All newly admitted and continuing graduate students at York University are responsible for being familiar with and registering and paying fees in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies and University policies, deadlines and procedures. By the act of registration each student becomes bound by the policies and regulations of York University, including the Faculty in which the student is registered.
Students admitted to a graduate diploma, master’s degree program or doctoral degree program must maintain continuous registration, including payment of applicable fees, in every fall, winter and summer term up to and including the term in which all requirements for their program of study are successfully completed, in accordance with Faculty and program regulations and as confirmed by the program director. (The requirement to maintain continuous registration does not apply to master’s programs in the Schulich School of Business.)
Students who fail to maintain continuous registration, including payment of applicable fees, will lose their status as full-time or part-time graduate students and will be withdrawn from their program of study. Students who have been withdrawn as a result of failure to observe registration requirements may petition for reinstatement.
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Minimum Period of Registration
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.)
Doctor of Philosophy students must register and pay fees for a minimum of the equivalent of six terms of full-time registration.
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Simultaneous registration in two full-time programs is not permitted. With the consent of both graduate units concerned, or of the graduate unit and another faculty or school, and written notification to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, simultaneous registration in a full-time program and a part-time program may be permitted. Two part-time registrations in different programs may also be permitted. Students are responsible for the fees charged for both programs.
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A graduate student is designated by the University as full-time if he or she:
- is pursuing his or her studies as a full-time occupation;
- identifies himself or herself as a full-time graduate student;
- is geographically available and visits the campus regularly. (A graduate student may be absent from the campus while still under supervision, e.g., visiting libraries, attending a graduate course at another institution, field work, enrolled in distance or on-line courses, etc. If such periods of absence exceed four weeks in any term, approval of the graduate program director and the Dean of Graduate Studies is required.);
- is considered by his or her supervisor and program director to be progressing, in relation to program requirements and expectations, at a satisfactory rate; and
- has not normally completed more than six terms of full-time study at the master’s level or not more than 18 terms of full-time study at the Doctoral level.
Full-time graduate students may hold employment provided that they are not regularly employed for more than an average of ten hours per week for any period for which they are registered as full-time graduate students. If the student is employed by the University as a graduate or teaching assistant, the ten hours per week represents the total time spent by the student in connection with the appointment and includes the time spent on preparative work, reading set assignments, marking examinations, etc.
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All registered graduate students pursing a degree or stand-alone graduate diploma who do not meet the requirements of full-time status as defined above are part-time graduate students. For the calculation of degree/program length and balance of degree fees, one full-time term is equivalent to two part-time terms, and vice versa.
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Change in Status
Degree and diploma students are expected to remain in the registration status (full-time or part-time) to which they were admitted unless a change of status is approved by the program director and the Dean.
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Categories of Students
Degree and Diploma Students
A degree or diploma student is registered in full-time or part-time status in a graduate degree program (master’s or PhD) and/or Graduate Diploma in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
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Students who intend to take one or more graduate courses and/or conduct research under the supervision of a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies but who are not proceeding to a graduate degree or graduate diploma at York University should apply for non-degree admission. Non-degree students must apply to and be deemed admissible by a graduate program at York University. There are two types of non-degree students: Visiting Students and Exchange Students.
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With the permission of the graduate program director concerned and the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies, applicants who meet the following criteria may be admitted to the status of Visiting Students (Faculty of Graduate Studies):
- enrolled in programs leading to the award of a master’s or Doctoral degree by universities other than York, and who wish to and are authorized to enrol in one or more graduate courses at York University and/or to conduct research under the supervision of a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
- otherwise qualified for admission as candidates for York master’s or Doctoral degrees, but who wish to enrol in one or more graduate courses without credit towards a York degree.
The Visiting Student category is reserved for students who are registered in part-time status but who are not enrolled in a graduate diploma or degree programs at York University. Visiting Students may enrol in and complete up to 12 credits in coursework at York University.
Visiting Students whose admission to the Faculty and enrolment in a graduate diploma or degree program is subsequently recommended by a graduate program director may petition for courses successfully completed as a Visiting Student to be accepted for credit toward the graduate diploma or degree program. Courses completed as a Visiting Student may count for up to 50% of the coursework requirements for the York graduate diploma or degree program, provided that they have not already been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualification. It should be noted that petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and that credit is not automatically applied.
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With the recommendation of the graduate program director concerned, students who meet the following criteria may be admitted to the status of Exchange Students (Faculty of Graduate Studies):
- are enrolled in programs leading to the award of a master’s or Doctoral degree at universities with whom York University has an exchange agreement, and who wish to and are authorized to enrol in one or more graduate courses at York University and/or to conduct research under the supervision of a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies;
- submit a Graduate Level Exchange Application to York International, vetted and approved by their home institution, which includes transcripts or grade reports provided by the home institution and an assessment of facility in the English language; and,
- normally maintain at least a B (second class) standing, or have qualifications accepted as equivalent.
