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    University of Alberta
   
 
  Nov 17, 2017
 
 
    
University of Alberta Calendar 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research


Return to: Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research  


The general Faculty regulations outlined below apply to all graduate students. Faculty regulations specific to particular degree programs are found under the appropriate program heading in Graduate Programs .

Application for Admission

All documents submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in support of an application for admission become the property of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and will not subsequently be released or copied except to other University of Alberta offices, at the request of the student.

Reference letters are collected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Post-Secondary Learning Act. They are required by the University to evaluate applicants for admission to a graduate program and for scholarship and other funding purposes. Reference letters are considered to be supplied in confidence and will be used only by individuals and committees who evaluate applicants.

Application deadlines are set by many departments and non-departmentalized Faculties, and should be consulted by the applicants.

In accordance with the University's Admissions Policy, all admission decisions are final and there is no formal appeal to any body or person within the Faculty or the University.

Admission

Individuals seeking admission should review the University of Alberta Code of Applicant Behaviour. Amendments to the Code of Applicant Behaviour occur throughout the year. The official version of the Code of Applicant Behaviour, as amended from time to time is housed on the University Governance website at www.governance.ualberta.ca.

The minimum requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research are outlined below. Some departments and non-departmentalized Faculties impose additional admission requirements. Even though an applicant may appear to satisfy the minimum admission requirements, acceptance into a graduate program is not guaranteed.

Academic Requirements

In making its admission decisions, the University of Alberta strives to optimize the students' opportunity to succeed academically, while maintaining a high standard in its graduate programs.

Applicants for admission must have obtained a University of Alberta baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent from this or another recognized academic institution.

Qualified applicants with a three-year undergraduate degree from a Bologna-compliant or another recognized research-intensive university will be considered for admission in the normal way.

Applicants will not be admissible to a doctoral degree program at the University of Alberta if they have previously obtained a similar or identical degree.

Please see Evaluation Procedures and Grading System  of the University Calendar for the University of Alberta grading system.

The minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) required for admission to a graduate program at the University of Alberta is 3.0, equivalently, a letter grade B. Many graduate programs have higher minimum AGPA requirements, see Graduate Programs  of the University Calendar.

For detailed information on the calculation of the AGPA, please consult the Graduate Program Manual, §5.11.

Please consult §5 of the Graduate Program Manual for information and regulations concerning international grading systems and their evaluation.

The decision to admit an applicant to a graduate program is made by that program.

Admission with Conditions

In certain circumstances, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research or the academic unit may impose conditions on an applicant's admission. Such circumstances include academic qualifications that are difficult to assess or below the minimum standards required by the program.

The conditions will be clearly stated in the admission letter followed by the statement that if the student fails to satisfy the stated conditions by the required deadlines, the student may not be allowed to continue in the program.

Examples of admission conditions include:

  • The requirement for the receipt of various documents.
  • The successful completion of a specific English Language Proficiency test.
  • The requirement to take a specific set of courses, and achieve certain grades, or grade point averages, within a specified time.

An applicant who has met some or all of their admission conditions prior to arrival at the University of Alberta may request confirmation of the fact from the FGSR.

In the absence of exceptional circumstances, students admitted with conditions will not be permitted to register in project courses. In no circumstances will students admitted with conditions be permitted to register in directed reading courses.

If a student meets all of the conditions of admission, they may continue in the program; if not, the department will recommend, in writing, one of the following to the Dean, FGSR:

  1. That the deadline for meeting the unfulfilled condition(s) be extended, with no new conditions being imposed.
  2. That the student be granted another term with conditions. This recommendation must include (a) an indication of how the Failure in or Failure to Complete a Course in the first term of registration will be managed (see Failure in or Failure to Complete a Course or Research Work of the University Calendar) and (b) specification of a minimum number of graduate-level courses which are to be taken by the student and the minimum academic performance required.
  3. That the student not be permitted further registrations in the program. This written recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research must include a rationale for this decision.

Any student who does not meet the conditions of a second term of registration will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Aboriginal Applicants

The University of Alberta is committed to the recruitment, retention and graduation of Aboriginal students. The University also recognizes that Aboriginal applicants have traditionally been under represented in higher education and strives towards having the University's Aboriginal student population attain a level that is at least proportionate to the Aboriginal population of the province.

For the definition of an Aboriginal applicant, please see Definition of Aboriginal People for the Purpose of Admission  of the University Calendar.

In accordance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research admission policy, Aboriginal applicants may be considered for admission on the basis of their life experience. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research advocates the admission of Aboriginal applicants by individual departments.

English Language Requirement

Since English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Alberta (except for Faculté Saint-Jean), proficiency in English is a prerequisite for graduate admission.

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission either by:

  1. Possession of a degree or its academic equivalent from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta, in which the language of instruction is English.
    or
  2. A satisfactory score on an approved English language examination as described below.

Notwithstanding the above, graduate programs reserve the right to require a further demonstration of English language proficiency.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research recognizes five English language examinations:

  • the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
  • the International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS)
  • the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment
  • the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).

The minimum acceptable scores are:

  • TOEFL score is 550 (paper-based), or a total score of 88 with a score of at least 20 on each of the individual skill areas (internet-based)
  • MELAB: 85
  • Academic IELTS: 6.5, with at least 5 on each test band.
  • CAEL: overall 60 with at least 60 on each subtest.
  • PTE Academic: 59.

The University will receive PTE Academic results electronically directly from Pearson at the request of the applicant. Applicants with results from other examinations should arrange for their English language test results to be sent directly to the graduate program.

