12. Examinations

Unless otherwise stated in the University Catalogue or University Council and College Regulations on Examinations, all University procedures and regulations with regard to courses, examinations and academic performance apply to graduate courses.

During the first two weeks (or six classroom hours) of the beginning of any graduate course, the instructor shall provide to each student a course syllabus which contains all of the required information outlined in Section 11 of the CGSR Procedures and Guidelines.

Students shall also be provided with either a copy of, or the website link to, the Guidelines for Academic Honesty and the Guidelines for Student Appeals in Academic Matters.

12.1. Final Examinations and Examination Exemptions for Course Work

Council regulations require the final examination in a graduate course to count for at least 30% of the final grade, unless an ‘Exam Exemption’ has been requested and approved by the CGSR.

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12.2. Regulations for Final Grades

The University Council Regulations on Examinations are applicable with respect to the submission of final grades for graduate courses and student absences from final examinations.

Marks of IP (In Progress) may be submitted only with advanced permission the CGSR.

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12.3. Adherence to Academic Standards

Faculty are required to follow the descriptors in the procedural table Relationship between Literal Descriptor and Percentage Score below for appropriate interpretation of performance in graduate course work. Unsatisfactory performance must be reviewed immediately by the Graduate Chair and Advisory Committee.

Relationship between Literal Descriptor and Percentage Score

Percentage

Literal

Descriptor

Description

90-100

Exceptional

A superior performance with consistent strong evidence of:

  • a comprehensive, incisive grasp of subject matter;
  • an ability to make insightful critical evaluation of information;
  • an exceptional capacity for original, creative and/or logical thinking;
  • an exceptional ability to organize, to analyze, to synthesize, to integrate ideas, and to express thoughts fluently;
  • an exceptional ability to analyze and solve difficult problems related to subject matter

80-89

Very Good to Excellent

A very good to excellent performance with strong evidence of:

  • a comprehensive grasp of subject matter;
  •  an ability to make sound critical evaluation of information;
  •  a very good to excellent capacity for original, creative and/or logical thinking;
  • a very good to excellent ability to organize, to analyze, to synthesize, to integrate ideas, and to express thoughts fluently;
  • a very good to excellent ability to analyze and solve difficult problems related to subject matter

70-79

Satisfactory to Good

A satisfactory to good performance with evidence of:

  • a substantial knowledge of subject matter;
  • a satisfactory to good understanding of the relevant issues and satisfactory to good familiarity with the relevant literature and technology;
  • satisfactory to good capacity for logical thinking;
  • some capacity for original and creative thinking;
  • a satisfactory to good ability to organize, to analyze, and to examine the subject matter in a critical and constructive manner;
  • a satisfactory to good ability to analyze and solve moderately difficult problems related to the subject matter

60-69

Poor

A generally weak performance, but with some evidence of:

  • a basic grasp of the subject matter;
  • some understanding of the basic issues;
  • some familiarity with the relevant literature & techniques;
  • some ability to develop solutions to moderately difficult problems related to the subject matter;
  • some ability to examine the material in a critical & analytical manner

<60

Failure

  • An unacceptable performance
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12.4. Grades Required to Pass

The standards below are the minimum acceptable grades for passing a course. Individual academic units may establish a higher standard through a formal application process to the CGSR.

 

PGD

Master’s

Ph. D.

Undergraduate Class

60%

70%

None allowed

Graduate Class

60%

60%

70%

Cumulative overall average needed

65%

70%

70%

 

Percentage Scores of at least 70% are required for a minimal pass performance in undergraduate courses taken by graduate students.

Percentage Scores of at least 70% are required for a minimal pass performance for each course which is included in a Ph.D. program.

Graduate courses for which students receive grades of 60-69% are minimally acceptable in a Master's program, provided the GPA is at least 70%.

Graduate courses for which students receive grades of 60-64% are minimally acceptable in a Postgraduate Diploma program, provided the GPA is at least 65%. back to top

12.5. Supplemental and Deferred Examinations

On recommendation of the academic unit, and with the approval of the course instructor and the CGSR, a student may write a supplemental examination in a graduate or undergraduate course for which a passing grade was not obtained (see table in Section 12.4). Supplemental exams must be approved by the Dean of CGSR, or a Dean’s Designate.

