Policies and Procedures

The following is a quick reference of some StFX academic regulations most relevant to Master of Science and Master of Arts graduate students. For more academic regulations, see Section 8 of the StFX Academic Calendar. The Academic Calendar is always the final authority in matters of academic regulations.  

Program Types & Fees 

Graduate programs at StFX are classified as either: 

  • Flat-fee programs, in which students pay a flat fee for their program (based on an expected time to completion). The fee is charged once at the beginning of the program, and is paid in instalments at designated intervals. Flat-fee programs at StFX currently include the Master of Arts, Master of Science and PhD in Educational Studies. 


  • Per-credit fee programs, in which students pay fees based on the number of credits in which they are enrolled in a given semester. The Master of Education, Master of Adult Education, and Master of Applied Computer Science are per-credit fee programs.   
Residency, Expected Time to Completion, Maximum Time to Completion 

Each graduate program at StFX has a defined minimum residency, and defined expected and maximum times to completion. The residency period is the length of time during which the student is expected to be on campus working full-time toward the completion of program requirements. These timeframes are outlined in the following table. 


Minimum Residency

Expected time to complete

Maximum time to complete


12 or 18 months*

24 months

5 years


12 or 18 months*

24 months

5 years


12 months

16 months or 2 years

6 years



36 months

36 months



24 months

6 years

PhD in Educational Studies**

14 months

4 years

6 years

* 12 months for candidates holding an honours degree and 18 months for all other candidates. 
** Regulations for students enrolled in the Inter-university PhD in Educational Studies are determined jointly with the partner institutions. Please consult Nova Scotia's PhD Education for registration and fee information. 

Enrolment Status & Withdrawals 

Students remain enrolled in the program and are charged all relevant fees until they formally notify the Dean’s office that they are withdrawing from the program. Students who have withdrawn from a program must re-apply for admission before returning.  

Continuing Status and Continuation Fees for Students in Thesis Programs 

MA and MSc students who have not completed their degree requirements but have passed the expected time to completion (24 months) are automatically registered as part-time, continuing students.   

MEd and MAEd students completing the thesis route are considered continuing students once they have successfully completed their course work. These ‘thesis-only’ students pay the appropriate continuing student fee. 

Continuation fees

All continuing students are charged an annual continuation fee until they have completed their degree requirements or until they reach the maximum time to completion, at which point they must apply for an extension (and will be charged the extension fee.)   

Students who have outstanding fees at the beginning of a continuation period will not be eligible for continuation status and will, if the situation is not resolved, be designated inactive. Inactive students lose their rights and privileges as StFX students. The Registrar’s Office will notify students who are not eligible for continuation status through the student’s webFX email account; students will have 7 days to resolve the issue with the Business Office.    

International and domestic students pay the same continuation fee. 

Master of Arts or Science

The equivalent of tuition for a 6-credit course for a 12-month continuation.

Master of Adult Ed Thesis-only students

$930 (2019-20)

Master of Education

Thesis-only students

The equivalent of tuition for a 6-credit course for a 12-month continuation.

PhD in Educational Studies

As determined by the Interuniversity PhD committee, see the website

Full-Time and Part-Time Status 

Students in the MA and MSc programs maintain full-time status for the first 24 months. After the first 24 months, students are automatically classified as part-time until they have reached the maximum time to completion. In exceptional cases and for a limited period of time, MA and MSc students may apply to the Associate Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies (AVPRGS) to be considered full-time after the first 24 months. For full-time status to apply, students must demonstrate all of the following:  

  • They are geographically available to campus. 
  • They visit the campus regularly. 
  • They are not engaged in full-time employment on or off campus. 
  • They are engaged in their academic work full-time.  

If any of these conditions changes, the student will no longer be considered full-time. The continuation fee for full-time students is the same as the continuation fee for part-time students. MAdEd students maintain part-time status throughout the program.   

PhD in Educational Studies students must be full-time through the first 14 months of the program and then may opt to remain full-time or part-time students thereafter. 