Individual graduate programs may require higher scores. Consult the appropriate departmental information in Graduate Programs .

University of Alberta Staff as Graduate Students

University of Alberta staff may be considered for admission to graduate programs provided the academic unit has reviewed the case and established that conflict of interest between the candidate's role as staff member and as graduate student will be absent or minimal.

Registration

Students are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their registration. They are also responsible for adjustments in registration.

Maintenance of Registration

Course-based Programs: Students in course-based degree programs must register in and successfully complete a minimum of ★3 of coursework or in M REG 800 - Maintaining Registration  for at least one term in each September to August period to keep their program active. Other registration patterns for students in exceptional circumstances will be considered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

Thesis-based Programs (Admitted prior to Fall 2011): Students who are admitted to any thesis-based program (excluding cost-recovery programs) and who initially register as full-time students in these programs must register full-time for the remainder of their program. This policy is in effect for students who began September 2003 and thereafter. In order to keep their program active, thesis-based master's and doctoral students admitted prior to Fall 2011 must register each year in the Fall and Winter Terms either full-time (equivalent of ★9 of coursework and/ or thesis) or part-time if eligible (minimum of ★3 of coursework and/or Thesis, or in M REG 800 - Maintaining Registration ). Students who have registered in Fall and Winter Terms and are working only on thesis research during May through August do not need to register for the Spring and Summer Terms. See Registration Procedure for registration procedures. Other registration patterns for students in exceptional circumstances will be considered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. For registration at the end of the program, see Registration.

Students who fail to keep the program active as described above will be considered to have withdrawn from their program. If they wish to resume work on their program, they must apply for readmission and have their program reassessed in terms of the regulations in force at the time of reapplication. There is no guarantee of readmission. If a student is recommended for readmission, a Readmission Fee will be assessed in addition to the fees assessed in the usual manner.

Thesis-based Programs (Admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter): Students who are admitted to any thesis-based program (excluding cost-recovery programs) and who initially register as full-time students in these programs must register full-time for the remainder of their program: This policy is in effect for students who began September 2011 and thereafter.

In order to keep their program active, thesis-based master's and doctoral program students admitted in Fall 2011 and thereafter must register each year in each consecutive term (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer). In Fall/Winter Terms (September through April), these students must register either full-time (equivalent of ★9 of course work and/or thesis) or part-time if eligible (minimum of ★3 of course work and/or Thesis, or in M REG 800 - Maintaining Registration ). In Spring/Summer Terms (May through August), these students must register in each term full-time (equivalent of ★6 of Thesis). See Registration Procedure for registration procedures. Other registration patterns for students in exceptional circumstances will be considered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. At the end of the program, the registration can be as described in Registration.

Students who fail to keep the program active as described above will be considered to have withdrawn from their program. If they wish to resume work on their program, they must apply for readmission and have their program reassessed in terms of the regulations in force at the time of reapplication. There is no guarantee of readmission. If a student is recommended for readmission, a Readmission Fee will be assessed in addition to the fees assessed in the usual manner.

Minimum Units of Course Weight Registration Requirements

  1. Thesis-Based Master's Programs:
    1. Admitted before Fall 2011: Over the duration of their program, students in thesis-based master's programs admitted before Fall 2011 must successfully complete a minimum of ★24, which may consist of a combination of courses and thesis research. Only approved transfer credits from the University of Alberta may count towards the ★24 minimum requirement. Notwithstanding the above, students are required to fulfil the department's thesis-based program requirements as approved by Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Council and as stated in the department's graduate program requirements Graduate Programs  of the University Calendar.
    2. Admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter: Over the duration of their program, students in thesis-based master's programs admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter must pay the equivalent of at least one full year of program fees; see section Fall 2014/Winter 2015 Graduate Instructional and Non-Instructional Fees  for information on program fees. Notwithstanding the above, students are required to fulfil the department's thesis-based program requirements as approved by Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Council and as stated in the department's graduate program requirements Graduate Programs  of the University Calendar.
  2. Course-Based Master's Program: Over the duration of their program, students in course-based master's programs must successfully complete a minimum of ★24. Only approved transfer credits from the University of Alberta may count towards the ★24 minimum requirement. Notwithstanding the above, students are required to fulfil the department's program requirements (often more than the minimum ★24) as approved by Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Council and as stated in the department's graduate program requirements Graduate Programs  of the University Calendar.
  3. Doctoral Programs:
    1. Admitted before Fall 2011: Over the duration of their program, students in a doctoral program admitted before Fall 2011 must successfully complete a minimum of ★36, which may consist of a combination of coursework (where required) and thesis research. Only approved transfer credits from the University of Alberta may count towards the ★36 minimum requirement. Notwithstanding the above, students are required to fulfil the department's doctoral program requirements as approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Council and as stated in the department's graduate program requirements Graduate Programs  of the University Calendar.
    2. Admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter: Over the duration of their program, students in a doctoral program admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter must pay the equivalent of at least three full years of program fees; see section Fall 2014/Winter 2015 Graduate Instructional and Non-Instructional Fees  for information on program fees. Notwithstanding the above, students are required to fulfil the department's doctoral program requirements as approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Council and as stated in the department's graduate program requirements Graduate Programs  of the University Calendar.

Registration at the End of Programs

Course-Based Programs: When a student in a course-based master's program completes all of the coursework and other required assignments and the department submits a Report of Completion for Course-Based Master's Degree form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, the student's name will be placed onto the list for the next available convocation.

