Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences
Statement on Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Progress

1. Introduction

Students admitted into a degree program in the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences (GDPHS), Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) are expected to maintain Good Academic Standing in their graduate program, which includes making Satisfactory Progress toward the completion of their degree requirements. Consistent with the policies outlined by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), failure to maintain good academic standing may result in the consideration of various sanctions which include but are not limited to, restricting enrolment in courses, ineligibility for financial assistance/awards, lowest priority for bursaries and assistantships, and recommendation for termination from the program.

2. Good academic standing requires that students:

i.     comply with the SGS General Regulations and Degree Regulations, as outlined in the SGS Calendar for the year in which the student first registered, as well as the specific Program Requirements for their degree; and
ii.    make satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degree.

2.1 SGS General Regulations, Degree Regulations and GDPHS Program Requirements:

a) General Regulations and Degree Regulations are outlined in these sections of the SGS Calendar and include policies regarding FT/Flex-time status, registration and course enrolment, Candidacy, thesis guidelines and the Final Oral Exam, and time limits for degree completion.

It is worth noting here the SGS requirements for Achieving Candidacy.  Full-time doctoral students must achieve candidacy by the end of year 3 (Flex-time students by end of year 4).  To achieve candidacy, students in doctoral degree programs must:

  1. complete all requirements for the degree (required courses and qualifying exam) exclusive of thesis research and courses such as ongoing research seminars that run continuously through the program; and
  2. have an approved thesis topic, supervisor, and supervisory committee.

b) Program Requirements for students in the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences are as follows:

Doctoral Program

  1.  Complete required coursework. Specific course requirements are available on the website for each field of study;
  2.  Pass all parts of the qualifying exam;
  3.  Establish a Supervisor Committee that meets at least annually, and submit the Supervisory Committee Meeting Report after each meeting;
  4.  Apply annually for external awards, as applicable;
  5.  Complete and submit an annual Funding Declaration; and
  6.  Complete and submit an annual Activity Report of academic/professional development activities.

The additional requirements below are mandatory for PhD students starting their program on or after September 2017, as well as those who have opted-in to the revised PHS Funding Policy for PhD Students (in 2017-18); and are strongly encouraged for all others:

  1.  Pass a proposal defense;
  2.  Pass a Departmental oral defense prior to scheduling the SGS Final Oral Examination.

Master’s programs

  1.  Complete required coursework including practicum placement(s). Specific course requirements are available on the website for each field of study.

2.2 Satisfactory Progress:

As indicated in the SGS Calendar, continuation in a degree program requires satisfactory progress towards the completion of that program. A student’s progress in a degree program will be considered satisfactory only if the student satisfies and completes the various requirements for that degree in a manner consistent with the SGS General Regulations and Degree Regulations and the graduate unit’s timeline for completion of the degree program.

To make satisfactory progress, students in GDPHS must:

Doctoral Program

  1.  Complete coursework requirements (required and elective courses), generally, by the end of year 2. Satisfactory completion of graduate courses requires a final grade of at least B- (or CR) in each course, and maintenance of a GPA of at least B+ (3.3/4.0);
  2.  Establish a Supervisory Committee, consisting (normally) of a supervisor and 2 committee members, by the end of the fourth term (Fall session of year 2);
  3.  Pass all parts of the comprehensive/qualifying exam usually during the Summer session of year 1, but not later than the end of year 2;
  4.  Pass a proposal defense before the end of year 3 (to satisfy Candidacy requirement);
  5.  Achieve Candidacy by end of year 3;
  6.  Schedule Final Oral Examination (FOE) within the Time Limit for degree completion:
    – 6 years for FT PhD students
    – 8 years for Flex-time PhD students

Master’s Programs

  1.  Complete required coursework. Satisfactory completion of graduate courses requires a final grade of at least B- (or CR) in each course, and maintenance of a GPA of at least B+ (3.3/4.0);
  2.  Complete program requirements (all course work – required and elective – and practica) by the end of the normal program length (see table below) and according to the field-specific timelines;
  3.  All degree requirements must be completed within the Time Limit for degree completion:
    – 3 years for FT Master’s students
    – 6 years for PT Master’s students

Normal Program Lengths for GDPHS Master’s degree programs

Degree Program
FT
PT
MPH
1.5-2 years (16-24 months)
3-4 years
MPH-Advanced Standing (Nutrition & Dietetics)
1 year (12 months)
2-3 years
MSc-Biostatistics
1 year (12 months)
2-3 years
MScCH
1 year (12 months)
2-3 years
MHSc-Bioethics
2 years (20 months)
no PT option