Review of the Progress of M.A. Students

  1. Faculty regulations stipulate that “a candidate may be required to withdraw if progress has not been satisfactory.”
  1. Department Policy

a) The Department undertakes an annual review of each student’s progress in late spring.  The review is carried out by the Director of the Graduate Program in consultation with faculty who have taught or supervised each graduate student. The Director of the Graduate Program will send a letter to each student currently in the program summarizing the student’s performance and raising any concerns about progress in the program.

b) Students whose performance is unsatisfactory will enter a probationary period, with continued enrollment in the program dependent on further progress during this period. The student will be informed of the specific criteria and timeline that the Department will apply in reviewing their performance and progress during the probationary period.

c) A request that a student withdraw will be made by the Graduate Program Director only after the student has failed to meet the criteria or timeline established for the probationary period, after thorough consultation with those faculty who have taught or supervised the student, and after the student has been given an opportunity to present their case for remaining in the program, including by drawing attention to any extenuating circumstances that might warrant consideration.

d) Evaluations of student performance will take into account health and personal difficulties that may impede academic progress. Students facing extenuating health or personal circumstances that they believe warrant consideration in assessments of their performance and progress must request either a concession or academic accommodation. Students facing ongoing difficulties making progress should also consider taking a leave of absence from the program:

(i) Concession: Students facing mental or physical health issues; unanticipated changes in personal responsibilities; or traumatic events, sexual assault, or death in the family or of a close friend that prevent the student from completing specific course requirements on time should request a concession from the course instructor. Students may also contact the Graduate Program Director to help arrange course-specific concessions.

(ii) Academic accommodation: Students with ongoing medical conditions or disabilities that affect their studies for more than one term should register with the Centre for Accessibility and seek an academic accommodation.

(iii) Leaves of absence: Students whose health or personal circumstances, including parental or other care responsibilities, prevent them from making adequate progress in the program for an extended period should consider taking a leave of absence from the program. A leave of absence “stops the clock” on program deadlines. Moreover, no tuition fees are owed during on-leave terms (only a nominal on-leave fee is owed), and students are not expected to make any academic progress while on leave. See here for more information on leaves of absence. See also information on parental accommodation.

(iv.) Extensions: Extenuating circumstances not of the student’s making may justify allowing the student additional time to complete his or her degree program. See here for more information about requesting an extension. Requests for extensions must usually be accompanied by documentation of the reason for the extension request.