should be admitted. The ean of the College of Graduate Studies has the sole discretion to either approve or deny the admission.

Cases for exceptional admission include, but are not limited to:

  • applicants who do not meet all admission requirements, but who have significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies;
  • applicants admitted to a doctoral degree program directly from having completed an honours bachelor degree; or
  • applicants whose prior educational institutions are not currently recognized by UBC.

Applicants approved under this exceptional admissions policy are required to submit a progress report to the College of Graduate Studies after their first term of study.

READMISSION

Readmission applies when it is appropriate to admit a student who was previously registered, as if for the first time. An application for admission, whether to the same or a different program, will be evaluated as a new application. A new application form and application fee must be submitted.

A maximum of 12 credits or up to 40% of the total number of degree credits of previously completed coursework may be applied toward the new degree program requirements, provided the courses were completed no longer than five years from the date of readmission. Courses eligible for transfer must have been awarded a grade of at least B (74% or higher at the UBC Okanagan campus). Normal program requirements apply, as does the standard time allowed for degree completion: five years for a master’s student; six years for a doctoral student.

PhD Students Previously Admitted to Candidacy

PhD students who were previously admitted to candidacy may, upon approval of the relevant graduate program, be readmitted and continue with their “All But Dissertation” status provided that candidacy was achieved no longer than five years from the date of readmission.

Students applying for readmission in order to complete the dissertation must submit, as part of the application, a study plan outlining the proposed timeline and tasks required to complete the program.

Students readmitted to complete the dissertation will have a maximum of three years from the date of readmission to complete the PhD program.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Detailed information regarding application components and requirements is available on the Programs & Applying section of our website.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate Student Tuition

Fees, including tuition, program, course, special, and student society fees, are approved by the Board of Governors, following analysis and student consultation.

Fees are subject to change.

Tuition & student fees are assessed three times per year in September (for September – December), January (for January – April), and May (for May – August).

Payment deadlines are posted in the Academic Calendar.

Graduate students pay tuition based on their program of study, not course credits.

Graduate Student Fees

Student fees include fees authorized by student referendum, the UBC Board of Governors, and other student societies and organizations. Upon registering, a student has initiated a contract with UBC for payment of all assessed fees. A student may terminate this contract only by withdrawing from UBC.

Student fee details are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Master’s Degree Programs

Every student enrolled in a master’s program is required to maintain continuous registration by paying tuition instalments according to Schedule A or B for standard programs and according to the fees listed for each Specialized Master’s Degree Program, plus authorized student fees. Failure to pay fees will result in a financial hold and an interest penalty.

Students who have paid more than the minimum instalments for the degree will have their tuition fees prorated to the end of the month in which the College of Graduate Studies confirms that all degree requirements have been completed. This includes the submission of either their major paper or final project to their department or their thesis to the College of Graduate Studies’ Office.

All graduate students in standard master’s degree programs are automatically assessed fees according to Schedule A. Students who are planning on taking a master’s degree through part-time study (Schedule B) must obtain approval from their Graduate Program Advisor and the College of Graduate Studies prior to the beginning of the term in which fees are first assessed. To do so, please complete the Application for Part-time Payment This application is also available from the College of Graduate Studies.

Only students planning to take their degree through part-time study are permitted to select Schedule B for standard programs. Students who select Schedule B are advised that, by virtue of their part-time status, they are ineligible to receive government loans, interest-free status, and University fellowships or scholarships. Students are not permitted to switch from Schedule B to Schedule A after the due date of the first instalment.

Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students.

Detailed information concerning tuition fees are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Doctoral Programs

Every student enrolled in a doctoral program is required to maintain continuous registration by paying tuition instalments, plus authorized student fees according to the appropriate tuition fee schedule.

All students are “full-time” for the assessment of tuition and authorized student fees. Authorized student fees apply to all doctoral programs regardless of credit load or place of residence.

Students who have paid more than the minimum for the degree (the first six (6) instalments) will have their tuition fees prorated to the end of the month in which the College of Graduate Studies confirms that all degree requirements have been completed. This includes the submission of their dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies. Student fees are not prorated.

Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students.

Detailed information regarding doctoral tuition is available in the Academic Calendar.

Tuition Refund Following Thesis Program Completion

Students who have paid more than the minimum required number of tuition installments for the program in which they are enrolled may be eligible for a partial tuition refund if they complete their program part way through a semester.

Student programs are closed out to the date on which all program requirements are completed.  For thesis/dissertation students, this includes uploading the final thesis/dissertation to cIRcle and approval of the final thesis/dissertation by the College of Graduate Studies. Refunds are prorated monthly (ex. a student who completes all requirements on any day in September will receive a tuition refund for October, November, and December. A student who completes all requirements on any day in October will receive a tuition refund for November and December, etc.).

Student fees are not prorated.

Scholarships and Awards

The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for the delivery of merit-based graduate awards at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. The College of Graduate Studies manages the application and the adjudication process for multiple merit-based award competitions that are both internal and external to the Okanagan campus. Many competitions run on an annual or other cyclical basis and students are expected to apply annually for support. The College is also responsible for assigning all internal and select external award stipends as per the specific award payment schedule.

For a comprehensive list of graduate scholarships and awards available to students at UBC Okanagan, please visit: https://gradstudies.ok.ubc.ca/tuition-awards-and-finance/award-opportunities/

Each award description includes information regarding eligibility, evaluation criteria, application procedures, nomination procedures, relevant forms and resources, and conditions for award holders where applicable.

Senate Regulations governing Graduate awards

Senate Policy: O-200 was created to ensure fair, flexible and efficient administrative processes for student awards and associated funds.

Student Funding – Internal

The College of Graduate Studies receives a recurring funding allocation from the central University budget for the purpose of awarding merit based scholarships to current and incoming graduate students at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Internal awards funded through CoGS include the University Graduate Fellowship, the Graduate Dean’s Thesis Fellowship, the Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship and the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship. The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies determines allocations for each Faculty on campus, and each respective Faculty determines which eligible students will receive funding. Normally, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies reserves a portion of this funding for discretionary use.

In addition to the awards funded by the central budget through CoGS, CoGS also administers other UBC internally funded awards offered through specific faculties and donors.

Student Funding – Excellence Fund

The UBC Excellence Fund provides significant resources for initiatives that help UBC attract the best students. The College of Graduate Studies administers several awards funded by the Excellence Fund. These include the International Doctoral Fellowship, The International Four-Year Partial Tuition Award and the Graduate Dean’s Aboriginal Entrance Fellowship.

Student Funding – Tri-Council

The College of Graduate Studies adjudicates and administers external funding for graduate students. This includes the Killam Doctoral Fellowship and all Tri-Council awards (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, Vanier).

Award evaluation, nomination & adjudication procedures

THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES SCHOLARSHIPs and AWARDS COMMITTEE Terms of Reference and Membership

Preamble

The Scholarship and Awards Committee is a standing committee of the College of Graduate Studies Graduate Council. This committee is responsible for the fair and equitable adjudication of various awards and scholarships administered by the College of Graduate Studies.

1. Roles and Responsibilities

  • 1.1 Adjudicate major external awards such as: Vanier CGS, Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship, Tri- Council (NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) doctoral scholarships, Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Program (CGS M).
  • 1.2 Adjudicate internal awards such as: Killam Doctoral Scholarship, Governor General’s Gold Medal, Graduate Dean’s Thesis Fellowship, Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship, CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award, and various endowment funded
  • 1.3 Report annually on scholarships and awards to Graduate
  • 1.4 Members are expected to attend adjudication meetings in person; in the event of illness or other circumstances, submission of scores by email to the Data Analyst and Awards Officer may be
  • 1.5 Members must identify any conflicts of interest prior to the adjudication and not score applications where a conflict of interest
  • 1.6 Members are bound by strict expectations of confidentiality regarding the substance of the Committee adjudication

2. Composition

  • 2.1 Members are recommended by Faculty Deans to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies (CoGS).
  • 2.2 The Committee consists of two primary sub-committees according to Tri-Council area and additional ad-hoc sub-committees drawn from the membership of 2.3 and 2.4 as required.
  • 2.3 NSERC and CIHR sub-committee (8 committee members) School of Engineering (3) Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (3) (not the same members as under 2.4) Faculty of Health and Social Development (2)
  • 2.4 SSHRC sub-committee (9 committee members) Faculty of Education (1) Faculty of Health and Social Development (1) (not the same members as under 2.3) Faculty of Management (1) Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (3) Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (3) (not the same members as under 2.3)
  • 2.5 Members normally serve for a two-year term with rotation as
  • 2.6 At the discretion of the Dean, a member may be replaced on the Committee due to non- participation.
  • 2.7 The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies serves as the Chair of the

3. Ex Officio Membership

  • 3.1 Dean, College of Graduate Studies.
  • 3.2 Associate Dean, College of Graduate
  • 3.3 Director, College of Graduate
  • 3.4 Data Analyst and Awards Officer, College of Graduate

4. Voting Rights

  • 4.1 All members have voting
  • 4.2 Ex Officio members do not have voting privileges, except in the case of 3.
  • 4.3 The Chair of the committee casts the deciding vote in the case of a committee tie

5. Quorum

  • 5.1 Five (5) members of the NSERC/CIHR or SSHRC sub-committees respectively when meeting to determine NSERC/CIHR or SSHRC nominations to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (UBC Vancouver).
  • 5.2 Four (4) voting members from the selected sub-committee for nominations to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (UBC Vancouver) for Vanier, Trudeau, and Killam awards.
  • 5.3 Four (4) voting members from the selected sub-committee to determine internal UBC Okanagan
  • 5.4 Four (4) voting members from the selected sub-committee for adjudicating applications for other external awards not explicitly listed elsewhere in these terms of reference.

6. Procedures

  • 6.1 For the purposes of reviewing individual applications, the minimum number committee members reviewing each application will three.
  • 6.2 Sub-committees will convene for adjudication as needed upon the request of the Data Analyst and Awards

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring Rubrics for Applications for Master’s and Doctoral Scholarships and Awards

Scholarships and Awards Evaluation Rubric – Master’s

You may find that your group of applications ranges broadly within your general discipline or areas of expertise, and that some applications belong to fields only loosely related to your own. We ask that you keep an open yet critical mind when reviewing applications where you might not be as familiar with the content. If you wish, you may consult colleagues in confidence regarding specific proposals.

Please submit scores and brief comments for each application.

Evaluation Criteria, Scores, and Guidelines

Academic Excellence (invisible weighting of 50% applied)

  • The applicant’s record of scholarly engagement and scholarly achievement. Indicators may include, but are not limited to: transcripts, awards, distinctions, duration of previous studies, type of program and courses pursued, course load, and relative standing.

6 – Applicant is in all aspects outstanding
5 – Applicant, while not among the very best with respect to the entirety of those reviewed, are strong and highly competitive
4 – Applicant is good, but there are one or two weaknesses
3 – Applicant shows potential but some improvements are required2 – Applicant is below average
1 – Applicant is among the least competitive within the group reviewed

Research Ability or Potential (invisible weighting of 30% applied)

  • The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to knowledge;
  • The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature;
  • The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe;
  • The quality and originality of contributions to research and development;
  • Relevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed research.

6 – Project and applicant are in all aspects outstanding
5 – Project and applicant, while not among the very best with respect to the entirety of those reviewed, are strong and highly competitive
4 – Project and applicant are good, but there are one or two weaknesses
3 – Project and/or applicant show potential but some improvements are required
2 – Project and/or applicant are below average
1 – Project and/or applicant are among the least competitive within the group reviewed

Personal Characteristics, Interpersonal and Leadership Skills (invisible weighting of 20% applied)

  • The applicant’s work and leadership experience, personal characteristics, as demonstrated by the applicant’s past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations.

6 – Applicant is in all aspects outstanding
5 – Applicant, while not among the very best with respect to the entirety of those reviewed, are strong and highly competitive
4 – Applicant is good, but there are one or two weaknesses
3 – Applicant shows potential but some improvements are required
2 – Applicant is below average
1 – Applicant is among the least competitive within the group reviewed

We strongly encourage reviewers to use the full range of scores available, including .5-point increments (with the lowest possible score being 1 and the highest possible score being 6), so as to better discriminate among proposals. Awarding too many high scores reduces the power of the endorsement. While the applications you review may not be a representative sample of all those submitted, please rank comparatively those that you are reviewing. In other words, please use each score only a few times.

In addition to a numerical score, please provide brief comments (in the comments section) explaining your assessment.

Scholarships and Awards Evaluation Rubric – Doctoral

Academic Excellence (invisible weighting of 30% applied)

  • The applicant’s record of scholarly engagement and scholarly achievement. Indicators may include, but are not limited to: transcripts, awards, distinctions, duration of previous studies, type of program and courses pursued, course load, and relative standing.

6 – Applicant is in all aspects outstanding
5 – Applicant, while not among the very best with respect to the entirety of those reviewed, are strong and highly competitive
4 – Applicant is good, but there are one or two weaknesses
3 – Applicant shows potential but some improvements are required
2 – Applicant is below average
1 – Applicant is among the least competitive within the group reviewed

Research Ability or Potential (invisible weighting of 50% applied)

  • The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to knowledge;
  • The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature;
  • The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe;
  • The quality and originality of contributions to research and development;
  • Relevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed research.

6 – Project and applicant are in all aspects outstanding
5 – Project and applicant, while not among the very best with respect to the entirety of those reviewed, are strong and highly competitive
4 – Project and applicant are good, but there are one or two weaknesses
3 – Project and/or applicant show potential but some improvements are required
2 – Project and/or applicant are below average
1 – Project and/or applicant are among the least competitive within the group reviewed

Personal Characteristics, Interpersonal and Leadership Skills (invisible weighting of 20% applied)

  • The applicant’s work and leadership experience, personal characteristics, as demonstrated by the applicant’s past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations.

6 – Applicant is in all aspects outstanding
5 – Applicant, while not among the very best with respect to the entirety of those reviewed, are strong and highly competitive
4 – Applicant is good, but there are one or two weaknesses
3 – Applicant shows potential but some improvements are required
2 – Applicant is below average
1 – Applicant is among the least competitive within the group reviewed

PROCESS FOR SCHOLARHIP AND AWARD COMPETITIONS REQUIRING NOMINATIONS BY FACULTIES

  • Several scholarships and awards require faculty nominations. In most cases, CoGS provides each faculty with a quota of the number of nominations permitted for each competition.
  • Faculties are responsible for coordinating their internal application and adjudication process. In most cases, nominations received from the faculties will be reviewed and ranked by the CoGS Scholarship and Awards Committee.
  • Nominations for IGS students occur by the faculty in which their supervisor is appointed.

PROCESS FOR SCHOLARHIP AND AWARD COMPETITIONS REQUIRING NOMINATIONS BY Graduate Programs

  • Several endowed awards are only available to specific graduate programs. For these competitions, graduate programs select the awardee and forward their recommendation to CoGS.
  • CoGS confirms the nominated student eligibility
  • Eligible nominees are forwarded to Enrolment Services for further consideration.

Award Notifications

  • The student, graduate program coordinator, supervisor, and graduate administrative assistant will be notified when a student is successful in internal and select external competitions
  • Only successful applicants are notified

Award Payments

  • Internal and select external awards are typically assigned at the beginning of each term (September, January, or May.) Internal entrance awards are assigned in the first terms of entry and are normally administered in two instalments
  • Awards that include a stipend plus tuition costs are assigned three times per year at the beginning of each term (September, January, and May)
  • After every reasonable effort has been made to contact a student about their award offer, any term 1 or term 2 awards still in the offered state will be cancelled at the end of the fiscal year (March 31st)

Student Responsibilities

Student Declaration and Responsibility

Upon registering, a student has initiated a contract with the University and is bound by the following declaration:

“I hereby accept and submit myself to the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) of The University of British Columbia, and of the faculty or faculties in which I am registered, and to any amendments thereto which may be made while I am a student of the University, and I promise to observe the same.”

The student declaration is important. It imposes obligations on students and affects rights and privileges, including property rights. You must not enrol as a student at the University if you do not agree to become bound by the declaration above. By agreeing to become a student, you make the declaration above and agree to be bound by it.

Each student is required to furnish the information necessary for the University record and to keep Enrolment Services informed of changes in name and contact information.

Students are required to inform themselves of the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. For more information , please see the Index of Board of Governors Policies and Senate Policies.

The University authorities do not assume responsibilities for others that naturally rest with adults themselves. This being so, the University relies on the good sense and on the home training of students for the preservation of good moral standards and for appropriate modes of behaviour and dress.

The University and University authorities are not obligated to enforce any statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances (including bylaws, codes, or policies) if discretionarily enforceable by law or made under its, or their, power or authority.

Academic Freedom

The members of the University enjoy certain rights and privileges essential to the fulfilment of its primary functions: instruction and the pursuit of knowledge. Central among these rights is the freedom, within the law, to pursue what seems to them as fruitful avenues of inquiry, to teach and to learn unhindered by external or non-academic constraints, and to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion.

This freedom extends not only to the regular members of the University but to all who are invited to participate in its forum. Suppression of this freedom, whether by institutions of the state, the officers of the University, or the actions of private individuals, would prevent the University from carrying out its primary functions.

All members of the University must recognize this fundamental principle and must share responsibility for supporting, safeguarding, and preserving this central freedom. Behaviour that obstructs free and full discussion, not only of ideas that are safe and accepted but also of those that may be unpopular or even abhorrent, vitally threatens the integrity of the University’s forum. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated.

Academic Honesty and Standards

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of the University of British Columbia as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

It is the student’s obligation to inform himself or herself of the applicable standards for academic honesty. Students must be aware that standards at the University of British Columbia may be different from those in secondary schools or at other institutions. If a student is in any doubt as to the standard of academic honesty in a particular course or assignment, then the student must consult with the instructor as soon as possible, and in no case should a student submit an assignment if the student is not clear on the relevant standard of academic honesty.

If an allegation is made against a student, the Registrar may place the student on academic hold until the President has made his or her final decision. When a student is placed on academic hold, the student is blocked from all activity in the Student Service Centre.

Academic Misconduct

Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable conduct for graded assignments established by their instructors for specific courses, and of the examples of academic misconduct set out below. Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited to, engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others to engage in any of the actions described below.

