Academic Calendar

Master’s Degrees General Regulations

General

Although general regulations apply to all students, individual departments/units may have additional regulations that supplement these general regulations. All such supplementary regulations must be approved (as specified by the By-Laws of the Faculty of Graduate Studies), be published and available to students (please refer to the following link), and be kept on record in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. All students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific details regarding admission, program requirements, progression, and completion. Individual departments/units may offer Master’s programs by one or more of the following:

  • Thesis/practicum-based;
  • Course-based;
  • Comprehensive Exam;
  • Project;
  • Accredited Professional;
  • Major research paper.

Admission

Students who are eligible to be considered for direct admission to a program of study leading to the Master’s degree include:

  • Graduates of four (4)-year undergraduate degree programs (or equivalent as deemed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies) from: 
    • Canadian institutions empowered by law to grant degrees; or
    • Colleges and universities outside Canada which are officially recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduates from first-cycle Bologna compliant degrees.
  • Students who have completed a Pre-Master’s program from:
    • The University of Manitoba (see General Regulations - Pre-Master's); or
    • Canadian institutions empowered by law to grant degrees; or
    • Colleges and universities outside Canada which are officially recognized by The Faculty of Graduate Studies.

All students applying for a Master’s degree program must have attained a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two (2) full years (60 credit hours) of study. This includes those applying for direct admission and those entering from a Pre-Master’s program. Students who meet the minimum requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies are not guaranteed admission.

Note: This is the minimum requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and departments/units may have higher standards and additional criteria.

Program Requirements

In general, students must complete one of the programs of study described below for the Master’s degree. However, the program of study is determined by the department/unit and may follow the department/unit’s supplementary regulations. Any single course cannot be used for credit toward more than one program.

Thesis/Practicum Route

A minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of coursework, unless otherwise stated in the department/unit’s supplementary regulations, plus a thesis or practicum is required. The minimum must include at least six (6) credit hours at the 7000-level or above, with the balance of the coursework at the 3000-level or above. A maximum of twenty-four (24) credit hours of coursework is allowed unless the department/unit’s supplementary regulations indicate otherwise. The student must complete the thesis/practicum at The University of Manitoba.

Course-based or Comprehensive Examination Route

A minimum of twenty-four (24) credit hours of coursework and comprehensive examination(s) is required. The minimum must include at least eighteen (18) credit hours at the 7000-level or above with the balance of the coursework at the 3000-level or above. A maximum of forty-eight (48) credit hours of coursework is allowed unless a department/unit's supplementary regulations indicate otherwise. A comprehensive examination is required for some course-based programs.

Accredited Professional Route

The credit hours and course requirements shall reflect the requirements of the department/unit's external accrediting body. Students should check department/unit supplementary regulations regarding this requirement.

Language Requirements

Some department/units specify a language requirement for the Master’s degree. Students should check department/unit supplementary regulations regarding this requirement.

Advanced Credit

Advance credit for courses completed prior to admission to a Master’s program will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The student’s department/unit must make a request to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by completing the “Recommendation for Advance Credit-Transfer of Courses” form.

  • Application for advance credit must be made within the first year of the program (see Lapse or Expiration of Credit of Courses).
  • No more than 50% of the required coursework for the program can be achieved using advance credit.
  • A course may not be used for credit toward more than one (1) degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • The student must register at The University of Manitoba for at least two (2) terms within a single academic year and must also complete the thesis/practicum/project/comprehensive exam at The University of Manitoba.
  • Courses taken while in the Pre-Masters program may not be used for credit in a Master’s program.

Regardless of the extent of advanced credit granted, all students are required to pay all applicable program fees.

Transfer Credit

Courses within a program of study may be taken elsewhere and transferred for credit at The University of Manitoba. All such courses:

  • must be approved for transfer to the program of study by the department/unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies before the student may register for them;
  • are considered on an individual basis;
  • cannot be used for credit towards another degree;
  • may not exceed 50% of the minimum credit hours of coursework required of the student’s graduate program at The University of Manitoba.

Permission is granted in the form of a Letter of Permission which may be obtained by making an application to the Registrar’s Office; an original transcript and course equivalency must be provided.

Time in Program

The minimum time for students in the Master’s program is equivalent to two (2) terms. Completion of most programs requires more than this and students should check department/unit supplementary regulations regarding specific requirements.