Students in per-credit fee programs (MACS, MEd) are considered full-time or part-time based on the number of credits in which they are enrolled in a given period. The full- or part- time status is assessed on a term-by-term basis, so a student can be full-time for part of the year and part-time for the remainder. A student is considered full-time when enrolled in 18 or more credits during the period of September to May. Students are also considered full-time when registered in 6 credits for the period May-June or for the period July-August (or 9 credits in the period May-September). 

Academic Standing

To maintain satisfactory standing, graduate students must achieve a passing grade of 70 in each course.

For Master of Arts or Master of Science students, evaluation of in-progress thesis work is carried out through the annual review process and the completion of the annual progress report form (See ‘Forms” section of the Graduate Studies website). A student whose thesis progress is rated as ‘not acceptable’ following the annual review may be subject to dismissal.

Notification of dismissal will be sent to the student (copied to the appropriate Dean and Graduate Student Coordinator/ Chair) by the Registrar’s Office. A student may elect to appeal a dismissal to the Committee on Graduate Studies. To submit an appeal, students follow the steps described in Sections 3.12 and 3.13 of the Academic Calendar, as applicable to graduate students. The appeal must be received by the AVPRGS, as Chair of the COGS, within three weeks of receiving notification of dismissal.

If a student believes that the work is not proceeding satisfactorily for reasons outside of his/her control, the student may make representation to his/her Supervisory Committee, the department Chair, the Dean, and if the matter remains unresolved, to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies.


Students who have not completed their program requirements by the maximum time to completion (see Section 3.2) may apply to the AVPRGS for a maximum one-year program extension.   

An application for an extension will normally be submitted at least two months before the maximum time to completion. Extensions are deliberated on a case-by-case basis. They require a plan to outline how the program requirements will be completed in the extension year. If an extension is denied, no further registration or reinstatement will be permitted. 

If the extension is approved, students who are using the extension to complete a thesis will be charged an extension fee (the equivalent of 6-credit undergraduate tuition) for the extension period. Students who are not completing a thesis but are using the extension period to complete course-work, will pay tuition at course enrolment.   

A student who does not complete the degree requirements by the end of the extension period will be declared inactive and removed from the program. 

Students on extension are classified as part-time. 

Inactive Status 

Students who have not met the requirements for graduation by the maximum time for completion are automatically designated inactive unless they have applied for and been granted an extension. Inactive students lose their rights and privileges as StFX students.    

Once designated inactive, students must reapply for admission and are subject to all rules and procedures for new admissions. (Students on approved leaves of absence are temporarily designated inactive; they need not reapply for admission at the end of the leave.)  

Leaves of Absence 

Circumstances can lead to situations in which graduate students are obliged to step away from their study. A leave of absence may be granted for a specific length of time, up to a maximum of one year.  

Examples of exceptional situations where a leave may be considered include: 

  • Medical reasons  
  • Family duress or unforeseen family responsibilities (including parental leave). 
  • Pursuit of an employment opportunity that makes a positive contribution to the student’s graduate program. 

Requests for leaves of absence will be reviewed by the appropriate Graduate Studies Coordinator or Chair (and Supervisory Committee when appropriate) and approved by the relevant Dean. Leaves of absence are usually dependent upon students previously showing adequate progress in their program of studies. The request must be supported by documentation explaining the exceptional circumstances that would prevent continuation of the program during the period for which the leave applies. In addition, the request should include a plan for the return to the program. 

Once an initial leave of absence has been granted, additional leaves are only possible in extraordinary circumstances and require special approval by the AVPRGS. 

Students on leaves of absence are designated inactive, and the academic mentorship of the Supervisor and access to laboratories is suspended. Students on leaves are charged a nominal fee of $100, which allows them to maintain a WebFX account. 

Time that a student spends on a leave of absence does not count toward the maximum time for completion. 


Students are responsible for ensuring that they have registered for Convocation by the required date and that they have fulfilled all degree requirements by the requisite deadline. Supervisors must ensure that all grades (including the thesis grade) have been submitted at least one week prior to Convocation.  


Graduate Studies

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2329 Notre Dame Avenue
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