  1. Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to:
    1. falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, including research data;
    2. use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work;
    3. use or possession in an examination of any materials (including devices) other than those permitted by the examiner;
    4. use, possession, or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an examination (e.g., receiving unauthorized assistance from another person, or providing that assistance); and
    5. dishonest practices that breach rules governing examinations or submissions for academic evaluation see Student Conduct during Exmainations).
  2. Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs when an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. Scholarship quite properly rests upon examining and referring to the thoughts and writings of others. However, when another person’s words (i.e., phrases, sentences, or paragraphs), ideas, or entire works are used, the author must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation. Where direct quotations are made, they must be clearly delineated (e.g., within quotation marks or separately indented). Failure to provide proper attribution is plagiarism because it represents someone else’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism should not occur in submitted drafts or final works. A student who seeks assistance from a tutor or other scholastic aids must ensure that the work submitted is the student’s own. Students are responsible for ensuring that any work submitted does not constitute plagiarism. Students who are in any doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism should consult their instructor before handing in any assignments.
  3. Submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  4. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or other evaluation, facilitating the impersonation of a candidate, or availing oneself of the results of an impersonation.
  5. Submitting false records or information, orally or in writing, or failing to provide relevant information when requested.
  6. Falsifying or submitting false documents, transcripts, or other academic credentials.
  7. Failing to comply with any disciplinary measure imposed for academic misconduct.

Additional information on Academic Misconduct can be found in the Academic Calendar.

Disciplinary Measures

Academic misconduct often results in a one-year suspension from the University and a notation of academic discipline on the student’s record. However, disciplinary measures which may be imposed, singly or in combination, for academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. a letter of reprimand;
  2. a failing grade or mark of zero on the assignment or in the course in which the academic misconduct occurred;
  3. suspension, cancellation, or forfeiture of any scholarships, bursaries, or prizes;
  4. suspension from the University for a specified period of time1;
  5. expulsion from the University;
  6. denial of admission or readmission to the University for a specified or indefinite period of time;
  7. a notation of academic discipline on the student’s record in the Student Information System, which will appear on the student’s Transcript of Academic Record;
  8. revocation of a degree or other academic credentials dishonestly or improperly obtained.

The laying of criminal charges or the commencement of civil proceedings does not preclude the University from commencing disciplinary proceedings or taking disciplinary measures against a student who has committed academic misconduct.

1During the period of suspension, a student may not participate in activities of the University, including, but not limited to, attending or auditing classes. Students will not receive credit for courses taken at another institution during a suspension.

Discipline for Non-Academic Misconduct: Student Code of Conduct

The University is a community of students, faculty, and staff involved in learning, teaching, research, and other activities. In accordance with the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty and Staff, all members of this community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes positively to an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity, and inclusiveness are valued, so as to assure the success of both the individual and the community.

The purpose of this Student Code of Conduct is to define the general standard of conduct expected of students, provide examples of conduct that may be subject to disciplinary action by the University, provide examples of disciplinary measures that may be imposed, and set out the process and procedures that the University will follow when an allegation of non-academic misconduct is made. Students are expected to be aware of, and to conduct themselves in accordance with, this Code.

The University respects the right of students to conduct their own personal lives. This Code governs conduct only to the extent necessary to protect the integrity and proper functioning of the academic and non-academic activities of the University, the peaceful and safe enjoyment of University facilities by other members of the University and the public, the freedom of members of the University to participate reasonably in the programs of the University and in activities in or on the University’s premises, or to protect the property of the University or its members.

Please refer to the full Student Code of Conduct in the Academic Calendar.

University Policies

University-wide policies approved by the Board of Governors are available at the Index of all Policies.

Policies approved by the UBC Okanagan Senate are available at Okanagan Senate Policy Abstracts.

Intellectual Property

All members of the UBC community must be knowledgeable about intellectual property so that they can protect their own rights and respect the rights of others. Intellectual property issues are best understood within a framework that includes: (1) the research policies of the University (Policy 85Policy 87Policy 88); (2) the standards and traditions of the relevant academic discipline(s); (3) Canadian law; and (4) the terms of applicable contracts (from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Intellectual Property Guide). The Intellectual Property Guide articulates the complexity of Intellectual Property and should serve as a useful guide to students and supervisors, along with the three key policies noted above. Intellectual property rights should be discussed with the student right from the start of the research/creative endeavor and this discussion should be formally documented.

Scholarly Integrity

The UBC Policy 85 on Scholarly Integrity applies to all course work and all thesis/ dissertation work. Plagiarism and fabrication or falsification of research data will be considered academic misconduct. UBC Policy 85 stipulates that the principal investigator is responsible for “ensuring that the research conditions applicable to the research project, including compensation and practices around supervision, authorship and recording data, are properly articulated in writing and disseminated to all members of the research team prior to engagement in the project”. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBCV provides a Sample Letter to Graduate Students that supervisors can use to set up expectations.

For more information, see Policy 85.

Research And Ethics

All research involving human participants, animals or biohazards must first be reviewed by, and receive approval from, the appropriate Research Ethics Board before research can commence. Failure to obtain the appropriate ethics approvals prior to conducting research may result in an outcome of “fail” on the thesis/dissertation examination.

Copyright

For a complete understanding of copyright and copyright issues, refer to the Copyright at UBC webpage. 

Graduate Students as Copyright Holders

Students hold copyright to their theses or dissertations regardless of the method of submission.

Copyright and Subsequent Use of Theses and Projects

OWNERSHIP OF WORK

Electronic theses and dissertations are subject to the same copyright protection as paper documents.

PERMISSIONS

Copying material that was produced by persons other than the thesis or dissertation author may violate the law of copyright.

DISTRIBUTION LICENSES

A student may obtain permission to use copyrighted material in their thesis or dissertation, provided the copyright holder(s) agrees to the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License.

PUBLISHING YOUR THESIS ELSEWHERE

Since a student owns copyright to their thesis or dissertation as a whole, they are free to publish it if they wish. Students are advised to conduct due diligence and publish with a reputable academic publisher.

If the thesis or dissertation includes any work (e.g., figures, tables, etc.) that is copyrighted by a third party, permission from that party is required to publish the thesis or dissertation.

Review for Authenticity

All work submitted by students (including, without limitation, essays, dissertations, theses, examinations, tests, reports, presentations, problem sets, and tutorial assignments) may be reviewed by the University for authenticity and originality. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such review may include the use of software tools and third-party services, including Internet-based services such as TurnItIn.com. By submitting work, students consent to their work undergoing such review and being retained in a database for comparison with other work submitted by students. The results of such review may be used in any University investigation or disciplinary proceedings (see Student Discipline).

Attendance

Students are expected to:

  1. Attend all classes regularly, including lectures, labs, tutorials, seminars, etc.
  2. Speak with the relevant course instructor and with their supervisor if falling behind in coursework.
  3. Report absences due to illness or disability to their instructors upon returning to class.

Students may not, concurrently with their University attendance, take studies for University degree credit through any other institution by correspondence, evening, or regular session class without the approval of their Graduate program coordinator and the College of Graduate Studies.

Academic Accommodation Process

The College of Graduate Studies (CoGs) recognizes the moral and legal duty of the University to provide academic accommodation to students with disabilities by removing barriers, providing opportunities, and welcoming them as participating members of the university community. CoGs adheres to the UBCO Board of Governors Policy 73, Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. This policy provides for students to receive reasonable academic accommodations while maintaining the academic standards of the university. Academic accommodations cannot remove the need for evaluation or the need for students to meet essential learning outcomes.

Graduate students seeking academic accommodations should consult Policy 73 and meet with the staff at the Disability Resource Centre (DRC). The DRC is responsible for assessing the disability related needs of students and recommending appropriate academic accommodations. This process applies for graduate students who require an accommodation in a specific course, during any part of a Master’s examination, doctoral comprehensive examination, or the oral defense component of completing a research proposal, thesis, or dissertation.

Policy 73 stipulates that a request for accommodations be brought to the attention of appropriate personnel in a timely manner. In the case of accommodations for a specific class, the policy makes clear that students need to give their accommodation letter to the instructor during the first two weeks of class; this policy holds for graduate students. For any component of Master’s examinations and doctoral comprehensive examinations, CoGS similarly requires notice of an accommodation request at least two weeks in advance of that component of the examination taking place. The process of scheduling the oral defense of a thesis or dissertation begins when a student submits their final draft to CoGS. CoGS requires that students seeking academic accommodation for oral defenses submit their letter of request at the same time that they submit their final thesis or dissertation draft. Because administration of these examinations is time sensitive, there must be allowance for all parties to adequately prepare for an appropriate accommodation as recommended by the DRC.

Academic Concession

The University is committed to supporting students in their academic pursuits. Students may request academic concession in circumstances that may adversely affect their attendance or performance in a course or program. Generally, such circumstances fall into one of two categories: conflicting responsibilities and unforeseen events.

Academic concession is different from academic accommodation for a disability. Students with disabilities may apply for an academic accommodation. See  and UBC Policy 73: Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.

Conflicting responsibilities include, but may not be limited to: representing the University, the province, or the country in a competition or performance; serving in the Canadian military; observing a religious rite; working to support oneself or one’s family; and having responsibility for the care of a family member.

Unforeseen events include, but may not be limited to: ill health or other personal challenges that arise during a term; and changes in the requirements of an ongoing job.

Students who intend to or must, as the result of circumstance, request academic concession should notify their instructor, dean, or director as specified below.

Students with conflicting responsibilities have a duty to arrange their course schedules so as to avoid as much as possible any conflicts with course requirements. Students with such responsibilities are also required to discuss with their course instructor(s) at the start of each term, or as soon as a conflicting responsibility arises, any accommodation that may be requested. Instructors may not be able to comply with all such requests especially if the academic standards and integrity of the course or program could be compromised.

Religious observance may preclude attending classes or examinations at certain times. In accordance with UBC Policy 65: Religious Holidays, students who wish to be accommodated for religious reasons must notify their instructors in writing at least two weeks in advance, and preferably earlier.

Students who, because of unforeseen events, are absent during the term and are unable to complete tests or other graded work, should normally discuss with their instructors how they can make up for missed work, according to written guidelines given to them at the start of the course (see Grading Practices). Instructors are not required to make allowance for any missed test or incomplete work that is not satisfactorily accounted for. If ill health is an issue, students are encouraged to seek attention from a health professional. The Health & Wellness Centre will normally provide documentation only to students who have been seen previously at these offices for treatment or counselling specific to conditions associated with their academic difficulties. Students who feel that requests for consideration have not been dealt with fairly by their instructors may take their concerns to the office of their dean or director.

Students who, because of unforeseen events, experience a prolonged absence during a term or who miss a final or term-end examination, must report to their dean or director to request academic concession as close as possible to the time when attendance is adversely affected. The University, in considering these requests or any appeals of decisions on academic concession, will not normally take into account untimely notifications. The occurrence of adverse personal circumstances that cannot be anticipated may necessitate that a student seek academic concession more than once. Each request for academic concession will be considered on its merits. Repeat requests based on the same or similar reasons may require a different response than de novo requests.

Before responding to a student’s request, the dean or director may require supporting documentation and may also ask the student to formulate and follow an academic plan which would include: a reduction in course load; a commitment to an ongoing program of medical care, counselling services, or support from the Disability Resource Centre; or other appropriate actions. The student’s personal circumstances will be taken into account in the development of such a plan. Ongoing support from the academic unit may require periodic updates from the student on his/her academic plan and/or the submission of documentation from a treating health professional or other source of personal support. The documentation might be a “Statement of Illness” form obtained from the Health & Wellness Centre or an informative letter from their attending physician, from a counsellor at the Health & Wellness Centre, or from another recognized counsellor.

The academic concessions that may be granted include the following: permission to drop or withdraw from a course after the normal deadlines (see Change of Registration), Aegrotat standing or Deferred standing (see Standings), and withdrawal from the University (see Change of Registration).

Students who are denied academic concession from their dean or director may have grounds to appeal the decision. See Senate Appeals on Academic Standing.

Additional information is available in the Academic Calendar.

Senate Appeals On Academic Standing

Appeal Procedure

Students who wish to protest decisions relating to their academic studies may do so. The protest should be made initially as near the source of difficulty as possible, presumably to an instructor, and progress to the head of the Department concerned and then to the Dean of the Faculty. There is a standing committee of the University Senate – the Committee on Appeals of Standing and Discipline – that reviews all appeals made to the Senate, the senior academic authority in the University. Following are the policies and procedures of this Committee.

For information concerning the procedure for appeals, students should consult the policies and procedures outlined in the Academic Calendar

Registration & Records

Registration

Students must be registered in all courses in which they participate, and are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their registration as it relates to the regulations of the degree or diploma program in which they are enrolled.

Registration for September and January graduate courses opens in mid-June. Registration for May graduate courses opens in March. UBC informs graduate students when student course registration will open. Students register themselves in courses online through the Student Service Centre. Students also register themselves in the appropriate course for the research project/thesis portion of their graduate degree.

CONTINUOUS REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS AND MAINTENANCE OF STATUS

All students must register when their studies begin and remain continuously registered until their degrees are completed, unless they are taking an approved leave of absence. They are required to maintain continuous registration by:

  • registering in coursework and/or the thesis/dissertation course every semester,
  • keeping up to date in their fee payments.

Failure to register for two consecutive terms may result in required withdrawal from the graduate program. Failure to pay program and student fees will result in a financial hold and an interest penalty on the student’s account.

Changes in course REGISTRATION

Except in special circumstances, a one-term course may be added to a student’s program only within the first two weeks of the course, and a two-term course within the first three weeks. If a course is dropped during these periods, no record of the registration in the course will appear on the student’s academic record.

Students may withdraw from courses in which they are registered at any time up to the end of the sixth week of class for courses that are offered in a single term, and of the twelfth week for courses that span two terms. Withdrawals will be noted on the academic record by a standing of W. Such standings will not be included in computing averages. The withdrawal deadline dates for the current academic year are indicated in the accompanying tables in this section.

Students may withdraw from courses outside the limits described above only with the permission of the dean of the faculty in which they are registered. In such cases, the instructor shall be informed. Such withdrawals will be recorded as W on the student’s academic record. Factors for consideration will include whether, in the opinion of the dean, the instructor provided sufficient opportunity for evaluation of the student’s academic performance prior to the published course withdrawal date.

Specific add/drop dates are listed in the Course Schedule.

If students wish to add or drop a course outside of these time periods, they must complete a Registration Audit Form or Late Withdrawal Request (as appropriate) and have it signed by the relevant parties.

Faculties may, at their discretion, limit the number of W standings permitted to a student. Any withdrawals in excess of that limit that would normally produce a standing of W will result in assignment of F for the course or courses involved. Normally, a student may not withdraw from a course more than once.

A student must be registered in all courses being taken for credit. A student who ceases to attend a course, does not write the final examination, or otherwise fails to complete course requirements, and who neither qualifies for a deferred examination (see Deferred Standing), nor has obtained official permission to drop the course, will be given a standing of F with a grade which reflects performance in the course. No supplemental examination can be granted under these circumstances.

The student is responsible for the completeness and accuracy of registration as it relates to the regulations of the degree or diploma program in which the student is enrolled.

Course Selection

The student makes course selections in consultation with the supervisor/advisor.

Courses should be selected in order to fulfill graduate program requirements as listed in the Academic Calendar.

Registration in Undergraduate Courses

With the approval of their program, master’s students may take up to 6 credits of 300-level or 400-level courses that count towards the graduate program requirements. For more detailed, program-specific information, students should refer to the specific requirements of their degree program.

Undergraduate courses cannot count towards doctoral program requirements.

NOTE: Grades received in any course –whether or not it counts toward completion of the program‑ will count towards the overall grade-point average of a student.

Courses Outside a Graduate Program

Students may take graduate or undergraduate courses that are offered in academic departments not participating in the program in which they are registered, provided that such courses will fulfill requirements of their program.

Students must have approval in advance of registering for these courses from:

  • Their supervisor;
  • Their graduate program coordinator; and
  • The instructor of the requested course.

NOTE: Grades received in any course will count towards a student’s overall grade-point average.

Attending another University as a Visiting Student

For UBC students visiting other universities, credits completed while a visiting student at another university must be approved for credit in their UBC Okanagan program by their graduate program and the College of Graduate Studies prior to registering at the host university.

Exchange Agreements

UBC Okanagan campus students can visit other universities using the Western Deans’ Agreement, the Graduate Exchange Agreement, or exchange agreements managed by Go Global.

In order to be eligible to use these exchange agreements:

  • The student must be in good standing in their UBC Okanagan graduate program.
  • The student must have paid all current and back fees.
  • The course must be an integral part of the student’s graduate degree program.
Western Deans’ Agreement

Under the terms of the Western Deans’ Agreement, graduate students of member institutions may take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university’s tuition fees. Students may be required to pay student, activity, application, or other ancillary fees to the host institution, according to general policies in effect at the host institution. Wherever possible, these fees will also be waived.

Students must have the Western Deans’ Agreement Authorization form approved by the relevant graduate program coordinator and the College of Graduate Studies at least one month prior to the commencement of the course(s) requested. Host institutions may set earlier deadlines: it is the responsibility of the student to confirm the deadline with the host institution. If the authorization form is not received and approved in time, the student may not receive permission to take the course.

The fee waiver is not available retroactively.

In order to receive transfer credit, if applicable, the student must provide a copy of the transcript from the host institution. Students must have an official transcript forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Exchange Agreement

Partner institutions in the Graduate Exchange Agreement are:

  • McGill University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Montreal

Authorization forms are available from the Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies (Vancouver) website. UBC Okanagan students wishing to pursue study under the Graduate Exchange Agreement must submit the relevant completed forms to the College of Graduate Studies (Okanagan) for review and approval.

The terms of the agreement for the Graduate Exchange Agreement are the same as those set out for the Western Deans’ Agreement.

Audit

Auditors are students registered in a credit course who are expected to complete all course requirements except the final exam. If the student has successfully completed the course requirements for an audited course, their academic record will list “AUD” as the final grade.

If the student’s performance is not satisfactory, s/he may be given Fail (F) standing. This mark will count towards the overall average.

To audit a course the student must:

  1. Obtain the approval of the graduate program coordinator.
  2. Register for the course using the Registration Audit Form, indicating that it is an “AUDIT” request.
  3. Inform the instructor at the commencement of the course of the student’s intention to audit it.

All changes between audit and credit standings must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies on the Registration Audit form by the appropriate course-specific deadline.

Course Exemptions

Students may be exempted from specific course requirements if the graduate program is satisfied that the student has acquired the knowledge from courses previously taken or from experience. Exemptions do not reduce the total credits required for a degree. In such cases, the graduate program should substitute a more appropriate course. The exemption from the specific requirement must be recorded on the student’s academic record.

