Department policies

It is important that students read the University of Victoria Undergraduate Calendar carefully concerning department policies as the department is guided by the Calendar, particularly the section on Undergraduate Academic Regulations.


Instructors in Political Science do not grade to a pre-established curve and there are no set requirements for the distribution of grades in any course. Instructors submit grades online, and those grades are available to students online as soon as they have been approved by the Chair. Grades are not official until they have been approved by the Chair.

If the grades for a course are not available online, it means that the grades have not yet been approved by the Chair. Grades posted elsewhere, such as on Moodle, are unofficial and subject to change. Most assignments in Political Science are written and therefore take more time to grade thoroughly than machine-graded exams.

Please see the grade ranges laid in the UVic Academic Calendar.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is intellectual honesty and responsibility for academic work that you submit or work on with others. It involves commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. It is expected that students will respect these ethical values in all activities related to learning, teaching, research and service.

The Department of Political Science adheres to UVic's Policy on Academic Integrity and works to help students meet the requirements of that Policy and to deal fairly and strictly with violations of that Policy.

As most Political Science courses involve essay writing, plagiarism is a particular concern; students also must not submit the same paper (or substantially similar papers) to more than one course without the prior permission of the instructors of both courses. Students should familiarize themselves with the Policy and should discuss any questions they have about the appropriate use of sources with their instructor.

Detailed information about appropriate use of sources and appropriate citation practices is available on the Library website.

Plagiarism: Your rights and responsibilities

Cheating and plagiarizing are serious academic offenses. Instructors and academic units have the responsibility to ensure that standards of academic honesty are met. Depending on the severity of the case, penalties include a warning, a failing grade, a record on the student’s transcript, or a suspension. More information is available from the Office of the Ombudsperson.

  • Plagiarism sometimes occurs due to ignorance or confusion, but it is the responsibility of the student to know the rules. Different disciplines may have different norms. Students who are unsure about the standards for citations or for referencing their sources must seek that information from their instructors.
  • Students are entitled to a fair process when they are accused of plagiarism or cheating. This includes notification of the offense, which must be fully documented by the instructor, and a reasonable opportunity to be heard." Taken from Office of Ombudsperson How to avoid plagiarism

Attendance and absences

If you are registered in a course, you are expected to attend all the classes.

Some instructors take attendance every class and assign a portion of the overall grade to attendance. This policy must be specified in the course outline and be applied in accordance with University Policy on Attendance. Instructors can state that students who fail to attend a specified minimum number or portion of class sessions will not be permitted to write the final exam or get credit for the course.


Illness, accident or family affliction

Students who are absent from more than one class due to illness, accident, or family affliction should notify their instructor. If illness, accident, or family affliction causes a student to miss an exam during the term, or to be late submitting a course assignment, the student should contact the instructor to request a deferred exam or due date. Normally the instructor will require documentation from a health professional to support the request.

If illness, accident, or family affliction causes a student to miss the final exam or to fail to complete any assignment by the end of the term, the student must submit a Request for Academic Concession to Undergraduate Records in the University Centre. The form is available on the Undergraduate Records website, and must be accompanied by documentation from a health professional.

If deferral is granted, all of the work for the course must be completed by the end of the following term. Requests for extended deferral in which the due date is extended beyond the end of the following term are granted only in exceptional cases.

Academic concession

Students who miss substantial portions of a course due to illness, accident, or family affliction may be encouraged to request an Academic Concession that will permit them to withdraw from the course without academic penalty rather than be granted a deferral if, in the instructor's judgment, the student has missed too many classes to be granted credit for the course.

Travelling during exams

Students are expected to be available for exams and other course assignments throughout the term, including to the end of the exam period for the term. Students must not make travel plans for the end of term until the date of the final exam for the course (if any) is known.

Instructors will not normally re-schedule examinations for students who wish to be away from campus at the time scheduled for an exam, whether that exam is held in class during the term or during the exam period.