The following college-level policies are subject to University Council Regulations. In the absence of information, or in the case of discrepancies between university and college regulations, university regulations will prevail. Please note that students will graduate according to the regulations effective for the year in which they are approved to graduate. In all other cases, the most current rules will apply, unless otherwise stated.

Graduate Application Procedures

Applications for admission must be submitted online. 

Applicants other than graduates of the University of Saskatchewan must arrange for official transcripts of their academic records from each institution attended to be sent directly to the academic unit in which they wish to study. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previous post-secondary work.

At least three confidential letters of recommendation are to be submitted online. These letters should be from professors or others acquainted sufficiently with the applicant's training and experience to express an opinion on the applicant's ability to undertake graduate training.

Some programs have additional admission requirements such as a GRE, GMAT or personal interview. Applicants should check the program website to determine any additional test requirements.

After reviewing the complete application package, the academic unit will either make a recommendation for admission to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or reject the application. Applicants will be advised of the academic unit’s decision. Successful applicants receive a letter of acceptance signed by the Director of Programs and Operations. Any special conditions pertaining to the student's admission are noted in the letter.

Applicants seeking financial support through scholarships, teaching assistantships and fellowships, research assistantships, etc., in order to undertake graduate work should correspond with the Graduate Chair of the academic unit in which they wish to study or the professors whom they anticipate will supervise their research work.

Graduate Application Fee

Applicants for admission or re-admission to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are required to submit a non-refundable application fee of $90. This should be paid online at the point of application. If the application fee is not paid online at the time of application, a Credit Card Payment Form, cheque, money order or bank draft can be submitted to Student and Enrolment Services, 105 Administration Place, Saskatoon SK, Canada S7N 5A2.

Deadlines for Application for Admission

The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies normally admits applicants to commence in September of each year. However, some academic units may consider applicants to commence in January or May.

When determining the lead-time needed to complete all the admission requirements by the date of the first expected registration, the following factors should be considered:

It can take up to 6 months after the receipt of the official letter of offer for international students to get a student visa and be allowed to enter Canada.

It can take up to 4 weeks for international applicants to receive their official letter of offer by surface mail. The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies does not courier the official letter of offer to the applicant.

Some academic units only process applications at certain times of the year. Applicants should contact the academic unit to determine the unit's deadline dates for applications.

Special Case applications and interdisciplinary program applications can take from 6 to 8 months to process because of the complexity and detail of the application process.

Due to limitations of resources including space and supervisor availability, it may not be possible to admit all qualified applicants.

Graduate Admission Requirements

Graduate Admission Requirements can be found in the admission requirement templates. For program-specific information, refer to the catalogue program description.

Special Case Admissions

All faculties tenured in academic units which do not have approved graduate programs may be involved in graduate education by supervising a special case student. Candidates for Special Case admissions should be excellent students as demonstrated by a Cumulative Weighted Average of at least 75% over the last two years (60 credit units). The Special Case students are administered by the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Instructions for Special Case applications are found on form GPS 405.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Please note: Some programs have higher English language requirements. Please refer to your chosen graduate program.

If English is not your first language (i.e. your native language) you must demonstrate English language proficiency in one of the following ways:

  1. Completing a degree with a minimum of 3 consecutive years in an institution where the exclusivelanguage of instruction and examination is English – view eligible institutions
  2. Meeting the minimum score requirements for one of the following language tests:

Table 1: Minimum levels for approved language exams

Test

Minimum in each

Overall score

Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL IBT)

19

86

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

6.0

6.5

CanTEST*

4.5

4.5

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

59

63

*Would require evaluation of speaking skills as well 

Table 2: Minimum levels for other approved, but less common language exams or courses

 Test

Minimum required score

University Preparation 2 (U-PREP 2) from the U of S Language Center

75%

Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)

70% (min 60% in in each area)

University of Regina Intensive ESL Advanced Level (ESL 50); Plus

completion of Academic Writing Elective A

60%

Classification of Admitted Applicants

Applicants admitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are classified into one of several groups, depending on their preparation for graduate work and the type of graduate work they propose to do.

This is an applicant who meets all the requirements for admission.

This is an applicant who has an outstanding admission requirement that has not been met. In such cases, an offer of admission will be conditional until the presentation of the required documentation indicating the admission requirement has been met is received. Typically, this is one of the following:

a) The completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree
b) Proof of English Language proficiency
c) Submission of required official transcripts 

Registration in the program will not be allowed until all required documentation has been received. Students who have fulfilled all requirements for a degree but who have not yet graduated must provide official certification from their university that all degree requirements have been completed.

Applicants whose academic qualifications are difficult to assess or whose qualifications are marginal for admission to a graduate program may be admitted on a probationary status to a program. Applicants in this category may be required to take certain preparatory courses to improve their qualifications. In this case they will be required to pay additional fees. The student’s status is reviewed after a specified amount of academic work is completed. If progress is satisfactory the academic unit in which the student is working or the Advisory Committee may recommend to the CGPS that the student be considered fully-qualified.