Thesis-Based Programs (Admitted prior to Fall 2011): If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research after the Fall Term add/delete deadline and by the end of December, the student must register for Fall Term, but does not need to register in Winter Term. If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research after the Winter Term add/delete deadline and by the end of April, (Refer to Academic Schedule ) the student must register both for the Fall and Winter Terms. If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research during the May through August period, the student must be registered both for the Fall and Winter Terms immediately preceding. This enables the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to award credit for the thesis. Thesis-based programs are not recorded as complete until the thesis and accompanying documentation have been submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. See Convocation for information about convocation.

Thesis-Based Programs (Admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter): If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research after the Fall Term add/delete deadline and by the end of December, the student must register for Fall Term, but does not need to register in Winter Term. If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research after the Winter Term add/delete deadline and by the end of April, (Refer to Academic Schedule ) the student must register both for the Fall and Winter Terms. If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research after the May add/delete deadline and by the end of June, (Refer to Academic Schedule ) the student must register for Spring Term, but does not need to register in Summer Term. If the Department submits a student's Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research after the July add/delete deadline and by the end of August, (Refer to Academic Schedule ) the student must register both for the Spring and Summer Terms. This enables the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to award credit for the thesis. Thesis-based programs are not recorded as complete until the thesis and accompanying documentation have been submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. See Convocation for information about convocation.

Registration Status

A student's registration status is determined automatically by the total units of course weight (including a project or a thesis where appropriate) in which the student is registered for credit in a given term. Audited courses are not included in the calculation of registration status.

Full-Time Registration in Fall/Winter: Students are registered in ★9 or more for credit in a term and are working full time on their academic program in that term.
Part-Time Registration in Fall/Winter: Students are registered in less than ★9 for credit in a term.
Full-Time Registration in Spring/Summer: Students are registered in ★6 or more per term.
Part-Time Registration in Spring/Summer: Students are registered in less than ★6 per term.
M REG 800 Maintaining Registration: Students who are not registered in any courses in a given term, and are not working on thesis or project research, but still wish to maintain their status as graduate students register in M REG 800 . This results in a part-time registration status.

Registration Procedure

Note: Effective September 2011, students who are admitted to thesis-based programs will follow a program-based registration and tuition model. Refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website www.gradstudies.ualberta.ca for more information.

Newly-admitted and continuing graduate students in degree programs register using the Bear Tracks web registration system at www.registrarsoffice.ualberta.ca. Special and Visiting graduate student registrations will be processed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

In order to register at the University of Alberta, graduate students must:

Step 1. Consult and Receive Counselling

All graduate students in degree programs in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research must consult with their department and discuss their program with their supervisor prior to registering.

Thesis Registration is restricted to students in thesis-based graduate degree programs. Qualifying, Special, and Visiting graduate students may not register in Thesis. The specific thesis registration selected by the student will depend upon the amount of time during the term(s) that the student will devote to work on their program.

Thesis sections are scheduled according to units of course weight equivalency. Students should consult with their department to determine which of the Thesis sections is appropriate. The selection will depend on the amount of time that the student will devote to work on the program. By registering in the appropriate Thesis designation (along with any other courses), the registration status of the student is calculated automatically. Refer to the Course Listings  of the University Calendar under Thesis for the appropriate Thesis section for the student to register in.

These Thesis sections are to be used in combination with course registrations in order to achieve the correct units of course weight for registration status (i.e., FT or PT). For example, if a student registers in a ★2 course, then the addition of THES 907  would bring the registration status to full-time (i.e., ★9).

Thesis-Based Programs (Admitted prior to Fall 2011): To register full-time in a thesis-based program in Fall/Winter Terms, students must register in a combination of course work and/or thesis research comprising a minimum of ★9 each term. Students registered in less than ★9 in Fall/Winter Terms are considered part-time students. There is a special full-time thesis designation (THES 919 ) which is assessed at a reduced fee. Registration in this section of Thesis will provide the student with full-time student status but at a substantially lower Instructional Fee than the existing ★9 thesis registration (THES 909 ). Students should consult with their department to determine if they are eligible
to register in the reduced-fee thesis.

Thesis-Based Programs (Admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter): To remain full-time in a thesis-based program, in the Fall and Winter Terms, students must register in a combination of course work and/or thesis research comprising a minimum of ★9 in each term. In Spring and Summer Terms, students must register in thesis research of a minimum of ★6 in each term. Course work can be taken in Spring/Summer Terms in addition to the ★6 of thesis registration. Additional fees are assessed for course registration during these terms. Students registered in less than ★9 in a Fall/Winter Terms are considered part-time students. Students registered in less than ★6 in a Spring/Summer Terms are considered part-time students.

Research Project Registration for students in the course-based master's route normally involves registering in the appropriate 900-level course. Registration in this is restricted to students in a course-based graduate degree program. Consult the department course listings in the University Calendar for the appropriate section.

Step 2. Register

Once newly-admitted and continuing graduate students in degree programs have determined their program requirements in consultation with their departments, they register using the Bear Tracks web registration system. Students are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their registration.

Bear Tracks cannot be used for the following:

  1. Audited Courses: All graduate students (excluding special graduate students) who are registered full-time or part-time may seek permission to audit a course. Since permission to audit cannot officially be granted until the number of students registered for credit is known, students will not be allowed to register for audit until after classes close for registration for credit (after the sixth day of class in Fall/Winter).
    To add a course for audit students must
    1. Complete a Course Audit form available from the department;
    2. Have it signed by
      1. The instructor of the course and
      2. The graduate coordinator or department chair; and
    3. Submit the form to Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for approval and processing.

