The following definitions are intended to facilitate an understanding of the calendar and not to define all words and phrases used in the calendar which may have specific meanings.

Academic Dismissal

A student’s required withdrawal from a program due to unsatisfactory academic performance.

Academic Program

A distinct group of courses and other requirements which lead to eligibility for a degree or other university-awarded credential.

Academic Terms

  • Fall term: September - December
  • Winter term: January - April
  • Summer term: May - August
  • Regular term: September - April

Advanced Standing

Students possessing advanced knowledge of a subject will be encouraged to begin their studies in that subject at a level appropriate to their knowledge, as determined by the department/school/college concerned. However, such students must complete, at Dalhousie, the full number of credit hours required for the particular credential being sought.


A student permitted to attend courses but not expected to prepare assignments, write papers, tests or examinations. Credit is not given nor is a mark awarded for courses. Courses appear on the transcript with the notation "Aud". If not already admitted to the University, audit students must apply. Students may register to audit a course only after the first day of courses.


The term candidate for a doctoral degree is used to identify a student who has fulfilled all the requirements for the PhD except for the submission and defence of the thesis; thus, a candidate will have successfully completed the residency requirement, all course work, qualifying and comprehensive examinations (as applicable), and the thesis proposal defence (if applicable). This status is equivalent to the common terms "all but the thesis" or "all but dissertation" used at some institutions. The term candidate cannot be employed with regard to a Masters degree student.


See Internship

Clinical Practice

See Internship

Continuing Fees

The tuition fees charged to graduate students who have fulfilled their program fee requirements but have yet to complete all their degree requirements. See Faculty of Graduate Studies Regulations.

Co-operative Education

A program where academic study is combined with career related work experience.


Requirement which can be fulfilled concurrently with the course being considered.


A unit of study in a subject area. Such a course is identified by a course/subject label, number, credit value and title (e.g. ENGL 1100.03: Writing for University).


A unit by which University course work is measured. One course is normally worth one half credit or three credit hours.

Credit Hours

One course is normally equal to three credit hours (e.g. ENGL 1100.03: Writing for University = 3 credit hours).


Each course has a course reference number (CRN) attached to it. This number is to be used when registering for courses.

Crosslisted Courses

Courses are crosslisted based upon course content that deals with more than one subject area in a substantive way. The crosslisting recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of the course.


Email is an authorized means of communication for academic and administrative purposes within Dalhousie. The University will assign all students an official email address. This address will remain in effect while the student remains registered and for one academic term following a student’s last registration. This is the only email address that will be used for communication with students regarding all academic and administrative matters. Any redirection of email will be at the student’s own risk. Each student is expected to check her or his official email address frequently in order to stay current with Dalhousie communications.


An exclusion is when one course is sufficiently similar to another course that credit will only be given once if both are taken.


See Internship.


See Internship.

Full-time Students

Those registered for 18 credit hours for UG, AC, HP level; 12 credit hours for TC level or more in the Regular term OR the equivalent of nine credit hours for UG, AC, HP level; six credit hours for TC level courses or more in either the Summer, Fall or Winter term.

Good Standing

Students who meet the required GPA are considered to be in good academic standing.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Weighted sum of the grade points earned, divided by the number of credit hours enrolled.

  • Term GPA: Courses taken in a single term.
  • Cumulative GPA: All courses taken while registered in a level of study.

In the case of a course that has been repeated, only the highest grade is included.


Graduate Student Information System. The electronic database used to approve graduate student program requirements and progress.

Graduate Student

A student with a Bachelor’s degree, usually with Honours or equivalent, enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral program, or a graduate diploma program.

Internship, Fieldwork, Clinical Practice, Externship, Practicum, Clerkship

These terms are used in programs to describe practical professional educational experiences that are conducted in a non-university setting such as a health or social service agency.

Letter of Permission

A Letter of Permission authorizes a Dalhousie student to take a course(s) at another institution for credit towards a Dalhousie qualification. Such permission must be obtained in advance of taking the course(s).

Level of Study

The following are levels of study:

TC Technology Diploma - Faculty of Agriculture
AC Architecture/Engineering (Years 3 and 4)
HP Health
UG    Agriculture
  Arts & Social Sciences
  Computer Science
  Engineering (Years 1 and 2) and Bachelor of Food Science

Multi-Term Course

Undergraduate Multi-Term Course: A course that spans multiple terms in an academic year.  A final grade is awarded upon successful completion of the course

Graduate Multi-Term Course: A course that spans multiple terms in an academic year.  A final grade is awarded upon successful completion of the course.

