2010-11 Decanal Memoranda

Application Procedures for 2011-2012

#001 - July 23, 2010

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Berry Smith, Vice-Dean, Students

CC:     Council of Graduate Deans, SGS Committee of Deans and Directors, SGS Staff

SGS continues to enhance the web-based admissions application in order to improve the experience for applicants and referees and to offer administrative efficiencies to graduate units. This memo outlines significant additions and changes to the application for the 2011-2012 admissions cycle in September. The Information Systems and Student Services units at SGS will be meeting with graduate administrators later this summer to outline the changes in more detail. If you have questions, please contact Rodney Branch, Director of Information Systems.

Scanned Transcripts

For the next admissions cycle, we will require the submission of scanned transcripts for all programs in the SGS online admission application. This will give graduate units and collaborative programs using secure web or network based file assessment systems a fully electronic file to use as they see fit. Though no students will be permitted to register before the transcript is verified against an official copy, the graduate unit can choose whether the verification is done before release of the offer of admission, or after the offer but before registration as a condition of admission. This change follows the success of a pilot project in which a significant number of graduate units participated.

Reference Forms

Beginning in September, the online application will allow graduate units to create customized reference forms that referees can complete on a web page. This will eliminate the need for referees to download, complete, save and then upload the program-specific forms required by more than thirty graduate units. This feature builds on last year’s improvements to the referee submission procedure: the introduction of referee accounts provided each referee with a status page listing all of the requests from applicants; and the file upload process was replaced by a simple “cut and paste” submission page where the program required a letter rather than a reference form.

File Assessment

After the launch of the transcript requirement and new reference forms, SGS Information Systems will be developing a file assessment module for use by graduate administrators and coordinators, collaborative programs, admissions committees and supervisors. While a number of units have developed local databases or secure web services through which admissions committees or potential supervisors view and assess applications, others do not have access to the necessary resources or infrastructure. Use of the system will not be obligatory but for many programs it could reduce the amount of printing required and allow faculty to review files without needing to travel to the graduate unit office. Units will be able to manage their committee membership and access rights and manage the sequence under which the files are reviewed.

 
 

Offers of Admission Conditional upon Satisfying the English Language Facility Requirement

 

#002 - September 9, 2010

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and

           Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:     Council of Graduate Deans

           School of Graduate Studies Staff

In an effort to facilitate access to graduate studies for applicants from non-English language speaking countries, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) will permit graduate units, starting with the 2010-2011 admissions cycle, to issue offers of admission conditional upon the applicant satisfying the English language facility requirement (ELF) by the deadline to register. Failure to provide proof of language facility by the registration deadline will result in the withdrawal of the offer of admission. No exceptions or extensions will be permitted.

The offer of conditional admission is at the discretion of individual graduate units, which may continue to insist that ELF requirements are met before an offer is made. Note that there is no change to the SGS minimum admission requirements as all graduate applicants must still demonstrate their capacity to pursue a graduate-level program in English. Applicants will continue to be asked to submit an English facility test score that meets the University’s minimum requirement for admission at the time of application. As per current admission policies and procedures, applicants who have completed a program of study at a university where the language of instruction and examination was uniformly in English (excluding Canadian citizens who studied at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French), and applicants who completed programs of study at universities in certain countries as listed in the SGS Admissions Guide, are exempt from the ELF requirement.

Graduate units therefore cannot waive ELF requirements but now can determine when applicants must satisfy this requirement (i.e. at application or prior to registration). However, applicants who have been issued a conditional offer should be encouraged to provide a test score as soon as possible to clear the outstanding ELF condition so that a firm offer of admission can be issued; this may help facilitate a successful student visa application.

Note that a graduate unit still may put forward to SGS for non-standard consideration an applicant who falls slightly below the ELF requirement. If this request is approved, the unit may issue an offer of admission with no ELF condition. However, to minimise potential problems with international students arriving with indeterminate status, all such non-standard cases must be submitted to SGS no later than August 1, December 1 and May 1 for the fall, winter and summer academic cycles respectively.