A program approval for course exemption must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies for recording in the student’s academic record.

Transfer Credit

  1. Graduate students who have earned credits outside their current master’s program (e.g., from a different university, in a different UBC master’s program, as an undergraduate, or as an unclassified or Access Studies student) may transfer up to 12 credits or up to 40% of the total number of credits needed for completion of their current program (whichever is more), provided that:
  • the courses were not used to satisfy the requirements of another credential*;
  • at least a B standing (UBC 74%) was obtained in courses considered for transfer;
  • the courses considered for transfer credit have been taken within five years of commencement of the current degree program.
  1. The 12-credit (40%) restriction does not apply to students in UBC-approved Exchange Agreements.
  2. No more than 6 credits of transfer credit may be at the undergraduate level (300-/400-level).
  3. Requests for transfer credit must be accompanied by a memorandum from the home graduate program addressed to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The memorandum must provide an academic justification for allowing the transfer credit on a course by course basis.
  4. Doctoral students are not normally eligible for transfer credit. In doctoral programs where there is a prescribed amount of coursework, students may be eligible for course exemptions on the basis of previous courses taken.

*Programs may allow students to receive transfer credit from courses used towards an academic-credit certificate program to a maximum of 6 credits of coursework or up to 40% of the total number of credits needed for completion of their current program (whichever is more).

Undergraduate Students in Graduate-level Courses

Undergraduate students who seek to register in a graduate course must have the academic preparation to complete the graduate course (which includes having completed any necessary course prerequisites). Participation of undergraduate students is expected to have no detrimental effect on graduate students taking the course (i.e. course rigor and content must remain at the graduate level regardless of the number of undergraduate students registered in the course).

Undergraduate students wanting to register in graduate-level courses must complete and submit the Undergraduate Student Registration in Graduate Courses Form, which includes obtaining approval from the course instructor, department head, and the College of Graduate Studies.

Leave of Absence

Students who find it necessary to interrupt their graduate studies may apply to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies for on-leave status. Leave is granted when a student is best advised for personal, health, or other reasons to have time completely away from his or her academic responsibilities. Leaves of absence must be approved by the graduate program in which the student is registered. Leave for master’s or doctoral students (not including parental leave or leave to pursue concurrent programs) is normally limited to one year.

A leave will normally begin on the first day of September, January, or May.

Leaves of absence will be granted for a period of four, eight, or 12 months.

While on a leave of absence, graduate students must pay an on-leave fee.

It is understood that students with on-leave status will not undertake any academic or research work, or use any of the University’s facilities during the period of leave.

Students must inform the University immediately upon return from the leave of absence.

The time spent on leave is not counted as part of the allowed time to complete a degree.

Awards and Fellowships for Students with On-Leave Status

Students granted a leave of absence retain the full value of any university graduate fellowship or other award whose terms and conditions are established by the College of Graduate Studies. Awards will be suspended at the onset of the leave, and reinstated at the termination of the leave period, provided the student returns to full-time study within the same academic year.

Other awards will be paid according to the conditions established by the donor or granting agency.

Categories of Leaves of Absence

Parental Leave

A graduate student who is bearing a child or has primary responsibility for the care of an infant or young child is eligible for parental leave. A request for parental leave should be made through the student’s graduate program for a minimum leave of four months to a maximum of 12 months. Where possible, students enrolled in coursework should coordinate their leave to coincide with the beginning of an academic term.

Leave for Health Reasons

A graduate student who encounters a health problem that significantly interferes with the ability to pursue his or her course of study is eligible for a leave for health reasons.

Requests for a leave for health reasons must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation from the clinician providing primary care for the health problem.

A leave for health reasons is normally limited to 12 months.

Leave to Pursue a Second Program of Study

Following academic consultation, a graduate student may apply for a leave of absence from one program to pursue a second program of study. In this case, the student is responsible for both on-leave tuition fees as well as the tuition fees associated with the second program. A leave of absence for these reasons may exceed one year. Completion time of the first degree program would be extended by the span of time on the leave of absence.

Personal Leave

A graduate student who encounters personal circumstances that significantly interfere with the ability to pursue his or her course of study may be eligible for personal leave. Request for a leave for personal reasons must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.

Personal leave is normally limited to 12 months.

General Conditions for All Leaves of Absence

The following conditions apply to all student leaves of absence:

  • A completed Leave of Absence Request Formalong with a written letter of request from the student must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies;
  • The graduate program in which a student is registered must approve the request for a leave of absence;
  • Leaves of absence are normally limited in duration to one year;
  • The leave begins on the first day of a term and lasts for a period of four, eight, or twelve months;
  • Academic work, research work, and use of the university facilities is not permitted during a leave of absence;
  • Duration of a leave of absence does not count toward the maximum time allowed to complete a degree program;
  • Requests for leaves of absence (excluding medical) should be made prior to the start of a term; retroactive leave requests are not normally approved;
  • Students on leave are not eligible to receive awards administered by the College of Graduate Studies;
  • Students will be assessed an administrative on-leave fee for each semester of the leave;
  • Students must notify the College of Graduate Studies immediately upon their return from a leave.
  • Leaves of absence will not be processed for students who owe outstanding fees.

Student fees, including the extended Health/Dental fees, are automatically reversed for the duration of the leave of absence. If UBCSUO extended Health and Dental plan is needed during the student’s leave, the student should contact the Students’ Union (www.ubcsuo.ca) prior to the leave in order to opt-in and ensure the student has extended Health/Dental coverage.  The student should also contact the Students’ Union if the student plans to opt-in to the UBCSUO extended Health and Dental plan upon their return from leave.

International students

International students should be aware of the following before requesting a leave of absence:

  • International students should contact an International Student Advisor prior to requesting a leave of absence, because a leave can impact student status, health insurance and visa eligibility International Programs and Services;
  • Students should consult their supervisor before they request the leave of absence;
  • International students are assessed a higher administrative fee for leaves of absence;
  • Students who take a leave of absence will no longer be authorized to work on or off campus as they no longer meet the requirements as set out in IRPR 186 (v);
  • International graduate students must apply for a leave of absence from the College of Graduate Studies;
  • International students who intend to leave Canada during a leave of absence should request a letter from the UBC Okanagan campus stating that they are eligible to return to their program of study.

Withdrawal

Voluntary Withdrawal

The following steps apply for voluntary withdrawal from a graduate program:

  1. A student wishing to withdraw voluntarily from the University must notify in writing the graduate program in which they are registered by completing and submitting a Voluntary Withdrawal Form. The request should include the reason(s) for the student’s withdrawal from the program and the effective date of withdrawal.
  2. Once the request for voluntary withdrawal is approved by the student’s supervisor and department head or graduate program coordinator, the graduate program coordinator or head must send the completed form, along with the student’s written request, to the College of Graduate Studies.
  3. When the withdrawal is approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the academic record will show the date of withdrawal and a standing of “W” in all courses not completed on that date.
  4. The academic record will indicate “Voluntary Withdrawal”.

Notes:

  • A student who does not complete formal withdrawal procedures will be liable for all assessed fees until such procedures are completed.
  • The College of Graduate Studies will not approve retroactive withdrawal requests unless the graduate program in which the student is registered confirms in writing that the student did not attend or use any university resources as of the requested effective date of withdrawal.

Students withdrawing within the first two weeks of the beginning of an academic term will be refunded 100% of the instalment for that term. Fee refunds for withdrawals later in the term are calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Required Withdrawal for Academic Reasons

Students will normally be required to withdraw if they do not make adequate academic progress according to the timelines and policies set by their home graduate program and/or the College of Graduate Studies. When a student is required to withdraw, the academic record will indicate “required to withdraw.”

A student in any graduate program who is required to withdraw will not normally be eligible to apply for readmission to the University of British Columbia for at least one year. After one year, students who have been required to withdraw from a graduate program may be admitted to a different program in the College of Graduate Studies, provided they meet all admission requirements in effect for that program at the time they apply. Such applications must be accompanied by a statement from the graduate program that recommended withdrawal, outlining the reasons for which the student was required to withdraw. Students who have been required to withdraw from a graduate program may also apply to be readmitted to the same program after at least one year has passed from the effective date of withdrawal. Compelling evidence must be presented that a more successful outcome is likely if the student is to be readmitted. All cases for readmission must be reviewed and approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Students required to withdraw from a graduate program more than once are not eligible to be considered for admission to any program in the College of Graduate Studies.

Required Withdrawal for Non-academic Reasons

The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to require a student to withdraw from a program of study if the College, in consultation with the graduate program, considers the student to be unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of the chosen discipline or field of study. Request to withdraw for non-academic reasons would not prevent the student from immediately applying for entry into a different program of study.

Withdrawal for Non-registration

A student who fails to register and/or becomes absent without leave from their program for two or more consecutive terms will normally be withdrawn from the program. The academic record will indicate “withdrawal—did not register.” Graduate programs must document that an attempt was made to contact a missing student when recommending a withdrawal for non-registration.

A student who does not complete formal withdrawal procedures will be liable for all assessed fees until such procedures are completed.

Program Extensions

Under exceptional circumstances, extensions may be granted by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The expected completion time for a thesis-based master’s degree is two years, and the maximum time limit for completing such a program is five years.

The expected completion time for a doctoral program is four years, and the maximum time limit for completing a doctoral program is six years.

Extenuating circumstances may justify allowing students additional time to complete their degree programs. Students should discuss the possibility of extensions with their supervisor and their graduate program coordinator.

Program extension requests must be accompanied by:

  • A signed and completed Request for Extension to Time Allowed for Degree Completion;
  • A signed letter from the relevant graduate program coordinator justifying the extension;
  • A detailed work plan listing:
    • Thesis/dissertation chapters completed;
    • Scheduled completion dates for outstanding chapters; and
    • The anticipated thesis or dissertation oral defence date.

The College of Graduate Studies may request supplementary progress reports at various times during the extension period.

NOTE: Higher tuition fees are assessed for students on program extensions.

Reinstatement

Reinstatement applies when a student’s registration has lapsed but the student is permitted to resume the program. Normally, if the student is reinstated, courses that have been completed will be credited to the degree, and only outstanding degree requirements must be completed. The student’s start date remains the date of initial entry to the program and the time limit for completion of the degree is not affected.

A student may be reinstated on the recommendation of the graduate program if:

  • the student is in good academic standing;
  • any delinquent fees or charges are paid, including tuition and continuing fees owing for the period during which the student did not register; and
  • the time limit for degree completion, including the sessions in which the student was not registered, has not expired.

Sometimes, even if the student is reinstated, he or she does not have enough time left to complete the outstanding degree requirements. A decision, based on the academic merits of the case, will determine whether the student should be readmitted as a new student or reinstated. In the latter case, an extension of the time limit may be requested. In addition, if more than two years have elapsed since the student last registered, the College of Graduate Studies may impose additional requirements to ensure that the student is current in the field and is academically prepared to complete the degree requirements.

A student who is required to withdraw for academic reasons is not eligible for reinstatement.

Changes in Personal Information

Most changes to personal information can be made online through the Student Service Centre.

To make name changes or citizenship changes, students must go in person to Student Services and present official documentation in order for the change to be made to their official student record.

Graduate Grading

Master’s Grading scale

For master’s students registered in the College of Graduate Studies, Fail (F) for individual courses is defined as below 60%:

Percentage (%) Letter Grade
90-100 A+
85-89 A
80-84 A-
76-79 B+
72-75 B
68-71 B-
64-67 C+
60-63 C
0-59 F (Fail)

However, only 6 credits of courses with grades in the C to C+ range (60-67%) may be counted toward a master’s program. For all other courses, students must obtain a minimum of 68%. Some graduate programs may require a higher passing grade for specific courses.

DOCTORAL Grading scale

For doctoral students registered in the College of Graduate Studies, Fail (F) for individual courses is defined as below 68%. Some graduate programs may require a higher passing grade for specific courses.

Percentage (%) Letter Grade
90-100 A+
85-89 A
80-84 A-
76-79 B+
72-75 B
68-71 B-
0-67 F (Fail)

DEFERRED STANDING

Deferred Standing (SD) may be granted by the dean of the faculty in which the student is enrolled when a student has a valid reason for not completing course requirements as scheduled and does not qualify for Aegrotat standing (see Academic Concession). Students granted Deferred standing in Winter Session courses must complete all outstanding course requirements by August 23 following. Students granted Deferred standing in Summer Session courses must complete all outstanding work by December 23 following. Students granted Deferred standing are responsible for making satisfactory arrangements with their instructors for completion of outstanding course requirements. If a student fails to complete deferred requirements by the dates specified, the Deferred standing will be replaced with a grade or standing that reflects requirements completed in the course. Students unable to meet the specified deadlines because of further medical, emotional, or other difficulties must make an additional application for Academic Concession no later than August 31 for Winter Session courses, or December 31 for Summer Session courses, following the original deferral. See Deferred and Supplemental Examinations for additional information.

USE of the “T” Grade

A graduate student is expected to register in the thesis/dissertation course throughout the duration of the program. A grade of “T” is recorded on the transcript for each session until the thesis/dissertation is completed. The “T” grade may also be used for graduating essays (in non-thesis master’s programs), directed individual study or project courses in which the course requirements extend beyond the normal deadline for the submission of a final grade.

  1. If the “T” grade is used in a course, the opportunity for an extended deadline for the completion of the course requirements must be available to all students registered in the course.
  2. In a course in which a “T” grade is used, it is expected that the requirements will be completed in the following term. That is, in the winter session, a first term course would be completed by April 30 and a second term course would be completed by August 31; a summer session course would be completed by December 31.
  3. If the course requirement is satisfied within a few weeks of the normal deadline, the dean may approve changing the record from “T” to the assigned grade. Otherwise, the “T” remains on the record and a post-sessional grade for the course is entered (i.e. the student must register in the course in a subsequent session).
  4. If the time required goes beyond one term, the student must register for and repeat the course in order to obtain credit for it.
  5. The “T” grade must not be used in lieu of an “incomplete” standing. If a student has a medical excuse for not completing a course requirement, a “Deferred” grade should be used.

VIEWING MARKED WORK

Any examination, essay, problem set, laboratory report, or other assignment should be marked in a reasonable time and although the work may be retained by the University, the student will receive feedback on expected and achieved outcomes. If there is a provision for marked work to be returned to the student and then resubmitted for the correction of marking errors or omissions, the instructor must provide clear guidelines in advance to ensure that the academic integrity of the work is maintained.

A final examination becomes the property of the University and must remain in the possession of the University for one year from the date of the examination, after which time it should be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.

Where there is no scheduled review of an examination, a student may make written application (by January 31 for the Winter Session, Term 1; by June 30 for Winter Session, Term 2; and by September 15 for the Summer Session) to the course instructor who will make every reasonable effort to arrange for the student to view the marked final examination within 30 days of the request. If the instructor does not comply, at the student’s request, the head of the department, director of the school, or dean of the faculty offering the course will make every reasonable effort to facilitate the viewing, which normally will be completed within 15 days of receipt of the request. The purpose of this exercise is purely pedagogic.

Review of Assigned Standing

A student’s assigned standing in a course is determined by a course instructor in accordance with the grading scheme indicated in the course syllabus, and may take the form of a final grade (e.g., 75%), or one of the other standings assigned by the University (e.g., pass/fail). See Grading Practices for more information about grades and other assigned standings. A Review of Assigned Standing is undertaken by the academic unit responsible for teaching a course to determine whether a student’s performance in that course was correctly evaluated. The student’s assigned standing may be adjusted positively or negatively or remain the same as a result of the review, and the result of such a review is the final academic evaluation of a student’s performance in a course.

A student who is dissatisfied with their assigned standing is encouraged to first discuss the matter informally with the instructor(s) of the course, when possible. Should the matter remain unresolved and the student believes that some or all of the material contributing to the assigned standing has been incorrectly evaluated, the student may apply for a Review of Assigned Standing.

To be eligible for review, the material in question must be a physical product that is submitted and evaluated as part of a student’s assigned standing that is available in its original as-marked form, and does not include components of an Assigned Standing that are intangible such as a live performance, presentation, or class participation. Graduate-level theses and doctoral dissertations are not subject to Reviews of Academic Standing.

For more information regarding “Review of Assigned Standing in a Course,” please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Student Transfers

In exceptional cases, a student may transfer between closely-related programs (e.g. Botany and Plant Science), or from one degree program to another, with an academic justification from the graduate program coordinator or department head and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

MAIN POINTS:

  • A recommendation to transfer comes from the receiving graduate program
  • It must be supported by an academic justification and a review of the student’s academic qualifications.
  • There must be evidence of consultation with the student’s current graduate program.
  • The effective date of transfer must correspond with the beginning of a term, and must not be retroactive.
  • Transfers between programs involving a change of discipline are treated as new admissions.
  • Transferring between programs does not change the maximum time allowed for completion of the degree program.

PROCEDURE:

  • Current and receiving graduate programs discuss transfer with student.
  • The receiving graduate program downloads and completes the relevant transfer form, and attaches a copy of the student’s request for transfer and other required documentation.
  • Student, supervisor, current graduate program advisor, and new graduate program advisor sign the form indicating their approval.
  • Program sends the form to the College of Graduate Studies.

Transfer between Closely-Related Master’s Programs

Students may transfer between closely related master’s programs (MASc. to M.Eng., MA to MEd, etc.) provided that the transfer is clearly justified by the graduate program coordinator or department head.

Transfers between master’s programs involving a change of discipline are treated as new admissions.

To request a transfer between related master’s programs, the student must complete and submit the request form and the relevant program coordinator must provide an academic justification for the transfer.

The request must be submitted in advance of the start of the term for which the transfer is requested.

Transfer between Closely-Related Doctoral Programs

Students may transfer between closely related doctoral programs (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology to Chemistry, Biology to Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, etc.) provided the transfer is clearly justified by the graduate program coordinator or department head.

Transfers between doctoral programs involving a change of discipline are treated as new admissions.

To request a transfer between related doctoral programs, the student must complete and submit the  and the relevant program coordinator must provide an academic justification for the transfer.

The request must be submitted in advance of the start of the term for which the transfer is requested.

Transfer from Master’s to Doctoral Programs

Students may transfer from a master’s program to a doctoral program without completing the master’s requirements provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of one year of study in their master’s program with:
    • a minimum 80% average in 12 credits;
    • at least nine credits out of the 12 credits from 500-level or above courses;
    • at least nine credits out of the 12 credits with final grades of 80% or above;
  • Clear evidence of research ability;
  • Application for transfer takes place before the end of the second year of study;
  • Transfer is clearly justified by the student’s supervisor and the relevant graduate program coordinator in writing to the College of Graduate Studies;

NOTE:

  • Retroactive transfers will not be approved.
  • The doctoral program will be considered to have commenced from the date of first registration in the master’s program.

