Frequently asked questions

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Can I get help writing a CV or finding a job?Co-operative Education and Career Services (Co-op and Career) is the place to go for career planning and job searching. Their office is opposite the bookstore, in the Campus Services Building, room 110. Career Services manages job boards that post jobs for students and graduates. These include on and off-campus positions, part-time, full-time, summer, and new graduate positions.
What resources exist for mature students, or those who have families?

The UVic Family Centre serves the families of students living both on and off campus. Conveniently located in the Student Family Housing, the Family Centre coordinates family initiated activities and programs and offers support to both new and experienced families.

There are always a variety of activities for all family members, including: parent-tot groups, health-related discussions in topics ranging from midwifery to earthquake preparedness, and kitchen clubs. The Family Centre's website has resources and links for parents. Find information about the latest events at their events page or by phoning 250-472-4062. Drop by anytime to get involved in the occasional and weekly events, benefit from their variety of resources, toys, videos, etc. or just to chat.

Get more information for students with families or career professionals.

I am an international student - where can I access information relevant to my needs?The International Office provides pre-arrival support, orientation on arrival and ongoing assistance for international students. Get more resources and information for international students.
How can I get oriented to the campus?

The UVic Welcome Centre offers daily tours of the campus Monday through Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The tours provide the opportunity to explore the campus and visit a room in residence with an experienced tour guide who is also a UVic student.  The Welcome Centre is locate in the University Centre Building, main floor or you can book a tour online.

You can also take a virtual tour of the campus and download campus maps.

I’m new to the campus - what orientations and socials should I attend to learn about the university and meet new people?

The Graduate Student’s Society (GSS) hosts Wednesday coffee socials at 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. in the Grad House, David Clode room. It's a great opportunity to meet other graduate students over a free coffee and snack,  Other Graduate Students Society events can be found on the GSS site.

Individual academic units often offer orientations for new grad students and social events to meet other students and faculty members. Make sure you sign up to your academic unit’s list serve to receive announcements of these events. If you’re not sure, check with your grad secretary.

Student Recruitment and the Faculty of Graduate Studies offer a one-day orientation at the end of August/early September. It provides an introduction to UVic’s graduate learning community, with presentations by the Faculty of Grad Studies, GSS, and others offering important services to graduate students. You can then join a casual campus tour given by graduate students for a chance to learn where important resources are located as well as tips on areas of study etc. Check the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the dates and activities.

Is there a place where graduate students hang out?

The Grad House at the Grad Centre is a casual bistro-style eatery dedicated to fresh local food and friendly service. It features a unique menu that offers healthy, local food and innovative culinary creations, a selection of local draught beers, and a casual atmosphere. Take your mind off the stresses of academia by relaxing in the comfortable lounge. Read or enjoy some big-screen TV, or when the weather turns warm, soak up the summer sun on the patios. Special events throughout the year include grad social nights, family video nights and wine club. Check the Grad House website for upcoming events!

The Grad Centre also has two boardrooms and one multi-purpose room (Grad House) available for rental. There is no charge* for use by Graduate Students’ Society members when the event is primarily related to graduate students (* a deposit may be required where applicable).

Personal events (weddings, parties, etc) do not qualify for free bookings, even for grad students. UVic staff, undergrads, and professors are charged a university rate and the outside community is charged the regular rate. Check the Graduate Student Society site for more information and for bookings.

Am I automatically a member of the Graduate Students’ Society?

Yes, all graduate students are members of the Graduate Students’ Society (GSS). Membership fees are part of the ancillary fees charged along with your tuition fees. The GSS represents the interest of graduate students and addresses issues in the larger community that concern students.

Grad students elect a five-member executive that works on a daily basis with the staff to advocate for and provide services to students. Grad students also select academic unit representatives to sit on Grad Council, which meets monthly to discuss current events and provide direction to the executive. The GSS strives to ensure graduate student representation on all university decision-making bodies. Contact them if you are interested in sitting on a particular committee. Being an active member of the society is one way to ensure that students’ interests are represented and to work towards a better future for students in Canada.

The Society operates the George and Ida Halpern Centre for Graduate Students (Grad Centre) and offers a range of services to graduate students including the Grad House for food and beverage, the grad lounge, extended health and dental plans, and free room bookings and travel grants. The best way to find out what the society offers is to read the GSS members’ handbook and daily planner, available each year to members at the Grad Centre, and sign up to the GSS electronic bulletin.