Students admitted under the Exchange Students category are not considered otherwise admissible to York University. If, subsequent to being an exchange student, an individual wishes to apply to York University as a candidate for a master’s or Doctoral degree, they will be required to submit a new application to the Graduate Admissions Office along with official documents as outlined in the application procedures.
Former exchange students who are subsequently admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies may petition to have courses that were successfully completed while they were on exchange be considered for credit toward a master’s or Doctoral degree. Courses completed as an Exchange Student may count for up to 50% of the coursework requirements for the York graduate diploma or degree program, provided that they have not already been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualification. It should be noted that petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and that credit is not automatically applied.
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Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) Plan
The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) Plan allows a registered graduate student of an Ontario university (home university) to take graduate-level courses at another Ontario university (host university) while remaining registered at the home university. This plan allows students to bypass the usual application for admission procedure and relevant transfer of credit difficulties. Students register at, pay fees to, and continue to receive awards from their home university and are classified as “visiting graduate students” at the host university where they pay no fees.
York University graduate students interested in taking a graduate course at another Ontario University under the OVGS plan should complete the OVGS application form (pdf).
York University graduate students may complete up to 6 credits in coursework under the OVGS Plan towards any one degree program.
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Leaves of Absence
The requirement of continuous registration supports students toward the timely completion of their studies. However, the university recognizes that from time to time students may need to be absent from their studies or from the university while maintaining an affiliation with York University. To take such absences, students must make a request to the Dean through their graduate program office. If the request is granted, students must ensure that they maintain continuous registration and pay the fees associated with the particular category of absence.
There are two categories of absences from the program of studies or from the university:
- absences that are included in the number of terms to completion, which includes external student status; and,
- absences that are not included in the number of terms to completion, which includes elective leave, exceptional circumstances leave, maternity leave, parental leave, and no course available.
Leaves of absence must normally be requested and approved prior to the start of the term in which the leave will take place. Only in exceptional circumstances will an academic petition for a retroactive leave of absence be granted. Graduate students may also submit a financial petition to Student Financial Services.
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External student status
External students are those who have completed all course requirements on either a full-time or a part-time basis and who are not physically present at the University for purposes of using its facilities or receiving supervision.
- maximum number of terms (over the course of the degree program): 3
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Elective leave of absence
Students applying for an elective leave of absence do not have to provide grounds for their request as long as it is submitted in a timely fashion.
- maximum number of terms (over the course of the degree program) for elective leave of absence: 1
- student must have completed two terms of study
- may not be used by students in the Graduate Program in Environmental Studies to pursue any activities which form part of a plan of study (such as a field experience, individual directed study, or individual research), or for which any form of residual program credit might otherwise be requested
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Exceptional circumstances leave of absence
Students applying for a leave of absence under exceptional circumstances are students who are facing a type of hardship that takes them away from their studies.
Examples of exceptional circumstances:
- Medical, professional (which may include employment opportunities related to a student’s field of study or extraordinary demands of full-time employment for part-time students), compassionate circumstances
- Maximum number of terms (over the course of the program of study): 3
Form: Academic Petition (.pdf)
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Maternity leave of absence
Available to students during or following a pregnancy
- Maximum number of terms of leave (over the course of the program of study): 3 per pregnancy
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Parental leave of absence
Available to students for whom parental responsibilities are such that they require the student to be absent from their studies.
- Maximum number of terms of leave (over the course of the program of study): 1 per child
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No Course Available
Students in coursework only programs of study who have not yet completed their course work may petition to register as No Course Available if no suitable course is offered in any given term. In exceptional circumstances, other students who are unable to make meaningful progress towards completion of degree requirements, other than by taking a course, may petition for No Course Available if no suitable course is available in any given term. This provision does not apply if a student is registered as working on a thesis/dissertation or a major research paper, or has a grade of ‘I’ recorded for a course at the end of the previous term.
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To withdraw in good standing from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, a student must notify their graduate program office in writing. The effective date of withdrawal is the date the program was notified in writing by the student. Withdrawing from a course does not constitute official withdrawal from the program.
To be eligible to withdraw in good standing, a student’s academic record may not include any coursework Incompletes and may not include any combination of C grades or combination of C and F grades that would normally result in withdrawal for failure to maintain academic standards. Students who are beyond the applicable maximum time limits or who have not maintained continuous registration are normally not eligible to withdraw in good standing.
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Reinstatement/Reinstatement to Defend
Students who have withdrawn in good standing may petition for reinstatement anytime within three terms (12 months) following their withdrawal. Students who do not petition for reinstatement within three terms (12 months) following the withdrawal must normally apply for readmission.
Students who have withdrawn in good standing may petition for reinstatement to defend a thesis/dissertation at anytime following their withdrawal, on the condition that the thesis/dissertation is ready to proceed to defense. Such petitions must include support of the supervisory committee and graduate program director, including confirmation that the thesis/dissertation is ready to proceed to defense.
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