The CGPS sets the minimum entrance requirements for graduate programs and for English proficiency. Entrance requirements must be formally approved for all graduate programs and must be listed in the University of Saskatchewan Catalogue.
All prospective post graduate diploma, master’s level, and doctoral level program applicants must complete the online application. This includes joint/sandwich program students, dual degree students, and non-degree students.
A non-refundable application fee must accompany each application. All students shall supply three names and their respective contact information as referees that the University will contact for confidential online letters of recommendation.
Complete and official transcripts (including, where necessary, a certified English translation) of all post-secondary study to date are required prior to registration. Official English proficiency test results are required prior to registration. All transcripts must come directly to the University of Saskatchewan from the issuing institution and be received in sealed envelopes.
1.1. ENGLISH PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS
The language of instruction and examination at the University of Saskatchewan is English. Minimum standards of English proficiency are required in all components, including written, spoken, reading and listening, to ensure that students can understand and communicate clearly in order to be successful in their graduate programs.
Canadian applicants are generally not required to provide proof of language proficiency. All other applicants for admission to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are required to present proof of proficiency in English.
Proof of English proficiency may be demonstrated through one of the following:
- A minimum of three consecutive years of full-time study or completion of a graduate degree at a recognized post-secondary institution, where the exclusive language of instruction and examination of the program and/or institution is English.
- Provision of evidence of English proficiency, using one of the approved tests listed in Table 1.1.a and Table 1.1.b. All scores must be from one exam date, not to be combined with other exam dates. Tests are valid for two years after the testing date. Scores must be valid (no more than two years old) at the beginning of the student's first term of registration in the graduate program.
Table 1.1.a: Minimum levels for approved language exams
|Test||Minimum in each area||Overall score|
|Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL IBT)||19||86|
|International English Language Testing System (IELTS)||6.0||6.5|
|Pearson Test of English (PTE)||59||63|
* Would require evaluation of speaking skills as well
Table 1.1.b: Minimum levels for other approved, but less common language exams or courses
|Test||Minimum Required Score|
|University Preparation 2 (U-PREP 2) from the U of S Language Center||75%|
|Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)||70% with min. individual scores of 60|
|University of Regina Intensive ESL Advanced Level (ESL 50); Plus completion of Academic Writing Elective A||60%|
Registration in a graduate program will not be permitted until official test results at an appropriate level have been received, with the following exception:
- Students registered in U-PREP 2 (EAP 60), at the U of S Language Centre may, upon recommendation of the English as a Second Language Director and approval of the CGPS, concurrently register in up to 6 credit units of graduate course work.
The following minimum English proficiency standards will apply for all applicants to the Graduate Pathways Certificate program.
Table 1.1.c: Minimum levels for approved language exams for admission into Graduate Pathways Certificate
|Test Type||Minimum in each area||Overall score|
|Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL IBT)||15||65|
|International English Language Testing System (IELTS)||4.5||5.0|
Applicants who wish to demonstrate proof of language proficiency through the following:
"A minimum of three consecutive years of full-time study or completion of a graduate degree at a recognized post-secondary institution, where the exclusive language of instruction and examination of the program and/or institution is English."
may demonstrate this one of two ways:
- Institutions which are listed in the WHED database with English as the sole language of instruction may be considered eligible without additional documentation from the institution
- Institutions which are listed in the WHED database with English as a language of instruction in addition to other languages may be considered eligible if the applicant obtains an official letter (issued from a Dean’s or Registrar’s office), confirming that the sole language of instruction and examination of the student’s program was in English.
Please note that in all cases where an applicant is requesting to fulfil language proficiency requirements through previous study in English, approval is at the discretion of the academic unit in which the graduate program is housed. All academic units reserve the right to require applicants to submit an official language test which meets minimum requirements, even when previous post-secondary work has been completed in English. As such, applicants should inquire with the academic unit to which they are applying regarding if they will accept previous post-secondary study as proof of proficiency.
1.2. POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
The minimum entrance requirements for a Postgraduate Diploma are:
- A four-year honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study;
- A cumulative weighted average of at least a 65% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of full-time study (i.e. 60 credit units).
1.3. MASTER'S ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
The minimum entrance requirements for a Master’s Degree are:
- A four-year honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study, or a three-year first cycle undergraduate degree, in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study, from an institution that meets the criteria set forth in the Bologna Declaration, will be acceptable as the equivalent of an undergraduate honours degree;
- A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% in the last two years of full-time study (i.e. 60 credit unit equivalent);
- Demonstrated ability for independent thought, advanced study, and research.
1.4. PH.D. ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
The minimum entrance requirements for a Ph.D. Degree are:
- A Master's degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study;
- A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% in the Master’s degree;
- Demonstrated ability for independent thought, advanced study, and independent research.
