Graduate Supervision

Below are instructions for instructors and faculty members for dealing with common situations. If you don't find the information you need here, please contact the FGSR executive assistant. If there are situations you think should be included here, please let us know so we can add them.

Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS):

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) was founded to promote graduate education and university research through meetings, publications and advocacy. The Association brings together 58 Canadian universities with graduate programs and the three federal research-granting agencies, as well as other institutions and organizations having an interest in graduate studies.

CAGS provides a variety of publications which address concerns of the graduate education community. A Statistical Report on registration in graduate studies at Canadian universities is also published yearly. All publications are available free of charge to the public and can be accessed through the following link:

Best practice information on working with graduate students is also posted here in addition to creating a letter of understanding for students and supervisors.

How Do I: Deal with a student I suspect is cheating in my class?

The process for dealing with academic misconduct for graduate students is the same as for undergraduate students. FGSR is the faculty that deals with all academic misconduct of graduate students, whether the misconduct was in an undergraduate class, a graduate class, or in their research. If you suspect a student of academic misconduct you must do the following:

  1. Don't give the student a penalty, or negotiate with the student.
  2. Send the student's name, identification number and all evidence of the misconduct to the Associate Dean at FGSR. Also send the course syllabus.
  3. If you need to enter a grade for the student, enter NR.
  4. The Associate Dean of FGSR will contact you when they receive the documentation, and again after they meet with the student. Any support and information you can give will make the process go more smoothly.

We recommend that you do not inform the student about the suspected misconduct before reporting it to FGSR. It is best that the misconduct be dealt with between the student and FGSR, and that the instructor stays at arm's length from the situation. (The instructor needs to be in a position where they can continue teaching the student in the course.) FGSR will contact the student (we expect within 2 working days of receiving the information from the instructor).

FGSR has a flow chart for how academic misconducts proceed. It is important to note is that the student's privacy must be respected. FGSR will inform other the Associate Dean for the student's unit, but beyond this, neither the professor who suspected the misconduct, nor FGSR can or will inform anyone, including the student's supervisor. FGSR has a consequences paint chip that is used to gauge the penalties for academic misconduct. Penalties may be more severe for graduate students as they are more senior and have completed a course about academic misconduct.

How Do I: Read Student Admission files?

First, student files are stored on the FGSR T:drive. If you have access, you can review the files from the T:drive, otherwise talk to the graduate co-ordinator in your unit to get access to the applicant files.

You may need to check our International admission standards or our minimum English Language Proficiency Test scores.

FGSR only checks for the validity of the documents the applicants submit. We do not confirm the applicants have the requirements for your program. If you have difficulty reading transcripts, please contact us, and we will try to help.

Common Codes in Student files:

GS Adms Rec Graduate Admissions Recommendation form
GS APP: Graduate Studies Application
CTR1-CTR8: College Final Transcripts
GS Degree Cert: Degree Certificate
GS LOR: Letter of Recommendation
TES0-TES9: Test Scores
GS Reg Cert: Registration Certificate
DIP1-DIP8: Copy of the student's Diploma
GS Ltr RJCT: Graduate Studies Letter of rejection for admission

Other codes: uo unofficial; IELTS English test

How Do I: Decide on the different types of acceptance?

Conditional vs Unconditional acceptance

Conditional acceptance used for students don't yet have all the requirements for admission (either they are still completing a degree, or they don't have the required English test scores) or if we have not yet received all the student's official documents. Each student that is conditionally accepted has a list of their conditions. Students will not be allowed to register until they have satisfied all of their conditions. It is important to note students who do not meet their English requirements can only be conditionally accepted. Students sometimes arrive at the University of Regina with a study permit but not their English Language Proficiency scores. These students will not be allowed to register until they complete their English Languare requirements .

Fully-Qualified vs Probationary vs Qualifying students

All PhD students must be accepted as fully-qualified students. Most masters students are accepted as fully-qualified students, but they may also be admitted as probationary students or qualifying students.

Probationary Students:

  • Are students whose grades a slightly below or just at the required level,
  • or students whose background is difficult to assess.
  • May be required to maintain a higher Cumulative grade point avaerge (typically 75%) over a set time (usually their first two semesters) with no failing grades. May also be required to take a lighter course load (usually no more than 6 credits).

Qualifying Students:

  • Are students who do not have a strong background or a bachelor's degree in the area of their masters.
  • Are required to complete a number of undergraduate classes. These undergraduate classes will not be counted towards their Master's degree.

Using probationary or qualifying status can allow you to accept promising students who don't quite meet your admission conditions. But, being probationary of qualifying means that the student is not fully qualified and this disqualifies them from somethings, such as scholarships and co-operative eduction opportunities. A student who is accepted as probationary or qualifying will have conditions placed on them; it is important that these conditions are clear since if a student fails to meet them they will be required to discontinue. (For example, if you require that a student have an average of 75% on their first three classes, you need to be able to determine which classes count as the first three!). Any probationary or qualifying student who fails a class will be required to discontinue.

How Do I: Use the grades of NP and NR?

