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2.2.1 Registration

Students formally admitted to the University must complete all registration procedures in order to be considered officially registered at the University.

See Academic Course Add/Drop Dates and Important Dates in the University Year for current registration dates.

Information packets can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office by all students eligible to register.

To be officially registered, students must:

  • have been formally admitted to the University;
  • have met the necessary financial obligations: if newly admitted, paid the required confirmation deposit; or, if previously registered, have cleared all outstanding financial obligations;
  • have obtained the required approvals for proposed coursework and submitted a completed Course Change form or via myMount. Distance learning students must have formally completed distance learning registration procedures. Note: Students obtaining course approvals do so on the understanding that prerequisites will be met prior to the beginning of the course. Prerequisites are listed in the Calendar description of each course offered. Failure to meet prerequisites may result in dismissal from the course.
  • as a part of the registration process, students must also open a financial account with Financial Services for the proposed period of study.

Once formal registration has been completed, enrolment records are established for each student by the Registrar. It is then the student’s responsibility to ensure the enrolment record is maintained accurately and updated to reflect any changes (including the decision not to begin courses or to stop attending courses) as outlined below.

Note: Changes in personal status, address, e-mail, telephone number and so forth must be reported directly to the Registrar’s Office either in person, in writing or online through myMount. Changes in a student’s records are made only upon the written request of the student. Appropriate forms are available from the Registrar’s Office or online for convenience. Alternatively, students may submit changes by letter or by FAX to 902-457-6498. All correspondence must include the student’s Mount Saint Vincent University identification number to ensure accurate recording.

Maintaining Registration in Graduate Programs
Students in all graduate programs must register in a minimum of 1.0 unit in each academic calendar year (September to August) to maintain registration in the program and to remain in good standing as a graduate student.

Students who do not maintain registration for one academic year will be deemed to have withdrawn from the program.

Students who have not registered in coursework for more than one but less than two complete academic calendar years must apply to the Registrar’s Office to request reactivation of their status. Graduate students requesting reactivation must pay the reactivation fee, equivalent to the application fee for graduate programs, and have their file reviewed by the Registrar’s Office and the program. Permission to reactivate is dependent upon the approval of both the Registrar’s Office and the program. Students may be required to provide additional information.

Students who have not registered for coursework for two or more complete academic calendar years will be required to submit an entire new application package to the Admissions Office. Students should contact an Admissions Officer for information prior to submitting an application.

2.2.2 Change in Course Registration

Students may change registration in courses during the first week of each term

An instructor is not obligated to accept a student into a class after the first full week of classes has passed.

In order to make such a change, students must complete a Course Change form from the Registrar’s Office, Deans’ Office or msvu.ca/regofficeforms and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. These changes can also be done online through myMount.

It is the students’ responsibility to keep their registration records accurate and up to date. Alternately, students may submit changes by letter, fax or by submitting an email from the student’s Mount email account to registration@msvu.ca. Only changes made in writing or on myMount will be recorded. Distance Learning students must complete Distance Learning procedures or inform the Registrar’s Office in writing.

The effective change date is the date the form is received and date stamped in the Registrar’s Office.

2.2.3 Withdrawal

Students wishing to withdraw from courses must withdraw in writing.

Once students are registered in courses, their names are part of the official enrolment record and grades will be assigned.

Students wishing to withdraw from courses must withdraw in writing. The responsibility for initiating withdrawal rests with the student.

Ceasing to attend classes or advising the course instructor of intended withdrawal is not sufficient to register a formal withdrawal.

Withdrawal from a course is done by submitting a Course Change form, or letter (containing all the relevant information) to the Registrar’s Office. Distance Learning students must complete Distance Learning procedures or inform the Registrar’s Office in writing. The official date of withdrawal is the date the form or letter is received and date stamped in the Registrar’s Office. Students should take this into account when meeting withdrawal deadlines – see Academic Course Add/Drop Dates.

Students who withdraw from a course after these dates or who do not complete the course requirements will automatically receive failures. Consideration will be given by the appropriate Dean to students who are forced to withdraw past the deadlines due to exceptional circumstances. See regulations governing “WP” grades.

2.2.4 Time Limit for Program Completion

Students must complete all program requirements towards master’s degrees within five calendar years from the time of initial registration exclusive of approved leaves of absence.

Leaves of Absence
Students with bona fide reasons, such as illness or parental leave, for not registering in 1.0 unit in any academic calendar year (September to August) must apply for a leave of absence from the program by submitting a Request for Leave of Absence Form, to the Dean of Graduate Studies, Chair of the Graduate Studies Program & Policy Committee, prior to the start of the term in which the leave begins. Prior to consideration of a leave of absence request students must discuss the request with their Thesis Supervisor (if applicable) and the Graduate Program Coordinator and establish a timeline for completion of their program of study. This timeline must be included with the request for a leave of absence. Students may normally be granted a leave for twelve months only once in their program. Students on leave of absence will not be permitted access to University services such as library privileges or e-mail nor be entitled to any kind of supervision during the period of their leave.

Extensions
Students who anticipate that they will be unable to complete program requirements within the five year time period must apply before the end of their fifth year. Prior to consideration of an extension request students must discuss the request with their Thesis Supervisor (if applicable) and the Graduate Program Coordinator and establish a timeline for completion of their program of study. This timeline must be included with the request for a program extension. Normally only students completing the thesis requirement will be granted an extension.

2.2.5 Thesis Requirement

MA and MSc degrees require a thesis.

