Full-time off Campus

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The Graduate Calendar (section 1.3; link to 2018-2019 calendar) provides guidance regarding expectations for students to be full-time on campus:

1. Full-time students are obliged to be on campus, except for vacation periods or authorized off-campus status, for all three terms of the university year. Any student who is away from campus for longer than one week, which is not part of the student’s vacation entitlement, requires their supervisor’s approval in writing. If this period of time exceeds two weeks, the approval of the department chair is also required.

  • Full-time graduate students are expected to be on campus for all three terms of the university year, as specified in Section 1.3. In addition to statutory holidays (see Sessional Dates in the calendar) and the closure of the University in December (normally late December until early January), normal vacation entitlement for a graduate student is two weeks of vacation during the year, to be scheduled by mutual agreement with the research supervisor. An exception to this allotment requires approval from the supervisor.
  • IMPORTANT note about Teaching Assistantship responsibilities: Make note of the first day of classes for undergraduate courses in fall and winter terms (see Sessional Dates in the undergraduate calendar for the relevant year). Teaching Assistant duties begin on that day so plan to be on campus.

2. Students who will be away from campus for more than four weeks require not only permission from the Department but also that of the appropriate Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and must submit a Request to be Full Time Off Campus. Note that this permission is needed even for field work or study elsewhere in the world, in order to allow the University to comply with the government regulation requiring that a written explanation for such absences be lodged in the Graduate School office.

3. Students may arrange, through the Department and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, to be “full-time off-campus” for periods of up to a year. Students may also be required to complete the Risk Management Manual (RMM) 801 forms and gain approval through EOHSS.

4. In cases of unauthorized absence the student will be deemed to have withdrawn voluntarily from graduate study and will have to petition for readmission. No guarantee of readmission or of renewal of financial arrangements can be made.

Procedure to be followed:

Each request to be full-time off-campus should be forwarded by the Department to the School of Graduate Studies not later than one month prior to the date on which it is hoped the recommendation will be effective. The student and supervisor should complete the form (see below for link), including signatures, and then submit the form to the PNB main office (Nancy Riddell) for the Associate Chair’s review, approval and signature. If approved, the request will be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. Be sure to provide sufficient information so that the Associate Dean has a sound basis for arriving at a decision, otherwise approval of the request may be delayed or denied. Keep a copy of all forms for your own records.

Off-campus forms (visit the [https://gs.mcmaster.ca/resources SGS resources page if the link does not work).