Graduate Program Policies

The information on this page is meant as a quick reference for students with regards to the more common policy and procedural issues. This information is not exhaustive or exclusive and there are a number of sources that students should consult with regards to program and University policies.

For example: School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' Graduate Regulations; School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' Thesis Guide; and the University Secretariat's Academic Handbook

Professional Programs

Program Progression Policies

Continuous Graduate Enrolment

Graduate students must maintain continuous registration and pay fees in each successive term from initial registration until all requirements for the degree are completed. "Registration" may include a course or other degree requirements, such as Qualifying Papers or Thesis (Doctoral students). For those students registering for course work in the summer term, registering in any of the various sessions offered by the Graduate Programs Office satisfies this requirement.

Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees, for students not receiving funding that fully covers their tuition, ancillary or other related fees (e.g. UHIP), are payable at the start of each of the three terms: fall, winter, summer, and consecutively every term until degree requirements are complete. Fees owing will be posted to the enrolled student's Student Centre. Students are responsible for paying fees each term by the advertised due date; failure to do this will result in a late payment fee. Failure to pay tuition will result in withdrawal from the program. For information on fee amounts, please see the Office of the Registrar's " Fees/Refunds" page.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

Students for all graduate degree programs must complete their program requirements within a maximum time period. Please note that the following does not represent typical completion times, but maximum completion times.

Typical Time to Completion Maximum Time to Completion
EdD 3 years (9 terms) 4 years (12 terms)
MPEd 2 years (6 terms) 3 years (9 terms)

Program Progression

Please also see the School of Graduate & Postdoctor Studies' Program Regulations - Section 3 of Graduate Regulations:

The program specifies milestones for satisfactory progress towards the degree (e.g. a minimum average, a minimum grade for a course, etc.) and ensures that students are aware of these in a timely fashion through the Program's website or by other means.

A grade of Incomplete is not supported in any course and will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. An INC can only be carried for one term before the course is deemed a Failure.

The program may require students to withdraw if they fail to meet the following standards:

  • Students must maintain a cumulative average of at least 70% calculated each term over all courses taken for credit, with no grade less than 60%. In the case of failing grades given for Scholastic Offences, only the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) can withdraw a student; see Section 11.
  • Students must make satisfactory progress towards the degree according to milestones set by the program.

Leaves of Absence

The Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) may grant a leave of absence for pregnancy/parental, medical or compassionate grounds normally to a maximum of three terms or 12 months, on the recommendation of the Graduate Program.

While on leave, students are expected to be away from normal activities as graduate students (e.g. attending classes, conducting research). However, students and supervisors may negotiate ongoing communication during this period.

The start and finish of the leave may begin or end at any point in the term; normally the leave will coincide with the start and end of terms. Students are advised to consult with their graduate program to make special arrangements especially if taking courses during this period.

Because the successful completion of each course is required to progress into the next course, students who require a Leave of Absence, course withdrawal, or fail a course, will be required to take a  Leave of Absence until the prerequisite course is offered again with the next cohort.

Requests for Leave of Absence are completed on-line on the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' website by logging into the Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

More information about Leaves of Absence can be found in the Graduate Calendar (Section 4.06).

Withdrawals

Withdrawal from a program can occur in two ways.

To request a voluntary withdrawal, a student must provide formal, written notification to the program. Requests for Voluntary Withdrawal are completed on-line on the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' website by login into the Graduate Student Web Services Portal. Assuming the student is in good standing at the time of withdrawal, he/she will be invited to reapply to the program. If the student does so within a two-year period of withdrawing, the Graduate Programs & Research Office will normally recommend that advanced standing be given for all courses completed at the time of withdrawal. If the student reapplies after this two year period, he/she applies and goes through the same competitive process as first-time applicants. Normally, advanced standing would only be recommended for up to two half or one full course. Please contact the Graduate Programs Office for information and assistance with reapplication procedures following a voluntary withdrawal.

Alternatively, the Graduate Programs Office or the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies can withdraw a student for failure to meet admission conditions, progression requirements, specified deadlines for completion, or failure to pay fees. Graduate students are expected to meet progression requirements in a timely fashion according to milestones specified by the program concerned. If the Associate Dean (Graduate Programs) and/or Thesis/Master's Research Project Supervisor judge that process in scholarly work or research is unsatisfactory, a student may be required to withdraw at any time. In addition, a graduate student must maintain at least a 70% averaged over all courses of the degree program with no grade less than 60%. A student who fails to achieve this standard will be considered as not making satisfactory progress towards the degree.

Once withdrawn from a program (and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), the person withdrawn is no longer a student and may not attend classes, receive supervision, or have access to any resources of the University.

