New course proposals must be submitted to the CGPS using form GSR 400.1 and accompanied with all the required supporting documentation.  After the new course is approved by the CGPS, it will go through the University Course Challenge (UCC) process.  If there is no challenge, a Course Creation Information Form must be completed and submitted to Registrarial Services, Student & Enrolment Services Division. 


A Special Topics course is a selected reading course for one or a few graduate students that focuses on areas for which there is no regular graduate course, or, that fills deficiencies in the research program. Such courses must be pertinent to the candidates’ goals.

The Head of the Academic unit or Graduate Chair has the authority to approve Special Topics Courses unless the course includes an undergraduate course component. Courses based on an undergraduate course require approval by the Associate Dean of CGPS or designate.

The course instructor must be a member of CGPS faculty. An exception may be requested by submitting a memo with a rationale and including the person’s CV. The Associate Dean or designate will review any exception requests.

Academic units must submit a completed GSR 204 form for notification purposes. 

The course syllabus must contain all of the required information outlined in Section 1.1 of the University’s Academic Courses Policy on Class Delivery, Examinations, and Assessment of Student Learning in addition to:

  • The course title (NOT “Special Topics”);
  • A weekly course outline with reading list;
  • A description of the activities for evaluation and the percentage of total marks for each activity;
  • Enrolment limit;
  • A Special Topics course can be taught a maximum of 2 times. For further offerings, a new course proposal must be submitted to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee of CGPS.


Having demonstrated the need for the program and the unit's ability to offer an academically sound program through the development period, the academic unit shall prepare and submit a regular Graduate Program Proposal.


Revisions to existing courses range from minor changes in title as the course is described in the Catalogue, to major redesign of course content or course deletion.  These must be submitted to the CGPS Graduate Academic Affairs Committee for consideration and approval.

A course modification form (GSR 400.2) must be submitted.



Academic units wishing to modify the credit unit requirement of an existing graduate program shall submit their proposal to the Associate Dean CGPS. The proposal will be reviewed by the Graduate Programs Committee of the CGPS. If approved by this committee, the proposal then has to be approved by the Executive Committee of CGPS and by Graduate Council. The proposed change becomes effective after it is approved by Graduate Council. 


Academic units wishing to modify an existing graduate program shall submit their proposal to the Associate Dean, CGPS. The proposal will be reviewed by the Graduate Programs Committee of the CGPS. After it is approved by this committee, the proposal then has to be approved by the Executive Committee of CGPS and submitted to University Course Challenge. The proposed change becomes effective after it is approved by Graduate Council.


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;
  • Satisfy the doctoral candidacy assessment requirement;
  • Prepare and successfully defend a dissertation based on original investigation.


Dual degrees shall exist through an agreement, or memorandum of understanding, with the partner institution that has been approved by the appropriate authorities. Only existing approved programs can be offered as dual degree programs. New programs, or existing programs where the degree requirements are being changed, must first complete the appropriate academic approval process before being offered as a dual degree program.

Academic units will use the standard template for a dual degree agreement when developing the agreement, and, the template must contain all of the mandatory articles as identified in the associated procedures. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Statement of admission requirements, or indication that CGPS standard admission requirements apply;
  • Listing of course requirements;
  • Listing of each institution’s courses eligible for transfer credit by the partner institution;
  • Statement indicating that the thesis must be written and defended in English;
  • List of faculty at partner institution that meet the requirements for membership as an adjunct professor in CGPS and thus are eligible to supervise graduate students;
  • If applicable, a statement indicating students will be jointly supervised by a faculty member from each institution, and, that the supervisory committee will have four members, two from each institution.

The transcript from the University of Saskatchewan will state “Dual XX Degree in XX Awarded in Partnership with XX University (Country)".

The agreement with the partner institution will require that the partner institution include a similar notation on their transcript and/or parchment.

A decision to award, or not award, the degree to the student by the partner university will not be binding upon the U of S decision to award the degree. In the event of a veto by the partner university to award the degree, and if the student has completed all of the U of S degree requirements, a U of S degree may be awarded.


Cotutelle programs will exist through an approved Cotutelle Agreement.

Academic units complete the Notice of Intent (NOI) and for a Cotutelle Agreement, using the template and submit it to the Associate Dean, CGPS for approval.

