Degree Types – Minimum Requirements and Regulations

Master’s Degree

Master’s Degree-Level Expectations

Included below are degree level expectations for master’s programs offered at York University. Program-specific learning outcomes are expected to be consistent with and build upon degree-level expectations. The structure and requirements of master’s programs are intended to support the achievement of degree-level expectations and program-specific learning outcomes.

This degree is awarded to students who have demonstrated the following:

1. Depth and breadth of knowledge

A systematic understanding of knowledge, including, where appropriate, relevant knowledge outside the field and/or discipline, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice.

2. Research and scholarship

A conceptual understanding and methodological competence that

  1. Enables a working comprehension of how established techniques of research and inquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
  2. Enables a critical evaluation of current research and advanced research and scholarship in the discipline or area of professional competence; and
  3. Enables a treatment of complex issues and judgments based on established principles and techniques; and,

On the basis of that competence, has shown at least one of the following:

  1. The development and support of a sustained argument in written form; or
  2. Originality in the application of knowledge.

3. Level of application of knowledge

Competence in the research process by applying an existing body of knowledge in the critical analysis of a new question or of a specific problem or issue in a new setting.

4. Professional capacity/autonomy

The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  1. The exercise of initiative and of personal responsibility and accountability; and
  2. Decision-making in complex situations;
  3. The intellectual independence required for continuing professional development;
  4. The ethical behavior consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research; and
  5. The ability to appreciate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.

5. Level of communications skills

The ability to communicate ideas, issues and conclusions clearly.

6. Awareness of limits of knowledge

Cognizance of the complexity of knowledge and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.

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Program Alternatives

A candidate for a master’s degree shall pursue at York University, under the direction of a graduate program, an advanced course of study approved by the director of the sponsoring graduate program.

The minimum requirements for master’s degree programs are normally comprised of:

  1. at least 12 credits in graduate-level coursework and an acceptable thesis; or
  2. at least 18 credits in graduate-level coursework and an appropriate research paper, project or review essay; or
  3. at least 24 credits of graduate-level coursework.

These are minimum requirements, and individual graduate programs may have additional requirements, such as comprehensive examinations, practicum, fieldwork, language requirements, etc.

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Program Length and Minimum Period of Registration

All master’s programs must specify a program length in terms, which is normally the shortest period of time a student must be registered in a program in order to qualify for the degree and which normally predetermines the minimum total academic fees that a student must pay prior to graduation. Master’s students must register and pay fees for a minimum of the equivalent of three terms of full-time registration, except in programs where a longer program length is specified. (This does not apply to master’s programs in the Schulich School of Business.)

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Time Limits

All requirements for a master’s degree must be fulfilled within 12 terms (4 years) of registration as a full-time or part-time master’s student, in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies Registration Policies, including the requirement of continuous registration. Terms in which students are registered as Leave of Absence (elective or exceptional circumstances), Maternity Leave, Parental Leave, or No Course Available are not included in these time limits.

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Annual Progress Reports

A thesis supervisory committee shall meet annually with the student, normally in the Spring, to evaluate the Report on Progress submitted by the student and submit a completed copy of the Report on Progress to the graduate program director after the meeting. In accordance with program requirements and procedures, students in non-thesis program options may be required to submit a progress report to the graduate program director. Reports to the graduate program director of unsatisfactory progress may require a student to withdraw from a program of studies, or withdraw from the graduate program in which the student is enrolled.

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Coursework

In addition to those courses specified individually by the sponsoring graduate program for each student as constituting the minimum required program of studies, students with permission of the program director, may elect, on registration, to enrol in additional courses.

A minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements for a master’s program should be completed from among graduate-level courses.

Graduate students may not take or receive credit for an integrated course at the graduate level if they took it at York or elsewhere at the undergraduate level.

Following initial registration in a graduate program and prior to completion of the first term of study, graduate students may request transfer credit (advanced standing) for graduate-level courses completed at York University or another institution that have not been used to fulfill the requirements of another degree program or graduate diploma. Credit for such work will be determined by the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, on the recommendation of the program concerned. Transfer credit accepted towards fulfillment of the degree program to which the student has been admitted may count for up to 50% of the coursework requirements for the York graduate diploma or degree program.