Graduate In-Progress Course: The grade of “In Progress” (IP) is used to identify and report on-going satisfactory progress in thesis, research projects, and courses/seminars structured to progress over a flexible number of academic terms. Students are expected to register in the course in each term that they are engaged in course-related activities.  A final grade will be assigned in the academic term where course requirements are met.

Non-thesis Program

A Master’s program of study based on course work which may also include a research project. This includes many of the professional graduate programs. Some of these programs also offer a thesis option.

Part-time Students

Students registered for fewer than 18 credit hours for UG, AC, HP level; 12 credit hours for TC level OR the equivalent of nine credit hours for UG, AC, HP level; six credit hours for TC level courses in either the Summer, Fall or Winter term.

Part-time Graduate Student (Program Fee)

A part-time graduate student paying program fees is a student who has been approved by the department and the Faculty of Graduate Studies as working part-time on their graduate degree. A part-time graduate student is taking less than nine credit hours per term.

Part-time Student (Per Course Fee)

A student who is taking less than nine credit hours in a term is considered a part-time student.

Per Course Fee

The fees charged to students in a Per-Course Fee Degree. Students pay fees according to the number of courses taken in any given term.


See Internship.


A requirement that must be fulfilled prior to registering in a specific course.


Warning to students that their academic performance is unsatisfactory and that they will be dismissed from their program unless their performance improves by the end of the next term.

Program Fees

The tuition fees charged to students in a program-fee degree. The program fee is based on total tuition for a specified number of years, varying according to academic program. Students who have not completed their program after the specified number of years are required to pay a continuing fee.

Qualifying Students (Master’s only)

A full-time or part-time student with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in whom a department has expressed an interest as a potential graduate student, but who is without a sufficient GPA or academic background in a particular discipline to be enrolled directly in a Master’s program.


The period of time that graduate students are expected to be on campus for fulfillment of their formal program requirements. In some programs, part of the residency period may, with permission, include some time off campus (e.g. for fieldwork or research).

Scholarship GPA

See Awards section.

Special Students

Students who are not candidates for a degree or diploma but who wish to take courses which may be allowed for credit. This is not the same as auditing a course. Special students must satisfy normal admission requirements.

Special Student - Graduate Studies (SSGS)

A Student who is not registered in a graduate program but is taking graduate courses. Special students must satisfy normal admission requirements.


The supervisor is a member of Faculty of Graduate Studies who is directly responsible for the supervision of a graduate student’s program. In this capacity, the supervisor assists the student in planning a program, ensures that the student is aware of all program requirements, degree regulations, and general regulations of the department and Faculty of Graduate Studies, provides counsel on all aspects of the program, and stays informed about the student’s research activities and progress. The supervisor is also charged with ensuring that a student’s research is effective, safe, productive and ethical. Specific duties of the supervisor include preparation of a program of study with the student, arrangement of and attendance at all supervisory committee meetings and candidate examinations, while ensuring that these exams are scheduled and held in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies and Departmental regulations, and reviewing the thesis both in draft and in final forms.

Thesis Only Fees

See Continuing Fees above.

Thesis Program

A Master’s or Doctoral program of study involving a major research component in the form of a written thesis. Some programs offer a non-thesis option.


A transcript is a complete history of a student’s academic record at Dalhousie. Partial transcripts, e.g. a portion of a student’s record pertaining to registration in a particular degree, faculty, or level of study, are not issued.

Transfer Student

A transfer student is one who is awarded credit towards a Dalhousie degree for academic work completed at a previous university or equivalent institution of higher learning.


Students who are candidates for an undergraduate degree or diploma.

Visiting Student

A person permitted to take courses at Dalhousie for transfer of credit to another university.

Visiting Student Graduate Studies (VSGS)

a. A person permitted to take courses at Dalhousie for transfer of credit to another university (Letter of Permission required).
b. A person permitted to work with a Dalhousie researcher for thesis work at another university (Research).

Work Term

Career related work experience required in Co-operative Education programs. Work terms are usually 13-16 weeks in duration.

Writing Intensive

Writing Intensive courses are those which emphasize the process of writing, frequency of writing assignments, and weighting of those assignments in the course grades. A Writing Intensive course is normally taken as a sequel to a Writing Requirement course, but does not satisfy the Writing Requirement.