Search Calendar

Master's Regulations

A graduate student is governed by the general University Regulations section of this Calendar as well as the following regulations, which are specific to graduate students.


Application for admission to a graduate program must be made to the Office of Graduate Studies, Lakehead University by February 1. Late applications may be considered for admission, but may not be considered for funding. As an exception, applications for the Psychology MA and MSc must be made by January 15.

Applicants for admission must be graduates of a recognized university, college or institute, and show evidence of scholarly achievement. Except where otherwise stated in the Admission Requirements of a particular program, applicants must have a four year bachelor's degree or its equivalent with at least second class standing (B) based on their last 20 half courses or equivalent.

An applicant holding a degree other than one in the discipline area to which admission is sought will be considered on the basis of courses taken and academic standing. A Qualifying Year at the undergraduate level may be required to meet the admission standards. Courses taken as part of a Qualifying Year cannot be used as credit towards a graduate degree.

Applicants applying from a university other than Lakehead University must forward official transcripts of their university record and may be required to take an examination, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. No candidate will be admitted unless the academic unit/program recommends admission. All applicants will be advised in writing by the Office of Graduate Studies of their admission status by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


With the consent of the academic unit/program, applicants may be granted Advanced Standing for up to one graduate level full course equivalent at another institution. No advanced credit from previous study will be given for undergraduate courses. Courses credited towards a previous degree or Qualifying Year cannot be considered for Advanced Standing.

Requests for Advanced Standing must be submitted and approved at the time of admission to the program. To be considered for Advanced Standing, students must submit a formal request to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, along with the official transcript and institutionally prepared course description(s).


The language of instruction at Lakehead University is English. Students whose first language is not English must demonstrate that they can cope with the language demands of an English language university.
Applicants whose native language is not English, and who cannot verify having studied in an English language school system for more than three full years, will be required to present proof of English facility by:
1. Achieving appropriate standing on one of the following tests:


 Minimum Score

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
Lakehead University's Institution Code is 0888.
TOEFL paper based 550 (with no component score less than 50)
TOEFL computer based 213 (with no component score less than 17)
TOEFL internet based 80 (with no component score less than 19)
IELTS - International English Language Testing System 6.5 (no individual band score less than 6.0)
MELAB - Michigan English Language Assessment Battery 85
CAEL - Canadian Academic English Language Assessment 60
2. Successfully completing the English Language Program (ELP) at Lakehead University. For details regarding the ELP go to:
Certain academic units/programs may require higher scores. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to Lakehead University.
Where the language of instruction and examination in undergraduate studies has been uniformly in English, official documentation from the institution indicating that the primary medium of instruction is English must be submitted upon request. This official documentation must come directly from the institution in the form of an official letter that states that the student's medium of instruction was English for three full years or more. This letter must be signed by the institution's Registrar or Chief Officer. This letter must also bear the original stamp or seal of the institution.


Students applying to enter a graduate program, who have previously withdrawn from the same graduate program or have exceeded their period of study, must apply for re-admission to the program and pay the application fee. Students will be credited with previous courses completed and work undertaken towards completion of program requirements at the discretion of the academic unit/program. The academic unit/program may decline to allow previously completed courses to be accredited towards the graduate program applied for and/or may require a previous thesis topic to be changed in whole or in part. The decision to re-admit a student is made by the academic unit/program.

The academic regulations and program requirements in effect at the time of re-admission shall apply. If the student is returning to his/her previous program, and had not exceeded is/her period of study, the remaining terms will be available upon readmission, plus a maximum of three consecutive terms. The allowable time-to-completion will include all previous terms in the program. Students who have reached their time limit in the program at the point of re-admission must complete the program within three consecutive terms and will not be eligible for Time Extensions or Leaves of Absence, nor for further readmissions.

Graduate Assistantship (GA) is attached to a student rather than the program being studied. Students may only hold a Master's GA position to a maximum of four terms in total. GA eligiblity does not reset with the completion of or withdrawal from a master's program. Students who completed a master's degree at Lakehead University and are applying to a new master's program, students who withdraw from a master's program and subsequently are readmitted to the same program, or students who partially complete a master's program and are admitted to a new master's program are only eligible to hold GA positions up to four terms regardless of the number of admissions (or readmissions) to master's programs.


