V. Other Study Options

This section describes other study options that exist for graduate students outside of their own program of study. It includes information on the International Study Option, the University Teaching course, Animal Care Short course and other University courses.

Canadian Association For Graduate Studies (CAGS) - Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement (CGSRMA)

The Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement gives graduate students the opportunity to spend time at another Canadian university in order to complete or enhance their research. The intention is to promote graduate mobility within Canada in order to foster the exchange of ideas, specialized training, research collaboration, and interdisciplinarity.

Canadian Association For Graduate Studies (CAGS) - Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement

The Canadian Universities Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA) is to provide students in good standing enrolled in a graduate degree or diploma program at a CAGS member university the opportunity to avail themselves of courses offered at another member institution (host) for transfer credit to the program at the program at the University of Guelph.


Cotutelle Agreements at the University of Guelph

A cotutelle agreement entails a customized program of doctoral study developed jointly by two institutions for an individual student in which the requirements of each university's doctoral programs are upheld such that the student is awarded two degree documents. The objective of a cotutelle is to enrich the experience of doctoral students through research collaborations and exposure to a different culture.

Below are the principles that enable cotutelle agreements to be established at the University of Guelph.

  1. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) may enter into cotutelle agreements with international universities, on behalf of individual PhD students registered in an existing PhD program at the University of Guelph, in accordance with the provisions of this framework. OGPS is responsible for ensuring that individual cotutelle agreements conform to the University of Guelph’s internal doctoral degree requirements. Each cotutelle agreement must be approved by the Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies.
  2. Cotutelle agreements are binding on the respective institutions on a reciprocal basis. Agreements must establish the manner in which the degrees are recognized in their respective countries.
  3. PhD students carry out their research in both countries, under the direction of co-advisors who commit to act collaboratively and to their fullest capacity. The co-advisors must sign the agreement.
  4. PhD students carry out their studies in alternating periods at the institutions involved, in a manner established in the agreement.
  5. Details regarding the preparation for, and completion of, qualifying examination(s) are established in the agreement.
  6. The language in which the thesis is to be written is established in the agreement. Where this language is not English, a substantive summary of the thesis in English must be included when the thesis is submitted for examination.
  7. Composition of the thesis examination committee and naming of the committee’s chair is established in the agreement. Where appropriate, examination committees are formed on a balanced basis, with equal membership from each of the institutions involved as well as a member (or members) external to both institutions. The membership of an examination committee shall not exceed eight persons.
  8. The thesis is examined at a single thesis defense. Cost sharing responsibilities related to the defense are established in the agreement.
  9. After a successful thesis defense, each institution awards the candidate a doctoral degree in accordance with its own regulations for conferral of degrees. The official record of the degree(s) shall indicate the candidate’s specialization or discipline, the title of the thesis, and mention of the cotutelle.
  10. The manner in which PhD students are to be registered and how they are to pay tuition fees is established in the agreement. The agreement also sets out the manner in which other applicable fees, including health insurance, are paid in each country.
  11. Issues with respect to official deposits, listing, and distribution of theses, the management of joint research results from laboratories or research teams involved, as well as the publication and the derived uses of such results, are governed by specific rules and legislation in force in each of the respective universities and as established in the agreement.

Formal International Exchange

Graduate students wishing to participate in a formal international exchange program on the recommendation of their graduate unit must be nominated and formally approved for the exchange by the Centre for International Programs (CIP).

Students interested in applying for a formal international exchange must first attend a study abroad information session. The info sessions open each September and run through January. Applications are due the last Friday in January for programs in the following summer, fall, and winter semesters.

For more information, please see the Centre for International Programs website.

International Study Option

Formal recognition on the graduate transcript is accorded graduate students who successfully complete a period of study in another country as part of their program at Guelph. The study must be an integral part of the student's approved graduate studies. Credit will not be granted for international study commenced or completed prior to approval of the student's study plan by the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies).


Admission to the international study option may be granted to any registered graduate student on the recommendation of the department. Application forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Minimum and Maximum Durations

The minimum duration of study is six weeks abroad and the maximum duration is one year.


