1. Graduate Seminars and Colloquium

All graduate students in Mathematics & Statistics are required to attend and participate in the Graduate Student Seminars.  The Graduate Seminars are organized by one or more current graduate students with the support of the Graduate Chairs in Mathematics and Statistics.  The seminar meets roughly every two weeks and, one each occasion, there will be two talks by current graduate students. Each talk is 30 minutes in length.  The talks can be related to a student's research or be purely expository in nature.

The purpose of the talks is to allow students to learn about one another's work and mathematical interests and to foster academic interaction between students.  The experience is intended to help you develop your mathematical communication skills.

Each graduate student is required to deliver one 30-minute talk per academic year in the Graduate Seminar.  The attendees are fellow graduate students and, when available, the supervisor(s) of the speakers and the Graduate Chairs.

Attendance and participation in the Graduate Seminars is necessary for fulfilling your MATH 990 or STAT 990 requirements each year.  Furthermore, one of the questions on your annual Advisory Committee Progress Report concerns the delivery of a presentation.  The Graduate Seminar is one means for satisfying this requirement (although you may also fulfill this through other seminar or conference presentations).

You will receive the schedule and further information by email in September from the Graduate Chairs.  You will also receive email reminders in advance of each talk from the graduate student organizers.

Current graduate students are required to attend the Department Colloquium, which features distinguished speakers from across the mathematical sciences.  The Colloquium is intended to communicate progress at the research frontier while at the same nurturing appreciation for the broader world of mathematics and statistics — especially ideas outside your specific research interests.

Attendance at the Colloquium is necessary for fulfilling your MATH 990 or STAT 990 requirements each year. 

You will receive advance notice by email of each Colloquium from the Mathematics and Statistics Main Office.

Your supervisor(s) or research group may organize their own seminars.  You are required to attend and participate in seminars as per the direction of your supervisor(s).

2. CGPS, PSAC, and Travel Policies and Forms

For frequently used forms, please see https://cgps.usask.ca/forms/.

Graduate Students employed are part of the PSAC union.

The collective agreement between the University of Saskatchewan and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 40004: 



Normally, the maximum number of hours of TA work for any graduate student, regardless of the number of appointments held, is no more than an average of 12 hours per week. However, in select instances, it may be possible to temporarily exceed this average (by no more than a set amount), subject to a revised contract and an agreement by all relevant parties. Students should consult articles 14.01 and 14.08 of the PSAC Collective Agreement for the exact clauses governing the number of teaching hours that may be assigned.  Students with questions regarding this are advised to speak to their Graduate Admininistrator or Graduate Chair. 

Department Graduate Student Travel Policy and Procedures

You must have your supervisor(s) approve the travel in advance by email. The supervisor(s) approval and travel details must be reported to both your Graduate Chair (MATH: Dr. Steven Rayan or STAT: Dr. Chris Soteros) and the Graduate Administrator (Kyla Denton).  

It is important that we know where you are going, when you are going, and when you will return. If you know your flight numbers and times, please report those to us. Knowing these details are important, especially if a disaster or other emergency event occurs in the area you are travelling to, so we can offer assistance. If an emergency does occur in your region, proactively letting us know your status is appreciated. It is important that you follow all current Canadian Travel Advisories (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories).

TA Duties: If unable to perform your assigned duties, you must let Manuela Golban (TA / Lab Coordintor) and the instructor of the course know immediately.  Manuela will be able to assist with finding coverage for your duties.

Regardless of whether your assigned TA duties are affected or not, you should let Manuela know you are travelling as a courtesy to her as she may ask you to cover duties for other students, in which case knowing that you are away will be helpful to her.

Course Work: If your travel will impact your course work, you must communicate with the instructors individually. We cannot guarantee or require instructors to support your travel, even if an emergency is the cause. If travel will cause you to miss any content or graded work, including exams or quizzes, you will need to discuss with the instructor about your options. Please note that an instructor may be unable to accommodate missed content and your grade may be negatively impacted. 

Letters Approving Travel: By default, we do not issue letters approving personal travel as they are rarely required. Occasionally a student requires them due to the location they are traveling to. If you require a letter approving your personal travel you must request one from the Grad Administrator (Kyla Denton), after which the Department will issue you a letter. 