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Major Research Paper/Project/Review Essay

A major research paper/project/review essay is a milestone component of a program that requires independent research. The academic requirements, format and length of master’s research papers/projects/review essays should be consistent with master’s degree-level and program-specific expectations.

In accordance with program-specific requirements and processes, master’s research paper/project/review essay should be on a topic approved by the program, normally including submission and approval of a proposal, as well as appropriate ethics review and approval. Supervisors for each master’s research paper/project/review essay must be approved no later than the end of the second term of master’s study. In accordance with program-specific requirements and processes, evaluation of master’s research papers/projects/review essays may include a second reader and/or oral examination. Master’s research papers/projects/review essays are normally graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Language of Major Research Papers/Projects/Review Essays and Thesis

A major research paper/project/review essay or thesis should be written in English but approval may be given to a written request from a student for a major research paper/project/review essay or thesis to be written in French or in the language of any Aboriginal/First Nations people in North America, subject to confirmation from the director of the graduate program concerned that relevant supervision and sufficient support for the completion of such written work can be provided.

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Language and Cognate Requirements

Requirements with respect to language facility (other than language competency required for admission), technical skill (e.g., statistics or computer techniques), and/or cognate subjects are determined by individual graduate programs with the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Council.

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Comprehensive Examinations

Individual graduate programs may require students to undertake comprehensive examinations. The specific requirements and evaluation procedures are determined by individual graduate programs with the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Council.

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Master’s Thesis Regulations

Overview

Master’s theses submitted by students in partial fulfillment of degree requirements must embody the results of original research and must be successfully defended at oral examinations. Master’s theses shall be on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor and supervisory committee, and shall include submission and approval of a thesis proposal, including appropriate ethics review and approval, in accordance with Faculty and program requirements and procedures.

Master’s theses should demonstrate that the student is familiar with and has an acceptable understanding of the literature in the subject of the thesis; that appropriate research methods have been used; and that appropriate levels of critical analysis have been applied. The research embodied in the thesis should make some original contribution to knowledge in the field.

The general form and style of thesis may differ from program to program, but a thesis should be a coherent work. This means that if a thesis contains separate manuscripts, there needs also to be introductory and concluding chapters that explain how these separate manuscripts fit together into a unified body of research. If previously published materials are included, it should be made clear what exactly is the student’s own work and what the contribution of other researchers is.

Students must comply with the requirements for the preparation, submission and distribution of theses as described in the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Guide for the Preparation and Examination of Theses and Dissertations, which can be found at: http://www.yorku.ca/grads/thesis/index.htm

Thesis Supervisory Committees

  1. A thesis supervisory committee will consist of a minimum of two faculty members from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at least one of whom must be from the program in which the student is enrolled, and who serves as the principal supervisor.  In exceptional circumstances, and with the prior approval of the Dean, one additional member may be appointed who is not a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
    The membership of each committee, including the Chair, must be recommended by the appropriate graduate program director for approval and appointment by the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the second term of study (or equivalent for part-time students) or, for students in the Graduate Program in Environmental Studies, by the end of the third term of study.
  2. A thesis supervisor (chair of the supervisory committee) shall:
    1. be reasonably accessible to the student normally meeting once a month and never less than once each term; and,
    2. ensure that a copy of the student’s thesis is sent to each member of the student’s thesis examining committee as far as possible in advance of the date of the student’s oral examination but no later than three weeks prior to the date set.
  3. A thesis supervisory committee shall:
    1. review a student’s research proposal and recommend its approval to the appropriate graduate program director and the Dean not less than three months prior to the date set for the oral examination;
    2. review the student’s progress from time to time, normally every six (6) months and never less than once each year.  (Reports to the graduate program director of unsatisfactory progress may require a student to withdraw from a program of studies or withdraw from the graduate program in which she/he is enrolled);
    3. meet annually with the student, normally in the Spring, to evaluate the Report on Progress submitted by the student and submit a completed copy of the Report on Progress to the graduate program director after the meeting; and,
    4. read the thesis and make a recommendation to the graduate program director regarding oral defence.

Thesis Examining Committees

A thesis examining committee shall consist of at least three voting members, including the Chair, as follows:

  1. two graduate faculty members chosen from the program and/or supervisory committee, at least one of whom must be from the supervisory committee;
  2. one graduate faculty member at arm’s length from the thesis, and normally from outside the program.

