Description of Graduate Students

Once admitted, graduate students are assigned a type and academic load. The applicant’s written offer of admission will specify the proposed student type and academic load.

Student Type

Regular Student: Applicants who have fulfilled all university or program admission requirements and are offered admission to a University of Guelph graduate program are assigned to the Regular student category.

Provisional Student: An applicant whose qualifications for meeting the minimum university or program requirements cannot be clearly appraised may be considered for admission as a Provisional student. (This category is unavailable for applicants who clearly do not meet the minimum university admission requirements as assessed by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies).

While on Provisional student status, the student's program must include at least one graduate course in each semester and may include active involvement in supervised thesis research.

Students in a Master’s program must attain a 73% (B) average with no individual grade below 70% (B-). Students in a doctoral program must attain a 77% (B+) average with no individual grade below 73%.

It is the responsibility of the department/ school to provide written notification to each of its admitted Provisional category students of the number of courses to be completed in the program of study, the code and title of each required course, and the final grade level that must be attained in all such courses. If at the end of the student’s first semester the department/ school is satisfied with the student's progress according to the provisions specified, it will recommend to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) that the student be transferred to the Regular category. Upon transfer to the Regular category, the student shall receive credit for courses completed while in the Provisional category.

If transfer to the Regular student category is not achieved at the end of the student’s first semester, the student may be permitted to continue for a second semester in the Provisional student category. At the end of the second semester, the student’s academic record will be reviewed again. If transfer to the Regular student category is not recommended at this time, the student may be Required to Withdraw or may submit a request to the Admissions & Progress Committee to be allowed to continue in the Provisional student category for one additional semester (i.e. a third semester). Decisions of the Admissions & Progress Committee may be appealed to the Senate Committee on Student Petitions (see section on Appeals).

Special Student: Students who are admitted and registered in a non-degree program shall be assigned to the Special student category. Normally Special category students are those attending the University on a Letter of Permission, or as an Ontario Visiting Graduate Student, or are on exchange.

Academic Load

Students are classified as full-time or part-time on the basis of the program in which they are enrolled. All students have access to university activities and facilities and are expected to take part in the academic life of their program and the university.

Full-time Student

Full-time students apply themselves to their graduate study as a primary responsibility. Normally graduate students will be registered as full-time students because they are registered in full-time programs.

Full-time students must register in UNIV*7510 every semester to maintain full-time status. Full-time students may register in no more than 2.50 credits each semester (not including the 1.50 credits associated with UNIV*7510). Under exceptional circumstances, and with approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator, a student can enroll in more than 2.50 credits.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, a graduate student must meet the following criteria in order to be registered full-time:

  1. be pursuing graduate studies as a full-time occupation;
  2. identify themselves as a full-time graduate student;
  3. be designated by the university as a full-time graduate student;
  4. be geographically available and visit the campus regularly. Without forfeiting full-time status, a graduate student, while still under supervision, may be absent from the university (e.g., visiting libraries, doing field work, attending a graduate course at another institution, etc.) provided that, if any such period of absence exceeds four weeks in any one term, written evidence shall be available in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to the effect that the absence has the approval of the Department Chair and the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies); and
  5. be considered a full-time graduate student by the graduate program.

Full-time Distant Student

Full-time students may be located away from the university. If a student lives 200 km or more from the University of Guelph, they may apply to be classified as a Full-time Distant student, which exempts them from payment of some non-tuition student fees. Contact the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information.

Part-time Student

Part-time students are enrolled in part-time graduate programs. Students who wish to study part-time must declare their intention to be classified as “part-time” at the time of their application for admission. If a program description does not indicate "full-time only", applicants may assume that a part-time option is available. Students should consult with the department or school offering their intended program of study to confirm the availability of this option.

Part-time students must register in UNIV*7520 every semester to maintain part-time status. Part-time students may register in no more than 1.00 course credits each semester (not including the 0.25 credits associated with UNIV*7520). Three part-time semesters are regarded as the equivalent of one full-time semester for calculation of Class Level.

Under certain conditions, full-time students may be allowed to transfer to a part-time classification if demanding circumstances relating to personal health matters, family responsibilities, or employment exist. Documentation of these circumstances and a Full-time and Part-time Transfer Application must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Part-time students may apply to transfer to full-time classification at any time during their studies through the submission of the Full-time and Part-time Transfer Application. As well, pending final approval from both their program and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, students originally admitted to the part-time classification and who subsequently apply and are accepted to full time classification are permitted to request a transfer back to part-time classification.