The student's international study is planned and progress kept under review by the department and the student's advisory committee.


Credit for the international study option is dependent on the completion of a study approved by the department. Details may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies. A written report on the study is required, a copy of which must be submitted to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies). Upon approval of the written report in the Office of Graduate Studies, UNIV*6500 International Study Option is added to the student's academic record with a grade notation of SAT (satisfactory). 

Animal Care Short Course

All graduate students who utilize vertebrate animals in their research and/or who will be Graduate Teaching Assistants in a course involving vertebrate animals must demonstrate that they are familiar with animal welfare issues and adequately trained in animal care and use through completion of UNIV*6600. The overall objective is to introduce aspects of laboratory animal science, animal welfare and animal care, not to provide definitive answers. Specific objectives of the course are as follows:

  1. to familiarize course participants with existing regulations and guidelines to explain the need for them;
  2. to demonstrate the need for understanding animal care and welfare both for protecting the user and the animal from potentially harmful zoonoses and to help improve the quality of research and teaching; and
  3. to put into perspective the moral and ethical obligations to the animal so the user can weigh objectively the costs to animals against benefits gained from their use.

Formal recognition on the graduate transcript is accorded to graduate students who successfully complete UNIV*6600 Animal Care Short Course. This course is offered by the Animal Care Services through the Animal User Training Program of the University of Guelph.


The Animal Care Short Course is mandatory for all graduate students who will utilize vertebrate animals in their research and/or who will be teaching assistants in any course involving vertebrate animals. Students must take this course as early as possible in their program and prior to the commencement of work with live animals. Students wishing further information on this course should contact the Training Director, Animal Care Services, or training@uoguelph.ca.


The course is offered as computer-based online self-study modules covering topics relevant to animal care.


Following completion of a short online quiz for each training module, Animal Care Services will forward a list of the successful participants to the Office of Graduate Studies. The course will be entered on the students' official record, with a grade notation of SAT (satisfactory).


Please register online through Animal Care Services training program webpage at https://www.uoguelph.ca/research/for-researchers/ethics-and-regulatory-compliance/animals/animal-user-training/. Choose option Core online modules. For inquires about the course, please contact Dr. Anna Bolinder, Animal Care Services (abolinde@uoguelph.ca or x53110).

Letter of Permission

Students Studying at Universities Outside Ontario

Students who are completing graduate programs at universities outside Ontario and who wish to complete some course work at the University of Guelph may apply for admission to a non-degree program on a Letter of Permission.

Students who wish to be admitted to a non-degree program on Letter of Permission must complete and submit the University of Guelph “Application for Admission to Graduate Studies” form (available from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) along with a letter from the Dean of Graduate Studies/ Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) or equivalent of the student's home university. This letter must outline precisely what course work the student is expected to complete while at Guelph, and how the work completed at the University of Guelph will be applied and credited to the student's program of study at the home university. No further admission documentation is required.

Students admitted on a Letter of Permission will be registered as “Special” status students in the non-degree program. It is the student’s responsibility to request that the University of Guelph transcripts be submitted to the home university. See the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information.

University of Guelph Graduate Students

Graduate students who wish to study at another institution outside of Ontario and have credits transferred to the University of Guelph must receive permission in advance by completing the Letter of Permission request form. Students are required to maintain their University of Guelph registration while taking a course on Letter of Permission. Students are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for admission to the host university and for any fees payable. For more information, please see the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Ontario Visiting Graduate Student 

The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) Program allows a graduate student of an Ontario university (Home University) to take graduate courses at another Ontario University (Host University) while remaining enrolled at their own university. The plan allows the student to bypass the usual application for admission procedures and transfer of credit processes. The student enrols and pays fees to their Home University and is classed as an "Ontario Visiting Graduate Student" at the Host University where they pay no fees.

For more information, University of Guelph graduate students should reference the Office of Graduate Studies website. Students studying at other universities in Ontario should contact the graduate studies office at their Home University.