Academic Regulations

The University reserves the right to modify the academic programs and regulations at its discretion.


For information on Admission regulations consult the Graduate Studies section of most recent version of the Academic Calendar at:

Time and Completion Regulations

Academic Year

The School of Graduate Studies operates on a trimester basis, with three terms defined as: fall term (September to December); winter term (January to April); and spring/summer term (May to August). The academic year begins with a fall term followed by a winter term.

Registration Status for Graduate Students

Graduate Students are referred to as full-time or flex-time on the basis of the program in which they are enrolled. Regardless of this classification, all students have access to university facilities and are expected to take part in the academic life of their program and the university. All graduate students are deemed to be full-time unless declared otherwise.

Full-time Students

Full-time students must identify themselves as such when registering and on all documents. They are eligible for graduate funding within the full-time program of study period.

Full-time students employed by Nipissing University work no more than an average of 10 hours per week at diversionary employment. Diversionary employment is work that takes a student's time away from his/her program of study and research.

Flex-time Students

This option is intended to permit working professionals to be engaged in continued employment in areas related to the fields of research. Flex-time students are not eligible for financial support from the university.

Changing Status

Students may change their status from full-time to part-time, or vice-versa, by completing a Change in Status Request form and submitting it to the School of Graduate Studies for approval by the Vice President, Academic and Research or Designate. A change in status may have an impact on student aid and awards eligibility, fees, income tax credits, and other areas.

Program MRP Full-time Thesis Full-time Flex-Time
  Maximum length of study Maximum length of study Maximum length of study
PhD in Education N/A 4 years N/A
MA in History 1 year N/A 1 year + 6 flex terms (total: 3 years)
MA Sociology 1 year 2 years

1 year + 6 flex terms (total: 3 years, MRP route)

2 years + 6 flex terms (total: 4 years, thesis route)

MSc in Mathematics 1 year 2 years 2 years + 6 flex terms (total: 4 years, thesis route only)
MSc Kinesiology N/A 2 years 2 years + 6 flex terms (total: 4 years)
MESc/MES 1 year 2 years

1 year + 6 flex terms (total: 3 years, MRP route)

2 years + 6 flex terms (total: 4 years, thesis route only)

MEd (Course route, MRP route, and Thesis route) 2 years 2 years 2 years + 6 flex terms (total: 4 years)

A year is based on three terms: fall, winter, spring/summer

Nipissing Balance of Degree Fee

The minimum total academic fee is predetermined by the length of the graduate program into which a student is admitted. Please refer to the time of completion section of the academic regulations document.

Full-time/Flex-time graduate students should be aware that they may be required to pay additional academic fees in order to equal the total minimum fee paid by a full-time student in the same program in case they finish their program earlier than the normal completion time. This balance of degree fee is assessed just prior to graduation and is based on the tuition fee on the schedule in effect at the time of graduation.

Continuous Registration

All graduate students must maintain continuous registration in each consecutive semester of study until they have completed the requirements of their program. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are registered in their courses by the appropriate deadline for each term.

All graduate students who have not been granted a Leave of Absence, will be registered in a University placeholder course and will be assessed the appropriate fees. 

Students wanting to complete their program after they have been withdrawn from their program must apply for re-admission and pay the application fee. Students should be aware that in the event of readmission, continuation of the same research project and/or supervisor cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, it is possible that students will be unable to count previously earned graduate credit toward the completion of their degree.


Under exceptional circumstances the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, may permit the time to completion to be extended by one term to a maximum of three terms. All requests for extensions shall use the appropriate form and should be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator/Graduate Chair who will make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Tuition and ​Other Fees

Graduate students pay all required tuition and other fees as set by Nipissing University. Such fees are set on a per term basis.

Leaves of Absence

The requirement of continuous registration supports students toward the timely completion of their studies. However, the university recognizes that from time to time, students may need to be absent from their studies. Upon recommendation of the Faculty Advisor/Research Supervisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator/Chair, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research may grant the following Leaves of Absence:

Leaves of Absence may not be used to pursue any activities which form part of a study plan (such as field experience, individual study, directed study or individual research), or for which any form of residual program credit might otherwise be requested.

Elective leave of absence

Students applying for an elective leave of absence do not have to provide grounds for their request as long as it is submitted in a timely fashion.

  • Granted for only one term over the course of the degree program
  • Students must have already completed at least two terms of study

Exceptional Circumstances leave of absence

Students applying for a leave of absence under exceptional circumstances are students who are facing a type of hardship that takes them away from their studies, such as medical, professional or compassionate circumstance.

  • Granted for up to three terms during the course of the degree program

Maternity leave of absence

Available to students, during and immediately following, a pregnancy.

  • Granted for up to three terms per pregnancy during the course of a degree program

Parental leave of absence

Available to students for whom parental responsibilities are such that they require the student to be absent from their studies.

