SPTH Coursework Policy

It is expected that course work can be completed in a timely manner, normally within the specified semester or semesters of the course. To this end, written course papers assigned under the auspicious of the Social and Political Thought Program Course numbers adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. All course outlines stipulate required assignments as to their weighting, expectation, and due dates
  2. Grade weighting and evaluation:
    • No individual written assignment may be weighed at 100% of the course grade
    • There must be no less than two graded assignments for a 3-credit course and no less than three graded assignments for a 6-credit course
  3. Length of Written Work:
    • The length of any given paper assigned for a 3-credit course shall be no more than 25 pages and the sum total of written work for all assignments shall not exceed 40 pages.
    • The length of any paper assigned for a 6-credit course shall be no more than 25 pages and the sum total of written work for all assignments shall not exceed 60 pages.
  4. Cross-listed course outlines must be submitted by to the SPTH office each time the course is taught.

Course-related Guidelines

  1. Grades for fall term half courses must be submitted on-line directly, or reported by the Course Director to the Program office no later than 15 January.
  2. Grades for winter-term half courses or for full courses must be submitted on-line directly, or reported to the Program office no later than 15 May.
  3. Grades for summer-term half courses or for full courses must be submitted on-line directly, or reported to the Program office no later than 15 September. Students should ensure that all work is submitted in time for the Course Director to evaluate and grade the work.
  4. Any Course Director has the right to establish an earlier deadline for final submission of work. This deadline may not be before 15 December (for fall term half courses), or 1 May (for half winter term courses or full fall/winter courses) or 1 September (for half or full summer courses). A Course Director whose final deadline for submission of work is earlier than those set out in 1, 2, and 3, must clearly communicate this fact to students at the beginning of the course in writing or in email.
  5. No Course director may establish deadlines that are later than those adopted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.Students should also be prepared to find any course they enroll in and later drop listed on their transcript showing a "W". Students have until 1 November to withdraw from a newly enrolled fall term half course or full course and until 15 February to withdraw from a winter half course without the" W" appearing on your subsequent transcripts.


Petitions for extensions should be exceptional. Problems with written work should be discussed with instructors and the graduate program director from the beginning in order to assure that insurmountable problems do not emerge at the last minute.

Students may petition through the Director to have their final deadlines extended subject to the following strictures:

  1. It must be understood that petitions to extend deadlines should come in response to exceptional (and unpredictable) circumstances and ought not to be treated by students and faculty as normal operating procedure.
  2. Petitions from students must be accompanied by the written support of the instructor in whose course the extension is sought.  Where relevant, medical documentation may be required.
  3. Petitions for extension must be submitted prior to the deadline for an incomplete grade.
  4. The petition must contain both a plausible rationale for an extension and a precise indication as to the work left to be done and the time necessary for its completion. Petitions for open-ended extensions will not be granted.

Time Extension Petitions can be found on the FGS Status Forms Page.

Incomplete Grades (INCs)

  • The Faculty of Graduate Studies considers incomplete grades as an extension: students receive an additional eight weeks to complete the work of a three credit course after grades are due and an additional four month extension for a six credit course.
  • Students are expected to request an incomplete and receive the professor's agreement well before the due date of the last paper.
  • Students may carry at most two full incompletes or one full and two half course incompletes. The Program Director may require additional documentation or a written rational to permit students to carry incomplete grades.
  • Students are encouraged to complete work without using Incompletes, as this may impede their long term progress or affect scholarship opportunities.
  • Students should be advised that INC grades must be submitted to the Registrar’s office before they are register on the transcript and thus require a minimum of a two week processing time. Any grades submitted after September 15th may be too late for OGS or SSHRC applications.