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The Graduate Committee

The Graduate Committee makes decisions and recommendations about applicants, graduate students, and the program itself. On the Graduate Committee sit five or six faculty members including the Department Head, along with a graduate student representative and the Department's Administrative Assistant. The Graduate Committee has six principal duties: to consider applications and recommend admissions to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; to recommend students for scholarships and fellowships; to serve as an advisory committee for students who have not yet submitted the thesis proposal; to consider thesis proposals for approval; to recommend a list of courses for the upcoming year; and more generally to engage in planning for and development of the program.

The Chair of the Graduate Committee

The Chair of the Graduate Committee is responsible for providing information to, consultation with, and counselling of graduate students, and for admissions, awards, programs, and general administration. The Chair represents the Committee, and so the Department, in dealings with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Together with the Administrative Assistant, the Chair monitors the progress of each student in the program.

The Administrative Assistant

The Administrative Assistant performs several key functions of the program: collecting and preparing information; scheduling meetings, examinations, and workshops; assigning carrel space to graduate students; and coordinating advisory committees. The Administrative Assistant 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 M.A. project, M.A. thesis, and Ph.D. dissertation examinations and graduation.

What can a student expect of the Chair of the Graduate Committee and Administrative Assistant?

  • information about courses, areas of supervisory expertise, and procedures for completion of programs;
  • advice to students on matching their research interests with those of available faculty;
  • where possible, provision of a carrel and a mailbox, and access to campus e-mail and internet service;
  • consistent monitoring of students' progress;
  • encouragement of interaction between students and faculty in social events, seminars, and colloquia;
  • clear, fair procedures for examinations, and for scholarship rankings and recommendations;
  • arrangements for thesis supervision, including alternate supervision when the regular supervisor is away for extended periods;
  • information to international students and their supervisors about current Canada Employment and Immigration regulations so that student visas and employment authorizations (where applicable) are applied for expeditiously and maintained throughout the period of registration in the program;
  • distribution of current information about application procedures and deadlines for scholarships and fellowships, and help in applying for funding;
  • provision of ways to resolve problems if they arise between graduate students and their supervisors, advisory committees, or seminar leaders;
  • information about learned societies in which graduate students are welcome to participate, and advice about seeking funding to give papers at conferences.

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