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As a graduate student, you are required to maintain satisfactory progress toward degree completion in order to remain in your program. To help track your progress, you are required to submit an annual progress report (APR) every year. Only students with a defense scheduled in the semester the APR is due are exempt.
Annual progress reports help to:
- ensure timely progress towards degree completion
- identify issues with student progress early enough that the committee can help the student
You will receive a hard copy of the annual report form from the Graduate Program Assistant every year in the semester in which you started (Fall, Spring or Summer), and will need to complete and return this by the corresponding deadline:
Deadlines: October 15 (Fall admission); February 15 (Spring admission); June 15 (Summer admission)
Failure to submit the APR by the deadline may result in your being withdrawn from graduate studies.
What’s in a progress report?
Required Documents (All Programs)
- The completed form given to you by the Graduate Program Assistant
- Minutes of your most recent supervisory committee meeting, which must be held annually*
- A brief description of the work completed since the last report (or since starting your program if this is the first report)**
- An unofficial graduate transcript. Do not submit your undergraduate transcript.
- An assessment of your progress by each member of your supervisory committee
*Students are encouraged to hold committee meetings in a timely manner, and not delay scheduling the meetings until the month the APR is due. The minutes include a sheet of past and future milestones which you should bring to the committee meeting for discussion, and up to two free-form pages summarizing the main points discussed during the meeting. Please do not include printed copies of any powerpoint presentations made at the meeting.
**The senior supervisor and candidate must be present at the committee meeting and no more than one committee member can attend using video conferencing options. Separate meetings with individual committee members can only be used in place of the committee meeting under exceptional circumstances and with prior approval of the DGSC chair.
MSc and MPM Students
MSc and MPM students are required to submit a formal thesis proposal with their first annual progress report. The proposal must be 3-4 pages single-spaced with 12pt font, and must include the following sections:
- Research Objectives, and
References are not included in the page limit.
This proposal must be discussed with the supervisory committee no later than the second semester enrolled. The first supervisory committee meeting must be held no later than the second semester enrolled.
Students in the first year of the MET program are required to submit a progress report outlining all courses taken. The progress report is to be approved by the MET Program Director.
MET students are required to form a supervisory committee by the end of their 3rd semester. After a committee has been formed, future annual progress reports will follow the requirements for a progress report listed above in "What's in a progress report?".
PhD candidates must defend a 5-page thesis proposal during a candidacy exam. The candidacy exam normally occurs in the fourth semester enrolled (or 2 semesters after transfer from MSc).
Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory Progress
What constitutes Satisfactory Progress?
Progress is considered satisfactory when two conditions are met:
1. Satisfactory CGPA - a minimum CGPA of 3.0 is required
2. Satisfactory evaluations by supervisory committee - Each member of the supervisory committee must report on student progress at least once each year. This is done by means of evaluation forms which assess progress in:
- articulating the goals and broad context of the research
- understanding and applying relevant methods
- data collection, analysis and writing, and
- development of good work habits
Overall progress is rated as excellent, satisfactory, satisfactory with concerns, or unsatisfactory. A rating of unsatisfactory overall progress by one or more, but not all, committee members will be discussed between the Chair of DGSC and the committee member(s) concerned.
A unanimous unsatisfactory rating for overall progress, or such a rating by the Senior Supervisor, will trigger a progress review by DGSC.
What happens if progress is not satisfactory?
Unsatisfactory progress, owing to the failure to meet either of the two requirements for satisfactory progress, will trigger a review by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC).
The DGSC, in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee, will inform the student of the unsatisfactory progress and may either require the student to improve in specific ways in a specific period of time or may require the student to withdraw.
These outcomes, and the appeal procedures, are described more fully in the General Graduate Regulations (sections 1.8.2 and Guidelines for Graduate Program Appeals (http://www.fhs.sfu.ca/graduate-programs/Graduate-Studies-Appeal-Procedures.pdf).
Under no circumstances will a graduate student whose CGPA is below 3.0 be awarded a graduate degree. Similarly, under no circumstances will a student with a CGPA below 2.5 be awarded a graduate diploma.
If you have concerns about your committee please complete the Confidential Report to DGSC Chair.