The thesis should be a contribution to knowledge in the candidate’s specialized area and must show familiarity with methods of research and critical inquiry. The completed work must be approved by the thesis supervisory committee. Formal approval is granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies, once the completed thesis approval forms are received. The thesis must be prepared according to the regulations required by the academic department. These are available from departments and on departmental websites. Policies and procedures governing the preparation, presentation and approval of a thesis are available on the Graduate Studies web page.

Registration for Thesis
Students in programs requiring a thesis must register in the thesis course no later than one term after the completion of their coursework and must maintain registration in the thesis by paying the thesis continuation fee on a term by term basis until the term in which the thesis receives final approval. See Financial Policies for further details.

2.2.6 Letter of Permission (LOP)

Students enrolled at Mount Saint Vincent University and wishing to take courses at other institutions for credit must obtain formal approval on a Letter of Permission (LOP) form prior to registering at the host institution.

A Letter of Permission (LOP) may be approved providing the following conditions are met:

  • students must be registered in courses at the Mount; exceptional cases will be considered on an individual basis;
  • student is in good academic standing and has successfully completed 3.0 units of coursework at the University;
  • student has not exceeded the allowable number of transfer credits of (2.0 units) of any graduate credential;
  • course at the host institution is acceptable for transfer to the student’s academic program.

The following are conditions under which LOP requests are not normally granted:

  • student is not registered in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at the Mount;
  • credit does not meet program and/or major requirements at the University;
  • student is not in good academic standing at the Mount;
  • student has been academically dismissed from the University;
  • credit was taken at another institution without prior approval of the LOP;
  • course is offered at the Mount during the session being requested except in the following situations:

– schedule conflict that cannot be resolved
– course at the Mount is full
– course at the University is not offered through Distance Learning
– taking the course at the Mount would cause undue hardship

A grade of “P” (pass) will be assigned to all LOP credits, except for credits taken while in an approved formal exchange program, which may transfer in an alpha format and will be considered in the Mount’s GPA based on program requirements. If the host institution’s grading scheme is in numeric format, marks will transfer in as “P”, which holds a neutral GPA value.

Note: Upon approval of the LOP by the Registrar’s Office, the course is added to the student’s academic transcript. If the student does not take the course she/he must submit, to the Registrar’s Office, written proof from the host institution that the course was not taken in order for the course to be removed from the transcript.

Students with questions or concerns about Letters of Permission may contact the Registrar’s Office at registration@msvu.ca.

2.2.7 Visiting Students

Ordinarily, no student may register at Mount Saint Vincent University if concurrently registered at another educational institution without the explicit approval of the home university.

Students from other institutions who want to register in Mount Saint Vincent University courses for credit at home must obtain the appropriate approval form from their home institution and present the form when registering at the Mount. Students with an approval form from the home institution are not required to formally apply for admissions at Mount Saint Vincent University. Students must complete the Visiting Student Application/Registration form.

Students with questions or concerns about becoming a visiting student at Mount Saint Vincent University may contact the Registrar’s Office at registration@msvu.ca.

2.2.8 Minimum Institutional Credit Requirement

Normally, students may take a maximum of 2.0 units of coursework as letter of permission courses or transfer in a maximum of 2.0 units of coursework toward a Mount Saint Vincent University masters degree.

2.2.9 Class Attendance

Regular attendance is expected of students at all classes.

In general, the responsibility for meeting this obligation rests with students, even where it is not specifically stated in the course outline. Students may not register for courses where the scheduled times overlap in any way on any day. Where such a case is found, the student will be assigned a failing grade in the courses with overlapping times.

It is the prerogative of the instructor to determine when a student’s scholastic standing in any course is being affected adversely by absence. The instructor then, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, will determine whether or not the student should be dismissed from the course.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of any justifiable reason that causes an absence from class.

Resumption Following a Labour Disruption
Should a strike or lockout occur during an academic session, classes and examinations may be rescheduled following the conclusion of the labour disruption.

2.2.10 Transcripts

A student’s transcript is the record of academic work undertaken and results obtained while at the Mount.

Transcript copies are prepared and released upon the written request of students in good financial standing with the University. Telephone requests cannot be accepted, but written and signed requests may be sent by fax to 902-457-6498 to expedite ordering. Complete and submit the Transcript Request form. Students may obtain an unofficial copy of their own transcript upon request.

2.2.11 Academic Advising

Students are encouraged to confer regularly with the graduate program coordinator and/or their academic advisor regarding their academic plans and progress. Students completing degrees requiring a thesis should seek advice on the process early in their program

2.2.12 Academic Standing

In order to remain in a graduate program of study, students must:

  • maintain a 3.0 GPA over all graduate courses;
  • not have received a grade of “C” in more than 1.0 unit of coursework;
  • not have received a grade of “F” or “F*.”

If a student does not meet these standards, the student will be immediately academically dismissed from the University. The Dean of Graduate Studies will contact all students who are academically dismissed.

Students may be considered for readmission to graduate studies at the University. A detailed written request for readmission must be sent to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Graduate Studies Program and Policy Committee will review the request along with a recommendation from the program to which the student wishes to return or be admitted. The committee may recommend readmission after a period of up to 12 months following the term in which the student did not meet the above standards or recommend against readmission. Normally only one application for readmission to graduate studies at the University will be considered. The Committee’s decision will be conveyed to the student by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

2.2.13 Graduate Level Grading Scheme

The graduate grading system is alphabetic. Following are the grades given in graduate courses, along with the GPA points for each grade and an explanation of what the grade means:

Graduate Level Grading Scheme table (PDF)

Graduate Level Grading Scheme table

IP
When a final grade notation of IP is given in seminars, independent and directed studies at the graduate level, students must complete the required work within four months of the month the notation is given in lieu of a final grade. If the course is not completed within this time, the student must re-register for the course (and pay another course tuition) in order to receive credit for the course.

