Tracking Program Progress

As soon as possible following a student's first registration in a program, an advisory committee, including a research supervisor, should be named. However, these steps depend on the design and process of the individual graduate program. 

It is the responsibility of the Advisory Committee to advise students appropriately to ensure progress is made toward the completion of their degree.

USask has an in-house tool to help you monitor up-to-date academic progress toward the completion of your degree called Degree Works

  • Check progress towards your degree with a listing of classes completed and classes required
  • Explore what course requirements would be needed if you changed your program
  • Devise a long-term plan for degree completion to ensure the courses you plan to take in future terms will fulfill your degree requirements
  • Explore your progress with future courses included
  • Check your average


It is your responsibility to stay up to date on your required deadlines. Remember your deadlines can shift slightly from year to year, so make sure to stay on top of the below five deadlines every year:

  1. Registration date in PAWS 
  2. Course registration deadline
  3. Course withdrawal deadline
  4. Payment due dates 
  5. Graduation Application Deadlines *towards program completion

Stay up to date on various deadlines through the institution's Academic Calendar.

Annual Reporting

Graduate students need to report their progress through an annual progress report. Annual reports are facilitated through your graduate program and occur during May/June of every year. Check your email for updates on reporting requirements. 

To prepare for your annual reporting make sure to keep track of:

  • Course completed 
  • Committee meetings and thesis progress 
  • Professional development activities
  • Research activities
  • Presentation & Publications

Plan for Waiting

Let's break down the steps of a typical academic task:

  1. Pre-task - this is the time before the task. This is the time when you may need to gather certain resources. Certain books may not be available yet which could delay the project. Take these into consideration when planning.
  2. Task Activity - this is the time it takes you to actually begin completing the task. 
  3. Wait-time - this is the time waiting in between steps and is often the most overlooked element of timelines... e.g. waiting for lab equipment, acquiring resources, waiting for your supervisor's approval or feedback.
  4. Task Alterations - making adjustments to the task and plan, which may require cycling back between tasks 3 and 4 a few times.
  5. Task Completion - conducting the final steps and then completing the task.

Often when graduate students are planning, they think of the time and effort required to do the task, focusing on step and step 2. Steps 3 and 4 are often overlooked and never considered. When planning and managing your program and the various tasks make sure to consider steps 3 and step 4 in your calculations and plans. Keep these concepts and strategies in mind when planning throughout your studies. 

Program Delays

Students may switch between a thesis, capstone, or course-based option within their program1 if a student is able to meet the below criteria:

  • Students received approval from their Supervisor, Advisory Committee, and Graduate Chair,
1 An important note, students may transfer from a program with a thesis to one with a project, or vice versa, only where this option is available. For example, some programs do not allow a course-based option.

Transferring to another Graduate Program/Department requires:

  • Submitting your transfer request in writing to the CGPS
  • A written statement from the department approving transfer into the academic unit 
  • A new Program of Studies submitted by your new Graduate Chair, as well as a new Advisory Committee, must be established
  • Your transfer is now complete2

2 Your 'time in the program' will start from the first class credited towards the certificate, postgraduate diploma or degree sought.

Graduate student journeys are unique and complex. When mixed with individuals' personal lives these journeys can be impacted. Make sure to keep an open dialogue with your supervisor to identify potential solutions that may be impacting your program progress.

If you are experiencing difficulties that are impacting your graduate progress there are options to accommodate these circumstances to support your success. 

The first step is applying for a leave of absence. These can be medical, parental, compassionate, and more. Make sure when applying for a leave you consider all implications. You can find information about leave implications, steps toward leave applications, and applying for extensions in your program on our program disruptions page

Appeals regarding evaluation, grading, and academic standing will be managed according to Student Appeals in Academic Matters.

Here are steps to approaching potential grievances through informal and formal approaches. 

< Mapping         4. Management         Completion >


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