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Effective SU21, Graduate students who exceed their program time limit will be evaluated for a cost-free term of completion. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will implement this provision as follows:

  1. The evaluation for a cost-free completion term will be automatic; there is no new application process.
  2. Doctoral students who are out of time must first follow the normal petition process for a program time extension and this evaluation will take place upon completion. Full-time Masters students can continue to register in part time status when the program terms to completion is reached and normally only petition after 12 terms. Petition forms and information can be found here: FGS Petitions.
  3. Cost-free means that tuition, registration fee, and interest charges for that final term will be credited on the student account.
  4. Any outstanding balance on the student account left after these credits are applied must be paid.
  5. Students who complete under or at the program time limit are excluded from this provision, but they will still be evaluated for the usual tuition refund of 100%, 80%, and 40% according to the dates posted here: FGS Important Dates.

The following restrictions apply:

  1. The provision includes all graduate students except for graduate diplomas, Schulich Masters students and Osgoode Professional Development Masters students.
  2. Any students who withdrew prior to WI20 are considered outside the pandemic timeframe and therefore not eligible.
  3. MES student completions are not normally processed by FGS; therefore, MES students should connect with their program office to inquire about completion tuition refunds.

Graduate students have the right to choose to hold a thesis or dissertation defence in an electronically mediated, audio/visual, online format (via Zoom) or to defend in person. Consult with your supervisor, supervisory committee, and Graduate Program Assistant via email. GPAs can then convey this information to FGS.

Please consult ourĀ comprehensive guide to scheduling Zoom defences (.pdf).

If the external examiner is unable to participate in the defence medium chosen, then the defence must be cancelled and rescheduled when they are able to participate. Please contact the Graduate Milestones and Progression Coordinators to convey this information by visiting our FGS Staff Directory.

Please note that the graduate regulation prohibiting audio-taping or videotaping oral exams remains in place for defences conducted online (see Use of Audio-Visual Equipment at Oral Exams for Master's students and doctoral students).


Please contact your Graduate Program Assistant for information about comprehensive/qualifying examinations.