A grade of IP will be assigned to a thesis course or continuation that is incomplete at the end of the appropriate academic term. Please see section 2.2.5 Thesis Requirement.

INC
The notation “INC” (Incomplete) is given according to the following regulations:

  • When a student is unable to complete course requirements for other than medical reasons and the faculty member agrees to a schedule for the completion of the outstanding requirements.
  • When a student is unable to complete course requirements, which may or may not include a final exam, due to illness, an appropriate medical certificate must be presented to the Registrar and accepted by faculty at the time that the final examination was to have been written, or no later than the last day of classes for a course with no final examination.

Arrangements for course completion are made on an individual basis and in the case of illness, must be made as soon as the student is sufficiently recovered to complete the outstanding requirements. Normally, when sufficiently recovered, the student will be permitted to write the examination or complete the outstanding requirements on application to the Registrar.

Under no circumstances can work be accepted after the last day of the month following the end of the session in which the “Incomplete” (INC) is earned, but faculty can set an earlier deadline within that period. If these arrangements are not completed in the specified time, the INC notation shall be changed to Failure (F) unless the coursework completed to the time of receiving the INC warrants a passing grade. In such cases the faculty will assign the grade.

In exceptional cases, a grade of INC may be changed to a grade of Deferred (DEF). Please refer to the regulations governing the grade of DEF.

DEF
A notation of “DEF” (Deferred) can be given through the Registrar’s Office in exceptional cases when a student is unable to complete course requirements due to medical or other reasons during the time frame provided for completing an INC grade.

Normally, in accordance with INC grade regulations, a grade of INC will be initially assigned by the faculty. A student whose circumstances warrant a grade of DEF must submit a Petition to Request a Grade of Deferred (DEF) form to the Registrar’s Office no later than 15 days prior to the expiration of the INC grade. See Academic Add/Drop Dates for exact deadlines. The Registrar, Dean and faculty member will determine whether the petition will be granted or the grade of INC will remain.

If the petition for the DEF is granted and the student cannot or does not subsequently complete the examination or coursework, the notation of DEF remains on the transcript indefinitely. A notation of DEF that can be cleared must be cleared within six months of the date the DEF notation is made. If this is not done, the student must retake the course or a substitute to earn credit. This means another formal course registration and payment of tuition.

WP
A student who withdraws from a course due to exceptional circumstances after the withdrawal date for academic penalty may petition to the Dean for a grade of WP. If the petition is granted and the student has earned a grade of C- or above in the coursework to the point of withdrawal, a grade of WP will be recorded. Students must complete the Petition to Request a Grade of Withdraw Pass (WP) available online and submit to the Registrar’s Office. The deadline to apply for a WP is the last day of classes for each term – see Important Dates in the University Year for the “Last day of Classes” notation.

2.2.14 Examination Policy

Normally examinations are not scheduled for graduate level courses. Should an examination be scheduled the following regulations apply.

Examination Policy

  1. An examination will normally be required for every course at the undergraduate level taught at the University.
  2. There will be an examination period at the end of each term during which all examinations will be written as scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. Instructors may not schedule examinations outside of this examination period including the reading day.
  3. The value of the examination must be at least 30 percent of the work of the term, the exact value of each examination to be determined by the instructor in consultation with the department.
  4. An examination must never provide more than 70 percent of the total mark for a course.
  5. With the exception of Practica, Co-op and Internships, all students, including those in labs and pass/fail courses, must receive written feedback from instructors before the deadline for withdrawing without academic penalty.
  6. The form of the examination—oral, multiple choice, open book, essay, etc.—will be the prerogative of the instructor in consultation with the department.
  7. Exemptions for giving an examination in a course are subject to departmental policy on examinations and reporting. If a course is exempt from examination, this must be stated in the course outline, and the Registrar’s Office must be informed of the exemption.
  8. No tests will be held nor assignments made due during the final two weeks of any academic term unless these tests and formal assignments are included on the course outline distributed at the beginning of each academic term. Examination scheduling is covered in items 2 and 7 above.
  9. Grades for all courses having examinations must be received in the Registrar’s Office five days after the scheduled examination day.
  10. Students are cautioned to not make travel arrangements until exams are completed during the examination period as end of term travel plans are not a valid reason to miss an examination.
  11. Students are not permitted to write examinations prior to the regularly scheduled examination for their class.
  12. In the case of online courses with proctored exams, students who live within 100 km of the Mount must write their examination(s) on campus during the scheduled time.

General Exam Rules for Students

  1. Nothing may be taken to the student’s seat except materials authorized for the examination.
  2. Anything which is not authorized by the instructor or chief proctor must be left at the front of the examination room. Such items include (but are not limited to) jackets, backpacks, textbooks, notes, and purses.
  3. Unauthorized computing, data storage, and communication devices must be turned off and left at the front of the examination room.
  4. In the case of open-book exams, students will be permitted to have material at their seats that has been pre-authorized by their instructor.
  5. Calculators may be used only at the discretion of the instructor.
  6. With the exception of clear plastic water bottles with no writing on them, food and beverages are not permitted in the examination room.
  7. Students are not permitted to wear brimmed hats while writing exams.
  8. There will be no talking in the examination room.
  9. Students must display their valid Mount Saint Vincent University Student ID Card during each exam.
  10. Students may begin their exams as soon as they are seated; however, shortly after they begin their exams, a sheet will be circulated on which they must write their name beside the appropriate seat number.
  11. No student may leave the examination room during the first twenty minutes of the exam. Latecomers will be admitted to the examination room only during the first twenty minutes.
  12. Students requiring assistance should raise their hands and not leave their seats.
  13. When students have finished their exam, they should write their row and seat number on the cover of the examination booklets, hand their exams to one of the proctors and sign the attendance sheet for their course. Students may be required to show their valid Mount Saint Vincent University Student ID Card at this time.
  14. Students found communicating with one another in any way or under any pretext; having unauthorized books, papers, electronic computing devices, data storage, or communication devices in view, even if their use is not proved; or found cheating in any way will be reported by the Chief Proctor to the course instructor and the Registrar’s Office. Procedures for Academic Offenses will be followed.
  15. If a student misses an examination due to illness, she/he must inform the Registrar’s Office within 48 hours of the missed examination and submit a medical certificate from a physician, directly to the Registrar’s Office.

