Student Rights

There are four main domains of rights regarding graduate students:

You have a right to a safe learning environment free of harassment or discrimination. The Saskatchewan Employment Act includes two categories of harassment: 

1. Discrimination/Harassment based on Prohibited Grounds

This includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that:

  • Is made based on race, creed, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, physical size or weight, age, nationality, ancestry or place of origin; and, constitutes a threat to the health or safety of the university staff or student.

Sexual Harassment means any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is offensive, unsolicited or unwelcome. Some situations of sexual harassment may include:

  • Any implied or express threat of reprisal for refusing to comply with a sexually-oriented request;
  • Unwelcome physical contact/touching;
  • Unwelcome invitations or requests, direct or indirect, to engage in behaviour of a sexual nature; and/or,
  • Unwelcome remarks, lewd jokes, innuendos, propositions or taunting about a person’s body, attire, sex or sexual orientation;
  • Displaying or sending pornographic or sexually explicit or offensive pictures or materials via text, hardcopy, video or other multimedia platforms;
  • Refusing to work with or have contact with an individual because of their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation;
  • Unwelcome remarks, lewd jokes, innuendos, propositions or taunting about a person’s body, attire, sex or sexual orientation;

2. Personal Harassment 

This includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that:

  • Adversely affects an individual’s psychological or physical well-being;
  • The perpetrator knows or ought to reasonably know would cause the individual to be humiliated or intimidated; and,
  • Constitutes a threat to the health or safety of the worker (staff).

To constitute Personal Harassment, either of the following must be established:

  • Repeated conduct, comments, displays, actions or gestures; or,
  • A single, serious comment, display, action or gesture that has a lasting, harmful effect of the worker.

What to do if you are experiencing discrimination or harassment by a fellow student:

  • Taking respectful action to resolve interpersonal problems at the onset of problems arising, when safe to do so;
  • When experiencing someone's behaviour as problematic, let the person know how you feel and ask them to stop the behaviour;
  • Reach out to Student Affairs and Outreach for assistance 

What to do if you are experiencing discrimination or harassment from your supervisor or instructor:

  • Attempt to engage in a discussion with your supervisor/instructor
  • Approach your graduate chair/department head and report your experiences
  • If none of these methods have properly addressed the issue you can approach a GSA representative or the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • You can always reach out to Student Affairs and Outreach for assistance in receiving emotional support and guidance on institutional navigation

What to do if you are experiencing discrimination or harassment within your graduate work:

You can report experiences or observations of harassment to Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services (DHPS) at (306) 966-4936 or

  • For a formal investigation to occur, the DHPS online complaint form is required wherein you must disclose your full name and submit a fulsome account of the situation.   

Visit the following website for more information on Discrimination and Harassment Prevention.

On Campus Resources

Confidential Harassment Reporting Telephone Line  (306) 966-4936; 1-844-966-3250
Confidential Harassment Reporting Email
Confidential Anonymous Reporting Online
Student Affairs and Outreach (mental health intake)  Student Affairs and Outreach
Protective Services   (306) 966-5555

Off Campus Resources

Crisis Intervention Services (Mobile Crisis)  306-933-6200 (24/7 confidential crisis support line)
Sexual Assault and Information Centre   306-224-2224 (24/7 confidential crisis line)
Saskatoon Police Service  306-975-8300 (non-emergency calls)
The Listen Project
(free legal advice for survivors of sexual assault)

 306-500-6430 (text)
 The Listen Project

In the event you are accused of conducting academic misconduct, you have the right to:

  • A fair hearing before an impartial and unbiased decision-maker
  • Challenge the suitability of any member of the hearing board if a reasonable sense of bias exists
  • Bring an advocate, which may be a friend, advisor, or legal counsel to a hearing, and call witnesses
  • An appeal under certain conditions

For a comprehensive description of your rights if faced with an allegation, refer to section V on page 9 of the Regulations.

Fairness and respect are the underlying principles governing how all allegations of misconduct are dealt with. The university's regulations state that “[w]herever appropriate, the university will attempt to resolve complaints through informal processes before invoking formal processes, and wherever possible, sanctions will be educational rather than punitive and will be applied in accordance with the severity of the offence and/or whether it is a first or subsequent offence”.3 In the event that allegations escalate to a formal hearing, and in accordance with the principles of natural justice, a student who is suspected of academic misconduct is innocent until it is proven otherwise.

You can view a visual flowchart of the process regarding suspicions of academic misconduct. 

To prevent potential occurrences of academic misconduct we encourage all graduate students to complete Student Learning Services' Academic Integrity Tutorial. 

In the event you are accused of academic misconduct we encourage you to connect with either your President or Vice-President of Student Affairs in your Graduate Student Association for support and advocacy throughout the process.


As graduate students, you are creators of “original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work” and therefore protected under the Copyright Act. This means that your permission is required for an instructor or school to share a copy of your work with future students.

Often, the creator or author of a work is the first owner of the copyright in that work. However, ownership of copyright may be transferred.

For more information about copyright ownership, please see the Copyright Owners section of the library website on the 'What is Copyright?' page.

