Manage your program

Are you doing everything you need to do to ensure you will graduate within the timeline given for your degree? Make sure you:

Supervisor relationships

The relationship between you and your supervisor plays an important role in your success. Make sure you cultivate a productive working relationship by knowing what is expected of you and what you can expect from your supervisor.

Thesis and Dissertation

The thesis is an essential element of a research-based graduate degree. The thesis describes why the research work was undertaken, justifies the methods used, and provides an interpretation and analysis of the results. Get guidelines on thesis preparation, defence rules and directions on how to submit your thesis (ETD).

Students who defend their thesis prior to the end of a term may be eligible for a pro-rated tuition refund. See the Thesis Tuition Reduction Policy for more information. 

Appeals, extensions, and leaves

There may be situations where graduate students need to pursue an academic appeal, leave of absence, or extension to time in program. 

Academic Help

Student Learning Services provices the the following workshops and resources:

  • Grad Help workshops cover a range of academic topics and are delivered by experienced volunteer graduate students and occassionaly faculty and recent PhDs. These workshops are delivered from September to March. 
  • Graduate Writing Workshops cover topics such as structure, style, formatting, writing proposals and revising your work. These workshops are scheduled from September through March. 
  • Book an Appointment to discuss graduate academic skills with a peer mentor or get graduate writing help with a tutor.

Teaching and professional skills


The GMCTL offers workshops, non-credit courses and resources for graduate students who are new to teaching and who already have some experience but want to learn more.

Professional Skills

There are a variety of ways to build your professional skills as a graduate student, by attending courses and workshops held on campus.

International Experiences

International experiences can be developed and integrated into many different graduate programs.

Program completion and Convocation

In order to be eligible to graduate and participate in convocation, the student must:

  1. Have met all program requirements within timelines;
  2. Have the thesis (if applicable) successfully completed and defended and necessary documentation electronically submitted (ETD) prior to the stated deadline listed in the Academic Calendar;
  3. Be currently registered in the term in which program requirements were completed, including the defence and completion of necessary revisions to the thesis (if applicable);
  4. Ensure all outstanding fees are paid to the University.
  5. Apply to graduate
  6. Make sure your personal info is up-to-date and prepare for convocation (order gown and tickets, etc.)

Thesis programs

It is important to observe the deadlines for final submission of defense and program completion documentation to be eligible to graduate. In order to be eligible, the thesis upload to the ETD site must be complete, and all documentation relating to a student’s completion of program requirements must be submitted to the CGPS. 

The deadline falls in mid-September for Fall convocation, and early to mid-April for Spring. Exact deadlines are listed in the academic calendar.

Course-based programs
If you are in a course-based program, apply to graduate and inform your department when you are complete so the proper paperwork may be forwarded from your department.

Devolved award recipient
If you are a current recipient of a graduate scholarship in a non-devolved department, please inform the Awards area in CGPS (966-5760 when you will be defending your thesis. Students are financially responsible for any payments given in error.

"To Whom It May Concern” letters 

A "To Whom It May Concern” letter, otherwise known as a completion of degree letter, may only be issued following receipt and review of all applicable program completion paperwork from the student’s department and, confirmation of completion of degree requirements by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. If you require a letter for visa or employment purposes, the CGPS may need advance notification, as requests for these letters are customarily handled in order of receipt. Please allow ample time for these requests to be processed.

Policies and Contacts