Exam Conflicts

If a student has overlapping exam times, a work commitment that can not be changed, or is scheduled to write three exams in three consecutive writing times, an exam conflict should be reported to the Registrar’s Office. Documentation may be required.

2.2.15 Academic Appeals Procedures

There are two types of appeals. 1) Grade appeals concerned with the fair evaluation of student work and are conducted at departmental level. 2) Appeals concerned with the mistaken application of University regulations, including appeals against penalties imposed for academic offenses, are considered by the Appeals Committee. The Registrar’s role is to coordinate the appeals process. The Registrar’s Office will advise students on procedural matters upon request; it does not provide advocacy services.

These procedures are in place to ensure that student appeals are dealt with in an equitable and orderly fashion. All concerns about grading should be resolved at the level nearest the student whenever possible. Students should approach their professor as soon as a concern is identified and request an informal re-assessment of the grade under consideration. It is not necessary to wait until the course is over to request consideration of a grade. Mutually agreeable settlements may be made between the professor and the student informally at any time in the process.

If students have concerns about the way a course is being managed, rather than with their own grade, they should speak to their professor or to the department Chair as early in the term as possible. The Academic Appeals policy is not intended to apply to course management issues.

See also:

2.2.15.1 Grade Appeals

2.2.15.2 Appeal of Misapplication of University Regulations by Petition to the Committee on Academic Appeals

2.2.15.3 Academic Appeals Committee Procedures

2.2.15.1 Grade Appeals

Stage One: Informal Grade Query and Grade Analysis
The student with a grade concern must approach the faculty member to discuss the grade. This step should be taken within two weeks of notification of the grade, if the grade is an interim mark. Final grade queries must be initiated by the deadlines shown at the end of this section. The faculty member will conduct a grade analysis if requested. A grade analysis involves confirming that all grades were recorded correctly.

If still dissatisfied, the student may move to Stage 2. Stage 2 is initiated by contacting the Registrar’s Office to complete the Academic Appeals form. The Academic Appeals form is copied to the department Chair, the Dean, and the faculty member concerned. If not carried out at Stage 1, a grade analysis is conducted before a re-read in order to ensure that any arithmetical errors are corrected.

Stage Two: Re-read
A re-read shall involve reconsideration of the student’s coursework, including the final examination, if any. It shall be the responsibility of the student to preserve all exercises, papers, reports and other graded material for the course except the final examination paper, and to submit the originals of these documents with the application for a re-read. Work not submitted, and courses, or aspects of courses in which it is not possible to review the student’s work cannot be taken into consideration.

Students must initiate a re-read within two weeks of the completion of Stage 1.

By initiating a re-read, the student forfeits the grade originally assigned and understands that a grade will be assigned as a result of the re-read process. Grades may go down as well as up, and the grade decision reached after a re-read is final.

A re-read will be conducted as follows:

  1. The Registrar will convey the re-read request with copies of all relevant materials to the department Chair (or to the appropriate Dean if the Chair is the instructor, or if there is no Chair).
  2. The re-read will be conducted by two professors designated by the department Chair or the appropriate Dean. Those conducting the re-read will be provided with copies of the course outline and marking criteria, as appropriate. Normally the professor who assigned the original grade will not re-read the work at this stage unless no other faculty with competence in the area are available. Regrading results are reported, giving the grade awarded and the basis for the decision, within three weeks of the date of the request for a re-read.
  3. The department Chair will determine the result of the re-read, after consultation with the Dean if necessary, and report the grade to be assigned in writing to the Registrar. If the department Chair and the Dean are the same person, an alternate Dean will be consulted, if necessary.
  4. The Registrar will convey the result to the student, the appropriate Dean, and the faculty member, and will amend the student’s transcript of grades accordingly.
  5. The results of a re-read are final and do not constitute grounds for further appeal.

2.2.15.2 Appeal of Misapplication of University Regulations by Petition to the Committee on Academic Appeals

Appeal of Misapplication of University Regulations by Petition to the Committee on Academic Appeals

Students who have reason to believe they have been subject to a misapplication of an academic regulation or that the imposition of academic regulations would create undue hardship have the right to submit their case to the Committee on Academic Appeals.

A petition to the Committee on Academic Appeals must be based on solid evidence. An appeal must be initiated within three weeks of the incidence of the alleged mistaken treatment under appeal. The Committee has the right to refuse to hear cases it judges to be without substance, or if the outcome of a grade appeal is the only point in dispute.

