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Graduate Admission and Application Requirements Policy

Classification number ACD 1521
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Dean, Graduate Studies
Approval date June 2, 2020
Review date June 2023
Supersedes Academic Regulations, Graduate Academic Calendar 2019-2020

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to define the University’s graduate-level admission and application requirements, including English language proficiency and Transfer Credit.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Academic Standing” means a student's official status of enrolment at the University as evaluated at the end of each Semester; used to assess whether students are meeting the standards prescribed for continuing in the University and/or their Programs.

“Course” means a unit of work in a particular subject normally extending through one Semester or session, the completion of which carries credit toward the requirements of a degree or diploma.

“Grade Point Average (GPA)” means the weighted average of the grade points awarded on the basis of academic performance during a single Semester.

“Graduate Program Director” means academic administrators with a graduate faculty appointment within an academic unit and help to ensure the success of the Program and its students.

“Prerequisite” means a Course that must be successfully completed prior to commencing a second Course for which it is required.

“Program” means a complete set and sequence of Courses, combination of Courses, and/or other units of study, research and practice, the successful completion of which qualifies the candidate for a formal credential (degree with or without major; diploma), provided all other academic and financial requirements are met.

“Semester” means sixty days of lectures and a final examination period.

“Time-Status” means the declared registration status of a graduate student. Graduate students can be registered full-time or part-time.

“Transcript” means the complete report of a student's academic record.

“Transfer Credit” means the academic credit granted for work completed at an institution other than Ontario Tech University.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to graduate-level admission and application requirements as outlined below. Types of Admission and decisions, Program changes and transfers and graduate-level equity, diversity and inclusion and non-standard admission are governed under separate policies.

This Policy does not apply to undergraduate-level admissions, application requirements or related matters. For more information regarding undergraduate-level admission-related policies and procedures please refer to the University’s policy library.

The Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.

Policy

Application for Admission

  1. Applications for admission to graduate studies programs are submitted online.
  2. Application deadlines are determined by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Applications submitted after published deadlines may be considered on an individual basis.
  3. Assessment of Eligibility
    1. Stated grade requirements are normal minimum requirements.
    2. The actual cut-off levels for admission cannot be determined until applications are received.
    3. Preference is given to students presenting the strongest admission averages.
    4. Students whose grades have been affected by exceptional circumstances that can be documented are encouraged to write to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies with appropriate information.
    5. Applicants seeking information on the applicability of their educational backgrounds may seek informal guidance from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, if their circumstances are straightforward.
    6. Applicants wanting a formal assessment of their credentials prior to application should contact a credential evaluation service.
    7. Official determination of admissibility and transfer of credit cannot be made until the point of application.
    8. Regardless of educational background, all applicants to graduate Programs must have specific required subject knowledge for their intended Program of study.
    9. The required subjects for each Program and other program-specific requirements are listed in the faculty sections of the Graduate Academic Calendar and on the Graduate Studies website.
    10. Normally, Courses taken more than eight years prior to application will not be accepted.
    11. Individuals that do not meet the minimum admission requirements, may apply as non-standard applicants. They may also be required to upgrade Prerequisite Courses for their intended Program of study. See non-standard applicants for more information.
  4. Honesty in Applications

    1. Students must declare fully their educational history when applying to the University.
    2. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requires full disclosure of all marks achieved in all attempts at post-secondary Courses.
    3. Students must also advise the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies should they attend another post-secondary institution while registered as a student at the University.
    4. Failure to declare previous or concurrent post-secondary education, or the falsification of any documents related to such academic pursuits, may result in suspension or expulsion from the University, including possible revocation of degrees awarded.

Admission Requirements

  1. Academic Requirements
    1. The academic requirements are established by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and are the minimum required for entry into a graduate Program.
    2. Minimum Academic Requirements for Master's Programs:
      • Hold a four-year honours degree or equivalent from a recognized institution in the area of graduate study or a closely related subject.
      • Overall Academic Standing of at least a B average (GPA: 3.0 on a 4.3 scale), with a minimum B average in the last two full-time years (four Semesters) of undergraduate work or equivalent.
    3. Minimum Academic Requirements for Doctoral Programs:
      • Completion of a research project or thesis-based master's level degree from a recognized institution in the same area of graduate study or a closely related subject.
      • A minimum B+ average (GPA: 3.3 on a 4.3 scale).
    4. Minimum Academic Requirements for Graduate Diploma Programs:
      • Hold a four-year honours degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution in the area of graduate study or a closely related subject.
      • A minimum B-minus average (GPA: 2.7 on a 4.3 scale).
    5. Some Programs may have additional requirements, which could include higher GPA requirements than those required by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Program-specific requirements will be listed in the Graduate Academic Calendar.
    6. Satisfaction of minimum entry conditions does not ensure admission.
  2. Supporting Document Requirements
    1. Applicants must submit the following supporting documentation to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to complete an application for admission:
      • A minimum of two letters of recommendation must be completed by individuals having direct knowledge of the applicant's academic and/or relevant professional competence. Some Programs may have additional requirements.
      • Proof of English proficiency if the first language is not English. See the policy on English language proficiency.
      • One official or certified copy (certified by the institution) of each previous undergraduate and graduate Transcript.
      • A one- to two-page statement of academic intent outlining the applicant's objectives in undertaking graduate study.
      • A photocopy of the applicant's degree parchment(s).
      • Any required Program-specific documentation.
    2. Some Programs may have additional requirements than those listed. Applicants should refer to the Graduate Academic Calendar for Program-specific requirements.
    3. Applicants may also be asked to submit a brief description of the Courses listed on the official Transcripts or provide a copy of the relevant calendar in which they are listed.

