Open Studies

Open Studies will not be admitting or reactivating students for the 2013-14 Fall and Winter Terms. For information on procedures for applying or returning to studies at the University of Saskatchewan, please contact Admissions.

Open Studies may be available to applicants who do not wish to enter a degree program at this time or who do not meet the admission requirements of a degree program. Students in Open Studies are not admitted to or committed to a degree program. However, they are admitted to the university to take degree-level courses for credit. They may choose full-time or part-time study and may take courses on-campus, off-campus and through distance education formats.

Open Studies gives applicants an opportunity to complete available selected courses and work toward meeting the competitive admission transfer average to a degree program. Courses may be chosen from selections offered by several colleges, including Agriculture and Bioresources, Arts and Science, Edwards School of Business, Education, Pharmacy and Nutrition, and Kinesiology. All courses taken in Open Studies are included on students' University transcripts and, if selected in accordance with specific program requirements, have potential transferability to a degree program.

Availability of Courses

The University's colleges determine which of their courses will be available to students in Open Studies. Generally, PAWS registration access is limited to numerous 100-level and 200-level courses, though some 300- and 400-level courses may sometimes be available. Where upper-year courses are not available through PAWS, Open Studies students may go to the appropriate departmental office to seek permission to register. Off-campus students should call Open Studies Advising for information on how to access such permissions.

Even in the case of receiving permission to register for certain courses, students must also meet course prerequisite requirements or have obtained a prerequisite waiver.

Prerequisites

All students are expected to refer to the Course Descriptions to determine prerequisite requirements for each course in which they wish to register. A prerequisite will normally be waived only if successful completion of an equivalent alternative course can be identified.

Colleges may withhold course credit where a student has not met the prerequisite(s) or obtained a written waiver. If students take a prerequisite class concurrently with an upper-level class and fail or drop the prerequisite they may not receive credit for the upper-level class.

Note: Certain 30-level Grade 12 subjects are required prerequisites for some university courses, particularly in the sciences. Adult Basic Education (ABE) subjects and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) DO NOT meet the prerequisite requirements for any university level courses or programs.

Prerequisite Waiver Forms are available here.

Taking Courses at Other Universities

Visiting Student Status

Students who are "in good standing in Open Studies" may apply for an Open Studies Letter of Permission to be a visiting student at another university. Although an Open Studies Letter of Permission indicates the course(s) chosen transfer to the University of Saskatchewan, the Letter does not guarantee that such transfer credits will apply to any particular University of Saskatchewan degree program. Students who ultimately wish to have transfer credit applied to a specific degree program at the University of Saskatchewan must consult an advisor in the Dean's Office of the respective college.

A student currently registered in Open Studies wishing to receive visiting student status at another university must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. The student must have successfully completed at least 6 credit units of university level courses.
  2. The student must have an Open Studies cumulative weighted average (C.W.A.) of at least 60%.
  3. Students wishing to take senior courses at other universities must complete any necessary prerequisites.
Open Studies students should contact the Open Studies Advising Office to obtain an Application Form for Letter of Permission for Visiting Student Status and Transfer Credit. Procedural instructions and requirements of student responsibility are detailed on the form.

Requests require at least two weeks to be processed and should be submitted well in advance of enrolment deadlines.

A Letter of Permission, valid for one year, will be sent by Open Studies Advising directly to the Registrar's Office at the university the student wishes to attend as a visiting student. A copy will also be sent to the student. Students are responsible for providing the University of Saskatchewan with their current mailing address. Students who change their place of residence in order to study elsewhere on a Letter of Permission must submit a change of address form to Student Central at the University of Saskatchewan, or change their address on PAWS.

Students who decide not to enrol in the course(s) for which a Letter of Permission has been granted or decide to substitute a course, enrol in additional courses or drop a course, must communicate this in writing to the Manager of Open Studies Advising and/or arrange for a new Letter of Permission reflecting the changes.

It is the student's responsibility to have transcripts of courses completed at another university sent directly by the granting institution to the Admissions Office, University of Saskatchewan on completion of the course(s), whether or not a passing grade was obtained.

Maximum Number of Credit Units

Limits

Open Studies students, excluding Provisional Admission students and those who have been placed on probation by the Open Studies Faculty Council, may register for a maximum of 30 credit units in Regular Session, with a maximum of 15 credit units in each term.

Students not on probation or under Provisional Admission may register in Spring and Summer Session for a maximum of 18 credit units but may not exceed 9 credit units per term, with a maximum of 6 credit units in a quarter.

Students on Open Studies Probation are not allowed to take more than 12 credit units per term in the Regular Session. No Probationary credit unit limit is applied at Spring and Summer Session. However, students who are on Regular Session Probation are strongly advised not to register for more than 12 credit units at Spring and Summer Session, and should not exceed 6 credit units per Term or 3 credit units per Quarter.