Transfer from Doctoral Program to Master’s Program

Students may apply for transfer from a doctoral program to a master’s program. Transfers may be approved, provided students meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of less than three years of the doctoral program;
  • The requested master’s program is different from the student’s existing master’s degree;
  • The transfer is clearly justified on the grounds of personal and/or professional goals as discussed with the student’s supervisor and described in the request to transfer;
  • The relevant graduate program coordinator has approved the transfer request in writing to the College of Graduate Studies.

To request a transfer from a doctoral program to a master’s program, the student must complete and submit the request form and the graduate program coordinator must provide a justification for the transfer.

The request must be submitted in advance of the start of the term for which the transfer is requested.

Transfer to/from the Vancouver Campus

Students who want to transfer to and/or from the Vancouver Campus must apply for admission to a program at the new campus using the standard application process.

If admitted at the new campus, students must voluntarily withdraw from their original campus and program. Failure to withdraw may result in additional tuition and fee charges.

Completed courses taken at the Vancouver campus that were not used to fulfill previous degree requirements may be used to fulfill degree requirements at the Okanagan campus, following standard transfer credit requirements, and on the recommendation of the relevant graduate program coordinator and approval of the College of Graduate Studies.

Vacation

Students are entitled to three weeks (15 working days) of vacation per academic year during their studies.

General student vacation guidelines:

  • Vacation time must be managed so as to avoid disruption of student studies, research, or other University obligations;
  • Vacation request details, including extensions, must be approved by the supervisor of the student and by any faculty member providing Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) funding to the student.
  • The relevant graduate program coordinator resolves all conflicts between a student’s vacation request and a supervisor’s expectations;
  • Vacation allotments are calculated using the standard academic year, which runs from September 1stto August 31st of the following calendar year;
  • Vacation allotments are prorated for the portion of the year in which a student is registered;
  • Vacation time must be used or it will be lost–there is no pay in lieu of time not taken;
  • Vacation days taken between the Christmas and New Year’s statutory holidays are not subtracted from a student’s annual 15-day allotment;
  • Disbursement of student stipends or merit-based financial assistance is not affected by vacation leave;
  • Time taken to attend academic conferences is considered part of an academic program and does not count as vacation;
  • This policy does not affect a student’s employment as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) or Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA).
  • Although students may request to align vacation taken under this policy with that taken from paid employment at the University, vacation taken under this policy is approved separately from that for paid employment at the University;
  • Student vacation requests that fall within these guidelines will not be unreasonably denied.

Program Requirements

ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORTS

The annual progress report records the current status of the degree program progress of a student, and it indicates further steps on a path to successful completion of the program.

The progress report is initiated by the student and completed by the supervisor and the graduate program coordinator. The completed and signed report must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies by June 1st for each year of study.

The process for completion of the annual progress report is as follows:

  • The student completes their portion of the report, signs it, and submits it to their supervisor;
  • The supervisor completes their portion of the report in consultation with the student and the supervisory committee;
  • The supervisory committee, the supervisor, and the student meet to discuss the supervisor’s comments. The student is made aware of the content of the report if they cannot be present at the meeting;
  • The supervisor and student sign the report and submit it to the graduate program coordinator;
  • The graduate program coordinator determines whether the progress of the student should be rated as satisfactory or not and marks the report accordingly, adds comments, signs it, and submits the original report to the College of Graduate Studies with copies going to the student and into the student’s file in the department or program; If the graduate program coordinator determines that the academic progress of the student is unsatisfactory, they will convene a meeting with the student and the supervisor to discuss their concerns.
  • NOTE: Dates for each stage of the process are established by the graduate program coordinator. The date for submission of the completed and signed report to the College of Graduate Studies has been set by Graduate Council.

It is important for supervisors and graduate program coordinators to be forthright in their assessments of student progress. Problems may arise when supervisors and graduate program coordinators attest to satisfactory student progress when that progress is, in fact, not satisfactory. When a problem in student progress arises, it is essential for the long-term wellbeing of the student to identify such problems accurately and honestly, so that they may be expeditiously remedied.

Reporting Requirements

All students are required to submit an annual progress report except the following:

  • Students who will defend their thesis or complete their program before the report deadline do not need to submit an annual report for that year;
  • Students starting a program in May are not required to submit an annual progress report after the first month of study;
  • Students in the Master of Data Science program are not required to submit annual progress reports.

Students on an approved leave of absence during the summer term in which the report is due must submit their annual report by June 1st in order to be considered for the University Graduate Fellowship.

NOTE: Students who were admitted under the Exceptional Admissions process are required to submit an additional progress report after the first term of study.

All categories are adjudicated based upon the speed and timeliness of progression through degree requirements such as course work, examinations and research. The report should be based upon accomplishments that have occurred within the past year and relative to the total duration of enrolment. Students may also be adjudicated on academic achievements, research, and publications based on program expectations.

Satisfactory Progress Requirements

This is the term used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress toward a degree including, but not limited to, acquiring required course credits with the minimum grade point average, progress towards candidacy and thesis and/or dissertation completion.

Master’s Students

Master’s: Coursework – must achieve a minimum of 60% in all courses taken. However, only 6 credits of 60-68% may be counted towards a master’s program. Obtaining grades above 68% would be considered satisfactory.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral: Coursework – must achieve a minimum of 68% in all courses taken for credit. College of Graduate Studies policy stipulates that candidacy must be achieved within thirty-six (36) months of starting a doctoral program.

Rating of “Improvement Required”

This indicates that the student is progressing, but needs improvement in one or more of the following areas:

  • Timeline to completion – may occur in situations where extenuating circumstances have occurred eg) illness or family strife, research has been impeded in some way (students on an approved leave are not categorized within this rationale). May also be used when one aspect is Satisfactory and another aspect of degree completion is delayed. For example, coursework is progressing well, but thesis and/or dissertation work has been delayed.
  • Master’s coursework – attaining grades between 60-68%
  • Research – improvement or additional knowledge is required in one or more aspects of the student’s research and/or area of study
  • Publications – student may need to increase the number of publications based on program requirements
Procedures for Filing a progress Report with a rating of “Improvement Required”

The student should receive a hard copy of the report, which should include written details regarding:

  • Where improvements are needed;
  • The next steps that the student needs to take;
  • Deadlines that need to be met;
  • Scheduled meetings to discuss progress towards these goals;
  • Responsibilities of the supervisor, supervisory committee members or the graduate program coordinator in assisting the student to achieve satisfactory progress;

NOTE: A follow-up meeting should be held no later than the end of the term following the submission of the progress report rated as “improvement needed.” A summary of the results of that meeting should be sent to the graduate program coordinator and copied to the College of Graduate Studies.

Rating of “Unsatisfactory Progress”

A student may be rated as progressing unsatisfactorily for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Master’s student who attains a course grade of less than 60%;
  • Doctoral student who attains a course grade of less than 68%;
  • Advancement to Candidacy has not been accomplished within the program timeframe or the 36 months required by the College of Graduate Studies;
  • Delay in thesis or dissertation progress;
  • Deficiencies in the student’s skills in research and/or subject area knowledge.

First and foremost, however, it provides an opportunity to offer an incentive and a road map for getting the student back on track. When a progress report with a rating of “unsatisfactory” is filed, steps must be taken to ensure due process and encourage remediation of the situation.

Procedures for Filing a Progress Report with a rating of “Unsatisfactory Progress”

The following steps should be followed when filing a progress report with a rating of “unsatisfactory”:

  • The student should receive a hard copy of the report, which should include written details about why the progress report includes a rating of “unsatisfactory”;
  • The student should have an opportunity to respond in writing to the graduate program coordinator;
  • The graduate program coordinator and, in thesis or dissertation -based programs, the supervisor and supervisory committee should decide what steps are required for the student to remedy the unsatisfactory rating;
  • Within five business days of filing the progress report with the College, the graduate program coordinator should provide the student with an outline that includes the following:
    • Clear expectations of activities and milestones required of the student to achieve a rating of “satisfactory progress”;
    • A timeline during which these steps must occur;
    • Responsibilities of the supervisor, supervisory committee members or the graduate program coordinator to assist the student in achieving the milestones indicated;
    • NOTE: This outline may be presented as a Letter of Understanding or as a Progress Contract;
  • A copy of this written set of requirements should be provided to the College of Graduate Studies;
  • No more than six months after filing a progress report with a rating of “unsatisfactory”, the graduate program coordinator will file an interim progress report indicating the progress that has been achieved toward remediation, and any outstanding expectations remaining;
  • Copies of this report should be provided to the student and to the College of Graduate Studies;
  • If, after six months, the student has not followed the outline of expectations, the matter should be referred to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, who will review the file and impose or make recommendations to the relevant constituencies for further action including, but not limited to:
    • a new outline of expectations and timeline,
    • a voluntary leave of absence,
    • a voluntary withdrawal,
    • an involuntary withdrawal from the program.

NOTE: Copies of all correspondence and meeting summaries with respect to progress reports with ratings of “unsatisfactory progress” must be sent to the College of Graduate Studies for inclusion in the student’s file.

Residency Requirements and Duration of Program

Master’s Students

Students in a master’s program are expected to spend the equivalent of at least one year in full-time study. Some programs may be of longer minimum duration. Students must maintain continuous registration throughout all years until graduation.

All thesis-based master’s programs at UBC Okanagan include course requirements that imply a physical presence on campus. There are, consequently, no explicit residency requirements for master’s programs. Master’s students are encouraged to focus their attention on their degree program in the proximity of other students, scholars, and scientists, thereby enabling them to acquire the “habits, attitudes, skills, and insights” (CGS, 2005) that are necessary for making the high-quality contributions to scholarship and other professional endeavours that are expected of such students.

If a degree is not awarded within a period of five years from initial registration, the student’s eligibility for the degree will be terminated and the student will be required to withdraw from the program. Under exceptional circumstances, extensions may be granted by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. This restriction applies equally to full- and part-time students.
Students who must interrupt their studies for health or personal reasons, including childbirth and having primary responsibility for the care of a child, should apply for a leave in writing through the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The period of leave is not counted toward time to completion.

Doctoral Students

The residency requirement for all PhD. students registered in programs on the UBC Okanagan campus is a minimum of 24 months of accumulated full-time study at the University from the point of beginning a PhD. to its conclusion. Programs have the option to increase the length of this requirement as they may desire as part of their program requirements (upon Senate approval). Full-time study, for the purpose of this requirement, may include activities such as participation in laboratory work, class-work, comprehensive examination preparation, practicums, dissertation research and writing, or other like scientific and scholarly activities that are undertaken on or in the proximate vicinity of the UBC Okanagan campus, and under the direct supervision of UBC Okanagan faculty as part of the completion of a UBC Okanagan PhD. degree program.

Waiver of the residency requirement can be granted only by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Successful applications for such waivers will require a program plan that articulates how the student will satisfy the spirit of the residency requirement in the absence of full-time presence on the UBC Okanagan campus.

Students must maintain continuous registration throughout all years until graduation.
If the degree is not awarded within a period of six years from initial registration, the student’s eligibility for the degree will be terminated and the student will be required to withdraw from the program. Under exceptional circumstances, extensions may be granted by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Students who must interrupt their studies for health or personal reasons, including childbirth and having primary responsibility for the care of a child, should apply for a leave in writing through the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The period of leave is not counted toward time to completion.

General Requirements

Master’s Program Requirements

The graduate program in which the student is registered must approve the student’s program of study and will give the student the best information on program options and requirements. In thesis-based programs, students should consult with their supervisor(s) to develop a program of study. In non-thesis programs, students may be directed either to a supervisor or to a graduate program coordinator for program information. Master’s programs may:

  • Require competence in languages other than English.
  • Require a thesis, have a thesis option, or be entirely course-based.
  • Prescribe work beyond the minimum College of Graduate Studies requirements.

The choice of these options lies with the individual graduate program and sometimes the student.

  • A minimum of 30 course credits, of which at least 24 must be numbered 500 to 699. In specific programs, minimum requirements may be higher than 30 course credits.
  • A maximum of 6 credits at the undergraduate level in courses numbered 300 to 499 may be counted toward the requirements of a master’s degree.
  • An oral thesis defence for all students in thesis-based programs.

The Academic Calendar contains further information regarding general and program-specific Master’s program requirements.

DOCTORAL Program Requirements

The graduate program in which the student is registered must approve the student’s program of study and will give the student the best information on program options and requirements. When students begin the PhD degree program, they must consult with their supervisor(s) to develop a program of study. General doctoral program requirements include:

  • Completion of required courses, seminars, directed readings, consultations or other relevant courses.
  • Demonstrated competency in languages other than English (if applicable).
  • Completion of comprehensive examinations.
  • Advancement to candidacy within 36 months of initial registration in the program.
  • Approval of a dissertation research proposal.
  • A doctoral dissertation describing the process and results of the student’s original research.
  • A dissertation defence in a public oral examination.

Program requirements vary by program. The Academic Calendar contains further information regarding general and program-specific doctoral requirements.

It is sometimes possible for a student to change their program of study during the course of the degree program. Any changes must be approved by the supervisory committee of the student and the graduate program in which the student is enrolled.

COURSEWORK

Master’s

All master’s programs require some coursework. Requirements for specific programs are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Doctoral

Some doctoral programs have coursework requirements and some do not. Specific program requirements are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Grades Required to Pass

MASTER’S STUDENTS

60% is the minimum passing grade for master’s students; however, only 6 course credits with grades from 60-67% may be counted towards a master’s program. For all other courses, students must obtain a minimum of 68%.

The student may repeat a course for higher standing or take an alternate course on the recommendation of the graduate program and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. If the graduate program does not make such a recommendation, or if the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies does not approve the recommendation, the student will be required to withdraw. A student who obtains a grade of less than 68% in a number of courses will normally be required to withdraw. The student will be informed of unsatisfactory academic progress in writing before any action regarding withdrawal is taken.

When repeating a failed required course, a student must obtain a minimum of 74%. The graduate program coordinator or the College of Graduate Studies may require higher minimum grades.

If a course is repeated, both grades will appear on the transcript. The higher grade will be used to determine promotion in a program and in any decision to admit or withdraw a student from a program. For all other purposes, averages will be calculated using both grades.

Doctoral Students

Students must achieve a minimum of 68% (B-) in all coursework taken for credit. Where a grade of less than 68% (B-) is obtained in a course, and on the recommendation of the graduate program and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the student may repeat the course for higher standing or take an alternate course. If the graduate program coordinator does not make such a recommendation, or if the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies does not approve the recommendation, the student will be required to withdraw. A student who obtains a grade of less than 68% in more than one course will normally be required to withdraw. If progress in research is unsatisfactory, a student will be required to withdraw. The student will be informed of unsatisfactory academic progress in writing before any action regarding withdrawal is taken.

When repeating a failed required course, a student must obtain a minimum of 74%. The graduate program or the College of Graduate Studies may require higher minimum grades.

If a course is repeated, both grades will appear on the transcript. The higher grade will be used to determine promotion in a program and in any decision to admit or withdraw a student from a program. For all other purposes, averages will be calculated using both grades.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive examinations are a critical milestone in the life course of a doctoral student. They represent a juncture at which the graduate student either proves that they are fully prepared and have the ability to pursue doctoral research, or that – in the case of a failure- they may be better suited to a different career trajectory.

Comprehensive examinations are not a pro forma activity. The doctoral degree is the highest degree awarded by the University, and the comprehensive examinations constitute a key indicator of the academic ability and preparedness of the doctoral candidate. The standard of excellence required to successfully pass comprehensive examinations should reflect the quality of the PhD or other doctoral degree at UBC, a leading research university.

The purposes of the comprehensive examinations are:

  1. to ensure that a doctoral student has a comprehensive understanding of the literature in their field(s) of study, including theories and methodologies;
  2. to ensure that the student is fluent with past and current debates and anticipated future trajectories in this/these field(s);
  3. to enable the student to develop and locate their own intellectual commitments within the debates of those fields;
  4. to demonstrate scholarly breadth and depth of understanding that is wider than the specific topic of the student’s research;
  5. to prepare the student to convey their knowledge to both specialized and non-specialized audiences.

All doctoral students are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination before being admitted to candidacy. Although the nature of the comprehensive examination may vary significantly between doctoral programs, it is the responsibility of each doctoral program to ensure that the comprehensive examination is consistent and equitable and that it meets the highest academic standards.

Given the core significance of the comprehensive examination, the College of Graduate Studies requires that each doctoral graduate program develop a written statement of comprehensive examination policy and procedures that is transparent and consistent, and that clearly articulates the purpose, timing, examination format (or choice of formats), composition of the examination committee, criteria for evaluation, and the process of adjudication, including the process that takes place in the event of an examination failure.

The UBC Okanagan campus provides two formats for completing comprehensives: a series of written comprehensive papers or comprehensive examinations. The form and specification for the candidate’s comprehensive are determined by the program.

Students who write papers for comprehensives are required to complete up to five comprehensive papers in consultation with their supervisor and supervisory committee. The comprehensives are intended to provide an assessment of the student’s mastery of a breadth of research areas related to their program of study. Comprehensive papers should be significant literature reviews or focused research projects. Set in distinctive research areas, these papers are designed to provide the student with exposure to a breadth of research theories and methods, and to provide practical experience completing projects and preparing the results for publication.

A program may require comprehensive examinations as an alternative to comprehensive papers. A comprehensive examination is normally held after completion of all required coursework and is intended to test the student’s grasp of the chosen field of study as a whole, as well as the student’s ability to communicate his or her understanding of it in English or in French. The candidate’s committee will set and judge this examination in a manner compatible with the policy of the graduate program concerned. Programs should make available to students a written statement of examination policy and procedures. The comprehensive examination is separate and distinct from the evaluation of the thesis prospectus.

Comprehensives normally should be completed by the end of the second year of their program and before commencing research for the final thesis.

PhD programs establish their own candidacy guidelines, especially guidelines for comprehensive exams, in accordance with the general guidelines established by the College of Graduate Studies and outlined in the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar.