NP is a failing grade. It can only be used for normally graded classes (so it cannot be used for credit/no credit classes or for pass/fail classes). This grade should be used in the following circumstance:
  1. The student did not complete major or required components of the course.
  2. The student abandoned the classe without formally withdrawing from the course.
  3. The student withdrew past the deadline to receive a W.
In DOME when you enter a grade of NP please also select one of the options under Comments

NR is an administrative grade. Essentially it is a place holder grade used when something strange is going on. This grade should be avoided, and you should communicate with FGSR before you enter a grade of NR. It is appropriate in the following cases:

  1. The student is under investigation for academic misconduct when the grades need to be submitted.
  2. You have signed off on allowing the student for a deferral.
  3. There is an exceptional reason why the student's grade is not available when the grades need to be submitted.

A grade of NR is not appropriate if a student fails to complete the course (for example if a student does not complete their comprehensive exam or a project in the term they are registered) unless they have applied for a deferral.

How Do I: Grade 901 (research hours) classes?

The overwhelming majority of 901 classes have no issues, and it is unusual for a student to receive a grade of N in a 901 class. If your student does not make sufficient progress with their research while registered in your section of 901, you should by all means give them a grade of N. This can be a needed wake-up call to a struggling student and can prevent problems from escalating. But there are serious consequences to giving a student a grade of N (for example, if it is their second failing grade, they can be required to discontinue their program).

If you submit a grade of N in a 901 class, you must provide the student and FGSR with a written explanation for the failing grade. If you are worried about a student's progress in your 901 class you should do the following:

  1. Make sure you have clear and written criteria for passing your section of 901.
  2. Give students a warning, preferably before the drop deadline, if you think they are at risk of failing an 901 class.
  3. If you have a student who you are worried about failing your section of 901, you might want to have them complete a student contract.

How Do I: End my role as a student's supervisor?

When a student is accepted under your supervision, you are undertaking a major responsibility. You do not have the right to end your supervisory committee without a satisfactory plan for your student, unless you have just cause. The most obvious satisfactory plan is to have the student change supervisor. To do this, the student must complete a Change of Supervisor Form. You can help arrange a change by suggesting colleagues who could supervise the student. In some cases, adding a co-supervisor to help with the supervision can resolve issues. If these options are not feasible, you need to consult with the Dean of FGSR.

The Dean of FGSR has the right to end the supervision of a graduate student by a professor. If this happens every effort will be made to find another supervisor for the student. But, if no alternate supervisor can be found then the student will be required to either switch into a program where no supervisor is required, or required to discontinue. This situation would be extraordinary, and only undertaken with clear evidence of just cause that the student is at fault and with the approval of the PhD committee.

Examples of Just Cause:

  • Student is not making satisfactory progress in program. If, in the opinion of the Supervisory Committee, a student is not making satisfactory progress on either course work or research, a recommendation will be made to the Dean of FGSR that the student be discontinued. Such a recommendation requiring a student to discontinue becomes final only when approved by the Ph.D. Committee.
  • Student commits a serious academic misconduct. If a student commits a serious academic misconduct in their research.
  • Student violates Respectful University Policy. In particular if the student is harassing their supervisor or other students.

How Do I: Create a new graduate class?

For instructions how to create a graduate class, see the Registrar's website, Course catelog.

AA-ZZ classes:

The approval process for AA-ZZ classes is quicker than for standard classes, but more information about the class is needed. The information that we need is the following:

  1. Instructor
  2. Grade mode (the grade mode must be one of the approved grade modes for the course).
  3. Schedule Type, so directed reading, lecture, etc. (the format must be one of the approved grade modes for the course).
  4. Calendar Description
  5. Any equivalent, cross-listed or integrated courses
  6. Intended Frequency of Meetings
  7. Number and Nature of Activities Assigned

Your faculty or department office is responsible for filling out the Directed Reading/Special and Selected Topics Form. This form needs to be apporved by your department head and Associate Dean and then it is forwarded (by your faculty) to FGSR for approval.

How Do I: Make a change to a program or a motion for FGSR?

We have a Program Development and Motion Guide that has details about how to write a motion for FGSR and what levels of approval are needed. If you have questions please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Executive Assistant.

If you want to make many changes in your program please contact FGSR early in the process. It is easier to pass motions that are clearly written and fit with currently policy. We also be able to advise you on how to best to make changes. You are also strongly advised to consult with FGSR's Program Development Advisory Panel before undertaking any major changes to your program. (how to contact?)

Tips on writing motions:

  1. Motions should be phrased in terms of what changes to the calendar you are proposing. Think of where and how the new rules will be written.
  2. Make sure you check that your new motions fits with the current polices.
  3. Departments cannot change policies they don't own, so make sure you have the authority for the changes you want to make. (If you don't you will have to ask the unit responsible for the policy if they will change it.)
  4. You should also have a plan for how any new regulations will be enforced.
  5. Your motions should have a clear rationalet that justifies your motion to the rest of campus.
  6. If you have a motion going forward at FGSR council, it is advisable to ensure there is someone at the meeting who can speak to the motions (even if your motion is a simple change).