In the absence of a test score, graduate units may still require some evidence of an applicant’s English language proficiency before making a conditional offer; in this case we suggest using other tools such as a writing sample, an interview by telephone, or recommendation from a trusted third party with direct experience with the applicant’s language proficiency.

 

We hope that this change will be helpful to academically qualified international applicants who have been unable to secure a test date or reside in a region where testing has been disrupted. Should you have any questions, please consult the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly, at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca, or your Divisional Student Services Officer.

 

Graduate-Only Transcript Option

 #003 - September 9, 2010

To:      Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:   Heather Kelly, Director of Student Services

            Rodney Branch, Director of Information Systems

CC:      University Registrar

            College and Divisional Registrars

            School of Graduate Studies Staff

The School of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce that as of Fall 2010, graduate students or alumni of graduate programs now have the option of selecting only the graduate portion of their academic record to be displayed on their transcript.

Separate graduate transcripts exist at other institutions (e.g., University of Western Ontario, University of Waterloo) and there are many awards and positions which only require a graduate transcript. This option will therefore ensure that our graduate students have the same advantages and opportunities as their colleagues at other institutions.

The student’s registration history summary and the degrees conferred at any level are still included on the transcript. The format of the consolidated transcript would remain but the sessional registration and course detail from undergraduate divisions would be suppressed. All graduate registrations will be included. The full undergraduate/graduate transcript remains the default when ordering a transcript but graduate students and alumni may request the “graduate only” option when they order transcripts on the Student Web Service (SWS) or at the University of Toronto Transcript Centre.

Please note that electronic transcripts (EDI transcripts) requested through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) will be in the full version. This is appropriate as most transcripts ordered through OUAC are to support applications for admission or for accreditation through the Ontario College of Teachers and a full transcript is required.

 

Should you have any questions about this initiative, please contact Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca or Rodney Branch at rodney.branch@utoronto.ca.

 
 

Termination Template and Sample Letters

#004 - October 18, 2010

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Berry Smith, Vice-Dean, Students

CC:    Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies Staff 

On occasion it becomes necessary to consider the termination of a student's registration in their graduate program. As termination is a serious request, SGS has produced a termination template letter as well as four sample letters for the most common reasons for termination:

 

failed courses(s);

failed comprehensive exam(s);

lack of satisfactory progress and,

failure to achieve candidacy.

 

These documents can be accessed at: http://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/governance/policies/termination.htm (LINK)

The letter requesting termination should be sent to me as SGS Vice-Dean, Students by the chair or director of the graduate unit. It should carefully document the reasons for the recommendation. Reference should be made to any previous discussions or correspondence with the student related to the matter. It is expected that the Chair or Graduate Coordinator will have discussed the issue with the student (and with the supervisor, where appropriate) prior to the letter being sent. Students should be informed of their exit options so that the difference between withdrawal and termination is clearly understood. Departments are encouraged to have a departmental committee on academic standing that reviews termination requests before they are sent to SGS.

In responding to a graduate unit’s request for termination of a student’s program SGS will consider such matters as: was there sufficient cause to terminate, was the case properly documented, was adequate feedback and warning given, were student’s circumstances fairly considered, were conditions of performance and time lines to correct the problem or to show acceptable improvement reasonable and was due process followed.

As noted in the accompanying documentation, these are sample letters only and consultation with the SGS Vice-Dean Students at any step leading to termination is welcome. The SGS Vice-Dean Students is available to mediate a problematic situation and provide advice on how academic regulations such as Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress and the principles of Graduate Student Supervision may be applied.

 

Should you have any questions about the template or sample letters, please contact the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca.

 

New Guidelines and Materials on Graduate-Level Academic Misconduct

#005 - October 26, 2010
 

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:     Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies Staff

The School of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce new guidelines outlining best practices for cases involving graduate students under the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. While it is fortunate that such cases are relatively few and far between, this can result in lack of familiarity with best practices. It is our hope that the new guidelines will be of use not only to graduate chairs, directors, coordinators and administrators, but also to graduate faculty members and students.