Assistance with Comprehensive Exams/Papers

All doctoral students must pass comprehensives before advancing to candidacy. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, there are two formats for completing comprehensives: a series of written comprehensive papers or comprehensive exams. Comprehensives are a key indicator of the academic ability and preparedness of doctoral students, and therefore, no individual assistance should be provided to students by the Centre for Scholarly Communication or the College of Graduate Studies. This applies to comprehensives and conditional pass revisions. The Centre for Scholarly Communication offers several high-level workshops on topics and skills that can be applied to comprehensives, but specific assistance on writing the comprehensive papers or comprehensive exams is not permitted.

ADJUDICATION OF COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS/PAPERS

In all graduate programs, the examining committee must meet in camera to evaluate the student’s performance in all aspects of the exam and to render one of the following decisions:

  • Unconditional Pass
    • No further comprehensive examination work is required of the student. The student has passed the comprehensive and may now proceed to the research and writing of a dissertation.
  • Conditional Pass
    • The student may be required to perform additional comprehensive examination tasks (for example, the student may be required to successfully complete a course or write a paper in an area in which the committee finds the student needs additional knowledge);
    • The additional examination requirements are to be provided to the student in writing by the examination committee and include expected standards of achievement and times for completion.
  • Failure
    • The examination committee must inform the student in writing of the failure and provide the student with the conditions, if any, under which a repeat or a continued examination, if any, may take place.
    • If the student is allowed to repeat the examination, the student must be informed immediately after the examination
    • Conditions for repeating the examination are to be clearly stated, including the time frame, potential dates, nature of the re-examination, and consequences of a second failure.
    • The examination committee membership normally remains unchanged for the subsequent examination

Feedback

The assessment and reasons, including an identification of strengths and weaknesses in the examination, for the decision reached by the examination committee are to be documented and provided to the student in sufficient detail to allow the student to understand the decision.

Some graduate programs have developed a standard form for the committee chair to complete following the examination to help maintain a thorough and consistent record of comprehensive examinations in the program.  The College of Graduate Studies also has a Doctoral Comprehensive Examination Report form available on the website.

In the case of oral examinations, the student should be given feedback concerning the presentation, logic flow, and clarity of their answers to questions.

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

UBC Policy 85 concerning scholarly integrity applies to all comprehensive examination work. Plagiarism and fabrication or falsification of research data will be considered academic misconduct.

If academic misconduct is suspected, including plagiarism or fabrication/ falsification of data, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies must be informed immediately. Concerns should be brought directly to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, without consultation with others. The examination must be suspended until such time as the dean or his/her designate determines whether academic misconduct has occurred and what penalties will be applied. Depending on the dean or designee’s determination, the examination may proceed as scheduled, be rescheduled, or be cancelled.

Candidacy

The basic requirements for a doctoral student to be admitted to candidacy are:

  • All required coursework is successfully completed.
  • The comprehensive examination(s) is/have been passed.
  • The dissertation proposal has been approved by the supervisory committee.

Students are normally expected to complete their comprehensive(s) within twenty-four (24) months from the date of initial registration. Students who are not admitted to candidacy within 36 months from the date of their initial registration must withdraw from their program. In exceptional circumstances, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may grant an extension to this deadline.

Additional requirements for admission to candidacy could include such conditions as demonstration of competency in a foreign language. If such additional criteria are added, the graduate program must inform the College of Graduate Studies and the student(s) of these criteria in writing.

As soon as a student has satisfied all requirements for candidacy, the graduate program must recommend to the College of Graduate Studies that the student be admitted to candidacy. Candidacy status is listed on the student’s academic record along with the date candidacy was achieved.

Master’s Thesis

Many master’s programs require a thesis. Some programs do not require a thesis, and others have a thesis option. For the specific requirements and options available in any given program, please refer to the Academic Calendar.
In programs requiring a thesis, the thesis must be presented as described in the Thesis and Dissertation Preparation section of the College of Graduate Studies website.

In programs in the creative and performing arts, a thesis may contain creative work or series of works (e.g., group of paintings, novel or short story collection, etc.) or a performance. Programs may, at their discretion, require additional documentation that supports the work as part of the fulfillment of degree requirements in the program.

QUALITY OF THESIS

The thesis must demonstrate that the candidate is acquainted with the published literature in the subject(s) of the thesis, that the candidate has used an appropriate research methodology, and that the candidate has applied appropriate levels of critical analysis.

While it is expected that a portion of the thesis could be the basis for a publication, the supervisor and examiners should recognize that even an excellent thesis may not be perfect in all respects. “Perfection” is not a prerequisite for acceptance of the thesis as a “partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree.” The quality of the thesis must meet UBC standards of excellence.

THESIS FORM AND STYLE

  • The general form and style of the thesis may vary slightly, depending on the program, but a thesis must be a cohesive document.
  • The thesis must conform to specific UBC requirements and regulations.
  • Students may hire an editor to copy-edit their thesis. Students and supervisors should discuss whether or not it is appropriate to hire an editor, and if yes, to agree upon the specific editing tasks. Under no circumstance may a supervisor compel a student to hire an editor. The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC)’s (2006) Guidelines for Editing Thesesis a helpful source on the ethical editing of theses/dissertations.
  • The thesis must conform to all relevant legislation and policies that govern copyright (Policy 85,Policy 86,Policy 87). (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Intellectual Property Guide)

Public Release of Theses

RESEARCH AND ETHICS REQUIREMENTS

All research involving human participants, animals or biohazards must first be reviewed by and receive approval from the appropriate Research Ethics Board before the research can commence. Failure to obtain the appropriate ethics approvals prior to conducting research may result in an outcome of Fail on the thesis examination.

THESIS ORAL EXAMINATION

The purpose of the Master’s Thesis Oral Examination is for students to independently defend their thesis. It serves as confirmation of the student’s knowledge of the research topic within the context of their field(s) of study. To safeguard and promote the quality of a UBC graduate education, all students in thesis-based master’s programs must successfully defend their theses in an oral examination before the degree can be granted.

The Thesis Oral Examination is an examination approved by the College of Graduate Studies. Prior to the final defence, candidates must have fulfilled all coursework, examination, and language requirements of the degree program. It is the responsibility of the candidate’s graduate program to ensure that all of these requirements have been met, and that the candidate’s language proficiency is sufficient for the examination to be conducted with full communication between the committee and the candidate. The Thesis Oral Examination is a public event at UBC Okanagan, and as such will be conducted in English.

NOTE:  Theses must be written in English; however, Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS) students who are registered in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies may be approved to write the thesis in French.

The following regulations apply to theses written in French:

  • The oral examination will be conducted in French.
  • The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies must ensure the requisite supervisory committee members, with the necessary language background and familiarity with the field of French literature, are available to supervise the thesis. It is the responsibility of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies to ensure there are sufficient faculty members, with no conflict of interest, to participate on supervisory committees and as University Examiner and Neutral Chair.
  • The small number of faculty at UBCO who have language fluency in French may mean University Examiners could come from UBCV.
  • The thesis will be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies with a Title Page, Abstract, Preface, and Table of Contents translated into English.
INITIATING THE MASTER’S THESIS ORAL EXAMINATION

For thesis-based programs, the thesis oral examination process is initiated once the student’s supervisor and supervisory committee have deemed the thesis ready to proceed to defence. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to recommend all examining committee members, including the university examiner, to the graduate program coordinator for approval and to conform to the timelines and processes established by the College of Graduate Studies. Under no circumstances are students permitted to make arrangements for an examination.

Graduate program coordinators are responsible for approving the forms needed to initiate the thesis oral examination process. The signature of the graduate program coordinator verifies that the supervisory committee has adhered to the criteria and policies set out by the College of Graduate Studies for proceeding to the thesis defence. The graduate program coordinator is also responsible for approving all final submission forms if the examination is successful.

COMPOSITION OF MASTER’S THESIS ORAL EXAMINATION COMMITTEE

The Master’s Thesis Oral Examination committee should consist of:

  1. The supervisor of the candidate;
  2. All supervisory committee members;
  3. The university examiner, who is external to the student’s home department or program in which the student is registered.

The Examination Committee, which is approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, is convened to make a recommendation of the final outcome of the examination to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. No changes in the composition of the Examination Committee may take place without prior approval of the associate dean or dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The examination committee must be seen as impartial and conflicts of interest must be avoided and disclosed.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE NEUTRAL CHAIR

The examination is chaired by a neutral member of the academic staff who is familiar with the examination policies and procedures of the College of Graduate Studies. The Neutral Chair is not a member of the Examination Committee, does not question the student and may not vote.

The Neutral Chair must not:

  1. Have been closely associated with the student (now or in the past) as a colleague, supervisor, or member of the Supervisory Committee,
  2. Be an academic collaborator with the supervisor.

The Neutral Chair is required to be external to the student’s graduate department; however, either the graduate program coordinator or the department head could serve as Neutral Chair. The responsibility of the Neutral Chair is to ensure that the examination is conducted fairly and in accordance with College of Graduate Studies procedures.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE UNIVERSITY EXAMINER

The University Examiner normally must:

  1. Have a Board appointment outside the student’s department or graduate program but within the professorial ranks (for examiner’s from UBC).
  2. Have expertise in the student’s research area or a closely related field.
  3. Have a well-established research reputation, expertise in the area of the student’s research, and experience in evaluating theses at a graduate level (for examiner’s external to UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver).
    1. The supervisor must submit a Request for Approval of Proposed External Examiner (which includes the proposed University Examiner’s CV) to the dean of CoGS at least six weeks prior to the proposed examination date.
  4. Not have collaborated with the supervisor in the past five years prior to the defence.
  5. Not be a close personal friend or relative of the supervisor.
  6. Not be related to the student, nor have worked with the student.
  7. Not have an affiliation with the department/division/graduate program of either the student or supervisor.

If the proposed University Examiner does not meet one or more of the above criteria, a memo explaining the circumstances should accompany the Notice of Thesis Oral Examination.

SCHEDULING THE MASTER’S THESIS ORAL EXAMINATION

The Master’s Thesis Oral Examination process is initiated once the supervisor and the supervisory committee of the student have deemed the thesis of the student to be ready to proceed to defence.

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to complete the Notice of Master’s Thesis Oral Examination form, indicating the title of the thesis, the three potential dates and times of the examination, the names of the recommended examiners, including the university examiner, and confirming that the candidate has completed all program requirements. The form must be endorsed by the graduate program coordinator, and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies office at least four weeks prior to the proposed date of the examination in order to schedule the room. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies has final approval of the examination committee composition.

The Master’s Thesis Oral Examination cannot be scheduled until the supervisor has reviewed the student’s research and the entire draft of the thesis document. The supervisor and supervisory committee members must review the student’s research and the draft thesis document. The signature of the supervisor on the Notice of Master’s Thesis Oral Examination form acknowledges that the thesis meets the minimum standard.

NOTE: Indication that the thesis is ready to defend does not commit a member of the supervisory committee to vote “pass” on the thesis at the final oral examination.

A student who has successfully completed all College of Graduate Studies program requirements has the right to submit and defend their thesis, even if doing so may be contrary to the advice of the supervisor and/or supervisory committee, where applicable under exceptional circumstances.

In special circumstances such as sudden illness or weather factors, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may approve the rescheduling of an oral examination. In addition, a scheduled oral examination may be cancelled under exceptional circumstances with the approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Thesis Defence Announcement

Following approval of the Master’s Thesis Oral Examination by the College of Graduate Studies, the College posts the Thesis Defence Announcement prior to the examination; this includes the student’s name, degree sought, thesis title, abstract, date, time and location of the examination.

EXAMINATION TELECONFERENCE-VIDEOCONFERENCE

Normally, if they are unable to be at the examination in person, the university examiner is allowed to participate in the exam by teleconference or videoconference; if an additional examiner wishes to teleconference/videoconference for the same examination, approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies is required. However, it is better if all examiners are able to attend the defence in person and the supervisor must be present in person at the examination. Also, teleconferencing and videoconferencing cannot both be used for the same examination, since the examiners will be unable to hear each other.

Telephone backup must be available for all videoconferencing examinations. In extraordinary circumstances and with approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, a student may be given permission to attend remotely and a proctor may be required by the College of Graduate Studies.

Master’s Thesis Oral Examination Process
BEFORE THE EXAMINATION

The supervisor must ensure that the final electronic copy of the thesis is sent to the College of Graduate Studies and all examiners at least four to six (4-6) weeks prior to the proposed examination date.

The thesis submitted for final examination must be in all respects a final, complete copy and not a draft. Once the thesis has been distributed to the College of Graduate Studies and the examiners, the examination has formally begun, and there should be no discussion of the substance or quality of the thesis among examiners or between examiners and the candidate (or anyone else). The student may not submit revisions while the examination is in progress.

SUSPECTED ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT IN THE THESIS

If an examiner suspects that academic misconduct, including plagiarism or fabrication/falsification of data, has occurred in the thesis, he/she must notify the dean of the College of Graduate Studies immediately. (Please note, this should not entail a conversation with the supervisor or with any others, but should come directly to the dean.)

The examination will then be suspended until such time as the dean or his/her designate determines whether academic misconduct has occurred and what penalties will be applied. Depending on the dean or designee’s determination, the examination may proceed as scheduled, be rescheduled, or be cancelled.
If an examiner alleges academic misconduct during the examination or in the post-examination discussion, the neutral chair must suspend the examination or discussion and contact the College of Graduate Studies immediately.

THE MASTER’S STUDENT ORAL PRESENTATION

The student may present a ten to thirty (10-30) minute opening summary of the thesis, introducing the research and summarizing its significance.

The student may speak from notes, and may use audio-visual equipment, but must not read the summary.

The neutral chair will stop the presentation if it exceeds 30 minutes. The presentation is not included in the two-hour examination time.

LENGTH OF THE ORAL EXAMINATION

The oral examination should not exceed two hours. This two hours is in addition to the thirty minutes allowed for the opening summary.

This time limit does not include the opening summary presentation nor the in-camera deliberation time of the examination committee. Examination committee members and the neutral chair should, therefore, reserve at least three hours for the summary presentation, examination, and deliberation periods.

This important, formal event is core to the academic mission of the university and should be given priority.

ATTENDANCE AT THE EXAMINATION

The Master’s Thesis Oral Examination is a formal examination, which should be accorded due professional respect. Examination committee members should be present ten minutes prior to the start of the examination.

If the neutral chair is unable to reach a missing committee member, and the committee member has failed to appear for the appointed start of the examination, the neutral chair will contact the College of Graduate Studies immediately.

Normally, the College of Graduate Studies will cancel the examination if the committee member cannot be reached -and be present- within 30 minutes after the scheduled beginning of the examination.

The examination cannot start without the examination committee member. If the examination committee member arrives within the first 30 minutes, the neutral chair must poll other examiners to determine if they are ALL able to stay for at least three hours commencing from that moment. If this is the case, the neutral chair can start the exam.

If any examiner is unable to remain for that time period, the College of Graduate Studies must be informed immediately and the examination may be cancelled and rescheduled.

QUESTIONS TO THE CANDIDATE

During the formal question period, only examination committee members, as identified on the Notice of Master’s Thesis Oral Examination form, are allowed to question the candidate. Examiners, either in person or via teleconference, must be present during the entire questioning period. All examiners must be given the opportunity to question the student.

In a master’s exam, the formal question period should begin with the university examiner, and proceed to other examination committee members, followed by the supervisor and co-supervisor (if applicable). Normally, the question period will consist of two to three rounds, but should proceed (within the allowable time frame) until examiners have no further questions. During the question period, the supervisor should be taking notes about concerns and areas for revision. The neutral chair does not question the student.

Questions to the candidate should be relevant to the subject matter of the thesis, and should be clearly and succinctly phrased. The student should be given reasonable time to answer. If the candidate has understood a question, but cannot answer, the examiner should pass to another question and not attempt to extract an answer by prolonged interrogation.

The neutral chair should guard against any attempt by the supervisor to help the student in any way, or any tendency of examiners to interact with each other instead of concentrating on the examination of the candidate. Examiners’ editorial comments on the thesis should not be discussed at the oral examination, but should be directed to the supervisor following the exam.

Normally, final thesis oral examinations are open to the public. If the oral examination is still within the limit of two hours, and if the examination committee does not have any further questions for the student, the neutral chair may invite questions from audience attendees.

Any procedural irregularities must be reported to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies on the Neutral Chair’s Report within two business days.

Adjudication OF THE ORAL EXAMINATION OF THE THESIS

At the end of the thesis oral examination, the neutral chair asks the candidate and the audience members to leave the examination room. Only the neutral chair, the members of the examination committee, and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and/or the dean’s designate should remain in the room.

Before any discussion of the student’s performance begins, the neutral chair passes out ballots to each examination committee member and then reads the full list of possible recommendations to the members. Each examiner must then identify by secret ballot (which is non-binding), whether s/he favours recommending a pass or fail on each of the thesis and the oral defence. The ballots are handed back to the neutral chair. This procedure provides the committee with a frame of opinion upon which a full discussion of the student’s performance may then be based.

If an examiner is tele-video/conferencing in to the examination, the neutral chair should:

  • collect the secret ballots from those present;
  • ask those examiners to briefly leave the room;
  • behind a closed door, record the secret ballot of the absent examiner;
  • invite the examiners back into the room for the official examiners’ discussion.
OFFICIAL EXAMINERS’ DISCUSSION

The neutral chair reads off the ballot results and records these on the Neutral Chair’s Report. The neutral chair then facilitates a full post-examination discussion, starting with the university examiner, other examiners, and lastly the supervisor. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies or their delegate is allowed to participate, although they have no vote. At the conclusion of the discussion, the neutral chair may request up to two additional rounds of open voting to try to reach a consensus. At the end of the discussion, each examiner must write and initial their final recommendation on the Final Thesis Oral Examination – Neutral Chair’s Report.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE EXAMINATION COMMITTEE

Thesis oral examinations are designed to establish a level of achievement consistent with the standards set out by the College of Graduate Studies. In each case, the committee recommendation must be reported to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies on the official Final Master’s Thesis Oral Examination – Neutral Chair’s Report within two business days of the completion of the examination. Unanimous decisions are required for both the thesis and the oral defence. Immediately following the conclusion of the examination, the neutral chair must report the outcome to the student.

