Part 4: Students, Supervisors and Faculty


NOTE: The following policies and guidelines apply to both supervisors and co-supervisors.

Criteria for supervisors

Supervisors must:

  • Be members of the School of Graduate Studies
  • Be currently active in a research area related to the student’s research interest
  • Possess research expertise in the student’s research area
NOTE: Potential supervisors should consult with the School of Graduate Studies before preparing application packages for potential students.

Role and responsibilities of the supervisor

In general, the role of the supervisor is to act as both an academic mentor, and an evaluator of the student’s performance. The supervisor must provide professional guidance and help the student acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to plan and conduct original research.

The supervisor’s responsibilities include:


  • Make a commitment to supervise the student throughout his or her program.

Mentorship and respect

  • Give the student ongoing guidance on expected academic standards and the nature of research.
  • Be open and accessible to the student.
  • Give the student advice and constructive criticism, in support of high academic standards.
  • Respect the student as a junior colleague in research.
  • Acknowledge the student’s contributions to presentations and publications, including joint authorship if appropriate.
  • Respect the University’s policies on intellectual property and the ownership of data and information.

Regulations and requirements

  • Share with the student at the start of the program, the expectations of the supervisor, the program, and the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Ensure all School of Graduate Studies and program regulations and requirements are met, including those related to coursework, funding, thesis work, and the Thesis oral defence. Refer to Requirements for Degree in the Master of Science (M.Sc.) Program section of the Graduate Studies Calendar (


  • Keep in contact with the student and meet with the student and Supervisory Committee according to the program requirements.
  • Hold regular progress and standing meetings to evaluate student progress and report on progress to the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Notify the student and Supervisory Committee members of any anticipated change and subsequent approved change of the structure of the Master of Science Program Committee by the School of Graduate Studies.


  • In consultation with the student, establish a realistic work schedule for the program with specific milestones.
  • Fulfill all duties related to completing the Statement of Progress and Standing form (
  • Help ensure there are sufficient financial and material resources to perform the research and support the student. Where required, write statements of commitment of financial support for the student.
  • Ensure the student has adequate supervision at all times during the program.

Research environment

  • Help ensure an environment conducive to research and intellectual growth.
  • Help ensure a research environment free from harassment, discrimination, and conflict.

Submitting a Continuing designation for the Master’s Thesis course

At the completion of each academic term, the supervisor must submit the relevant grade for the Master’s Thesis course through the Bridge. A designation ‘X’ (Continuing) indicates the course extends beyond the term. This monitoring process does not take the place of the Statement of Progress and Standing form (see Statement of Progress and Standing).


When there is a conflict that jeopardizes the student/supervisor relationship and it cannot be resolved by discussion between both parties, the student or faculty member should contact the School of Graduate Studies. The School will attempt to resolve the problem through mediation and discussion.

If the student or supervisor is unwilling to continue in the student/supervisor relationship, the School of Graduate Studies will endeavor to find alternate supervisory arrangements.

Members of the School of Graduate Studies

For the regulations regarding criteria for membership, processes for membership, and duties and responsibilities of members of the School of Graduate Studies, refer to the School of Graduate Studies Governing Principles (