Graduate Courses

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.

Course Forms

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* New Graduate Course Proposal.pdf
Revised December 2017

Steps for a New Course

  • New course form is filled out and a course outline is created*
  • Course form can be sent to Graduate Studies office ( for feedback or questions
  • New course form and outline are reviewed and approved by academic unit (sign form)
  • Academic unit submits course form and outline to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC) with a cover memo
  • FGSC sends the course form and outline by email ( to the chair of each FGSC for an overlap check; if the course is a capstone, selected topics course, internship, or Co-op course then this step is not necessary
  • Once the course overlap is complete, the FGSC Chair checks the appropriate box on the form, signs the form and submits it to SGSC ( with the course outline and cover memo
  • The course is then reviewed and approved at SGSC before being submitted to Senate
* It is recommended to confirm that status of an available course number with the Graduate Studies office first. A course number can be re-used if the previous course has been deleted for a minimum of 10 years.


Steps for a Course change/deletion


  • Course change/deletion form is filled out by academic unit
  • Course form can be sent to Graduate Studies office ( for feedback or questions
  • Academic unit approves form (with signature) and then submits it to FGSC with a cover memo
  • FGSC approves form (with signature) and then submits it to SGSC with a cover memo (see sample memo)
  • SGSC approves form (with signature) and then submits it to Senate with a cover memo


Related Documents

* Approval Process for STT Courses.pdf
Special Temporary Topic (STT) course
* Sample Cover memo for SGSC.docx
Revised February 2015. Only one memo is required per faculty.
* Course components.docx
Updated March 12, 2018

Temporary Withdrawal/Reinstated Course

Once a course has not been offered for several years, it can be temporarily withdrawn from the SFU calendar so that the information within the calendar is current for students. A course temporary withdrawal form must be submitted. After a course has been temporarily withdrawn, it can be reinstated quickly by sending a memo from the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC) to the Graduate Studies office ( stating when the course will be offered and a rationale for why the course is being reinstated. This memo will then be forwarded directly to the Senate office for processing. In most cases the course can be offered in the term following submission and will appear in the next published Calendar. A reinstated course does not need to go through the regular approval process because it is already an approved course. NOTE: A deleted course is a permanent withdrawal and therefore cannot be reinstated.

Once a year the Graduate Studies office will send a list of graduate courses, which have not been taught in the previous four academic years (or more), to the academic units for consideration of temporary withdrawal, as per Senate paper S.01-24.

Question & Answer

Does a special topics course require a library check and an outline?

A special topics course does need to be sent to the library for recording purposes. A sample outline may be included but is not required.

Senate Documents


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