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Program Nomenclature Directives

Classification number ACD 1501.01
Parent policy Program Quality Assurance
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Associate Provost
Approval date June 21, 2016
Review date June 2019
Last updated Editorial Amendment, April 23, 2019, Substantive Amendment October 23, 2018
Supersedes Program Nomenclature Protocol, January 2014

Purpose

The University is committed to ensuring the highest quality of learning for students while maintaining the highest integrity of academic programs. To this end, the University offers an array of programs to meet the academic and professional needs of the local, national and international communities consistent with its mission and mandate. This document defines the nomenclature that is used for programs and primary areas of study at the University. It also defines the way in which these terms are reported on the academic transcript and degree parchment.

Scope and Authority

This Directive applies to all graduate and undergraduate programs approved through the academic governance process at the University.
The Associate Provost, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Directive.

Directives

General Guidelines

  1. Regulations for new programs will be described using the nomenclature set out in this document.
  2. All program names and degree designations must be reviewed by Academic Council to ensure that they are appropriate to the program content and congruent with current usage in the discipline.
  3. A portion of the credit hours defined in this document may be earned through advanced standing or block equivalencies, subject to residency requirements
  4.  

General Program Nomenclature

  1. Program: 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).

  2. Degree: An academic credential awarded upon successful completion of a prescribed set and sequence of requirements as specified by a program and that meet a standard of performance consistent with University and provincial degree level expectations.

  3. Diploma: An academic credential awarded upon the successful completion of a prescribed set of degree credit courses as specified by a program. UOIT diplomas are classified as concurrent and/or direct-entry.

  4. Bridge: A prescribed set of courses, and/or other units of study, research and practice that leads to qualification for entry into a degree program. It is comprised of a maximum of 72 credit hours, including up to 15 credit hours of bridging courses that may be credited toward the completion of a particular degree.

  5. Experiential Learning Course: A course that integrates the strategic, active engagement of students in opportunities to learn by doing and reflecting on those activities, which empowers them to apply their theoretical knowledge and creativity to real-world challenges, including those in workplace and volunteer settings.

    Well-planned, supervised and assessed experiential learning activities enrich student learning and promote intellectual development, interdisciplinary thinking, social engagement, cultural awareness, teamwork, and other communication and professional skills.

Undergraduate Program Nomenclature

  1. Undergraduate Degree: A degree that can be completed as a first degree, requiring a minimum of 90 credit hours of study.

  2. Honours Undergraduate Degree: An undergraduate degree with increased depth in a particular area of study. It can be completed as a first degree requiring a minimum of 120 credit hours.

  3. Second Degree: A second degree program pursued after the first. It 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.

  4. Major: A prescribed set of courses, and/or other units of study, research and practice in an area of disciplinary or interdisciplinary study within an honours undergraduate degree. It requires at least 36 credit hours of study. The major appears on the academic transcript and on the degree parchment.

  5. Double Major: A strictly defined pair of majors attached to a single degree. It requires satisfactory completion of all required courses in both the primary and secondary major. A minimum of 24 additional credit hours in the second major is required. Both majors appear on the academic transcript and on the degree parchment.

  6. Minor: An optional secondary area of study requiring a minimum of 18 and maximum of 24 credit hours (including all prerequisites). A student may not declare a major and a minor in the same discipline. The minor appears on the academic transcript, but does not appear on the degree parchment.

  7. Specialization: A focus in a particular area of a major requiring a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 15 credit hours.  A specialization appears on the academic transcript, but does not appear on the degree parchment.

  8. Cooperative Education: A program of three or more alternating work term periods that is integrated with an undergraduate degree program. It is comprised of at least nine credit hours of work placement that are each at least four months in duration and must meet the requirements of the Canadian Association for Cooperative Education Accreditation Council.  The cooperative education program appears on the academic transcript and on the degree parchment.