MASTER’S THESIS EXAMINATION OUTCOMES
Unanimous Pass on Thesis

If the unanimous final decision is that the thesis is a pass, the committee must choose whether the thesis is accepted with:

  1. No Revisions. The student is expected to submit their thesis within two weeks from the date of the examination.
  2. Minor Revisions: These may be stylistic changes and/or minor additions or clarification; the supervisor withholds signature on Master’s Thesis Approval and Program Completion form until all revisions are made. The student has one month from the date of the examination to submit revisions.
  3. Major Revisions: The thesis requires substantive changes such as rewriting a chapter, reinterpretation of data, or additional minor research in order to attain acceptable standards of coherence and integrity in argument and presentation. The supervisor and at least one other member of the examination committee withhold signatures on the Master’s Thesis Approval and Program Completion form until satisfied with the revisions. Major revisions normally must be completed and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies within six months from the date of the examination.
FAILED THESIS

If the examining committee unanimously determines that the underlying research of the thesis is not acceptable, then the examination committee recommends a Fail on the thesis to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The final decision will be at the discretion of the dean of Graduate Studies. Should the dean of the College of Graduate Studies uphold the recommendation of ‘fail’, the candidate will have a second opportunity to present and defend an acceptable thesis. No judgment should be made on the oral defence, because the new thesis will need to be defended.

In the case of a failed thesis, only one re-submission will be allowed and a new defence will be required. The second oral defence will be scheduled and normally heard by the original examination committee no sooner than six (6) months and no later than twelve (12) months from the first examination date. Any necessary revisions to the thesis must be completed by the candidate and approved by the committee before the second oral examination is scheduled.

FAILURE TO REACH A UNANIMOUS DECISION

If the examiners are unable to achieve unanimity regarding the thesis and/or the oral examination, there must be no further discussion regarding that component of the examination. The neutral chair must select “Failure to Reach Unanimous Decision” on the Final Master’s Thesis Oral Examination-Neutral Chair’s Report and immediately inform the College of Graduate Studies of “lack of unanimity”.

In the case of a ‘hung jury,” the neutral chair informs the student of the result and asks all committee members to submit a confidential report, called the Final Oral Examination Committee Member Report to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, documenting the exam and their rationale for their recommendation within five business days.

When the neutral chair reports lack of unanimity, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies will examine the reports submitted by the neutral chair and the examination committee members, and then may consult with anyone involved in the post-examination deliberation and the student before rendering a final decision.

Decision on the Outcome of the Oral Defence

If the examining committee chooses any of the above three options, they must also select the outcome of the oral examination:

  1. Unanimous Pass
  2. Fail

If the examining committee unanimously determines that the oral thesis examination is not acceptable, it recommends a failed oral defence to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The final decision will be at the discretion of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Should the dean of the College of Graduate Studies uphold the recommendation of ‘fail’, the candidate will be allowed a second, final attempt to present an acceptable oral defence of the thesis within three months of the first examination.

REPORTS FROM THE EXAMINATION COMMITTEE

For any of (i) a unanimous decision to fail the thesis (ii) a unanimous decision to fail the oral or (iii) a lack of unanimity, the following reports must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies within the specified periods:

  1. The neutral chair must submit a written report to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, describing the examination procedures within 2 business days.
  2. Each examination committee member must provide a confidential written Final Oral Examination-Committee Member Report to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies explaining the reasons for their recommendation within 5 business days.
SECOND MASTER’S THESIS ORAL EXAMINATION

The second examination must be conducted under the procedures described in the aforementioned sections. A student who fails any component (thesis or oral) of the second examination will be required to withdraw.

Final Thesis Submission

Students submit their final thesis to the College of Graduate Studies once the supervisor approves the final thesis, which contains the revisions requested at the oral examination.

Please refer to the Final Submission Instructions on the website for more information.

cIRcle

is the digital repository of the University of British Columbia for research and teaching materials created by the UBC community and its partners. Materials in cIRcle are openly accessible to anyone on the web, and will be preserved for future generations. Students are required to upload the final copy of their thesis in cIRcle.

Request to Withhold Thesis from the Public Domain

If there is strong justification, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may approve a request to withhold the thesis from the public domain for a limited period of time (typically 12 months, extendable to a maximum of 24 months in special circumstances).

The following are examples of when a student may request to withhold a thesis:

  • time is required for completion and submission of a significant manuscript or patent application for a device or idea that may emerge from the thesis research;
  • the thesis describes something of considerable monetary potential which could, if the student were given an opportunity to develop it first, benefit the student or the University;
  • the thesis deals with a potentially dangerous product or process or potential cure for a disease for which the researchers need more time for testing before public release of the information.

The Request for Approval to Withhold a Dissertation/Thesis from the Public Domain form must be made when the thesis is first submitted to the College of Graduate Studies following the thesis defence.

Doctoral Dissertation

All doctoral candidates are required to complete a dissertation.

The dissertation must be presented as described in the Thesis and Dissertation Preparation section of the College of Graduate Studies website.

SCOPE OF DISSERTATION

A student’s doctoral dissertation is a substantial piece of scholarly work that contains a significant contribution of new knowledge to the field of study. It presents the results and an analysis of the student’s original research, and should be significant enough to be publishable in the refereed literature.

The dissertation must have a coherent structure that provides a complete and systematic account of the student’s scholarly work. It may incorporate work from submitted, accepted, or published journal articles, which may or may not have co-authors. It may also include other scholarly artifacts such as creative writing, film and other audio, visual, and graphic representations, and application-oriented documents such as policy briefs, curricula, business plans, computer and web tools, pages, and applications, etc., so long as they are also described and analyzed in a scholarly context.

The dissertation should reflect the student’s ability to do the following:

  • Critically analyze the relevant literature
  • Use and describe in detail the appropriate methodology for the scholarly work undertaken
  • Conduct research and present findings that result in a significant and original contribution to knowledge
  • Verify knowledge claims and sources meticulously
  • Locate the work of the dissertation and its findings within the broader field or discipline
  • Communicate the scholarly work and analysis effectively

In most fields, a doctoral dissertation will range from 60,000 to 80,000 words in length, exclusive of footnotes, bibliography, and appendices. Scholarly artifacts will normally reduce the expected length of the dissertation. As a courtesy to examiners, if the dissertation will be over 100,000 words long the student must notify the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies when the Appointment of External Examiner for Doctoral Dissertation form is submitted.

See also The Instructions for the Preparation of the External Examiner’s Report.

DISSERTATION FORM AND STYLE

  • The general form and style of the dissertation may vary slightly, depending on the program, but a dissertation must be a cohesive document.
  • The dissertation must conform to specific UBC formatting requirements and regulations.
  • Students may hire an editor to copy-edit their dissertation. Students and supervisors should discuss whether or not it is appropriate to hire an editor, and, if yes, agree upon the specific editing tasks. Under no circumstance may can a supervisor compel a student to hire an editor.  The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC)’s (2006)Guidelines for Editing Theses is a helpful source on the ethical editing of theses/dissertations.
  • The dissertation must conform to all relevant legislation and policies that govern copyright (Policy 85,Policy 86, Policy 87). (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Intellectual Property Guide).

Public Release of Dissertations

Dissertations are normally made available for public access.

Under certain circumstances, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may approve a Request for Approval to Withhold a Dissertation/Thesis from the Public Domain.

RESEARCH AND ETHICS REQUIREMENTS

All research involving human participants, animals or biohazards must first be reviewed by and receive approval from the appropriate Research Ethics Board before the research can commence. Failure to obtain the appropriate ethics approvals prior to conducting research may result in an outcome of Fail on the dissertation examination.

DISSERTATION ORAL EXAMINATION

The purpose of the Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination is for the student to independently defend the dissertation. It is also intended to serve as confirmation of the student’s knowledge of the research topic within the context of their field(s) of study. In order to safeguard and promote the quality of the graduate degree, all PhD students must pass a final dissertation oral examination before the degree can be granted.

The Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination is an examination approved by the College of Graduate Studies. Prior to the final exam, candidates must have fulfilled all coursework, examination and language requirements of the degree program. It is the responsibility of the candidate’s graduate program to ensure that all of these requirements have been met, and that the candidate’s English language proficiency is sufficient for the examination to be conducted with full communication between the committee and the candidate. The Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination is a public event at UBC Okanagan, and as such will be conducted in English.

The final oral examination is open to all members of the University and to the public.

Note: Dissertations must be written in English; however, Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS) students who are registered in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies may be approved to write the dissertation in French.

The following regulations apply to dissertations written in French:

  • The oral examination will be conducted in French.
  • The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies must ensure the requisite supervisory committee members, with the necessary language background and familiarity with the field of French literature, are available to supervise the thesis. It is the responsibility of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies to ensure there are sufficient faculty members, with no conflict of interest, to participate on supervisory committees and as University Examiner and Neutral Chair.
  • The small number of faculty at UBCO who have language fluency in French may mean University Examiners could come from UBCV.
  • The dissertation will be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies with a Title Page, Abstract, Preface, and Table of Contents translated into English.
INITIATING THE DISSERTATION ORAL EXAMINATION

The Doctoral Dissertation Oral examination process is initiated once the student has been deemed, by both their supervisor and their supervisory committee, as ready to proceed to defence. The supervisor must have reviewed the student’s research and the entire draft of the dissertation and obtained written agreement from the members of the supervisory committee that the dissertation is ready to move to oral examination. The signature of the supervisor on the Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination acknowledges that the dissertation meets the minimum standard.

NOTE: Indication that the dissertation is ready to defend does not commit a member of the supervisory committee to vote “pass” on the dissertation at the final oral examination.

The Supervisor is responsible for the following steps in the oral examination process once s/he has determined that the dissertation meets the minimum standard:

  • Ensures that all members of the supervisory committee have reviewed the latest draft of the dissertation, and provided written consents to the supervisor to proceed to oral examination (email is acceptable).
  • Contacts a potential External Examiner to determine their willingness to serve as External Examiner and their availability for the proposed examination dates.
  • Submits a Request for Approval of Proposed External Examiner to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies at least ten (10) weeks prior to the proposed examination date.

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to recommend all examining committee members, including the external examiner and university examiner, to the graduate program coordinator, for approval.  It is also the responsibility of the supervisor to conform to the timelines and processes established by the College of Graduate Studies.  Under no circumstances are students permitted to make arrangements for their examination.

The graduate program coordinator makes a final recommendation to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies regarding the composition of the examining committee. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies has final approval authority over the examination committee composition. The examination committee is convened to make a recommendation on the final outcome of the examination to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Composition of Dissertation Oral Examination Committee

The examination committee consists of:

  • The Supervisor;
  • All members of the Supervisory Committee;
  • The University Examiner, who is external to the graduate program
  • The External Examiner, who is external to the university

All doctoral dissertations must be assessed by an examiner external to the University and by internal examiners, including a university examiner who is not directly associated with the graduate program in which the candidate is registered.

The examining committee assesses the performance of the candidate in the written dissertation and in the oral examination and makes a recommendation to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The examination committee must be seen as impartial and conflicts of interest must be avoided and disclosed.

Once the dean of the College of Graduate Studies has approved the composition of an examination committee, no changes in that composition may take place without prior approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE NEUTRAL CHAIR

The examination is chaired by a neutral member of the academic staff who is familiar with the examination policies and procedures of the College of Graduate Studies. The Neutral Chair is not a member of the Examination Committee, does not question the student and may not vote. 

The Neutral Chair must:

  • not have been closely associated with the student (now or in the past) as a colleague, supervisor, member of the supervisory committee,
  • not have been an academic collaborator with the supervisor.

Normally, the Neutral Chair is external to the student’s graduate program but either the graduate program coordinator or the department head could serve as Neutral Chair.

The responsibility of the Neutral Chair is to ensure that the examination is conducted in a fair way and according to College of Graduate Studies procedures.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE UNIVERSITY EXAMINER

The University Examiner normally must:

  1. Have a Board appointment outside the student’s department or graduate program, but within the professorial ranks (for examiner’s from UBC).
  2. Have expertise in the student’s research area or a closely related field.
  3. Have a well-established research reputation, expertise in the area of the student’s research, and experience in evaluating dissertations at a graduate level (for examiner’s external to UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver).
  4. Not have collaborated with the supervisor in the five years prior to the oral examination.
  5. Not be a close personal friend or relative of the supervisor.
  6. Not be related to the student, nor have worked with the student.
  7. Not have an affiliation with the department/division/graduate program of either the student or supervisor.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE EXTERNAL EXAMINER

An External Examiner normally must:

  1. Have an established reputation in the area of the dissertation research and be able to judge whether a dissertation is acceptable at a university comparable to UBC.
  2. Have had previous experience with the supervision and examination of doctoral students.
  3. Hold a PhD or a degree of the same level as that which the student is pursuing.
  4. Be either a Full or Associate Professor at a university, or have comparable expertise if not at a university.
  5. If not presently associated with a university, have some previous university affiliation.
  6. Not be a close personal friend of the supervisor; not have collaborated with the supervisor in the five years prior to the oral examination; not be related to, nor have worked with, the candidate.
  7. Not have acted as an External Examiner in the candidate’s graduate program, or for a student with the same supervisor, for a minimum period of three years.

The External Examiner is approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies in consultation with the graduate program in which the degree candidate is registered.

SCHEDULING THE ORAL EXAMINATION

Upon receiving approval from the dean of the College of Graduate Studies for the External Examiner, the supervisor should proceed with the following:

  • Book the examination room & video conferencing (if needed);
  • Fill in the Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination form, ensure that the relevant graduate program coordinator has signed it, and submit it to the College of Graduate Studies no later than eight (8) weeks prior to the date of the examination;
  • Fill in the Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination Announcement Form, including date, time and location of the examination;
  • Ensure that the final draft of the dissertation is sent to all committee members and to the College of Graduate Studies.

Final oral examinations can be scheduled no sooner than eight weeks after submission of the approved dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies.

Where applicable, under exceptional circumstances, a doctoral student who has successfully completed all College of Graduate Studies program requirements has the right to submit and defend their dissertation, even if doing so may be contrary to the advice of the supervisor and/or supervisory committee.

In special circumstances such as sudden illness or weather factors, the dean of Graduate Studies may approve the rescheduling of an oral examination. In addition, a scheduled oral examination may be cancelled under exceptional circumstances with the approval of the dean of Graduate Studies.

Doctoral Dissertation Examination Announcement

Following approval of the Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination by the College of Graduate Studies, the College posts the Doctoral Dissertation Examination Announcement prior to the examination; this includes the student’s name, degree sought, thesis title, abstract, date, time and location of the examination.

EXAMINATION TELECONFERENCE-VIDEOCONFERENCE

Normally, if they are unable to be at the examination in person, the external examiner is allowed to participate in the exam by teleconference or videoconference; if an additional examiner wishes to teleconference/videoconference for the same examination, approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies is required. However, it is better if all examiners are able to attend the exam in person and the supervisor must be present in person at the examination. Also, teleconferencing and videoconferencing cannot both be used for the same examination, since the examiners will be unable to hear each other.

Telephone backup must be available for all videoconferencing examinations. In extraordinary circumstances and with approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, a student may be given permission to attend remotely and a proctor may be required by the College of Graduate Studies.

Doctoral Dissertation EXAMINATION PROCESS
BEFORE THE EXAMINATION

The Supervisor must ensure that the electronic copy of the dissertation is sent to the College of Graduate Studies and all examiners at least six (6) weeks prior to the proposed examination date.

The dissertation submitted for final examination must be in all respects a final, complete copy and not a draft. Once the dissertation has been distributed, the examination has formally begun, and there should be no discussion of the substance or quality of the dissertation among examiners or between examiners and the candidate (or anyone else).

The College of Graduate Studies must receive the written report from the External Examiner before the final examination can take place.

SUSPECTED ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT IN THE DISSERTATION

If an examiner suspects that academic misconduct, including plagiarism or fabrication/falsification of data, has occurred in the dissertation, he/she must notify the dean of the College of Graduate Studies immediately. (Please note, this should not entail a conversation with the supervisor or with any others, but should come directly to the dean.)

The examination will then be suspended until such time as the dean or his/her designate determines whether academic misconduct has occurred and what penalties will be applied. Depending on the dean/designate’s determination, the examination may proceed as scheduled, be rescheduled, or be cancelled.

If an examiner alleges academic misconduct during the examination or in the post-examination discussion, the neutral chair must suspend the examination or discussion and contact the College of Graduate Studies immediately.

The Doctoral Student’s Oral Presentation

The student may present a 10-30 minute opening summary of the dissertation, introducing the research and summarizing its significance. The candidate may speak from notes, and may use audio-visual equipment, but must not read the synopsis.

The neutral chair will stop the presentation if it exceeds 30 minutes. The presentation is outside of the two-hour examination time.

LENGTH OF THE EXAMINATION

The oral examination should not exceed two hours. This two hours is in addition to the thirty minutes allowed for the opening summary.

This time limit does not include the opening summary presentation nor the deliberation time of the examination committee. Examination committee members and the neutral chair should, therefore, reserve at least three hours for the summary presentation, examination, and deliberation periods.

This important, formal event is core to the academic mission of the university and should be given priority.

ATTENDANCE AT THE EXAMINATION

The doctoral oral defence is a formal examination, which should be accorded due professional respect. Examination committee members should be present ten minutes prior to the start of the examination.

If the neutral chair is unable to reach a missing committee member, and the committee member has failed to appear for the appointed start of the examination, the neutral chair will contact the College of Graduate Studies immediately.

Normally, the College of Graduate Studies will cancel the examination if the committee member cannot be reached -and be present- within 30 minutes after the scheduled beginning of the examination.

The examination cannot start without the examination committee member. If the examination committee member arrives within the first 30 minutes, the neutral chair must poll other examiners to determine if they are ALL able to stay for at least three hours commencing from that moment. If this is the case, the Neutral Chair can start the exam.

If any examiner is unable to remain for that time period, the College of Graduate Studies must be informed immediately and the examination may be cancelled and rescheduled.

QUESTIONS TO THE CANDIDATE

During the formal question period, only examination committee members, as identified on the Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination form, are allowed to question the candidate.

In a doctoral exam, the formal question period should begin with the external examiner, university examiner, other examination committee members, followed by the supervisor and co-supervisor, if applicable. Normally, the question period may consist of two to three rounds but should proceed (within the allowable time frame) until examiners have no further questions. During question period, the supervisor should be taking notes about concerns and areas for revision. The neutral chair does not question the student.

Questions to the candidate should be relevant to the subject matter of the dissertation, and should be clearly and succinctly phrased. The student should be given reasonable time to answer. If the student has understood the question but cannot answer, the examiner should pass to another question and not attempt to extract an answer by prolonged interrogation.

The neutral chair should guard against any attempt by the supervisor to help the student in any way, or any tendency of examiners to interact with each other instead of concentrating on the examination of the candidate. Examiners’ editorial comments on the dissertation should not be discussed at the oral examination, but should be directed to the supervisor following the exam.