English Proficiency

"Each student granted admission to Western must be proficient in spoken and written English. Students must demonstrate the ability to write clearly and correctly. Work presented in English in any subject at any level, which shows a lack of proficiency in English and is, therefore, unacceptable for academic credit, will either be failed or, at the discretion of the instructor, returned to the student for revision to a literate level. To foster competence in the use of the English language within their own discipline, all instructors will take proficiency in English into account in the assignment of grades." A student who, after admission, shows an inadequate command of spoken or written English must improve his or her proficiency to the satisfaction of the graduate program or department. ( http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/exam/english.pdf)

Full-time/On-line Study

Full-time students can take up to three half courses per term.

Routes of Study and Core/Required Courses

Every Graduate Education program, whether doctoral or masters, has core/required courses. Masters program also have different study route options to complete degree requirements once course work is finished. For specific details on core/required courses and study routes, please see the applicable program page:

Supervision: Thesis Supervisors

At the time of admission, students will be assigned to their Thesis Supervisor. This information will be shared in the offer of admission letter that is sent from the Graduate Programs Office. It is important to connect with your Thesis Supervisor early on and to maintain frequent communication throughout your studies.

Scholarly Writing

Within any one thesis or project, consistency of style is expected. Further, the thesis must adhere to the guidelines as outlined in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Thesis Regulation Guide.

Style Manuals: Each instructor and Thesis Supervisor offers advice on selecting an appropriate style manual. Commonly used manuals include:

American Psychological Association (2001). Publication manual (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Barzun, J., & Graff, H. F. (1992). The modern researcher (5th ed.). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Fowler, H. R., & Aaron, J. E. (1989). The Little, Brown handbook (4th ed.). Toronto: Little, Brown.

Messenger, W. E., & DeBruyn, J. (1986). The Canadian writer's handbook (2nd ed.). Scarborough: Prentice-Hall.

Turabian, K. L. (1996). A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations (6th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONSIDER THE PREPARATION OF THEIR RESEARCH (IN WHOLE OR IN PART) FOR PUBLICATION IN EITHER SCHOLARLY OR PROFESSIONAL JOURNALS.

Research Ethics

All research with human participants, whether it be for a class paper or your research, must receive prior approval and conform to the university’s guidelines available from the Office of Research Ethics.

The Faculty of Education is home to a Research Ethics Board, which is a sub-board of The University of Western Ontario Non-Medical Research Ethics Board (NMREB). This sub-board has been delegated to review and approve research that involves no more than minimal risk. For information on delegated review and minimal risk refer to the UWO REB Guideline 1-G-004, and the Faculty of Education's Research Ethics web page. If your research involves more than minimal risk to the research participants you must submit your ethics protocol to the UWO NMREB.

If a student is doing research for a class paper that involves working with human subjects, the instructor will assist the student in obtaining the necessary approvals.

If a student's Thesis or Directed Research Project (DRP) involves working with human subjects, the student must complete, obtain signatures for and submit the Ethical Review Form found on the Faculty of Education's Research Ethics web page. This is submitted to the Graduate Programs & Research Office with one copy of your Thesis or DRP proposal and the appropriate signature "Form A." Details about submitting your Thesis or DRP proposal and ethical review, as well as the signature "Form A" can be found in the Doctoral Thesis Guide, Masters Thesis Guide and Directed Research Project Guide.

Course Policies

Scheduling of classes

Professional programs core courses are typically held fully online. Some courses may be held during evening hours (typically 6:30pm-9:30pm) or during the summer to accommodate students who are working full-time.

Timetables are developed one term at a time and posted on the " Timetables and Calendars" page once available.

Courses typically run for 12 weeks (or the equivalent).

Fall term:              September 1 - December 31
Winter term:         January 1 - April 30
Summer Term:*   May 1 - August 31

*The Faculty of Education offers a number of sessions during the summer term. Enrolment in any one of these sessions satisfies the graduate continuous enrolment requirement.

Summer On-line - 12 weeks commencing in May
Intersession - 6 weeks starting in May
Summer Session - 4 weeks, July

Course/Program Registration

Professional programs students will be automatically enrolled in their core courses each semester.

Full-time students may take up to three courses per semester. Students who wish to take elective courses in addition to their core courses, pending approval and availability, may do so by contacting the Graduate Programs Office.

Add/Drop Procedures

To Add/Drop elective courses, to be taken in addition to students' core course for the semester, students must send a request by e-mail to the appropriate Graduate Affairs Assistant. Students enrolled in professional programs cannot drop a core course without an approved leave of absence of withdrawal from the program.

Courses External to the Faculty of Education

Students may take up to two half courses (or one full course) at the graduate level in other Departments at Western University or other universities (see below) with the permission of the Thesis Supervisor and the Associate Dean.  Approval will normally be given on academic grounds only and must be obtained well in advance of the term in which the course is to be taken.  Please complete the  Special Permission Form for Non-Educatio Course form and submit it to the Graduate Programs Office to request permission to register for a graduate course in another Western program. 

