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Guidelines, Policies & Forms


The regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies generally apply to all students enrolled in graduate programs at York University. In a number of instances individual graduate programs have additional requirements; these are set out in the appropriate graduate program section of the academic regulations.

Please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies—Regulations for more information.

Policies and Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides crucial information to current students as they progress through their degrees, from registration processes to graduation.

Please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies—Current Students for more information.

The following definitions of timely and satisfactory progress work with the design of the program and the sequencing of its requirements.  The deadlines of the first three years (9 terms) are meant to be a “reasonable push,” allowing for little “downtime.”  In making this “push,” the Program also endeavours to provide appropriate and responsible faculty and Program administrative involvement, advice, and supervision to facilitate student progress.  The “push” works to facilitate another program goal – that of providing three years of additional funding via TA and/or GA and/or RAships, during which students can research, write, complete, and defend their dissertations.

The definitions of “timely” and “satisfactory” progress relate to student initiative.  Extenuating and documentable circumstances, for example, medical circumstances and family emergencies, can enable a redefinition of the deadlines of progress for affected students.   Petitions to extend these deadlines must be made in writing with supporting documentation to the Graduate Study Committee of the GPE via the Program Office.  The GSC will decide the merits of the petition and set new deadlines, if applicable.

Timely and satisfactory progress is defined as the meeting of all Program and Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements according to their specified deadlines as follows and for each degree respectively:

Fulltime PhD

Term 3

  • Major Field supervisor chosen and Major Field determined
  • Bibliography Requirement fulfilled (if applicable)

Term 5

  • Major Field Exam (timely deadline)
  • FGS Supervisor form signed

Term 6

  • 18 credits of coursework completed*
  • Major Field Exam (satisfactory deadline)

Term 7

  • Dissertation Subfields Exam (timely deadline)

Term 8

  • Dissertation Subfields Exam (satisfactory deadline)
  • FGS Supervisory Committee form signed (final dissertation supervisory committee may change in the future. A new form is signed to reflect the changes)

Term 9

  • Dissertation Proposal Approved by full supervisory committee and submitted to FGS
  • Pre-1789 requirement fulfilled (by coursework or exam)
  • Language requirement fulfilled (by translation exam or coursework)

Term 14–15

  • Defend Dissertation

Term 16–17

  • “Safety Net” of final TA funding
  • Defend Dissertation!

Term 18

  • Withdrawal from the Program if the dissertation is not yet successfully defended

* 2 years or 6 terms are provided for the completion of coursework so that students can avail themselves of a broad selection of courses offered.  Completion of coursework, however, means that a final course grade is recorded by the Registrar for each course; therefore, all incompletes must be cleared by 31 August of any given year.  See Policy on Incompletes.

  • FGS encourages all programs to specify their own policies for incompletes.  The GPE policy is as follows:
  • students must submit a written request (email) for a “course extension” and thus an “incomplete” grade to the course director no later than one week prior to the final due date for coursework set by the course director;
  • the request must detail the reasons for the request and specify the assignment(s) for which the extension applies;
  • an end date for the extension at which time all specified assignments will be submitted to the professor and will be negotiated by the course director and the student;
  • no end date for an extension may exceed the end of the term subsequent to that in which the course was taken, namely:
    • 31 April for Fall courses
    • 31 August for Winter courses
    • 31 December for Summer courses
  • course directors are under no obligation to approve a request for an extension unless the student’s exceptional circumstances can be substantiated by documentation (e.g. medical documentation)
  • both the student and course director must sign the FGS course transaction form.
  • The graduate Program Director, after consultation with the course director and with members of the Graduate Study Committee, makes a decision and informs both the petitioner and course director
  •  students may not hold more than two incompletes in any given term
  • failure to meet the deadlines of a mutually-negotiated extension will result in a grade of F on the student’s transcript.
  • The inability to complete course papers within the time limit of an additional term (max) constitutes unsatisfactory progress, and the student may be de-enrolled.  The student cannot withdraw in good standing, because he or she has not been able to maintain good standing in the Program.
  • Further extension of an initial “course extension” is only possible through a successful petition to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Note: students should understand that no application for external funding can be successful if “Incomplete” grades appear on their transcripts.

Faculty of Graduate Studies Forms

The following forms can be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website:

  • Academic Affairs
  • Student Affairs
  • Thesis and Dissertation
  • Student Finances
  • Graduate & Postdoctoral Professional Skills (GPPS)

Learn More

The Graduate Program in English at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.