University of Guelph Graduate

Regulations: Master of Arts, Master of Engineering, Master of Science and Master of Science (Aquaculture)

Admission to a master's degree program as a regular student is granted, on the recommendation of the department concerned, to:

Minimum Duration
At least two semesters of full-time study must be devoted to the master's program if the student is admitted as a regular student. A student admitted as a provisional student, requiring two semesters in that category, must spend at least one additional semester as a regular full-time student. For a student registered part-time, the minimum duration period is based on the equivalence of three part-time semesters to one full-time semester. A minimum program fee is applied when a part-time student applies to graduate.
   Normally, a thesis must be formally submitted or the program otherwise completed, within forty-eight months of the completion of the minimum duration. Candidates must understand, however, that announced departmental policy may require completion of the degree requirements within a briefer time period.

   The student's program is established and progress kept under review by the academic unit in which the student is enrolled. The day-to-day responsibility will rest with the adviser. There will be an advisory committee of at least two graduate faculty members, the chair of which committee is normally the adviser of the student's program. Departments and schools are encouraged to involve graduate faculty from other academic units as members of advisory committees.

   The MA, MEng, MSc, and MSc (Aqua) degrees of the University of Guelph require the demonstration of a reasonable mastery of a concentrated field of study. This may be attested by the achievement of satisfactory standings in a number of courses, as determined by the department. In most cases a thesis is also required.

Prescribed Studies: The proportion of weight attached to the research and thesis may vary, even within a department. Accordingly, the number of courses may correspondingly vary. Where the student's program requires a thesis, the number of credits will not be fewer than 1.5. The courses selected must be acceptable to the department and the dean of Graduate Studies for graduate credit. These "substantive" courses comprise the candidate's prescribed studies, in which the student must obtain an overall weighted average grade of at least 'B-' standing (see the sections on Establishment of Program and Prescribed Studies).

Additional Courses: In addition to these prescribed studies the candidate may take ancillary courses supportive of the special discipline. These courses may be at either the undergraduate or the graduate level. The standing obtained in them will not affect the average grade of the prescribed studies.

Degree by Courses: In some disciplines, the interests of a master's student may be better served through concentration on coursework rather than combining coursework with research. In such circumstances the prescribed studies will consist of courses. Where the student's program does not require a thesis, the number of course credits will not be fewer than 3.5 (6.5 for the MSc (Aqua)). One (1.0) or more of the credits must be for the satisfactory completion of a special project or, in some cases, a major essay or paper. In some departments the major research paper takes the place of 1.0 of the total credits required.

   In most disciplines, students may pursue their degree through coursework and independent research towards the completion of a thesis. In the total program of such a degree by thesis, the equivalent of at least one full-time semester must be devoted to thesis research. To avoid undue prolongation of the student's program, the research topic should be identified early and approved by the advisory committee.

   For the master's degree by thesis each candidate shall submit a thesis, expressed in satisfactory literary form, based upon research in some topic connected with the candidate's special discipline. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate's capacity for original and independent work, and should include a critical evaluation of work which has previously been done in the candidate's field of research. The thesis should emphasize any new conclusions which may be drawn from the candidate's own research.
   For purposes of equivalency calculations, a master's thesis is generally considered to be the equivalent of 2.0 credits.

Procedures: The thesis may be submitted at any time of the year, but candidates are encouraged to have the final examination well in advance of the deadline date for thesis submission. Candidates should be aware of the deadlines schedule, a copy of which may be obtained in Graduate Program Services. Candidates should discuss their thesis write-up with their advisers early in their final semester.
   As the thesis is being written, the candidate is expected to be in regular communication with the advisory committee. The draft thesis is sent to the members of the advisory committee.When a draft is completed which the advisory committee recommends for examination, the final draft is sent to the members of the master's examination committee and the final oral examination is held.
   Following the master's examination the candidate, if successful, arranges for the preparation of the thesis in final form, and for its submission to the dean (see below). The thesis in final form must include any minor corrections or revisions resulting from the examination. Approval of the thesis takes the form of a Certificate of Approval, signed by the examination committee.

The Master's Examination: The final oral examination, devoted chiefly to the defence of the thesis, is a departmental examination identified as the master's examination. The master's examination committee normally consists of three or four members appointed by the department chair, as follows:
   If possible, a member of another department should be included on the committee.
   The department chair is responsible for notifying the dean of Graduate Studies of the composition of the committee, and for reporting to the dean the outcome of the examination.
   The examination is open to the public; members of the audience may question the candidate only upon invitation of the chair of the committee.
   The examination is passed and the thesis approved if there is no more than one negative vote. An abstention is regarded as a negative vote. The report to the dean of Graduate Studies will record the decision as unsatisfactory or satisfactory. If unsatisfactory, the candidate may be given a second attempt. A second unsatisfactory constitutes a recommendation to the Board of Graduate Studies that the student be required to withdraw (see the sections on Unsatisfactory Progress and Appeal of Decisions).

Copies of Thesis: Two unbound copies of the certified thesis must be submitted to Graduate Program Services by the deadline date shown in the Academic Schedule in this calendar. Both copies must include the Certificate of Approval signed by the examination committee. Also included must be a brief abstract consisting of no more than 150 words, a copy of the circulation waiver, and the copying licence.

Publication: The university requires publication of the thesis in the following manner:
   One unbound copy of the thesis is forwarded to the National Library of Canada, together with an agreement form signed by the candidate authorizing the National Library to microfilm the thesis and to make copies available for sale on request. The National Library will film the thesis exactly as it is and will list the thesis in Canadiana as a publication of the National Library.
   The National Library's Microfilm Agreement form will be sent to the candidate prior to the master's examination, to be signed and submitted to the dean of Graduate Studies immediately after the successful completion of the examination.
   An abstract of not more than 150 words, prepared by the author and approved by the adviser, is forwarded by the National Library to the publishers of Masters Abstracts International. The abstract is printed in this work and the availability of the thesis in microfilm at the National Library is announced.
   The candidate, in consultation with the adviser and the department chair, shall have the right to request that circulation and/or copying of the thesis in any form be withheld for up to one year.

Department Regulations
   Individual departments may have specified regulations in addition to those described in this calendar. The student is responsible for consulting the department concerning any such regulation. University regulations, as specified herein, take precedence, and may not be overruled by any department regulation.