Students who wish to change their status in a course from credit to audit must first consult with their supervisor or program advisor. If permission is granted, a Course Audit form must be signed and submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research office. Deadlines for submitting such a change are found in the Academic Schedule.

Audited courses will not be considered as meeting prerequisite, admission, or course requirements for any University of Alberta degree or diploma program. For further information on auditor status refer to Auditors  of the University Calendar.

  1. Courses Extra to Degree: To designate a course as Extra, students must
    1. Complete an Extra to Degree form available from the department;
    2. Have it signed by the graduate coordinator or department chair; and
    3. Submit the form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for approval and processing.
  2. Courses taken toward doctoral program requirements: Students who are still candidates for a master's degree cannot use the Bear Tracks web registration system to register in courses toward their doctoral program requirements. Such doctoral level courses may be taken for one Fall/Winter only by master's degree candidates. Students must
    1. Complete an Extra to Degree form available from the department;
    2. Have it signed by the graduate coordinator or department chair; and
    3. Submit the form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for approval and processing.
  3. Registration in more than one degree program: The Bear Tracks web registration system can only be used to register in one degree program. Students who have been approved to register in more than one program (e.g. PGME students also completing a graduate program) must contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research office for approval to register in the graduate degree program. Registration in more than one program requires the knowledge and consent of the department(s) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
  4. Registration as an off-campus student:
    1. See the Glossary  of the University Calendar for a definition of an off-campus student.
    2. To register in an off-campus section of a course not available through Bear Tracks, contact the teaching department offering the course.
    3. Graduate students who live more than 80 kilometers from Edmonton can be registered as off-campus students for thesis research and project courses by contacting the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at grad.services@ualberta.ca
    4. All students registered in M REG 800 - Maintaining Registration  are off-campus students. To register, contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at grad.services@ualberta.ca
Step 3. Confirm Registration

All students who register, including Special and Visiting graduate students; students registered in courses for credit and/or audit; and students registered in thesis, research projects, or M REG 800  only are considered to have confirmed their registration when they register.

Graduate students are not required to pay a tuition deposit.

Reregistration in Courses

See Reregistration in Courses .

Changes to Registration

If students wish to make changes to their registration in any of the following cases, they must first consult the department in which they are registered. Students make changes to their registration for all unrestricted courses through the Bear Tracks web registration system during the period that it is available for a particular term. They can drop courses, add courses, or cancel their entire registration.

Bear Tracks is available for registration until the deadline dates listed in the Academic Schedule in this Calendar. For detailed Bear Tracks registration procedures, see the Registrar's web site www.registrarsoffice.ualberta.ca After the close of Bear Tracks in a particular term, any changes to a graduate student's registration require the approval of the student's department and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. A Course Audit or Withdrawal form must be used for the following registration changes: withdrawal from courses; withdrawal from program; changes from credit to audit; or changes of course section.

Such changes of registration, once approved by the student's department, must be received by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research no later than the deadline dates found in the Academic Schedule. No credit will be given for any course unless it is included in the student's registration.

Students who drop a course and add Thesis to maintain their full-time status, will be assessed fees for the Thesis registration in addition to any fees assessed for the dropped course.

Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research deadline dates may differ from undergraduate deadline dates (consult the Academic Schedule ).

There may be academic record and fee implications for withdrawing from courses. Refer to Academic Schedule , Fees Payment Guide , and Registration Deadlines Implication for Records .

Cancellation of Registration

Students in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research who wish to withdraw from courses should follow the procedure described in Adding or Withdrawing from Courses after the Registration Deadline . Students who wish to withdraw from a term, or from their program should complete a Withdrawal form. This form must then be signed/authorized by their department and submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for approval. Students who do not properly withdraw are not eligible for any refund of fees, nor for exemption from fees that have been assessed.

Refer to Refunds and Withdrawals  for fee refund information.

If after withdrawing from a graduate program students wish to apply again for admission, their application will be considered in the current competition for places with all other applicants. See also Refunds and Withdrawals  and Registration Deadlines Implication for Records .

Classification of Graduate Students

The classification of students is generally determined upon admission to a program on the basis of the student's previous academic background. Graduate students at the University of Alberta are classified as one of the following:

