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Existing Students: see UPDATE FROM THE AVP GRADUATE STUDIES. For international students with questions relating to your study permit, please connect with your international student advisor; if you have gone abroad or intend to go abroad, and you have new immigration or travel concerns, please consult with your international student advisor.
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The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is committed to supporting our students. We will work with you to ensure minimized disruption for all current and incoming students.
Councils and Committees
Table of Contents
The Board of Graduate Studies (BGS) considers and reports to Senate on proposals for the establishment of a new program for a graduate degree or diploma, recommends admission standards for appointment to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, makes recommendations on matters of graduate educational policy, recommends University graduate admission requirements, approves candidates for graduate degrees, approves graduate course deletions and additions, and performs other tasks as outlined in the Board of Graduate Studies bylaws. For a description of the role of the Board of Graduate Studies and its bylaws, refer to Board of Graduate Studies and the Senate Board of Graduate Studies Bylaws.
BGS has two standing sub-committees: the Committee on Graduate Programs and Policies and the Admissions and Progress Committee. Both committees meet monthly throughout the year.
Chair, Board of Graduate Studies or designate (Chair)
Assistant Vice President Graduate Studies & Program Quality Assurance
Four faculty members
One graduate student
One staff from the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, who shall be the recording secretary (non-voting)
The committee is free to engage other faculty, administrative staff or graduate students as non-voting participants on a continuing or periodic basis, as it finds appropriate, to assist with fulfilment of its responsibilities.
The committee advises the Board on the following matters by providing preliminary scrutiny and/or preliminary drafts of policy proposals for consideration by the Board. In this context, the Graduate Programs and Policy Committee:
- reviews proposals for the addition, deletion or amendment of graduate programs and courses in light of Senate-approved learning objectives, graduate program, standards, information and recommendations from the Division Committees, and any relevant external academic quality standards, activating refinement of proposals as necessary to better achieve these goals before bringing the matter forward for consideration by the Board of Graduate Studies,
- periodically reviews policies concerning appointment to Graduate Faculty, advising the Board of Graduate Studies on the need for amendment as appropriate, and
- reviews and decides on nominations for appointment to Graduate Faculty, with subsequent report to the Board for information;
- reports on its activities at each meeting of the Board of Graduate Studies.
To fulfill the responsibilities of the Board of Graduate Studies, two sub-committees have been established: Graduate Studies Committees and Division Committees.
(1) Graduate Program Committees (GPC)
Graduate Program Committees are sub-committees of the Committee on Graduate Programs and Policies.
Each academic unit (department, school or interdepartmental group) offering graduate education shall establish, in a manner appropriate to its operations, a GPC consisting of members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and including graduate student representation. The student representative(s) shall be elected by the graduate students or named after consultation with the graduate students in that program. Normally, the chair of each GPC shall be the Graduate Coordinator of the relevant graduate program. Provision should be made in such academic units as wish to do so, to have graduate students sit aside for discussions of matters private to particular individuals.
The GPC shall oversee in general the graduate program(s) of the academic unit and more particularly the curriculum and the students and their progress in their individual programs. The Committee is responsible for keeping the affiliated program curriculum under ongoing review, assessing the degree of achievement of its academic goals as required by University and external quality assessment processes, initiating and/or responding to proposals for curricular change, and initiating action, as necessary, according to University academic governance processes.
Informed by relevant Senate policies, each GPC also oversees the progress of students in the relevant graduate program(s) under its purview. Assistance to the Committee with interpretation of Senate policies is provided by the Assistant Vice President Graduate Studies, who in turn may seek further guidance from the Committee on Admissions and Progress and/or the Board of Graduate Studies.
(2) Division Committees
A Division Committee exists for each of the following: the humanities, the social sciences, the human and animal sciences, the plant sciences, and the physical sciences. The Division Committees allow for interdisciplinary consideration of proposals for addition, deletion or amendment of graduate programs and courses. Normally new program proposals or significant program or course revisions will be reviewed first by the relevant Division Committee(s) for comment prior to consideration of the proposal by the Board of Graduate Studies or its committees.
The number and composition of Division Committees are informed by the interdisciplinary review framework and program groupings in place for the purposes of provincial graduate program quality control processes and the University’s own array of graduate programs. The Graduate Program Coordinator of each program is a member of one of the Division Committees and may ask to be appointed to other Divisions relevant to their program.
The current Division Committee structure is provided below. As required by changes to the University’s graduate program offerings or provincial program quality review frameworks, the Assistant Vice President Academic will advise the Board of Graduate Studies on the need for amendment to the current structure.
Division 1 – HUMANITIES Art and Visual Culture, Creative Writing, English, European Studies, French, History - Tri-University Program, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Philosophy, Literary Studies/Theatre Studies in English, Studio Art, Theatre Studies.
Division 2 – SOCIAL SCIENCES Business Administration, Capacity Development and Extension, Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy, Economics, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, Geography, International Development Studies, Landscape Architecture, Marketing and Consumer Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Public Issues Anthropology, Sociology, Rural Planning and Development.
Division 3 – HUMAN AND ANIMAL SCIENCES Animal and Poultry Science, Biomedical Sciences, Biophysics, Clinical Studies, Environmental Biology, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, Food Science, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Pathobiology, Population Medicine, Psychology, Public Health.
Division 4 – PLANT SCIENCES School of Environmental Sciences, Integrative Biology, Land Resource Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Plant Agriculture.
Division 5 – PHYSICAL SCIENCES Biophysics, Chemistry, Computing and Information Science, Engineering, Geography, Land Resource Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics.
Division Committees of the Board of Graduate Studies shall consist of the Graduate Coordinators of departments participating in the Division Committee or their designate.
The Division Committees provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary input and recommendations regarding the addition, deletion or amendment of graduate programs and courses. Normally new program proposals or significant program or course revisions will be reviewed first by the relevant Division Committee(s) for comment prior to consideration by the Programs Committee
Ten members are appointed annually by the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Associate Dean Graduate Studies for a one-year renewable term, normally to a maximum of three consecutive terms. Ideally all members of the Committee will also be members of the Board and broadly represent different programs across the University. The membership is comprised of:
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (normally Chair)
Three graduate students
Three faculty members (at least one tenured)
One representative from the Office of Student Affairs
Two (non-voting) staff from the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, one of whom shall be the recording secretary (non-voting).
A Vice-Chair is to be elected by the Committee from among its members. Half of the voting members of A&P shall be members of the Board of Graduate Studies.
The Committee on Admissions and Progress (A&P Committee) shall:
keep under review policies regarding admission of applicants and progress of graduate students in their programs of study,
take action on behalf of the Board with respect to unsatisfactory progress and special requests by graduate students, and
report to the Board an on annual basis.
The actions of the Admissions and Progress Sub-Committee are informed by Senate policies regarding admission of applicants and progress of graduate students. Its decisions are subject to appeal to the Committee on Student Petitions.
Admissions and Progress Procedures and Guidelines
Click here for more information on Procedures and Guidelines for student cases falling under the mandate of the A&P Committee.