All graduate programs provide a graduate-level learning experience. This means frequent interaction with faculty; interaction among peers; participation in the community of scholars in colloquia, seminars and conferences; and opportunities for advanced students to present their own research at regional, national, and international conferences. Graduate coursework must be delivered at the graduate level. In the case of combined/double-numbered courses, in which graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled together, graduate students must be a majority. Normally SGPS will not accept an undergraduate course as a degree requirement unless specified in the Program's SGPS-approved regulations.
The program specifies milestones for satisfactory progress towards the degree (e.g. a minimum average, a minimum grade for a course, etc.) and ensures that students are aware of these in a timely fashion through Program's website or by other means.
The Master's degree entails a program of advanced study and research approved by OCGS and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Advanced study means study beyond the undergraduate level. Research entails the critical analysis of current knowledge and the creation of new knowledge. Western offers Graduate study at the Master's Level through thesis-oriented, course-based, and professional programs.
- The course-based and Professional Master's programs have research components, such as research papers, to develop the student's analytic and interpretive skills.
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy requires an OCGS and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies-approved program of study and independent research that culminates in a thesis. The thesis (or dissertation) must be presented in a scholarly manner, make an original contribution to knowledge, and be successfully defended at a School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies examination.
- Because thesis research is highly specialized, doctoral programs must provide mechanisms to ensure a breadth of knowledge and skills (participation in colloquia, a comprehensive examination, or other means).
- Doctoral programs offer OCGS-approved study fields: areas of strength, concentration, or specialization.
The Graduate Chair of a program
- Must approve the student's plan of study.
- Must ensure the preparation and filing of an annual progress report for each student.
Graduate faculty must provide students with timely feedback on courses, examinations, or other requirements.
The program may require students to withdraw if they fail to meet the following standards:
- Students must maintain a cumulative average of at least 70% calculated each term over all courses taken for credit, with no grade less than 60%. In the case of failing grades given for Scholastic Offences, only the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) can withdraw a student; see Section 13.
- Students must make satisfactory progress towards the degree according to milestones set by the program.