Graduate Students’ Guide

This page includes links to UVic regulations and information pages for questions most commonly raised by graduate students in the ombuds office.

It pays off to resolve problems or disputes early and constructively!

The ombuds office offers confidential consultations if you have questions about your rights and responsibilities, or if you are not sure how to resolve an academic or administrative problem, dispute or complaint. Be proactive – don’t hesitate to call or email.

There are many resource persons to help you. They include your supervisor, your supervisory committee, your program’s graduate advisor and graduate secretary, director or chair, and the staff in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Graduate Admissions and Records.

Academic and non-academic regulations:

Understand the requirements for successful continuation in your graduate program. The Graduate Calendar, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and your program’s website will explain your rights, responsibilities and important academic regulations. In particular, see:

  • Graduate student responsibilities: Regulations about issues such as academic integrity (e.g. appropriate attribution and citation to avoid plagiarism), evaluation and grading, academic performance (and minimum grade and GPA requirements), attendance, research approval requirement, etc.
  • Graduate supervision: A policy on responsibilities in the supervisory relationship. See also the ombuds tips on graduate supervision.
  • Registration: Regulations on registration, time limits for degree completion, leaves of absence and vacation.
  • Graduate fees: Information on minimum program fees, re-registration fees, and program extension fees. Contact Graduate Records if you have a question.
  • Academic concessions: If you’re affected by illness, accident or family affliction you may qualify for an academic concession. Examples include an extension on an assignment, a deferral, or a course drop or withdrawal. See also ombuds tips for academic concessions.
  • Appeals: There are situations in which you may decide to submit an appeal. These may include grade appeals, admission appeals, fee reduction appeals, or procedural appeals. The ombudsperson can provide guidance and feedback about appeals.
  • Leave of absence and withdrawal: You may qualify for a personal leave of absence, a medical leave, a compassionate leave, a parental leave, or an official withdrawal (i.e. with permission). These different types of leaves and withdrawals affect your program deadlines and total allowable time for completion (and fees) in different ways. Ask for clarification as needed.
  • Accommodation for students with disabilities: If you have a disability, you may qualify for an academic accommodation and/or for additional leaves or extensions. Related policies include: registration (including time limits), academic concessions and leave of absence and withdrawalThe Centre for Accessible Learning can help you explore your options and the proper process.
  • The UVic website: Policies on a wide range of non-academic regulations and topics, such as accommodation on days of religious observance, conflict of interest, equity, human rights, intellectual property, non-academic (mis)conduct, and privacy.

Research, intellectual property and thesis  

  • Research approval requirements: See Research Services to find out how your research may be subject to research approval requirements. See also “academic regulations” above.
  • Intellectual property policy: Regulations and expectations about intellectual property and authorship. Some research is subject to commercialization or patents. See also Research Services and the policies on scholarly integrity for researchers subject and not subject to the Framework Agreement.
  • The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies’ (CAGS): Provides a guide to intellectual property (IP). Ask your program advisor for rules that apply within your specific discipline.
  • Thesis and dissertation: You may write and defend a thesis or dissertation as a requirement of your graduate degree. The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides information and resources to help graduate students at every stage of their research.
  • Thesis completion group: This group at Counselling Services provides mutual support, encouragement, and a place to problem solve issues related to completing the thesis or dissertation.
  • The Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation Centre: Provides information and support about academic integrity and how to avoid plagiarism.
  • The Centre for Academic Communication: Can help you with the writing process through one-on-one tutors, an English as a second language drop-in, and many workshops, including one on managing your thesis or dissertation.

Student Services

  • As a member of the Graduate Student Society, you have access to advocacy resources and student resources through the student society for graduate students.
  • Student life has challenges, counselling services and health services are resources to help manage your health and well being.
  • In addition, the Multifaith Community on campus aims to foster community and provide religious and spiritual support and spiritual care for the students and staff at the University of Victoria. The community offers a breadth of activities, including workshops and pastoral counselling.
  • Indigenous UVic students have access to many sources of support on campus, click here to explore resources on campus.
  • The Division of Student Affairs: Offers a number of campus and student life and support services.