Students wishing to withdraw from their program or departments recommending termination of a student's program should do so in writing to the FGSR according to the information below.
On occasion it becomes necessary to consider the termination of a student's program. Only the FGSR can terminate a graduate student's program. All departmental requests for termination of a student’s program must be made in writing by the Chair or Graduate Coordinator of the Department to an Associate Dean of FGSR, with a copy to the student. Supervisors or department administrators cannot terminate a student’s program but they can recommend such action to the FGSR through the Chair or Graduate Coordinator.
The letter should give the effective date of the proposed termination and document carefully the reasons for the recommendation. Reference should be made to any previous discussions or correspondence with the student related to the matter. It is expected that the Chair or Graduate Coordinator will have discussed the issue with the student (and with the supervisor, where appropriate) prior to the letter being sent. Departments are encouraged to have internal appeal procedures.
If a student completes a Withdrawal form due to lack of adequate academic progress, this does not preclude a department from recommending the student be required to withdraw.
Reasons for Termination
The reasons for termination may include:
- failure to maintain adequate academic standing; failure to meet requirements set out in a conditional admission; candidacy or final oral examination failure; or expiry of program time limit. Requests to terminate for these reasons must be documented in the academic record or student’s file: for example, grades, exam reports, etc.
- failure to make satisfactory academic progress in other aspects of the program, such as adequate progress in research. Requests to terminate for these reasons should be supported by evidence that the process of progressive discipline (as outlined below) has been followed.
- cannot terminate except for just cause;
- except in documented emergency cases (health, safety issues, etc) students shall be given adequate warning, feedback and timelines related to what is the nature of the inadequate progress, what special performance would be required to rectify the inadequacy, and what is the timeline for demonstration of the required improved performance;
- student should be given an opportunity to respond in writing to any warning given;
- meetings with appropriate advisors (members of supervisory committee; Chair’s designate, etc) may assist the process of providing adequate warning and advice;
- cases requiring mediation should be brought first to the Chair and then, if necessary to the FGSR for resolution
In responding to a department request for termination of a student’s program the FGSR will consider such matters as: was the cause sufficient to terminate, was the case properly documented, was due process followed, was adequate warning given, were student’s responses fairly considered, were conditions of performance and time lines reasonable, was the Department Chair (or designate) properly involved?
An Associate Dean, FGSR will consider the recommendation and normally will hold interviews with the student, supervisor, or other individuals concerned. The formal, written decision of the FGSR will be mailed to the student and copied to the department. A decision of the FGSR to terminate a program can be appealed by the student using the FGSR academic appeals procedures, available at www.gradstudies.ualberta.ca (Degree Requirements & Supervision).
Students wishing to terminate their own program of studies are strongly advised to discuss the issue with their supervisor, Graduate Coordinator and, if desired, with the Associate Dean, FGSR before terminating their program. There may be alternative actions that are more in the student's interest.
Following this consultation if a student still wishes to withdraw from the program, the student should complete a Withdrawal form indicating on it withdrawal from the entire program. The form should include the effective date of the proposed termination. The transcript would indicate "Voluntarily Withdrew from Program."