Procedures for this Type of Appeal

  1. Application for an appeal to the Committee must be made in the form of a signed and dated letter, accompanied by an Academic Appeal Petition form, available from the Registrar’s Office. The basis of the appeal should be clearly stated in the letter of appeal and decisions will be based on this information alone. Thus, applicants must ensure that all relevant information is stated in the letter of appeal. Applicants are advised to contact the Registrar’s Office for advice while collecting information for their appeal in order to ensure that all necessary information is included. Students will state in writing their specific complaint and the action already taken to seek a remedy. This written representation should be directed to the Registrar and all supporting documents must accompany it. At this point the faculty member involved will be informed by the Registrar that a petition to the Committee has been launched.
  2. The Registrar will forward any relevant material with the letter of appeal to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Appeals. The Committee has the right to dismiss a case as unfounded at this stage.
  3. If the Committee determines that a hearing will take place, applicants will be notified of the date and time their appeal will be heard and invited to attend and be heard at that time. Members of the Committee cannot participate in the hearing of any appeal arising from an action to which they have been a party. The conduct of the hearing is described below.
  4. The Chair of the Committee on Academic Appeals will report the results of the Committee’s consideration and the reasons for its decision to the student, professor and Registrar. The decision of the Committee is final and there is no avenue for further appeal.
  5. All proceedings of the Committee are confidential.

2.2.15.3 Academic Appeals Committee Procedures

Appeals related to academic matters (misapplication of university regulations and academic offences) will be considered by the Academic Appeals Committee, a standing committee of the University Senate, with membership as follows:

  • Six members of faculty, one of whom will be designated as the Chair of the Committee and three of whom will be alternates
  • Four students, two of whom will be alternates
  • The Registrar as a resource (non-voting)

Faculty and students who have a conflict of interest, such as having been involved previously with the case under consideration, will withdraw from the Committee. In the event that the Registrar and Associate Registrar have both been involved in the case, an alternate Dean will serve as the resource member on the Committee.

The Registrar will forward the written appeal and supporting material to the Academic Appeals Committee, the student, and the faculty member.

With reasonable notice, but normally within three weeks, the Academic Appeals Committee will invite both parties to a hearing to state their respective cases. The Committee will have the right to call on the Chair of the Department and/or the Dean as appropriate to the hearing.

The hearing will occur whether the parties involved choose to be present or not.

Written materials submitted from the faculty or student subsequent to the initial request for an appeal will be provided to both parties. Normally these materials will be received 48 hours in advance of the hearing. When this is not the case, the hearing may be delayed at the request of either party.

Hearing Procedures

  1. The purpose of the hearing is to ascertain the facts. Both the student and faculty will be invited into the hearing by the Chair of the Committee and asked to present their respective cases and will be permitted to cross examine the evidence.
  2. The Chair of the Committee has the authority to maintain order during the hearing. The faculty and student are permitted to have a supporter present at the hearing. Such supports will appear as advisors, not advocates, and may speak briefly on behalf of their advisees. Supporters are not permitted to cross examine other participants or members of the Committee at the hearing. The Chair of the Committee will ensure that both parties have sufficient opportunity to be heard.
  3. At the conclusion of the hearing, both parties and any supporters will leave and the Committee will begin deliberations in camera.
  4. The decision of the Committee is final. The decision and the reasons for it will be communicated to the student, the professor, and the Registrar in writing.

2.2.16 Academic Offences

The University recognizes that while members of the community are committed to promoting academic integrity, offences will occur and procedures are needed to deal fairly with these offences. Academic offences are violations of academic integrity. These include but are not limited to plagiarism, cheating and misrepresentation related to academic work.

In addition to this section of the Calendar and statements in course outlines, students will consult with their instructors if in doubt about what constitutes academic offences in individual courses and situations.

See also:

2.2.16.1 Plagiarism

2.2.16.2 Cheating

2.2.16.3 Other

2.2.16.4 Procedures for Dealing with Plagiarism, Cheating and Other Academic Offences

2.2.16.5 Misrepresentation

2.2.16.6 Procedures for Dealing with Misrepresentation

2.2.16.1 Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s words or ideas obtained from any source, including the Internet, as though they were one’s own.

  • Specific offences include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Using copied material without enclosing that material in quotation marks and/or without appropriately acknowledging its source;
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing the original wording too closely;
  • Omitting acknowledgement of the source of paraphrases and summaries;
  • Submitting work that has been written in full or in part by someone else.

If students have questions about the correct citation format for any aspect of their academic assessments (written or oral), they should consult their faculty and the library’s resource collection on academic integrity.

2.2.16.2 Cheating

There are many forms of cheating.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Receiving or giving academic information or assistance during a test or an examination;
  • Using unauthorized material during a test or examination. This may include, but is not limited to, notes, books, calculators, and communication devices;
  • Submitting for a take-home examination or test work that has been written in full or in part by someone else or has had the benefit of assistance from some other person;
  • Submitting false information of any kind in written or oral format. This includes, but is not limited to, data and observational anecdotes;
  • Obtaining examination questions, tests, or assignments by any unauthorized means;
  • Impersonating another student or having someone impersonate oneself in class, at an examination or test, or in any other situation in which one is evaluated;
  • Submitting work for which one has already received academic credit, unless authorized to do so by the instructor;
  • Permitting an assignment of one’s own to be used by another for academic credit.

2.2.16.3 Other

Includes, but is not limited to, selling, purchasing, borrowing or lending academic work for submission for academic credit

2.2.16.4 Procedures for Dealing with Plagiarism, Cheating and Other Academic Offences

When an academic offence is suspected, the faculty member will make every reasonable effort to meet as soon as possible with the student(s) and provide an opportunity for explanation or defence against the allegation. The faculty member may consider having another faculty member with her/him when meeting with the student, in which case, the faculty member will provide an opportunity for the student to bring another student to the meeting. Where students are unavailable for a face-to-face meeting (as may be the case for some distance education students), the discussion can take place by e-mail or telephone. If the student fails to respond to a request for a meeting or does not attend a pre-arranged meeting or does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the suspected academic offence, then the faculty member may decide to proceed with a formal charge. Before recommending a penalty and filing a report, the faculty member will consult with the department Chair. If the faculty member is the department Chair, another member of the department will be consulted.