  1. Qualifying graduate students are those whose academic background entitles them to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies but who are considered to be inadequately prepared to enter a graduate program in the subject area they have chosen. Generally, students who hold a three-year bachelor's degree from the University of Alberta (or an equivalent qualification from some other recognized institution) and students who have graduated from a four-year degree program, but who are entering a new field, may be admitted as qualifying graduate students.
    Qualifying graduate students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and as such are subject to the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research; however, qualifying students are not considered to be candidates for a degree.
    Students who are not eligible for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research as qualifying students should consult the appropriate undergraduate Faculty regarding admission to that Faculty to clear course deficiencies. They may apply for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at a later date.
    Normally, a qualifying period will not exceed five full course equivalents (★30). Courses taken during a qualifying period will be specified by the department concerned. Completion of the work in a qualifying period does not automatically entitle the student to proceed toward a degree program. However, upon satisfactory completion of a qualifying period the department may recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research that the student be reclassified as a master's or doctoral degree student. Students should note that neither the courses taken nor the fees paid during a qualifying period will be credited toward a subsequent degree program.
  2. Degree students are those who are registered in an approved program leading to a master's or doctoral degree granted by the University of Alberta.
  3. Postgraduate diploma students and postgraduate certificate students are those who are registered in an approved program leading to a postgraduate diploma or certificate granted by the University of Alberta. Such students must meet the general admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (Admission), unless different admission criteria are approved by FGSR Council. These programs can normally be completed in one academic year of full-time study. The postgraduate diploma program is designed for persons who have had previous work experience.
  4. Special graduate students are those who take graduate level courses for credit without proceeding toward an advanced degree at the University of Alberta. Such students must meet the general admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
    Special graduate students are not candidates for a degree at this University and will not receive any residence or fee credit toward a subsequent degree program for the work completed as a special graduate student. In addition, the number of courses allowable for transfer credit is limited (see Transfer Credit, Course Exemption/Substitution, and Credit by Special Assessment).
    Admission as a special graduate student does not imply eligibility for admission to a degree program in any department.
    Individuals who wish to study under this classification must apply and be admitted each year in which they take courses.
    Special graduate students require a written recommendation from the department concerned to register in a course. They are not permitted to take courses for audit.
    Only graduate level courses may be taken by special graduate students. Individuals wishing to take courses at undergraduate levels should contact the appropriate Faculty regarding registration as a special student in that Faculty.
  5. Visiting graduate students are those who are registered in a graduate degree program at another university or college, who have obtained written permission in advance from the home and host institutions to take one or more courses for transfer of credit toward that graduate degree program. Visiting students are not permitted to register in thesis or departmental project courses.
  6. Postgraduate medical education (PGME) students have the option of paying fees to the Graduate Students' Association (see Fall 2014/Winter 2015 Graduate Instructional and Non-Instructional Fees ).

Transfer Credit, Course Exemption/Substitution, and Credit by Special Assessment

Transfer Credit refers to the formal transfer of credit for a course(s) which has been earned outside the program. Transfer credit for certain courses may be granted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, provided the courses have not been counted toward a previous degree or program and were not used to satisfy admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

Course Exemption refers to the reduction in required credit weights of a student's program by removal of specific courses normally required. In special circumstances the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research may approve exemption of certain courses if the student has completed appropriate equivalent coursework here or elsewhere, but the program will not be reduced by more than the value set out below.

Course Substitution. It is more normal for departments which exempt specific required courses from a student's program to substitute more appropriate courses equivalent in weight to the courses exempted. This is called Course Substitution and is a departmental prerogative.

Limits. The description of each program in Graduate Programs  contains a listing of the required and optional courses.

Thesis-based programs: The total credit weight required for any thesis-based program will not be reduced by any combination of Transfer Credit and Course Exemption from the requirement set out in Graduate Programs  by more than ★6 (except as noted below).

Course-based programs: The number of courses nearest to, but not exceeding, 1/3 of the total units of course weight of a student's program can be met through transfer credit and/or course exemption if recommended by the department and approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research on a case-by-case basis.

In exceptional circumstances and with the explicit prior approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, up to 1/2 of the total units of course weight for the program may be met through transfer credit and/or course exemption.

Exceptions: For students who have commenced an equivalent graduate program at a recognized university and are relocating to the University of Alberta, consideration will be given to departmental recommendations for transfer credit which exceeds the limit stated above. Other exemptions specific to individual programs are discussed in the Program descriptions in Graduate Programs .

Students should note that they cannot apply directly for transfer credit or course exemption; the department must petition the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research on the student's behalf. Transfer credit and course exemption are granted at the discretion of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research does not accept credit by special assessment.

Residence Requirement

Master's Programs: Residence requirements for master's programs are established and monitored by the department. Most course-based master's programs have no residence requirements. Consult the department listing for program details.

Doctoral Programs: Residence supports two important objectives in these programs:

  1. A doctoral program provides students with significant contact with the University of Alberta, through time spent on campus and through interactions with the faculty and graduate students at the University.
  2. A doctoral program educates the student as an independent researcher and scholar in an academic discipline, through activities such as course work, participating in seminars, involvement in teaching, interactions with faculty members and other graduate students, and research under the direction of a faculty member.

Specific residence requirements to support these objectives will be established by the department. Changes or exceptions to departmental residence requirement are to be submitted to the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for approval. In the absence of a specific department requirement, the default residence requirement for the PhD and DMus programs is two academic years (where an academic year is defined as the eight-month period from September through April), and 12 continuous months for the EdD.

When a department changes a student's status in the middle of a program, the time spent as a master's candidate may count toward the residence requirement. Time spent as a qualifying graduate student does not count toward the residence requirement.

The University of Calgary and the University of Alberta have an agreement allowing, under certain conditions, PhD students at one institution to take up to one year of their two-year residence requirement at the other institution. Contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for further information.

Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate Programs: There is no Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research residence requirement for postgraduate diploma or certificate programs

Language Requirement

It is a program requirement in some departments that students show proof of proficiency in one or more languages other than English. Programs with a second language requirement may accept ASL (deaf language). (For information on specific language requirements see the detailed program information under the appropriate departmental entry in Graduate Programs .)

Academic Standing

Explanation of Grading System

Important Notification: Effective September 1, 2003, the University of Alberta implemented a letter grading system with a four-point scale of numerical equivalents for calculating grade point averages. Letter grading scales are more commonly applied throughout North America.

The University of Alberta uses a letter grading system for most courses. For students registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research the normal passing grade is C+ (see Minimum Faculty Requirements below). In addition, some courses are offered on a credit/fail basis.