Students who do not achieve the probationary conditions may withdraw voluntarily or failing this, will be required to discontinue. In certain exceptional situations, the academic unit may extend the probationary period with a new set of conditions, agreed to by the student and by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Applicants admitted in the Postgraduate Diploma program must have a Cumulative Weighted Average of at least 65% during the last 60 credit units or equivalent of undergraduate study.

Graduate students who are registered in a degree program at another university and who are attending the University of Saskatchewan under the terms of an approved exchange agreement are considered exchange students.

University of Regina students intending to take a class at the University of Saskatchewan should use the Saskatchewan Universities Graduate Agreement (SUGA) request form available through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, The University of Regina and from the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Graduate students at participating universities in Western Canada may take courses at the University of Saskatchewan. A Western Dean's Agreement Authorization Form must be obtained and signed at the home university, then submitted to the host academic unit at the University of Saskatchewan.

Graduate students at other participating universities in Canada may take courses at the University of Saskatchewan through the Canadian University Transfer Agreement (CUGTA)Form, which must be obtained and signed at the home university, then submitted to the host academic unit at the University of Saskatchewan.

Applicants qualified to take selected graduate courses, but not working towards a graduate program may be admitted as a non-degree student. Admission on a non-degree basis does not ensure subsequent admission to a graduate program. Courses taken on a non-degree basis do not necessarily reduce program requirements should the student decide subsequently to apply to a degree program at the University of Saskatchewan. No more than six (6) credit units of such courses will be accepted for credit toward a graduate degree. Granting credit for courses taken on a non-degree basis shall affect the time available for degree completion, as the start date of a degree program is the earliest date of registration in a course credited toward the degree requirements. Those who wish to take graduate courses on a non-degree basis must meet admission requirements (submitted through the online application for Non-Degree Admission with application fee, transcripts and language test scores if applicable) Admission is valid for 3 academic terms.

Students who wish to attend the U of S to do research under the supervision of U of S faculty, as partial fulfillment of a graduate degree from another university, should apply for Joint Program Student Non-Degree Admission. Joint program students may be either master’s or doctoral students. The student’s home institution grants the degree. Applicants must meet the minimum academic and language proficiency requirements for admission to graduate studies. Applicants must submit the online: Application for Joint Student Non-Degree Admissions.

A cotutelle program is a type of dual degree program, in which a doctoral student is co-supervised by two supervisors, each from a different university, and the student spends time at each institution. The student writes one thesis, under the supervision of an advisory committee comprised of members from both universities. Upon completion, the student receives two degrees, each acknowledging that the degree was completed as a dual degree program, noting the partner institution. The minimum admission requirements for the doctoral program must be met.

Students from other institutions may come to the U of S as a Visiting Research Student (VRS) to do research under an approved plan with a faculty member.

A Visiting Research Student (VRS) is enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan to undertake full-time research with a faculty supervisor for a period of no more than twelve (12) months per eighteen (18) month period. Students may be undergraduate, graduate, or in between degree levels. This student category does not permit enrollment in any credit coursework at the U of S. Visiting Research Students are registered as full time students at the U of S in an "XVRS" research course.

A Visiting Research Student is not eligible to begin another term as a Visiting Research Student until at least six (6) months after the previous VRS admission has concluded.

Applicants must apply online at https://grad.usask.ca/admissions/alternate-applicants/visiting-research-student.php#Applying

Program Requirements

Postgraduate Diploma Requirements

Programs leading to a Postgraduate Diploma (P.G.D.) are available in a number of academic units. They are designed particularly for people who have been away from university for some time and wish to broaden their knowledge at the graduate level on subjects relevant to their professional interests. Research is not a basic part of such programs, although candidates in some fields may be given the opportunity to become acquainted with research techniques.

The general regulations applicable to P.G.D. programs are as follows:

Program

  • A P.G.D. program consists of 30 credit units, at least 18 of which are at the 800-level in the same field of study.
  • All requirements for a P.G.D. must be completed within a five-year time period. This time is measured from the date of registration in the first course work which applies to the P.G.D. program.
Graduation
  • Requirements include a recommendation for the award of Postgraduate Diploma, and the student must pass all the courses of an approved program with a grade of at least 60% in each course and an average of at least 65% for all courses.

Master's Degree Requirements

After an applicant has been admitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the academic unit submits, on the student's behalf, an approved Program of Studies. This should be done as soon as possible and not later than twelve months after the time of first registration.

If an applicant has been admitted as a candidate for a Master's degree subject to the satisfactory completion of selected preparatory courses either prior to or in parallel with the required graduate courses, the preparatory courses are designated as such on the Program of Studies. A qualifying examination on the field of study may be required by an academic unit either as a means of evaluating the student's ability to proceed with work for the degree or for the award of the degree.

