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Graduate Game Plan

Familiarize yourself with graduate policies and procedures in your graduate program and at UBC's Okanagan Campus

You may first hear about UBC Okanagan graduate student policies and procedures when you attend your program orientation sessions. However, there are still many details that you will need to understand as you begin your formal graduate study.

Graduate Program Policies and Requirements

For specific program policies, procedures, regulations and deadlines, be sure to carefully review your program's latest graduate student handbook. You should also consult with your department's Graduate Program Coordinator to be sure that you have the most up-to-date resources or guide to graduate student policies.

College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures

The CoGS website contains a wealth of valuable information and guidelines to help new graduate students. 

Meet Early with your Supervisor

One of the most important keys to success in graduate school is establishing a positive working relationship with your research supervisor. Your supervisor can lend advice and provide wisdom regarding many aspects of your graduate program. You should plan to collaborate closely with your supervisor in order to learn about essential rules and procedures of becoming a researcher and scholar in your discipline.

Working Effectively with your Supervisor

It is important to set up a time to talk with your supervisor during the first week that you arrive on campus and regularly thereafter.

Frequency of Meetings with your Supervisor and Turnaround Time

How regularly will you meet with your supervisor during the term, and where will your meetings be held? How long for response time from your supervisor? 

Procedures for Initiating Meetings with your Supervisor

Determine the preferred method of contact between you and your supervisor e.g. telephone, email, text messaging, skype.

Forming Your Supervisory Committee

Discuss early in your program how the committee will be formed. Is it a discussion between you and your supervisor or is it determined by the supervisor?  Understand the membership and how this will carry forward to the Defence/Dissertation Examination.

Supervisor's Expectations

What are your supervisor's work expectations of you? This can include any of the following topics:
  • Work location. Where are you are expected to conduct your work? Are you expected to be on campus or do you also have an option to work at other locations such as your home?
  • Timeline. What is the typical timeline for moving through the graduate program? When are proposals and thesis/dissertation documents expected to be completed? Are you expected to do the entire thesis or hand in chapter by chapter for approval. 
  • Work hours or schedule. How many hours are students expected to devote to research each week and over the year?
  • Procedures for holidays and leaves. What is the procedure in your department for notification about illness or requests for leave? What are your supervisor's expectations around holidays?
  • Communication with your supervisor. Does your supervisor want to know your schedule during the semester? How can your supervisor best get in touch with you during the week and when you are away?

Your Program Funding Plans and Scholarship Deadlines

How will your graduate work be funded over the course of your program? This information is important to learn at the beginning of your program of graduate study at UBC because you need to find out immediately what the department's deadlines and procedures are for applying for:

  • Scholarships
  • Research Assistantships
  • Teaching Assistantships

Your Expectations and Professional Career Goals

During your first meeting with your supervisor, it is a good idea for you to discuss your own career aspirations and your expectations regarding career outcomes. Here are some topics to consider:

The kind of career you hope to pursue.
Your supervisor's advice and information about career opportunities for graduates from your program.
Where you can locate information about job outcomes of recent graduates from your program.
The Publication, Presentation and Authorship Practices and Protocols in your program.

What is the standard practice in your program for graduate students who wish to publish or present their research in scholarly journals or academic conferences?
What are the general practices regarding primary and secondary authorship with your supervisor?
Are there any issues associated with intellectual property in your program that you should be aware of?
The plan to form your Supervisory Committee as soon as possible.

The Supervisor Relationship Checklist

Have you discussed the following:

  • Meeting times and arrangements
  • Supervisor's expectations as for work location, hours, communication, holidays, and thesis/dissertation work
  • Funding opportunities and deadlines
  • Your career goals and objectives
  • Publication, presentation, and authorship practices
  • Apply for scholarships in your program

Last reviewed shim11/2/2015 12:01:16 PM