Information for current graduate students. If you are a prospective or incoming graduate student, please refer to the prospective students page.
Managing your graduate program during COVID-19 disruption
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach which will work for all graduate students in making progress under the current circumstances. Some students are able to transition very easily to continuing their work remotely, while others may face significant challenges.
It is important that students and faculty work together seek ways for students to continue to make progress toward completion of their degree remotely. This might involve thinking creatively, changing some of your plans for your research, and exploring innovative and unorthodox approaches to attaining teaching and learning goals. No one on our campus is better equipped to rise to this challenge than our brilliant community of graduate students and faculty.
In some cases, academic requirements and/or personal circumstances will be such that delays are inevitable. Students and faculty can reach out to CGPS for assistance in navigating difficulties.
If you can't make progress due to impacts of COVID-19
Faculty and staff in each academic unit should endeavor to provide mechanisms for graduate students to continue making academic progress under the current circumstances. However, where progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and where the Graduate Chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS will be supportive of a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be most appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption.
Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should discuss with their academic unit prior to submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
A leave of absence can be requested using the Graduate Student Leave of Absence form in Jira Service Desk.
Extensions to Time in Program
Some students may be able to continue making progress, but will experience delays in completing required work. The CGPS will not be issuing a blanket extension to time in program for all graduate students, but will remain flexible and supportive in cases where graduate students and their academic program leaders request extensions.
It is important to discuss with your supervisor (or Graduate Chair, if you do not have a supervisor) before preparing a request for extension to time in program. Guidance and instructions for submitting a request for extension to time in program can be found here.
Supervisory committee meetings
Committee meetings should continue to be held as appropriate to track and guide student progress, and ensure students are receiving the feedback and guidance in order to successfully make progress. Given current campus closures and social distancing directives, committee meetings should be held remotely using web conferencing software such as Webex, Zoom, Skype, etc.
Updates regarding deadlines, remote delivery, exams, and other information has been posted to the Academics page of this site. Information provided there is applicable to graduate courses as well.
If you are experiencing reduced course offerings in your discipline for the coming term, and want to explore additional course options to continue making progress in your studies, you may want to explore taking advantage of the Western Deans Agreement (WDA) or Saskatchewan Universities Graduate Agreement (SUGA). These are graduate-level agreements which allow you to take courses from other Western Canadian institution, while remaining registered and paying tuition at Usask.
Courses taken using these agreements must be approved as a part of your program of studies by your supervisory committee (if applicable) and graduate chair. Courses must also align with the requirements of your graduate program, as either an acceptable elective, or an equivalent to a specific course. Students and faculty looking for guidance about using these agreements can contact CGPS via the general request form on the CGPS help desk. (NSID login required)
In accordance with the increased university building closures effective March 24th, 2020, all thesis defences should be scheduled and facilitated 100% remotely until further notice.
Academic units will vary in their ability to easily accommodate remote defence. Students and faculty should collaborate with resources in their academic unit to assess this option as a possibility. Academic units will need to ensure that the resources used to support these remote defences are robust and sufficient for the purpose.
See our guidelines and tips for a successful remote defence.
If it is not possible to successfully complete a defence remotely, the defence scheduling must be delayed. Please reach out to CGPS for help if this occurs.
Questions or concerns on this matter can be directed through the CGPS Service Desk for support.