These are minimum requirements with respect to the composition of and quorum for thesis examining committees. Individual graduate programs may include one additional voting member on examining committees, in accordance with program requirements and procedures. The Chair of the examining committee shall be chosen from among the voting members. Members of the student’s thesis supervisory committee may be members of the examining committee, but the principal supervisor may not serve as the Chair of the examining committee.

In addition to the voting members, the thesis examining committee may include the following ex-officio members (non-voting, unless present as one of the voting members named above): Vice-President Academic & Provost, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or his/her representative, Graduate Program Director.

The membership of each committee, including designation of the Chair, must be recommended by the appropriate graduate program director for approval and appointment by the Dean of Graduate Studies as soon as possible and no later than three weeks before the date set for the oral examination. Members of the student’s thesis supervisory committee, including the principal supervisor, may be members of the examining committee, but the principal supervisor may not serve as the Chair of the examining committee. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may approve a program director’s recommendation that a York University faculty member who is not a member of the graduate faculty serve as a member (but not the Chair) of an examining committee.

Members of the examining committee are normally expected to attend the oral examination in person, except where decanal permission for the use alternative technologies such as video- or teleconferencing has been granted. The rationale for this examination mode must be made by the program to the Dean. Normally, no more than one member of an examining committee should be linked to the examination process through alternative means. Only in exceptional circumstances would the supervisor, an internal York member, or the student be the off-site participant. The Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Guide for the Preparation and Examination of Theses and Dissertations contains guidelines with respect to the use alternative technologies for oral examinations.

With the consent of the voting members of the examination committee, the program director and the student, the Dean may approve a recommendation that an oral examination be rescheduled due to exceptional circumstances.

Conduct of the Oral Examination

  1. Before an oral can be convened, a majority of the examining committee members must agree that the thesis is examinable. The graduate program director shall poll the members of that committee one week before the scheduled date for the oral. If the student does not receive a majority vote, the members of the examining committee who do not agree that the thesis is examinable are required to give their reasons in writing to the student, the supervisor, and the Dean within one week after the poll. In such cases, the oral shall be postponed for a period not to exceed one year. However, the student has the right to insist that the oral proceed as planned.
  2. The time and place of oral examination shall be set by the graduate program director in consultation with the student, the Chair and members of the examining committee, with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Normally the examination shall be held no less than three weeks from the date on which copies of the completed theses approved by the supervisory committee are sent to each member of the examining committee.
  3. The oral examination will centre on the thesis.
  4. The oral examination is a public academic event. Faculty members, graduate students and others may attend oral examinations at the discretion of the Chair of the examining committee. They may, at the discretion of the Chair, participate in the questioning. Only members of the examining committee may be present for the evaluation and for the vote at the conclusion of an oral examination.
  5. The thesis oral examination requirement is met if one of the following two situations exists:
    1. the committee accepts the thesis with no revisions; or,
    2. the committee accepts the thesis with specified revisions.
  6. Specified revisions could range from typographical errors or changes of a minor editorial nature, to specified insertions or deletions which do not radically modify the development/argument of the thesis. The committee must specify such changes with precision. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that all such changes are made and the Chair will confirm that this is the case. Specified revisions must be completed within six months of the date of the oral examination.
  7. In cases where there is one vote for major revision, specified revisions are expected.
  8. A thesis is referred for major revision if any of the following conditions exist:
    1. the committee agrees that the thesis requires substantive changes in order to be acceptable; or,
    2. there are a minimum of two votes for major revision; or,
    3. there is one vote for failure.
  9. In cases of major revision, one of the following procedures, agreed upon by the committee before the examination is adjourned, must be used to finalize the oral results:
    1. the committee will reconvene within twelve months to continue the oral examination; or,
    2. the revised thesis will be circulated within twelve months to all members, who will inform the Chair whether they feel the stipulated requirements have been met.
  10. Detailed reasons for referring pending major revisions must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, the program director and the student within two weeks.
  11. After an adjournment and when the major revisions have been completed, the thesis is failed if there are two or more votes for failure. A thesis cannot be referred for major revisions more than once and no further adjournment is permitted. In the event of failure, detailed reasons must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, program director and student within two weeks.
  12. A thesis is failed if there are a minimum of two votes for failure. In the event of failure, detailed reasons must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, program director and student within two weeks.

