Academic Appeals

Appeals regarding evaluation, grading, and academic standing will be managed according to Student Appeals in Academic Matters.

The first formal step in grievance procedure is to be taken within 30 days of the alleged grievance. 

Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence are available to students for compassionate, medical, parenting, educational, and ‘Co-op Program’/Industry reasons. 

The Dean of the CGPS, or designate, will consider any petitions from students whose request for leave or extension of leave has been initially denied by the academic unit. If the leave request remains denied, the student may formally appeal under the procedures for appeals of standing in program.

The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree, and tuition is not assessed during the leave. Nominal student fees are assessed during the leave period. While a student is on leave, all supervisory processes are suspended. Unless otherwise permitted by the source of funding, financial support offered to a full-time, fully-qualified student is not available to a student on leave. Students are advised to refer to the terms of the funding agreement. Students are advised to discuss with their academic unit the implications of financial support when a leave is necessary.

Compassionate, Medical Leaves

A graduate student who has developed an illness, who has been the victim of an accident, or who has suffered grave events in his/her life, upon provision of appropriate documentation to the Graduate Chair, may be eligible for medical or compassionate leave. The Graduate Chair should forward these documents and a letter of support to the CGPS for approval. At the end of a medical leave and before returning to active studies, the student will need to provide to the Graduate chair and to CGPS a clinician's certificate indicating the condition necessitating the leave no longer compromises the graduate program.

The Head of the academic unit or Graduate Chair has the authority to approve a first-time leave request of up to 4 months for compassionate or medical reasons.

Medical and/or compassionate leaves shall not exceed 12 months consecutively, or 24 months collectively. Students requiring additional leave time shall withdraw from their program.

Maternity, Adopting, Parenting Leaves

A graduate student who is bearing a child, and/or who has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately following a birth or an adoption is eligible for parental leave. 

Parental leave may be granted for up to 16 months. 
Maternity leave may be granted for up to 4 months. 
Maternity leave and parental leave can be taken consecutively when applicable. 

“Co-op Program” leaves and Graduate Studies in Industry

It is the policy of the CGPS to encourage wherever appropriate research and teaching partnerships with the public and private sectors.  When students receive offers to spend a period of time in industry or the public sector pursuing research-related activities which are closely linked to their Master’s or Ph.D. Program of Studies, the CGPS will consider granting a four-month leave. Such a leave may be repeated once at a later time in the program. Request for such leaves must provide all relevant details in writing and must be supported in writing by the supervisor and Graduate Chair. The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree and tuition is not assessed during the leave.

Leaves to pursue undergraduate studies

A graduate student that has been offered admission into an undergraduate program at the University of Saskatchewan may apply for a leave of absence from the graduate program for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The student must also provide a detailed plan to completion for the graduate program that has been approved by the graduate program supervisor and graduate chair. 

A student requesting a leave must submit a formal request, following the steps outlined below:

The student must submit the request using the Graduate Student Leave of Absence form. Included in the request must be the following:

  • The student's program type
  • A clear indication of what type of leave is being requested
  • The start and end dates of the leave being requested
  • Whether the student is the recipient of a graduate scholarship or award
  • Residency status of the student
  • An explanation of the circumstances necessitating the leave
  • Documentation from a practitioner, where applicable
    • Please note that specific diagnoses, details of conditions, details regarding medication, treatment, etc. are NOT required.
    • Notes from practitioners must state how long the practitioner has been treating the student and specific dates/duration of time away being recommended.

Once the request form is submitted, it will be reviewed by the CGPS and forwarded to the student's supervisor (if applicable), and the Graduate Chair of the student's program for review and approval.   

Following approval, the CGPS will process the leave of absence, and the student will be notified of the decision via e-mail notification from the CGPS service desk. 

Leaves of absence do not count toward time in program. While the student is on leave, tuition is not assessed, though nominal fees are assessed. Note that typically, leaves of absence are taken for a full term at a time. Under some rare circumstances, a leave may be taken for part of a term. Additional tuition, fees and time toward time in program will apply in these instances. 

Students pursuing a leave of absence should be aware of the implications a leave from program may have on other aspects of their academic and non-academic affairs. It is important to consider and manage the following carefully when pursuing a leave from graduate studies:

Health and Dental Benefits - Depending on when you are taking your leave and for how long, your access to student health and dental benefits may be impacted. We recommend that students pursuing a leave visit, stop by the Health & Dental Plan Office in Room 121, Main Level, Place Riel Student Centre, or call (306) 933-0093 / toll-free 1-877-795-4428 to ensure that they understand the options available to them.