Can I see an academic adviser?Academic advising for grad students is done through your academic unit. Contact your grad secretary or grad adviser for the best information and advice on programs and courses. If they are not available, contact the academic advising office in your faculty.
I need help with my writing - where can I go?Centre for Academic Communications located in the Mearns Centre for Learning, offers a variety of workshops and tutorials for graduate students.
Do my tuition fees allow me to use the recreation facilities?Vikes Recreation provides a comprehensive program of sports and recreation for UVic students. Use of the facilities and participation in the programs is open to students and to faculty and staff with a Vikes Recreation membership card. Your validated ONEcard is your membership card in most cases, as athletics and recreation fees are usually included in your tuition payment. Please check your fee statement. If recreation fees were not charged with your tuition fees, you can purchase a membership from the recreation office. Family memberships for faculty, staff and students are also available.
Does UVic have a health clinic?

The Jack Petersen Health Centre is located off of Sinclair Road, at the end of parking lot 5 in front of the cluster housing. All part-time and full-time students at UVic are welcome to use the services. The clinic accepts all provincial plans in Canada. It is a drop-in clinic so no appointment is necessary. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

The clinic offers a full range of health services including physicians’ and nurses’ care, orthopedics (referral required), sports medicine, psychiatry, and health education. They are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and closed on weekends and holidays.

Counselling Services offers free, confidential counselling to students who have personal, career, learning or educational concerns.

Do I have access to computer labs?

All students with a valid NetLink ID have access to campus computer labs with Mac and Windows computers. To use them just set up an account at any computer lab. Registration and use of computers is free, but printing requires a print card and has an associated per page cost. See student computing facilities and services for more information.

The UVic wireless network lets students, staff and faculty connect laptops, PDAs and other wireless devices to the internet at high speeds from many places on campus. All you need is a laptop, PDA or other wireless device with a wi-fi compatible card, a web browser, and a NetLink ID.

Does the library offer orientations to new students?The library offers a series of workshops at the start of each term outlining tips for finding articles, books and getting started with general research questions. Learn more about library services and resources.
How do I find out what resources my academic unit offers to grad students?Most academic units have additional (non-monetary) resources for use by graduate students. Some of these may include: grad student lounges, grad student lockers, grad student offices and desks, research facilities, access to equipment, and access to mail and fax services. Some academic units produce a grad handbook that outlines some of these options, while others post the information on their website. Check with your graduate secretary if you are not aware of the resources your academic unit has to offer you.
How can I get involved in student politics, advocacy groups or clubs?

There are many ways for grad students to become active members of the campus community. You can become involved in policy and advocacy with special interest groups or join diverse clubs to meet like-minded people. Some positions on the Graduate Students’ Society are elected positions.

Advocacy, constituency and research groups:

These groups are all housed in the Student Union Building (SUB). Check their websites or visit their offices to find out how to get involved.

Clubs

UVic boasts more than 150 student clubs and course unions to help you exercise your environmental, cultural, recreational, religious and political passions. Official club sign-up day takes place twice a year (early September, and mid-January), although most clubs have an open membership and you can contact them any time.

What services exist for students on campus?

There are many academic and social services for UVic student and faculty members. You’ll find links to all types of services for students on the main UVic Student Resources site.

Find resources for students including student services and library services.

Are all grad students eligible to apply for a travel grant?

Full-time grad students are eligible to apply for a travel grant once a year (April 1—March 31). Students are reimbursed for expenses upon return from travel. Graduate Studies administers this fund, which is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible graduate students.

Full eligibility requirements:

  • You are registered full time in the term in which you plan to travel 
  • You do not owe outstanding fees to the university
  • You have not yet received a travel grant for the current period (April 1—March 31)
  • You have received confirmation of your travel, eg. acceptance to present at a conference, confirmed registration for conference.

Eligible students may apply for one of the following amounts:

  • A maximum of $600 to present a paper/poster at a conference outside BC, Alberta or Washington State.
  • A maximum of $400 to present a paper/poster at a conference outside of Vancouver, Vancouver Island, or Seattle, but within BC, Alberta or Washington State.
  • A maximum of $300 to be used to attend conferences/workshops, or to conduct research outside of Vancouver, Vancouver Island, or Seattle.
  • A maximum of $150 to present or attend conferences/workshops or do research in Vancouver, Seattle or on Vancouver Island.

Learn more about international activities and travel grants.

Can an international student work on campus?

Read the immigration regulations for international student employment carefully. If you work without the proper authorization, you may be asked to leave Canada. Visit the International Office in the University Centre, Room A205 for assistance.

More information about on and off-campus employment for international students is available on the Career Services site.