Decisions of the thesis examining committee are communicated to the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Thesis Office, usually in the form of the Certificate Pages containing appropriate signatures, through the Chair of the Examining Committee, on or before the deadline specified for those students expecting to be awarded degrees at the Spring or Fall Convocations, which can be found here: http://www.yorku.ca/grads/calendar.htm.

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Doctoral Degree

Doctoral Degree-Level Expectations

Included below are degree level expectations for doctoral programs offered at York University. Program-specific learning outcomes are expected to be consistent with and build upon degree-level expectations. The structure and requirements of doctoral programs are intended to support the achievement of degree-level expectations and program-specific learning outcomes.

This degree extends the skills associated with the Master’s degree and is awarded to students who have demonstrated the following:

1. Depth and breadth of knowledge

A thorough understanding of a substantial body of knowledge that is at the forefront of their academic discipline or area of professional practice including, where appropriate, relevant knowledge outside the field and/or discipline.

2. Research and scholarship

  1. The ability to conceptualize, design, and implement research for the generation of new knowledge, applications, or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the research design or methodology in the light of unforeseen problems;
  2. The ability to make informed judgments on complex issues in specialist fields, sometimes requiring new methods; and
  3. The ability to produce original research, or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, and to merit publication.

3. Level of application of knowledge

The capacity to

  1. Undertake pure and/or applied research at an advanced level; and
  2. Contribute to the development of academic or professional skills, techniques, tools, practices, ideas, theories, approaches, and/or materials.

4. Professional capacity/autonomy

  1. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex situations;
  2. The intellectual independence to be academically and professionally engaged and current;
  3. The ethical behavior consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research; and
  4. The ability to evaluate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.

5. Level of communications skills

The ability to communicate complex and/or ambiguous ideas, issues and conclusions clearly and effectively.

6. Awareness of limits of knowledge

An appreciation of the limitations of one’s own work and discipline, of the complexity of knowledge, and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.

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Program Structure

A candidate for a doctoral degree shall pursue at York University, under the direction of a graduate program, an advanced course of study and research approved by the director of the sponsoring graduate program.

All doctoral programs require the submission of a dissertation proposal, including appropriate ethics review and approval; a dissertation embodying the results of original research, and; successful defense of this dissertation at an oral examination. In addition to the submission of a dissertation and oral examination, individual graduate program may have additional requirements, such as coursework, comprehensive examinations, practicum, fieldwork, language requirements, etc.

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Program Length and Minimum Period of Registration

All doctoral programs must specify a program length in terms, which is the period of time (in terms) that is normally required for a student to complete a program. Doctoral students must register and pay fees for a minimum of the equivalent of six terms of full-time registration.

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Time Limits

All requirements for a doctoral degree must be fulfilled within 18 terms (6 years) of registration as a full-time or part-time doctoral student in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies Registration Policies, including the requirement of continuous registration. Terms that students register as Leave of Absence, Maternal Leave, Parental Leave, or No Course Available are not included in these time limits.

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Annual Progress Reports

In accordance with program requirements and procedures, students in doctoral programs must submit a progress report to the graduate program director on an annual basis, normally in the Spring. Once established, a dissertation supervisory committee shall meet annually with the student, normally in the Spring, to evaluate the Report on Progress submitted by the student and submit a completed copy of the Report on Progress to the graduate program director after the meeting. Reports to the graduate program director of unsatisfactory progress may require a student to withdraw from a program of studies, or withdraw from the graduate program in which the student is enrolled.

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Coursework

In addition to those courses specified individually by the sponsoring graduate program for each student as constituting the minimum required program of studies, students with permission of the program director, may elect, on registration, to enrol in additional courses.

A minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements for a doctoral program should be completed from among graduate-level courses.

Graduate students may not take or receive credit for an integrated course at the graduate level if they took it at York or elsewhere at the undergraduate level.