ISSAC: You should proactively verify with ISSAC or CIC that you are permitted to travel with your current immigration documents and that you will be permitted back into Canada. https://students.usask.ca/international/issac.php

3. Advisory Committees

Every graduate student in Mathematics or Statistics shall be assigned an Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee for each MSc student shall consist, as a minimum, of the student's designated research supervisor(s), an additional member from the Department ("internal examiner"), and the Graduate Chair in Mathematics or Statistics (depending on the student's program), who shall serve as Chair of Advisory Committee.  Each MMath student will have such a committee, chaired by the Graduate Chair in Mathematics.

The Advisory Committee for each PhD students shall consist, as a minimum, of the student's designated research supervisor(s), two additional members (“internal examiners”) of the Department, one cognate faculty member from a different academic unit at the University of Saskatchewan (or, in some cases, a CGPS-approved member from outside the University), and the Graduate Chair in Mathematics or Statistics, depending on the student's program.  The Graduate Chair shall serve as Chair of the Advisory Committee.

In an instance where the Graduate Chair of your program is a supervisor or an internal examiner, then another faculty member in the Department shall be appointed on a meeting-by-meeting basis to serve as Chair of the Advisory Committee.

It is the aim of the Department's Graduate Committees to form an Advisory Committee for each new student within the first four months of the start date of their current program. Members are selected in consultation with the proposed supervisor(s) and with the student’s intended specialization as well as any relevant interdisciplinary aspects in mind.

The Advisory Committee assists the supervisor(s) in guiding the student towards a successful degree outcome.  The Committee ensures that learning and research objectives are met and provides a broader perspective on the student's work.

While the student will select some preliminary courses for their first term through discussion with their supervisor(s), the Advisory Committee may recommend relevant courses for subsequent terms with student's preparation and goals in mind.

A crucial function of the Committee is to meet annually with the student to conduct a formal progress evaluation, the purpose of which is to assess the student's progress towards program completion and, in the event that progress is unsatisfactory, to suggest actions that will get the student back on track.

The Advisory Committee will normally form a subset of the student's Examination Committee for the purposes of conducting the thesis defence in the case of an MSc or PhD student, as well as the Qualifying Examination and Comprehensive Examination in the case of a PhD student.  In the case of an MMath student, the Advisory Committee will assess the student's project submission.

4. Course Work

In order to maintain their graduate program registration, each student must be registered in one of MATH 992 (MMath), MATH or STAT 994 (MSc), or MATH of STAT 996 (PhD) at all times (Fall, Winter, and Spring / Summer).  Students must also register in the MATH or STAT 990 Seminar course in Fall and Winter.  These courses are not taught courses in the usual sense.  A student fulfills the 992 / 994 / 996 requirements by performing their research or project work under the guidance of their supervisor(s).  A student fulfills their annual 990 requirements by attending and delivering a talk for the Graduate Student Seminar and by attending the Department Colloquium.  In addition, new graduate students should complete the GPS 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity course within their first year.  The course is completed through online self-study.

The mandatory registration courses are used to verify your full-time status, calculate your tuition, and meet the requirements of study permits (in the case of international students).

Beyond the mandatory registration courses described above, students are also required to successfully complete a certain number of credit units of study in graduate-level taught or reading courses that support their research or project specialization. In the case of PhD students, some of these courses will be selected with preparation for the Qualifying and Comprehensive examinations in mind.

A one-term / one-semester taught course is normally worth 3 credit units (CUs) and consists of approximately 36 hours of lecture time.  A two-term / two-semester taught course is typically worth 6 CUs and is approximately 72 lecture hours.  Some courses are offered in a reading or seminar format, in which case the course may not adhere to a set number of lecture hours.

  • The MMath program requires the successful completion of a minimum of 24 CUs of course work.
  • The MSc program in Mathematics requires the successful completion of a minimum of 9 CUs of course work at the 800-level.
  • The MSc program in Statistics requires the successful completion of a minimum of 12 CUs of course work at the 800-level (or 9 CUs at the 800-level and 3 CUs at the 300- or 400-level subject to approval, with a passing grade of at least 70% in the undergraduate course).
  • The PhD program in Mathematics or Statistics requires the successful completion of a minimum of 9 CUs of course work at the 800-level.