The guidelines provide advice and clarification on the steps involved in bringing an allegation of academic misconduct before the Dean of SGS, including education and prevention, case preparation, and the procedures used at the Dean’s meeting. Accompanying the guidelines are materials designed to make handling cases easier, including a checklist, sample letter to the Dean, and copies of the Code in various formats. The guidelines and materials are available on the SGS website at: http://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/governance/policies/academicmisconduct.htm.

 
 

Graduate Faculty Membership - Procedural Revision

#006 - December 20, 2010

To:      Vice-Deans, Graduate

           Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:   Elizabeth Smyth, Vice-Dean, Programs

CC:      School of Graduate Studies Staff

The revised Constitution of the School of Graduate Studies received final University approval on December 6, 2010. The changes to the SGS Constitution include the revision and clarification of responsibilities regarding graduate faculty membership. 

Responding to feedback from graduate units, and in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President and Provost, SGS has prepared an at-a-glance summary of the eligibility guidelines for graduate faculty membership. We hope that this summary will prove helpful.

To streamline the graduate faculty membership process, we have revised the procedures for implementing graduate faculty memberships, updated the templates for letters offering graduate faculty membership, and developed a new checklist to minimize the follow-up required by graduate administrators and business officers. All of these take effect on January 1, 2011. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues within Graduate Units for their thoughtful contributions to the refinement of these procedures.

 
 

SGS Conference Grant

#007 - January 25, 2011

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:     School of Graduate Studies Staff

SGS is pleased to announce the establishment of a new Conference Grant to assist registered, full-time doctoral-stream students in good standing to present their research at a conference or other academic meeting. This initiative will support SGS’s efforts to further the professional skills development of doctoral-stream students and increase students’ competitiveness for scholarships. Preference will be given to students early in their career who are presenting their research for the first time. The grant will cover all or much of the student registration fee and a fixed amount based on conference location. This grant is not intended to replace other sources of funding (e.g. student, supervisor or department/Faculty contributions) but will enable students with limited funding to attend a conference that might otherwise not be possible without additional support.

The SGS Conference Grant will run twice a year, in October and March. The first competition will be in March 2011. Applicants will need to signify their intent to present at a conference by submitting the application form and supporting documents. Successful applicants will be asked to provide proof of registration at the conference in order to have the grant funds deposited to their account, and confirmation of attendance and active involvement (e.g. hotel receipt and a conference programme that lists their name) in order to retain the grant.

Please help ensure eligible students in your graduate unit are aware of this new grant. More details on the application process will be announced in the weeks ahead.

 
 

Sessional Dates 2011-2012

#008 - February 3, 2011 

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:    Council of Graduate Deans

          School of Graduate Studies Staff

To assist you in planning for the upcoming academic year, please find attached the Sessional Dates for 2011/2012. These sessional dates will also be included in the SGS Calendar 2011/2012 which is produced in late spring.

Sessional Dates 2011/2012

For reference, the official start date of classes will be on Monday September 12, 2011. The SGS Orientation will be held on Tuesday September 6, 2011.

SGS Sessional dates will now be based upon the following criteria:

 

1. The Faculty of Arts and Science start dates for both the Fall and Winter term have been adopted;

 

2. The add deadline is 2 weeks from first day of classes for half courses;

 

3. The drop deadline is 7 weeks from the first day of classes for half courses.

 

Please note that for the purpose of SGS Sessional Dates and ROSI deadlines for the start and end of classes as well as course add/drop dates, SGS will maintain the 13-week graduate instruction period. However, the precise dates of commencement of courses are to be determined by the graduate units.

SGS requires that the equivalent of at least 12 weeks’ instruction for a minimum of two hours per week normally will occur in each term for a 0.5 full course equivalent. Given the diversity of delivery options, instructors retain flexibility in course scheduling and also with respect to including a fall or winter reading week. Instructors are expected to inform students of the course schedule at the start of the term.