Courses External to UWO

Students may take up to two half courses (or one full course) at the graduate level in other Departments at Western Univeristy or other universities with the permission of the Associate Dean.  Approval will normally be given on academic grounds only and must be obtained well in advance of the term in which the course is to be taken.  The following is taken from the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies  Graduate Calendar (Section 7.0).

Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Program:  With the approval of their program and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, students registered at Western may take courses at other Ontario universities under the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student program, without additional tuition. Courses taken under this agreement must be required for the student’s degree program and must be taken for credit. For students in course based programs no more than two half- courses can be taken at another institution.  The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Program Application

Courses at other Canadian Universities:  Western is a member of CAGS (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies). With the approval of their program and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, students registered in a program at a CAGS member university (the home institution) may take courses for credit at another CAGS-member university (the host institution). The only documentation required is a single-page request form that is completed by the Deans and Graduate Chairs* of the host and home institutions. For students in course based programs no more than two half-courses can be taken at another institution. For the form and guidelines, click here .  *In the Faculty of Education, the equivalent to Graduate Chair is the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs Office.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes. In the case of absence, instructors may assign additional course work. Normally, students who are absent from one-quarter or more of their classes will be assigned a grade of "F" (Fail), (Graduate Studies Subcommittee - December 3, 1999).  As an example, most onsite half courses (with the exception of some Counselling Psychology classes) meet 12 times during a term, so students in these courses cannot miss more than two classes.  

For on-line courses, participation will be determined by the instructor/professor in the course outline and will reflect the same principles as attendance policy for on-site courses.

Evaluation

"Each student granted admission to Western must be proficient in spoken and written English.  Students must demonstrate the ability to write clearly and correctly. Work presented in English in any subject at any level, which shows a lack of proficiency in English and is, therefore, unacceptable for academic credit, will either be failed or, at the discretion of the instructor, returned to the student for revision to a literate level.  To foster competence in the use of the English language within their own discipline, all instructors will take proficiency in English into account in the assignment of grades." ( http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/exam/english.pdf)

Graduate students must maintain at least a "B" average in their program. Although only numeric grades are assigned by instructors in the Faculty of Education, the following alpha grade ranges are provided for your information.

A = 80% and above 
B = 70% - 79% 
C = 60% - 69% 
F = Fail - less than 60%

The following guidelines for assigning grades are in effect at the Faculty of Education.

A: Reserved for those students whose work is excellent. Their work will contain an element of originality, creativity, or thoroughness. It will be well organized and expressed, and will reflect a particularly clear command of techniques and principles, incisive judgements, sound critical evaluations, and so on.
B: Assigned for proof of good competent work. A "B" grade indicates that a student has mastered the course material and can manipulate it, can write clear prose, can demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate and synthesize material, and can apply the course material to relevant situations or problems.
C: Assigned because a student does not meet one or more of the above criteria. Even though the student may be conscientious, he or she has not demonstrated a mastery of the graduate work in the course. A lack of mastery may include any number of characteristics such as an inability to write clearly, to research a topic adequately, to synthesize material, or to make basic judgements about relevance, and so on.
F: Glaring inaccuracy and confusion, little or no grasp of techniques and principles, trivial and irrelevant treatment of topics. In general, a failure to demonstrate the minimal knowledge and skills for effective work in the discipline.
INC: (Incomplete) An INC may be granted for a course where the student has not been able to complete the assigned work in the normal timeline due to exceptional circumstances. Permission to carry an INC must be sought from the Chair, Graduate Education before the end of the term. The INC must be completed by the end of the following term or a grade of F (FAIL) will be assigned. According to SGPS policy, NO exceptions will be granted to this rule. 

A numerical grade submitted for an INC grade, or an F grade resulting for an INC, is final. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will not consider a subsequent revision of either such grade except on documented medical or compassionate grounds. 

Instructors shall inform students, both in class and in the course outline, as to any policies and/or penalties concerning late submission of assignments.
IPR: (In Progress) assigned during preparation for Thesis or Directed Research Project or a half or full course which extends over two or more terms.

Research Intensive Programs

Program Progression Policies

Continuous Graduate Enrolment

Graduate students must maintain continuous registration and pay fees in each successive term from initial registration until all requirements for the degree are completed. "Registration" may include a course or other degree requirements, such as Independent Proposal Preparation, Internship, Master's Research Project or Thesis (Masters students); or Qualifying Papers or Thesis (Doctoral students). For those students registering for course work in the summer term, registering in any of the various sessions offered by the Graduate Programs Office satisfies this requirement.

Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees, for students not receiving funding that fully covers their tuition, ancillary or other related fees (e.g. UHIP), are payable at the start of each of the three terms: fall, winter, summer, and consecutively every term until degree requirements are complete. Students receive notification via their Western email accounts once tuition amounts have been posted in the Student Centre. Students are responsible for paying fees each term by the advertised due date; failure to do this will result in a late payment fee. Failure to pay tuition will result in withdrawal from the program. For information on fee amounts, please see the Office of the Registrar's " Fees/Refunds" page.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

Students for all graduate degree programs must complete their program requirements within a maximum time period. The following chart shows maximum and typical completion times.  Please note that this is based on a student’s starting status of full or part time and does not change if a student changes his/her status throughout the program.

Typical Time to Completion Maximum Time to Completion
PhD* 4 years (12 terms) 6 years (18 terms) *Funding maximum is 4 years or 12 terms.
MA/MEd - Full-time 2 years (6 terms) 3 years (9 terms)
MA/MEd - Part-time 3 years (9 terms) 4 years (12 terms)

Leaves of Absence are not counted when calculating maximum time to completion terms.

Program Progression

Please also see the School of Graduate & Postdoctor Studies' Program Regulations - Section 3.

The program specifies milestones for satisfactory progress towards the degree (e.g. a minimum average, a minimum grade for a course, etc.) and ensures that students are aware of these in a timely fashion through Program's website or by other means.

Graduate faculty must provide students with timely feedback on courses, examinations, or other requirements.

The program may require students to withdraw if they fail to meet the following standards:

  • Students must maintain a cumulative average of at least 70% calculated each term over all courses taken for credit, with no grade less than 60%. In the case of failing grades given for Scholastic Offences, only the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) can withdraw a student; see Section 11.
  • Students must make satisfactory progress towards the degree according to milestones set by the program.

Leaves of Absence

The Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) may grant a leave of absence for pregnancy/parental, medical or compassionate grounds normally to a maximum of three terms or 12 months, on the recommendation of the Graduate Program.

While on leave, students are expected to be away from normal activities as graduate students (e.g. attending classes, conducting research). However, students and supervisors may negotiate ongoing communication during this period.

The start and finish of the leave may begin or end at any point in the term; normally the leave will coincide with the start and end of terms. Students are advised to consult with their graduate program to make special arrangements especially if taking courses during this period.

Requests for Leave of Absence are completed on-line on the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' website by login into the Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

More information about Leaves of Absence can be found in Section 4.06 of School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Regulations

Withdrawals

Withdrawal from a program can occur in two ways.

To request a voluntary withdrawal, a student must provide formal, written notification to the program. Requests for Voluntary Withdrawal are completed on-line on the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' website by login into the Graduate Student Web Services Portal. Assuming the student is in good standing at the time of withdrawal, he/she will be invited to reapply to the program. If the student does so within a two-year period of withdrawing, the Graduate Programs Office will normally recommend that advanced standing be given for all courses completed at the time of withdrawal. If the student reapplies after this two year period, he/she applies and goes through the same competitive process as first-time applicants. Normally, advanced standing would only be recommended for up to two half or one full course. Please contact the Graduate Programs Office for information and assistance with reapplication procedures following a voluntary withdrawal.

Alternatively, the Graduate Programs Office or the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies can withdraw a student for failure to meet admission conditions, progression requirements, specified deadlines for completion, or failure to pay fees. Graduate students are expected to meet progression requirements in a timely fashion according to milestones specified by the program concerned. If the Associate Dean (Graduate Programs) and/or Thesis/Master's Research Project Supervisor judge that process in scholarly work or research is unsatisfactory, a student may be required to withdraw at any time. In addition, a graduate student must maintain at least a 70% averaged over all courses of the degree program with no grade less than 60%. A student who fails to achieve this standard will be considered as not making satisfactory progress towards the degree.

Once withdrawn from a program (and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), the person withdrawn is no longer a student and may not attend classes, receive supervision, or have access to any resources of the University.

English Proficiency

"Each student granted admission to Western must be proficient in spoken and written English. Students must demonstrate the ability to write clearly and correctly. Work presented in English in any subject at any level, which shows a lack of proficiency in English and is, therefore, unacceptable for academic credit, will either be failed or, at the discretion of the instructor, returned to the student for revision to a literate level. To foster competence in the use of the English language within their own discipline, all instructors will take proficiency in English into account in the assignment of grades." A student who, after admission, shows an inadequate command of spoken or written English must improve his or her proficiency to the satisfaction of the graduate program or department. ( http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/exam/english.pdf)

Full-time/Part-time

Full-time students can take a maximum of three half courses per term. Part-time students can take a maximum of two half courses (or one full course).Approved undergraduate courses taken as extra courses or as degree requirements are to be included in this total.

Full-time to Part-time:  Full-time students requesting to change their status to part-time must submit their request through the Graduate Student Web Services Portal. Part-time status may be granted in exceptional circumstances (e.g., compassionate or medical circumstances). Approval of the Graduate Program and the Vice-Provost (School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) must be granted. Supporting documentation must be submitted with the request for part-time status. Part-time status is not to be used as a means for reducing or avoiding tuition fees. Being beyond the funding eligibility period will not, by itself, constitute grounds for a change from full-time to part-time status.