The grade distribution according to the four-point system is as follows:

Course Grades Obtained by Graduate Students
Descriptor Alpha
Grade
Grade Point Value  
Excellent A+ 4.0  
A 4.0  
A- 3.7  
Good B+ 3.3  
B 3.0 Minimum admission GPA
Satisfactory B- 2.7 Min. Academic Standing GPA
C+ 2.3 Minimum Course Pass Mark
Failure C 2.0  
C- 1.7  
D+ 1.3  
D 1.0  
F 0.0  

Minimum Faculty Requirements

Regardless of the student's category, the pass mark in any course taken while registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is a grade of C+.

All students in degree programs (including time spent as a qualifying graduate student) or diploma or certificate programs must maintain a minimum cumulative program grade point average of 2.7 throughout the course of the program. (In cases where the cumulative program grade point average falls between 2.3 and 2.7, departments may recommend termination of program, or continuation in the program for a specified probationary period; in any case, convocation (see note) shall not take place with a cumulative program grade point average of less than 2.7.)

Notwithstanding the above, a student whose academic standing falls below a grade point average of 2.7 may be required to withdraw at any time.

The above are minimum grades and grade point averages acceptable to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Individual departments may require higher grades than these.

Note: Postgraduate Certificate students are listed in the convocation program but do not attend the ceremony.

Failure in or Failure to Complete a Course or Research Work

Satisfactory performance in the coursework component of a graduate program entails completion of all courses taken as part of the student's program requirements (i.e., courses designated as extra to the student's program requirements and audited courses are excluded). Normally, the minimum acceptable passing grade in individual courses is C+ (see Minimum Faculty Requirements above); however, some departments may require higher grades.

Graduate students are not permitted to take reexaminations. Regardless of their category, students who do not obtain an acceptable grade, or fail to complete a course that is required as part of their graduate program, must have the approval of the department and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to retake the course and must obtain a passing grade. Alternatively, students may take an alternate course recommended by the department and approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, but they must also obtain a passing grade.

In calculating a student's GPA, both the original failing grade and the grade received when the course is retaken or the alternate taken will be used. The failing grade and the grade achieved for the repeated or substitute course will appear on the student's transcript. A Grade of INF is counted as a numeric grade of 0.0 in the computation of the GPA.

A student whose course and/or research work is unsatisfactory may at any time be required to withdraw.

Academic Integrity and Ethics Training Requirement

The University of Alberta expects graduate students, as members of the University community, to uphold the highest degree of ethical practice in the conduct of their education, research, and professional activities. Students are responsible for understanding and following the various policies and practices mandated by the University (including, but not limited to, the Code of Student Behaviour, the Discrimination and Harassment Policy, the Research and Scholarship Integrity Policy, the Animal Ethics Policy, the Standards for the Protection of Human Research Participants, and the Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest Policy), FGSR-specific guidelines and expectations, departmental guidelines and expectations, Tri-Council or other funding bodies ethical requirements, and any ethical codes mandated by the students' professional governing body. Ethics training is a critical part of the education of all graduate students and in addition to their required ethics training students are expected to seek opportunities to broaden their knowledge of ethics and good practice early in their programs. Like all members of the University community, graduate students should be aware that they will be held accountable for their actions under these various codes even if they have not yet completed their required ethics training or are acting on the advice of others.

Graduate degree requirements include a mandatory component that provides training in the areas of academic integrity and ethics.

The normal requirements of this training component will include participation in activities such as workshops, presentations, discussion groups and course work related to each of the following areas:

  1. Intellectual Property Guidelines for Graduate Students and Supervisors www.uofa.ualberta.ca/graduate-studies/about/graduate-program-manual/section-10-intellectual-property
  2. The University of Alberta Research and Scholarship Integrity Policy https://policiesonline.ualberta.ca/PoliciesProcedures/Pages/Research.aspx
  3. The relevant Tri-Council and Canadian Council on Animal Care requirements for ethics approval for research-including emphasis on the limitations of the requirements, i.e., for which areas of research is ethics approval necessary.

To fulfil these requirements, each student is normally expected to complete the equivalent of at least eight hours of structured academic activity for this training component. Students should consult the department for guidance about specific requirements for ethics training.

Professional Development Requirement

The University of Alberta considers professional development to be an important component of any graduate student's program of studies. Professional development refers to knowledge and skills that complement the disciplinary knowledge and technical skills that remain the most important aspects of graduate education, with a view to assisting graduate students to transition into employment.

All graduate students at the University of Alberta are required to submit an individualized professional development plan to the department for their program of studies within 12 months of the program's commencement for master's students and within 18 months of the program's commencement for doctoral students. The plan is a career and skills planning document that allows graduate students to consider their future careers in an organized way and to plan their participation in professional development activities in conjunction with their academic activities. A template for an Individual Professional Development plan is available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. It is required that all graduate students will spend at least eight hours on completing the activities proposed in their plan. Graduate students should consult directly with their department (or Faculty where non-departmentalized) as to specific professional development requirements.

Prior to convocation, all graduate students must submit evidence of the completion of this requirement to their department.

The Professional Development Requirement does not apply to students in graduate programs offered by the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Law. A graduate student in a non-exempt program may seek exemption from the Professional Development Requirement with the approval of their supervisor (if thesis-based), the graduate coordinator, and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

 

Convocation

There are two convocations each year, normally held in June and November. Students must apply for graduation on Bear Tracks (https://www.beartracks.ualberta.ca) in accordance with the deadlines published in the Academic Schedule.

