Graduate Studies

102 Graduate Academic Regulations


Candidates for degrees, diplomas, and certificates must make formal application to graduate by the published deadline date for each eligible semester.  It is students’ responsibility to monitor their program standing by reviewing their degree requirements and academic progress throughout their studies, and well in advance of submitting an application to graduate.


The following abbreviations are used on transcripts:

  • DISC: discontinued with permission
  • NC: non-credit INC: incomplete F: failed
  • P: passed
  • AUD: audit
  • DE: deferred examination
  • IP: in progress


A graduate student who receives a grade of less than 60% in any course (graduate, undergraduate, prescribed additional) is deemed to have failed the course (with the exception of programs in the Faculty of Education, in which a graduate student who receives a grade of less than 70% is deemed to have failed the course).


a. Courses: Graduate students enrolled at UPEI and wishing to take courses at other institutions for credit towards their UPEI degree are advised that a letter of permission, approved by the student’s Supervisor, Dean or Program Coordinator, and Registrar must be obtained in advance. Letters of Permission are issued to the host institution by the Office of the Registrar, along with a copy of the student’s UPEI transcript, and are a student’s guarantee that credits earned elsewhere will be transferable to his/her academic program at UPEI subject to program requirements.

b. Research: Students visiting another university to undertake research activities must have the written permission of both UPEI and the host university.


a. Students who fail to complete all the components of a course, such as assignments, examinations, and laboratories, due to circumstances beyond their control (such as illness), may, with the permission of the Professor, Chair, and Dean, be granted an amount of time deemed reasonable for the completion of said components. Students should contact the course instructor in order to obtain such permission. A doctor’s certificate may be required for explanations of sickness.

b. If a student does not complete all the components of a course by the agreed-upon date, normally a grade of

“F” shall replace “INC” on the transcript. The Registrar will advise the Department Chair that the grade of “F” requires a percentage grade for posting on the student transcript. Nevertheless, in cases where the component left incomplete was not a requirement for passing the course and where the student already had earned a passing grade without completing the component, the passing grade shall be submitted and shall replace INC on the transcript.


As a community of scholars, the University of Prince Edward Island is committed to the principle of academic integrity among all its participants. Each student is responsible for their conduct which affects the University Community and is expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner in their academic work. Academic dishonesty as defined in this Regulation will not be tolerated and, within the constraints of this Regulation and Academic Regulation 9, the University supports instructors in their efforts to deal effectively with cases as they may arise from time to time.

a. Actions which constitute academic dishonesty are considered an offence within the University and include but are not limited to the following:
(i) plagiarism, which occurs when a student submits or presents work (including but not limited to written, recorded, coded or created) of another person in such a manner as to lead the reader to believe that it is the student’s original work; self-plagiarism is the submission of work previously submitted for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. Some examples of plagiarism include:                                                                                                                                                                                                           a) quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing text without proper citation:                                                                                                                                                                                         b) paraphrasing too closely (changing few words or simple rearrangement of text);                                                                                                                                                                   c) downloading and / or purchasing articles, essays, etc, and presenting it as your own work.                                                                                                                                                 d) utilizing generative AI (artificial intelligence) software to create content and presenting it as your own work.
(ii) cheating on tests or examinations, including giving false reasons for absence;                                                                                                                                                                      (i) eCheating can be defined as attempting to secure a grade for yourself or others by unethical means. Some examples of cheating include:                                                                       a) giving false reasons for absence;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             b) impersonating someone during a test or exam;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 c) copying or sharing information or unauthorized materials (e.g. notes, books, calculators, etc.) during a test or exam;                                                                                                 d) unauthorized use of technology (cellphones, tablets, laptops, generative AI etc.) during a test or exam;                                                                                                                         e) obtaining, copying, and / or sharing a copy of a test or exam before it is administered;                                                                                                                                                         f) altering a test or exam after it has been graded and returned by the instructor;                                                                                                                                                                       g) unauthorized collaboration between students when individuals work is required.
(iii) falsifying records or submitting false documents. Some examples of falsification include:                                                                                                                                                                 a) falsifying any research results, whether in experiments, field trip exercises, or other assignments;                                                                                                                                   b) falsifying academic records, transcripts, or other University documents, or misrepresenting one’s credentials;                                                                                                             c) requesting the extension of a deadline citing reasons known to be false, including submitting false documentation supporting that request.                                (iv) Tampering with University resources in any way which would deprive others of their use. Some examples include                                                                                                                   a) hiding, damaging or destroying library materials or laboratory resources;                                                                                                                                                                                 b) altering or destroying university computer programs or files without authorization;                                                                                                                                                             c) accessing and altering official records without authorization.
(iv) other academic misconduct, such as the unauthorized use of recording devices or the unauthorized acquisition of computer software or other copyright material.

