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Change of Registration

Graduate academia at Western operates on a three term annual cycle.  Approximately one month prior to the upcoming term, new and continuing students are activated for that term. Your activation prepares your student record for course registration, funding, fees and various other actions that concern your attendance at Western as a graduate student.

Leave of Absence

Reference: Graduate Regulation 4.06

If you need to apply for a leave of absence due to medical, compassionate, or pregnancy/parental grounds you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal.
After submitting an application for leave, your request will be forwarded to your home program for approval and finally to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for approval and processing. Once a decision has been made, you will receive notification via your Western e-mail address.

Part-Time Status

Reference: Graduate Regulation 4.04

Students registered part-time may take no more than two courses in a term. Undergraduate courses taken as extra courses or as degree requirements are to be included in the totals above.

Part-time registration status falls into two specific categories:
Part-time student in approved part-time program

  • Students may be admitted as part-time students in approved part-time programs as stipulated in the program's regulations. During the course of study, and with the approval of the program and SGPS, such a part-time registrant may be approved to register as a full-time student; he or she may then register as a part-time student at a later date by meeting the requirements as stipulated below. Students who begin as full-time students in programs that have an approved part-time course of study may only change to part-time registration as stipulated below.

Part-time student in full-time program

  • Part-time registration in full-time programs may be granted in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of both the Graduate Program and the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). Examples of such circumstances are: admission to another full-time university program or medical or compassionate circumstances that make it impossible for the student to continue to devote full-time attention to his or her program of study. Supporting documentation must be submitted with the request for part-time status.
  • Part-time status is not to be used as a means for reducing or avoiding tuition fees. Being beyond the funding eligibility period will not, by itself, constitute grounds for a change from full-time to part-time status.

Part-time status may be granted for up to a cumulative total of three terms.
If you would like to apply for part-time status you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

Master's to Doctoral Transfer

Reference: Graduate Regulation 4.05

Programs may allow students to transfer their registration from the Master’s to the Doctoral degree within the same program, without completion of the Master’s degree. The Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) will consider such requests on the recommendation of the student’s program.
Transfers from the Master’s to the Doctoral program must take place before the sixth term of Master's registration, unless the program’s OCGS-approved provisions state otherwise.

Thesis Defense Only Status (TDO)

If you have completed all degree requirements (including thesis submission), but have not defended your thesis prior to the end of the current term, you are eligible to continue your registration into the subsequent term in Thesis Defense Only (TDO) status. This additional term makes the completion of your thesis possible while not requiring you to pay tuition fees. (Please note: you will still be responsible to pay part-time ancillary fees and UHIP fees where applicable.)  This status may apply for a maximum of one term.

In order to be considered for TDO status for the subsequent term:

After meeting the above two requirements, you will be registered in TDO status in the subsequent term.  If you submit the Intent form and fail to upload your defense-ready thesis by the deadline, your registration will return to its previous status.

In order to maintain TDO status, you must:

  • Successfully complete your thesis examination.
  • Complete all required thesis revisions.
  • Submit your final thesis to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to the end of your TDO term.2

If you do not meet these conditions, you will be required to pay part-time tuition retroactively for the TDO term, and will continue to be registered until your final thesis is submitted.

Important Notes

1 Please note that the required timelines for thesis submission are still in effect to allow for review by the examining committee:

  • Doctoral preliminary thesis submission – six weeks prior to thesis exam
  • Master’s preliminary thesis submission – four weeks prior to thesis exam

2 Although revisions and final thesis submission may be permitted six weeks after a successful thesis examination, the deadline for final thesis submission to maintain TDO status is the final day of the TDO term.

Graduate Course Audits

Reference: Graduate Regulation 6.04

The student must declare an intention to audit a graduate course by the enrolment deadline for the term, using the Graduate Course Audit Form. The student must have the instructor’s signed approval to audit the course, as well as approval from the Supervisor (if applicable) and Graduate Chair. An Audit requires regular attendance and any other obligations as stated by the course instructor in the Comments/Expectations section of the Graduate Course Audit Form. If these requirements are not met, the audit will be removed from the student’s record at the instructor’s request.

After the enrolment deadline, a student may not make a change from auditing a course to taking it for credit, or vice versa, within a given term. A student may, in a subsequent term, enrol in a given course for credit that has previously been audited.

Graduate courses delivered online may not be audited without special permission from the program.

Undergraduate Course Enrollment

Reference: Graduate Regulation 6.07

Graduate Students may take undergraduate courses with the approval of the course instructor, the student’s supervisor (if applicable), the Graduate Chair, and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. If the course is required for the graduate degree, there will be no additional charge. If it is not required for the degree, the graduate student will be charged, per undergraduate course. Graduate students taking undergraduate courses must follow the undergraduate regulations, as stipulated in the undergraduate calendar under “add/drop deadlines."

To register in an undergraduate course, you must use the Graduate Student Taking Undergraduate Course Form. Undergraduate courses, or combined courses in which undergraduate students predominate must be less than one-third of the student's total course requirement for the graduate degree.

Apply to Graduate

Reference: Graduate Regulation 9.00

The University holds regular Convocation ceremonies in the Spring (June) and in the Fall (October) of each year and an In Absentia convocation in February. Degree completion, for purposes of Convocation, requires the following:

  • Program's submission to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of grades for all course requirements.
  • Acceptance by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of the final submission of the thesis (if applicable).
  • Program's notification to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies indicating degree completion.

If you are in the final term of your program, you are required to apply to graduate via the Student Center. Students' application for graduation may only occur during the term in which they intend to complete the requirements of their degree. Applications must be submitted prior to the end of that term to ensure eligibility.

To apply, access the Student Center. The Graduation link will be in the left hand menu. Select "Apply for Graduation" and then follow the instructions to complete the process.

Voluntary Withdrawal

Reference: Graduate Regulation 4.07

If it is necessary for you to withdraw from your graduate program you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal under Change of Registration. The request will be forwarded to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for processing. Once withdrawn from a program (and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), you are no longer a student and may not attend classes, receive supervision, or have access to any resources of the University.

Fee refunds will be made on a pro rata basis to students who withdraw before the end of a term. Detailed information on graduate tuition refunds is available on the Office of the Registrar's Website. Scholarships received from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are also subject to pro-rating. Contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for details.