In order to convocate, students in thesis programs must complete all coursework and submit their thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research by the deadline dates specified in the Academic Schedule. For further details on thesis submission refer to the Thesis Requirements and Preparation page in the Current Student section of the FGSR website.

Students in course-based programs must complete all program requirements prior to the deadlines set out in the Academic Schedule. It is the responsibility of the department to forward a completed Report of Completion for Course-based Master's Degree form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research by the deadline dates specified in the Academic Schedule, to ensure that the student's name will be included in the convocation list.

Time Limit for Completion of Graduate Programs

The time limit (or the maximum period of time permitted to complete the requirements for a degree) is calculated from the start of the term in which the student first registers in that specific program.

Thesis-based Master's: Candidates must complete all the requirements within four years of the term in which they first register as candidates in the master's program.

Course-based Master's: Course-based master's students have six years to complete their program unless the department has opted for a shorter time limit for its course-based master's program. Consult the department listing in Graduate Programs .

Doctoral degree: Candidates must complete all the requirements within six years of the term in which they first register in a doctoral program. In the case of master's students who are reclassified as doctoral students, all degree requirements must be completed within six years of the time they first register as master's candidates.

Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate: Candidates must complete all the requirements within four years of the time they first register in the postgraduate diploma or certificate program.

Program Extensions

In exceptional circumstances a student who has failed to complete all the requirements for the degree within the appropriate period specified in Time Limit for Completion of Graduate Programs and Appeals and Grievances may be considered for an extension, provided that the department so recommends and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research approves. Requests for extensions will only be considered if there are well-documented reasons specific to a particular type of research that precludes completion within the time limit, if there are sufficient, and substantial unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the student and/or supervisor which prevent completion of the program within the time limits. Extensions may also be given for such considerations as parental leave.

A student's program may be considered for an extension of up to one year at the time of initial request. Under exceptional circumstances an additional extension of up to one year may be granted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Guidelines for graduate students and supervisors Guidelines for Ownership of Research Materials and Guidelines for Authorship are available in Section 10 of the Graduate Program Manual.

Appeals and Grievances

Student grievances of an academic nature sometimes arise. Students in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research are advised first to approach the instructor or supervisor concerned; in most cases, the issue can be resolved at this level. If the matter is not resolved, students are advised to see the department chair. Departments are encouraged to have internal appeal procedures. Where these exist, they should be followed before moving the matter to the Faculty level. The Dean or Associate Dean may be approached by students for advice in these matters.

The Academic Appeals Committee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research hears and determines appeals from appellants of decisions of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research which affect academic standing.

The Committee shall have no jurisdiction to hear an appeal with respect to:

  1. The academic judgements inherent in marks or grades awarded in individual courses;
  2. The examination decisions of Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research;
  3. Decisions to refuse admission or readmission to the Faculty;
  4. Decisions relating to the granting of credit for courses taken or to be taken outside the University of Alberta.

For further information regarding appeals procedures at the Faculty level, students should consult the appeal regulations available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. All formal appeals of a decision of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research must be initiated within 15 working days of the student's receipt of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research decision.

Grade grievances initiated by graduate students are not within the jurisdiction of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, but rather within the jurisdiction of the Faculty from which the graduate student had taken the course in question.

Additional information on appeals and grievances found in Appeals and Grievances  of the University Calendar.

Course-based Master's Programs

Course Requirements: In course-based programs, all coursework must be at the graduate level.

Residence: Residence requirements are established and monitored by the department.

Language Requirement: It is a requirement in some departments offering master's degrees that students show proof of proficiency in a language other than English. (For specific information on language requirements see the detailed program information under the appropriate departmental entry in Graduate Programs .)

The student is responsible for successfully completing all course work and the capping exercise. Where the capping exercise involves a project, the student is responsible for producing a typed report of the project or some other finished product to be retained by the department.

It is the responsibility of the department to:

  • verify that all courses and the capping exercise have been successfully completed before recommending a student for graduation; and
  • submit to the FGSR a Report of Completion of Course-based Master's Degree form.

This information must be received and verified by the FGSR before the student's name is placed on the convocation list.

Failure to meet the deadlines in the Academic Schedule will result in a delay in awarding the degree.

Thesis-Based Master's Programs

Course Requirements: Considerable variation is permitted in the balance between research and course requirements for the master's degree. Thesis-based master's students may only take undergraduate courses for credit to satisfy their graduate program requirements when all of the following conditions are satisfied. The courses must be:

  • necessary;
  • not in the student's field of specialization and/or major area of study; and
  • approved by the department offering the graduate program.

Residence: Residence requirements are established and monitored by the department.

Language Requirement: It is a requirement in some departments offering master's degrees that students show proof of proficiency in a language other than English. (For specific information on language requirements see the detailed program information under the appropriate departmental entry in Graduate Programs .)

Doctoral Degrees

The essential requirement for a doctoral degree is the planning and carrying out of research of high quality leading to an advance in knowledge in the student's field of study.

