In exceptional cases, a student may transfer between closely-related programs (e.g. Botany and Plant Science), or from one degree program to another, with an academic justification from the graduate program advisor or department head of the new program and the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
See the heading "Transfer between closely-related programs" for more information.
Transfers between master's programs involving a change of discipline are treated as new admissions.
For information on transfer of credits from one program to another, see transfer credit details under Course Registration.
There are also two types of transfers you can make between programs:
- Transfer from master's to doctoral programs without completing master's requirements
- Transfer from doctoral to master's programs
Transfer Between Closely-Related Programs
- A recommendation to transfer comes from the receiving graduate program
- It must be supported by an academic justification and a review of the student’s academic qualifications.
- There must be evidence of consultation with the student’s current graduate program.
- The effective date of transfer must correspond with the beginning of a term, and must not be earlier than the beginning of the term in which the transfer is recommended.
- Transfers between programs involving a change of discipline are treated as new admissions.
- Transferring between programs does not change the maximum time allowed for completion of degree program.
- Current and receiving graduate programs discuss transfer with student.
- The receiving graduate program downloads and completes the “Transfer Between Related Master’s Graduate Programs” or "Transfer Between Related PhD Graduate Programs" form, and attaches a copy of the student’s request for transfer and other required documentation.
- Student, supervisor, current graduate program advisor, and new graduate program advisor sign the form indicating their approval.
- Program sends the form to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- For information on transfer of credits from one program to another, see Policies & Procedures/Course Registration/Transfer Credit.
Transfer from Master's to Doctoral Programs without Completing Master's Requirements
Students may be eligible to transfer from a master’s program into a related doctoral program ("fast track") if they have completed the following requirements:
- Hold a bachelor's degree, and have completed a minimum of one year of study in a master's program with 9 credits at the 500-level or above and of first class standing (80% or better).
- Students entering the doctoral program after partial completion of the master’s degree must, during the first two years of study at the graduate level, complete a total of 12 credits with a first-class average (of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first-class standing) to maintain registration as a doctoral student.
- (for Ph.D.) clear evidence of research ability or potential;
- (for Ed.D.) first class standing and first class standing in such prerequisite work as may have been required, and five years professional experience; or
- (for D.M.A.) outstanding ability in performance or composition.
Transfer directly into a doctoral program is normally accomplished after completion of the first year of study at the master's level and will not be permitted after completion of the second year. Transfers may not be retroactive.
Students must be in good academic and financial standing.
If a student transfers from a master’s program to a doctoral program without completing the master’s degree, the start of the doctoral program will be the date of first registration in the master’s program. The student is expected to complete all requirements for candidacy by the end of three years from the date of first registration in the master's program.
Transfer from Doctoral to Master's Programs
Students may apply to transfer from doctoral to master’s programs. Transfers may be approved if they meet the following conditions:
- Ideally, the transfer is initiated early in the student’s doctoral program.
- The transfer should be justified on the grounds of its appropriateness for the student’s personal or professional goals. These should be discussed by the student and his or her advisor.
- Transfer requires the full agreement of both student and graduate program.
Transfers between programs involving a change of discipline must be treated as new admissions.
Transfers from doctoral to master’s programs may have implications for student funding.
Students must complete all the requirements for the master's program in order to be awarded their degree.