b. When there is reasonable evidence to support an allegation of academic dishonesty, the matter shall be discussed with the student at the earliest opportunity. A written record of the incident and the response of the University will be sent to the student and to the appropriate Chairperson and Dean, and will be placed by the Dean on the student’s file in the Office of the Registrar.

c. One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed, depending on the seriousness of the offence:

1. the instructor, within his/her authority for assignment of course grades, may impose:
i. a reprimand;
ii. assignment of a mark of zero or a failure for the piece(s) of work under review;
iii. assignment of a failing grade in the course in which the offence was committed. The instructor will provide the Registrars with a percentage grade for posting on the student transcript;
iv. suspension of privileges in cases where the offences have involved misuse and/or abuse of the library, computer, or other University resources;
2. the Dean, of the student’s home faculty, in consultation with the Department where appropriate, may recommend to the President suspension or expulsion from the University;
3. the President may impose suspension or expulsion from the University; or
4. the Senate may withhold or revoke a degree.

d. The student has the right to appeal through the provisions of Academic Regulation 9.


a. Application to have any paper re-read must be made to the Registrar within one month after recording of results.
b. Such an application must be supported by a substantial reason in writing. Forms are provided.
c. Students who intend to appeal a course grade are cautioned that failing grades have been checked very carefully and, barring a clerical error, appeals seldom result in higher grades.


In the application of these academic regulations, students shall have access to a fair and just hearing subject to appeal.


a. Notice of appeal on any matter must be made in writing within one week of the date on which the decision is handed down, unless the decision-making body has internal regulations allowing later appeals. In every case, it is the appellant’s responsibility to ascertain the time allowed for filing notice of appeal.

b. Any appeal on an academic matter shall normally be made to the Department Chair concerned who should consult within the Department before arriving at a decision.

c. The Department Chair’s decision may be further appealed, in writing, within two weeks of the decision being rendered, to the Dean of the Faculty who shall name a committee to consider the appeal.

d. Decisions on final course grades may be further appealed, in writing, within one month of being rendered, through the Registrar to the Senate Academic and Student Discipline Appeals Committee. Appeals of decisions on academic matters other than grades are to be directed to this Committee through the Registrar. All decisions of this Committee shall be final unless appeal is made to the Board of Governors in keeping with the terms of the University Act.


The University reserves the right to add to, alter, or amend these regulations at any time.


The evaluation of transcripts shall be the responsibility of the Registrar’s Office in consultation with the appropriate Department and Dean.


Students are not permitted to schedule themselves into two courses that are offered during the same time period, or that overlap.


A student who is not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the university but wishes to enrol in graduate level course-work may apply for Special Student status. Normally Special Students may register for one graduate course in a semester with the permission of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies of the specific Faculty delivering the desired course. Graduate courses completed under Special Student status may subsequently be considered for credit towards a graduate degree upon recommendation of the academic unit in which the student is registered and with the approval of the (Faculty specific) Coordinator of Graduate Studies. Normally, approval must be obtained within 12 months of the completion of the course. A student who wishes to register as a Special Student should contact the (Faculty specific) Coordinator of Graduate Studies before applying for Special Student status.


Cross-level listing is the offering of two courses, one graduate and one undergraduate, in the same time and place, with the same instructor. Students may only complete a graduate level course if they previously completed the cross-level listed undergraduate course with approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.  While the course content for both undergraduate and graduate students may be similar, the graduate course is expected to have separate and distinct content that is more advanced than the undergraduate.

– Graduate expectations must be commensurate with the level of the graduate course listed.
– Expectations may be differentiated through assessment measures (exams, assignments, etc.)
– Graduate expectations may include more advanced learning through additional, more sophisticated reading, research, experiential activities
– Different learning objectives for each level
– If learning objectives change, assessment should change in accordance (as well as instructional strategies)

Cross-level listing rules:
– Only Upper-level undergraduate courses (4000) may be cross-level listed with graduate courses (6000, 7000, or 8000)
– Course titles must be related (but not necessarily identical)
– Use of different course codes (numbers) for each level
– Separate course proposals for each level
– Separate syllabi for each level


A student may make application to the Registrar and obtain approval from the program Coordinator and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for a Leave of Absence from the program in which the student is enrolled.  (For Doctor of Psychology students, a Leave of Absence from the program must be approved by the Clinical Program Committee).

