Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Change of Registration

Requests for a Change of Registration are completed through the Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

Applying for a Leave of Absence

If you need to apply for a leave of absence due to medical, compassionate, or pregnancy/parental grounds you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

After submitting an application for leave, your request will be forwarded to your home program for approval and finally to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for approval and processing. Once a decision has been made, you will receive notification via your Western e-mail address.

International students in Canada during their leave are required to opt into UHIP; however, international students are eligible for a maximum of four months of coverage while on a leave.

Doctoral Medical Leave Bursaries

Starting October 5, 2015, doctoral students may be eligible for a Medical Leave Bursary of up to $5,000 for one term of leave during the full duration of a student’s degree. The bursary will be available to any eligible doctoral students on a medical leave effective September 1, 2015. The bursary will be piloted for three years ending August 31, 2018.

To be eligible, students must:

  • be enrolled full-time in a PhD program or in the DMA program
  • be within their funding eligibility period (e.g., in Year 1 to 4, or Year 1 to 5 in the case of direct-entry, Master’s to Doctoral transfer or combined PhD/masters programs)
  • provide a Medical Certificate completed by a health care practitioner
  • expect to return to full-time studies following the leave
  • request and be approved by the graduate program and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a medical leave of absence

The bursary would be granted for a maximum of one term.  Students requiring a medical leave longer than one term would not receive additional funding. Students are eligible for a maximum of $5,000 of medical leave bursary funding during the full duration of their degree.

The bursary would be provided directly to the student to cover living costs while on medical leave.  Students who receive a medical leave bursary are subject to all aspects of the SGPS Regulation on Leaves of Absence (see Graduate Regulations, Section 4.06).

Part-time Status

Students registered part-time may take no more than two courses in a term. Undergraduate courses taken as extra courses or as degree requirements are to be included in the totals above.

Part-time registration status falls into two specific categories:

  • Part-time student in approved part-time program
    • Students may be admitted as part-time students in approved part-time programs as stipulated in the program's regulations. During the course of study, and with the approval of the program and SGPS, such a part-time registrant may be approved to register as a full-time student; he or she may then register as a part-time student at a later date by meeting the requirements as stipulated below. Students who begin as full-time students in programs that have an approved part-time course of study may only change to part-time registration as stipulated below.
  • Part-time student in full-time program
    • Part-time registration in full-time programs may be granted in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of both the Graduate Program and the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). Examples of such circumstances are: admission to another full-time university program or medical or compassionate circumstances that make it impossible for the student to continue to devote full-time attention to his or her program of study. Supporting documentation must be submitted with the request for part-time status.
    • Part-time status is not to be used as a means for reducing or avoiding tuition fees. Being beyond the funding eligibility period will not, by itself, constitute grounds for a change from full-time to part-time status.
    • Part-time status may be granted for up to a cumulative total of three terms.

Changes to part-time registration status must coincide with the start of term.

If you would like to apply for part-time status you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

Master's to Doctoral Transfer

Programs may allow students to transfer their registration from the Master's to the Doctoral degree within the same program, without completion of the Master's degree. The Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) will consider such requests on the recommendation of the student's program.

Transfers from the Master's to the Doctoral program must take place before the sixth term of Master's registration, unless the program's OCGS-approved provisions state otherwise.

Thesis Defense Only Status

If you have completed all degree requirements (including thesis submission), but have not defended your thesis prior to the end of the current term, you are eligible to continue your registration into the subsequent term in Thesis Defense Only (TDO) status. This additional term makes the completion of your thesis possible while not requiring you to pay tuition fees. (Please note: you will registered as a part-time student and will be responsible to pay part-time ancillary fees and UHIP fees where applicable.)  This status may apply for a maximum of one term.

In order to be considered for TDO status for the subsequent term:

After meeting the above two requirements, you will be registered in TDO status in the subsequent term.  If you submit the Intent form and fail to upload your defense-ready thesis by the deadline, your registration will return to its previous status.

In order to maintain TDO status, you must:

  • Successfully complete your thesis examination.
  • Complete all required thesis revisions.
  • Submit your final thesis to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to the end of your TDO term.2

If you do not meet these conditions, you will be required to pay part-time tuition retroactively for the TDO term, and will continue to be registered until your final thesis is submitted.

Important Notes

1 Please note that the required timelines for thesis submission are still in effect to allow for review by the examining committee:

  • Doctoral preliminary thesis submission – six weeks prior to thesis exam
  • Master’s preliminary thesis submission – four weeks prior to thesis exam

2 Although revisions and final thesis submission may be permitted six weeks after a successful thesis examination, the deadline for final thesis submission to maintain TDO status is the final day of the TDO term.

Applying to Graduate

The University holds regular Convocation ceremonies in the Spring (June) and in the Fall (October) of each year and an In Absentia convocation in February. Degree completion, for purposes of Convocation, requires the following:

  • Program's submission to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of grades for all course requirements.
  • Acceptance by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of the final submission of the thesis (if applicable).
  • Program's notification to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies indicating degree completion.

If you are in the final term of your program, you are required to apply to graduate via the Student Center. Students' application for graduation may only occur during the term in which they intend to complete the requirements of their degree. Applications must be submitted prior to the end of that term to ensure eligibility.

To apply, access the Student Center. Select "Apply for Graduation" within the My Academics section and follow the instructions to complete the process.


Information regarding ceremony dates and tickets can be found at Western University - Convocation.

Voluntary Withdrawal

If it is necessary for you to withdraw from your graduate program you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal under Change of Registration. The request will be forwarded to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for processing. Once withdrawn from a program (and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), you are no longer a student and may not attend classes, receive supervision, or have access to any resources of the University.

Fee refunds will be made on a pro rata basis to students who withdraw before the end of a term. Detailed information on graduate tuition refunds is available on the Office of the Registrar's Website. Scholarships received from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are also subject to pro-rating. Contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for details.