ADDRESSING PROBLEMS IN YOUR GRADUATE STUDIES
The best way to handle a problem during your graduate studies is to identify it while it’s small and manageable, and collaborate with your program or supervisor on finding a solution.
In general, it is expected that student concerns will be dealt with as close to the source of concern as possible. This list shows who you can consult during resolution of specific types of problems. If a problem isn’t resolved at the immediate source, you can bring it to a more senior person, as follows:
Courses and course grades:
- course instructor
- graduate program advisor
- head of the department
Status in the program, comprehensive examinations, supervision issues, funding, study/research environment, etc:
- student’s supervisor
- graduate program advisor
- head of the department or academic unit
If no resolution can be achieved within your program, the problem may be addressed with the help of G+PS and ultimately be taken to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Support for addressing sensitive or complex challenges in relationship with your supervisor
For particularly sensitive or complex challenges, you may feel the need for some additional support to help you navigate the situation. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may seek support from your graduate advisor. After that you may want to consult with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the GSS, the Ombuds Office, or the Equity and Inclusion Office.
The Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies offers confidential services and support for graduate students in these circumstances:
- Emily Pitcher, Associate Director, Student Academic Support, Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
G+PS senior staff can meet with you to confidentially discuss your concerns, explain how UBC policies may apply, provide resources that may be beneficial, and help identify steps to work towards a resolution. If appropriate, G+PS can work directly with your graduate program to help develop solutions.
Visit the Supervision and Advising section for specific advice on constructively ending the supervisor-student relationship.
Depending on the nature of the concern, students can also access:
- The Ombuds Office is an impartial and confidential resource for students to obtain assistance when they feel they have been treated unfairly in the university setting.
- The Equity & Inclusion office provides a range of services to support equity, diversity and inclusion; offers consultation services to help members of UBC community navigate and resolve conflicts; and assists with human-rights related discrimination concerns
- Graduate Student Society peer support specialists provide confidential assistance to individual fellow graduate students experiencing difficulties