The maximum time allowed for the completion of the Master’s degree is four (4) years for students declared as full-time and six (6) years for students declared as part-time (see Student Status/Categories of Students for information on calculating maximum time for students). Individual department/units and/or programs may have specified minimum and maximum time limits, and students should periodically check department/unit supplementary regulations regarding these specific requirements.

Requests for extensions of time to complete the degree will be considered on an individual basis and must be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies using the “Time Extension Request” form at least three (3), but no more than four (4), months prior to expiration of the respective maximum time limit.

A student who has not completed the degree requirements within the time limit or within the time limit of the extension will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

Student’s Advisor and Co-Advisor

Student's Advisor

Each student should have an advisor upon entry into the program, and must have one assigned no later than one (1) term following initial registration. The advisor must:

  • hold an appointment in the student's department/unit;
  • be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies1;
  • hold at least a Master’s degree or equivalent2;
  • be active in their field;
  • have expertise in a discipline related to the student’s program.

It is the responsibility of the department/unit Head to determine whether faculty members meet these criteria, and also to report to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies on equivalency as necessary. Any exceptions or special circumstances must be recommended by the department/unit Head and approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who considers each case on an individual basis.  

In department/units where the choice of thesis/practicum topic and thesis/practicum advisor are postponed after a student’s entry into the program, the department/unit Head, within one (1) term, shall appoint a faculty member to advise the student in the interim period before the regular advisor is assigned or chosen. Students must have an advisor through to the end of their program in programs requiring an advisor.

Student's Co-advisor

In special circumstances, upon approval of the Head of the department/unit, an advisor and a maximum of one (1) co-advisor may advise a student. The co-advisor must:

  • be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies1;
  • hold a Master’s or equivalent2;
  • be active in research;
  • have expertise in a discipline related to the student’s program;

The co-advisor may be identified either at the beginning of, or mid-way through, a student’s program. In all instances, the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be informed of, and approve, the co-advisor arrangement. If a co-advisor is added midway through the student’s program, a new Advisor Student Guidelines must be completed.

When an advisor and co-advisor are assigned, together they shall fulfill the role of the advisor (that is, neither shall fulfill any other advisory or examining committee membership requirements for that student). One (1) advisor must be identified as the primary advisor; the advisor/co-advisor have a single vote. Both the advisor and co-advisor’s signatures are required on all documents where the advisor’s signature is required.

Student’s Advisor/Co-advisor

A student who also holds an appointment at The University of Manitoba at the rank of Assistant Professor or above cannot have an advisor or co-advisor with an appointment in the same department/unit.

The advisor, co-advisor (if applicable) and student must discuss, and complete, the Faculty of Graduate Studies Advisor Student Guidelines prior to the commencement of any research and no later than the submission of the first Progress Report for the student. If a student does not have an advisor/co-advisor, then the interim advisor will be required to complete the Advisor Student Guidelines. The advisor/co-advisor and the student are required to approve the agreement. If the parties cannot agree on any component(s) of the Advisor Student Guidelines, the matter should be referred to the department/unit Head, Graduate Chair, or the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Advisor Student Guidelines is to be completed again if there is a change in advisor/co-advisor or when a co-advisor is added mid-way through the student’s program.

Should, during the student’s program, the relationship between the student and advisor/co-advisor significantly deteriorate, the matter should be referred sequentially to the department/unit Graduate Chair, the Head of the department/unit, then to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or designate). It is the responsibility of the department/unit offering the program in which the student is studying to arrange an alternate advisor if this is appropriate and necessary. All students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific details regarding advisor/co-advisor requirements.

Advisory Committee

Conflict of Interest

There are several circumstances that might lead to a real, perceived or potential Conflict of Interest (COI) in advisory and examining committees. A real COI could be present due to the existence of a (past or present) personal relationship that is romantic, sexual, marital, personal or familial. There is a potential for a perceived COI in cases of recent (within the last 5 years) collaboration among committee members, which may result in the perception of a lack of fairness or impartiality.  These examples are not intended to be comprehensive, and are provided solely for illustration. The University of Manitoba Conflict of Interest Policy and Conflict of Interest Procedures as well as the Conflict of Interest Between Evaluators and Students due to Close Personal Relationships should also be consulted.