Part-time to Full-time: Students requesting a change in their status from part-time to full-time must send a request to the Manager of Graduate Programs in writing via email or letter.

Routes of Study and Core/Required Courses

Every Graduate Education program, whether doctoral or masters, has core/required courses.  The Masters program also has different study route options to complete degree requirements once course work is finished.  For specific details on core/required courses and study routes, please see the applicable program page:

Students who started prior to Fall 2013: http://www.edu.uwo.ca/graduate-education/legacy/index.html

Students who started in Fall 2013 and later: http://www.edu.uwo.ca/graduate-education/research_intensive_programs/index.html

Supervision

At the time of admission, students are assigned a member of faculty who will serve as their Supervisor.  This information is communicated via email.

Only under extenuating circumstances, may the student or the Supervisor opt out of their supervisory arrangement prior to the completion of the student’s program.  In the unusual event that either the student or faculty member may need to have the supervisory arrangement changed, a meeting with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, should be arranged in the first instance by whomever (i.e. the student or faculty member) is requesting the change.  Following that meeting, the Associate Dean will make further inquiries into the matter and/or determine whether the requested change is to be approved.  The Associate Dean will ensure that both the student and Faculty member are notified of the decision within one month of the initial meeting.

For more information about the role of the research supervisor, please consult the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Graduate Regulations and the Graduate Supervision Handbook.  The handbook provides in-depth advice on roles and responsibilities, communications, learning styles, time management, and many other issues.

Scholarly Writing

Guidelines for Doctoral Thesis, Master’s Thesis and Master’s Research Projects are available on our web site.  These include suggestions and requirements for using style manuals in preparing theses or Master’s Research Projects. Note that within any one thesis or project, consistency of style is expected. Further, the thesis must adhere to the guidelines as outlined in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Graduate Regulations section 8.

Style Manuals: Each instructor and Thesis/project Supervisor offers advice on selecting an appropriate style manual.  The American Psychological Association style manual is typically used at the Faculty of Education.

Research Ethics

All research with human participants, whether it be research for a class paper or your thesis, must be approved by a Western University Research Ethics Board before the research begins

All applications for ethics approval for research with human participants must be submitted online through ROMEO (generally using the Non-Medical form) for consideration by the Non-Medical Research Ethics Board (NMREB).  The NMREB reviews all ethics applications involving human participants that include social, behavioral and cultural research in a non-clinical, non-patient-based population. As each new application is received by the NMREB, it will be assessed for level of risk and designated for delegated review (minimal risk) or for review by the Full Board. Any application that is set for delegated review will be reviewed by at least one member from the Faculty of Education.

If a student is doing research for a class paper that involves working with human subjects, the instructor will assist the student in obtaining the necessary approvals.

If a student's Thesis or Master’s Research Project (MRP) involves working with human subjects, the student must obtain ethics approval before beginning their research.

Guidelines:

2nd Edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2): Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/initiatives/tcps2-eptc2/Default/

Western’s Non-Medical Research Ethics Board Guidelines:
http://www.uwo.ca/research/services/ethics/nonmedical_reb/guidelines.html

Course Policies

Scheduling of classes

Ph.D. core courses and M.A. Counselling Psychology core and elective courses are held during daytime hours.  M.A. Education Studies core and elective courses are held during evening hours (typically 6:30 - 9:30pm) to accommodate students who are in-service teachers. 

Timetables are developed one term at a time and posted on the " Timetables and Calendars" page once available. 

Courses typically run for 12 weeks (or the equivalent), with the exception of Counselling Psychology classes which run for 13 weeks (or the equivalent); if a class is cancelled it must be made up at a later date.  

Fall term:              September 1 - December 31
Winter term:         January 1 - April 30
Summer Term:*   May 1 - August 31

*The Faculty of Education offers two sessions during the summer term.  Enrolment in any one of these sessions satisfies the graduate continuous enrolment requirement. 

Intersession - 6 weeks starting in May
Summer Session - 4 weeks, July

Program Planning (Course/Program Registration)

Program Planning is the process whereby students make their course and program choices under the guidance of their Supervisors.  Students in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program do not complete program planning and are automatically enrolled in courses.  Students who are required to complete program planning and do not register in courses will still be assessed tuition under the continuous graduate enrolment requirement.  Program Planning is typically done in summer through an online application. Detailed instructions are sent via email at the appropriate time. 