Provisional Admission students will be allowed to take a maximum of 24 credit units in an academic year.

Provisional Admission students may register without permission for a maximum of 12 credit units in Regular Session (a maximum of 6 credit units per term) and for a maximum of 12 credit units in Spring and Summer Session (a maximum of 6 credit units per term and 3 credit units per quarter).

*Open Studies students may apply to Open Studies Advising for permission to take additional credit units in Regular Session or in Spring and Summer Session if they satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Successful completion of 30 credit units or more of university-level courses from the University of Saskatchewan or in combination with other post-secondary institutions for which transfer credit has been granted at the University of Saskatchewan; AND
  2. Their Cumulative Weighted Average (C.W.A.) is 70% or higher; OR
  3. Where exceptional circumstances are deemed by the Manager of Open Studies Advising to justify special permission.

    *This option is not available to Provisional Admission or Probation students.

Open Studies Progression Requirements

Approved by Open Studies Faculty Council February 9, 2009, these revised Progression Requirements come into effect with the 2009-2010 Fall/Winter Session cycle. Students registered in Open Studies prior 2009-2010 will be governed by the former Progression Requirements.

A minimum Cumulative Weighted Average (C.W.A.) is required to continue as a student in Open Studies. An Open Studies C.W.A. is the weighted average of final grades earned on all courses ever attempted at the University of Saskatchewan, including failures, with the following exceptions:

• Certificate Level Courses
• Diploma in Agriculture Courses
• P/F (Pass/Fail) or CR (Completed Requirements) Grades.

Repetition of failed courses is allowed until a passing grade for that course is earned. In the case of any University of Saskatchewan course that has been repeated, only the most recent grade will be included in the C.W.A. calculation and the credit units counted only once. While in Open Studies, students who have already obtained a grade of 50% or higher for a course are not allowed to retake the course for credit change or grade change.

Non-numeric grades of ABF (Absent Failure), INF (Incomplete Failure) and WF (Withdraw Failure) awarded prior to May 2005 are converted to a percentile grade of 30% and included in the C.W.A. calculation. From May 2005 to May 2012, course professors will assign a computed percentile final grade, accompanied by an INF, or WF grade comment. In accordance with revisions to the University’s Examination and Grading Regulations, effective May 2012, the grade of WF will no longer accompany the computed grade. This computed grade is based on completed course and final examination requirements and will be included in the Open Studies Cumulative Weighted Average calculation.

Open Studies students should be aware that other colleges may follow different rules for calculating averages and should take this into account if planning to transfer to another college.

Sessional Weighted Averages (S.W.A.) are calculated from courses taken in Fall and Winter Terms, following the rules and exceptions stated above. For details on calculating the Cumulative Weighted Average and Sessional Average, see the weighted averages heading in the Examinations and Grading section.

The C.W.A. and S.W.A. are calculated in June, once the grades from the Fall and Winter Terms are known. For students currently registered in Open Studies who have attempted 18 credit units or more at the University of Saskatchewan at any time, the C.W.A. indicates whether:

1. The student meets the progression standard and may proceed to another year of full-time registration eligibility in Open Studies;
2. The student will be placed on Probation and may proceed to another year of eligibility to register in Open Studies;
3. The student will be Required to Discontinue from Open Studies.

Students who have not yet attempted 18 credit units or more at the University of Saskatchewan retain their eligibility to register in Open Studies for another year.

Whether a student progresses, is placed on Probation or is Required to Discontinue depends upon the number of credit units that have ever been attempted at the University of Saskatchewan, the value of the C.W.A. or S.W.A. where applicable, and whether or not they are on Probation at the time when the C.W.A. is calculated. The various outcomes are reported as follows:

Fewer than 18 credit units attempted:


No Progression Standard is applied. 

18-30 credit units attempted:

  • Progression Standard is met with a C.W.A. of 56.00%, irrespective of S.W.A. 
  • Probation is assigned with either a C.W.A. between 50.00% and 55.99% or S.W.A. of at least 60%.
  • Required to Discontinue for two years is assigned with a C.W.A. of less than 50.00% or S.W.A. of less than 60%.
31-60 credit units attempted:
  • Progression Standard is met with a C.W.A. of 58.00%, irrespective of S.W.A.
  • Probation is assigned with either a C.W.A. between 54.00% and 57.99% or S.W.A. of at least 62%.
  • Required to Discontinue for two years is assigned with a C.W.A. of less than 54.00% or S.W.A. of less than 62%.
61 or more credit units attempted:
  • Progression Standard is met with a C.W.A. of 60.00%, irrespective of S.W.A.
  • Probation is assigned with either a C.W.A. between 58.00% and 59.99% or S.W.A. of at least 65%.
  • Required to Discontinue for two years is assigned with a C.W.A. of less than 58.00% or S.W.A. of less than 65%.