Additional courses may be required or recommended depending on the student’s background and thesis.

For the MSc and MMath degrees, a student is expected to maintain a cumulative average of 70% with no grade less than 60% in each taught graduate course.

For the PhD degree, students must obtain a final grade of at least 70% in each course. Undergraduate courses do not count towards the PhD program requirements.

If you are intending to tak an undergraduate course as part of the Statistics MSc (subject to the approval of your Advisory Committee), then you must consult the Graduate Administrator (Kyla Denton) prior to registration. Undergraduate courses will be assessed undergraduate tuition by default, in addition, there are a number of overrides that Kyla will need to enter to allow you to register without error. If you forget this step, your tuition will not be assessed correctly and you will likely overpay tuition.


5. PhD Qualifying Examination

College-level policies concerning the PhD Qualifying Examination are detailed here.  Within the larger framework of the College-level policies, each graduate program administers the Qualifying Examination in a format that fits the purposes and needs of the program.  The specific implementation within Mathematics and Statistics is detailed below.

The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to assess whether a PhD candidate possesses sufficient knowledge in one of the three possible Mathematics specializations (Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics) or in Statistics to transition to doctoral-level research in the specialization.  The Qualifying Examination is the first major milestone in the student's journey through the PhD program.

Within each specialization, the examination shall consist of two separate papers as outlined in the boxes below. The candidate's Advisory Committee will determine which options will be selected. It is expected that the Advisory Committee will confer with the candidate by the end of their first term of registration about the anticipated Qualifying Examination papers.  Official notice of the sitting of the Qualifying Examination papers and their topics will be sent to the candidate by the Graduate Chair at least sixty days prior to the date of the first paper.  At this time, the candidate will receive the exam paper syllabi and will be added to relevant Canvas courses: each exam paper has its own Canvas course through which the exam will be remotely administered.

A candidate will typically sit the PhD Qualifying Exam in May, August, or December, depending on when they started the program. The two parts of the Qualifying Examination will be completed over a two-week period, with at least seven days between them.

The Examination Committee for the Qualifying Examination will be the candidate's PhD Advisory Committee.

In the Examination, the two papers carry equal weight. In order to pass the Qualifying Examination as a whole, the candidate will need to receive a passing grade on each paper. The faculty members responsible for a paper will assess the candidate's work on the paper and send their grading and/or feedback to the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will discuss the grades and/or feedback received from those faculty members and will review the candidate's work on the paper. The Committee will subsequently decide whether the work on the paper merits a passing grade.  If the candidate is deemed to have passed both papers, then the overall outcome of the Qualifying Examination is declared to be a Pass.  Otherwise, it is a Fail.  The candidate will receive official notice of the outcome from the Graduate Chair within two weeks of the sitting of the second paper.

The candidate shall be permitted two opportunities to attempt and pass each of the two parts, with the second opportunity subject to the approval of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS).  If the candidate does not pass one or both of the components on the first attempt, then CGPS approval will be sought for a new sitting of the failed component(s). A student must pass both parts of the Qualifying Exam within twelve months of commencing their current PhD program. A failure on the second attempt will result in the student being asked to withdraw from the program (known as a Requirement to Discontinue).

When the candidate is added to the Canvas course for an exam paper (which will be at least 60 days in advance of the date of the first exam paper to be written), they will have automatic access to recent exam papers.  (Papers from before 2020 do not appear here and are less relevant due to changes in syllabi that occurred between 2017 and 2020.)



Specialization in Pure Mathematics

The Exam shall consist of two remotely-delivered, open-book, written papers selected from:

  • Algebra;
  • Analysis;
  • Topology and Geometry.

The student will have 24 hours to complete each paper.