General Guidelines: 

  • Core/Required courses are restricted to students in that program, although other students may request special permission from the instructor to take Master’s core courses as electives if space permits.
  • Students will be given priority to courses in the following order:
    1. Student who require courses to graduate in that term
    2. Students who require courses for their program
    3. Based on when the student signed up for the course
  • The minimum enrolment for a class is 10 students and the maximum enrolment in research intensive programs is 20.  The instructor may choose to accept additional students.
  • Students can make changes during the Program Planning period; at all other times students have "view" access and must follow "Add/Drop" procedures below.
  • Students will not see courses in the Student Centre until the Graduate Programs Office uploads them each term.  This typically occurs 2-3 weeks before the start of each term.
  • Students will not see milestones in the Student Centre.  The following are milestones: 9590 Master’s Thesis, 9683 Individual Proposal Preparation or 9790 Ph.D. Thesis.

Add/Drop Procedures

To Add/Drop courses students must send their request by email to the appropriate Graduate Affairs Assistant.

Adds - Students may request to add a course before the second class takes place. As a result, add deadlines are typically at the end of the first week of classes during the Fall and Winter terms. These dates are prorated for condensed summer sessions.

Drops - Dropped courses up to 30 days from the start of a term will not appear on a student's transcript; after 30 days and up to 60 days from the start of the term dropped courses show as "WDN" (withdrawn) on a student's transcript; dropping a course after 60 days from the beginning of a term results in a "F" (fail). These timelines are prorated for the condensed summer sessions.

See Important Dates for specific add/drop dates for each term.

Courses External to the Faculty of Education

Students may take up to two half courses (or one full course) at the graduate level in other departments of Western University or other universities (see below) with the permission of the Supervisor and the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.  Approval will normally be given on academic grounds only and must be obtained well in advance of the term in which the course is to be taken.  Students are not charged additional tuition if taking a course at another department or university who is part of the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Program.

Submit the following form to the Graduate Programs Office:

Another Department at Western: Special Permission Form for Non-Education Course

Ontario Visiting Graduate Student ProgramThe Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Program Application

Alternatively, students can consider courses at other Canadian universities (member of Canadian Association of Graduate Studies) which are not covered by graduate tuition. Request Form for Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement

Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses are not covered by graduate tuition; students are responsible for undergraduate fees over and above their graduate fees. Graduate students taking undergraduate courses must follow the undergraduate regulations, as stipulated in the undergraduate calendar under “add/drop deadlines”.

Graduate Student Taking Undergraduate Course Form  is to be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes. In the case of absence, instructors may assign additional course work. Normally, students who are absent for one-quarter or more of their classes will be assigned a grade of "F" (Fail). As an example, most onsite half courses (with the exception of some Counselling Psychology classes) meet 12 times during a term, so students in these courses cannot miss more than two classes.  

For on-line courses, participation will be determined by the instructor/professor in the course outline and will reflect the same principles as attendance policy for on-site courses.

For online courses organized on a week-by-week basis, participation in each week’s discussion will be considered the equivalent of one onsite class.

 For online courses which are not organized on a week-by-week basis, contributing to the discussion of each unit of work (e.g., module) will be considered the equivalent of attending and participating in, the classroom discussion of a face-to-face class.

Evaluation

"Each student granted admission to Western must be proficient in spoken and written English.  Students must demonstrate the ability to write clearly and correctly. Work presented in English in any subject at any level, which shows a lack of proficiency in English and is, therefore, unacceptable for academic credit, will either be failed or, at the discretion of the instructor, returned to the student for revision to a literate level.  To foster competence in the use of the English language within their own discipline, all instructors will take proficiency in English into account in the assignment of grades." ( http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/exam/english.pdf)

Graduate students must maintain at least a "B" average in their program. Although only numeric grades are assigned by instructors in the Faculty of Education, the following alpha grade ranges are provided for your information.

A = 80% and above 
B = 70% - 79% 
C = 60% - 69% 
F = Fail - less than 60%

The following guidelines for assigning grades are in effect at the Faculty of Education.

A: Reserved for those students whose work is excellent. Their work will contain an element of originality, creativity, or thoroughness. It will be well organized and expressed, and will reflect a particularly clear command of techniques and principles, incisive judgements, sound critical evaluations, and so on.
B: Assigned for proof of good competent work. A "B" grade indicates that a student has mastered the course material and can manipulate it, can write clear prose, can demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate and synthesize material, and can apply the course material to relevant situations or problems.
C: Assigned because a student does not meet one or more of the above criteria. Even though the student may be conscientious, he or she has not demonstrated a mastery of the graduate work in the course. A lack of mastery may include any number of characteristics such as an inability to write clearly, to research a topic adequately, to synthesize material, or to make basic judgements about relevance, and so on.
F: Glaring inaccuracy and confusion, little or no grasp of techniques and principles, trivial and irrelevant treatment of topics. In general, a failure to demonstrate the minimal knowledge and skills for effective work in the discipline.
INC: (Incomplete) An INC may be granted for a course where the student has not been able to complete the assigned work in the normal timeline due to exceptional circumstances. Permission to carry an INC must be sought from the Chair, Graduate Education before the end of the term. The INC must be completed by the end of the following term or a grade of F (FAIL) will be assigned. According to SGPS policy, NO exceptions will be granted to this rule. 