What is work study?

The Work Study program is funded by UVic. It is designed to provide on-campus work experience for students requiring financial assistance. The objectives of the program are:

  • To provide financial assistance for students who have demonstrated financial need;
  • To provide students with career related job experiences wherever possible.

The number of positions available is limited and there is no guarantee of a job. Students may be hired and work in only one position at a time. Jobs under the program are administered according to internal policies and procedures established by the university.

Check the work study postings.

How can I find a teaching or research assistantship?

Graduate students may apply for paid employment as a teaching assistant, research assistant, scientific assistant or laboratory instructor through the academic unit concerned. Such employment is negotiated through the academic unit, not through the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Rates of pay are determined by the university.

Are there awards and fellowships specific to my academic unit?Each academic unit advertises awards, bursaries, and scholarships specific to its student population. These are often externally funded merit-based or needs-based awards. Each award usually has an individual application process. The easiest way to be aware of these inter-academic awards is to make sure you are signed up for your academic unit’s email listserve. Contact your graduate secretary to get on the listserve, and check back regularly to keep on top of important application deadlines.
Does UVic give out bursaries?

Bursaries are non-repayable awards based on financial need and reasonable academic standing. They are for students receiving the maximum student loans available for their period of study who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. International students should visit the international student resources page.

Learn more about bursaries including application and eligibility.
What kinds of national/provincial fellowships or awards can I apply for?Several national and provincial granting agencies fund graduate students and their research. These merit-based fellowships must be applied for individually. Most of the agencies have specific application guidelines and deadlines. Learn more about external awards and fellowships.
Does the university give out fellowships and awards?

Yes. The Faculty of Graduate Studies may award University of Victoria Fellowships of up to $17,500 (master's) and $20,000 (PhD) and Graduate Awards of up to $10,000 to students of high academic standing registered full time as candidates or provisional candidates for a degree.

All new applicants are evaluated for University of Victoria Fellowships and Graduate Awards by the academic unit they are applying to. There is no separate application form to be completed.  Applicants will be evaluated based on their admission application and it supporting documentation.  The minimum average required for consideration is A-. Grade calculations and equivalencies are determined by the Graduate Admissions and Records Office. Funds are limited so applicants wishing to be considered for Fellowships and Awards are encouraged to have all application materials submitted to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office as soon as possible, and no later than the application deadline for the academic unit.

Learn more about UVic awards and fellowships.

Can I be exempt from the universal bus pass?

All graduate students taking one or more on-campus units are assessed the mandatory semester fee for the U-Pass.

Only the following students may opt out from the U-Pass plan:

  • Students with mobility disabilities which prevent them from using BC Transit or HandyDart services
  • Students who are in receipt of bus passes issued by the BC Ministry of Finance under social assistance programs
  • Students who have been assessed more than once for the U-Pass; for example, those enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate courses or those registered at both UVic and Camosun College

Opt outs must be done each term.  For more information contact the GSS at 250-721-8816.

Can I opt out of the extended health care plan?

Ancillary fees for full-time students, on top of your tuition, are: Graduate Student Society (GSS) fees, athletics and recreation fees, universal bus pass fee, and extended health care and dental plan.

You can be exempted from the GSS plan if you're a member of an alternate extended health and/or dental plan. The opt-out deadline for September-start students is September 30. The deadline for January-start students is January 31. Students beginning full-time studies in the summer are not assessed the extended health and dental premiums until the following September. Students who have used their benefits are not eligible to opt out of the plan, regardless of alternate coverage.

If you are not regularly on campus to opt-out at the GSS office, submit your opt-out documentation to the GSS by fax or online. Please call the GSS Health and Dental Plan Coordinator at 250-721-8816.

How much tuition do I need to pay? What are the other fees?Get detailed information on the tuition and fees page.
How can I finance my studies?

Fellowships, work study, loans, savings, bursaries…regardless of how, make sure you have a plan to finance your degree. Ask your academic unit for funding options and ask other students how they are doing it.

Some ways to help you finance your studies are:

  • Federal and provincial government student loans and grants
  • UVic fellowships and awards
  • National fellowships and awards
  • Bursaries
  • Research and teaching assistantships
  • Co-operative education
  • Work study

Get information on all these on our financial aid and funding page.

You may just find other ways to reach the end of your degree with more money in your pocket! Make sure you know where your academic unit advertises fellowship and scholarship opportunities and check that information often. Check the Student Financial Aid and Faculty of Graduate Studies websites and your academic unit for specific academic fellowships and awards. Be aware of deadlines for bursaries and awards!