In addition to following the processes outlined in the above policies, COIs that exist within advisory and examining committees should be declared in writing to the Faculty of Graduate Studies to provide transparency to all relevant parties (including the student, committee members, unit leadership, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies). All reported conflicts will be reviewed by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or designate). If the conflict is deemed sufficiently significant and cannot be mitigated, a new committee may need to be struck.

Thesis/Practicum Route

Advisory committees are selected by the advisor/co-advisor in consultation with the student and should consist of individuals whose expertise is consistent with that necessary to provide additional advice and guidance to the student during their research program.

The advisory committee must consist of a minimum of three (3) voting members (the advisor/co-advisor have a single vote), at least two (2) of whom must be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

All examiners must be deemed qualified by the department/unit Head and be willing to serve.

Individuals who are not a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, but who possess specific and extensive expertise and experience, such as professionals, artists, Knowledge Keepers or Elders, may serve on the advisory committee as a full voting member. No more than one such knowledge expert may serve on any individual advisory committee, and must be nominated by the unit Head or Graduate Chair and approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate.

Advisory committees may alternatively include one (1) non-voting invited member who has expertise in a related discipline but is not a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Under no circumstances are graduate students, Post-Doctoral fellows, and Research Assistants or Associates to serve on graduate student examining committees, regardless if they hold a rank of Adjunct Professor.

The composition of, and any changes to, the advisory committee, including the advisor/co-advisor, must be approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The advisor/co-advisor is the Chair of the advisory committee.  

It is expected that advisory committee members will have a Master’s degree or equivalent. Equivalency will be determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate. Knowledge experts are exempted from this requirement.

Additional specifications, if any, regarding the advisory committee are found in the department/unit supplementary regulations and students should consult these regulations for specific requirements.

Course-based, Major Research Paper, or Comprehensive Examination Route

Normally, advisory committees are not required in these routes; however, any appropriate specifications regarding an advisory committee can be found in the department/unit’s supplementary regulations and students should consult these regulations for specific requirements.

Accredited Professional Programs

Normally, advisory committees are not required in these routes; however, any appropriate specifications regarding an advisory committee can be found in the department/unit’s supplementary regulations and students should consult these regulations for specific requirements.

Courses and Performance

Course or Program Changes

Students are not permitted to change their program of study, including withdrawal from individual courses, without the approval of their advisor/co-advisor (and/or advisory committee) and department/unit Head. Withdrawal from courses or changes of course category without such approval may result in the student being required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Lapse or Expiration of Credit of Courses

Courses completed more than seven (7) years prior to the date of awarding of a degree may not normally be used for credit toward that degree. A department/unit may request an exception to this limit on behalf of the student. Such requests, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, must be accompanied by supporting information including a detailed summary of the content of the course as taken initially and as offered most recently, and a detailed rationale explaining how the student has maintained knowledge of the course content.

Courses completed more than ten (10) years prior to the date of awarding of a degree are deemed expired and cannot be used for credit toward that degree.

In the event that coursework is no longer considered current or has expired, students must take additional coursework (as recommended by the department/unit Head, or designate, and as approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies) to meet the minimum credit hour requirements for their program. The department/unit may recommend that students re-take previously passed course(s) which have lapsed or expired.

Academic Performance

Student progress shall be reported at least annually (but no more than once every four (4) months) to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form.

Students who fail to maintain satisfactory performance may be required to withdraw on the recommendation of the Graduate Chair and/or department/unit Head to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form. Students who receive two (2) consecutive “in need of improvement” or one (1) “unsatisfactory” rating will normally be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

Performance in Coursework

A minimum degree grade point average (DGPA) of 3.0 with no grade below C+ must be maintained to continue in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Departments/units may specify, in their supplementary regulations, standards that are higher than those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students who fail to maintain the specified grades will be required to withdraw unless the department/unit recommends remedial action. Any such action must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Students are normally expected to complete remedial action by the end of the subsequent term.

Performance not Related to Coursework

In some departments/units, students are required to demonstrate satisfactory academic performance in areas not related to performance in courses, such as attendance at or participation in course lectures, seminars and in laboratories and progress in research, thesis or practicum. The specific nature of satisfactory academic performance is outlined in individual department/unit supplementary regulations and students should consult these supplementary regulations for specific requirements. Unsatisfactory performance must be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory performance may be required to withdraw on the recommendation of the department/unit Head to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Academic Requirements for Graduation

All students must:

  • maintain a minimum degree grade point average (DGPA) of 3.0 with no grade below C+;
  • complete GRAD 7500
  • complete GRAD 7300
  • meet the minimum and not exceed the maximum course requirements; and
  • meet the minimum and not exceed the maximum time requirements  (in terms of time in program and lapse or expiration of credit of courses).

