At the course level, governance enables curriculum, course content, and evaluation methods. These policies are designed to ensure that the courses offered meet the academic standards of USask and are aligned with the program's learning outcomes.

At the thesis-based level, governance leads to policy and guideline creation that govern both the academic and research process, including the selection of research topics, ethical considerations, and the evaluation of the thesis by a committee of academic experts. These policies are designed to ensure that the research conducted by students meets the academic standards of the institution and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in their field of study.

The governance of graduate and postdoctoral studies at USask is led by the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). Important aspects of CGPS' mandate are the careful allocation of resources to ensure that funding, and human resource capital are being used effectively and efficiently, promoting high standards of teaching and research, evaluation of graduate and postdoctoral studies policies and procedures, providing students with opportunities to learn and grow - and so much more. Governance.

Key Roles

In your graduate program.

Graduate Administrators

The Graduate Administrator performs several key functions of the program: collecting and preparing information; scheduling meetings, examinations, and workshops, and coordinating various committees. The Graduate Administrator corresponds with prospective applicants, receives documentation for applications, and ensures that files are circulated among the faculty members of the Graduate Committee towards committee decisions about admission and funding, consults with the Graduate Chair about individual students' programs, and prepares documentation towards dissertation examinations and graduation.

Graduate Chairs

The Grad Chair is responsible for providing information to, consultation with, and mentorship of graduate students, and has oversight of admissions, awards, programs, and general administration in your academic unit. Your Grad Chair is usually the chair of your department's graduate committee (so represents your department in dealings with the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies), and they may also be the chair of your student committee. Together with the Graduate Administrator, the Grad Chair monitors the progress of each student in the program.

Graduate Committees 

All academic units offering graduate programming have a Graduate Committee, typically chaired by the Graduate Chair. This committee makes decisions and recommendations about applicants, graduate students, allocates funding, and the program itself. CGPS provides guidance on the scope of work - some committees may adopt the guidelines and create additional criteria.

Student Advisory Committee (AC)

As soon as possible following a student's first registration in a thesis or dissertation-based program, an advisory committee, including a research supervisor, should be named. Responsibility for naming the members of a student's advisory is typically managed by the Graduate Chair. It is the responsibility of the advisory committee to assist students in course selection and definition of research area, to provide support and advice, to evaluate regularly the student's progress by meeting at least once yearly, to take appropriate and timely action in view of this progress, and to keep records of this evaluation and all actions taken. 


The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that progress reports, meeting minutes, programs of study, and other advisory committee paperwork is completed and forwarded to the unit’s graduate administrator. Broadly defined, a supervisor's role is to successfully guide a student through the requirements of their academic program to completion in a timely fashion.

CGPS Governance

What does CGPS do? The College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS) is home to approximately 4,500 graduate students enrolled in over 180 different graduate diplomas, course & thesis-based master's and doctoral degree programs and is home to over 240 postdoctoral scholars engaged in a diverse and intense research environment. We often refer to graduate students as dual citizens. Why? 

  • Students often identify with their academic unit or college but can also go to CGPS for guidance.
  • Graduate degrees are recommended by the student's home unit/college and are conferred by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • CGPS relies on unit recommendations and insight which in turn allows CGPS to provide oversight, policy, and leadership.

Get Involved

There are a number of ways graduate students can engage in USask governance.


The Graduate Student Association (GSA)'s focus is the advocacy of its members in pursuit of a safe, supportive, respectful, accessible, and inclusive community that fosters the multi-faceted roles played by graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. All graduate students at USask are members of the GSA and have the right to vote in elections, referenda, and at general meetings. 


Dean's Graduate Student Advisory Circle (GSADC) is a circle of graduate student volunteers who serve as mentors and leaders that work with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies leadership to identify solutions and create positive change. This group brings graduate student perspectives on discussion topics like holistic admissions, policy revisions, degree-level learning outcomes, ways to enhance career preparation, entrepreneurial training, an Indigenization action plan, and more.


CGPS Faculty Council has authority over all matters related to the academic affairs of the College. In 2023 CGPS had its bylaws formalized, accepted, and approved. Now voting CGPS Faculty Council membership includes student voting members from the GSA, at least one Indigenous graduate student leader and an additional five graduate students selected through an open call process managed by the CGPS' Nominations Committee.

USask Governance

The Act (1995) establishing the University of Saskatchewan was passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Province on April 3, 1907. The Senate held its first meeting on January 8, 1908, when elections to the Board of Governors were held. In August, 1908 W.C. Murray of Dalhousie University was appointed first President of the University. He continued to hold that office until June 30, 1937. The current President of the University is Peter Stoicheff.

USask has a tricameral governance structure, which means it has three governing bodies:

Board of Governors University Council Senate

The board is responsible for overseeing and directing all matters respecting the management, administration, and control of the university's property, revenues, and financial affairs.

Council is responsible for academic oversight and directs the university’s academic affairs on matters ranging from degrees, scholarships, and programs to evaluation, academic integrity, and admission.

Senate gives graduates, the community, and key stakeholders a voice in university affairs. 

Executive Leadership

USask's Executive Leadership team supports each of the university’s governing bodies in fulfilling its role in accordance with the requirements of The University of Saskatchewan Act and the principles of good governance.

University Secretary

The Office of the University Secretary is a key link between the executive leadership and governing bodies of the university, facilitating the activities of the Board of Governors, Senate, General Academic Assembly, and University Council as well as governance matters related to university policies.