Research for the thesis and its preparation usually is supervised by a member of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled. An Advisory Committee is appointed, consisting of at least three members, including the academic unit Head or designate who acts as chairperson, the research Supervisor and other members as deemed appropriate. If the student's work for the degree involves other academic units, the Advisory Committee may include the student's research Supervisor and representatives of the units concerned. The Committee is responsible for periodic reviews of the candidate's progress toward the degree and must meet at least annually for this purpose. The Chair of the Advisory Committee will report on the progress of the student through Progress Reports on PAWS at least once annually. A report indicating unsatisfactory progress should be forwarded to the Associate Dean when further action is required.

After an applicant has been admitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the academic unit submits on the student's behalf a recommended Program of Studies. This should be done as soon as possible and not later than twelve months after the time of first registration.

Some academic units offer course-based programs. The course-based Master's program will provide graduates with advanced academic training.  In such programs the emphasis is on coursework.  Details may be obtained from the academic units concerned.

Transfers from Master’s to Ph.D. may take place after the first year and no later than the end of the second year of the Master's program. In order to transfer, a Master's student must first pass a qualifying examination, and fulfill other criteria as outlined in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Policy and Procedure manual. This examination can only be taken once. A student failing the qualifying examination or any part thereof shall not be recommended for transfer and must complete the Master’s program. After completion of the Master's, the student can then apply to be considered for admission into a Ph.D. program.

The University of Saskatchewan encourages students to spend time on campus interacting with faculty, researchers and other students and participating in the academic life of the university. The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has no minimum residency requirements. Individual graduate programs, may establish their own residency guidelines. Students should inquire with the individual programs for these guidelines.

Candidates for Master's degrees are expected to complete their work in a period not exceeding five years. This time is measured from the date of first registration in a course credited toward the program.

Graduate work of high quality done in a recognized graduate school elsewhere and coming within the five-year time limit may be accepted. Such credits will be transferred only after the student has established a satisfactory record in residence here for at least one term, and then only if the academic unit concerned recommends to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for approval of the transfer of such credits. Normally a student should expect to complete at least 60% of the program requirements at this university. Work already applied toward another degree cannot be accepted.

Students taking courses required to remove deficiencies in their general training or for preparation prerequisite to the chosen field of graduate work must obtain a Cumulative Weighted Average of at least 70% in these courses. A minimum of 70% is required in each undergraduate course. Where permissible, undergraduate courses taken for credit towards a Master's degree must be senior courses at the 300 or 400 level. Students must obtain 60% in each graduate course required specifically for the degree and a Cumulative Weighted Average of 70% for all their courses in this category. Under exceptional circumstances, on recommendation of the academic unit, and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, a student may be permitted to write a supplemental examination in a graduate course for which a grade of less than 60% was obtained or an undergraduate course for which a grade of less than 70% was obtained.

If, in the opinion of the Advisory Committee and the academic unit concerned, a student is not making reasonable progress with any aspect of the program, a recommendation may be made to the Dean that the student be Required to Discontinue as a candidate for the degree. The Dean will take prompt and appropriate action.

The Advisory Committee may require the candidate to demonstrate ability to read publications related to the candidate’s special field of study, in one or more languages other than English. Successful completion of a course in a language (other than English) recommended by an Advisory Committee usually meets the minimum requirement for a reading knowledge of a foreign language. This language requirement may be met by a course, or courses, taken at another university, or by knowledge of the language acquired in other ways. In such cases, supporting evidence must be submitted to the appropriate language department at this university. The language department may set a special examination. The decision of the department is final in such cases.

GPS 960.0, Introduction to Ethics and Integrity, is a required course for all first year graduate students enrolled in degree programs at the University of Saskatchewan.  The purpose of this course is to discuss ethical issues that graduate students may face during their time at the University.  In addition to GPS 960, students may also need to take GPS 961 or GPS 962.  The student's Advisory Committee will review the student's research area and determine whether or not the student needs to take GPS 961, Ethics in Human Research, and/or GPS 962, Ethics in Animal Research.

Ethics approval is required for all research involving animals or humans. The Ethics approval letter must be documented in the student's electronic file.

A thesis or project presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree must:

  • Deal with a specific topic related to the major field.
  • Demonstrate ability on the part of the candidate to do independent study and investigation.
  • Be written in good scholarly style and conform to the requirements of a style manual approved by the department.
  • Comply in mechanical features with specifications as described in the Guidelines for Preparation of a Thesis.

It is expected the student will follow the academic unit regulations and the advice of the Supervisor and the Advisory Committee in developing the thesis or project proposal and in establishing whether the thesis or project is ready for examination. In exceptional circumstances the student may request that the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies arrange for an examination without prior academic unit approval. The rules for such an examination are determined by the Dean in consultation with the unit.