If you have any questions about these sessional dates, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca.
 
 
 

Offers of Admission to Students Conditional upon Scholarship Support

#009 - March 1, 2011

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:     Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies Staff

Under the conditions described below, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) will now allow graduate units, effective immediately, to issue offers of admission conditional upon the student securing scholarship support by the deadline to register. This will be allowed where there is an approved memorandum of agreement between the University of Toronto and the government scholarship agency. Failure to provide proof of funding by the registration deadline will result in the withdrawal of the offer of admission. No exceptions or extensions will be permitted.

Graduate units therefore cannot waive the requirement to provide funding for eligible doctoral-stream students but now can issue conditional offers to students who are in the process of applying for approved government scholarships.

A list of currently approved government scholarships is as follows:

Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC)

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Scholarships

CONACYT

This list will be maintained as an appendix in the SGS Admissions Guide and will be updated as new agreements are approved by the University of Toronto.

SGS will also create admission condition codes for each of the above mentioned scholarships which can be inserted as remarks in the official letter of offer.

If you have any questions about the eligibility of specific government-sponsored scholarship programs which are not mentioned above, please contact the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca.

 

Division 1: Permission for Thesis Written in a Language Other than English or French

#010 - March 1, 2011

To:     Graduate Chairs and Directors, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators for DIVISION I

From:  Elizabeth Smyth, Vice-Dean, Programs

CC:     School of Graduate Studies Student Services and Staff

A doctoral thesis should normally be written in English or French, but with the permission of the School, doctoral students in Division I may be permitted to write a thesis in a language other than English or French.

According to SGS regulations, “In Division I, the humanities, permission may be given for a thesis to be written in a language other than English or French when the language has been approved for use in theses by the graduate unit concerned. Before such permission can be granted, the graduate unit chair must certify in writing to the School that the candidate has passed a supervised essay-type examination, written in English, that demonstrates his or her proficiency in writing correct and idiomatic English prose. A supplementary abstract of about 5,000 words in English or French must form part of a thesis that is written in a language other than English or French, and no language other than English or French may be used for the conduct of final doctoral examinations”.

2010-2011 SGS Calendar

Effective immediately, SGS will delegate the granting of permission to the Chair/Director/Graduate Coordinator of the student’s graduate unit. By April 30th of each year, the Chair submits a report of the permission granted to the Vice-Dean Programs. The report form is available on the SGS website and details the name of the student, name of the supervisor, working title of thesis, language permitted for the written thesis and brief rationale.

The requirement for a supplementary abstract of about 5,000 words in English or French remains. This must form part of the written thesis. As well, the final oral examination must be conducted in either English or French.

Please note that the student must have an adequate knowledge of such language or languages, other than English or French, as are required by the student’s graduate unit. Testing and certification of languages may be administered by the appropriate language department or by the student’s own graduate unit. The student’s graduate unit is also responsible for ensuring that an acceptable certificate of language competence is deposited in the official student file.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca.

Note:  Direct link to the Form for  Division I: Permission for a Thesis Written in a Language Other Than English or French: Thesis Written Language

 

Changes to Regulations on Candidacy

#011 - March 8, 2011

To:    Graduate Chairs, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:    Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies

Effective as of September 1, 2011, the University of Toronto Graduate Calendar Degree Regulations indicate that flexible-time option PhD and professional doctoral students are now subject to the requirements for Good Academic Standing, including Candidacy.

Please refer to the 2011-2012 SGS Calendar excerpt below for more details on achieving candidacy:

9.5.1 Achieving Candidacy – Requirements and Time Limit

To achieve candidacy, students in doctoral degree programs must a) complete all requirements for the degree exclusive of thesis research and courses such as ongoing research seminars that run continuously through the program, and b) have an approved thesis topic, supervisor, and supervisory committee.

