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Academic Regulations

Professional Master’s Degrees at the Sauder School of Business follow the policies of UBC and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, with the exception of those listed below.

  1. Academic Standing & Grading Practices
  2. Auditing Courses
  3. Credits Earned Outside of the Degree Program
  4. Examinations
  5. Overloading
  6. Professionalism, Attendance & Behaviour
  7. Transferring between Professional Master’s Degrees in Business
  8. Withdrawals, Reinstatement & Readmission

These policies do not apply to research-based programs such as the Master of Science in Business Administration.

1. Academic Standing & Grading Practices

1.1 Grading

PERCENTAGE (%) LETTER GRADE
90-100 A+
85-89 A
80-84 A-
76-79 B+
72-75 B
68-71 B-
64-67 C+ (Minimal pass)
60-63 C (Minimal pass)
0-59 F (Fail)

1.2 Passing Grade (60% and above)

A minimum grade of 60% must be achieved in a course in order to receive credit towards a master’s degree. This minimum applies to both required and elective courses.

1.3 Minimal Pass Grade (60 – 67%)

A grade of C or C+ (between 60 and 67%, inclusive) is a minimal pass in a course. A maximum of 6 credits of minimal pass grades can be counted towards a master’s degree.

1.4 Failing Grade (Below 60%)

(a) Any grade below 60% is a Fail (F). If a required course is failed, it must be repeated (it cannot be replaced with a substitute course). A failed elective course may be replaced with a substitute course. Students with a failed course should review their program requirements and speak with a Program Manager/Advisor to determine how to make up for a failed course.

(b) Students who receive a failed or minimal pass grade will receive a letter from the Robert H. Lee Graduate School cautioning that they are at academic risk and outlining requirements for continuation in the program. A meeting with a Robert H. Lee Graduate School Program Manager/Advisor will also be required to discuss program requirements and to determine any needed actions.

1.5 Academic Standing - Required to Withdraw & Academic Performance Evaluations

(a) A student will be required to withdraw from the program under the following circumstances:

  • failed in more than 3 credits of courses, or
  • failed in 3 credits of courses and earned more than 3 credits of minimal pass, or
  • failed in 1.5 credits of courses and earned more than 4.5 credits of minimal pass, or
  • more than 6 credits with grades of minimal pass.

(b) The Robert H. Lee Graduate School will conduct academic performance evaluations of students at the end of each academic period/course as defined by the program schedule. (See dates for academic periods here).For part-time programs an academic performance evaluation will be conducted after each course. If a student does not meet the requirement to continue in the program, the student will be required to withdraw from the program after the respective period/course.

(c) A student who is required to withdraw from the program will not be permitted to attend classes during any appeal processes.

2. Auditing Courses

2.1 Auditing courses in professional masters programs is not permitted.

2.2 Subject to the procedures below, students may be permitted to review BAXX courses without a formal record on the official academic transcript.

2.3 Procedure to informally review a course:

(a) The ability to review a course is at the instructor’s discretion, and only allowed when registration numbers have not exceeded the maximum class size. Students must obtain instructor permission prior to the start of the course.

(b) Students must inform a Program Manager/Advisor at the Robert H. Lee Graduate School of the course name and number to be reviewed.

2.4 If permitted to review, students may be obliged to fully participate in all group work. The instructor determines required participation levels. Students wishing to review a course should carefully consider the additional time commitment required and the effect it might have on academic performance in other courses. This additional time commitment would not be considered as an extenuating circumstance in an appeal of academic standing.

2.5 If permitted to review a course, students are expected to attend all classes and abide by the Professionalism, Attendance and Behaviour Policy.

2.6 Students may be required to purchase learning materials when reviewing a course.

2.7 Students reviewing a course may have access to the online learning management system with the instructor’s approval.

3. Credits Earned Outside of the Degree Program

3.1 Advanced Transfer Credits (credits earned prior to entering the professional master’s program) are not permitted in professional master’s programs in the Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

3.2 After completion of foundation courses of their respective Full-time MBA, International MBA, and Professional MBA programs, students may complete up to 35% of their program credits through:

  • an official Robert H. Lee Graduate school exchange or study abroad program
  • approved UBC courses outside of the designated program
  • an approved program of study at another comparable institution

Students should consult with a Program Manager/Advisor to determine when they become eligible for these alternatives.