Probation and Required to Discontinue Faculty Actions

Students on Probation must meet the Progression Standard Cumulative Weighted Average (C.W.A.) appropriate to the total credit units attempted category as indicated above in order to maintain good standing in Open Studies. If they do not meet the C.W.A. but achieve the Sessional Weighted Average (S.W.A.) appropriate to the total credit units attempted category, they are eligible to remain on Probation. Students on Probation who do not meet the Progression Standard are Required to Discontinue for two years. Students being placed on Probation or Required to Discontinue from Open Studies will be notified through their U of S email account.   If a student who has been Required to Discontinue from Open Studies is subsequently admitted to a University of Saskatchewan College in the following academic session, the Required to Discontinue will be rescinded and will not appear on the student's academic record.  The U of S communicates with students through PAWS and through the student’s U of S assigned email account (nsid@mail.usask.ca). It is the student’s responsibility to read mail sent to that account and attend to it.

Students on Open Studies Probation are not allowed to take more than 12 credit units per Term in the Fall and Winter Terms. While no probationary credit unit limit is applied in the Spring and Summer Terms, students who are placed on Probation for Fall and Winter Terms are strongly advised not to register for more than 12 credit units in the Spring and Summer Terms, and not exceed 3 credit units per Quarter.

Appeals

Students who are Required to Discontinue from Open Studies may appeal the decision in writing to the Open Studies Faculty Council Subcommittee for Student Appeals Against Faculty Actions. Students must submit a letter explaining their academic performance, include their current mailing address, telephone number and email address, and also submit appropriate supporting documentation. The appeal package, addressed to the Open Studies Office, must be submitted in writing within 15 calendar days of the date on the RTD Faculty Action notification to the student.

Readmission After Two Years

Students who have been Required to Discontinue from Open Studies will not be considered for readmission to Open Studies for at least two years.

Following the requisite two year discontinuance, applicants seeking readmission to Open Studies must submit the following to Admissions, Student and Enrolment Services:

• U of S Online Application for Admission
• written explanation of past performance and potential to succeed if re-admitted
• letter of intent, including student’s mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address
• appropriate supporting documentation
• resume.

Students wishing to appeal an admission decision under these circumstances must do so as soon as possible after the decision has been rendered. Requests for appeal must be in writing, including any relevant supporting documentation. In accordance with the General Principles Governing Admission Decisions and the Appeal Process approved by University Council February 14, 2002, and amended March 21, 2002, “grounds for appeal of an admission decision shall be limited to (1) unit procedural errors, or (2) evidence that the information used in the decision was wrong or incomplete. A failure by the candidate to provide accurate and complete information in accordance with the admission policy shall not be grounds for an appeal. The decision of the individual, committee or board that adjudicates the appeal shall be final.”

Registration

Accuracy of Registration

Open Studies students who ultimately wish to qualify for college entry in order to complete a degree are responsible for ensuring that they meet the degree and program requirements of the specific college which offers their chosen degree. Students are therefore cautioned to check all regulations with respect to degree requirements with an advisor in the Dean's Office in the specific college from which they wish to obtain a degree. It is also recommended that students see a faculty advisor in the department of their intended major at least once a year.

All students should confirm their course numbers, sections and laboratories through PAWS. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are attending the correct course, including number, section and term, for which they have officially registered. Important details on registration policies, procedures and the deadline to withdraw from classes are outlined in the Registration section of the Current Students website.

Changes in Registration

Changes in registration (to add or withdraw from a class or to change a section) are not official until completed through PAWS. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the dates by which students may withdraw from classes in order to avoid academic penalty or to avoid financial penalty. The deadline to withdraw from classes and financial penalty dates are not the same. Details are contained in the Registration and Tuition sections of the Current Students website.

Advising

Advising is a partnership and shared responsibility between student and advisor. It helps students develop an educational plan that fits their abilities, interests, personal circumstances and career goals. Open Studies students have access to their own advising service. An Open Studies advisor will provide information and guidance on a wide range of academic, administrative and social concerns and will facilitate referrals to college advisors and other university services.

Open Studies
Student and Enrolment Services Division
University of Saskatchewan
E1 Administration Building
105 Administration Place
Saskatoon SK  S7N 5A2
Tel: 306-966-5607
Toll-free in SK: 1-800-667-4780
Fax: 306-966-6730
E-mail: open.studies@usask.ca
Website: www.students.usask.ca/openstudies