Assessment Categories

The graduate program review utilizes the following six quality assessment categories as guidance for the review. The categories are derived from the detailed degree level standards for graduate programs, articulated by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.  

Download a detailed assessment category overview here

1.0     Program Objectives and Curriculum – A quality program has clearly stated objectives that are appropriate to the level of degree offered, the academic context of the discipline and/or the expectations of the profession.  

The program curriculum meets the program objectives at the level of degree offered, is current and includes opportunities for specialization, cultivating further conceptual depth or breadth.  Student learning success is assessed through written and oral examinations of knowledge and skills in all aspects of the discipline. Interdisciplinary collaborations provide opportunities for the acquisition, synthesis, application and integration of knowledge, cultivating the intellectual development of graduate students.

2.0     Program Enrolment and Student Funding– A quality graduate program has the profile and reputation to attract a viable number of high caliber students, who will have local, national and/or international backgrounds.  The students entering the program have the capacity and preparation necessary to meet the challenges of the program and to successfully complete their degree. 

Graduate students research grants, scholarships and awards provide the students with the financial resources necessary to complete the program.

3.0     Student Outcomes - Graduate students acquire a systematic knowledge of the discipline and are being suitably prepared for professional practice and for research and inquiry. Masters students engage in independent research or practice in a supervised context and demonstrate critical thinking and analytical skills. Doctoral students show a high degree of intellectual autonomy, an ability to conceptualize, design and complete projects, and generate knowledge through original research or creative activity.

Students participate in seminars and conferences; they present their research findings through posters and published papers; and have opportunities to develop professional skills through experiences as teaching assistants and research assistants. Graduate students are credited with a suitable number and quality achievement awards and conference invitations. 

A quality graduate program demonstrates that its graduate students successfully complete their degree requirements on time, and that students can access a variety of career paths post graduation. Students express a high level of satisfaction with their program.

4.0     Learning Environment – A quality student experience at the graduate level is built on strong interactions with faculty. Students are regularly advised, informed and guided by meetings with their graduate supervisor. The learning environment provides a range of opportunities for students to participate in intellectually and professionally challenging activities.  Graduate course instruction uses state of the art modalities and processes that enhance the student learning experience.

Students have access to appropriate learning and information resources (such as library, databases, computers, classroom equipment, and laboratory facilities) and to an appropriate range of academic support services.

5.0     Faculty Profile– The quality of a graduate program is defined by the extent of the scholarly activities of its program faculty, as well as by a high degree of faculty involvement in the graduate program as supervisors and teachers.

In doctoral and research-oriented masters programs, faculty members are credited with a suitable number and quality of discipline-specific publications, awards, research grants and conference invitations, all indicative of the breadth and level of their engagement in scholarly work.

6.0     Administration – A quality graduate program incorporates effective systems and procedures in the areas of recruitment and admissions, program management, and in the allocation of awards and scholarships to graduate students.

Program leadership anticipates the ongoing evolution of their discipline, which is reflected in evolving program delivery and program planning activities. There is an anticipation and analysis of how future trends in the discipline may impact on the recruitment and selection of students, on the content and quality of program delivery, and ultimately, on the student experience.

The strategic vision of the program is aligned with the broader integrated planning environment at the university.