Graduate Programs

Graduate programs are developed by academic units and then approved through the specific approval process for that faculty before submission to the Senate committees.  The Graduate Studies office is available for consultation at any time throughout the development and approval process. It is recommended to begin the approval process at least one year (two years for a new program) before the curriculum item should be published in the calendar. It is important to follow the established guidelines and use the appropriate templates provided below.

A cover memo from the Faculty Graduate Chair is required with the submission of course forms and/or program changes to SGSC. The memo should include a summary of the changes and their effective date (term and year). Please see the sample cover memo provided below.

Before materials are submitted to the Senate Graduate Studies Committee (SGSC), a pre-SGSC committee called Graduate Agenda and Rules (GAR) meets to review the materials and to determine if a submission is ready for review at SGSC. If it is determined that the materials submitted by an academic unit require revision, the academic unit (and faculty) will be contacted with this feedback. If the revisions are substantial, the curriculum item may be delayed until the next SGSC meeting.

Early Stage Feedback - If your academic unit is developing a Cohort Special Arrangement program and would like some feedback from the Senate Graduate Studies Committee at an earlier stage in the process, please submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) using the template provided below.


* Program-Calendar Changes template.docx
Please do not use this template if your program changes are from the degree audit project. Please contact
* Notice of Intent template.docx
Revised January 2016

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Regulations

The following website includes important information to consider when designing a new graduate program that will be marketed to international students:

Visa Considerations for New Graduate Programs

Process for Suspending Admission and/or Terminating a Program

Fast-track program termination

A recommendation to terminate a program that is in the SFU Calendar but has no enrolled students, may be considered for fast-tracking directly to the Senate level upon request of a Faculty Dean to the Vice-President Academic. The Dean should consult with the relevant department and/or faculty committees prior to requesting an expedited process.

Accelerated Master's program

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at SFU (major/honours) can be admitted to an accelerated master’s program at SFU within the same academic unit, provided that they have satisfactorily completed at least 90 credits of undergraduate course work with a CGPA of at least 3.67/4.33 (see GGR 1.3.8a). Although students must fulfill the degree requirements of both the bachelor’s program and the master’s program, a maximum of 10 graduate course units, used as either electives or upper division required courses at the bachelor’s level, may be applied towards the requirements of the master’s degree. Academic units need to provide a justification proposal and seek approval through normal academic processes before this option can be made available to students within your unit.  

Approval Process:

Academic units are required to submit their proposal and calendar entry, using the template below, to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUS) first. If the generic calendar entry is being used, the proposal is submitted for information. If the undergraduate requirements are being changed, the proposal is submitted for approval. Once the proposal has been reviewed, SCUS will send a memo to SGSC confirming that the proposal has been reviewed and is ready for approval at SGSC. If there were any changes to the proposal resulting from the SCUS meeting, those changes are made to the proposal before it is submitted to SGSC. The Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC) then submits the proposal to SGSC for approval. Once approved at SGSC, the proposal is submitted to Senate along with the memo from SCUS.

Writing Resource

SFU Editorial Style Guide

This guide describes SFU’s “house style” for writing everything except academic and technical papers.

Senate Documents


Docushare is a comprehensive repository for all Senate documents from 1965 to the present with search capabilities.