Graduate Admissions

Minimum Admission Requirements

Each program sets its own admission criteria however, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has established the minimum admission requirements for all programs as follows:

  1. The normal minimum admission requirement is a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent as recognized by Nipissing University in an appropriate discipline, with a minimum B standing. For master’s degrees with a Thesis or Major Research Paper (MRP), where appropriate to the program for which the candidate applies, preference will be given to applicants with an honours degree with an independent research component (such as an honours Thesis or research paper).
  2. All applicants are required to provide at least three letters of recommendation from professors or other appropriate professionals who can speak to their level of preparation and readiness for graduate studies. At least two of the references must be from someone qualified to address the academic ability and competence of the applicant to undertake graduate studies. Reference letters cannot be completed by anyone who is personally related to the applicant.
  3. All applicants are required to either write a statement of approximately 500 words explaining the value of undertaking a master’s degree for their specific circumstances or a statement about their research interests.
  4. Applicants may also be asked to submit supplemental information, such as GMAT or English Language Proficiency scores, as appropriate.

It is understood that admission to graduate programs is limited and, therefore, applicants who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements are not guaranteed admission.

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Offers of Admission

Only offers of admission from the Office of the Registrar are valid. Communication with a program representative (including the Graduate Coordinator/Graduate Chair) or a faculty member does not constitute an offer of admission. Nipissing University may revoke an offer of admission or cancel registration in the program if it finds that the applicant has provided false or incomplete information.

How to Apply

The on-line application form, supplemental forms, and deadline dates can be accessed from our website at


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Admission Process

Regular Admission

Applications for each program are reviewed by the Program Admissions Committee (PAC). The PAC forwards a recommendation for admission to the Graduate Studies Office.  Approved applications for admission are forwarded by the Graduate Studies Office to the Office of the Registrar. Offers of admission may have conditions attached, which may have to be met before registration is permitted.  Borderline or questionable cases for admission will be dealt with by the Graduate Coordinator/Faculty Graduate Chair in consultation with the Graduate Studies Office. The decision of the Graduate Studies Office on admissions is final and is not subject to appeal.

For programs where it is appropriate, the Graduate Studies Office will take relevant funding considerations (such as scholarships and other forms of student financial support) into account when considering a recommendation for admission. In some programs, students will not be admitted without appropriate levels of committed funding. The decision of the Graduate Studies Office is final and is not subject to appeal.

Conditional Admission

In exceptional circumstances, applicants may be accepted into a graduate program subject to the successful completion of conditions in addition to the regular admission requirements.

Special Admission

Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for exceptional or special admission at the discretion of the relevant program’s Graduate Coordinator/Chair. Further information is available on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Admission with Transfer Credit

Applicants who have completed work towards a Masters degree but have not graduated may be eligible for transfer credit.  Please contact the Office of the Registrar for additional information.

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English Language Proficiency (ELP) Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit the results of an acceptable English Language Proficiency test, with the minimum scores indicated below.

The following are the minimum ELP requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies; in addition, each program will have minimum language requirements specific to the program:

  • TOEFL iBT, with a minimum overall score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT, and a minimum of 27 in writing and 27 in speaking, or
  • IELTS, with an overall score of no less than 7 and a minimum of 6.5 in reading and listening and 7 in writing and speaking, or
  • Pearson Test (PTE Academic), with a minimum overall score of at least 67 and at least 60 in reading, writing, listening and speaking, or
  • MELAB, with a minimum overall score of 90%.

The required minimum scores must be submitted before the candidate can be considered for admission.

In some circumstances English Language Proficiency requirement may be waived. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for additional information.

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Registration Status for Graduate Students

Graduate Students are referred to as full-time or flex-time on the basis of the program in which they are enrolled. Regardless of this classification, all students have access to university facilities and are expected to take part in the academic life of their program and the university. All graduate students are deemed to be full-time unless declared otherwise.

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Time-to-Completion Regulations

Academic Year

The School of Graduate Studies operates on a trimester basis, with three terms defined as: Fall Term (September to December); Winter Term (January to April); and Spring/Summer Term (May to August). The academic year begins with a Fall Term followed by a Winter Term.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education 6 years not avail not avail
MA History
(1 year MRP)
2 years not avail 6 years
MA Sociology
(1 year MRP Research Paper)
1 year (3 terms) not avail not avail
MA Sociology 
(2 year  TRP Thesis)
2 years (6 terms) not avail not avail
MSc Math
(1 year MRP)
2 years not avail 6 years
(1 year MRP)
2 years not avail 6 years
(2 year Thesis)
3 years 3-4 years 6 years
MEd 2 year Thesis/MRP/Course Based 2 years
(option to extend an extra year)
3-4 years 6 years

*Part-time is only available to those admitted on or before 2013

A year is based on three terms: fall, winter, spring/summer

Nipissing Balance of Degree Fee

The minimum total academic fee is predetermined by the length of the graduate program into which a student is admitted. Please refer to the time of completion section of the academic regulations document.

Full-time/Flex-time/Part-time graduate students are required to pay academic fees equal to the total minimum fee paid by a full-time student in the same program regardless of the time to completion. This balance of degree fee owing is assessed just prior to graduation and is based on the tuition fee in effect at the time of graduation.