After NOI approval, units should proceed to develop the Cotutelle Doctoral Agreement using the template provided. When completed and signed by all parties, the agreement must be submitted to the Associate Dean, CGSP for approval. The Cotutelle Doctoral Agreement:

  • Includes standard clauses such as intellectual property rights, dissolution of agreement, funding, etc.;
  • Include research proposal which has been endorsed by both supervisors (Appendix 1);
  • Demonstrate a clear path of study including required courses, assessments, timelines, etc. (Appendix 2)
  • Please contact the CGPS Director of Internationalization for assistance with developing the Cotutelle Doctoral Agreement.

Inbound students, after CGPS approval of the Cotutelle program agreement:

  • May apply to their program of choice using the standard online application process, and
  • Must meet the academic and language proficiency admission requirements at the time of application, and
  • Should have a minimum of one year in a Ph.D. program or a combined master’s/doctoral program, prior to the intended start date at the U of S.

Outbound students, after CGPS approval of the Cotutelle program agreement:

  • May apply to their program of choice using the required application process at the partner university;
  • Must meet the academic and language proficiency admission requirements at the time of application, and
  • Should have a minimum of one year in a Ph.D. program at the U of S, prior to the intended start date at the partner university.

Maximum agreement duration for an individual student is six years, and, extensions beyond six years must be requested in writing and approved by the CGPS.

The student initially registers with their home institution. After the signing of the Cotutelle agreement, the student will then need to maintain registration full-time in both institutions, until the completion of the doctorate degree.

Students in an approved graduate-level cotutelle program must maintain full-time registration at USask. Cotutelle students who are not actively pursuing their studies at USask in a given term and who are registered at the partner institution must register in a place holder class to maintain full-time status at USask. This placeholder class does not assess full tuition but does assess some student fees.

The advisory committee will consist of two co-supervisors and a faculty member from each institution. Each university will appoint its members by its own rules.

In approving the Cotutelle agreement the Associate Dean, CGPS is granting permission for the non-CGPS faculty to co-supervise as per Policy 3.1, and, to be a member of the advising committee. 

The defence committee will consist of the advisory committee members, a university examiner, plus an external examiner unrelated to either partner university. For the University of Saskatchewan, where co-supervisors also sit on the defence committee, they share one vote.

The appointment of the external examiner is subject to both institutions’ policies.


The doctoral candidacy assessment must be successfully completed in accordance with the program’s requirements and unit’s policies. If a doctoral candidacy assessment is a requirement for both USask and the partner university degree, a single assessment may be recognized by both universities should the two parties choose to collaborate on the preparation and assessment of the student. 

Students must complete the course requirements as described in the degree requirements for each degree. No more than 50% of the total coursework for the U of S degree can be fulfilled through transfer credit. Any coursework considered for transfer credit must be equivalent to 800-level courses at the U of S.  The partner university has jurisdiction over what courses they would accept for transfer credit towards their degree in accordance with their policies. All course requirements to be fulfilled through transfer credit will be stipulated in the Cotutelle agreement.  

The dissertation must be written in English and defended in English. The dissertation will be submitted to the home university with a copy to the partner university simultaneously. For the University of Saskatchewan, Recommendation for Defence will constitute Permission to Submit the Thesis for Defence under CGPS Policy 8.1.

A single oral defence, at the home institution, recognized by both participating universities will be scheduled. Examiners are expected to participate in the oral defence, and, remote conferencing may be used to mitigate these costs. Additional costs can arise from expenses related to the dissertation defense, and, these costs will be shared among the participating institutions as stipulated in the Cotutelle agreement.

The submission, description, and reproduction of the dissertation must be conducted according to the regulations in effect at each institution.

In the event of premature dissolution of the Cotutelle agreement, the student may remain enrolled in one of the partner institutions. To dissolve the agreement of Cotutelle, the student must petition for dissolution of the Cotutelle in writing to both institutions by submitting a letter of request to revoke the agreement which must:

  • Indicate where they choose to pursue their doctoral studies;
  • Confirm the list of inventions and creations to date in the research, and the holder(s) of intellectual property rights

This letter should be sent to the head of programs, supervisors, and authorities governing the Cotutelle agreement in each partner institution as well as the Associate Dean CGPS. The Cotutelle will only be dissolved following an agreement stipulating the respective contributions of stakeholders (supervisors and student) to intellectual property created during the project.

In the event that a student chooses to not continue their studies at the University of Saskatchewan, all scholarships and funding received by the student from the University of Saskatchewan will stop at the date of the dissolution of the Cotutelle agreement.