Following initial registration in a graduate program and prior to completion of the first term of study, graduate students may request transfer credit (advanced standing) for graduate-level courses completed at York University or another institution that have not been used to fulfill the requirements of another degree program or graduate diploma. Credit for such work will be determined by the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, on the recommendation of the program concerned. Transfer credit accepted towards fulfillment of the degree program to which the student has been admitted may count for up to 50% of the coursework requirements for the York graduate diploma or degree program.

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Language and Cognate Requirements

Requirements with respect to language facility (other than language required for admission), technical skill (e.g., statistics or computer techniques), and/or cognate subjects are determined by individual graduate programs with the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Council.

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Comprehensive Examinations

Individual graduate programs may require students to undertake comprehensive examinations. The specific requirements and evaluation procedures are determined by individual graduate programs, with the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Council.

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Language of Dissertations

A dissertation should be written in English but approval may be given to a written request from a student for a dissertation to be written in French or in the language of any Aboriginal/First Nations people in North America, subject to confirmation from the director of the graduate program concerned that relevant supervision and sufficient support for the completion of such written work can be provided.

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Doctoral Dissertation Regulations

Overview

Doctoral dissertations shall be on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor and supervisory committee, and shall include submission and approval of a dissertation proposal, including appropriate ethics review and approval, in accordance with Faculty and program requirements and procedures. Dissertations must embody the results of original research must be successfully defended at an oral examination.

The doctoral dissertation must embody original work conducted while in program, and must constitute a significant contribution to knowledge. It should contain evidence of critical understanding of the relevant literature. The material embodied in the dissertation should merit publication.

The general form and style of dissertation may differ from program to program but a dissertation should be a coherent document. This means that if a thesis contains separate manuscripts, there needs also to be introductory and concluding chapters that explain how these separate manuscripts fit together into a unified body of research. If previously published materials are included, it should be made clear what exactly is the student’s own work and what the contribution of other researchers is.

Students must comply with the requirements for the preparation, submission and distribution of theses as described in the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Guide for the Preparation and Examination of Theses and Dissertations, which can be found at: http://www.yorku.ca/grads/thesis/index.htm.

Dissertation Supervisory Committees

  1. A dissertation supervisory committee will consist of a minimum of three members from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at least two of whom must be members of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. The principal supervisor must be a Full Member of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. An Associate Members of the graduate program may serve as a co-supervisor on the condition that the other co-supervisor is a Full Member of the graduate program. In exceptional circumstances and with prior approval of the Dean, the third, or an additional member, may be appointed who is not a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

    For doctoral students to remain in good academic standing, they must have a supervisor and supervisory committee in place in accordance with program requirements. The minimum Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements are as follows:

    A supervisor must be recommended by the appropriate graduate program director for approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the end of the fifth term of study (end of second term of PhD II). Students will not be able to register in the seventh term of study (the onset of PhD III) unless a supervisor has been approved.

    A supervisory committee must be recommended by the appropriate graduate program director for approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the end of the eighth term of study (end of second term of PhD III). Students will not be able to register in the tenth term of study (the onset of PhD IV) unless a supervisory committee has been approved.

  2. A dissertation supervisor (Chair of the supervisory committee) shall:
    1. be reasonably accessible to the student normally meeting once a month and never less than once each term.
    2. ensure that a copy of the student’s dissertation is sent to each member of the student’s dissertation examining committee as far as possible in advance of the date of the student’s oral examination but no later than four weeks prior to the date set.
  3. A dissertation supervisory committee shall:
    1. review the student’s research proposal and recommend its approval to the appropriate graduate program director and the Dean not less than six months prior to the date set for the oral;
    2. review the student’s progress normally each month and never less than once each term.  (Reports to the graduate program director of unsatisfactory progress may require a student to withdraw from a program of studies or withdraw from the graduate program in which the student is enrolled);
    3. meet annually with the student, normally in the Spring, to evaluate the Report on Progress submitted by the student and submit a completed copy of the Report on Progress to the graduate program director after the meeting; and,
    4. read the dissertation and make a recommendation to the graduate program director regarding oral defence.

Dissertation Examining Committees

A dissertation examining committee shall consist of at least five voting members, including the Chair, as follows:

  1. The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or her/his representative, who will be at arm’s length from the supervision of the dissertation, and who will serve as Chair of the examining committee;
  2. one external examiner, from outside York University, at arm’s length from the dissertation, recommended by the program director;
  3. one graduate faculty member at arm’s length from the dissertation, and normally from outside the program, recommended by the program director;
  4. two graduate faculty members from the supervisory committee, or one member from the supervisory committee and one graduate faculty member from the program.