What is the exact last day to apply to convocate in the fall or spring?

Students hoping to convocate in the fall or spring must fill out an application for graduation form available from My Page. See graduation requirements and deadlines.

Is there a thesis template I can look at?

MS Word and LaTex templates are made available through the UVic Libraries Thesis Help pages.  Formatting requirements for UVic theses and dissertations are minimal and you do not have to use a template in order to meet the formatting requirements.  Please be advised that technical support is not provided for the templates.  A checklist for submitting your thesis/disseration electronically into UVic’s institutional repository, UVicSpace, is also available.

Does UVic offer thesis planning and writing workshops?

The Writing Centre in the Mearns Centre for Learning holds several writing workshops and seminars for graduate students each term to help you plan, organize and write your thesis. Check the Learning and Teaching Centre for upcoming dates and to register for workshops.

UVic Libraries also offers some specialized services for graduate students, including several pages catering to the research needs of graduate students. You’ll find tips for research success, how to book a study carrel, and tips for submitting, finding and writing theses. Find out more information for graduate students.

Counselling Services also offers a series of workshops called the Thesis Completion Group. See more resources on our thesis and dissertation page.

Do I need to complete an ethics review application?If you're planning to instigate a research study you may need to complete an ethics review application. This is necessary if your research involves human participants, animal participants, or other regulatory matters. Check with your supervisor or supervisory committee (whoever is helping you plan your research study) and they should be able to steer you in the right direction. See the Office of Research Services for more information and to download forms and applications.
I need help planning my thesis, dissertation or final project!

Check out the thesis and dissertation resource page for MA and PhD students. You’ll find a variety of information and resources pertaining to the planning and writing of your thesis or dissertation. There are a number of deadlines and procedures you should be aware of! Make sure you’re aware of the processes and check with your grad secretary, grad adviser or supervisor when you have questions. Always check first with your academic unit for information concerning final project guidelines and submission procedures.

Get to know the graduate student's checklist to completing your degree requirements.

How do I make connections within my academic unit?

Get connected to faculty and staff within your academic unit. It is good practice to know those faculty members whose research interests are aligned with yours, and to let them know about your personal interests in the field. They may be able to help you pursue funding, give you inside information on upcoming assistantships, and otherwise help you network at the University. Don’t feel shy about emailing faculty members and requesting to meet with them. They are there to help you reach your academic goals: just be clear about your intentions and the role they can play in helping you. Come prepared to meetings with a list of questions or a clear agenda of what you would like answered.

Here are some tips to help you get connected:

  • Your supervisor, grad adviser, and grad secretary are key. Get to know them!
  • Arrange to meet the professors whose courses you are attending. They are a great resource.
  • Look up faculty members within your academic unit whose research is aligned with yours. The UVic expertise database is a good place to start. Get to know them!
  • Are your interests tied with research from other academic units? Check the websites of faculty in other academic units and make appointments to chat with faculty who may have cross-disciplinary interests.
  • Get to know your colleagues in the classroom! They are an infinite resource, and you never know where or when a connection will present itself.
  • Find out about clubs or special interest groups where you will meet like-minded people.
When I should see my grad adviser and when I should see my supervisor?

The distinction is often hard to make. One way to understand the distinction is to consider your grad adviser as the person who will help you negotiate your way around the university, your academic unit, and your program. Your grad adviser is the liaison between your academic unit and the Graduate Studies office. If you have an issue to take up, or concerns over policy or procedures, see your grad adviser. They're responsible for ensuring that you receive proper supervision and that the regulations and requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies are met. In most cases, you would seek out a graduate adviser to discuss issues (e.g., problems that require mediation, such as a conflict with your supervisor) related to your program after you have met with your assigned supervisor. See a list of advising and program contacts.

Your supervisor is mostly concerned with the content and learning involved in your specific program. They will help you with course selection and play a major role in the logistical procedures and writing process of your thesis/dissertation/final project. Learn more about the supervisor-student relationship.

How do I put together my supervisory committee?Your supervisory committee will be formed in consultation with your supervisor, based on your research interests and other faculty members’ areas of expertise. More information concerning the composition of the supervisory committee can be found in the academic calendar. Learn more about the supervisor-student relationship.
How do I find an academic supervisor?Most academic units assign you a supervisor upon acceptance to your program. Check with your academic unit (grad secretary) if you are unsure of this process. Learn more about the supervisor-student relationship.
Who is responsible for helping me plan my program of study?

