Frequently Asked Questions from New & Current Students
Where can I find out about resources, policies and general services that could be helpful to me as a graduate student?
A listing of resources and services for graduate students as well as a brief summary of each can be found here. They are categorized under the headings: thesis completion, progressing to degree completion, policies and regulations, professional skills development, advising and counselling services and other services and resources. Also the Graduate Calendar provides a comprehensive and up to date guide to graduate programs, courses, regulations and awards.
If you are seeking guidance about what to expect of yourself and others as it relates to graduate studies the Guide to Graduate Supervision may be of help to you.
I need to improve my presentation skills. Is there help at Queen's?
Yes, you can find support and assistance through Student Academic Support Services at Queen's. The Learning Strategies part of the Student Academic Success Services Department in particular offers workshops and support for graduate students. Also, the Expanding Horizons workshop series offers a suite of Academic and Professional Development opportunities.
I am having a hard time writing my thesis or dissertation. What resources can I turn to for assistance and support?
Contact the Writing Centre, which is part of the Student Academic Success Services Department. Help is available, for example, through one-on-one consults. The Thesis Support Group run by Learning Strategies Development can also be valuable. SGS runs dissertation boot camps several times a year; students have found this to be an excellent way to take make real progress on writing their thesis and developing effective work strategies. The SGS embedded Counsellor also runs a "Thesis Persistence 101" series.
I'm hoping to get some financial support to present a paper at a conference. Where can I turn for financial help to attend?
Talk to your supervisor or the Graduate Assistant in your graduate program. Each graduate program receives funding from the School of Graduate Studies to assist students who need to travel to present a paper at a conference. Graduate programs may also have other sources of funding in some cases. Presenting conference papers is an important part of graduate studies and is encouraged whenever possible.
Who can supervise or co-supervise graduate students?
All research graduate students must have a supervisor. The supervisor must be a faculty member at Queen's who is a member of the School of Graduate Studies. A co-supervisor is either a faculty member at Queen's who is a member of the School of Graduate Studies or who has been given permission to co-supervise by the School. Adjunct or term faculty and faculty from other universities cannot sole supervise a graduate student and can only act as a co-supervisor with approval from the department/program and the School of Graduate Studies.
I'm a full-time graduate student but I need to change to be a part-time student. How do I make this change?
You should first talk to your supervisor and the Graduate Assistant in your graduate program. A letter supporting the request to change to part-time status is needed by the School of Graduate Studies from your program that details your academic program and progress to date. This recommendation should be provided to the Director of Admissions and Student Services in the School of Graduate Studies by emailing email@example.com, calling the School at 613-533-6100 (internally, extension 36100) or dropping the letter off at the School on the fourth floor of Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street.
I am expecting/adopting a child. What are my options?
Though people may deal with family responsibilities differently depending on their unique needs and sources of support, one option available to new parents is maternity/parental leave. You can change your registration status to "inactive" for up to two terms. Keep in mind that both parents are entitled to parental leave and mothers are entitled to a maternity leave. Leaves are usually taken during the first year of the child's life. A fee waiver for the period of the leave is granted through the School of Graduate Studies. Please check with any outside funding agency that may be providing you with awards for any regulations the agency may have regarding leaves.
How will my time to completion be affected if I must take a leave (e.g. maternity/parental leave; a leave for accommodation related to human rights grounds such as disability or gender identity; or other sanctioned leave?)
A leave that changes your registration status to ‘inactive’, stops the clock for the period of time for which the leave has been granted. In other words, the terms spent inactive are not counted in the number of terms taken to complete your degree. Also, your eligibility for financial support through the School of Graduate Studies will be extended by the period of time taken for the leave since awards from internal sources are suspended during the period of the leave.
Please complete a Change in Status form (PDF*, 56 KB) and provide the completed form to the Director, Admissions and Student Services by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop it off at the School on the fourth floor of Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street.
Where do I turn if I have a problem with my supervisor?
First, resolution of an issue should initially be sought through informal departmental channels. Find out your graduate program's departmental procedures on dealing with issues or problems by asking the Graduate Assistant or the Graduate Coordinator.
A discussion of the problem should occur first between you and your supervisor or supervisory committee. If the issue cannot be resolved there, you should consult the Graduate Coordinator and/or the Department Head to seek possible resolution.
If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, assistance can be requested of the Associate Dean(s) of the School of Graduate Studies. All consultations in the Departmental and School of Graduate Studies are kept confidential and no direct action should be taken without the prior consent of the student.
Resolution of the issue can also be sought through the University’s Grievance Procedures, which include informal, administrative and formal channels. The Queen’s Senate Statement on Grievance, Discipline and Related Matters and the University’s Grievance and Appeal Procedures document should be consulted. Note that, unless warranted by unusual circumstances, no interruptions to a student's academic program may be put into effect until all channels of appeal or grievance have been exhausted, or the time for appeal has been allowed to lapse.
Students may seek assistance from the University Ombudsman at email@example.com and for more information check www.queensu.ca/ombudsman. Students may also seek the advice and counsel from the SGPS Advisors. For more details on each of the advisors go to the SGPS website at http://www.sgps.ca/services/advisors.html or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am dealing with issues related to human rights (e.g. accessibility for a disability or discrimination). Are there accommodations available to me?
If you are facing issues based on human rights grounds, you are entitled to support and accommodations appropriate to your circumstances. Speak to your supervisor, your graduate coordinator, or seek advice from an Associate Dean in the School of Graduate Studies (613-533-6079, an advisor from the Society for Graduate and Professional Students (email@example.com), the University Ombudsman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Queen’s Human Rights Office (613) 533-6886. All consultations are kept confidential and no direct action will be taken without your prior consent.
Resolution of the issue may ultimately be sought through the University’s Harassment/Discrimination Policy and Procedure, which includes informal, administrative and formal channels (see: www.queensu.ca/secretariat/policies/senateandtrustees/harassment.html). Note that, unless warranted by unusual circumstances, no interruptions to a student's academic program may be put into effect until all channels of appeal or grievance have been exhausted, or the time for appeal has been allowed to lapse.