  1. If a formal charge is to be made, the faculty member will send a written report of the offence (including relevant documentation and recommended penalty based on the University guidelines) to the Dean copied to the Registrar and department Chair within five working days following the meeting with the student(s). Penalties may range from a grade of zero in an assignment in a course to expulsion from the University.
  2. The Dean will review the recommended penalty to ensure that it is consistent with penalties for similar offences. The Registrar’s Office will review the file(s) of the student(s) charged to determine whether the student(s) has been guilty of previous offence(s) and provide relevant information to the Dean. Should questions of consistency arise or previous offences be on file, the Dean may revise the recommended penalty. The final decision as to the penalty to be assessed rests with the Dean. Within five working days of receiving a report from the faculty member, the Dean will confirm or revise the penalty and report to the Registrar with a copy to the faculty member and department Chair.
  3. The Registrar’s Office will send notification of the penalty assessed, by registered mail, together with a summary report of the charge presented, to the student(s) involved within ten working days of receiving the Dean’s report.
  4. If the recommended penalty is expulsion, the Dean will make a recommendation, in writing, to the President with a copy to the Registrar. The President will then confirm or revise the penalty. The University President will send the notification to the student(s) with copies to the Registrar, faculty member, department Chair and the Dean.
  5. Subject to any appeal decisions, all documents related to the charge will be a permanent record in the student’s file. This information will be available to the Dean and those involved in any appeal process regarding subsequent charges of academic offences.
  6. The student(s) will have the right to respond in writing to this notification within 15 working days of its having been sent to her/him (them). The response will be placed on file with copies to the faculty member, department Chair and the Dean (and President, in the case of expulsion). The student(s) will have the right to appeal the decision and/or the related penalty to the Academic Appeals Committee (see Appeals).
  7. Two years following an assessment of a penalty transcript notation, if there is only a single “F” with a notation on the student’s transcript, the student may appeal to have the notation removed from the transcript. This appeal must be made within ten years from the time the offence was noted on the transcript. The Appeals Committee will consider the student’s entire file in assessing the appeal to remove the notation.

2.2.16.5 Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Misrepresenting or involving others in misrepresenting one’s personal circumstances in order to obtain special consideration in one’s academic work:
  • Submitting fraudulent medical documents;
  • Submitting fraudulent documents or materials (e.g., in support of an application for admission to the University);
  • Failing to disclose and/or falsifying previous post-secondary study when applying to the University.

2.2.16.6 Procedures for Dealing with Misrepresentation

In specific cases involving misrepresentation, whoever becomes aware of an incident should report it, in writing, to the Registrar and/or Dean, depending on the situation. When the Registrar identifies a potential offence in this category, it will be dealt with as follows:

  1. When the Registrar and/or Dean has reason to suspect that an academic offence has occurred, the Registrar and/or Dean will provide an opportunity for the student to discuss the incident for clarification purposes.
  2. Following this discussion, the Registrar and/or Dean will determine whether or not an academic offence has occurred. If it is determined that an offence has occurred, a written report (including relevant documentation and recommended penalty based on the University guidelines) will be sent to an alternate Dean who will assess the penalty (which may range from zero in an assignment to expulsion from or denial of admission to the University).
  3. Within seven working days of determining the penalty, the Registrar will send notification to the student with copies to the department Chair, and where appropriate to the faculty member and/or Dean.
  4. If the recommended penalty is expulsion, the Dean will make a recommendation, in writing, to the President with a copy to the Registrar and where appropriate, to the faculty member. The President will then confirm or revise the penalty. The University President will send the notification to the student with copies to the Registrar, faculty member, department Chair and the Dean.
  5. Subject to any appeal decisions, all documents related to the charge will be a permanent record in the student’s file.
  6. The student has the right to respond in writing to this notification and the supporting documentation to the Registrar within 15 working days of receipt of the notification. The response will be placed on file with copies, where appropriate, to the faculty member, department Chair and the Dean (and President, in the case of expulsion). The student will have the right to appeal the decision and/or the related penalty to the Academic Appeals Committee.
  7. Two years following an assessment of a penalty transcript notation, if there is only a single “F” with a notation on the student’s transcript, the student may appeal to have the notation removed from the transcript. This appeal must be made within ten years from the time the offence was noted on the transcript. The Appeals Committee will consider the student’s entire file in assessing the appeal to remove the notation.

2.2.17 Academic Offence Appeals Procedures

Appeals related to academic offences will be considered by the Academic Appeals Committee, a standing committee of the University Senate, with membership as follows:

  • Six members of faculty, one of whom will be designated as the Chair of the Committee and three of whom will be alternates
  • Four students, two of whom will be alternates
  • The Registrar as resource (non voting)

Faculty and students who have a conflict of interest, such as having been involved previously with the case under consideration, will withdraw from the Committee. In the event that the Registrar is involved in the case, an alternate Dean will serve as the resource member on the Committee.

A student wishing to appeal the decision that an academic offence has occurred and/or the related penalty will do so within 15 working days of the issuance of the report from the Registrar (or in the case of expulsion, from the President), by sending a written appeal to the Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee, in care of the Registrar.

The Registrar will forward the written appeal and supporting material to the Academic Appeals Committee, the appellant and the faculty member. The supporting material shall include:

  • the written report from the faculty member, the Dean and in the case of expulsion, the President
  • accompanying materials received
  • a summary of any notations of academic offences in the student’s file.