Individual department/units may have additional specific requirements for graduation and students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for these specific requirements.

Thesis/Practicum Route

Thesis vs. Practicum

Students must demonstrate their mastery of the field and that they are fully conversant with the relevant literature through their thesis/practicum. The thesis or practicum will normally be written in English unless the student is studying in a program at the Université de Saint-Boniface, or departmental/unit supplementary regulations allow a different language to be used.

A practicum differs from the thesis in its emphasis on the application of theory, it is however similar in scope, span, and rigour. The practicum takes the form of an exercise in the practical application of knowledge and skill. It usually involves the careful definition of a problem, the application of appropriate knowledge and skills to the problem, and a report of the results in a manner suitable for evaluation by an examining committee. Individual department/units have specific requirements for graduation and students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific requirements. Research must be approved by the appropriate Human Research Ethics Board or Animal Care Committee, if applicable, before the work has begun on the practicum.

The thesis is developed under the mentorship of the advisor/co-advisor. Individual department/units may have specific guidelines regarding the thesis proposal and its acceptance by the student’s advisory committee and department/unit Head; students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific requirements. Research must be approved by the appropriate Human Research Ethics Board or Animal Care Committee, if applicable, before the work has begun on the thesis research.

Examining Committee

The advisor/co-advisor will recommend an examining committee to the department/unit Head for approval, which shall then be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Master’s Thesis/Practicum Title and Appointment of Examiners” form. This form must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least two (2) weeks prior to the distribution of the thesis.

Under normal circumstances, the examining committee will be the same as the advisory committee unless otherwise stipulated in the department/unit’s supplementary regulations. The examining committee must consist of a minimum of three (3) members (including the advisor/co-advisor), at least two (2) of whom must be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. All examiners must be deemed qualified by the department/unit Head and be willing to serve. It is expected that, under normal circumstances, examination committee members will have a Master's degree or equivalent. The composition of, and any changes to, the examining committee, including the advisor/co-advisor, must be approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Individual department/units establish specific requirements for examination and students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific requirements.

Under no circumstances are graduate students, Post-Doctoral fellows, and Research Assistants or Associates to serve on graduate student examining committees, regardless if they hold a rank of Adjunct Professor.

The Head of the department/unit arranges for the distribution of the thesis/practicum to the examiners. It is the duty of all examiners to read the thesis/practicum and report on its merits according to the following categories:

  • Acceptable, without modification or with minor revision(s); or
  • Acceptable, subject to modification and/or revision(s); or
  • Not acceptable.

If two or more examiners do not approve the thesis, then the student is deemed to have failed the distribution.

Note that in the case of an advisor and co-advisor, both together have a single vote on the examining committee.

Oral Examination

For department/units requiring students to pass an oral examination on the subject of the thesis/practicum and matters relating thereto, the format of the oral examination is described in the supplementary regulations of the department/unit. Students should consult these supplementary regulations for specific requirements. A student has the right to an examination of the thesis/practicum if they believe it is ready for examination. It is the department/unit’s responsibility to advise the student of any risk involved should they decide to proceed against the department/unit’s recommendation.

The examining process should be completed within one (1) month of distribution of the thesis/practicum to the examining committee.

Normally, all members of the examining committee should be present in-person at the examination. Under exceptional circumstances, and with the prior approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, one (1) member may participate electronically. Only under very exceptional circumstances can the student or the Advisor/Co-advisor participate electronically. No recording devices will be permitted. The oral examination must be held at either The University of Manitoba Fort Garry or Bannatyne campus, Université de Saint-Boniface, or the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre normally during regular business hours. The oral examination shall be open to all members of The University of Manitoba community except in exceptional cases. The oral examination may be closed, for example, when the results of the thesis/practicum research must be kept confidential for a period of time. In such cases, the examining committee and department/unit Head shall recommend such action to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who shall then decide whether to grant that the final examination be closed to all but the examining committee and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

The oral examination will normally be held in English unless the student is studying in a program at the Université de Saint-Boniface, or departmental/unit supplementary regulations allow a different language to be used.

