Graduate Supervision

The Supervisor

Students will conduct research under the guidance of a faculty supervisor (assigned at admission). The success of a good supervisory relationship is the shared responsibility of both the student and supervisor and involves communication, tolerance and understanding and holding each other to high standards. At the start of a student’s program and regularly throughout, the department recommends that students meet with their supervisor and set out clear, shared expectations, discuss intellectual property issues and publication expectations and other matters. The department recommends that students and supervisors review the Graduate Supervision Guidelines, and each complete a graduate supervision checklist (contained in the guidelines).

The Supervisory Committee

Doctoral students are expected to form a supervisory committee in consultation with their supervisor by April of year 1. Many students start connecting with committee members earlier, in January of year 1. It is recommended that students meet or take a course with faculty they might want to be on their committee early on to get a sense if a good match of interests exists.

The supervisory committee provides support to the student and supervisor by broadening and deepening the range of expertise and experience available and by offering advice about, and assessment of, the student’s work. Students are required to meet with their supervisory committee at least once a year (normally in April to June).

Masters students should discuss forming a supervisory committee with their supervisor when they are developing their research proposal (March/April). The supervisor may recommend that establishing a committee early or they may recommend doing this at the writing stage when the student has started to draft a thesis/major research paper.

The supervisory committee (for both PhD and masters) must include:
a) the supervisor or supervisors;
b) an additional geography & planning graduate faculty member;
c) one additional graduate faculty member from any graduate unit at the university, including Geography & Planning

Additional members may be added if necessary.