Doctoral Programme Progress Guidelines

Doctoral Programme Progress Guidelines

The rules stated here have precedence over the ones that appear in our earlier guidelines (e.g., the “Supervision and Timely Graduation Guidelines” and the “Student Financial Support”). These earlier documents provide additional useful information. These documents will eventually be merged into one.

The new rules are effective from May 1998, and will be made available to both students and graduate faculty.

Length of Programme

The programme is a 48 month programme, covering four academic years (12 terms). Students are expected to complete all their degree requirements, including thesis defense, by the end of term 12.

Financial Support

Financial support for up to 48 months is available to all full-time students making satisfactory progress in the programme. See the discussion of satisfactory progress below.

Financial support will not extend beyond the fourth academic year.

Discussion of Satisfactory Progress

Satisfactory progress is defined by the following criteria:

  • Progress Report:
    • Submitted every term by April 15, August 15, December 15.
  • Year 1
    • Take graduate courses.
    • Select dissertation supervisor.
  • Year 2
    • Finish graduate courses.
    • Select dissertation supervisory committee (3 people) and inform FGS.
    • Do qualifying examination.
    • Work on dissertation proposal.
  • Year 3
    • Present dissertation proposal.
    • Send accepted dissertation proposal to FGS.
    • Do industrial internship/teaching practicum.
  • Year 4
    • Complete dissertation.

Academic Advisor and Dissertation Supervisor

Students are assigned an academic advisor before entry to the programme, who will advise them in their first two terms of study, and help them select a dissertation supervisor (who does not have to coincide with the academic advisor). If the student selects a dissertation supervisor other than their academic advisor, the academic advisor remains available as an additional resource throughout the student’s course of study. Although it is possible for a student to change dissertation supervisors, students are expected to remain with the dissertation supervisor that they select during their first year.

Paid Work on research unrelated to dissertation, External Contracts, Leaves

Students are expected to work full time on their courses and thesis while they receive financial support from the programme. Students should be aware that they are limited to working a maximum total of 270 hours per academic year and a maximum of 10 hours per week. Students who exceed these limits without the explicit written permission of both the Graduate Director and their thesis supervisor will have their financial support terminated. In addition, students are expected to remain in residence with the programme while they are funded. Students who plan to take extended leaves (longer than 2 weeks) must seek permission from their thesis supervisor, and for longer than 4 weeks, permission from the Graduate Director and FGS as well.

Faculty wishing to hire graduate students to work on grants/contracts must approach the Graduate Director before advertising the position to students. Positions must be open to all qualified students. Faculty must be aware that full time students have a limited number of hours available for extra employment.

Revised: August 4, 2000
Minor corrections: February 2008