A student may write a deferred examination on recommendation of the course instructor, with the approval of the academic unit, which shall notify the CGSR.

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12.6. Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations

Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations are not required components of Master's programs. When a qualifying examination and/or a comprehensive examination is a required by the unit for a master’s program, it must be an approved component of the degree requirements.

The Ph.D. Qualifying and/or Comprehensive Examination may be in written and/or oral form. Each academic unit shall establish and make available clear, written and specific regulations regarding the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations. .

The student's Advisory Committee shall inform the student in writing at least 60 days in advance that a Qualifying or Comprehensive Examination is to take place, and they shall provide in detail:

  1. The means of assessment to be used in evaluating the student's knowledge of the field,
  2. The relative grading weight of each means of assessment to be used, and
  3. The criteria on which assessment will be based.

The CGSR must always be advised of the results of a Qualifying or Comprehensive Examination on a pass/fail basis.

A student failing a Qualifying or Comprehensive Examination is permitted a second Examination with permission of the Dean of the CGSR. A second failure automatically disqualifies the student from further work for that particular Ph.D. degree. This failure may be appealed to the Ph.D. Committee on substantive or procedural grounds.

In all cases, unless the student and the CGSR are informed otherwise in advance, the Examining Board for all written and/or oral components of the Qualifying or Comprehensive Examination will be all members of the Advisory Committee. back to top

12.6.1. The Qualifying Examination

The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to satisfy the academic unit the student has the potential to obtain sufficient knowledge of the chosen general field of study to proceed toward candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The content of the examination shall fairly and reasonably reflect material which the student could be expected to know and understand in view of the prevalent and current norms of the discipline and the student's chosen area of research.

The Oral Examination (defence) for the award of the Master's degree at this or other recognized universities may, at the discretion of the academic unit and the CGSR, be accepted in lieu of the Qualifying Examination.

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12.6.2. The Comprehensive Examination

The purpose of the Comprehensive Examination is to determine whether the student has a mature and substantive grasp of the field as a whole.  This examination is scheduled after the student has completed all course requirements and before beginning the doctoral research and thesis. The exam is on topics cognate to the candidate's field of research. A student passing the Comprehensive Examination is deemed a Ph.D. candidate.

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12.7. Other Requirements

12.7.1. Department of Health, Safety, and Environment Requirements

In addition to coursework, examinations and research, a student may be required to complete one or more non-credit safety courses. back to top

12.7.2. Ethics Requirements

All graduate students must fulfill the ethics requirements in accordance with policy 9.2. If students are conducting research with animals or humans, they must secure ethics approval from the appropriate ethics committee of the Office of Research Services.

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12.8. Project and Thesis Requirements

The adequacy of the project is decided by an examining committee consisting of the Supervisor, other members of the Advisory Committee and other persons as appropriate. The thesis, project or publishable paper presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree must:

  1. Deal in an academically satisfactory way with a definite topic related to the major research field
  2. Demonstrate ability on the part of the candidate to do independent study and investigation
  3. Be written in good scholarly style and conform to the requirements of a style manual approved by the academic unit
  4. Comply in presentation features with specifications of the CGSR. Regulations regarding the preparation, submission, and examination of Master's and Ph.D. theses are published in the Catalogue.

A Ph.D. thesis, based upon original investigation, must demonstrate mature scholarship and critical judgment on the part of the candidate, as well as familiarity with tools and methods of research in the candidate's chosen research field.

Theses may be produced in either the traditional style or the ‘manuscript’ style, which consists of a manuscript, or cohesive series of manuscripts, written in a style suitable for publication in appropriate venues

Issues of copyright must be addressed should one or more of the manuscripts be accepted for publication or already in print.

All Master’s thesis students and Ph.D. students are required to submit their thesis or dissertation in electronic form.

Provision can be made for restricting access to a completed thesis for one year, with the possibility of up to two, one-year extensions. Access may be restricted completely, or allowable for only on-campus use. back to top