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COVID-19 SGS Tuition fee exemption

Information about the Tuition fee exemption for COVID-19 related extension

Graduate students who demonstrate that their academic progress was significantly impeded due to COVID-19 related disruptions will be exempt from tuition for up to one academic session. This duration may be re-assessed as the situation evolves. The tuition fee exemption does not cover non-tuition ancillary, incidental fees, and system access fees that are associated with the registration session. The department will provide Program Completion Award (PCA) to cover non-tuition ancillary, incidental fees, and system access fees.

  • Criteria for Providing a Tuition Fee Exemption
  1. Students were making good progress with their thesis/dissertation prior to COVID-19 and data collection or access to necessary sources has been significantly impeded due to pandemic-related impacts (e.g., labs closed, fieldwork cancelled, access to materials, archives or library sources has been impeded, personal circumstances). This disruption will have been documented using the COVID-19 mentoring record distributed in 2020.
  2. Additional work is needed before the thesis/dissertation can be defended (e.g., insufficient data or material) or the major research paper is completed.
  3. The revised research plan will require an additional session of registration.
  4. All feasible alternative academic activities (e.g., writing sections of dissertation or publications, coursework, professional development) have been completed.
  5. The student will be outside the funded cohort (5th year and up for 4-year PhD students, 6th year and up for DE students, and the 2nd year of M. Sc. students) and will receive little or no other funding towards tuition charged in the session for which they are applying for an exemption.
  6. Supervisory committee agrees that conditions (1) through (5) have been met.
  7. Departmental approval.
  • Registration with tuition exemption is available for students who meet the criteria identified above. Students should submit their requests in the academic session for which they are seeking tuition fee exemption. Applications must be received by the SGS registration deadline (as published in the SGS sessional dates.).
  • Students will initiate a request to register with a fee exemption by completing the “SGS Register with Tuition Fee Exemption on Basis of Progress Delays due to COVID-19” form. Completion of the form requires approvals from the supervisory committee and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.
  • Additional Information:
  1. Send the completed form to the Graduate Office (kbiel@physics) for departmental approval. Please make sure supervisor’s and supervisory committee members’ signatures are included. (Please have the supervisory committee members sign next to their names in Section 1 of the form.)
  2. The student will be notified whether their request is approved or not. The approved requests will be forwarded directly to the SGS for processing.
  3. To assess whether the student meets the required criteria (See above), the physics department will rely on the information in the “COVID-19 Mentoring Meeting Record” provided by the students and supervisors in April-May 2020. We understand that the nature of disruption each student experiences can change during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be an additional opportunity to document the disruption at the next Mentoring Meeting, which should be scheduled before October 15, 2020.
  4. Note that students can request to register with a fee exemption at a later time when they are outside the funded cohort. However, it is important to document the disruption at the Mentoring Meeting.
  5. Students whose requests are not approved by the department will be able to appeal this decision to the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee, and if necessary, to SGS, as per the normal academic appeals process.