Normally, dissertation oral examinations are open to the public. If the oral examination is still within the limit of two hours, and if the examination committee does not have any further questions for the student, the neutral chair may invite questions from audience attendees.

Any procedural irregularities must be reported to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies on the Neutral Chair’s Report within two business days.

ADJUDICATION OF THE ORAL EXAMINATION OF THE DISSERTATION

When the question period has reached two hours, the neutral chair asks the candidate and the audience members to leave the examination room. Only the neutral chair, the members of the examination committee, and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and/or the dean’s designate should remain in the room.

Before any discussion of the candidate’s performance, the neutral chair passes out ballots to each examination committee member and then reads the full list of possible recommendations to the members. Each examiner must then identify by secret ballot (which is non-binding), whether s/he favours recommending a pass or fail on each of the dissertation and the oral defence. The ballots are handed back to the neutral chair. This procedure provides the committee with a frame of opinion upon which a full discussion of the student’s performance may then be based.

If an examiner is tele/video-conferencing in to the examination, the neutral chair should:

  • collect the secret ballots from those present,
  • ask those examiners to briefly leave the room,
  • behind a closed door, record the secret ballot of the absent examiner,
  • invite examiners back into the room for the official examiners’ discussion.
OFFICIAL EXAMINERS’ DISCUSSION

The neutral chair reads off the ballot results and records these on the Chair’s Report. The neutral chair then facilitates a full post-examination discussion, starting with the external examiner, the university examiner, other examiners, and lastly the supervisor. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies or their delegate is allowed to participate although they have no vote. At the conclusion of the discussion, the neutral chair may request up to 2 additional rounds of open voting to try to reach a consensus. At the end of the discussion, each examiner must write and initial her/his final recommendation on the Final Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination – Neutral Chair’s Report. Unanimous decisions are required for both the dissertation and the oral defence. If the examiners are unable to achieve unanimity regarding one or both components, there will be no further discussion regarding that component of the examination and the neutral chair must immediately inform the dean of “lack of unanimity”. The final decision concerning the disposition of the examination results will be at the discretion of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE EXAMINATION COMMITTEE

Dissertation oral examinations are designed to establish a level of achievement consistent with the standards set out by the College of Graduate Studies. In each case, the committee recommendation must be reported to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies on the official Final Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination – Neutral Chair’s Report form within two business days of the completion of the examination. Immediately following the conclusion of the examination, the neutral chair must report the outcome to the student.

In the case of a “hung jury,” the neutral chair informs the student of the result and asks all committee members to submit a confidential report called the Final Oral Examination – Committee Member Report to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies documenting the exam and rationale for their recommendation within 5 business days.

DOCTORAL EXAMINATION OUTCOMES
Unanimous Pass on the Dissertation

If the unanimous final decision is that the dissertation is a pass, the committee must choose whether the dissertation is accepted with:

  1. No revisions. The student is expected to submit their dissertation within two weeks from the date of the examination.
  2. Minor revisions: Changes to the dissertation within this category consist of only slight modifications that affect presentation of the material such as typographical or grammatical errors as well as minor editorial revisions; it also includes minor revisions, which may range from a few paragraphs to several pages. The student has one monthfrom the date of the examination to make the revisions. The supervisor will inform the student of the necessary revisions and will withhold their signature until satisfied with the revisions.
  3. Major Revisions: This means that the dissertation is not acceptable in its present form, but could be acceptable pending major revisions. This requires substantive changes such as rewriting a chapter, reinterpretation of data, correction to calculations, or additional minor research. The supervisor and at least one other member of the examination committee withhold signatures on the Doctoral Dissertation Approval and Completion form until revisions are made. The student has six monthsfrom the date of the examination to make revisions and submit the dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies.
DECISION ON THE OUTCOME OF THE ORAL EXAMINATION

If the examination committee chooses any of the above three options, they must also select the outcome of the Oral Examination:

  1. Unanimous Pass
  2. Fail

If the examining committee unanimously determines that the oral dissertation is not acceptable, it recommends a failed oral defence to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The final decision will be at the discretion of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Should the dean of the College of Graduate Studies uphold the recommendation of ‘fail’, the candidate will be allowed a second, final attempt to present an acceptable oral defence of the dissertation within three months of the first examination. For a retake of the oral examination, the composition of the examination committee, including the external examiner, will remain the same. If the student fails the oral retake, they will be required to withdraw from the graduate program.

FAILURE OF THE DISSERTATION

If the examining committee unanimously determines that the underlying research of the dissertation is not acceptable, and recommends an “unanimous fail” on the dissertation, the student is required to withdraw from the graduate program.

FAILURE TO REACH A UNANIMOUS DECISION

If the examiners are unable to achieve unanimity regarding the dissertation and/or the oral examination, there must be no further discussion regarding that component of the examination and the neutral chair must select “Failure to Reach Unanimous Decision” on the Final Dissertation Oral Examination Report and immediately inform the College of Graduate Studies of “lack of unanimity”. The final decision will be at the discretion of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies who, before rendering a decision, may consult with anyone involved in the post-examination deliberation.

REPORTS FROM THE EXAMINATION COMMITTEE

For any of (i) a unanimous decision to fail the dissertation (ii) a unanimous decision to fail the oral or (iii) lack of unanimity, the following reports must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies within the specified time periods:

  1. The neutral chair must submit the Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination- Neutral Chair’s Report to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, describing the examination procedures within two business days.
  2. Each examination committee member (including the external examiner) must provide a confidential Final Oral Examination Committee Member Report to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies explaining the reasons for his/her recommendation within five business days.

FINAL DISSERTATION SUBMISSION

Students submit their final dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies once the supervisor approves the final dissertation, which contains the revisions requested at the oral examination.

Please refer to the Final Submission Instructions on the website for more information.

CIRCLE

is the digital repository of the University of British Columbia for research and teaching materials created by the University of British Columbia community and its partners. Materials in cIRcle are openly accessible to anyone on the web, and will be preserved for future generations. Students are required to upload the final copy of their dissertation in cIRcle.

REQUEST TO WITHHOLD DISSERTATION FROM THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

If there is strong justification, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may approve a request to withhold the dissertation from the public domain for a limited period of time (typically 12 months, extendable to a maximum of 24 months in special circumstances).

The following are examples of when a student may request to withhold a dissertation:

  • time is required for completion and submission of a significant manuscript or patent application for a device or idea that might emerge from the dissertation research;
  • the dissertation might describe something of considerable monetary potential which could, if the student were given an opportunity to develop it first, benefit the student or the University;
  • the dissertation deals with a potentially dangerous product or process or potential cure for a disease for which the researchers need more time for testing before public release of the information.

The Request for Approval to Withhold a Dissertation/Thesis from the Public Domain form must be made when the dissertation is first submitted to the College of Graduate Studies following the dissertation examination.

PROGRAM COMPLETION & Degree Conferral

Graduate student degree completion in thesis-based master’s and all doctoral programs means that the student has:

  • Completed all required coursework;
  • Successfully defended their thesis or dissertation;
  • Submitted all documentation, including their final thesis or dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies;
  • Completed all other degree requirements.

Provided that the student has met all other degree requirements, his/her program will be closed effective to the date when the correctly formatted thesis or dissertation is successfully uploaded to cIRcle.

Note: there are typically formatting errors in the thesis/dissertation on the student’s first upload attempt, so students should plan accordingly.

For non-thesis programs, the student’s program will be closed effective the date that the program confirms all requirements were met.

Once the program is closed out, the student will be advised of how to obtain a refund of any tuition (if applicable) or will be notified if any additional tuition installments are due.

Program Responsibilities

For thesis/dissertation students, the graduate program coordinator should verify that all program requirements (minus the thesis/dissertation) have been met before signing the documents to initiate the oral examination.

For non-thesis students, the graduate program coordinator ensures that all grades have been entered and all degree requirements have been met and then sends an email to the College of Graduate Studies advising them that the degree requirements have been completed.

Program Completion Letter

A Program Completion letter officially confirms that the student has fulfilled the degree requirements and completed the program. The student can print this letter as soon as the program has been closed (students will receive a confirmation email from the College of Graduate Studies once their program is closed).

The student can use the Student Service Centre (SSC) to print an official Program Completion letter.

Degree Conferral

In order to be granted the degree, the student must apply for degree conferral through the Student Services Centre during the relevant application period.

A student will not receive a diploma or be able to order transcripts until their student account is paid in full.

A student must not use their credential until it has been officially conferred by Senate.

APPLYING FOR DEGREE CONFERRAL

Every candidate for a degree must make a formal application for degree conferral. Students must apply through the Student Service Centre (SSC).

Graduate students should check the deadlines database of the website to determine application deadlines for degree conferral.

If the student’s application for degree conferral is not approved, the student must re-apply for the next degree conferral session.

The student must apply for degree conferral regardless of whether or not s/he plans to participate in the scheduled ceremonies.

Graduate degrees are conferred in February, May, September, and November.  Graduation ceremonies are held annually in June.

Supervisors, Supervisory Committees, and Graduate Program Coordinators

Senate Policy: O-9: Graduate Student Supervision and Membership in the College of Graduate Studies outlines regulations for the supervisory privileges and sets out regulations for membership in the College of Graduate Studies.

Senate Policy: 0-9

Number & Title:
O-9: Graduate Student Supervision and Membership in the College of Graduate Studies

Effective/Implementation Date:
January 1, 2019

Approval Date:
November 22, 2018

Review Date:
This policy shall be reviewed two (2) years after approval and thereafter as deemed necessary by the Responsible Committee.

Responsible Committee(s):
Senate Academic Policy Committee

Authority:
University Act, S. 40

“A faculty has the following powers and duties:

(c) subject to this Act and to the approval of the senate, to make rules for the government, direction and management of the faculty and its affairs and business.”

S. 41

“A general rule made by a faculty is not effective or enforceable until a copy has been sent to the senate and the senate has given its approval.”

Purpose and Goals:
This policy is designed to:

  1. Set out regulations for the eligibility for and granting, review, renewal, limitation, and removal of supervisory privileges.
  2. Set out regulations for membership in the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicability:
This policy is applicable to all individuals eligible for graduate student supervisory privileges as set out in the policy.

Exclusions:
This policy does not apply to the supervision of undergraduate student research.

Definitions:
For the purposes of this policy and in all other policies in which they are not otherwise defined:

  • College of Graduate Studies (or the College) shall mean the coordinating body for graduate education at UBC Okanagan established by the Senate and Board.
  • Graduate Council shall mean the governance body established for the government, direction, and management of the College of Graduate Studies and its affairs and business.
  • Graduate program coordinator shall mean the individual appointed by a Dean or Department Head to administer a graduate program, or equivalent.
  • Graduate student shall mean a student registered in a Master’s or Doctoral program at the Okanagan Campus.
  • Supervisor shall mean an eligible individual who serves as the primary academic mentor to a graduate student, with emphasis on guidance, instruction, and encouragement of scholarship and research. The supervisor oversees the graduate student’s academic progress and serves as chair of the graduate student’s supervisory committee, where applicable.
  • Co-Supervisor shall mean an eligible individual who is named as co-supervisor and serves as the secondary supervisor of the graduate student.
  • Supervisory privileges shall mean the privilege granted to a qualified individual to supervise masters and/or doctoral students within the parameters of this policy and, the College of Graduate Studies, and within the parameters of a graduate program’s supervisory policy.

Policy:

Faculty Membership in the College of Graduate Studies

  1. The College of Graduate Studies consists of the President, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Provost, the Vice-Principal Research, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, Deans of Faculties, and appropriately qualified members of the faculty from UBC Okanagan as set out in this policy.
  2. Members of the College of Graduate Studies are tenured or tenure track (including grant tenured or grant tenure track) faculty members holding the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor.
  3. Members of the College of Graduate Studies may continue as members upon retirement, provided they are approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, upon the recommendation of their Department Head, Director or Dean.
  4. Persons holding the following ranks are not eligible for membership in the College of Graduate Studies: Adjunct Professors, Honorary Professors, Visiting Professors, Professors of Teaching, Senior Instructors, Instructors, Lecturers, Acting Assistant Professors, Assistant Professors without review, Clinical Associate professor without review, UBC Vancouver professors.

    Supervisory Privileges

  5. Members in good standing of the College of Graduate Studies may supervise graduate students, serve on graduate student supervisory committees, and chair examining committees.
  6. UBC Okanagan faculty members who are not members of the College, or other appropriately qualified UBC Okanagan individuals (e.g., clinical professors, adjunct professors, professors emeriti, professors of teaching, instructors or visiting professors) who are actively engaged in research may be approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, upon the recommendation of their Department Head, Director or Dean, in consultation with the graduate program coordinator, to hold supervisory privileges and serve on supervisory committees. These individuals are not members of the College of Graduate Studies and permission must be sought each time they serve on a new supervisory committee.
  7. Members in good standing of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies from the UBC Vancouver campus may co-supervise UBC Okanagan master’s and doctoral students and/or serve on master’s and doctoral student supervisory committees without requiring approval from the College of Graduate Studies. Approval for UBC-V faculty in these roles is the responsibility of the graduate program concerned.
  8. Members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies from the UBC Vancouver campus are not members of the College of Graduate Studies.
  9. Qualified individuals from outside UBC may serve on a supervisory committee or as a co-supervisor for a particular student on the recommendation of the graduate program coordinator and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
  10. Any faculty member new to UBC who is eligible to supervise must acquaint themselves with UBC supervisory policies, procedures, and best practices.

    Review, Limitation, and Removal of Supervisory Privileges

  11. Informal reviews, or ‘issue/conflict resolution’ shall be undertaken by the Graduate Program Coordinator when concerns are raised either by the graduate student(s) or by the supervisor. Such concerns may include, but are not limited to:
    1. lack of effective communication;
    2. the absence of regular supervisory meetings;
    3. a sustained pattern of disrupted or unsuccessful supervisory relationships;
    4. expectations around the quality and amount of work required; differences around funding levels; and/or,
    5. respectful work environment issues.If the Graduate Program Coordinator is unable to resolve the concerns, the coordinator should next consult with the Department Head or equivalent. If it is the case that the Department Head is the supervisor in question, then the Faculty Dean should be consulted. If the Department Head or Faculty Dean is unable to resolve the concerns, then the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies shall be consulted to resolve the concerns.
  12. Serious concerns raised to Faculty Deans or the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies about the effectiveness of a faculty member’s supervision of graduate students will result in a formal review of supervisory privileges. Serious concerns may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Inattentive or poor graduate supervision; and/or,
    2. Violations of the bounds of appropriate conduct between a faculty member and student such as:
      1. Allowing conflict of interest to develop between the student and the faculty member;
      2. Placing inappropriate demands upon a student; and/or
      3. Failing to follow principles of scholarly integrity with respect to the research and work of students.
  13. The formal review of supervisory privileges will be conducted by the Dean of the College in consultation with the appropriate Faculty Dean.
  14. Upon a formal review, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies can set or remove limitations on a faculty member’s supervisory privileges in consultation with the appropriate Dean or or designate.
  15. Removal of supervisory privileges by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies should occur only in exceptional circumstances, or when remedial or mentoring efforts have not changed the pattern or concerns that initiated the formal review.
  16. Should a faculty member’s supervisory privileges be removed, the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will set a timeline for consideration of renewal in consultation with the appropriate Faculty Dean.
  17. Removal of a faculty member’s supervisory privileges does not result in a loss of membership in the College of Graduate Studies. However, removal or limitation of supervisory privileges means that one is not a member in good standing of the College of Graduate Studies.

    CONTINUITY OF SUPERVISION

  18. In agreeing to supervise a graduate student, an individual is committing to supervising that graduate student through to timely completion of their degree (refer to Duration of Program under Academic Regulations) or withdrawal from the graduate program.
  19. If, for any reason, the supervisor is unable to continue supervising a master’s or doctoral student for a temporary period (e.g., sabbatical, leave of absence), the supervisor, the graduate program coordinator, and the graduate program must arrange for temporary alternative supervision. A supervisor should provide notice of planned temporary absence to the graduate program coordinator and the student at least four months prior to their absence in order for appropriate alternative supervision to be arranged.
  20. If a supervisor is permanently leaving the University, the supervisor, the graduate program coordinator, and the graduate program must arrange for alternative supervision. A supervisor should provide notice of departure to the graduate program coordinator at least four months prior to their departure in order for appropriate alternative supervision to be arranged. The supervisor may continue as co-supervisor after they leave the University if they are able and willing to do so, pending College of Graduate Studies’ approval.
  21. Under exceptional circumstances, a supervisor or graduate student may request permission from the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies to discontinue the supervisory relationship.
  22. If, despite best efforts, alternative supervision cannot be found, the student will be required to withdraw from the graduate program.

    Responsibilities

  23. The Graduate Council shall establish and revise procedures under this policy for the administration of membership in the College of Graduate Studies, including procedures for appealing a faculty recommendation to place limitations on supervisory privileges and procedures for appealing removal of supervisory privileges.

Calendar Statement(s):
There is no Calendar statement associated with this policy.

Consultations:
The following groups have been consulted during the development of this policy: Graduate Council, Associate Deans Research and Graduate Studies, Graduate Student Advisory Council.

History:
This is the first version of this policy; however, provisions concerning membership in the College of Graduate Studies accompanied previous versions of Policy O-4.2: Governance of the College of Graduate Studies in procedures.

Related Policies:

Appendix/Appendices:
N/A

Supervisors

Supervisor selection

All students must have either an interim advisor or an approved supervisor at the time of first registration. The initial selection of a supervisor should be by mutual agreement between the student and faculty member, and approved by the graduate program coordinator.

Supervisor ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Continuity of supervision throughout a graduate program is important to student success. Normally, all tenured or tenure track (including grant tenured or tenure-track) UBC Okanagan faculty who hold the rank of Assistant, Associate or Professor are approved by their faculty for membership in the College of Graduate Studies. It is from this pool of faculty members that students normally select a supervisor; however, it may be appropriate under specific circumstances for a student to work with a qualified individual as their supervisor who does not belong to this pool. For example, clinical professors, adjunct professors, senior instructors, or visiting professors who are actively engaged in research and experienced with graduate education, may, upon recommendation of the relevant program, be approved to supervise by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. In cases such as these, the College of Graduate Studies requires assurance that the proposed supervisor will be able to provide continuity of supervision.

For each graduate student with a new (inexperienced) supervisor, an experienced faculty member should serve as co-supervisor or as a member of the supervisory committee.

