Graduate Program Expectations

A graduate program consists of a defined set of graduate level courses and other related requirements which a student must successfully complete to obtain a specific graduate degree, e.g. a Masters degree or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

All graduate programs and their constituent graduate degrees must include a component in which research and analytical or interpretive skills are developed. This can be realized in a variety of ways:

  • a thesis
  • a major research paper
  • short research papers
  • a comprehensive examination 
  • an original production of art, music or writing
  • another specified activity appropriate for the discipline

The Ministerial Statement on Quality Assurance of Degree Education in Canada, issued by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada outlines the general expectations of graduate degree programs in Canada. The statement identifies several attributes of graduate programs related to: 

  • program design and outcome emphasis
  • preparation for employment and further study
  • length of program
  • admission requirements