Following completion of the examination of the thesis/practicum, examiners will consider the oral examination and the written thesis/practicum.

The examiners will also determine the nature of and procedures for approval of any revisions that will be required prior to submission of the thesis/practicum to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The advisor/co-advisor is normally responsible for ensuring that revisions are completed according to the instructions from the examining committee.

The judgment of the examiners shall be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the qualitative terms “approved” or “not approved” on the "Thesis/Practicum Final Report" form. Each examiner must indicate their opinion by their signature. If two (2) or more examiners do not approve the thesis/practicum, the student is deemed to have failed the examination.

Failure

In the case of a failure of the thesis/practicum at the Master’s level, the candidate may, on support of their home department/unit, be allowed to defend the thesis a second time. In this case, a detailed written report will be prepared by the Chair of the examination committee and submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who will make the report available to the student, the student’s advisor/co-advisor and the Department/Unit Head.  The Department/Unit Head shall convene a meeting of the members of the examining committee and the student’s advisor/co-advisor to decide how to bring the thesis to an acceptable scholarly standard and/or prepare for the second defence.

A student will be required to withdraw when the thesis/practicum has been rejected twice at the stage where:

  • The examining committee reports on the merits of the written thesis/practicum;
  • The oral examination; or
  • A combination of both stages.

Course-based, Major Research Paper, or Comprehensive Examination Route

Students must demonstrate their mastery of their field. The specific procedures for evaluation of this mastery are stated in individual department/unit supplementary regulations.

In those department/units where comprehensive examinations are required, students should consult the department/unit's supplementary regulations for specific requirements.

The results of the comprehensive examinations shall be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the "Report on Comprehensive Examination" form in the terms "pass" or "fail." No student may sit comprehensive examinations more than twice. Any student who receives a "fail" on the comprehensive examination twice will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Style and Format

The thesis/practicum must be written according to a standard style acknowledged by a particular field of study (please refer to Thesis/Practicum Types).

Details for Submission of the Final Copy

Following the approval of the thesis/practicum by the examining committee and the completion of any revisions required by that committee, the thesis/practicum, must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies as follows:

  • One digital version submitted as an e-thesis/practicum at the MSpace website;
  • Copyright Licence Declaration/Infringement Form (completed on MSpace);
  • Thesis/Practicum final report.

Publication and Circulation of Thesis/Practicum

Every graduate student registering in a thesis/practicum Master’s program at The University of Manitoba shall be advised that, as a condition of being awarded the degree, they will be required to grant a license of partial copyright to the University and to the Library and Archives Canada for any thesis or practicum submitted as part of their degree program.

Note: This licence makes the thesis/practicum available for further research only. Publication for commercial purposes remains the sole right of the author.

The Copyright Licence Declaration/Infringement Form must be completed on MSpace. This and other related regulations may give rise to important questions of law, and students may need additional legal advice on the copyright laws of Canada and/or other countries. Students who wish to obtain legal advice concerning their subsequent rights are advised to do so prior to signing the agreements. Signing of the licence agreements is normally done after the contents of the thesis/practicum have been delineated and the importance of copyright and/or patents fully understood and appreciated.

Publication in the above manner does not preclude further publication of the thesis or practicum report or any part of it in a journal or in a book. In such cases, an acknowledgement that the work was originally part of a thesis/practicum at The University of Manitoba should be included.

Notes:

Patents –Refer to  “Policy of Withholding Theses Pending Patent Applications” in this Guide.

Restriction of Thesis/Practicum for Publication – In exceptional cases, not covered by the regulation concerning patents, where adequate cause can be shown to delay publication, the student and advisor/co-advisor may request in writing that the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies restrict access for a period up to one (1) year after submission of the digital version of a thesis or practicum to The University of Manitoba. The Dean shall determine for what period, if any, access will be restricted.

Library and Archives Canada – Library and Archives Canada obtains a copy of the thesis via the University’s MSpace repository.

Final Requirements and Deadlines for Graduation

The final requirements of the degree, in the form of the final report on the thesis/practicum (and the corrected copy of the thesis/practicum and Copyright Licence Declaration uploaded into MSpace); comprehensive examination; M. Eng. project; or Design thesis, must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by the appropriate deadline. For those programs that do not have a GRAD course associated with their culminating exercise, the department/unit must forward a list of potential graduate names to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by the deadline. The deadline for each of the graduation dates is published on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.