  1. A graduate student who finds it necessary for family, health, personal, compassionate, professional or academic reasons, to interrupt their studies may apply for a Leave of Absence. Requests for leave must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. (Note: Immigration Eligible Leave of Absence will have specific eligibility criteria)
  2. Responsibility for approving a Leave of Absence rests with the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Registrar.
  3. A Leave of Absence will normally begin on the first day of September, January, or May and must be requested and approved before the first day of the semester.
  4. A Leave of Absence will be granted for periods of one semester, two semesters or three semesters. (Note: Immigration Eligible Leave of Absence may have a strict maximum duration)
  5. The total duration of all Leaves of Absence granted in a graduate program is normally limited to three semesters.
  6. While on a Leave of Absence, graduate students are expected to not undertake any formal academic or research work related to the program for which they have taken a Leave of Absence. Access to the University’s facilities and resources, including faculty supervision, while on a Leave of Absence may be limited.
  7. Graduate students must inform the Registrar and the program Coordinator of their intent to return from a Leave of Absence prior to recommencing their studies.
  8. Time spent on Leave of Absence is not counted as part of the allowed time to complete a degree.
  9. Awards and funding may be interrupted during a Leave of Absence. Some external funding agencies may have provisions for some types of leave.  Students should consult with the Faculty of Graduate Studies for details.
  10. While students do not pay tuition or fees during an approved Leave of Absence, they are not exempt from other financial obligations (i.e. interest charges on outstanding balance, standard collections processes, etc.).

For International students, there will be an additional level of review using eligibility criteria published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to confirm eligibility and any leave conditions. An IRCC recognized Leave of Absence will be recorded differently (with the notation of *Immigration Eligible).


Submission of Thesis or Project Report

When the thesis or project report, in its final form, has been prepared after the final oral examination, the candidate will deliver the number of unbound copies, as determined by the Department/School/Faculty, to the Office of the Graduate Studies Coordinator no later than three weeks prior to Convocation. Each copy must be submitted in a separate folder with the pages numbered and arranged in the appropriate order. The thesis or project report must be free from typographical and other errors and must include a brief abstract. All print copies of the thesis must include the Certification of Thesis Work signed by the Examination Committee and a copy of the Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License signed by the student. All print copies of the project report must contain a signed copy of the Permission to Use Graduate Project Report. The student will also provide the Program Coordinator with an acceptably formatted PDF of the final copy of the thesis or project report.

When accepted by the Graduate Studies Coordinator for the home Faculty, one print copy of the thesis or project report will be forwarded to the University Library for deposit. The accepted thesis or project report in PDF format will also be forwarded to the University Library for deposit in the University’s online institutional repository.

Generation and ownership of any other printed copies are the responsibility of the Department/School/Faculty.

Circulation & Copying of Thesis or Project Report

The author, in consultation with the Supervisor and the home Faculty Dean, shall have the right to request that circulation and/or copying and/or availability in the institutional repository of the thesis or project report in any form be withheld for up to one year.

For Thesis

In normal circumstances, as a condition of engaging in graduate study in the University, the author of a thesis grants a non-exclusive royalty-free licence in respect of the circulation and copying of the thesis through the Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License to the following institutions:

  1. to the University permission to circulate the thesis as part of the Library collection and to add the thesis to the institutional repository;
  2. to Library and Archives Canada a licence to harvest the thesis PDF from the University’s institutional repository and add the thesis to Theses Canada under carefully specified conditions.

For Project Report

In normal circumstances, as a condition of engaging in graduate study in the University, the author of a project report grants a non-exclusive royalty-free licence in respect of the circulation and copying of the project report through the Permission to Use Graduate Project Report:

  1. to the University – permission to circulate the project report as part of the Library collection and to add the project report to the institutional repository.


Copies of the thesis or project report shall have on the title page the words “In partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of [name of degree]” The notice specified in the Universal Copyright Convention, which consists of three elements in the same line

(a) the letter “C” enclosed in a circle,
(b) the name of the copyright owner (the student),
and (c) the year – should appear as a bottom line on the title page of the thesis or project report.

The candidate, in consultation with the Supervisor and the Department Chair, may also elect to add a Creative Commons license statement, appearing directly below the Universal Copyright Convention notice just described. If a Creative Commons license is chosen, the University recommends the “Attribution Non- Commercial” option (CC-BY-NC).


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