In accordance with law by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, you have a right to receive reasonable accommodation, whereby the University has a duty to accommodate individuals requiring accommodations based on disability, religion, family status, and gender identity.

You have a right to an education, and USask will make reasonable accommodations to ensure you are not discriminated against on the basis of:

  • religion
  • creed
  • marital status
  • family status
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • age (18 or more)
  • colour
  • ancestry
  • nationality
  • place of origin
  • race or perceived race
  • receipt of public assistance
  • gender identity

By law, AES defines 'prohibited grounds' according to Section 2(1)(m.01) of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code

For more information on registering for accommodations or what circumstances allow for accommodation visit the Access and Equity Services website and contact their department for more information.

Student Responsibilities

All graduate students

  • Review and adhere to the University of Saskatchewan's  Guidelines for Academic Conduct and participate with academic integrity
  • Be aware of all program requirements and ask questions on requirements unclear to you. Your responsibility to manage your thesis, capstone papers, and program progress;
  • Conform to institutional, discipline and graduate program requirements, including those related to deadlines, thesis or citation style, 
  • Maintain registration in all three terms annually throughout your program duration (unless otherwise specified by your program),
  • Ensure your study permit documents are kept up-to-date (International students),
  • Show dedicated efforts to participate in creating an educational affirming environment for all,
  • Check your PAWS email regularly and read for important information and updates,
  • Conduct oneself in alignment with USask's, CGPS's, College's, and Program's policies.

Advisor Responsibilities

Thesis program students


  • Alongside your supervisor, you need to develop a plan to approach your thesis and adhere to the outlined plan to program completion. 
  • Complete the  Student-Supervisor Agreement.
  • Meet regularly with your supervisor and provide the necessary information.
  • Ensure you meet with your supervisory committee at least once a year.

Residency Requirements

When you earn a graduate degree from a program the institution is supporting that the student can perform at a certain performance level. As such, most programs have a residency requirement, meaning you are required to complete the majority of course work for your degree from your graduate department.

Review your program requirements to identify the required courses to take. Check to so see if the course requires additional courses within the program or open electives. Remember before enrolling in the course, all electives require approval from your supervisor and program administrator. If planning you are planning to take courses from another institution to fulfill an elective requirement, begin the process early as it can be long. 

USask Grading

The syllabus is a document that outlines all information required by the instructor offering that university course. Each course syllabus is unique to the course and includes the course name, description, location, course activities, and assignments. The syllabus is a contract between you and your instructor and cannot be changed after the course starts unless the entire class agrees.

Rubrics are assignment guides that indicate grading allocations or performance criteria. Rubrics are useful tools for students to understand the expectations of assignments and graduate student performance. The usage of rubrics by instructors is not required, and the application of rubrics varies across instructors.

What your grades mean. Relationship between Literal Descriptor and Percentage Score

Percentage Literal Descriptor Description
90-100 Exceptional

A superior performance with consistent strong evidence of:

  • a comprehensive, incisive grasp of subject matter;
  • an ability to make insightful critical evaluation of information;
  • an exceptional capacity for original, creative and/or logical thinking;
  • an exceptional ability to organize, to analyze, to synthesize, to integrate ideas, and to express thoughts fluently;
  • an exceptional ability to analyze and solve difficult problems related to subject matter
80-89 Very Good to Excellent

A very good to excellent performance with strong evidence of:

  • a comprehensive grasp of subject matter;
  •  an ability to make sound critical evaluation of information;
  •  a very good to excellent capacity for original, creative and/or logical thinking;
  • a very good to excellent ability to organize, to analyze, to synthesize, to integrate ideas, and to express thoughts fluently;
  • a very good to excellent ability to analyze and solve difficult problems related to subject matter
70-79 Satisfactory to Good

A satisfactory to good performance with evidence of:

  • a substantial knowledge of subject matter;
  • a satisfactory to good understanding of the relevant issues and satisfactory to good familiarity with the relevant literature and technology;
  • satisfactory to good capacity for logical thinking;
  • some capacity for original and creative thinking;
  • a satisfactory to good ability to organize, to analyze, and to examine the subject matter in a critical and constructive manner;
  • a satisfactory to good ability to analyze and solve moderately difficult problems related to the subject matter


(Failure for a Phd)

A generally weak performance, but with some evidence of:

  • a basic grasp of the subject matter;
  • some understanding of the basic issues;
  • some familiarity with the relevant literature & techniques;
  • some ability to develop solutions to moderately difficult problems related to the subject matter;
  • some ability to examine the material in a critical & analytical manner
<60 Failure
  • An unacceptable performance

 Passing Grades

The standards below are the minimum acceptable grades for passing a graduate course. Individual academic units may establish a higher standard through a formal application process to the CGPS.

PGD Master's Ph. D.
Undergraduate Class 60% 70% None allowed
Graduate Class 60% 60% 70%
Cumulative overall average needed 65% 70% 70%

Checking Your Grades

Make sure to check out the grading system guide for instructions on how to interpret all language on your transcripts. 

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