  9. Undergraduate Diploma: A prescribed set of degree credit courses and/or other forms of study that can be undertaken as a stand-alone program or to complement an undergraduate degree program. An undergraduate diploma is comprised of 18-30 credit hours of undergraduate level study.

    1. A concurrent undergraduate diploma is offered in conjunction with an undergraduate degree, which requires that the candidate be already admitted to an undergraduate degree.

    2. A direct-entry undergraduate diploma is a stand-alone, direct-entry program, developed by a unit already offering a related undergraduate or graduate.

Graduate Program Nomenclature

  1. Master’s Degree: An advanced degree that is normally completed after receiving a first degree in a related subject area. It contains a prescribed set of courses, and/or other units of study, research or practice within an area of disciplinary or interdisciplinary study, normally requiring at least 30 credit hours of study.  Master’s degrees may comprise a thesis component, a project or major paper, or be primarily comprised of coursework:

    1. A master’s degree with thesis is a research oriented program comprised of advanced courses and intensive research culminating in a thesis. The thesis constitutes at least nine credit hours and involves an oral examination with assessment by an external examiner.

    2. A master’s degree with a project or major paper is a research oriented program comprised of advanced courses and intensive research culminating in a project or major paper. The project or major paper constitutes at least six credit hours of supervised research and assessment by a research supervisor and a second reader.

    3. A master’s degree by coursework is comprised primarily of course work, and may also include other units of study, research and practice.

  2. Doctoral Degree: An advanced degree in a specific area of disciplinary or interdisciplinary study that includes coursework and a candidacy exam. It is normally completed after receiving a master’s degree in a related subject area. A doctoral degree requires intensive research and the creation and defense before an examining committee of a thesis that constitutes an original contribution to a field of study.

  3. Field: An area of study within a graduate program related to its demonstrable and collective strengths.  A field may appear on the academic transcript but not on the degree parchment. 

  4. Graduate Diploma: A prescribed set of degree credit courses and/or other forms of study that can be undertaken as a stand-alone program or to complement a graduate degree program, and to provide specialization, sub-specialization or inter- or multi-disciplinary qualification. A graduate diploma is comprised of at least 12 credit hours of graduate level study.  Graduate diplomas are classified as concurrent graduate diplomas (type 2) and direct- entry (type 3) graduate diplomas, consistent with the requirements as set out by the Council of Ontario Universities:

    1. A concurrent graduate diploma is offered in conjunction with a specified master’s or doctoral degree, the admission to which requires that the candidate be already admitted to the master’s or doctoral degree. It requires advanced level, usually interdisciplinary, study, at least 50% of which is in addition to the general requirements for the degree.

    2. A direct-entry graduate diploma is a stand-alone, direct-entry program, developed by a unit already offering a related masters (and sometimes doctoral) degree, and designed to meet the needs of a particular clientele or market. UOIT type 3 graduate diplomas may include non-degree credit courses to a maximum of 30% of the total program credit hours.

Restrictions on Program Elements

  1. A student may complete only one of the following:
  • A single Major
  • Two Majors
  • A Major and a Minor
  • A Major and two Minors
A course is considered to be double-counted if it is used to satisfy both the requirements for the Major (or Majors) and a Minor (or Minors).

For Minors:

  • A maximum of 6.0 credit hours in double-counted courses may be included in the credits used towards any Minor program(s)
For Majors:

  • To complete two Majors a student must satisfactorily complete all required courses in both the primary and secondary Major. A maximum of 12.0 credit hours may be double-counted towards the second Major.
Under no circumstances are students allowed to “triple-count”. A course is considered to be triple-counted of it is used to satisfy the requirements for a Major and two Minors.

Monitoring and Review

These Guidelines will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Associate Provost, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review these Guidelines.

Relevant Legislation

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 8, Sch. 0

Related Policies, Procedures & Documents

Quality Assurance Handbook

Academic Council Handbook

Undergraduate Academic Calendar

Graduate Academic Calendar