3.3 A maximum of 6 credits may be taken at the undergraduate 300/400 level; the remaining credits must be taken at the graduate level 500+ (UBC equivalent). All courses must be part of a recognized degree program; executive education, professional development or continuing education courses are not eligible.

3.4 Any courses outside of the student’s graduate program must be approved by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School prior to registering. Students can contact a Program Manager/Advisor to discuss any options. To gain permission, students must provide a course outline for the desired course as well as information about career goals and how the course would enhance the academic program.

3.5 Students are responsible for any additional course or registration fees associated with courses outside the professional master’s program.

4. Examinations

4.1 Exams are administered by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School. The Graduate School will issue the exam schedule.

4.2 For the purposes of this policy, all other final assignments and deliverables due during the exam period, such as presentations and projects, are considered examinations.

4.3 All exams must be undertaken at the time stated in the exam schedule. Exams will not be re-arranged to accommodate students’ extracurricular activities or personal circumstances such as:

  • Vacation
  • Personal travel
  • Weddings and special occasion events

Refer to UBC’s policy on Academic Concession for valid reasons for requests for alternate exam scheduling.

4.4 Students must not approach instructors to request exam concessions or alternate exam sittings; all exam issues are to be discussed with the respective Program Manager/Advisor.

4.5 Students must notify the Robert H. Lee Graduate School prior to the start of the exam if they are too ill to write, or if unanticipated events or circumstances arise that interfere with their ability to write the exam. UBC’s policy on Academic Concession permits a self-declaration for first occurrences of an acute illness that is likely to be quickly resolved without seeing a health professional (replacing a medical note), or for when a student first seeks an academic concession on compassionate grounds. To make a self-declaration, students should complete the Academic Concession Request & Declaration Form available here. Exams will be deferred until the student has returned to good health. A new exam date will be set by the Graduate School.

4.6 Students with examination hardship or clashes, as defined by UBC policy, must contact the Program Manager/Advisor by the communicated deadline to organize alternate exam sittings.

4.7 Supplemental and retake exams are not permitted in the Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

4.8 UBC Academic Regulations on student conduct during examinations state that no candidate shall be permitted to enter the exam room after the expiration of one-half hour from the scheduled starting time, or to leave during the first half hour of the exam. No additional time will be given to students who arrive late, but within the first half hour of the exam.

4.9 Grades are normally submitted to the Faculty/Student Service Centre within seven working days following the date of the final exam, and grades for exams held in the last two days of the exam period are due within five working days.

4.10 Instructors must keep all completed exams on file for a period of one year.

4.11 Additional Policies for Full-time Programs (Full-time Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Analytics and Master of Management):

(a) Exams, papers, and assignments must be completed by the end of the exam period for the enrolled program. The Robert H. Lee Graduate School will set the exam schedule in consultation with instructors and students to avoid examination hardship. The Robert H. Lee Graduate School will endeavour to schedule all exams between Monday and Friday, but due to conflicts and classroom availability, some exams may be scheduled on Saturday. Students must keep the Saturday of the exam period free.

(b) Any student with Examination Hardship defined as THREE or more exams within a 24-hour period should report this to the Robert H. Lee Graduate School by the communicated deadline. Failure to notify the School of 3 exams within 24 hours by the deadline given may result in students not being able to have an alternate exam sitting.

4.12 Additional Policies for Part-time Programs (Professional Master of Business Administration and International Master of Business Administration):

(a) All examinations, papers, and assignments must be completed by the date scheduled on the respective program calendar. For PMBA, this is usually a Saturday or Sunday. For the IMBA, this is usually a Friday. The exam date is set by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School and published to students in advance of the beginning of each course.

