Program of Study

Master's Students

All master's degree students admitted to the College of Graduate Studies must register when they begin their studies. Students must remain continuously registered until the degree is completed, except for periods of time for which the student is away on an approved leave of absence. Failure to register for two consecutive terms may result in the student being required to withdraw.

Each student's program of study must be approved by the home graduate program.

Some graduate programs require competence in languages other than English. The graduate program in which the student intends to write the thesis shall determine the number of such languages and a satisfactory level of competence.

College of Graduate Studies regulations for master's degrees allow for full- or part-time studies, and for programs with or without theses. The choice of these options lies with the individual graduate program and the student. Graduate programs are also free to prescribe work beyond the minimum requirements described below. Students should contact graduate programs directly for more information on program options.

Program Requirements (Thesis and Non-Thesis Programs)

The minimum course requirements are 30 course credits, of which at least 24 must be numbered 500-699. A maximum of 6 credits at the undergraduate level in courses numbered 300-499 may be counted toward the requirements of a master's degree. A comprehensive examination in the form of a final written and/or oral examination is at the discretion of the graduate program.

In specific programs, minimum requirements may be higher than 30 course credits. Students should consult the graduate program listing in the Academic Calendar for more information.

Note: courses listed in the Academic Calendar under graduate programs may not all be offered annually. Students should contact the department or program concerned for detailed information about course offerings.

Transfer Credit

Undergraduate students who have maintained an overall B+ (76-79% at UBC) average in their completed third- and fourth-year courses, and who have completed at least 75% of the third- and fourth-year requirements for their undergraduate degree, may be eligible to register in graduate courses. Upon admission to the College of Graduate Studies, these credits, to a maximum of 12 credits or 40% of the total number of credits needed for degree completion (whichever is more), may be applied towards a graduate degree.

The 12-credit (40%) restriction does not apply to students in UBC-approved Exchange Agreements established by the UBC Go Global office.

Requests for transfer credit must be accompanied by a letter from the home graduate program addressed to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The letter must provide an academic justification for allowing the transfer credit on a course-by-course basis.

Exemptions

Students may be exempted from specific course requirements if the graduate program is satisfied that the student has acquired the knowledge from courses previously taken or from experience. Exemptions do not reduce the total credits required for a degree. In such cases, the graduate program should substitute a more appropriate course. The exemption from the specific requirement must be recorded on the student's academic record.

Doctoral Students

All doctoral students admitted to the College of Graduate Studies must register when they begin their studies. Students must remain continuously registered until the degree is completed, except for periods of time for which the student is away on an approved leave of absence. Failure to register for two consecutive terms may result in the student being required to withdraw.

Each doctoral candidate is supervised by a committee composed of no fewer than three faculty members and chaired by the student's supervisor. Supervisory committees may include faculty members from graduate programs other than the candidate's home department or graduate program. With the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the committee may also include qualified persons who are not faculty members. The supervisory committee is responsible for guiding the student in planning research and preparing the thesis.

The student is responsible for securing the chair of the supervisory committee. In exceptional circumstances, the program may assign the chair. Students should consult with their graduate coordinator in this respect. Changes may be made to the candidate's committee with the approval of the candidate's graduate program. Students who are unable to secure a chair should ask either the graduate coordinator or the department head for assistance. In very exceptional circumstances, the head may ask the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies to appoint a chair. In some instances and for a brief period of time only, a student may be assigned an interim committee until a more permanent committee can be established.

Upon registration, the doctoral student will consult with his or her supervisor(s) to develop a program of study, subject to the approval of the home program. The program of study will consist of seminars, directed readings, consultations, and such formal courses as may be deemed essential for the fulfilment of the requirements for the degree. Some graduate programs may require competence in languages other than English. The graduate program in which the student intends to write the thesis shall determine the number of such languages and a satisfactory level of competence. A major part of the doctoral candidate's work will consist of a thesis embodying the results of original research.

Changes in the program of study may be required during the period of study. These changes must be reviewed and approved by the candidate's supervisory committee and the home graduate program.

Note: courses listed in the Academic Calendar may not all be offered annually. Students should contact the department or program concerned for detailed information about course offerings.

Transfer Credit

Doctoral students are not normally eligible for transfer credit. In doctoral programs where there is a prescribed amount of coursework, students may be eligible for course exemptions on the basis of previous courses taken.

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