At the graduate level, students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and for the planning of their individual program of study. Classes, credits, timelines, deadlines and more are very important to understand. Each academic unit is slightly different so read the grad calendar and your academic unit’s handbook carefully. Don’t be shy—talk to your advisers and supervisor and let them help you navigate your way through your degree. As a grad student, it is your responsibility to seek out the help you need. Find those people in your academic unit whose work is closely aligned to your goals and meet with them. Be clear about your expectations and goals.

In general, your supervisor is directly responsible for the supervision of your individual program. Your supervisory committee and grad advisor/area advisor may also lend input into your program planning. You should be prepared to seek out these people, make appointments with them when necessary, and come prepared to meetings with clear questions. Familiarize yourself with Responsibilities in the Supervisory Relationship, which outlines best practices in student supervision. Learn more about the supervisor-student relationship.

Be aware that individual academic units may have slightly different procedures. Some academic units, for instance, do not refer students to their supervisory committee. Students in some academic units have an academic supervisor and a thesis supervisor. Most academic units produce a graduate handbook or information package that outlines their specific policies and procedures.

Get to know the degree requirements checklist.

Who should I get to know during my studies?

The two most influential people in your graduate experience are usually your graduate adviser and graduate secretary. They are the gatekeepers to information, the experts in what’s going on in your program and with your degree, and the people who often can make or break your experience as a graduate student. Having these people looking out for your best interests and keeping you in mind will make your time at UVic much easier.

Your grad secretary is often the first point of contact when you‘re looking for information or clarification. They’ll guide you through the proper channels of people and academic units. Your grad adviser, along with your supervisor, is key in helping with academic program planning. Some academic units also have area advisers who will be instrumental in helping you plan your program. Get to know them!

See the list of advising and program contacts.

What grade point average do I need to succeed in my graduate program?

Most graduate programs require a student to receive a grade point average of at least 5.0 (B) for every session in which they are registered. Individual academic units may set higher standards. Students with a sessional or cumulative average below 5.0 will not be allowed to register in the next session until their academic performance has been reviewed by their supervisory committee and continuation in the Faculty of Graduate Studies is approved by the Dean.

Every grade of 4.0 (B-) or lower in a course taken for credit in the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be reviewed by the supervisory committee of the student and the academic unit graduate adviser and a recommendation made to the Dean of Graduate Studies.  Such students will not be permitted to register in the next session until approved by the Dean. Read more in the Graduate Calendar.

Can degree programs be taken concurrently?

There are a select number of programs in which students can enroll concurrently.  Once admitted, students in the concurrent program must register separately in each faculty and follow the regulations of each faculty.

Students need to inform the Graduate Admissions and Records Office when they have been admitted to the concurrent program. Because of the wide variety of academic backgrounds of applicants, specific degree programs may vary from student to student. Read more about double degrees.

Who do I contact if I have a problem or concern?

Depending on the nature of the academic matter of concern, the order in which you would normally seek assistance or redress is:

  1. The course instructor or your academic supervisor
  2. The grad adviser and/or chair of your academic unit
  3. The dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies
  4. The senate committee on appeals

Information about the senate committee on appeals and the appeals process is in the academic calendar. If the problem is related to a specific course, the first person you should contact is the course instructor.

You may also wish to consult the UVic Students' Society Ombudsperson (Room B205, Student Union Building, 250-721-8357; email: ombuddy@uvic.ca) or the Graduate Students' Society Executive (250-472-4543).

Where can I find information on appeals and the appeal process?

Students who have grounds for believing themselves unjustly treated within the university are encouraged to seek all appropriate avenues of redress or appeal open to them. In academic matters, you should normally try to resolve the matter, in order, with:

  1. The course instructor
  2. The graduate adviser and chair of youe academic unit
  3. The dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies
  4. The senate committee on appeals

Information about the senate committee on appeals and the appeals process is in the academic calendar. In addition, you may wish to consult the UVSS ombudsperson.

What is the Western Deans’ Agreement and how does it work?

The Western Deans’ Agreement was established in 1974 as an expression of cooperation and mutual support among universities offering graduate programs in Western Canada. Its primary purpose is the reciprocal enrichment of Graduate Programs throughout Western Canada. Under the terms of this agreement, graduate students of the member universities may take courses that are not available at their home institution at another member institution for credit in their graduate programs.

Learn more and download forms on the research and study mobility options page.

Can I audit a course?

To audit a course you must receive permission from course instructors and your graduate adviser, and submit a completedauditor class entry form. Registration as an auditor is subject to several conditions—read more in the academic calendar.