These are minimum requirements with respect to the composition of and quorum for dissertation examining committees. Individual graduate programs may include one additional voting member on examining committees, in accordance with program requirements and procedures.

In addition to the voting members, the thesis examining committee may include the following ex-officio members (non-voting, unless present as one of the voting members named above):  Vice-President Academic & Provost, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or his/her representative, Graduate Program Director.

The membership of each committee must be recommended by the appropriate graduate program director for approval and appointment by the Dean of Graduate Studies as soon as possible and no later than four weeks before the date set for the oral examination. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may approve a program director’s recommendation that a York University faculty member who is not a member of the graduate faculty serve as a member (but not the Chair) of an examining committee.

Members of the examining committee are normally expected to attend the oral examination in person, except where decanal permission for the use alternative technologies such as video- or teleconferencing has been granted. The rationale for this examination mode must be made by the program to the Dean. Normally, no more than one member of an examining committee should be linked to the examination process through alternative means. Only in exceptional circumstances would the supervisor, an internal York member, or the student be the off-site participant. The Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Guide for the Preparation and Examination of Theses and Dissertations contains guidelines with respect to the use alternative technologies for oral examinations.

With the consent of the voting members of the examination committee, the program director and the student, the Dean may approve a recommendation that an oral examination be rescheduled due to exceptional circumstances.

Conduct of the Oral Examination

  1. Before an oral can be convened, a majority of the examining committee members must agree that the dissertation is examinable. The graduate program director shall poll the members of that committee one week before the scheduled date for the oral. If the student does not receive a majority vote, the members of the examining committee who do not agree that the dissertation is examinable are required to give their reasons in writing to the student, the supervisor, and the Dean within one week after the poll. In such cases, the oral shall be postponed for a period not to exceed one year. However, the student has the right to insist that the oral proceed as planned.
  2. The time and place of oral examination shall be set by the graduate program director in consultation with the student, the Chair and members of the examining committee and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Normally, the examination shall be held no less than four weeks from the date on which copies of the completed dissertation approved by the supervisory committee are sent to each member of the examining committee. The examination may be held less than four weeks from the time copies are sent to the examining committee provided all parties agree.
  3. The oral examination will centre on the dissertation.
  4. The oral examination is a public academic event. Faculty members, graduate students and others may attend oral examinations at the discretion of the Chair of the examining committee. They may, at the discretion of the Chair, participate in the questioning. Only members of the examining committee may be present for the evaluation and for the vote at the conclusion of an oral examination.
  5. The dissertation oral examination requirement is met if one of the following situations exists:
    1. if the committee accepts the dissertation with no revisions; or,
    2. if the committee accepts the dissertation with specified revisions.
  6. Specified revisions could range from typographical errors or changes of a minor editorial nature, to specified insertions or deletions which do not radically modify the development/argument of the dissertation. The committee must specify such changes with precision. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that all such changes are made, and the Dean’s representative will confirm that this is the case. Specified revisions must be completed within six months of the date of the oral examination.
  7. In cases where there are no more than two votes for major revision or one vote for failure, then specified revisions are expected.
  8. A dissertation is referred for major revision if any of the following conditions exist:
    1. the committee agrees that the dissertation requires substantive changes in order to be acceptable; or,
    2. there are two votes for failure; or,
    3. there is one vote for failure plus a minimum of one vote for major revision; or,
    4. there are at least three votes for major revision.
  9. In the cases of major revision, one of the following procedures, agreed upon by the committee before the examination is adjourned, must be used to finalize the oral results:
    1. the committee will reconvene within twelve months to continue the oral examination; or,
    2. the revised dissertation will be circulated within twelve months to all members, who will inform the Dean’s representative whether they feel the stipulated requirements have been met.
  10. Detailed reasons for referring pending major revisions must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, the program director and the student concerned within two weeks.
  11. After an adjournment and when the major revisions have been completed, the dissertation is failed if there are two or more votes for failure. A dissertation cannot be referred for major revisions more than once and no further adjournment is permitted. In the event of failure, detailed reasons must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, program director and student within two weeks.
  12. A dissertation is failed if there are a minimum of three votes for failure. In the event of failure, detailed reasons must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, program director and student within two weeks.