The adequacy of the project is decided by an examining committee consisting of the Supervisor, members of the Advisory Committee and other persons as appropriate. Academic units are required to inform students in a timely fashion about the criteria to be used and the procedures to be followed in the examination of Master's project work.

Every thesis must go to oral defence. The adequacy of the thesis is decided by an examining committee. The committee will consist of the academic unit Head or designate, who chairs the examination, the Supervisor, at least one member who served on the Advisory Committee, and the external examiner from another academic unit of the university, who has not been a member of the student's Advisory Committee. The academic unit may recommend the appointment of additional examiners. The thesis Supervisor may not serve as the chair of the thesis oral examination. The structure of the oral examination is decided upon by the Committee, but in general the examination is limited to work done by the candidate for the thesis and to knowledge of matters directly related to it. At the conclusion of the examination, the Committee decides whether the thesis work of the candidate and the subsequent defence of it meet the requirements for the degree. The Committee's decision is reported to the Dean on forms available from the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

It is the responsibility of the student who may have any disability that could interfere with his/her conduct or ability to respond to questioning at an oral defence, to reveal the circumstances in sufficient time prior to the defence to allow the Examining Committee and the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to take measures to accommodate the situation at the oral exam. The student must inform his/her Supervisor or Graduate Chair, who in turn must inform the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office of any accommodations.

The External Examiner shall be appointed by the Dean or designate prior to the thesis examination and shall not have been associated with the preparation of the thesis in any way. The Dean or designate verifies all program requirements are met before approval of the External Examiner and permission to proceed to defence. The External Examiner represents the Dean and shall provide the Dean with a written report following the conclusion of the examination. A form for this purpose is available from the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Where the External Examiner does not share the majority view, the examination shall be adjourned and the Dean will review the situation and establish appropriate procedures to resolve the matter.

The period between the submission of the examination copies of a Master's thesis and the date of the examination is left to the discretion of the student's academic unit. After the Advisory Committee has agreed the thesis is acceptable for external examination, the graduate chair shall notify the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The College requires three weeks from the receipt of this notification until the date of the defence. After the oral defence, students are expected to make required thesis revisions within the time period determined by the academic unit. 

It is mandatory for all students in Master’s thesis programs and Ph.D. programs to submit their theses online at University of Saskatchewan Library Electronic Theses & Dissertations.

Project students may also submit their project papers online. Instructions for submission of an ETD can be found on the Graduate Students website.

Students should check with their academic units for the policy on bound thesis submission. The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies does not require submission of bound theses.

The author of a thesis or project claims copyright on the title page. As a condition for the award of a degree, the student is required to give permission to the University Library to make the thesis available for inspection and to the Supervisor of the research and to the department in which the research was done to copy and to circulate the thesis for scholarly purposes only, and to make use of material and ideas included in the thesis in the preparation of papers for publication. Where circumstances warrant, theses may be withheld from circulation for up to 12 months. There are also several options available for limitation of circulation of electronic thesis.

The academic units concerned must submit a Recommendation for Award of the Degree form available on the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. The thesis title shown on the thesis cover must be identical to the title which appears on the recommendation form for the award of the degree. The recommendation for the award of the degree must be received in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office on or before the date, available from the office or under the Academic Calendar established in relation to Convocation. If the recommendation is approved by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and the student has submitted an application to graduate, then the student's name will be forwarded to Convocation, Student and Enrolment Services, for inclusion in the Convocation Program.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements

A student who receives this degree must have demonstrated proficiency in some broad subject of learning and ability to initiate and evaluate work in this field. Furthermore, the student must have shown the ability to work independently in the chosen field and must have made an original contribution of significance to the advancement of knowledge. The following technical requirements stated or implied are minimum requirements for all candidates for the degree.

An applicant who is deficient in background training or in courses prerequisite to scholarly work in the chosen field of study and research or who holds a Master's degree that cannot be evaluated sufficiently cannot be admitted as a fully qualified candidate for a Ph.D. degree. Such an applicant may be admitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for the purpose of removing these deficiencies (see Classification of Admitted Students). Applicants holding a Master's degree, the equivalence of which is difficult to assess, will be permitted at the time of admission to register only as probationary students in a Ph.D. program or as a Master's student. After no less than one year and on the recommendation of the academic unit, a student may be considered by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office for transfer to fully-qualified status in a Ph.D. program if the qualifying examination has been completed successfully.

After an applicant has been admitted to the College, the academic unit submits on the applicant's behalf a Program of Studies. This should be done as soon as possible and not later than twelve months after the time of admission.

The selection of a Supervisor should be completed by mutual agreement among student, Supervisor, academic unit Head, or the Dean in colleges without departments, and the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. This selection should take place as quickly as possible, never later than the second annual registration. The Supervisor must be a faculty member of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and should be familiar with the rules and procedures of the academic unit, the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and those of the university. Both student and Supervisor are responsible for ensuring that all College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and academic unit regulations and requirements are observed and met.