How do I temporarily withdraw from my program?

If you are not planning to register for credits during a semester you must temporarily withdraw from your program. There are four different categories of withdrawal:

  • personal leave
  • leave of absence with permission (due to medical, parental or compassionate reasons)
  • official withdrawal (indefinite withdrawal with dean's permission)

Personal leave: you may withdraw from your program on a temporary basis by taking a personal leave. Log in to MyPage and request this leave through "Students: class registration: graduate student temporary withdrawal." A personal leave is effective for one term at a time. You must register for each subsequent session or take another personal leave. A student may temporarily withdraw for no more than three terms in a master's program, and for no more than six terms in a doctoral program.

Time spent on a personal leave is counted as part of the total time allowed for completion of the degree program. Students may not undertake any academic or research work or use any of the university's facilities during a period of withdrawal.

Leave of absence with permission: you may request a leave of absence with permission for medical, parental or compassionate reasons by completing and submitting a leave of absence request form to the GARO office. Be sure to attach supporting documentation such as a medical note.

Time spent on a leave of absence with permission will be added to the end of your program. Students may not undertake any academic or research work or use any of the university's facilities during a period of withdrawal.

Official withdrawal: you may request an official withdrawal from your program by submitting a written request by email or letter to the GARO office. Be sure to include a supporting memo or email from your supervisor or graduate advisor. This type of withdrawal is indefinite: students who wish to return to their program following an official withdrawal are required to complete an online application.

*For any withdrawal, students should contact the Scholarship Unit in the Faculty of Graduate Studies if they have any funding to see if/how their leave will affect their funding.

Do I need to register for courses (or course credit) in every semester?

Once you have been accepted into your program, you must register for credit in every term from the time of admission until the requirements of the degree have been met. This is called continuity of registration. If you are not planning to participate in a term of study, you must temporarily withdraw from your program as the Faculty of Graduate Studies requires continuous registration. You are considered to have abandoned your program if you do not:

  • register for credit,
  • temporarily withdraw, or
  • formally withdraw from your program.

That program will be terminated and you will be withdrawn from UVic. The notation "withdrawn without permission" will be entered on your transcript.

What is my academic unit responsible for? When do I contact others outside of my academic unit?Once accepted, your academic unit should always be your first point of contact in any query. Your grad secretary can usually let you know who to contact and the necessary steps of any process. Graduate Admissions and Records (GARO) exchanges information with individual academic units over student admissions and records. The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) communicates with the graduate advisers of each academic unit.
Is there a time limit on my graduate degree?

For most degrees, master’s students have five years to complete their degree and doctoral students have seven years. This "clock" runs from the first term in which you are admitted onwards. If you take a term off the clock does not stop.

If you need longer than this amount of time to complete your degree, you should work with your supervisor to develop a plan and timeline. Your supervisor will need to request an extension by writing a memo to the dean of Graduate Studies. Typically, extenuating circumstances are required. Students in a co-op program have different timelines. See the Graduate Calendar for details.

Students are entitled to terms off through temporary withdrawal. As a graduate student you must either register in courses or temporarily withdraw each term. Failure to do so will result in you being "withdrawn without permission." In order to get back into your program you would need to apply for re-instatement, which is a costly and formal process involving the dean of Graduate Studies.

Master’s students are entitled to three temporary withdrawal terms. Doctoral students are entitled to six temporary withdrawal terms.

How are my tuition and program fees assessed?Tuition and program fees for graduate students are assessed differently than for undergraduates. Visit the tuition and fees page for information.
What are the definitions for full-time or part-time student status in grad studies?In graduate studies, generally a minimum of 3.0 units per term is considered full-time status.
Which resources should I be familiar with?

Make sure you are aware of the following:

Where can I find a form?All graduate studies forms, including those needed to graduate, can be found on our forms page. You can search by form area, type and keyword.
How do I register in a course outside my academic unit?

You can only register in these courses by permission; you won't be able to register for courses outside of your academic unit through the My page registration portal.

You must fill out a copy of the graduate course change form and follow these steps:

  1. Seek permission of the course instructor and have them sign the form.
  2. Have your grad adviser sign the form.
  3. Get a signature from an associate dean in the Faculty of Grad Studies office.

You are responsible for getting these signatures and handing the form in to your grad secretary before the course begins.

What is the exact last day to register for courses?Check the list of all academic deadlines and mark these dates in your calendar. You don’t want to be charged extra for a course you're not taking simply because you missed the course-drop deadline! Registration dates are set by your academic unit. Check your dates through My page and if you are unsure, check with your grad secretary.
How do I register for my courses?