1.5. DIRECT ENTRY PH.D. DEGREE
With the recommendation of the unit, direct entry Ph.D. admission is available to exceptionally strong students, who show great promise in terms of academic accomplishments and potential for research. The minimum requirements for admission to a Ph.D. program without completing a Master’s degree are:
- A four-year honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study.
- A cumulative weighted average of at least 80% in the last two years of undergraduate study (i.e. 60 credit units of course work).
- Demonstrated ability for independent thought, advanced study, and independent research.
For the completion of their degree, students who have been admitted to a Ph.D. program without completing a Master’s degree must:
- Complete at least 9 credit units of course work at the graduate level in the first year of their program, with no final grade in any course below 70%.
- The minimum number of credit units required for the degree must be equal to the minimum that would be required for a student in the same program who was promoted to a Ph.D. from a Master’s program.
- Within the first year of the program, successfully complete a Ph.D. Qualifying Examination that is at least as rigorous as the defence for a Master’s thesis in their program area.
- Pass a comprehensive examination, after completing the required course work, and prior to focusing on their research and doctoral thesis.
- Write and successfully defend a thesis based on original investigation.
1.6. SPECIAL CASE STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
Academic units without established Master’s or Ph.D. programs can accept a student as a special case admission, with the permission of the Dean and the Graduate Student Academic Affairs Committee of the CGPS.
Students who are seeking admission to a graduate program in an academic unit which does not have an approved graduate program at the required level, are considered special case student applicants.
In these cases, the Academic unit shall apply for the admission of a graduate thesis student on a Special Case basis. The documentation for special case admission applications must be prepared in each case by the academic unit.
The minimum entrance requirements for a student accepted as a special case admission are:
- A Master’s special case admission would require a four-year Honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study, and, a cumulative weighted average of at least 75% in the last two years of undergraduate study (i.e. 60 credit units of course work);
- A PhD special case admission would require a Master's degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study, and, a cumulative weighted average of at least 75% in the last two years of study (i.e. coursework required in Master’s program);
- Demonstrated ability for independent thought, advanced study, and independent research.
Students seeking admission in a discipline without a formalized academic program should consult the academic unit to determine if special case admission may be possible. The requirements for special case applications are indicated in GSR 405: Guidelines for Special Case Admissions. Completed application packages are considered by the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee.
The GSR 405 can be found on the CGPS website.
1.7. INDEPENDENT INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
The individual interdisciplinary graduate program is administered by the CGPS through the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.
Students not restricted by traditional academic boundaries may seek admission into individual interdisciplinary programs leading to the M.A., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees following the procedures outlined on the Interdisciplinary Studies program page.
1.8. NON-DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Students may be admitted on a non-degree basis if they meet the minimum entrance requirements for a Postgraduate Diploma, and meet English proficiency requirements.
Admission on a non-degree basis does not ensure subsequent admission to a graduate degree program. Students accepted into a graduate degree program will only receive credit for courses taken on a non-degree basis on the recommendation of the academic unit offering that graduate degree program. No more than six (6) credit units of such courses will be accepted for credit toward a graduate degree. Granting credit for courses taken on a non-degree basis shall affect the time available for degree completion, as the start date of a degree program is the earliest date of registration in a course credited toward the degree requirements.
1.9. VISITING STUDENT AND VISITING RESEARCH STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
1.9.1. Visiting Student
A Visiting Student is an individual who is admitted to the University of Saskatchewan, with the purpose of receiving credit at their home institute. Visiting students may be undergraduate or graduate, and they may be here through an established agreement or through a letter of permission.
Visiting Students pay standard tuition and fees in accordance with their registration.
Proof of sufficient postsecondary education and English language proficiency to engage effectively in undergraduate-level or graduate-level studies. This proof comes from the home institution, generally in the form of a Letter of Permission, transcripts, or a selection process that is outlined in a current mobility agreement.
- Submission of an application for admission;
- Review and approval by College (direct-entry delegated to Admissions & Transfer Credit Office).
1.9.2. Visiting Research Student
A Visiting Research Student is an individual who has been admitted to the University of Saskatchewan as an undergraduate or graduate student for the purpose of engaging in an approved plan of research with a faculty supervisor.
Visiting research students are not assessed tuition, will not be enrolled in any credit course work, and are registered at the university for a period not exceeding 12 months in any 18-month period.
- Sufficient postsecondary education and English proficiency to engage effectively in undergraduate-level or graduate-level research, as determined by the faculty supervisor
- Submission of a Visiting Research Student (VRS) application;
- A research plan including research objectives, research activities, and expected learning outcomes;
- Approval of an identified U of S faculty supervisor;
- Review and approval of application, research plan, and supervisor by College of Graduate Studies & Research.