The work of each student is coordinated by an Advisory Committee. This Committee consists of the academic unit Head or designate who acts as Chair, or the Dean or designate in colleges without departments, who acts as Chair, the student's Supervisor and three or more additional members, selected because of their knowledge of the proposed research field, from the principal unit and related units. One member, designated the Cognate member, must be from a unit other than the principal unit of the student and supervisor. If the student's work for the degree is cross-disciplinary, the Advisory Committee should have representatives from each of the academic units involved. With approval of the Dean or designate, persons from other universities or from non-University laboratories and groups may be invited to serve on the Committee because of their specialized knowledge of the research field. Such persons must have received formal approval from the Dean. The Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is an ex officio member of the Committee.

The Advisory Committee serves to advise the student and to review progress being made in preparing the thesis proposal, developing appropriate methodology, carrying out research and writing the thesis. To facilitate these reviews, the student will submit a written progress report on the research project at least once every twelve months through the research Supervisor. The Supervisor is responsible for distributing a copy of this report to each member of the Advisory Committee. The Committee may require the student to give an oral progress report to explain further and describe the research in progress. The Committee may recommend changes and additions to the student's program and changes to the research project. The Chair of the Advisory Committee will report on the progress of the student in the Progress Reports section on PAWS at least once annually. A report indicating unsatisfactory progress should be forwarded to the Associate Dean if further action is required.

All faculties tenured in academic units which do not have approved graduate programs may be involved in graduate education by supervising a special case student. Candidates for Special Case admissions should be excellent students as demonstrated by a Cumulative Weighted Average of at least 75% over the last two years (60 credit units). The Special Case Ph.D. students are administered by the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Instructions for Special Case applications are found on form GSR 405. The academic unit is responsible for completing the remainder of the Special Case application.

On-campus residency is a valuable part of a graduate program. The University of Saskatchewan encourages students to spend time on campus interacting with faculty, researchers and other students and participating in the academic life of the university. The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has no minimum residency requirements. Individual graduate programs, however, may establish their own residency guidelines. Students should inquire with the individual programs for these guidelines.

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree is expected to complete the work over a period not exceeding six years. This time is measured from the date of first registration in the first work credited toward the program.

Graduate work of high-quality done in a recognized graduate school elsewhere may be accepted for credit at this university. No more than 50% of course requirements may be satisfied with transfer credit. 

Students are expected to complete all work in the courses included in their Program of Studies. Any grade below 70% is unsatisfactory. The Advisory Committee will review such grades and make a recommendation to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies concerning the action to be taken. The Advisory Committee will also recommend appropriate action to be taken regarding any student whose progress in the research project or any other component of the Ph.D. program is deemed unsatisfactory. Academic standards applied will be those prevailing in the national and international academic community. Upon recommendation by the Advisory Committee and with approval from the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, a student may be Required to Discontinue at any time from the program for failure to achieve and maintain satisfactory progress and contact with the Supervisor.

The Advisory Committee may require the candidate to demonstrate ability to read publications related to the candidate's special field of study, in one or more languages other than English.

Successful completion of a course in a language (other than English) recommended by an Advisory Committee usually meets the minimum requirements for a reading knowledge of a foreign language. This language requirement may be met by a course, or courses, taken at another university, or by knowledge of the language acquired in other ways. In such cases, supporting evidence must be submitted to the appropriate language department at this university. The language department may set a special examination. The decision of the department is final in such cases.

Ethics approval is required for all research involving animals or humans. A copy of the Ethics approval letter must be submitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to the defence.

GPS 960.0, Introduction to Ethics and Integrity, is a required course for all first year graduate students enrolled in degree programs at the University of Saskatchewan.  The purpose of this course is to discuss ethical issues that graduate students may face during their time at the University.  In addition to GPS 960, students also may need to take GPS 961 or GPS 962.  The student's Advisory Committee will review the student's research area and determine whether or not the student needs to take GPS 961, Ethics in Human Research, and/or GPS 962, Ethics in Animal Research.

Students must satisfy the academic unit by written or oral examination, or by both, that they have the potential to obtain sufficient knowledge of their chosen general field of study to proceed toward candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Responsibility for this examination may be assigned to the Advisory Committee in cases where several academic units are involved. Normally this examination is administered within the first year, preferably within the first four months, of the student's program. The results of this examination are likely to have a significant impact on the Program of Studies developed for the student. The standard which a student must obtain to pass the qualifying examination is at the discretion of the academic unit or the Advisory Committee, as the case may be. A student failing an examination for the first time is permitted a second qualifying examination. A second failure automatically disqualifies the student from further work for that particular Ph.D. degree. This failure may be appealed to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee on substantive or procedural grounds. The results of all qualifying examinations must be reported in the student's electronic file. 
The thesis examination for the award of Master's degree at this or other recognized universities, may, at the discretion of the academic unit and the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, be accepted in lieu of the Ph.D. qualifying examination.