Candidacy must be achieved by the end of the third year for all doctoral programs, except for the five-year PhD program, flexible-time PhD program option, and professional doctoral programs begun on a part-time basis. For those exceptions, candidacy must be achieved by the end of the fourth year of registration (see chart below).

Note: The foregoing time limits do not apply to courses that run continuously throughout the program.

Doctoral degree program categories:          Candidacy must be achieved:

PhD, four-year program:                             by end of third year PhD,

PhD, five-year program (Direct-Entry):       by end of fourth year

Flexible-time PhD program option:              by end of fourth year

Professional doctoral program, full-time:     by end of third year

Professional doctoral program, part-time:   within four years of initial registration

In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not met these requirements may be permitted to register in the program for up to 12 months at the discretion of the graduate unit in which the student is registered. Continuation beyond 12 months will require the approval of both the graduate unit and the SGS Admissions and Programs Committee. Completion of the program requirements identified above will signal the achievement of candidacy. Successful completion of candidacy is recognized by a notation on the transcript.

Candidacy Assessment Process

Each term SGS distributes candidacy assessment lists to graduate units and asks graduate units to report on the status of each student on the list(s) who is subject to the School’s candidacy requirement. A flexible-time PhD and professional doctoral student at the end of year four and year three respectively is expected to have completed all program requirements exclusive of the thesis. The notation Candidacy Achieved will appear on the transcript of the student who has completed the above mentioned program requirements.

Please note below the candidacy assessment process that will be implemented for flexible-time option PhD and professional doctoral students in the next cycle: 

Each term, a list of all flexible-time option PhD and professional doctoral students who will be expected to achieve candidacy within the next 12 months and students whose approved extension period is expiring will be sent to graduate units for information only.

Graduate units will report back to SGS on the status of each student on the list by forwarding one of the following: a Recommendation for Candidacy form (to be completed if the student has achieved candidacy), an Extension to Achieve Candidacy form (to be completed if the student is expected to complete candidacy requirements within the extension period); or a request for termination (please refer to termination procedures in the SGS Calendar for more details).

a. If termination is recommended, please provide background documentation on why this decision has been made.

b. In exceptional circumstances, a request for a second extension can be forwarded to the SGS Admission and Programs Committee (please refer to the ROSI Manual Section 5.66 for more details on the required documentation). 

Extensions to candidacy will be for 12 months.

If SGS Student Services does not receive a response by the deadline date, the student’s registration will be financially cancelled (FINCA).

Should a student achieve candidacy early—before the three-year time limit—or achieve candidacy before their approved extension has expired and wish to have it recorded on their transcript, a Recommendation for Candidacy form may be submitted to SGS Students Services at any time once all requirements for candidacy have been met.

Should you have any questions, please consult the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca or your Divisional Student Services Officer. 
 

Changes to Regulations on Lapsing

#012 - March 8, 2011

To:     Graduate Chairs, Graduate Coordinators and Administrators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:     Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies

At the February 26th, 2011 Graduate Education Council, a proposal was approved to change the General and Degree Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies with respect to the regulations on lapsing for flexible-time option PhD, professional doctoral and master’s students. This will complete the change introduced last year for PhD students other than those in the flexible time option, and extend it to include master’s students.

The Graduate Education Council adopted the proposal to replace lapsed status for flexible-time option PhD, professional doctoral and Master’s students who are beyond the time limit for the degree with a new extension regulation. All doctoral students who have not completed the program requirements by the time limit may now apply for up to four one-year program extensions. Master’s students who have not completed the program requirements by the time limit for the Master’s degree may apply for up to three one-year program extensions. Students must be registered in the year prior to the year in which the extension would occur. Registration beyond the extension period will not be permitted.