A numerical grade submitted for an INC grade, or an F grade resulting for an INC, is final. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will not consider a subsequent revision of either such grade except on documented medical or compassionate grounds. 

Instructors shall inform students, both in class and in the course outline, as to any policies and/or penalties concerning late submission of assignments.
IPR: (In Progress) assigned during preparation for Thesis or Directed Research Project or a half or full course which extends over two or more terms.

University Policies

Code of Student Conduct

Taken from The University of Western Ontario's Code of Student Conduct:  The purpose of this Code of Student Conduct is to define the general standard of conduct expected of students, provide examples of conduct that may be subject to disciplinary action by the University, provide examples of sanctions that may be imposed, and set out the disciplinary procedures that the University will follow.  

The Code in its entirety can be found  online

Scholastic Offences

Scholastic offences are taken seriously; a student guilty of a scholastic offence may be subject to the imposition of one or more penalties, ranging from reprimand to expulsion from the university, as well as criminal proceedings where appropriate.  Students are strongly encouraged to review the appropriate policy document, and specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence:   Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. 

Scholastic Offences include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • Plagiarism - the “act or an instance of copying or stealing another’s words or ideas and attributing them as one’s own.” (Excerpted from Black’s Law Dictionary, West Group, 1999, 7th ed., p. 1170). This concept applies with equal force to all academic work, including theses, assignments or projects of any kind, comprehensive examinations, laboratory reports, diagrams, and computer projects. Detailed information is available from instructors, Graduate Chairs, or the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students also may consult style manuals held in the University’s libraries. See http://www.lib.uwo.ca/services/styleguides.html
  • Cheating on an examination or falsifying material subject to academic evaluation.
  • Submitting false or fraudulent research, assignments or credentials; or falsifying records, transcripts or other academic documents.
  • Submitting a false medical or other such certificate under false pretences.
  • Improperly obtaining, through theft, bribery, collusion or otherwise, an examination paper prior to the date and time for writing such an examination.
  • Unauthorized possession of an examination paper, however obtained, prior to the date and time for writing such an examination, unless the student reports the matter to the instructor, the relevant program, or the Registrar as soon as possible after receiving the paper in question.
  • Impersonating a candidate at an examination or availing oneself of the results of such an impersonation.
  • Intentionally interfering in any way with any person’s scholastic work.
  • Submitting for credit in any course or program of study, without the knowledge and written approval of the instructor to whom it is submitted, any academic work for which credit previously has been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the University or elsewhere.
  • Aiding or abetting any such offence.

Plagiarism:  Graduate Programs Official Plagiarism Statement (As passed by GSS on June 25, 2008 and found on graduate course outlines thereafter.)

Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage of text from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations.  Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see  Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students).

Plagiarism Checking: All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western University and Turnitin.com ( http://www.turnitin.com).

Appeals

Please review the Western University’s policy on Graduate Student Academic Appeals.

Students may appeal an academic decision or ruling in accordance with the appeal procedures set out below. Students have a right to appeal to their graduate programs, and if unsuccessful, to the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). Some decisions may be appealed further to the Senate Review Board Academic. The Vice-Provost’s rulings in academic matters are final unless overturned or modified on appeal to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA). A decision or ruling remains in effect unless overturned or modified by the individual or body hearing an appeal of that decision or ruling.

Throughout this page, the word “Vice-Provost” means “Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) or designate”.

Note: Appeals of Scholastic Offence decisions are not covered under this policy. For the appeal procedure for scholastic offence decisions, please see: Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students

Subject Matter of an Appeal
Students may appeal:
  • a ruling of an instructor, program, or administrator in an academic matter.
  • a mark on an examination or on a particular piece of work, or final standing in a course

Grounds of Appeal
An appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
  • medical or compassionate circumstances
  • extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • bias
  • inaccuracy
  • unfairness.

Ignorance of Senate regulations and policies, program requirements, and policies as set out in the University’s Academic Calendars does not constitute grounds for an appeal.

Appeal Procedure
In the case of an appeal by a graduate student, the successive levels for an appeal are:
1. Course instructor or person responsible for matter being appealed (informal consultation) 1
2. Program Level
    a. Associate Dean, Graduate Programs 2
    b. Appeals Committee
3. Vice Provost of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
4. SRBA (Senate Review Board of Appeal) 3

It is incumbent on students to initiate each step at the earliest opportunity, and on the University officers concerned to act as expeditiously as possible.

Note: Legal counsel is not permitted at any stage of the appeal process prior to the level of the Senate Review Board Academic.


A. Appeals at the Course/Program Level

If the appeal relates to a specific course, a student must first attempt to resolve the matter informally with the course instructor.