The proposed supervisor must understand the time and funding commitments expected of them and be familiar with current graduate program and College of Graduate Studies regulations. The relevant graduate program coordinator must ensure that supervision will be provided to the student for the probable time period required for the completion of the degree program.

Individuals from outside the University may serve as co-supervisors, upon recommendation of the relevant graduate program and approval by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. In this case, the primary supervisor must be a member of the College of Graduate Studies. Dean’s Approval for Co-Supervisor/Committee Member is also required for:

  • Appointment of all non-UBC Okanagan co-supervisors or committee members
  • Appointment of any UBC Okanagan co-supervisors or committee members who do not hold the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor
  • Appointment to graduate supervision of any UBC Okanagan members of the College of Graduate Studies who hold a terminal master’s degree who wish to supervise a doctoral student

Retired members of the College of Graduate Studies may continue to supervise or co-supervise graduate students, as recommended by their graduate program and approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The supervisor should be currently active in research in an area related to the research interests of the student. Faculty members working on their own graduate degrees cannot be approved to any supervisory capacity without special dispensation from the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Students are entitled to continuity of supervision. In the case of the resignation from the University, illness or death of the supervisor, the relevant graduate program coordinator must make immediate arrangements to provide continuity of supervision pending the appointment of a new supervisor.

Conflict of Interest

The relationship between the supervisor and the student is an academic one. Where other relationships exist or develop that might give the appearance of conflict of interest, they must be immediately reported to the relevant graduate program coordinator who will consult with the associate dean or dean of the College of Graduate Studies, if the graduate program coordinator is unable to resolve the situation. In situations where the supervisor/co-supervisor or committee members are domestic partners, one additional committee member is required.

Responsibilities of Supervisors

Knowledge of Rules and Procedures

Supervisors should be familiar with the rules and procedures of the College of Graduate Studies and program regulations and requirements.

Meetings Between the Graduate Student and the Supervisor

Both the graduate student and the supervisor have a shared responsibility to meet on a regular basis. It is important for supervisors to be available to provide guidance and feedback to graduate students, especially for those who are new to graduate studies and/or new to Canada. The frequency of meetings may vary by discipline, stage in the program, nature of the project and the independence of the student. These could be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meetings.

“Frequent meetings with graduate students at which academic, research and other issues are addressed, progress is reviewed, evaluation is provided, and future activities are identified are extremely important for the success of students” (CAGS, 2008, Guiding Principles for Graduate Student Supervision, p.3).

The Role of the Supervisor

To be an effective graduate supervisor, a faculty member must first recognize the responsibilities of the role, and ensure that these are met to the best of their abilities with each graduate student.

The critical relationship between a research graduate student and their supervisor should always be academic and professional, with an emphasis on a mutually open, committed, and respectful relationship. The supervisor should act as both an academic mentor, with an emphasis on guidance, instruction, and encouragement of scholarship and research, and as an evaluator of the student’s performance. A fundamental duty of the supervisor is to impart to the student the skills necessary to plan and conduct original research.

Specifically, the supervisor should:

  • Work with the student to establish a realistic timetable for the completion of the various requirements of the program of study;
  • Discuss with the student and establish mutual expectations for the student’s vacation time (students are entitled to three weeks of vacation during each twelve month academic year);
  • Develop a relationship with the student conducive to research and intellectual growth;
  • Guide and mentor the student concerning the research ethics approval process and concerning the intellectual property issues around their thesis or dissertation research;
  • Guide the student in the pursuit of knowledge and provide constructive criticism in support of the highest standards of research and professional development;
  • Mentor the student in areas such as, but not limited to, the development of
    appropriate professional skills, funding applications, networking, assistance with publications, and career development.

The College of Graduate Studies has developed a Checklist of Expectations for Graduate Student and Supervisor to define the expectations and responsibilities of the graduate student and the supervisor. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Vancouver campus), in consultation with the Graduate Student Society and UBC Counsel office, has created several documents that outline the expectations of the student-supervisor relationship.

Judgment of student performance

Supervisors and Graduate program coordinators must inform students on a regular basis about their academic progress. If a student’s performance is judged to be below an acceptable level, this judgment should be expressed to the student formally and in writing at as early a stage in the graduate program as possible. If academic programs remains unsatisfactory, a student may be required to withdraw from their program of studies.

participation of supervisor in thesis/dissertation preparation

The supervisor is expected to provide frequent and prompt comments on drafts of thesis and dissertation chapters. Normal turn-around time should not exceed three to six weeks. While the supervisor should attempt to be critically constructive and encouraging, the thesis or dissertation must be the creation of the student.

Supervisory Provision For Leave of Absence

“Continuity of supervision is an integral component of [the student/supervisor] relationship, since it provides (or should provide) stability, security, an opportunity to establish sufficient mutual knowledge and trust to facilitate effective intellectual debate, and generally an environment that allows optimal focus on the goals of the graduate program.” (CAGS, 2008, p. 5)

Graduate programs and supervisors must ensure that students are provided with adequate supervision when supervisors are on leave. This purpose can be accomplished in several ways, including through the appointment of a co-supervisor. Students should be informed well in advance about the plans a supervisor may have for a sabbatical leave. With current means of communication, continued supervision while on a sabbatical leave is the normal expectation for faculty members. These arrangements must be communicated in writing to the relevant graduate program coordinator, who bears the responsibility for ensuring continuity of supervision for students in his/her graduate program.

When a co-supervisor is appointed to cover a period of the supervisor’s absence, the regular supervisor retains final responsibility for the adequate supervision of the student. Faculty members approved as co-supervisors must indicate in writing to the graduate program coordinator their willingness to accept responsibility for the day-to-day supervision of such students. To do so, they must submit a Change of Student Supervisor Committee Member to the College of Graduate Studies.

Suggested Procedures for conflict resolution

Students should attempt first to resolve problems with their supervisor by talking to the supervisor. The co-supervisor (if applicable) or a supervisory committee member may be able to give helpful advice in this situation. Problems that are not resolved in this fashion should be discussed with the graduate program coordinator, and then the department head or equivalent. If a solution cannot be reached, the student and/or the graduate program coordinator may consult the College of Graduate Studies for advice about a resolution to the issue.

Procedures for the Curtailment of Supervisory Duties

The dean of the College of Graduate Studies approves the initial appointment of a faculty member -as nominated by their faculty dean- for membership in the College of Graduate Studies and/or for the privilege of supervisory duties. If a complaint is made against a supervisor, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies will first discuss the matter with the relevant graduate program coordinator and the department head or equivalent, and then with the faculty member concerned. The issue may be resolved informally. If the dean decides that a more formal approach is needed to resolve the dispute, the Dean will also discuss the matter with the relevant Faculty Dean. The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will then inform both the department head or equivalent, the faculty dean, and the faculty member of his/her conclusions in writing. If the result of the dean’s investigation is curtailment of the supervisory duties of the faculty member, the dean will inform the faculty member in writing.

Supervisory Committee

Depending on the program, the student’s supervisory committee is formed at the outset of a student’s program or when the student begins work on the thesis proposal (master’s students) or comprehensive exams (doctoral students). The supervisor and any co-supervisors are automatically members of this committee. Other committee members may be drawn from inside or outside the program in which the student is registered. (Graduate program coordinators in IGS programs should note specific IGS supervisory committee requirements.) The supervisory committee is responsible for the intensive mentoring, supervisory and examination work on the student’s thesis proposal, comprehensive exams, dissertation prospectus, and dissertation.

Faculty members sit on supervisory committees to provide support and be available for consultation on student theses/dissertations. Varying types of expertise can provide different perspectives on theses progress.

To fully benefit from a supervisory committee, a student should:

  • Ask the committee for advice and guidance on thesis or dissertation development and direction early in their program;
  • Be in regular contact with their committee as research progresses and the thesis or dissertation develops;
  • Ask for feedback on written materials from individual committee members;
  • Request their supervisor call a full committee meeting at various stages in the development process.

Master’s Students

The student’s supervisory committee guides the student in planning his/her research and in preparing the thesis. Committee composition must conform to the following the guidelines:

  • The committee must comprise at least three faculty members.
    • For each supervisor/co-supervisor, there must be at least one committee member (ex. if there are three supervisors/co-supervisors, there must be at least three additional committee members).
  • The committee may include faculty members from other graduate programs.
  • The committee may include qualified non-faculty members or faculty external to UBC upon approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
  • The majority of the committee must be faculty members on the UBC Okanagan campus.

Doctoral Students

The student’s supervisory committee guides the student in planning his/her research and in preparing the dissertation. Committee composition must conform to the following the guidelines:

  • The committee must comprise at least three faculty members.
    • For each supervisor/co-supervisor, there must be at least one committee member (ex. if there are three supervisors/co-supervisors, there must be at least three additional committee members).
  • The committee may include faculty members from other graduate programs.
  • The committee may include qualified non-faculty members or faculty external to UBC upon approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
  • The majority of the committee must be faculty members on the UBC Okanagan campus.

IGS Supervisory Committees

IGS supervisory committees require:

  • At least three members.
  • At least one member of the supervisory committee to be from an area outside of the supervisor’s discipline.
  • Evidence of faculty experience and expertise to support the academic plan of study.

Conflict of Interest

The relationship between the supervisory committee and the student is an academic one. Where other relationships exist or develop that might give the appearance of conflict of interest, they must be immediately reported to the relevant graduate program coordinator who will consult with the associate dean or dean of the College of Graduate Studies, if the graduate program coordinator is unable to resolve the situation. In situations where the supervisor/co-supervisor or committee members are domestic partners, one additional committee member is required.

Participation of Supervisory Committee Members in Thesis or Dissertation Preparation

Supervisory committee members are expected to provide prompt comments on drafts of the thesis or dissertation. Normal turn-around time should not exceed three to six weeks.

Changes in Committee Members

It may be necessary for a student to change committee members during the program. Reasons for committee member changes include, but are not limited to: change of research area, sabbatical, leave, retirement. If a change in committee members is required, the student should complete and submit the Change of Student Supervisor Committee Member.

Graduate Program Coordinators

Graduate program coordinators assist students (and their supervisors) who are pursuing graduate degrees in their departments or programs through each stage of the graduate education process (application, progression and completion). Graduate program coordinators fulfill the key administrative duties pertaining to graduate studies in a department or program. Departments create their own graduate program coordinator position description and graduate committee terms of reference, including committee membership guidelines.

Communications

The graduate program coordinator compiles and coordinates information concerning deadlines, procedures, and other matters of programmatic interest, and communicates these regularly to graduate students and faculty members. S/he ensures that faculty who are supervising or teaching graduate students are aware of, and adhere to, applicable policies and procedures.

It is the responsibility of the graduate program coordinator to survey the department head or program director and program colleagues about key Graduate Council and/or Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Committee discussion issues prior to meetings, and then to communicate new College of Graduate Studies policy and procedural decisions, as well as information about workshops and other upcoming events, back to their department head or program director and colleagues.

Student Advising

The graduate program coordinator answers current student and supervisor inquiries. This activity occurs throughout the year and concerns graduate courses, scholarships, proposals, PhD candidacy and other degree progression matters. Such questions may need to be forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies office for response and the graduate program coordinator him/herself may need to contact the College of Graduate Studies for clarification of its policies. Graduate program coordinators are encouraged to first consult the College of Graduate Studies website.

Submission of Forms

Graduate program coordinators and supervisors should keep a copy of all paperwork submitted to the College of Graduate Studies for department/program records.

Graduate Student Employment

Working While Studying

Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University.

Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities. Normally, only those students registered full-time in the College of Graduate Studies are eligible.

Appointments offered to students prior to their admission to the College are contingent upon admission.

Appointments: General

There are five categories under which graduate students may be appointed: Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) I and IIMarkerGraduate Research Assistant (GRA), and Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA).

Only registered full-time graduate students are eligible for GTAGRA, and GAA appointments.

Most student appointments average 12 hours of work per week, with the exception of GRAs whose hours may be bound by granting agencies.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA)

Most faculties have a limited number of GTA positions available for registered full-time graduate students. Full GTA positions entail 12 hours of work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction. Many graduate programs offer partial GTA appointments with fewer than 12 hours of work per week.

Full details concerning GTA rates and employment guidelines are available in the full document, Collective Agreement between UBC and BCGEU.

Conflict of Interest

It is a conflict of interest for a graduate teaching assistant to grade the work of another graduate student, regardless of differences in degree program or year in program. It is the responsibility of the faculty member who is instructing the course to grade the work of all graduate students in the course.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRA)

Many faculty members offer Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) positions to full-time graduate students under their supervision. The duties may constitute part of the graduate degree requirements for the student. Funding for such positions comes from the research grants of the faculty member and are coordinated and administered at the program level.

Stipends for GRAs vary widely and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

The entire stipend of a GRA is considered a scholarship, the conditions of which may be specified by the granting agency. For tax purposes, the stipend is considered an award rather than payment for work. Appointments may be for any specified period satisfactory to the grantee, and conditions of appointment may be specified by the granting agency. A GRA appointment is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement.

Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a Graduate Research Assistantship is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The amount is determined by those who administer the funds, including grant holders and granting agencies.

Individual faculty members should ensure that payments from grants are consistent with the norms of their graduate program and discipline.

All letters to students offering funding through a graduate research assistantship should clearly state the period to which the offer applies. Students requiring Study Permits must have such letters in order to enter Canada. Such letters should indicate that the offer is subject to satisfactory academic progress and to demonstrated competence in duties and/or other procedures relevant to the student’s area of study.

Transfers from one degree program to another, or from one supervisor to another, may affect the remuneration or even retention of GRAs.

The continuation of a research assistantship is always contingent on the student maintaining satisfactory academic standing in his or her graduate program.

Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA)

The duties of a Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA) include all academic duties not conforming to those specified in the GRA role (for example, research not directly related to the research of the student performed for a faculty member).

The stipend for a GAA may not be considered a scholarship.

Teaching a Course for which a Board of Governors Appointment is required

The UBC Board of Governors has established specific requirements for graduate students to teach a course requiring a Board of Governors Appointment:

  • A graduate student must have suitable academic credentials or experience to teach any course that he or she is assigned;
  • All teaching appointments of a graduate student require the Dean’s Approval for a Graduate Student to Teach;
  • A master’s student may not normally hold an appointment to teach a course unless the master’s degree program in which the student is enrolled is the highest level credential offered at the University in that field of study, or unless the dean of the College of Graduate Studies determines that an exception may be made;
  • A doctoral student admitted to candidacy may be granted a part-time appointment as a sessional lecturer to teach up to nine credits of coursework per academic year, with no more than six credits of coursework per term;
  • In general, a doctoral student not yet admitted to candidacy may only be granted an appointment to teach courses in special circumstances. In those cases where a doctoral student holds suitable credentials independent of those being acquired through pursuit of their degree program, they may be appointed to teach up to six credits of coursework per term, up to a maximum of nine credits of coursework per academic year;
  • A graduate student may not hold an appointment to teach a graduate course. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies when it is determined that:
    • allowing such an appointment is unlikely to give rise to any conflicts of interest;
    • the appointment meets all other requirements of Policy 75; and
    • the appointment is consistent with the purposes of Policy 75;
  • The graduate student must be making satisfactory progress in their degree program;
  • Teaching appointments will not normally be made if they will raise a student’s employment commitment 
to the University above the level of 12 hours per week averaged over the year;
  • Prior to accepting an appointment under Policy 75, graduate students are advised to ensure that the number of hours worked under such employment will not affect their eligibility to receive or maintain scholarships and fellowships, whether internally or externally funded.

Teaching While on Program Extension

Only under exceptional circumstances will a student on a first program extension (in the seventh year of their PhD program) be permitted to teach a course or courses for which a Board of Governors appointment is required.

A request for permission to teach must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and must include an outline of the exceptional circumstances. A detailed timeline for degree completion, signed by both the student and their supervisor, must accompany the request.

Teaching responsibilities should not significantly impede a student’s progress towards degree completion.

Students on their second extensions (in the eighth year of their PhD program) are not permitted to teach a course for which a Board of Governors appointment is required.

These restrictions are intended to ensure that the student’s main occupation is finishing their doctoral degree and that the student’s best interests in this regard are protected. Granting a second or third extension because a student’s progress has been slowed by teaching responsibilities is undesirable and in some cases, in contravention of policy.

For full details, please read the complete policy document at Policy No. 75.

International Student Employment

International students who want to work in Canada, need to follow certain regulations and may require a work permit.

On-campus work

On-campus employment is defined as employment within the boundaries of the campus or in facilities owned, leased, or rented by UBC. Further information regarding on-campus work is available on the International Programs and Services website.

Off-campus work

Off-campus work allows eligible international students to work off-campus while completing their studies at UBC. Further information on off-campus work is available on the International Programs and Services website.

Co-op placement or internships

Co-op work permits allow international students to work when the work is for credit and is integral to your program of study. Further information is available on the International Programs and Services website.

Work for spouse or common-law partners

Spouses or common law partners of international students studying full-time with a valid study permit, can apply for an open work permit. For further information, visit the International Programs and Services website.

For questions or concerns regarding a student’s legal status or ability to work/study in Canada, please visit International Program and Services.

Course Scheduling

Regularly Scheduled Courses

Each department or graduate program has specific processes for scheduling graduate courses. The College of Graduate Studies does not normally play a role in these processes.  Details for these processes are available through the relevant graduate program or department.

The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for scheduling Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS) courses only.

New Graduate Courses

New graduate courses must successfully move through the Senate curriculum approval process before they can be submitted for scheduling. That process is illustrated in the chart below.

Directed Studies Courses

For directed studies courses, after the student has obtained permission from their supervisor to take the course, the graduate student approaches a faculty member with a request for such a course. If the faculty member agrees, a course outline is developed and submitted, along with a directed studies course scheduling form, to the graduate program coordinator for approval. Such a course must typically be approved by a graduate committee in the department or program before the graduate program coordinator submits it for scheduling. Such courses must normally be submitted to the graduate program coordinator at least eight weeks before the course begins.  Directed studies courses are scheduled by the department/program, except for IGS courses, which are scheduled by the College of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Versions of Undergraduate Courses

For graduate courses cross-listed with undergraduate courses, the course outline must clearly indicate the graduate-level course requirements, which must be above what is required of undergraduate students.

IGS Courses

IGS Courses are scheduled through the College of Graduate Studies. For all IGS directed studies courses, the IGS Course Scheduling Request Form must be completed and accompanied by the graduate-level course outline and corresponding undergraduate course outline (if cross-listed with an undergraduate course). All documentation should be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the session.