Failure to Register

The current SGS Calendar (2010-11) attempts to deal with students who fail to register under several headings, suggesting procedural differences according to status. The matter is now addressed under one “Failure to Register” subheading as follows:

“Students will not receive credit for work completed during a session in which they have not registered. Students who fail to register during a program requiring continuity of registration and who do not have an approved leave may only apply to re-register if at the time of application they are still within the maximum allowable time for the degree program (normal time limit plus maximum extension years). A student wishing to re-register must apply to the relevant graduate unit. Reinstatement requires approval from both the graduate unit and SGS. The program’s normal requirements and time limits will apply to reinstated students as if they had been continuously registered, and reinstated students must pay fees owing for any session(s) in which they did not register. Non-registered students forfeit any funding that would have been available had they been registered.”

Time Limit

All full-time Master’s programs will now have a time limit of 3 years*, with up to 3 years of extension subject to annual approval of the graduate unit, the final year also needing SGS approval. Part-time students will have a time limit of 6 years, with a possible 3 years of extension subject to annual approval of the graduate unit (and SGS in the final year). If a student transfers from FT to PT, or vice versa, they simply take on the time limits applying to their new status.

“Stopping-out” in Coursework-Only Masters

Students in a thesis program (doctoral or master’s) or in coursework-only master’s program with other requirements to complete, such as a project, major research paper or recital, require continuity of registration.

Prior to completing all courses in a coursework-only program, and with the permission of their graduate unit, master’s students admitted to a full-time or part-time coursework-only program may continue to ‘stop out’ between sessions for up to 12 months. However, no change is made to the time limit for completing the degree.

Fees for Students on Extension

During each year of extension, all full-time students in master’s and doctoral programs, both domestic and international, will be registered as full-time students and charged an academic fee equal to 50% of the domestic fee and full-time incidental and ancillary fees.

Part-time students on extension, both domestic and international, will be assessed 100% of the program fee plus sessional incidental & ancillary fees.

Fees for the Final Year in Doctoral Programs

Academic fees for the final year in doctoral programs will continue to be prorated for the number of months that elapse between September and (including) the month in which the final version of the thesis (including corrections required by the final oral examination committee) is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. Incidental fees will be charged on a sessional (term) basis. Flexible-time PhD and professional doctoral students must be registered full-time in the year prior to their final year to be eligible for pro-rated fees in their final year. For doctoral students in the extension period, the prorated fee will be based on 50% of the domestic fee for the 12-month academic year,

Master’s students are not eligible for pro-rated fees in their final year.

“Opt-in” Option for Students Admitted Prior to September 1, 2011

Registered students who commenced a flexible-time PhD program option or a professional doctoral or master’s program prior to September 2011 will be eligible to “opt into” the new extension arrangements. Any such students on an approved program extension which began on January 1, 2011 or May 1, 2011 will be eligible to opt into the new arrangements as of September 1, 2011; applications will be considered by the graduate unit and SGS on a case-by-case basis at the time that a program extension is required. (PhD students other than flexible-time who registered before September 2010 already have a similar opt-in option.)

Students who opt in on a January 2011 program extension will be assessed 50% of the domestic fee for one session of registration (Fall 2011). Students who opt in to a May 2011 program extension will be assessed 50% of the domestic fee for Fall/Winter 2011-2012. Currently registered students who are beginning a program effective as of September 1, 2011 or later are also eligible to opt into the new extension arrangements.

All students who sign on to these new arrangements will not be permitted to lapse and seek reinstatement in the future. Program Extension forms are available on the SGS Student Services web-site. Lapsed students are not eligible for the new extension arrangements.

Lapsed Status and Reinstatement

“Lapsing” as currently defined will no longer be permitted in any graduate program effective as of September 1, 2011. Flexible-time option PhD, professional doctoral and master’s students who began their programs prior to September 1, 2011 (Sept 2010 for PhD students other than flexible-time), and who do not “opt-into” the new extension arrangements, may lapse and seek reinstatement. Currently lapsed students must seek reinstatement according to the regulations in the year in which they were admitted.

Should you have any questions, please consult the Director of Student Services, Heather Kelly at heather.kelly@utoronto.ca or your Divisional Student Services Officer.

* The Master of Architecture (MArch) degree and combined programs have a time limit of 4 years + 3 years extension.