(b) Essential business travel is the only legitimate reason to be permitted an alternate exam sitting. Requests for alternate sittings are to be sent directly to the Program Manager/Advisor; instructors do not approve alternate sittings. A note from the student’s employer detailing the essential business travel (dates/times/location), and proof of travel is required. When approved, alternate sittings will be offered before the official exam date/time.

5. Overloading

5.1 The term “overloading” refers to taking additional courses beyond the standard credit value of the courses associated with a program.

5.2 An overload will be permitted under the following conditions:

(a) The student attained an overall academic average of at least 80% to-date, including all attempted courses.

(b) There are seats available in the requested overload course.

Additional restrictions for each program are listed below.

5.3 Overloading is not acceptable as an extenuating circumstance in an appeal on academic standing.

5.4 Full-Time Master of Business Administration Students:

(a) Overloading is only permitted in Periods 4, 6, and 7 to a maximum of 1.5 credits per period. (See dates for academic periods here.

(b) Overloading of courses prior to going on exchange does not exempt students from taking a full course load at their exchange partner school. Our exchange agreements are predicated upon students participating and contributing fully at their exchange partner school, and this includes taking a full course load.

(c) For timelines and application to overload, refer to the Full-time Master of Business Administration program site.

5.5 Professional Master of Business Administration & International Master of Business Administration:

(a) Overloading is only permitted after completion of four advanced courses. Students who complete more than the required amount of credits for their program are required to meet the Academic Standing requirements as identified in section 1.5.

(b) A maximum overload of 1.5 credits per period, or 4.5 credits (3 courses) per term may be permitted.

(c) For timelines and application to overload, refer to the PMBA or IMBA program site.

5.6 Master of Management:

Overloading is generally not permitted. In exceptional circumstances, overloading may be permitted with the approval of the Program Manager and Director at the RHL Graduate School.

5.7 Master of Business Analytics:

Overloading is generally not permitted. In exceptional circumstances, overloading may be permitted with the approval of the Program Manager and Director at the Robert H. Lee Graduate school.

6. Professionalism, Attendance & Behaviour

6.1 General Expectations & Scope

(a) The Robert H. Lee Graduate School admits candidates who demonstrate the potential to become both business leaders and ambassadors of UBC and the Sauder School of Business. In accepting our offer of admission to a graduate program at the Sauder School, students commit to upholding the highest standard of professional behaviour and integrity. This Section describes the required behaviour towards and during classes and activities organized or supported by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, and the conduct expected during interactions with faculty, staff, and fellow students, regardless of the medium or occasion.

(b) These standards of professionalism apply also to students outside of the Robert H. Lee Graduate School who enrol in BAXX courses. This policy is provided to all such students at the start of each course.

(c) As members of the UBC community, students are expected to familiarize themselves with UBC’s standards for Academic Integrity and uphold those standards throughout their program.

6.2 Attendance

(a) Students are expected to attend 100% of their scheduled class hours. Students may make requests for academic concession in the event that students experience unanticipated events or circumstances that interfere with their ability to accomplish academic work. Students should make requests for academic concession by submitting the Academic Concession Request & Declaration Form available here. UBC’s policy on Academic Concession permits a self-declaration for first occurrences of an acute illness likely to be quickly resolved without seeing a health professional (replacing a medical note), or for when a student first seeks an academic concession on compassionate grounds. Absent students limit their own academic potential, and that of their classmates, and cause unnecessary disruption to the learning environment.

(b) Students missing more than 20% of the total scheduled class hours for a course (including classes held during the add/drop period) without having received an academic concession will be withdrawn from that course. Such a withdrawal results in a “W” if it occurs within the withdrawal with “W” period. If this course withdrawal is after the withdrawal with “W” period, the student will receive up to 50% and an “F” standing for the course on the transcript.

(c) In cases of absence without academic concession being granted by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, due dates for assignments remain unchanged and instructors may deduct participation points for missed classes.

(d) Examinations for courses in full-time programs will not normally be rescheduled for professional, personal, or co-curricular conflicts.

(e) Provided certain conditions are met, examinations for courses in part-time programs may be rescheduled due to essential business travel required by the student’s employer. Students should refer to the policy on Examinations for further details.