Full-Time Graduate Student

A full-time graduate student must:
1. be designated by the University as a full-time graduate student;
2. be pursuing his or her studies full-time; and
3. when necessary, be geographically available and visit the campus regularly.

Graduate Student Employment
In accordance with the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies policy, the University recommends that a full-time graduate student will normally not be employed for more than an average of ten hours per week for any term. When the student is employed as a Graduate Assistant, the ten hours per week should represent the total time spent by the student in connection with this appointment. Requests for exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Part-Time Graduate Student
Students requesting part-time status must make that request at the time of application. The request will be considered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies with the final determination by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduate students registered part-time may not take more than one FCE for credit during an academic year.

Exceptions to this regulation are the MBA and MScMgt programs.

Students who are registered part-time may not switch to full-time while in their program.

For more information, see the reference to part-time in section, Period of Study, Master's Programs. 


A student is not permitted to register as a graduate student until the application for admission has been approved. A graduate student proceeding to a degree is governed by the academic regulations and program requirements in effect in the term of admission.

Before registering, students proceeding to a graduate degree must arrange their program with the assistance of the Graduate Co-ordinator of the program. Graduate students must complete all registration and withdrawal from courses by the published deadlines in the Academic Schedule of Dates. Late registration fees will apply after these dates. Students wishing to change their program or withdraw from their graduate program must formally request that change on a "Graduate Request for Program Change/Withdrawal" form.

The calendar year is divided into three terms: Fall Term (September-December); Winter Term (January-April) and Spring/Summer Term (May-August). Graduate students registering for the first time normally commence their program in September. However, in some academic units students are permitted to commence their studies in January or May.

Registration is not complete until tuition and activity fees have been paid (or arrangements have been made to pay all fees) by the deadlines published in the University Fees, Fees Payment Information section of this Calendar. Default in fee payment may result in a student being de-registered. A student with amounts owing to the University will not be permitted to register in future sessions nor to receive a transcript or record of academic progress.


All graduate students must maintain continuous registration from initial registration until they have completed the requirements of their program, including submission of the final thesis copies, where applicable, to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are registered by the appropriate deadline for each term. Students who have failed to register by the deadline and have not applied for a Leave of Absence will be registered in a University placeholder course and will be assessed appropriate fees.

Students who have failed to register for two consecutive terms will be considered to have left the program and will be withdrawn. Students wanting to complete their program must apply for re-admission and pay the application fee.


Masters Programs

Students in a Master's program are expected to complete all requirements within six terms (2 years) of continuous full-time registration.

As an exception to this period of study, students in Master of Science in Management, Master of Business Administration, and Graduate Diploma in Kinesiology, are expected to complete all requirements within three terms (one year) of continuous full-time registration.

An additional exception to this Period of Study is the Flexible (Flex) Full-Time option, available to students in the Master of Education and Master of Public Health programs. Students in this option are expected to complete all requirements within twelve consecutive terms (four years) as follows:

- Six terms of continuous full-time registration, paying appropriate fees
- Followed by up to six additional terms of continuous registration, during which no fees are required.

As the Flexible Full-time option is intended for working professionals, students admitted through this option will not be considered for financial support from the University.

Students in the MEd and MPH programs are not normally allowed to switch options during the program, and will remain in flex or full-time as approved at the time of admission.

Under exceptional circumstances, a student may be allowed to complete a Master's program on a part-time basis with the following conditions:


A student is admitted to the program part-time with the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, based on special circumstances, provided at the time of application.
- A part-time student may take no more than one full course equivalent (FCE) for credit per calendar year (12 months)

Part-time students are expected to complete all requirements within a minimum of fifteen terms (five years) of continuous part-time registration, with the exception of students in the following programs: MBA and MScMgt.
- Part-time students will not be considered for financial support from the University.

For co-op students, the duration of the co-op placement will be added to the above time limits.


A Leave of Absence from a graduate program may be requested for exceptional circumstances.

A Maternal/Paternal Leave of Absence will be granted to students who are either biological or adoptive parents, while they are caring for a newborn or newly-adopted child of any age. These leaves will be approved up to a three term limit per pregnancy or adoption. There is no maximum number of Maternal/Paternal leaves.