If the instructor is not available or if the matter is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student has a right of appeal to the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.  For all other appeals, a student must initiate the appeal with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs. An appeal must be filed within four weeks of the issuance of the mark or ruling.

In no circumstances shall the original decision maker(s) whose decision or ruling is under appeal hear an appeal of that decision or ruling at the program level.

Deadlines for filing appeals may be extended at the discretion of the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.

In addition to any other information required by individual graduate programs, appeals submitted by students should include the following information:
  • the matter being appealed
  • the grounds of appeal
  • a clear and detailed explanation of the facts supporting the grounds of appeal
  • all supporting documentation
  • the desired outcome or remedy.

The Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, shall issue a written decision (“program decision”), normally within 3 weeks of receipt of the appeal.

The Appeals Committee:
An ad hoc Appeals Committee shall be struck whenever an appeal cannot be resolved with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, to the student’s satisfaction, and prior to submission of the appeal to the Vice-Provost of the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.
An Appeals Committee shall consist of three members: one faculty member from the student’s program, one faculty member from another program or concentration in the Faculty of Education, and one graduate student in the Faculty of Education.

B. Appeals at the SGPS level

A student may appeal the program decision to the Vice-Provost. An appeal application together with all required documentation, including a copy of the previous decision, must be filed with the Office of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within three weeks of the issuance of the program decision. Students should contact the Office of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information. The student must submit the Application for an Appeal to SGPS form. The deadline for filing an appeal may be extended at the discretion of the Vice-Provost.

Application for an Appeal to SGPS

In considering an appeal, the Vice-Provost shall review the materials submitted by the student and the program and may obtain such further information as the Vice-Provost deems relevant to the appeal. The Vice-Provost shall give the student a reasonable opportunity to meet with her or him and may meet with such other individuals as she or he deems necessary.

The Vice-Provost shall issue a written decision, with reasons, normally within four weeks of receipt of the appeal.
A student may have a further right of appeal to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA) if the decision falls within the jurisdiction of SRBA. Appeals to SRBA must be made within six weeks of the date of the Vice-Provost’s decision. The decision of the Vice-Provost or designate remains in full force and effect unless and until overturned or modified by SRBA.

Additional information and SRBA Appeal Applications can be obtained from the University Secretariat, Room 4101, Stevenson Hall.
For Appeals of Scholastic Offence decisions, please visit Scholastic Offences.

1 Appeals relating to a specific course (e.g., against a mark, grade, appropriateness of assignments or examination, or grading practices) must be initiated with the appropriate course instructor. Appeals on other matters should be initiated in the office having immediate jurisdiction for the particular requirement or regulation in question. Students in doubt as to the appropriate level at which appeals should be initiated should consult the Associate Dean.

2 Should any party believe Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, may have a conflict of interest, the Dean of Education shall act in lieu of the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.

3 SRBA appeals are only concerned with issues that affect a number of students (i.e., they do not hear appeals against grades assigned to individual students).

Privacy Policy

The Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals with whom it comes in contact, regardless of whether they are registered as a student on campus or are participating in online graduate courses.

During the registration process, the following personal information is collected from applicants: surname, given names, former surname, address, email address, telephone number(s), academic transcripts, Social Insurance Number, date of birth, and immigration status. This information is used to communicate with applicants, identify any pre-existing UWO academic records, assess qualification and determine appropriate tuition fees.

Information relating to academic performance while enrolled in a program at Western University is used for evaluation purposes and is protected in accordance with applicable University policies. Certain other personal information, such as marital status, mother tongue and gender, is collected in order to comply with Statistics Canada reporting requirements.

Online courses that operate in WebCT OWL, the software which supports online courses, require technical, instructional and administrative support. As a result, designated staff members may have access to personal information within courses for various reasons to perform their individual functions. Such access includes, but is not limited to, both routine system maintenance and reviews of student participation. Researchers are only provided access to the contents of courses where consent has been received and after being granted permission from an ethics review committee.

For further information on the University of Western Ontario's approach to privacy protection, please visit the Privacy Office website at   http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/privacy/index.html. To obtain additional details regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the Office of Graduate Programs Office, e-mail  graded@uwo.ca.

Accessibility

The University of Western Ontario is committed to recognizing the dignity and independence of all staff, students, faculty and visitors and seeks to ensure that persons with disabilities have genuine, open and unhindered access to University goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises.

The University will comply with all applicable Federal, Provincial and Municipal legislation with respect to accessibility and will implement the standards specified under the  Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA, 2005”).

Policies, procedures and practices with respect to accessibility, including those required under the AODA, 2005 and its accompanying standards shall be made available on the University’s accessibility website at  http://accessibility.uwo.ca.

For accessibility arrangements at the Faculty of Education Building, please contact Colin Couchman at  ccouchma@uwo.ca.