The Ph.D. qualifying examination must already have been passed at a suitable level before consideration will be given to recommendations for transfer from a Master's to a Ph.D. program. This particular qualifying examination can only be taken once.

The comprehensive examination covers a broad aspect of the appropriate discipline and may be in written and/or oral form. This examination is usually on topics cognate to the candidate's field of research and is used as a means of judging whether the individual has a mature and substantive grasp of the discipline as a whole. A comprehensive knowledge of the subject will not only help to validate the Ph.D. student as an expert in the general field of choice but will also complement research activity in the specific area under investigation. Normally this examination is scheduled after the student has completed all course requirements and before the beginning of research and doctoral thesis.

Only upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination at an appropriate time during the program is a student permitted to continue scholarly activity towards the Ph.D. degree. The comprehensive examination may be repeated once with the permission of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The results of all comprehensive examinations must be reported to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office. A second failure will result in the student being required to voluntarily withdraw or be Required to Discontinue from the program. This failure may be appealed to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee on substantive or procedural grounds. 

The 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 special field. To be acceptable, it must be a worthwhile contribution to knowledge, and warrant publication in whole or in part. It must comply with specifications described in the Guidelines for Preparation of a Thesis.

Thesis preparation involves a long-term commitment through the stages of preparing a research proposal, completing a literature review, developing methodology, carrying out research and writing the results. Throughout this process the student will maintain contact with the Supervisor, as well as the Advisory Committee. When, in the opinion of the student and the Supervisor, the work is complete and ready for defence, the student will submit a draft of the thesis, in its final form, to the Supervisor. The Supervisor will review the thesis, making any appropriate suggestions to the student and will then submit it to the Advisory Committee. It is the student's responsibility to make available the number of copies needed by the Advisory Committee. When the Advisory Committee has agreed the thesis is ready for examination the candidate will receive permission to make the final copies required for the Examining Committee.

The Examining Committee consists of at least six persons, as follows: the External Examiner, the Supervisor, three members of the Advisory Committee (including the Cognate member), and the academic unit Head, or designate, who will chair that part of the defence devoted to questioning the candidate.

Permanent members of the candidate's academic unit and of related units may be invited to attend the examination. The Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or designate will chair the Examining Committee. A recommendation provided to the Associate Dean to appoint an External Examiner is made by the academic unit Head. The Associate Dean invites the External Examiner. All program requirements are verified by the Dean or designate before the invitation is extended to the External Examiner. The External Examiner shall not have been associated with the preparation of the thesis in any way and shall have no conflict of interest regarding the student or the Supervisor or any of the advisory committee members on any aspect of the research itself.

When the thesis is ready for defence, two unbound copies are submitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for distribution to the External Examiner and Chair of the Defence. All committee members must also receive an unbound copy. These are circulated by the academic unit Head to the other members of the Examining Committee and such other members of the unit as time permits. Electronic copies of the thesis are acceptable. 

The Ph.D. thesis defence, which is an oral examination, is scheduled four weeks after the thesis has been submitted to the External Examiner. 

A Dissertation Summary is distributed to the Examining Committee at the time of the examination. It is the responsibility of the candidate in consultation with the research Supervisor to prepare the Dissertation Summary and related material and to submit it to the Dean seven working days prior to the oral. Students are advised to consult with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office on this matter at least one month prior to the exam.

It is the responsibility of the student who may have any disability that could interfere with his/her conduct or ability to respond to questioning at an oral defence, to reveal the circumstances in sufficient time prior to the defence to allow the Examining Committee and the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to take measures to accommodate the situation at the oral exam. The student must inform his/her Supervisor or Graduate Chair, who in turn must inform the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of any accommodations.

A brief evaluation of the Ph.D. thesis must be submitted by the External Examiner to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies indicating that the thesis examination should take place as scheduled. This evaluation must be in the hands of the Dean or designate before the examination takes place.

After the thesis examination, a certification form stating the Committee's decision and signed by members of the Committee, is given to the Dean, or designate, who is present at the examination.

Where the Committee's decision is not unanimous, the majority view will prevail provided that the External Examiner shares the majority view. Where the External examiner does not share the majority view, the examination shall be adjourned and the Dean will review the situation and establish appropriate procedures to resolve the matter. Unless the examination is adjourned for such a reason, the decision of the Examining Committee is final.

It is normal for the Examining Committee to require at the time of the examination that revisions be made to the thesis before final submission. The Examining Committee will establish procedures and name the person(s) responsible for ensuring that the revisions are carried out completely. Candidates are expected to make the revisions promptly. Failure to do so could jeopardize successful completion of the degree.

The candidate must submit the thesis electronically. Instructions for electronic submission are found on the College website.  

The regulations concerning copyright and subsequent use of a thesis are the same as for a Master's thesis (see applicable section on Requirements for Master's Degrees).