With reasonable notice, the Academic Appeals Committee will invite both parties to a hearing to state their respective cases. The Committee will have the right to call on the Chair of the Department and/or the Dean as appropriate to the hearing.

The hearing will occur whether the parties involved choose to be present or not.

Written materials submitted from the faculty or student subsequent to the initial request for an appeal will be provided to both parties. Normally these materials will be received 48 hours in advance of the hearing. When this is not the case, the hearing may be delayed at the request of either party.

Hearing Procedures
The purpose of the hearing is to ascertain the facts. Both the student and faculty will be invited into the hearing by the Chair of the Committee and asked to present their respective cases and will be permitted to cross examine the evidence.

The Chair of the Committee has the authority to maintain order during the hearing. The faculty and student are permitted to have a supporter present at the hearing. Such supporters will appear as advisors, not advocates, and may speak briefly on behalf of their advisees. Supporters are not permitted to cross examine other participants at the hearing or members of the Committee.

The Chair of the Committee will ensure that both parties have sufficient opportunity to be heard. At the conclusion of the hearing, both parties and any supporters will leave and the Committee will begin deliberations in camera.

After deliberations, the Academic Appeals Committee will determine by majority vote whether to:

  • uphold or deny the charge, and
  • confirm or alter the penalty imposed.

A written report of the decision and any penalty will be sent to both parties with copies to the faculty member, Chair of the Department and the Dean (and the President, in the case of expulsion). The Registrar will follow through on the Committee’s decision.

2.2.18 Penalties for Academic Offences

Graduate Penalties for Academic Offences table (PDF)

Graduate Penalties for Academic Offences table

1 While not an offence, it is subject to a penalty at the discretion of the faculty member
2 Academic calendar year begins September 1 and ends on August 31

Note: Previous offences in all categories will be considered when assessing penalties. Students in graduate programs who receive a grade of F* are required to withdraw from the program.

2.2.19 Student Judicial System

A student judicial system for non-academic infractions is in effect.

It exists to maintain an environment that is hospitable and conducive to academic study and extra-curricular activities for both women and men. One of its premises is that non-academic standards of behaviour are as important to the quality of university life as are academic standards. It sets out what constitutes the misconduct for which students of the University are subject to discipline, and procedures for dealing with complaints. The definitions of misconduct include, among others: conduct which threatens or endangers the health and safety of any member of the University community on- or off-campus; use of abusive or obscene language or gestures at any university sponsored functions or operations; obstruction or disruption of any university or Students’ Union sponsored function; failure to comply with the instructions of university or Students’ Union officials acting in the performance of their authorized duties; and violation of any law of Canada.

Procedures
Complaints may come from any member of the University community and should be directed to the Office of Student Experience (EV218). They must be in writing and in as much detail as possible regarding the misconduct being alleged. The AVP Student Experience then forwards a copy of the complaint to the respondent asking for a written response, and may begin an investigation. A hearing is scheduled by the Chair of the Student Judicial Committee. That committee has the power to impose sanctions. The decision can be appealed. Note that all disciplinary and appeal procedures are designed to follow principles of natural justice.

A copy of the student judicial code is available from the Secretary of Senate, the Office of Student Experience, and the Students’ Union.

2.2.20 Email Communication

Mount email account
Every student at the Mount is assigned a Mount email account. The University requires all students and faculty to use their Mount email account when communicating course and University information. For quick access to Student Email log in to myMount.

2.2.21 Regulations Governing Computer Use

To promote the responsible and ethical use of Mount Saint Vincent University computing resources, all Mount computer users will be expected to adhere to the computer use regulations described here.

In addition to these norms, users may also be subject to additional regulations set by those responsible for a particular computing facility. Such regulations must be publicized. With due regard for the right of privacy of users and the confidentiality of their data, authorized university staff will routinely monitor computing activity in order to safeguard the security and smooth operation of Mount computing resources.

Individuals must respect the rights of other authorized users. The following activities are prohibited:

  1. using the computer access privileges of others or sharing one’s username and password; interfering with the security or confidentiality of other users’ files or maliciously destroying any computer stored material including that in primary storage;
  2. impeding others or interfering with their legitimate use of computing facilities (this includes but is not limited to sending obscene, threatening, or repeated unnecessary messages or downloading pornographic material);
  3. illegally copying programs or data that are the property of the University or other users or putting unauthorized or forbidden software, data files, or other such computer-related material on university computers;
  4. interfering with the normal operation of computing systems or attempting to subvert the restrictions associated with such facilities;
  5. using computing resources for purposes not in accordance with educational and/or research activity;
  6. failing to follow specific rules set out by the faculty member or department in charge of the course for classes, tests, or exams held in a computer lab;
  7. using the Internet and other computing resources for purposes deemed to be “recreational” to the detriment of curriculum-related uses.

Violations of the rules or procedures as published may result in withdrawal of computer access for the individual concerned and in all Mount Saint Vincent University usernames/user-IDs owned by that individual being disabled.

Procedures for Dealing with Student Violations
The specific procedures to be followed when a student allegedly violates the Computer Use Regulations will depend upon the nature and severity of the violation. Infractions may also be dealt with under the provision of the Student Judicial Code, Harassment and Discrimination Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, or departmental or other academic policies. Violations may also lead to referral to law enforcement authorities.

▸ Level One
The faculty or staff member and/or her/his chairperson or supervisor, will speak to the student who has been accused of violating the Computer Usage Agreement. A mutual resolution will be sought, followed by a short memo to the Director of Information Technology and Services (IT&S), and a copy to the student. The memo should simply outline the name of the student, indicating that she/he was spoken to about a computer usage issue and that a satisfactory resolution has been found. This will allow repeat offences of seemingly one time or innocent violations to be monitored, in case the same issue has come up with another faculty member.