Once you have been accepted, you can register for a UVic NetLink account online using your student V-number. Your NetLink ID will give you access to My page where you will be able to access your student record, change your personal information and register for classes. Your academic unit will advise you of your registration dates through My page.

Which important dates and deadlines do I need to be aware of?

There so many important deadlines to be aware of! Check the calendar of important academic dates and be sure to put them in your calendar! Be sure to check tuition and fees, financial aid and funding and the Student Awards and Financial Aid site for information on scholarship and bursary deadlines.

You don’t want to miss out on important funding opportunities because you weren't aware of the deadlines!

Can I get a UVic email address?Yes, all students and staff at UVic are entitled to a UVic email account. UVic WebMail is a secure, easy to use browser-based mail service. Register for email online using your NetLink ID.
What is My page and when do I need to use it?

The My page portal is the central web-based access point to your life at UVic. My page is a single-login site that gives members of the UVic community access to secured information on the UVic network , email, online groups and basic course tools. My page is where class registration occurs, class schedules are available, personal information can be changed, account balances are displayed, employee (TA/RA/sessional) information/pay stubs are stored and much more. You will use the My page portal throughout your studies at UVic to register for courses, see timetables, access your records information and many other tasks.

You must first register for a NetLink ID to log into My page; once you have a student number you can apply for a NetLink ID. All students should register for a NetLink ID as soon as possible. This will give you a UVic email address, remote access to UVic servers and, most importantly, access to My page. Please let your graduate secretary know your UVic email address.

Who do I contact for information about my acceptance, registration, and records?Graduate Admissions and Records (GARO) is on the second floor of the University Centre. They keep all of the information regarding application status, acceptance, course registration, and university records. GARO staff can assist you with many tasks during your studies, including forms you may be looking for. Once you are accepted into your program of studies, you should direct your queries first to your academic unit, usually through your graduate secretary.
What is a co-op program?

Co-operative education, or co-op, is an integrated approach to higher education that enables bright, highly motivated students to alternate academic terms with paid, relevant work experience in their chosen field. Since the mid-1970s UVic Co-op has grown to become one of Canada’s largest co-op programs. We've built our success on personalized service, high quality work opportunities, and leading-edge technology.

The goal of the UVic co-op program is to produce high-caliber graduates who are better prepared to pursue productive careers. Successful co-op graduates complete a standard academic degree program, as well as several co-op work terms in jobs related to their degree program. The practical experience gained on these work terms is an integral part of the student's education. The term "co-operative education" emphasizes the relationship between the employer, the student and the University of Victoria.

Some departments and schools at the University of Victoria participate in graduate co-operative education, which integrates periods of full-time employment with the academic program. Some graduate programs include co-op as a mandatory component of the program; others include co-op as an optional component. Check the grad calendar to see if your academic unit offers a co-op option.

Does UVic offer any online courses or distance education degrees?Yes, UVic offers a wide variety of online courses, certificate and diploma programs, and undergrad and graduate degrees in several disciplines. Visit the Distance Education website.
How will the UVic graduate award or fellowship be paid?Normally, UVic Graduate Awards and UVic Fellowships are paid in monthly instalments for September through August, however the number of instalments varies based on the total award value. Payments are made by direct deposit, and students are encouraged to sign up for this service as payment by cheque results in payment delays. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
Can I hold a UVic graduate award or fellowship with another award?

You cannot hold a UVic Fellowship with another award that is worth $15,000 or more. UVic Graduate Awards can be held with other awards regardless of value. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.

Can I hold UVic graduate awards and fellowships if I'm a part-time student?UVic Fellowships can only be held if you are studying part-time for disability reasons. UVic Graduate Awards can be held if you are part-time. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
Are international students eligible for UVic graduate awards and fellowships?Yes, they are. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
How many years can I receive a graduate award or fellowship?This varies. For some departments, only one year while others may provide an award that is renewable. For UVic Fellowships, you cannot receive it beyond the end of the second year of the master’s degree or beyond the end of the fourth year of the PhD. UVic Graduate Awards can be held in any year of the program. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
What is the value of a graduate award or fellowship?UVic Graduate Awards can be between $1,000 and $5,000 for students with a GPA of 6.5 or higher or $5,000 to $10,000 with a GPA of 7.0 or higher. UVic Fellowships for master’s students can be $10,000-$17,500 and $10,000-$20,000 for doctoral students. Your department decides on the value of the award. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
How will I know if I got an award or fellowship?You will receive an official offer by email from the Faculty of Graduate Studies dean’s office. You might also be contacted by your department with a conditional offer of funding. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
How do I apply for UVic graduate awards or fellowships?You don’t have to apply for UVic Graduate Awards and UVic Fellowships. Your department will consider current students and incoming students for awards and fellowships and decide who will be funded. Incoming students are considered based on their application for admission. Returning students are considered based on their progress in the program. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
Am I eligible for graduate awards or fellowships?Normally, you require a first class average (A-) to be considered for these awards but this does not guarantee you will be chosen to receive an award. Learn more about graduate awards and fellowships.
What happens if I apply for a travel grant and I have fees outstanding or I am not registered full time?Your application will be returned to you along with an explanation of why you were not approved. Learn more about travel grants.
What is meant by "from the time you return" from travel?