Decisions of the thesis examining committee are communicated to the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Thesis Office, usually in the form of the Certificate Pages containing appropriate signatures, through the Chair of the Examining Committee, on or before the deadline specified for those students expecting to be awarded degrees at the Spring or Fall Convocations, which can be found on Registration – Important Dates.

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Graduate Diploma

Graduate Diploma is the term applied to a for-credit program of study at the graduate level, which is not itself a master’s or doctoral degree program, in a specific area, topic or skill, and may be of a disciplinary or interdisciplinary character. There are three categories of Graduate Diplomas:

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Type 1:

Awarded when a student admitted to a master’s program leaves the program after completing a certain proportion of the requirements. Students are not admitted directly to these programs.

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Type 2:

Offered in conjunction with a master’s or doctoral degree, the admission to which requires that the student be already admitted to the master’s (or doctoral) program. This represents an additional, usually interdisciplinary, qualification. Courses taken in fulfillment of degree requirements may count towards the graduate diploma, but some part of the graduate diploma requirements shall be additional to degree requirements. All the requirements for the degree as well as for the graduate diploma must be fulfilled before the graduate diploma is awarded. Normally, the graduate diploma will be awarded at the convocation at which the degree is awarded. However, students may be permitted by Graduate Diploma Coordinators to complete requirements in one additional term following the award of the degree, and receive the graduate diploma at the next convocation.

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Type 3:

A stand-alone, direct-entry program, generally developed by a unit already offering a related master’s (and sometimes doctoral) degree, and designed to meet a particular academic and/or professional need.

The minimum requirement for graduate diplomas is normally 12 credits in graduate-level coursework.

Following initial registration in a graduate diploma and prior to completion of the first term of study, graduate students may request transfer credit (advanced standing) for graduate-level courses completed at York University or another institution that have not been used to fulfill the requirements of another degree program or graduate diploma. Credit for such work will be determined by the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, on the recommendation of the program concerned. Transfer credit accepted towards fulfillment of the degree program to which the student has been admitted may count for up to 50% of the coursework requirements for the York graduate diploma or degree program.

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Intra-Institutional & Inter-Institutional Programs

Intra/inter-institutional programs are a type of degree program at the University. Their defining feature is that two or more programs of study are brought together in one of six distinct categories, as follows.

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Inter-Institutional Program Categories

Cotutelle

A cotutelle is a customized program of doctoral study developed jointly by two institutions for an individual student in which the requirements of each university’s doctoral programs are upheld, but the student working with supervisors at each institution prepares a single dissertation which is then examined by a committee whose members are drawn from both institutions. The student is awarded two degree documents though there is a notation on the transcripts indicating that the student completed his or her dissertation under cotutelle arrangements.

Dual Credential Program

A dual credential program is a program of study offered by two or more universities or by a university and a college or institute, including Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning, in which successful completion of the requirements is confirmed by a separate and different degree/diploma document being awarded by at least two of the participating institutions.

Joint Degree Program

A joint degree program is a program of study offered by two or more universities or by a university and a college or institute, including an Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, in which successful completion of the requirements is confirmed by a single degree document.

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Intra-University Program Categories

Collaborative Program

A collaborative program is a graduate program that provides an additional multidisciplinary experience for students enrolled in and completing the degree requirements for one of a number of approved programs. Students meet the admission requirements of and register in the participating (or “home”) program but complete, in addition to the degree requirements of that program, the additional requirements specified by the collaborative program. The degree conferred is that of the home program, and the completion of the collaborative program is indicated by a transcript notation indicating the additional specialization that has been attained.

Combined Degree Program

A combined degree program is a program of study involving two existing degree programs of different types in which successful completion of the requirements is confirmed by a separate and different degree document being awarded by each program. The combination may comprise two graduate programs, two undergraduate programs or a graduate and an undergraduate program. For combined degree programs that involve a graduate program, the combination typically involves at least one “professionally” oriented program. Combined degree programs may be structured such that students pursue the two programs concurrently or consecutively. Students in a combined program may be required to pay additional fees.

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