▸ Level Two
Level two offences will be defined as repeat offences of level one. The Director of IT&S will forward the information to the Associate Vice President of Student Experience for appropriate action based on the nature of the offences. This could include the involvement of the Student Judicial Committee, the Registrar, or the Sexual Harassment Advisor. Procedures of the specific policy or code will be followed.

▸ Level Three
Level three offences are those offences that are more serious in nature and which pose an immediate threat to the campus network. In such cases, faculty should contact the Director of IT&S immediately to identify the issue. In these cases IT&S network staff may be the first party to identify the issue. The Director of IT&S, in consultation with the University President or her designate, will immediately terminate the student’s access to the Mount’s computing facilities. The process will then continue in accordance with the guidelines noted for level two offences.

2.2.22 Privacy of Information

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP)
In 1993, the province of Nova Scotia enacted the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Its purpose is to make public bodies more open and accountable to the public in the way they acquire, use and dispose of information.

This is achieved in a number of ways including:

  • giving the public a right of access to records in the custody and control of the University, subject only to limited and specific exemptions;
  • giving individuals a right of access to personal information held by the University about them and allowing them the opportunity to request a correction to said information;
  • specifying limited exemptions to the right of access;
  • ensuring appropriate collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

The Act also provides the opportunity for individuals to request information, making public bodies directly accountable to each citizen.

A complete copy of the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is available on the government web site at https://oipc.novascotia.ca/legislation.

Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents (PIPEDA)
PIPEDA, which came into force January 1, 2001, establishes new rules for privacy. The rules recognize the rights of individuals to control the use of their personal information. The rules also impose obligations on organizations to protect personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances. This legislation protects the privacy rights of all Canadians as it applies to every organization that collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of commercial activities.

A complete copy of Bill C-6, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act is available on the Privacy Commissioner’s web site at https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/

Privacy Act
Under the federal Privacy Act, individuals can request access to their own individual information held in federal information banks, including those held by Statistics Canada.

NOTIFICATION OF DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION TO STATISTICS CANADA AND THE MARITIME PROVINCES HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION STATISTICS CANADA

Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education.

It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrolment demand at postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand ‘outcomes’. In order to conduct such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada, student identification information (student’s name et student ID number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, and enrolment information.

The federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes only, and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.

Students may contact Statistics Canada via e-mail if they have any questions: statcan.PSIS-SIEP.statcan@canada.ca.

MARITIME PROVINCES HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION

The MPHEC collects the data described above on behalf of Statistics Canada. In addition, it archives these data and uses them to generate basic statistics, research products, as well as the sampling frame for its university graduate survey. These activities support its mandate, which is to assist institutions and governments in enhancing the post-secondary learning environment. The legal authority for these activities is provided by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission Act. The MPHEC publishes information in aggregate form so that personal information concerning any person is never revealed. The MPHEC may disclose personal information for the purpose of research, in alignment with its mandate, and as authorized the MPHEC Act.

For more information, consult the MPHEC’s Privacy Statement at: www.mphec.ca

2.2.23 Other Regulations

In addition, students availing themselves of university services and facilities are expected to abide by the procedures and regulations accompanying the same.

2.2.24 Graduation

Senate confers certificates, diplomas, and degrees twice each year in the spring and in the fall. Normally, Convocation is held in May and in November.

Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility of selecting the appropriate courses for graduation rests ultimately with the student.

Students must submit an Application to Graduate form to the Registrar’s Office by the specified deadlines – see Important Dates in the University Year. A graduation fee is also required. Conferred credentials will not be made available to students until all accounts have been paid in full.

Participation in Convocation Ceremonies
Students who wish to participate in the formal ceremonies of convocation do so at the ceremony immediately following completion of the academic requirements for their credential. Students who do not wish to participate in convocation ceremonies may receive their credential in absentia by so informing the Registrar’s Office. Information on the ceremonies and the in absentia alternative are automatically sent to students who file an Application to Graduate form with the Registrar’s Office.

When financial arrears prevent students from graduating, they become eligible to participate fully in the next scheduled convocation ceremony following their full payment of fees owed. Students wishing to do this should contact the Registrar’s Office as soon as their debt is cleared.

2.2.25 Prizes Awarded at Convocation

Senate Medals of Distinction
Pewter medals are awarded by the Senate to recognize the top graduating students nominated by each program area. These medals are presented at both the spring and fall ceremonies.

President’s Prizes
Special awards donated by the University President are given to members of the spring and fall graduating classes whose energy, generosity and commitment have enriched the University during their time as students, and who show promise that their commitment will continue as alumnae.

Kappa Gamma Pi
Kappa Gamma Pi is the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society. Membership is based on scholarship, leadership and service. Members are selected not only for recognition of past accomplishments, but also in anticipation of future service.

Governor-General’s Medal
Donated by the Governor-General of Canada this medal is given once per year at the graduate level to the top graduating master’s student. Presented annually at the spring convocation. Students graduating the previous October are equally eligible with spring graduands for this award.

The Graduate Thesis Award
A special award presented by the Graduate Studies Committee to a student who has completed a thesis of exceptional quality including evidence of well-developed, independent research skills and contribution to his/her academic discipline. Presented annually at the fall convocation. Students graduating the previous spring are equally eligible with fall graduands for this award.

Academic Note: This web-based calendar information is applicable for the 2021-2022 academic year which runs from September 01, 2021 to August 31, 2022.

For information on previous years, please consult the University Academic Calendars web page.

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