(f) It should be noted that ‘signing in’ for another student at a scheduled class is considered academic misconduct, and such cases will be investigated in accordance with UBC’s procedures for Academic Misconduct.

6.3 Impact of Non-Attendance on Program Completion

(a) Students who are withdrawn from a course due to non-attendance will be advised on the alternatives available to complete the necessary credits. Depending on the program, the nature of the course(s), and the time of year, these alternatives may be limited and graduation may be delayed.

(b) Students will not normally be able to replace credits with courses from outside of the degree for which they are registered. Exceptions may be made for up to 6 credits at the discretion of the Program Manager and Program Director at the Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

6.4 Tardiness

(a) As with any professional environment, students are expected to arrive for classes and activities on time and fully prepared to engage. Students who are late for a class or activity may be refused entry at the discretion of the instructor or activity lead. In such cases, the student will be treated as absent for that class and fall under the provisions for attendance stated above.

(b) Students arriving later than halfway through a scheduled class will be treated as absent for that class and fall under the provisions for attendance stated above, even if the instructor allows them to continue in the classroom.

6.5 Use of Electronic Devices in Class

(a) Research shows that students’ use of laptops in class has negative implications for the learning environment, including reducing their own grades and the grades of those sitting around them. As a result, the Robert H. Lee Graduate School has a ‘lids down’ default in all its classes. This means that students should only open their laptops when asked to by the instructor in order to undertake a specific activity.

(b) Similarly, cell phones, digital tablets, and other personal technology must be turned off during class and stowed away.

(c) Students who do not follow the School’s policy in this regard may be required to leave the room for the remainder of the class, so that they do not distract others. In such cases, students will be treated as absent for that class and fall under the provisions for attendance stated above.

6.6 Behaviour towards faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests

(a)As with any professional environment, students are expected to demonstrate respect for their colleagues at all times, including faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests. The Robert H. Lee Graduate School expects all its students, as future business leaders, to meet their obligations, conduct themselves professionally, and communicate courteously.

(b) Students should also be aware of the University’s Code of Conduct and the related discipline measures. Any conduct on the part of a student that has an adverse effect on the integrity of the School or the University, or cause harm to its members or the general public, will be subject to the principles set out in the Code of Conduct.

7. Transferring between Professional Master’s Degrees in Business

7.1 Should a student wish to change degree programs within the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, the following process must be followed:

(a) The student must complete the full application package and meet all program admissions requirements for the desired program.

(b) If admitted, a maximum of 12 credits or up to 40% of the total number of degree credits of previously completed coursework may be applied toward the new degree requirements, provided the courses were completed no earlier than five years from the date of readmission and the courses are applicable to the new degree.

(c) Courses eligible for transfer must have been awarded a grade of at least B (74%).

(d) The student must voluntarily withdraw from the current program before beginning the new program.

(e) Normal program requirements apply to the new program, as does the standard time allowed for degree completion.

8. Withdrawals, Reinstatement & Readmission

8.1 Voluntary Withdrawal

(a) A student wishing to withdraw from the University must notify the Robert H. Lee Graduate School in writing. The withdrawal becomes effective once officially approved in writing by the School. The academic record will indicate “Voluntary Withdrawal.” The academic record will show the date of withdrawal and a standing of “W” in all courses not completed on the approval date. Any refund of tuition and fees will follow the University’s refund policy. Fees will continue to be assessed until the School grants written approval for the voluntary withdraw.

(b) A student who voluntarily withdraws may return to the program through readmission, as outlined in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policies. The Robert H. Lee Graduate School does not permit reinstatements.

8.2 Mandatory Withdrawal (Required to Withdraw)

(a) A student who is required to withdraw from the program may appeal to the Dean of the Faculty, and if unsuccessful, may finally appeal to the Senate’s Committee on Appeals on Academic Standing.

(b) A student who is required to withdraw from the program will not be permitted to attend classes during an appeal process.

(c) A student who is required to withdraw from the program will not be reinstated or readmitted to the program.

Page last updated: June 3, 2020

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