 

Ontario Trillium Scholarship Program for International PhD Students

#013 - March 9, 2011

To:    Graduate Chairs, Graduate Directors and Graduate Coordinators

From: Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:    Graduate Administrators

         Cheryl Misak, Vice President and Provost

         Council of Graduate Deans, School of Graduate Studies

Date: March 9, 2011

I am pleased to announce the Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS) program at the University of Toronto. The Trillium Scholarships will serve as an initiative to attract the best qualified international students to Ontario for PhD studies. The new program supports the 2010 Open Ontario commitment to increase the number of international students in Ontario while maintaining spaces for qualified domestic students.

The University of Toronto will have 15 awards to distribute annually. Each OTS will be worth $40,000 per annum, and is renewable for four years. The program is a cost-shared initiative with Ontario universities using a 2/3-1/3 government to institution ratio, similar to the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) program. Graduate units that win the Trillium will be responsible for 1/3 of the cost of the scholarship. The graduate unit portion of each OTS award may be provided to the scholarship recipient in the form of an award such as a UTF or on-campus employment which may include, but is not limited to, teaching-assistantships, research-assistantships, etc.

Academic merit is the defining criterion for the selection of OTS recipients. OTS recipients must have achieved an A- average in each of the last two years of full-time study. Each graduate unit is invited to submit nominations based on PhD enrolment: units with a total PhD enrolment of 50 or less, 2 nominations: 51 to 150, 3 nominations: and over 150, 4 nominations.

The effective start date for the Ontario Trillium Scholarships will be the 2011-12 academic year with the first scholarship recipients commencing studies in September 2011. The Trillium Scholarships will be allocated by an adjudication committee at the School of Graduate Studies in spring 2011.

More details on the application process will be forwarded to Graduate Coordinators and Administrators in a separate memo.


SGS Annual Audit of Student Files

#014 - April 15, 2011

To:     Graduate Chairs, Graduate Directors and Graduate Coordinators

From:  Brian Corman, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Education

CC:     Cheryl Misak, Vice President and Provost, School of Graduate Studies Staff

Attached is the report on the SGS annual audit of graduate student files undertaken by the School as part of our responsibility for the oversight of graduate programs and their administration.

Graduate units have the primary responsibility to make and communicate admission decisions and maintain official student files. For its part, the School of Graduate Studies has the responsibility to ensure that minimum admission standards and proper documentation are maintained, and that student records are properly managed. The annual audit also allows SGS to provide in-person support and advice regarding particular problems faced by graduate units.

SGS Student Services Officers and Assistants conducted our audit of student files during February and March from 15 randomly selected graduate units. This audit has been conducted annually for the past ten years, and this most recent audit completes the second year of our third five-year cycle.

Highlights include a decrease in the number of errors compared with the averages in both the first and second cycles. The individual findings for the departments that were audited have been forwarded to the respective Graduate Chairs with a copy to the relevant Graduate Coordinators.

The attached report shows that this year's audit focused on two aspects of the maintenance of student files: admission criteria and registration/in-program documents. Also scrutinized are five diagnostic reports generated from ROSI, which indicate noncompliance in data entry.

Based on the findings of the audit, I ask you to ensure that these practices are followed in your graduate unit:

An annual progress report must be submitted by the supervisory committee for all Ph.D. students beyond their second year in program and recorded in the student file and on ROSI. This requirement was approved at SGS Council in 1996 and has been outlined in previous correspondence. A useful strategy to ensure that annual reports are submitted is to designate a certain time of the year (e.g. “May Monitoring”).

Late grades or grade changes should be submitted to the School.

Admission recommendation forms should be used to document the decision to admit a student using the correct ROSI admission codes.

Forms may be found on the SGS website.

On a related note, when assessing international credentials, please address any questions or concerns to your Student Services Officer at the School. Our staff members have considerable expertise in this area and are happy to examine any questionable documents or to provide other feedback about foreign credentials.