English Language Proficiency

  1. All applicants are required to give evidence of their oral and written proficiency in English. This policy outlines the standard ways that applicants must use to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement.
  2. If an individual Program requires higher levels of proficiency or a difference in what is needed to demonstrate English language proficiency, this is listed in the individual Program requirements in the Graduate Academic Calendar.
  3. English language proficiency requirements may be higher for employment, including teaching assistant duties.
  4. The English language proficiency requirement may be satisfied with one of the following:
    1. The applicant’s mother tongue or first language is English;
    2. The applicant has studied full-time for at least three years (or equivalent in part-time studies) in a university degree Program where the language of instruction and examination was English; or,
    3. The applicant has completed a university degree Program where the language of instruction and examination was English.
      • Applicants will be asked to provide official verification from the university confirming that the language of instruction and examination was English.
      • The minimum three-year requirement does not include full-time enrolment in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.
    4. Successful completion of all levels of an approved ESL program that has been designed for university preparation. Information on whether a particular program is approved as satisfying the English proficiency requirement can be obtained from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
    5. The applicant has achieved the required proficiency as listed below on one of the tests in English language acceptable to the University.
      • TOEFL (iBT): 83-87; Minimum sub-scores: Listening 20, Reading 20, Speaking 19, Writing 20
      • TOEFL (paper-based): 560
      • IELTS: 6.5, The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies only accepts IELTS scores in the Academic testing format. Scores from the IELTS General Training format will not be accepted.
      • MELAB: 85
      • CAEL: 70, with no sub-score below 60
    6. Original test scores must be submitted from the testing centre to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
    7. Test results dated more than 24 months prior to the date of the application for admission to the University will not be considered. An official test score is required.
  5. English language proficiency test scores shall prevail as the determining evidence of English language proficiency.
  6. Notwithstanding the above, individual applicants may be able to establish their spoken and written English language proficiency through some other combination of education, work experience or testing.
    1. Individual candidates who wish to establish their English language proficiency other than the ways outlined in this section should contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
    2. Despite the possibility of other options, please note that a test score from an approved English language proficiency test still prevails as the determining evidence of English language proficiency.
  7. The only exception to the English language proficiency admission requirement is if an applicant is a Canadian citizen who has completed a degree at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French.
  8. The University reserves the right to test the English language proficiency of all students and to require further English language training.

Transfer Credits

  1. The University adheres to the General Policy on the transfer of Course credits, as adopted by the Council of Ontario Universities. While learning experiences may differ in a variety of ways, Course substance may be virtually equivalent in terms of Course content and rigour. When possible, acceptance of Transfer Credit should allow maximum recognition of previous learning experiences in university-level Courses.
  2. Credits from other universities within and outside Canada are evaluated on an individual basis.
  3. Credit is subject to the University's residency requirement and to faculty-specific regulations.
  4. All Course credit transfers into graduate Programs must normally be made prior to the start of the Semester in which the applicant was admitted and require the approval of the Graduate Program Director of the faculty delivering the equivalent Course.
  5. Graduate Courses are not considered for Transfer Credit if they were completed more than eight years prior to admission or if the grade received in the Course is below B-minus (70 per cent).
  6. Transfer Credits are indicated by a T on the student's Transcript and are not included in the calculation of the GPA.
  7. Normally, Transfer Credits must not have been credited towards an acquired degree or other academic credential.
  8. Re-evaluation of Transfer Credit decision:
    1. Students may request to have the outcome of an application for Transfer Credits re-evaluated on the basis of new information or additional clarification.
    2. The request should be directed to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies who will refer the case back to the appropriate admissions committee for a final decision.
    3. The request must be lodged in the academic Semester in which the application for Transfer Credit is made.

Visiting Students

  1. If certain conditions are met, students may apply to take Courses at other universities within and outside Canada and may request for credits earned to be transferred to their graduate Program at the University.
  2. Similarly, students from other universities within and outside Canada may apply to take Courses at the University that can be applied to their graduate work at the institution at which they are registered.
  3. For application instructions, eligibility requirements, and restrictions, students should review the relevant section of the Graduate Academic Calendar or policy.

Readmission of Former Graduate Students

  1. Students previously admitted to the University, who have withdrawn from their Program, are required to apply for readmission.
  2. Graduate students who have been dismissed from the University are not eligible to apply for readmission.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

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Related policies, procedures & documents

Graduate Academic Calendar
Graduate Admission Categories and Decisions Policy
Graduate Program Changes and Transfers Policy
Graduate Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Non-Standard Admission Policy
Responsibilities of Graduate Program Directors, Faculty Advisors, Research Supervisors and Graduate Students Policy