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:
- the holder of an honours baccalaureate or its equivalent, as set out in 1.1; or
- a student who has satisfied the requirements for transfer from the provisional student category.
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
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
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
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
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
- A member of the graduate faculty of the department, who is not a member of
the advisory committee, to act as chair of the master's examination committee and to
make arrangements therefor;
- A member of the candidate's advisory committee (normally, the adviser);
- A member of the associated graduate faculty or of the graduate faculty who may be a
member of the advisory committee;
- A fourth member may be appointed from among graduate faculty from another
department, from the department or from the advisory committee, according to
departmental and/or examination requirements.
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
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
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.
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.