A student's registration status is determined automatically by the total units of course weight (including a project or a thesis where appropriate) in which the student is registered for credit in a given term. Audited courses are not included in the calculation of registration status.
Courses extra-to-degree are included in the calculation of registration status.
Registration Status for Thesis-Based Students
Students in thesis-based programs will be admitted as full-time students. If a department wishes to admit a thesis-based student on a part-time basis, they must inform FGSR at the time of admission so that FGSR can code the student’s registration and fee assessment, accordingly.
In thesis-based programs, time spent in a laboratory or library engaged in research or writing a thesis/practicum, or engaged in research elsewhere, counts towards the registration status; appropriate registration in THES must be added/maintained.
Changing from Full-Time to Part-Time Status
Under certain circumstances, students who have begun their programs may request a change from full-time status to part-time status (see criteria below). For those programs who do not permit part-time registration, students will be required to follow those regulations and thus are ineligible to apply for part-time status.
To be eligible for a change to part-time status, students must demonstrate one of the following:
• an offer of full-time employment, or,
• medical/family/other circumstances that now prevent them from working on their program full-time.
A change to part-time status should be carefully considered by the student in consultation with their supervisor. If a change to part-time status is deemed appropriate, the student and supervisor will submit the request using the Part-Time Status form to the Department for approval.
Requests for change to part-time status must be submitted to FGSR by the registration deadline of that term so that FGSR can code the student’s registration and fee assessment, accordingly.
Students may not change to part-time status more than once within their program. Once a student changes to part-time status, they may return to full-time status once, but cannot subsequently revert back to part-time.
Students may not change to part-time status for financial reasons.
Requests for retroactive part-time status changes will not be accepted.
It is important to note that all students in thesis-based programs must satisfy the Minimum Registration Requirements of their program.
International Students and Part-Time Status
International Students may not be eligible to apply for part-time status under their study permit regulations; they should contact International Student Services for more information to determine their eligibility.
Graduate Student Employment and Part-Time Status
Part-time students are eligible to hold GTAs and GRAs, in accordance with the GSA collective agreement. Note, however, that students who have signed a Letter of Appointment for a GTA and/or GRA may not be eligible for part-time status. Students should contact their departments for further information.
Maximum Time in Program While Registered Part-Time
Understanding that a change to part-time status is meant to facilitate a change in a student’s life where they are no longer able to work on their program full-time, maximum allowances for program completion still apply,
Time in program will be adjusted when a student changes to part-time status as follows:
• For every year (12 months) a Master’s student is registered as part-time, they will receive an additional four (4) months in time to complete their program;
• For every two (2) years (24 months) a PhD student is registered as part-time, they will receive an additional four (4) months to complete their program.
• Maximum allowable time to complete a thesis-based Master’s program part-time is six (6) years;
• Maximum allowable time to complete a PhD program part-time is eight (8) years.
If a student is nearing the end of the maximum allowable time in program while registered part-time, they are required to submit an extension request to the Dean of FGSR following the same procedures used for full-time students.
All extension requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and should include a clear explanation for the request and a detailed timeline explaining how the student will complete the remaining requirements of their program.
Part-Time Status and Awards/Scholarships
Part-time students are not eligible for most scholarships or awards administered by FGSR. For those students holding a scholarship and/or award while registered full-time, a change to part-time status may affect their eligibility to continue doing so. In these instances, students should consult Section 12 of the FGSR Scholarships & Awards Manual for direction. Normally, the “Forgiveness Policy” (Section 12.5) would preclude a student from having to repay a portion of a scholarship and/or award that may be affected by a change to part-time status.
Time Limit for Completion of Graduate Programs
The time limit (or the maximum period of time permitted to complete the requirements for a degree) is calculated from the start of the term in which the student first registers in that specific program or, if changing program category from another program, the start of the first term of the first program.
Any time spent registered in Maintaining Registration (M REG 800) is counted in the time limit for completion. Any time spent as a qualifying graduate student is not counted in the time limit for completion. The time limit for completion of the degree will be extended by the duration of any Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR)-approved exceptional, parental or professional leave of absence.
The time limit for completion of a thesis-based degree will be extended if a student has been registered as part-time status at any point in their program. See Registration Status for further information.