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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Graduation and Conferral of Degrees Policy

Classification number ACD 1511
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Registrar
Approval date November 26, 2019
Review date December 2022
Supersedes Academic Regulations – Undergraduate Academic Calendar 2016‐2017, Academic Regulations – Graduate Academic Calendar 2019‐20

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to provide a framework that outlines the graduation requirements and the conferral of degrees.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Degree” means an academic credential awarded upon successful completion of a prescribed set and sequence of requirements as specified by a Program that meet a standard of performance consistent with university and provincial Degree level expectations.

“Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)” means the weighted average of the grade points awarded in all courses completed and included for the achievement of the Degree and/or major the student is registered in.

“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.

“Second Degree” means an additional Degree pursued after the completion of a first Degree.

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

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to graduation requirements and conferral of Degrees for undergraduate and graduate students.

The Registrar, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.  

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy as they pertain to graduate students. 

Policy

Residency Requirements

  1. At least half of an undergraduate or graduate student's courses must be from among the University’s course offerings in order to meet the residency requirements for graduation.
  2. In exceptional circumstances, with sufficient advance notice, or in the case of special agreements with other universities, a dean may reduce this requirement for undergraduate Degrees to 25 per cent. Such cases are reported to Academic Council for information.
  3. Some master's Programs may also have an on‐campus residency requirement of up to 12 months. Some PhD Programs may also have an on‐campus residency requirement of up to 24 months. On‐campus residency requirements, if any, are specified in the requirements for the particular Program.

Time Limits

  1. Generally, undergraduate students must complete a Degree Program within a number of years equal to twice the length of time it would take to complete the Program on a full load basis.
  2. Graduate student minimum and maximum time limits are outlined below. Semesters for which a student is granted a leave of absence will not be included in these time limits.
    1. Master’s students ‐ The minimum time allowed for full‐time students to complete all requirements for a master's Program is one year, and the maximum time is three years from the time of initial registration as a fulltime student. Students registering on a part‐time basis have a maximum of six years to complete the Degree.
    2. Doctoral students ‐The minimum time allowed for full‐time students to complete all requirements for a doctoral Program is two years, and the maximum time is six years from the time of initial registration as a full‐time student. Students registering on a part‐time basis have a maximum of eight years to complete the Degree.
    3. Graduate diploma students ‐ The minimum time allowed for full‐time students to complete all requirements for a graduate diploma is one Semester, and the maximum time is one year from the time of initial registration as a full‐time student. Students registering on a part‐time basis have a maximum of three years to complete the graduate diploma.
  3. Students unable to complete the Degree within the time limit must apply for an extension of the Degree Program to ensure continued eligibility to graduate. Applications for extension will be considered at the discretion of the Faculty or School dean and will normally be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
    1. An undergraduate student not granted an extension will be dismissed.
    2. A graduate student not granted an extension will be withdrawn.
  4. Under exceptional circumstances and on the recommendation of the graduate program director, a graduate student who did not complete the Degree requirements within the allotted time and has been withdrawn may be readmitted for one Semester only to complete those requirements. Final approval for readmission must be granted by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Conferral of Degrees

  1. Degrees will be deemed conferred at the time of Academic Council approval, and notation of the Degrees awarded will be entered on the students' records.
  2. All students who are awarded a Degree are eligible to attend the session of convocation that immediately follows the date of conferral.

Graduation with Distinction

  1. At the time of graduation, undergraduate students who have achieved a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.50 to 3.79 will have the words "with distinction" added to the Degree parchment and to the Degree notation on the transcript.
  2. Undergraduate students who achieve a CGPA of 3.80 or higher will have the words "with highest distinction" added to the Degree parchment and to the Degree notation on the transcript.

Graduation Notwithstanding a Deficiency

  1. In exceptional circumstances, a dean may recommend to Academic Council that an undergraduate student receive a Degree or other qualification notwithstanding the fact that the student has not completed all normal academic requirements.

Second Degrees

  1. Students holding an undergraduate Degree from the University may pursue a Second Degree at the undergraduate level providing there is no substantial overlap in Degree requirements.
  2. A Second Degree at the undergraduate level requires the completion of all required courses for both Degree Programs. The maximum advanced standing that can be awarded towards a Second Degree is 50 percent of the credits from the first Degree. No more than 12 credit hours of the Second Degree can be taken at another institution.
  3. A student holding a graduate Degree from the University may pursue a Second Degree at the graduate level in another discipline as long as the admission requirements of the Program to which the student is applying are met.
  4. A Second Degree at the graduate level requires the completion of all Program requirements. Normally, transfer credit will not be awarded for courses credited towards an acquired Degree or other academic credential.

Monitoring and Review

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

Relevant Legislation

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Related Policies, Procedures & Documents

Degree Nomenclature Guidelines

Grade Reappraisal and Review of Academic Standing Procedures