Program Requirements

A doctoral degree is awarded upon successful completion of a doctoral degree program. All departments are responsible for developing and publishing a clear statement of all program requirements to be completed by the student in addition to the thesis. These requirements will vary from department to department, but will likely include a number of required and optional course requirements, the academic integrity and ethics requirement, a candidacy examination requirement, and in some disciplines, written comprehensive examinations. All program requirements, other than the thesis, must be completed within three years of the commencement of a student's program. For students who change from a master's program to a doctoral program, without the need to complete the master's program as part of an acceleration or fast-track, the counting of time runs from the beginning of the student's second year in the master's program. For part-time doctoral students who change to a full-time doctoral program, or who remain as part-time doctoral students throughout the program, the department will determine the appropriate time period. The three-year rule does not apply to doctoral programs offered by the Departments of Educational Psychology, English and Film Studies, and Philosophy; nor to the doctoral program in Medical Sciences (Orthodontics) offered by the Department of Dentistry: students in these programs must consult the published department-specific regulations. For doctoral students in individualized interdisciplinary programs, the time limit for the completion of all program requirements, other than the thesis, must be specified in the individualized program proposal. For all doctoral programs, the time limit for completion remains six years.

The Degree of PhD

Admission: Students may be admitted to a doctoral program if they hold a bachelor's or a master's degree, or equivalent, from an approved academic institution. Admission is contingent upon approval of the department and the availability of: suitable supervision; suitable courses of study; and adequate library, laboratory and other facilities. Students are considered provisional candidates until they have successfully completed their candidacy examination (see (6) below).

Course Requirements: Doctoral degree students may only take undergraduate courses for credit to satisfy their graduate program requirements when all of the following conditions are satisfied. The courses must be:

  • necessary;
  • not in the student's field of specialization and/or major area of study; and
  • approved by the department offering the graduate program.

Residence Requirements: See Residence Requirement of the University Calendar.

Language Requirement: A department may require a student to demonstrate a knowledge of one or more languages in addition to English. Where this is the case, the student must satisfy the language requirement before being allowed to take the candidacy examination. See also Language Requirement of the University Calendar.

Combined Program for the Degrees of MD and PhD

The MD/PhD combined program is intended for exceptional students who are seriously committed to a career in medical research. Highly qualified students wishing to pursue a career of teaching and research in either basic medical science or in clinical medicine may enrol in a program of approximately six years' duration leading to the acquisition of both an MD and a PhD degree from the University of Alberta. To be eligible for the combined program, students must already have been admitted to the MD program. Students are admitted to the combined program on the recommendation of the MD/PhD Committee.

Students entering the MD program from a preprofessional medical or a bachelor's program, and who are interested in applying to the MD/PhD program, should do so in their first year of medical school. For these students, admission into the program begins after completion of the second year of the MD program. Alternately, students who are transferring from a University of Alberta graduate program to the MD program are eligible to enrol immediately in the combined program. The most common route is for students to complete the first two years of the MD program, apply for and be admitted into the PhD program, and when the PhD is completed, return to the final two years of the MD program. Students pursuing the combined program will be assessed fees for both the MD and the PhD programs.

The Degree of DMus

The regulations pertaining to doctoral degrees also apply to the Doctor of Music degree; exceptions and special conditions are noted in Music  of the University Calendar.

The Degree of EdD

The degree of Doctor of Education attests proficiency in a program of graduate study in which the emphasis is upon preparation for competent professional performance. The general regulations for the EdD degree concerning admission, residence requirements, the candidacy examination and final oral examination (based largely on the thesis) are the same as those for doctoral degrees, with the following exceptions:

  1. Several years of successful teaching and an MEd degree or its equivalent are prerequisites for admission into the EdD program;
  2. The program emphasizes breadth in educational theory, practice and research rather than intensive specialization in a particular area;
  3. The student's program may make provision for supervised field experience;
  4. The minimum period of continuous residence is 12 months of full-time study at the University of Alberta, unless otherwise noted in the departmental listing in Graduate Programs .

Shared Credential Master's and Doctoral Degrees

The University of Alberta Shared Credential Policy governs the creation of agreements with national and international partners which lead to the awarding of what are sometimes known as joint or dual degrees.

Students must be admitted into a regular master's or doctoral program first before being admitted to a shared credential degree.

Please consult your department for information regarding possible shared credential agreements in which your department may be participating.

Individual Interdisciplinary Studies

An individual, interdisciplinary graduate program may be appropriate where a proposed area of study for an individual student cannot be effectively accommodated within a single department.

There should be strong reasons for establishing an individual program rather than operating within the context of a current program.

There is no obligation for departments to offer an interdisciplinary program to a student. However, departments may consider creating a program for an individual student if they are prepared to provide an appropriate program and if they have adequate supervision, facilities, and other resources necessary to offer such a program.

Both the home and conjoint department will be designated on the degree. Departments may also propose an individual specialization at the outset of the program.

The template for Individual Interdisciplinary Studies proposals is found at Individual Interdisciplinary Program available in uofa.ualberta.ca/graduate-studies/about/resources-for-faculty-and-staff/forms-cabinet.

Diploma and Certificate Programs

It is the responsibility of the department to:

  • verify that all the requirements of the diploma or certificate have been successfully completed before recommending a student for graduation;
    and
  • submit to the FGSR a Report of Completion of Postgraduate Diploma/Post-baccalaureate Certificate form.

This information must be received and verified by the FGSR before the student's name is placed on the convocation list.

Failure to meet the deadlines in the Academic Schedule will result in a delay in awarding the diploma or certificate.

University of Alberta offers both Embedded and Freestanding Certificates. Graduate students cannot receive an embedded undergraduate certificate as part of their program of studies, with an undergraduate certificate being one that contains courses primarily at the 300- and 400-level.

Information regarding graduate diploma and certificate programs is provided under the appropriate departmental listing in Graduate Programs .