Appointment of supervisors and other policies

Appointment of supervisors (MA and PhD students)

Upon entering the graduate program, all students are assigned an Interim Supervisor, usually the faculty member they have contacted while in the application process.

The selection of an eligible Permanent Supervisor is made by mutual agreement between the student, the faculty member, and the Graduate Program Director. A Permanent Supervisor should normally be appointed by the end of April of the first year of registration. At the time of appointment, the Permanent Supervisor should be currently active in research in an area related to the student’s interest.

Once a student has a Permanent Supervisor, a Co-Supervisor may also be appointed by mutual agreement between the student, Supervisor, and the GPD. A Co-Supervisor means an individual who is named as Co-Supervisor and serves as a second Supervisor of a Graduate Student.

Appointment of Supervisory Committee (For PhD Students Only)
PhD students must have a Supervisory Committee. A Supervisory Committee normally consists

  • The Supervisor
  • The Co-Supervisor (if one is appointed; co-supervisors are not required)
  • Two additional members who are normally experts in the proposed area of thesis research.


The Supervisory Committee should be appointed as quickly as possible after the appointment of the Permanent Supervisor.

Please note: MA students do not have a Supervisory Committee, only a Supervisor.

Other policies

All research involving human participants, animals or biohazards must first be reviewed and approved by the appropriate certification committee before research can begin. Failure to obtain appropriate approvals prior to conducting research may result in an outcome of “fail” on the thesis examination. For more information and the relevant forms, please see Research Ethics Information for Graduate Students.

Students whose research requires travel outside Canada must register with Risk Management. If the destination is rated high or extreme risk by the University of Calgary, the traveller will be required to apply for permission to travel. For more information, contact Insurance and Risk Management (

  • MA students will be guaranteed shared office space for up to two years.
  • PhD students will be guaranteed shared office space for up to five years.
  • Requests for office space beyond the guaranteed period will be considered based on availability and on a case-by-case basis.
  • Registered students who no longer make regular use of their office space may be assigned a shared desk.
  • Graduate students who hold a GA(T), GA(NT), or a Sessional Instructor position in the Department are guaranteed a shared desk for their TA or sessional duties. A $20.00 deposit will be required from incoming graduate students before they receive a room, mailbox and computer lab key. This money will be returned to students once they turn in all of their keys at the end of their program. The deposit will not be returned until the office space is checked to ensure all belongings are taken with the student.

See the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar under “Time Limits” for information and the procedures for requesting an extension to the program deadlines.

The Graduate Program Director will support a student’s application for an extension if there is a reasonable prospect of degree completion within the requested time frame.

Please note that students are responsible for initiating the process and ensuring the appropriate forms are completed; the Graduate Program Director is responsible only for providing a recommendation that an extension be granted or denied; and, FGS is responsible for granting or denying the extension.