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Graduate Studies

Supervision guidelines for programs

As per section 2.7 of Graduate Calendar, it is the responsibility of the department/program to:

  • Ensure that every graduate student has, at all times, a faculty advisor or a properly constituted supervisory committee. The supervisor must be declared within the first 5 months of study and the supervisory committee must be declared within the first 12 months of study.
  • Ensure that the members of a supervisory committee are sufficiently competent and experienced to serve at the required level.
    • In identifying a supervisory committee, the department/program should consider the following, among other things: the balance of the committee by rank and experience; publications and other demonstrations of competence in scholarship or research on the part of the supervisor. Supervisory committees for PhD candidates shall be reviewed annually by the department/program. Supervisory committee members are assumed to continue their participation on student committees unless otherwise replaced by the associate chair or graduate advisor.
  • Ensure there is a formal regular meeting of each PhD supervisory committee at least once within the reporting year (December 1 to November 30), and possibly more often, to discuss the student’s progress, and formally document the supervisory committee’s assessment of the progress of the student’s program.
    • For PhD students who have entered or transferred into the PhD effective January 1 or May 1, they must have a PhD supervisory committee meeting completed no later than November 30 of that same calendar year; those entering September 1 must have at least one meeting by November 30 of the next year.
  • Forward annual PhD supervisory committee progress reports to the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Prepare a set of guidelines for supervisors and students.
    • The guidelines should deal with the selection and functioning of supervisory committees and should cover the joint responsibilities of faculty members and graduate students. The guidelines may be attached to or incorporated in department/program handbooks which give regulations supplementary to those in the calendar. Items relevant to graduate supervision should be approved by the appropriate Faculty committee on graduate admissions and study.
    • A copy of the guidelines shall be given to each faculty member and each graduate student.
  • Approve or deny requested changes to the supervisor or the membership of a supervisory committee.
    • Supervisors and/or supervisory committee members may not resign without the department’s/program’s approval. A change in supervisor is at the discretion of the department/program, not the student or supervisor.
  • Be available for consultation on matters of supervision and, refer students to speak with the appropriate associate dean of Graduate Studies about problems not resolved at the program level  (see Section 4.5 – Supervision).