Students should check with their academic unit for the policy on bound thesis submission. The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies does not require submission of bound theses. 

The University does not require the publication of doctoral theses other than electronically in the University Library. Each thesis is expected to include material acceptable for publication in scholarly journals of the field in which the candidate has done the research. Publication permissions are completed online. 

Prior to the thesis defence, the Advisory Committee is responsible for establishing that the candidate has met all other requirements for the award of the degree, as specified in academic unit and College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations and indicated on the student's approved Program of Studies: residence, qualifying examination, courses credited for the degree (including transfer credits), comprehensive examination and any other requirements. The Advisory Committee is responsible for determining when the thesis is ready to go to defence. The written statement to this effect must contain the exact title of the thesis, as it appears on the thesis.

All necessary paperwork provided at the defence must be received in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office on or before the date, available from the College office, or under the Academic Calendar established in relation to Convocation.

Concentration

This is a depth of study which prescribes a suite of courses that provides students additional expertise and specialized training in one aspect of their major. Typically, a concentration will be similar in requirements to a minor, but the majority of coursework will occur within the student’s major field of study rather than outside of it. Colleges have developed a variety of terms for concentrations (option, specialization within a major, themes, streams, etc.). Please see the University Nomenclature Report for more details: http://policies.usask.ca/policies/academic-affairs/nomenclature-report.php

Student Rights

Graduate students are also advised to be familiar with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Time Limit

Special permission may be granted for a four-month extension in a graduate program. It is the student's responsibility to apply to the academic unit for a time extension by completing form GSR 205 and setting out a timeline for completion of the program requirements. The academic unit will forward form GSR 205 with a recommendation to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. Students are advised in writing by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or a designate of acceptance or rejection of this recommendation. Only in most unusual circumstances will a further four-month extension be granted.

Doctorate Degree for Scholarly Work

Members of Convocation of the University of Saskatchewan or faculty members may apply or may be nominated for the award of an earned D.Sc. or D.Litt. based on the high standard of their published works and related international stature in their particular fields of research. Persons wishing to apply or to nominate an individual for such an award should write to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a copy of the regulations concerning the submission of an application and the subsequent evaluation of the applicant's scholarly work.

Disciplinary Areas

Approved graduate programs exist in the following disciplines arranged by Disciplinary Areas:

Applied Linguistics

English

French

History

Music

Philosophy

Religion & Culture

Studio Art

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Writing

Anatomy & Cell Biology

Animal & Poultry Science

Applied Microbiology

Biochemistry

Biological Psychiatry

Biology

Biostatistics

Community & Population Health Sciences

Epidemiology

Food Science

Health Sciences

Kinesiology

Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Microbiology & Immunology

Nutrition

Pharmacology

Pharmacy

Physical Therapy

Physiology

Plant Sciences

Public Health

Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Soil Science

Toxicology

Vaccinology & Immunotherapeutics

Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

Veterinary Microbiology

Veterinary Pathology

Biological Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Chemistry

Civil Engineering

Computer Science

Electrical Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Geological Sciences

Mathematics

Mechanical Engineering

Physics & Engineering Physics

Aboriginal Agriculture & Land Management

Agricultural Economics

Anthropology

Archaeology

Corrections

Economics

Environment & Sustainability

Geography

Governance & Entrepreneurship in Nothern & Indigenous Areas

Indigenous Studies

Law

Nursing

Political Studies

Psychology

Sociology

Water Security

Accounting

Business Administration

Curriculum Studies

Education

Educational Administration

Educational Foundations

Educational Psychology & Special Education

Educational Technology & Design

Finance

Leadership in Post-Secondary Education

Marketing

Public Administration

Public Policy

Courses

Many of the courses have specifically stated prerequisites. Under exceptional circumstances, prerequisites may be waived as approved by the academic unit.

Not all courses described are given in any one academic year.  Certain course abbreviations have changed. Students with credit for a course under its former label may not take the relabeled course for credit.

990 Course

Most Master's and Ph.D. programs include a requirement that students register in a 990 seminar course. There is no tuition fee for the 990 course, provided students are registered for other courses. The 990 course carries no credit unit weight and does not reduce course requirements in the required program of study. Unless otherwise specified, a course numbered 990 and described as a seminar does not involve examinations and has no credit attached to it, although a student is required to attend and to participate in the discussions. Students must register in the 990 course at the time of first registration in any program containing a 990 component. This registration must be continuous until they have completed requirements for the course. Once credit has been received, no further registration in the 990 course will be either required or allowed. These seminar courses vary considerably in content. All include reports and discussions on current developments, research and methodology in the field, and all include requirements for student participation and presentations.

992, 994, 995, 996 Courses
All students who are working on their thesis register for 994/995 (Master's Programs) or 996 (Ph.D. Programs). Project courses are normally numbered 992 (project).