  • Granted for only one term per child over the course of the degree program

No Course Available

Available to students who have yet to complete course work if no suitable course is offered in any given term.

  • Granted on a term-by-term basis only, during the course of the degree program
  • Does not apply if the student is registered as working on a thesis or major research paper, or has an incomplete grade or in-progress grade at the end of the previous term.

Once on leave, students will neither be registered, nor will they be required to pay fees for this period. In general, students on leave may not make demands upon the resources of the University (such as the library, laboratories, or gymnasium), attend classes, or expect advice from their supervisor. Students on leave will not be eligible to receive internal awards or funds from Nipissing University. In the case of other graduate students awards or funds, the regulations of the particular granting agency apply.

Except where noted, and in special circumstances, it is not expected that a student will be granted more than one leave of absence. An elective leave of absence will only ever be approved once. Requests for a leave of absence must be received prior to the registration deadline of the term to be effective for that term. Requests received after the registration deadline will only become effective in the following academic terms. Requests cannot be approve retroactively.

Voluntary Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from a graduate program are to immediately inform the Registrar's Office, the School of Graduate Studies, the relevant, Graduate Program Coordinator/Chair and their Research Supervisor in writing.

A withdrawal is not official until it has been received by the Registrar's Office. Under no circumstances will a withdrawal notice be back-dated.

After a request to voluntarily withdraw has been processed by the Office of the Registrar, the student is then officially withdrawn and may be eligible for a credit of a portion of tuition fees to their account. In all but Thesis or MRP, a mark of “W" (Withdrawn) or "F" (Failed) may appear on a student's academic record, depending on the date that the withdrawal request has been received. In an MRP or Thesis course a mark of “W ” will appear on the student’s academic record.

Discontinuing attendance in classes, failure to submit any assignments, notification to the instructor, or stopping payment on a cheque, do not constitute official withdrawal.

Withdrawal Schedule

The withdrawal schedule is posted before the beginning of each academic year under the Important Dates section on the most recent version of the Academic Calendar:

Visiting Student

Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Plan (OVGS)

The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Plan allows graduate students of an Ontario university to take graduate courses at another Ontario university while remaining registered at their own university. The plan allows students to bypass the usual application or admission procedures. Registration is not complete until prior approval has been received from both the host and the home universities.

A student who is classified as an Ontario Visiting Graduate Student will register and pay fees to the home university but will pay no fees to the host university. Nipissing University graduate students interested in taking a graduate course at another Ontario University under the OVGS plan should complete the OVGS application form, which can be found on the School of Graduate Studies' website. No more than six credits will be allowed as OVGS credits.  The course(s) selected must be at the graduate level and required for the student's degree program and not available at Nipissing University.  Such courses may not be "extra," or "audit," courses for the student.

Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA)

Graduate students wishing to take courses at institutions outside Ontario but within Canada, may do so through the Canadian University Transfer Agreement (CUGTA). This agreement provides students in good standing, enrolled in a degree or diploma program at a Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) member university, the opportunity to take courses offered at another member institution for transfer credit to the program at their home institution.

The CUGTA requires students to pay tuition for the course(s) concerned and applicable incidental fees at the host institution. Nipissing University graduate students interested in taking a graduate course at another Canadian university outside the province of Ontario, should contact No more than six credits will be allowed as CUGTA credits.  The course(s) selected must be at the graduate level and required for the student's degree program and not available at Nipissing University. Such courses may not be "extra," or "audit," courses for the student.

Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement (CGRSMA)

The Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement (CGRSMA) sets out a protocol for institutional recognition of visiting graduate research students. This agreement does not pertain to courses but exists to facilitate visits by graduate students to other institutions in order that those students are able to participate in research activities and be recognized as legitimate visitors to the host campus(es).

Under the CGSRMA, graduate students pay fees to their home university and will pay no fees to the host institution. However, incidental fees may be charged at the discretion of the host university. Graduate students interested in conducting research at another Canadian University should contact the School of Graduate Studies for more information.

Out-of-Province and International Students

Nipissing University allows out-of-province and international students to visit in one of three ways: to take course work, to conduct research, or to participate in an internship. In any case, students will be registered as full-time students for a maximum of one year. Acceptance is only on the recommendation of the department or program at Nipissing.

Students completing either research or an internship will be registered in the below courses while at Nipissing University:

SOGS 5001: Visiting Student Research

This course is for out-of -province and international students who are coming to Nipissing to conduct research as part of their degree studies at their home university. This course is not for credit. Enrollment in this course is by permission only. Course content will be determined by the host program.

SOGS 5002: Visiting Student Internship

This course is for out-of-province and international students who are coming to Nipissing to conduct research as part of their studies at their home university with support of their government programs or other scholarship.  This course is not for credit.  Enrollment in this course is by permission only.  Course content will be determined by the host program.