Specialization in Applied Mathematics

The Exam shall consist of:

  • a remotely-delivered, open-book, written exam in Methods of Applied Mathematics, held over a 24-hour period;
  • an examination, comparable in the level and extent to the exam in Methods of Applied Mathematics, for which the area, nature, and conditions of this exam are determined by the student's Advisory Committee.*
*Regarding the second component of the Applied Mathematics Specialization's Qualifying Examination, the examination need not be constructed in a traditional problem-and-answer format. For instance, it may involve a computer-based experimental component as appropriate.  The student will be allowed a period of at least 24 hours and at most seven days to return the solutions, with the exact length of time to be agreed upon by the Advisory Committee and specified at the outset of the examination.  In the case that the student does not pass the first attempt, the second attempt will be in the same area and follow the same format as the first attempt. 


Specialization in Discrete Mathematics

The Exam shall consist of two remotely-delivered, open-book, written papers selected from: 

  • Applied Combinatorics;
  • Discrete Mathematics;
  • a paper chosen from the topics listed under Specialization in Pure Mathematics, Specialization in Applied Mathematics (only Methods of Applied Mathematics), or Specialization in Statistics.

The student will have 24 hours to complete each paper.




The Exam shall consist of two remotely-delivered, open-book, written papers. The first shall cover Mathematical Statistics. The second paper shall cover one of:
  • Applied Statistics;
  • Stochastic Processes.

The student will have 24 hours to complete each paper.

6. PhD Comprehensive Examination

College-level policies concerning the PhD Comprehensive Examination are detailed here.  Within the larger framework of the College-level policies, each graduate program administers the Comprehensive Examination in a format that fits the purposes and needs of the program.  The specific implementation within Mathematics and Statistics is detailed below.

The purpose of the Comprehensive Examination is to ascertain whether a PhD candidate has succeeded in producing a fully-realized thesis problem and plan, and whether the possesses sufficient awareness and facility with the background material and research literature to begin producing original research in line with the thesis plan.  

The Comprehensive Examination will normally take place by the end of the candidate's third year in the PhD program, and not before the candidate has completed all required course work to the satisfaction of the Advisory Committee and not before the candidate has passed the Qualifying Examination.  The Advisory Committee will consult the candidate as to an appropriate time for the Comprehensive Examination. The candidate will be formally notified by the Graduate Chair at least sixty days notice before the date of Examination, which is the date on which the candidate shall deliver an oral presentation and engage in a question period with Examination Committee members.  For the purpose of the Comprehensive Examination, the Examination Committee will normally be the candidate's PhD Advisory Committee.  

The Examination shall consist of three components:

  • a written report, which must be sent by the supervisor(s) to the Graduate Chair;
  • an oral presentation, which will take place at least two weeks after the submission of the written report; and
  • a question period containing up to two rounds of questioning, which shall immediately follow the presentation.

The Examination allows for some variation in the length of the written report and the duration of the oral presentation, as quantified below, which takes into account the varying levels of original work — none in some instances and a substantial amount in others — that students will have produced by the end of their third year.

The written report, which is recommended to be no less than 25 pages and no more than 50 pages (single-spaced, including front and end matter), shall propose a thesis topic and demonstrate that the candidate possesses a working knowledge of the subject matter of the emerging project. The report must include a table of contents, an explanation of the motivation for the project, a survey of relevant background material and literature, a description of relevant original work done at this stage (if any), and concrete plans for the next steps and further research. The report must include a properly-formatted bibliography. Parts of the report may subsequently form a portion of the thesis (e.g. the introductory chapter).

The oral presentation, which is recommended to be no less than 40 minutes and no more than 60 minutes, shall summarize and elucidate the salient points of the report, from background to future plans. The candidate may employ a chalkboard or electronic slides (or a combination of both) as visual aids. The logical structure and organization of the presentation, the quality and appropriateness of visual aids, and the clarity and manner of speaking style will be assessed in addition to the content.

The question period is designed to determine whether the candidate possesses a working knowledge of the foundational mathematics and/or statistics (or other disciplines, as necessary) inherent to the thesis project and whether the candidate possesses sufficient knowledge of the specifics of the thesis plan.  The question period will consist of a round of questions, followed by a second round as necessary.  The questions may concern the contents of the report, the oral presentation, or both.  Each committee member has up to 15 minutes per round to ask questions and engage in a discussion of those questions with the candidate.