GPS courses, which are non-credit courses, are not associated with any specific academic unit, but are available on recommendation by the student's Advisory Committee to all registered graduate students. There are no tuition fees for these courses, provided the student is registered for other courses. Students must officially register for these courses in order to attend. These courses do not reduce the course requirements for a graduate degree.

  • Accounting (ACC, MPAC)
  • Agricultural Economics (AGEC)
  • Agricultural Medicine (AGMD)
  • Anatomy and Cell Biology (ACB)
  • Animal Science (ANSC)
  • Anthropology (ANTH)
  • Applied Microbiology (APMC)
  • Archaeology (ARCH)
  • Art (ART)
  • Art History (ARTH)
  • Biochemistry (BIOC) 
  • Biological Engineering (BLE)
  • Biology (BIOL)
  • Biomedical Engineering (BIOE)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Chemical Engineering (CHE)
  • Chemistry (CHEM)
  • Civil and Geological Engineering (CE)
  • Classical Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS)
  • Clinical Research (CLR)
  • Community Health and Epidemiology (CHEP)
  • Computer Science (CMPT)
  • Drama (DRAM)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • Education: 
    • Curriculum Studies (ECUR) 
    • Education (ERES, EDUC) 
    • Educational Administration (EADM) 
    • Educational Foundations (EFDT)  
    • Educational Psychology and Special Education (EPSE) 
    • Educational Technology and Design (ETAD) 
    • School and Counseling Psychology
  • Electrical Engineering (EE)
  • Engineering Physics (EP)
  • English (ENG)
  • Environment and Sustainability (ENVS)
  • Environmental Engineering (ENVE)
  • Finance and Management Science (FIN)
  • Food Science (FDSC)
  • French (FREN)
  • General Engineering (GE)
  • Geography (GEOG)
  • Geological Sciences (GEOL)
  • Geophysics (GEOL)
  • German (GERM)
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS)
  • History (HIST)
  • Industrial Relations (INDR)
  • Indigenous Studies (INDG)
  • Interdepartmental (ITDL)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (INTD)
  • International Trade (JSGS)
  • Kinesiology (KIN)
  • Large Animal Clinical Sciences (VLAC)
  • Law (LAW)
  • Management (MGT)
  • Marketing (MKT)
  • Mathematics (MATH)
  • Mechanical Engineering (ME)
  • Medicine (MED)
  • Microbiology and Immunology (MCIM)
  • Music (MUS)
  • Music Applied (MUAP)
  • Music Education (EMUS)
  • Nursing (NURS)
  • Nutrition (NUTR)
  • Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences (OBGY)
  • Pathology (PATH)
  • Pharmacology (PCOL)
  • Pharmacy (PHAR)
  • Philosophy (PHIL)
  • Physical Therapy (PTH)
  • Physics and Engineering Physics (PHYS)
  • Physiology (PHSI)
  • Plant Sciences (PLSC)
  • Political Studies (POLS)
  • Psychiatry (PSIA)
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • Public Health (PUBH)
  • Public Policy (JSGS)
  • Rehabilitation Medicine (REHM)
  • Religious Studies (RLST)
  • Remote Sensing (RESE)
  • School and Counselling Psychology (SCP)
  • Small Animal Clinical Sciences (VSAC)
  • Sociology (SOC)
  • Soil Science (SLSC)
  • Spanish (SPAN)
  • Statistics (STAT)
  • Surgery (SURG)
  • Toxicology (TOX)
  • Ukrainian (UKR)
  • Veterinary Biomedical Sciences (VBMS)
  • Veterinary Interdepartmental (VINT)
  • Veterinary Microbiology (VTMC)
  • Veterinary Pathology (VTPA)
  • Women and Gender Studies (WGST)

Supplemental and Deferred Examinations

Supplemental and deferred examination procedures and policies are subject to the university-wide regulations on supplemental and deferred examinations outlined in the Academic Courses Policy. For the regular supplemental and deferred examination schedule, students should refer to the Academic Calendar.

Grading System

The following describes the relationship between literal descriptors and percentage scores for courses in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:

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;
  • a 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.
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 and techniques;
  • some ability to develop solutions to moderately difficult problems related to the subject matter;
  • some ability to examine the material in a critical and analytical manner.
<60 Failure

An unacceptable performance.

Program Requirements 
  • 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;
  • Individual degree programs may have advanced promotion standards.  Please consult individual program information for additional promotion standards, if applicable;
  • For all other graduate courses, percentage scores of at least 60-69% are required for a minimal pass performance for each course which is included in a Master's program, provided that the student's Cumulative Weighted Average is at least 70%;
  • Graduate courses for which students receive grades of 60-69% are minimally acceptable in a Postgraduate Diploma program, provided that the Cumulative Weighted Average is at least 65%;
  • Students should seek information on other program requirements in the Course & Program Catalogue and in academic unit publications.

Appeals of evaluation, grading, and academic standing are governed by university-wide council regulations.