Acknowledgements are given to McMaster University in the development of this policy.


Program of Studies Approval

The Program of Studies shall meet program requirements as approved by Senate, and includes the required courses (including directed studies), work terms or other practice-based components, any competency exams, scholarly components, or other requirements.

For a Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Environmental Science/Studies each student has a Program of Studies which is prepared by the School of Graduate Studies and is approved by the relevant Graduate Program Coordinator/Chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. In cases of programs with a Major Research Paper / Thesis component, consultation will include the Research Supervisor. The Program of Studies must be approved before the student registers in the program, and must include a detailed schedule for progress and completion.

In the Master of Education program, each student is assigned a Faculty Advisor and is automatically registered in the course route for the MEd program. An MEd student may decided, in consultation with their Faculty Advisor, to embark on a Major Research Paper or Thesis. The student will then find a suitable Research Supervisor with the help of his/her faculty advisor and fill in the Request to Declare a Supervisory Committee and the MRP/Thesis Application Form

Program Requirements

Scholarly Content

All graduate programs at Nipissing have a defined scholarly research component, which may take the form of a Thesis, a MRP, or a Research Project and Seminar (MEd only).

Where appropriate for the discipline or field, another specified activity designed to test the acquisition of analytical and interpretive skills may be used (such a series of shorter research papers within courses, an exhibit of works, or a creative performance). In such cases, the appropriate scholarly content must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Practice-based Content

Where appropriate and possible, Master's programs at Nipissing have a defined practice-based component. This includes a co-op work program, a practicum, a work-term, a professional, community-or industry-based project/paper or Thesis, or some other form of practice-based or service learning assessment.

Ethics in Research

The Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans ( TCPS 2, 2018) establishes the procedures and standards for the ethics review of research involving human subjects. All researchers, including graduate and undergraduate students, collecting data with human subjects should become familiar with this policy.

All research that involves living human subjects requires review and approval by a Research Ethics Board (REB) before the research is started. This includes research funded by grants, scholarships, contracts and contributions, unfunded faculty research, graduate and undergraduate research, and administrative research. This also includes course permission to be submitted by professors if students are to work with human subjects as part of their course requirement. Such permission should be received prior to any assignment being undertaken by students. The REB must review and approve all research conducted on and off campus, by faculty, staff and students.


With the exception of MRPs or Theses and courses with a Pass/Fail grade, the standardized grading system for graduate courses at Nipissing University is:

A+ 90-100%
A 85-<90%
A- 80-<85%
B+ 76-<80%
B 70-<76%
F <70%


Graduate students must receive a grade of B or higher to receive credit for a course; however, each program may have further specific degree requirements.

Required Withdrawal

  • Students who receive a final mark of less than 70% in one graduate course will be placed on academic probation. If the course is a required one, students MUST repeat the course and obtain at least 70% in the repeated course.
  • If a student receives a final mark of less than 70% in two graduate courses, the student will required to withdraw from the university
  • Students who are required to withdraw from the university will not be eligible to receive funding for the remainder of the year.
  • Students who are required to be withdrawn from the University for academic reasons and who wish to re-apply may do so after one calendar year following the required withdrawal date.

Appeals of Academic Decisions

Appeals are normally heard regarding possible inequities in the process used in grading. Should a student not be satisfied with an awarded grade, he or she may appeal using the appeal process found within the Academic Calendar.


MRP/Thesis/Dissertation Oral Proposal Presentation

Individual programs may require the student to do an oral presentation as part of the MRP proposal.

For programs that require students to present their research proposals both the Research Supervisor(s) and Graduate Program Coordinator/Chair will have to give their approval for the student to proceed with the writing of their MRP/Thesis/Dissertation.

MRP/Thesis/Dissertation Temporary Restricted Access

At least a month prior to the time of submitting the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation, a student may apply to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research requesting that the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation be withheld from deposit in the library for an additional three (3) months.

For any additional period of six (6) months, the student must submit a request for extension one month prior to the termination of the previous period. The student’s supervisor will be required to justify the extension of the restriction.

The period of restriction that a student may apply for will not exceed more than two years from the date of the degree being approved. There is no unlimited period of restriction.  Please see the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation Embargo/Delay of Publication Form.

Reasons for exemptions are as follows:

  • Publication: to refrain from releasing data contained in the research while publications are prepared.
  • Patent: disclosure of data or research results usually prevent the issuance of a patent. What has become public knowledge could not be patented.
  • Security and safety: some data or information contained in the research could endanger the security or safety of individuals, including racial, ethnic and /or political persecution.
  • Actionable breach of confidence: disclosure of information constitute a breach of confidentiality agreement and is actionable by the owner of the information (e.g. intellectual property rights)
  • Third party liability: due to publication of information third parties mentioned in the text could face legal challenge or liability.