Funding/Awards - Per section 13.1 of the Graduate Policies and Procedures, financial support offered to a full-time, fully-qualified student is not available to a student on leave unless otherwise permitted by the funding source. If you are planning to pursue a leave, and are studying on scholarship or other types of student  funding, you must contact the office from which your funding is coming  prior to going on leave. Failure to do this could be detrimental to current or future funding opportunities, and could result in a requirement to repay any payments made in error. The source of your funding should be identified in your award letter - usually it will be coming from within your own home academic unit, OR centrally from the CGPS Awards office. It is also advised that you contact your award office when you are returning from leave, so that appropriate arrangements can be made where necessary.

Immigration Status/Study Permits - If you are an international student, taking a leave of absence could impact your study permit and/or your status in Canada. We strongly recommend that any international graduate student pursuing a leave of absence from study contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) as soon as possible to be advised appropriately.


Students who wish to withdraw from their graduate program must submit a Notice of Withdrawal from Graduate Program form to the CGPS.

As soon as a student decides to withdraw from their graduate program, they must also withdraw from any courses they are currently registered in through the registration channel in PAWS. Please note that registration and withdrawal deadlines each term are applicable, as they pertain to tuition/fee assesment, and grades. Those deadlines can be found in the Academic Calendar. 

Failure to submit an appropriate withdrawal form when leaving a program can result in a faculty action of Required to Discontinue (RTD) that will remain on an official academic record. Failure to withdraw from courses can result in failing grades on an official academic record. As such, it is important to complete these tasks when choosing not to continue in a graduate program. 

A student may be withdrawn from their program by CGPS due to lack of registration, per graduate policy 7.2.4

Extension to Time in Program

General information

Official program time limits are five years for Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s, and six years for Ph.D. This time is measured from the beginning of the first term of registration for work which is included in the Program of Studies (this may be course work done at U of S or elsewhere, thesis, project, or practicum), excluding any periods of approved leave.

Where a student has been suspended from the program for one or more terms because of an academic dishonesty ruling and penalty, the period of suspension will not count as time in program, subject to University Council regulations on student discipline and appeals.

Time extensions may be considered for students who encounter unforeseen problems while actively trying to finish their program.

While on extension, students are expected to be working on their programs full-time.

Applying for an Extension

Thesis-based and project-based students who have reached or will soon reach the time limit of the program without completing program requirements, should meet with their supervisor to discuss a plan and timeline for completion, using the Request for Extension Discussion Guide. Once a plan has been drafted, it should be distributed to the advisory committee, and an advisory committee meeting should be scheduled to discuss, finalize, and approve the plan. The plan must also be approved by the program's Graduate Chair.

Approved plans must be submitted to the CGPS by a staff or faculty member from the student's academic unit via the Request for Extension to Time in Graduate Program eForm in the CGPS Service Desk.

Course-based students, as well as project-based students who do not have a supervisor and committee, should meet directly with the Graduate Chair to discuss an extension and submit their request.

Only one extension request will be allowed per student, so it is important to plan accordingly and mutually commit to achieving the timelines submitted. A request for extension to time in program may not exceed 8 terms for Master's students, and 9 terms for Ph.D. students. (Please note that spring/summer count as 1 term.)

Examples of topics which should be discussed while developing the plan and timeline are:

  • Addressing challenges which have impeded the student's progress and timely completion
  • Expectations for working together while on extension, for example:
    • How often the supervisor and student will meet
    • How often the committee will meet
    • Expectations surrounding communication, corrections, and feedback

The outcome of the meeting should be that a detailed, reasonable, achievable plan and timeline to completion is finalized and agreed upon by the student, supervisor, and committee.

Once your extension has been approved and processed by CGPS, you and the appropriate contacts in your academic unit will be notified via e-mail from the CGPS Service Desk.

Students who are on extension are responsible to continue maintaining continuous registration, and paying applicable tuition and fees.

Please note that any of the following may result in a request being returned:

  • Submission of an incomplete form
  • Insufficient detail/rationale provided in request for extension
  • Insufficient/unsatisfactory information for plan and timeline to completion

*The information/instructions above are subject to university policy - please refer to the Policies and Procedures Manual*