Graduation FAQs

1. Do I need to have graduated to have TQS change my salary category?

Perhaps.  TQS requires completion of approved 30 credits of a coherent program of study, but there appear to be differences in what their web page says and what happens in reality.  You should check their regulations with TQS directly, including -- but not limited to -- reading their web site (http://www.tqs.bc.ca/).

2. What are the deadlines to apply for graduation?

Check the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FOGS) website to determine the deadline for your graduating term. In general, the deadlines are:

Spring Graduation (May)

  • September 15- Last day for Graduation applications to be submitted to Enrolment Services by all students expecting to graduate in November. Application is made through the Student Service Centre.
  • Early October - Graduate Studies: last day for departments to notify the Faculty of Graduate Studies that major papers have been submitted and all requirements met for non-thesis master's degrees for Fall graduation.

Fall Graduation (November)

  • February 28 (or 29 when applicable) - Last day for Graduation applications to be submitted to Enrolment Services by all students expecting to graduate in November. Application is made through the Student Service Centre.
  • Early April - Graduate Studies: last day for departments to notify the Faculty of Graduate Studies that major papers have been submitted and all requirements met for non-thesis master's degrees for Fall graduation.

3. I missed the deadline to apply for graduation this term. What do I do?

Please contact the graduate secretary from your academic department. She/he will be able to advise you on a course of action. If you are not sure who your grad. sec. is, just ask us.

4. How are my remaining fees calculated?

The cost of your degree is divided into the number of installments allocated to your program, payable every four months. Your balance owing will depend on how many installments you have made at the time you apply to graduate. If you are unsure of how many installments you need to pay please contact the Senior Program Assistant appointed to your cohort.

5. How can I find out what my remaining fees balance is?

Check the Student Service Centre web site for a listing of fees owing; but wait until the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FOGS) has had a chance to inform Enrolment Services that your program has completed.

6. I've checked the Student Service Centre about my fees; it says Assessment Added Late, but I wasn't late!

The UBC records system does not have a separate line description for 'remaining balance'. It does not mean that you will be assessed late payment charges -- if that were the case, it would be entered as a separate item ("Financial Hold Fee") on your record.

7. By what date do I have to pay my remaining balance, to avoid a late-payment charge?

Your due date will be the 7th of the month following the closure of your program (e.g., if FOGS closes your program on September 15, then your final fees will be due on October 7th).

8. Am I charged the student fees for every installment I'm owing at the time of completion?

No. You only pay the student assessments for your last participating term; e.g., if you complete by April, and have 2 remaining installments to pay, you are not assessed any more student fees if you paid those for the term that ended in April.

9. So, what do I actually do to get my final balance calculated?

When you have no more courses to take to fulfill your degree requirements, you contact your department to tell them you intend to graduate, and the final assessment is calculated when FOGS then tells Enrolment Services to close your account.

10. So it's not the application to graduate that gets the final bill prepared?

The application to graduate is only part of the process; the other component is the informing of FOGS (and then Enrolment Services) by your academic department.

11. Because I completed my degree requirements after April 30th (Spring) or October 31st (Fall), I had to pay a whole new term's fees; can I apply for a refund if I complete during that particular term?

Yes, but tuition fees are prorated based on the date of completion which your department gives FOGS. If you formally complete during the first month of a term, you will be eligible for a refund of 75% of the tuition fee; if completing during the second month, 50%; if during the third, 25%. Student-levied fees are not prorated, however.

12. Can I take more courses while I'm waiting to graduate?

Once your department informs FOGS that you have completed your degree requirements, and FOGS informs Enrolment Services, your eligibility to register for courses is removed, and you will be blocked from further course registration.

13. If I don't go to the graduation ceremony in the Spring, can I walk across the stage in November (or vice versa)?

No. If your degree will actually be granted (for example) for the Spring, you have the choice of either appearing or not at the ceremony, but if you miss that ceremony, you can't try again next time.

14. When will I know my ceremony date and time?

The May schedule is available in early February and the November schedule is available in early September. This information will be available on the Student Service Centre web site, and it will also be mailed to you in late March (for the May ceremony) and in October (for the November ceremony).

15. If I do not plan on attending the ceremony do I still need to apply to graduate?

Yes. If you do not apply, you will not graduate! The degree is literally handed to you at the ceremony, but if you are not able to attend, you can ask to have it mailed to you.

16. I applied for graduation well before the deadline, and it's the end of September, and I haven't heard anything about my application!

Those who do the on-line application to graduate should get an automated e-mail that states that the application is now being forwarded to the graduation office. That will be the only communication you should receive until sometime in late April (for spring graduation) or late October (for fall graduate), when a graduation package will be mailed to you. That package will include information on tickets and what procedures you will need to follow.

However, you can check the status of your application by logging into your student account (where you applied) and viewing your application. Just click on "Graduation" and it will give you access to your application. You can also edit it up until the application deadline.

17. What if it's late October and I still haven't received anything?!

If there has somehow been a slip-up, and it's that late, contact the graduation clerk in Enrolment Services directly, at gradapplications@students.ubc.ca, or 604-822-4455. There will still be time to get an application processed if for some reason it wasn't received or processed.

18. When do I know when my application has been approved?

Your application to graduate will be reviewed by your Faculty in April (for the May ceremony) and in October (for the November ceremony). The final approval will be noted on the Student Services web site about a week prior to the Convocation ceremony.

19. What if I must take longer than the 3 years to finish my degree?

If you take more than the allotted number of terms  to complete, you must pay further installments until you finish your degree requirements.

20. I still don't get it: why doesn't the application to graduate do it all?

At UBC, applying to graduate just begins the complicated process of getting your degree. The required process is a multi-step procedure which includes applying to graduate, contacting your academic department to request formal completion, which initiates communication with FOGS, which initiates exchange of information with Enrolment Services. All these branches of UBC work to get you out of here!

21. I've finished my degree requirements early, but I can't afford to pay the remainder of my fees yet. Since I'm paying anyway, can I take some more courses?

Yes. As long as your eligibility is still open and your current term's fees have been paid, you can continue to register for courses. However, those courses must be approved by your graduate advisor and must be relevant to your program of study. Note, however, that these courses are considered part of your degree and can not be transferred to another degree or program.

22. What is a 'relevant' course?

A relevant course is one that is appropriate to your degree program; e.g., if you are doing an M.Ed. specializing in Educational Administration, a first-year Chemistry course is not considered appropriate to your study focus.

23. I've completed my degree credits early but am not able to pay my remaining installments as yet; what should I do?

You can pay each installment as it becomes due, and thus wait until you are financially ready to graduate. Or, you could take more courses -- see FAQ No. 10.

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