Requests for Leaves of Absence will be considered on an individual basis by the Leave/Extension Committee, which will in turn make a recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council. The decision to accept, vary, or reject a request lies solely at the discretion of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council, without right of appeal. 

When a request for a Leave of Absence is granted, a "stop-the-clock" policy will prevail with respect to payment of tuition fees, period of study, and other affected graduate degree requirements.

Students cannot be registered in any term that is requested as a Leave of Absence.

The request must demonstrate that the situation which has arisen is temporary and will be bridged by the Leave. ADEQUATE DETAILS supporting the request must be provided on the form. Requests will be returned to the academic unit if the information provided is insufficient.

A request for health reasons must be accompanied by a note from a licensed/registered health practitioner. A student returning from a health-related Leave of Absence must provide a note from a licensed/registered health practitioner, stating that the student is able to resume studies.

A request for a retroactive Leave will not normally be considered. The Leave of Absence Request must normally be submitted in or during the term PRIOR TO the Leave. Leaves of Absence are granted per term and therefore start and end at the beginning and end of a term.

A student is eligible for a maximum of three Leaves of Absence (four at the PhD level) in addition to an unlimited number of Maternal/Paternal leaves, provided that no single Maternal/Paternal Leave extends beyond three consecutive terms. If additional time away is required (more than the three-term limit, four terms for PhD students), the student is advised to withdraw from the program and apply for re-admission at a time more suitable for completion.

While on a Leave of Absence the student will not have access to University faculty, laboratory nor other facilities. Library access will be restricted to that of the general public. A graduate student who is on a Leave of Absence is not eligible for funding.

After returning from a Leave of Absence, the student must be registered for at least the one term immediately following the Leave of Absence.

All personal information in requests for Leaves of Absence and in all related communications will be held in strict confidence and disclosed only to University faculty, staff and agents who need the information to carry out their duties, or as required by law.

To see the Leave of Absence request form go to:


A Time Extension in a graduate program will be granted for exceptional circumstances on a per term basis up to a three term limit (four for doctoral students). A student on a time extension is not eligible for any funding from the Faculty of Graduate Studies including Tri-Council and OGS student scholarships.

First Term Time Extension
Recommendations for the first term beyond the allowed Period of Study originate with the Supervisor for approval by the academic unit/program. It is the responsibility of the academic unit/program to send notice, including reasons for this approval, to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Second Term and Final Term Time Extensions
Recommendations for the second term and for the final term beyond the allowed Period of Study will be forwarded by the academic unit/program to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. These requests will be considered on an individual basis by the Leave/Extension Committee, which will in turn make a recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council. The decision to accept, vary, or reject a request lies solely at the discretion of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council. A graduate student who does not complete all requirements within one of the prescribed Periods of Study and does not receive an approved Time Extension is considered to have failed the program, unless the student applies for and is granted re-admission to the program.

A graduate student who does not successfully complete a graduate degree within the prescribed Period of Study must apply for re-admission to the program and pay the application fee. The academic regulations and program requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the academic program shall apply.


The requirements of each graduate program are described in the Programs sections of the Calendar. Each student in a graduate program shall comply with any additional requirements of the academic unit/program in which the student is registered.

The course requirements for the degree will normally be at the fifth-year level. With the approval of the academic unit/program, a maximum of one full course equivalent at the fourth-year level may be accepted towards the Master's degree, provided the course has not been taken previously.

No more than one full course equivalent transfer credit from another institution will be used towards a graduate degree. Individual programs of study must be approved by the appropriate academic unit/program.

When a thesis is required, it will be on a subject approved by the appropriate academic unit/program upon the recommendation of the Supervisor following consultation with the student.

Each graduate student undertaking a thesis shall have the guidance of a Thesis Committee. The Committee is chaired by the Supervisor and consists of at least one other member of the academic unit/program. In addition, faculty from cognate academic units/programs and other qualified persons from inside or outside the University may be appointed.