Maximum Registration

In the event that a student does not complete the program in the allocated time period, inclusive of the alloted 3, single-term extensions, he/she will be withdrawn from the program for failure to complete. Should the student wish to appeal the withdrawal from the program and continue beyond the maximum time, he/she is required to submit an appeal for an extension to the School of Graduate Studies.  The following elements must be included:

  • a rationale for the requested extension, outlining why the graduate student was unable to complete the program within the stipulated time frame;
  • an evaluation report from the student’s supervisory committee which includes a letter of recommendation from the student’s faculty advisor/research supervisor in support of the request for extension;
  • an approved plan of study for timely degree completion, signed by the student, the research supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator/Chair.

In the event that the student, faculty advisor, and/or research supervisor are unable to agree on a plan of study for degree completion, the Graduate Studies Office must provide a letter commenting on the feasibility of the plan provided by the student.

The Graduate Studies Office will grant or deny the request for the extension based on the submissions provided. Where the Graduate Studies Office supports the request, he/she may also provide advice and recommendations on the proposed plan of study. The student will be charged the appropriate continuation fee(s). Failure to complete the degree program within the prescribed time frame following the appeal to the Graduate Studies Office will result in withdrawal from the program and cannot be appealed.

Where the Graduate Studies Office denies the request, the student may appeal to the Standing and Petitions Committee.  The procedures for submitting a petition to the Standings and Petitions Committee can be found in the University Regulations section of the Academic Calendar.

Continuous Registration

Graduate students are required to enroll in course offerings from each academic term until the completion of their program requirements. Students are responsible to ensure they are registered by the appropriate deadline for each term.

Students who have failed to register or re-register by the deadline, and have not been granted a Leave of Absence, will be withdrawn from their program.

Students wishing to complete their program after they have been withdrawn must apply for re-admission and pay the application fee. Students should be aware that readmission is not guaranteed, and, in the event of readmission, continuation of the same research project and/or supervisor cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, students may not be able to count previously earned graduate credits towards the completion of their degree.


Under exceptional circumstances, the Graduate Studies Office may permit the extension one term to a maximum of three terms. All requests for extensions shall use the appropriate form and should be directed to the Graduate Coordinator/Graduate Chair who will make a recommendation to the Graduate Studies Office. There are no retroactive extensions.

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Leave of Absence

The requirement for continuous registration supports students toward the timely completion of their studies. However, the university recognizes that from time to time students may need to be absent from their studies. Upon recommendation of the Graduate Coordinator/Graduate Chair, the Graduate Studies Office may grant the following leaves of absence.

Note: Leaves of absence may not be used to pursue any activities which form part of a study plan (such as field experience, individual study, directed study or individual research), or for which any form of residual program credit might otherwise be requested.

Elective Leave of Absence

Students applying for an elective leave of absence do not have to provide grounds for their request as long as it is submitted in a timely fashion.


  • An elective leave of absence is granted for only one term over the course of the degree program; and
  • students must have already completed at least two terms of study.

Exceptional Circumstances Leave of Absence

Students applying for a leave of absence under exceptional circumstances are those who face a type of hardship that takes them from their studies, such as medical, professional or compassionate circumstances.


  • An exceptional circumstances leave of absence is granted for up to three terms during the course of the degree program.

Maternity Leave of Absence

Available to students, during and immediately following a pregnancy.


  • A maternity leave of absence is granted for up to three terms per pregnancy during the course of the degree program.

Parental Leave of Absence

Available to students for whom parental responsibilities are such that they require the student to be absent from their studies.


  • A parental leave of absence is granted for only one term per child over the course of the degree program.

No Course Available Leave of Absence

Available to students who have yet to complete course work if no suitable course is offered in any given term.


  • A no course available leave of absence is granted on a term-by-term basis only during the course of the degree program; and
  • does not apply if the student is registered as working on a thesis or major research paper, or has an incomplete grade or in-progress grade at the end of the previous term.

Once on leave, students will neither be registered nor will they be required to pay fees for this period. In general, students on leave may not make demands upon the resources of the University (such as the library, laboratories or gymnasium), attend classes, or expect advice from their supervisor. Students on leave will not be eligible to receive internal awards or funds from Nipissing University. In the case of other graduate student awards or funds, the regulations of the particular granting agency apply.

Except where noted and in special circumstances, it is not expected that a student will be granted more than one leave of absence. An elective leave of absence will only ever be approved once. Requests for a leave of absence must be received prior to the registration deadline of the term to be effective for that term. Requests received after the registration deadline will only become effective in the following academic term. Requests cannot be approved retroactively.

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Voluntary Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from a graduate program must immediately inform the Graduate Coordinator/Graduate Chair and their Research Supervisor in writing, using the Voluntary Withdrawal form. Immediate notification is important since the amount and speed of possible fee reimbursement is influenced by the date of withdrawal. The Graduate Coordinator/Graduate Chair will forward the withdrawal notice to the Graduate Studies Office.

A withdrawal is not official until it has been received by the Graduate Studies Office and the Office of the Registrar. Under no circumstances will the Graduate Studies Office back-date a withdrawal notice.

After a request to voluntarily withdraw has been processed by the Office of the Registrar, the student is then officially withdrawn. In all but Thesis or MRP, a mark of “W” (Withdrawn) or “F” (Failed) may appear on a student’s academic record, depending on the date that the withdrawal request has been received. In an MRP or Thesis course, a mark of “W ” will appear on the student’s academic record.

Discontinuing attendance in classes, failure to submit any assignments, notification to the instructor, or stopping payment on a cheque, do not constitute official withdrawal.

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Tuition and other Fees

Graduate students pay all required tuition and other fees as set by Nipissing University. Such fees are set on a per term basis.

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