- A VRS may pursue supervised research only, and may not enroll in any credit coursework at the University;
- Students will be registered by CGPS in a zero credit unit research course, which denotes that student is engaged in full-time academic research;
- VRS students will not be assessed tuition and will be assessed off-campus student fees providing access to limited U of S student services;
- Students may elect to enroll in the Health, Dental and U-Pass plans;
- Students will be assigned a CR (Completed Requirement) for satisfactory completion of the research objectives or an F (Fail) for unsatisfactory completion. An official transcript of the visiting research studies may be ordered;
- Students who wish to register in credit coursework, or who wish to stay longer than six months, must pursue other admission options such as admission as a non-degree student, a visiting student, or a joint student;
- International visiting research students are encouraged to obtain a study permit although it is not required by CIC for periods of study six months or less. Where faculty intend to remunerate research activity, the student must obtain a study permit and apply for a SIN on arrival in Canada.
1.10. EXCHANGE STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
Students from other universities may spend up to one year as exchange students at the U of S, under the terms of a formal exchange agreement. Students from other institutions wishing to attend the University of Saskatchewan on exchange must be nominated by their home institution and supported by the receiving academic unit as part of a formal exchange agreement.
Students accepted and registered as exchange students at the U of S shall maintain registration at their home institution. Exchange students will pay tuition and fees to the University of Saskatchewan, unless otherwise specified in a relevant exchange agreement. Full or part-time status and fees will be determined by the course registration.
All exchange participants shall obtain, in advance, insurance coverage (specifically focusing on health and accident insurance) for the duration of the specific exchange.
All exchange students shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the U of S and will have the same rights and privileges as other students at the U of S. Minimum entrance requirements are:
- The student is a registered graduate student at the home institution;
- The student is in good standing as declared by their home institution;
- The student has the appropriate level of English language proficiency as determined by the exchange agreement.
Oversight of the exchange student admissions process is delegated to the International Student and Study Abroad Centre. Information about eligibility, funding, and application processes can be found at: https://students.usask.ca/academics/study-abroad/exchange-programs.php.
In the event of a breach of the rules and regulations of the U of S by an exchange student, every effort will be made to consult with appropriate officials from the home institution and the U of S prior to the imposition of sanction or disciplinary action.
1.11. DUAL DEGREE STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
A dual degree occurs when a student pursues graduate studies at two universities, satisfying both institution’s admission and degree requirements, and where applicable, with a project or thesis co-supervised by faculty at each institution. The student receives a degree from both universities, with a notation on the final transcript and/or parchment stating that the degree was obtained under a dual degree agreement.
Students attending the U of S in a dual degree program must follow the standard application procedures for graduate students, and must meet all of the admission requirements as set by the CGPS.
To receive both degrees, students in a dual degree program must complete the degree requirements at both institutions, and whenever possible, the two degrees will be awarded simultaneously at both institutions.
For complete information on dual degrees, please refer to Policy 21.6.
1.11.1. COTUTELLE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
A Cotutelle program is a type of dual degree program, where a doctoral student is jointly supervised by two supervisors, each from a different university, and the student alternates time between the two universities. The student writes one thesis, under the supervision of an advisory committee comprised of members from both universities, and, if successful, the student receives two degrees, each recognized by both universities. While the dual degree program is an agreement between two programs at two institutions, a Cotutelle program is an agreement tailored to an individual student studying at two institutions.
For complete information on Cotutelle programs, please refer to Policy 21.7.
1.12. JOINT/SANDWICH STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
A joint student or sandwich program student occurs when a student pursues a graduate degree from another university, with a portion of their research and/or course work being completed at the U of S. The student receives only one degree from the partner university. Students in joint student programs can be either Master's or Doctoral students and they shall have an academic supervisor. A supervising committee is not necessary.
Joint students do not require that an approved memorandum of understanding be in place with the student’s home institution. The student’s home institution is the degree granting institution. The U of S is where the student completes a portion of their studies for degree requirements, but it is not the degree granting university.
Applicants for a joint student program must meet the CGPS minimum academic and language proficiency requirements for admission.
Joint students are subject to standard graduate admission requirements. Joint students must be continuously registered, and are subject to applicable tuition and student fees.
Applications for Joint Student programs are completed online. Applicants must satisfy the minimum admission standards of the academic unit. A student in a joint program will be provided with a letter from the CGPS confirming their admission as a graduate student in a joint student program, and outlining any specific terms or conditions.
Students in a Joint Student program must register in GPS 992 for the duration of their time at the U of S. Joint students must also participate/register in the academic unit’s 990 seminar. Joint students must complete GPS 960: Introduction to Ethics during the first term of enrolment.
1.13. APPLICATION DEADLINES
The CGPS does not impose any deadlines on applications. Many academic units do impose internal application deadlines. Additionally, some funding competitions require program applications to be complete by certain deadlines in order to meet competition eligibility criteria.