In summary, the Examination Committee will evaluate the Candidate on all of the following:

  • background knowledge in the general thesis research area;
  • specific knowledge in support of the thesis plan;
  • progress and potential toward completion of the program; and
  • the ability to communicate and present mathematical / scientific ideas clearly in writing and orally.

The final outcome is either a Pass or Fail. This result will be determined by the Committee with equal weight applied to the four criteria above. The result will be formally communicated to the candidate by the Graduate Chair for your program within a week of the Examination. A positive result will be taken as confirmation that the candidate's thesis plan has been accepted by the Examination Committee.

7. Transferring from MSc to PhD

It may be possible, in certain circumstances, to transfer from the MSc program to the PhD program. If the candidate is eligible, then the transfer process can take place after the end of the first year of the MSc program and no later than the end of the second year.

The recommendation for the transfer must be initiated through a formal meeting of the candidate's Advisory Committee.  Their recommendation will be forwarded through the academic unit to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). The following conditions, which apply to both the Mathematics and the Statistics program, must be met:

  • The student must have completed at least 9 credit units of course work at the 800-level and must have achieved a minimum average of 80%.  No final mark in any individual course may be below 70%.
  • In the opinion of the Advisory Committee, the student must have demonstrated substantial promise as measured by academic accomplishments, the acquisition of discipline-specific knowledge, and the potential for research.
  • The student must also have demonstrated strong writing and oral communication abilities.
  • The student must have successfully completed the PhD Qualifying Examination prior to being recommended for transfer. This examination for the purposes of transfer can only be taken once. A student failing the Qualifying Examination cannot be recommended for transfer.

If the candidate is approved for transfer by CGPS, then the candidate is now a PhD student and no MSc degree is awarded.  The coursework completed thus far in the MSc program will count towards the requirements of the PhD degree.

8. Resources for Students

The Government of Saskatchewan's Health Plan provides basic hospital and medical health coverage to residents of Saskatchewan at no charge. If you arrive directly from your home country coverage starts the day you arrive in Saskatchewan.

Students from Other Provinces:
If you are a resident of another Canadian province or territory and are receiving an education in Saskatchewan, then you should retain coverage with your home province or territory. For more information, contact the Health Registries department in your home province.

International Students:
If you are an international student temporarily residing in Saskatchewan to further your education, you may be eligible for Saskatchewan health coverage.

Your application will need to accompany proof of full‐time enrolment at an accredited educational institute, as well as a valid Study Permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/services/immigration-citizenship.html).

Apply for a Health Card: 

All new Saskatchewan residents must register themselves and their dependents for a Saskatchewan Health Card in order to receive health benefits.

New Saskatchewan residents are people who have relocated to Saskatchewan from another Canadian
province/territory, or from outside Canada, such as foreign nationals, international students and returning Canadians.

You may complete the application for yourself, your spouse/partner and all dependents under 18 years of age if they are living with you in Saskatchewan.

Student ID:
For updated information on how to receive a Student ID card always refer to the below link, during different periods of the academic year the process may change:


Your Student ID card is used to:
  • take out books at the library
  • track your meal plan balance
  • ride on public transit with your U-Pass - you'll need to activate your card every term
  • get into your residence room and building
  • get discounts from business' that offer deals to students

Proof of Student Enrolment:
If you need to prove that you're a student to another person or organization (like a bank to get a student account), you can print a Confirmation of Enrolment from PAWS. It will show that you are registered in classes as a full-time student as long as you have registered in your mandatory research course (MATH 992, 994, or 996).


The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9 digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.

A SIN is issued to one person only and it cannot legally be used by anyone else. You are responsible for protecting your SIN. Store any document containing your SIN and personal information in a safe place—do not keep your SIN with you.

For the University of Saskatchewan to be able to issue students their scholarship and employment payments a valid SIN is required. We require your SIN paperwork as soon as possible once you arrive in Canada to ensure you receive your first payment on time. This is very important if you require that payment to pay your tuition! We suggest that you apply for your SIN the first few days in Canada.

Always go to the official government website for instructions and information on how to apply for a SIN:


The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) is a central support unit and a campus partner for all students, staff, and faculty. ISSAC is dedicated to fostering a welcoming, globally aware and inclusive campus community.