This means that you have 30 calendar days from the return date you entered on your application form. This date is also repeated in your letter of approval. 

If you do not submit your expense claim within the 30 day deadline, you will have forfeited your grant. Learn more about travel grants.

Is there a deadline for submitting my travel grant expense claim?Yes, your letter will tell you that you will have 30 calendar days from the time you return to submit your claim. This deadline is strictly enforced. Learn more about travel grants.
How will I be paid for travel grant reimbursement?If you have direct deposit the funds will go into your account. Otherwise a cheque will be sent to your department. Learn more about travel grants.
How long will I have to wait for travel grant reimbursement?All expense claims are processed by the university’s accounting department. The length of time depends on how busy that department is at the time the expense form is submitted to them. Learn more about travel grants.
What if I am receiving funds from other sources for travel and they require original receipts?It is best if you submit your claim to us with a request that the accounting department return your receipts to you along with your reimbursement. Learn more about travel grants.
Can I submit photocopies of my receipts and boarding passes for travel grant reimbursement?No, the accounting department requires that you submit original receipts and boarding passes. Learn more about travel grants.
What if I have someone else pay for some of my expenses? Can I use a copy of another person’s charge card bill?No, you can only claim expenses you have paid for yourself, so do not have anyone else pay for your expenses. Learn more about travel grants.
On the travel grant expense claim form there are different sections. Which section should I be filling in?

This expense claim form is used by the whole university. You need only to enter your name, address, student number and email in case Accounting needs to contact you. 

In the next section, fill in your destination, purpose of your travel and your departure and return dates.  You do not need to fill in anything in the next section.  If you have funding from your department, have them fill in their Fast Number, the amount they are paying you and their signature.

On the next pages you will fill in your transportation costs, accommodations, conference fees, meal costs and any other costs. Once you have completed all of the above sign and date it.  Bring it to Graduate Studies along with your original receipts and we will enter our information and send it to the Accounting department for processing. Learn more about travel grants.

How do I get reimbursed for travel on a travel grant?You will receive instructions for reimbursement in the letter of approval you'll receive when approved. Learn more about travel grants.
What expenses are covered by travel grants?The grant can be used to cover transportation, accommodations, meals and conference fees. The grant is meant to cover your expenses only. It does not cover alcoholic beverages. Learn more about travel grants.
Would I receive the travel grant funds before I travel?No, you will be reimbursed after you have travelled. Learn more about travel grants.
How will I know if I have been approved for a travel grant?You will receive your letter of approval by email. Learn more about travel grants.
When will I know if I have been approved for a travel grant?Travel grants are disbursed on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to first time applicants. This means that anyone who has never received a grant before will be given priority over applicants who have previously received a grant. All applications received will be posted in date order. Learn more about travel grants.
Can I apply for a travel grant after I have travelled?No, you must apply before you travel.  Applications submitted after travel will not be considered. Learn more about travel grants.
Why do I have to have my supervisor or adviser sign my travel grant application?The signature confirms that the travel is research related. Learn more about travel grants.
When should I apply for a travel grant?You can submit your application up to four months before your travel, applications submitted more than than four months before the date of travel will not be accepted. Learn more about travel grants.
How much would I be eligible for if I was to receive a travel grant?Amounts vary depending on what you would be doing and where you would be going. Learn more about travel grants.
Can I use a travel grant for course-related travel?No, travel grants are meant to be used to support students presenting their research results at conferences, workshops or to travel to sites for thesis research. Learn more about travel grants.
Is there funding for students who wish to travel to conferences?

Yes, a travel grant has been established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Students Society to support travel to conferences, meetings, workshops, or research activities. Learn more about travel grants.

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