It is the responsibility of the Thesis Supervisor to ensure that a thesis involving human subjects and/or non-human vertebrates is approved, respectively, by the Senate Research Ethics Board, and/or the University Animal Care Committee, before a student's research begins. A copy of the approval notice must be included in the student's file in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Any change to a student's program (e.g. from thesis to course degree, field of specialization, supervisor) must be formally requested on the "Graduate Request for Program Change" form and approved by the Graduate Coordinator and the Faculty of Graduate Studies before being submitted to the Office of the Registrar.


Course standings in the graduate programs will be reported as follows:



























 Academic Dishonesty





(see University Regulations, V Standing)

(For exceptions regarding a failing grade, see Graduate Programs in the Faculty of Engineering and the Master of Public Health, Academic Regulations.)

To maintain registration as a graduate student, a student must achieve and maintain satisfactory academic standing at all times. A student whose academic performance does not meet the minimum standing will be required to withdraw from the program.


Graduate students must maintain at least a B overall average in their courses with no more than one full course equivalent (two half courses) graded C. A mark of less than 60% in a graduate course, or in an undergraduate course used towards a graduate degree, constitutes failure. Graduate students with a mark of 50 to 59% in an undergraduate or graduate course used towards the degree may repeat the course once; however, no more than one full course equivalent may be repeated. If after exercising this avenue for improving course marks, a student is still unable to achieve the minimum B overall average, the graduate student will not be permitted to continue in the program. (For exceptions to the regulations in this paragraph, see Graduate Programs in the Faculty of Engineering, Master of Public Health and Psychology, Academic Regulations.)

Course marks below 50% are unacceptable in a graduate program. A graduate student with such a mark (half or full course) will not be permitted to continue in the program. Courses with a mark below 50% may not be repeated.

Students with course marks below 50% may not apply for re-admission to the program in which that course was taken.


Graduate students enrolled in courses for credit must take all examinations in those courses.
A candidate may be required to take an oral examination during the Master's program.


Comprehensive examinations testing the student's knowledge in specified areas are required by some academic units/programs.


Special examinations are not permitted for students registered in a graduate program.


The Master's thesis will be evaluated by at least two examiners, one of whom must be external to the academic unit/program. Upon receipt of each Examiner's Report a copy must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Internal Examiners are appointed following a procedure established by the academic unit/program. An oral defense of the thesis may be required as part of the internal examination.

The External Examiner is recommended by the student's Thesis Committee and approved by the academic unit/program. Following the approval of the External Examiner, a completed thesis is submitted by the Supervisor to the Graduate Coordinator. All correspondence with the External Examiner is conducted by the academic unit/program.

An oral defence of the thesis may be required as part of the examination.

In evaluating the thesis, the Examiners will make one of the following assessments:
1. Thesis Accepted
2. Accepted Subject to Revisions
3. Appreciable Revisions Required
4. Thesis Rejected.

A thesis evaluated as 'Appreciable Revisions Required' must be revised and returned to the Examiner for re-evaluation, through the Graduate Coordinator of the academic unit/program. Upon receipt, a copy of the assessment of the revised thesis must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If recommended by the Thesis Committee, a candidate receiving an evaluation of 'Thesis Rejected' will be allowed to resubmit the thesis to the Thesis Committee.

The final decision on accepting a thesis is made by the Thesis Committee after considering the reports of the Examiners. The student has failed the program if the thesis is rejected by the Thesis Committee following re-examination.


The final thesis in a paper format and electronic format must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The paper version must be produced in a format acceptable to the academic unit/program (see also requirements in the Department of Geology graduate program). A hard copy thesis must be legible and typed or printed on good quality bond paper, not less than 20 lb. weight. Laser-quality printing or equivalent is acceptable.

Three unbound copies of the final approved thesis are to be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. At least one copy must contain a frontispiece signed by the Supervisor. The signature will signify that all comments made by Examiners have been considered by the author of the thesis and specified corrections have been made. Along with the thesis, the "Licence to the University" and the National Library of Canada forms must be signed by the student and submitted.

The graduate student will arrange payment for binding all three copies of the thesis. One copy of the thesis will be forwarded to the Library, one to the Supervisor, and one to the student Each student must have completed an Application to Graduate form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline dates published in the Academic Schedule.



For information regarding payment of fees, deadlines, methods of payment, refund schedule, miscellaneous fees, schedule of fees, co-op fees, and residence fees, see the Fees section of this Calendar.