The ISSAC website and staff are a very helpful source of information for new students, especially international students. Many details are available on their website.


The Student Wellness Centre offers urgent and non-urgent physical and mental health care to University of Saskatchewan students and their spouses and children.

9. Building and Department Information

Appliances in offices:
We are in an older building with an electrical system that cannot handle appliances (small or large). Please do not use appliances in your office! This includes space heaters! You may cause a breaker to blow as many offices are on the same circuit. Appliances may be removed with warning by FMD or the College.

Bikes should always be locked up in designated bike racks. It is against fire code to have bikes locked up in any other location (including handrails, staircases, or any other part of the building or area near the building). Bikes can be removed without warning by FMD if not in a designated bike rack.

If nobody is in your office, lock the door, even if you are just stepping out for a short time. This is to protect your items, your office mate’s items, and the department’s items. If your key is not working for your office, come to the Main office and let the office staff know

If your door will not lock or close reliably due to a defect, please let the office know ASAP. If the main office is closed (ONLY IF WE ARE CLOSED), contact Work Control at Phone: 966-4496 Text 966-4496 Email workcontrol.centre@usask.ca.

University Keys are tracked by codes. If you lose your keys please ensure you report them lost to both the Department's main office and to Security: 306-966-5555 (or 5555 from a campus phone). Never label your keys with the building or rooms as this causes security concerns! We suggest using colour coding if you need help knowing what key opens up what.

The lounge has a fridge, coffee maker, kettle, and microwave for your use. Please always clean up after yourself and avoid leaving food in the fridge for long periods of time. If something is not functioning, please let the main office know. The microwave and fridge are there for you to use, please wipe it clean after using them to keep them clean. The custodians do NOT clean these items.

Do not move the microwave or fridge, they are plugged into the only outlets approved by FMD to avoid the occurrence of a fire. If they stop working, it is most likely due to the breaker being tripped. Contact the main office to have this issue remedied.   

Package Deliveries to Campus:
If having packages mailed to the Department Mailing address you must ask the Math & Stats Main Office permission in advance to avoid your package being refused.

If a printer jams, please let the main office know as soon as possible. If the main office is closed, email office@math.usask.ca and kondra@math.usask.ca  and let us know the printer is jammed. We can only request to unjam the printer if we know it is jammed in the first place.

Scents in the office:
The University Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection encourage staff, students and faculty to voluntarily show consideration to colleagues by being respectful in their odors and the use of scented products. Many people are very sensitive to colognes, perfumes, and other scents, though are uncomfortable to approach. Please respect your office mates and assume that everybody is sensitive by always showing consideration.

When the window is open, always have the screen completely closed. There are multiple wasps nests near and in McLean Hall, to prevent wasp attacks inside it is important that we keep the screens closed. If you notice a window open that shouldn’t be, please close it. This includes in the Lounge and any other shared spaces

Keep windows closed during the winter, it takes very little time for the window to freeze open and can cost the department having somebody sent to thaw the window hinge to allow it to close.

Work Stations / Desk Assignments:
Do not switch work stations on your own – this is due to safety and fire regulations. Your desks and doors are tagged, if you are moved by the main office, please take the name tags with you to new work station. Keep your work stations relatively clean and clear as Custodians only take out garbage and sweep once a week, Throw food leftovers out in the lounge or bathroom garbage as they are emptied more frequently. Keep empty work stations clean and clear as well as your own.


Package Deliveries to Campus:
If having packages mailed to the Department Mailing address you must ask the Math & Stats Main Office permission in advance to avoid your package being refused.

Department Social Media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UofS_Math_Stats

Important Contact Information:

Math & Stats Main Office:                           

1 (306) 966-6081


Administrative Coordinator (Kyla Denton):

1 (306) 966-6125


Office Coordinator (Jessica Parker):

1 (306) 966-6126


IT Systems Manager (Richard Kondra)

1 (306) 966-6116


Graduate Chair (Steven Rayan)

1 (306) 966-6090


Department Head (Artur Sowa)

1 (306) 966-2117


Grad Lab Coordinator (Manuela Golban)

1 (306) 966-7953