Regulations For MA and MFA Students
This document describes the requirements, procedures, and spirit of the graduate programmes in Visual Arts. We believe that graduate work is a very serious undertaking. All parties - students, faculty, support staff - must know what is expected of them and work in an atmosphere of collegial support and trust. Rules cannot run programmes, but we also believe that reasonable regulations must be laid down and adhered to. What follows applies to all programme students. The progression of those working part-time must be agreed upon by the student and the Graduate Committee.
is emphasized that the responsibility for following the rules
printed here, the regulations of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
printed in the Calendar and the rules of the University Library
regarding format of the thesis, rests on the candidate.
degrees will normally take two calendar years to complete. No
University or Department funding will be extended past this limit.
The formal residency requirement is three regular academic terms
for the MA and five regular academic terms for the MFA.
All students will complete six half courses, usually four in the first year and two in the second. All Master’s students will take the core course VA 9500a, usually in the first term of their first year.
MA students will take an additional 3 elective courses in art history during the first year. In the second year they will take 2 more elective courses.
The second day of second term for half courses running through
the Fall Term;
Any instructor is entitled to set a deadline prior to those established by the Graduate Committee in Visual Arts, and it will have the same force and carry the same penalty as the Department deadline.
It is to the benefit of all students and faculty to have course work completed by the end of each course. Any student who has not submitted all required work by the deadline will receive an F in the course, and his or her registration in subsequent graduate courses (i.e. progression in the programme) will be subject to review by the Graduate Committee. Exceptions to this rule will be made only on medical or compassionate grounds that are established to the satisfaction of the Graduate Committee. Those intending to ask for extensions on such grounds should do so at least a week before the deadline.
exceptional circumstances, a student may ask an instructor for
an Incomplete in a course. No incomplete may be carried beyond
the end of the following term, including summer terms.
The First Year
The MA thesis in art history should be 80-100 pages in length. MA students will consult with their assigned mentors and prospective supervisors and will choose to pursue one of two thesis streams. In the monographic stream, stduents will investigate a single research subject and will organize the thesis into chapters focused around a central problem. In the integrated-article stream, the thesis chapters treat discrete but related problems. Students may examine up to three different case studies that should be interrelated either by their methodological approach or by a shared research problematic. The case studies may be derived from previously submitted term papers; however, those papers must be thoroughly revised. The integrated articles must be accompanied by a substantial introduction of approximately 15-20 pages, which explains the rationale for drawing the articles together in the thesis. In both streams, the thesis must include a review of relevant literature. Both the monographic thesis and the integrated-article thesis will be submitted for examination by committee. For more information about the preparation and formatting of these two types of theses, see the guide on the SGPS web site: http://grad.uwo.ca/current_students/thesis_regulations/section_3.htm
The MFA thesis should be 35-50 pages in length. MFA students will consult with their assigned mentors and prospective supervisors and will choose to pursue one of two thesis streams. In the monographic stream, students will investigate a single research subject and will organize the thesis into chapters focused around a central problem. The thesis should demonstrate a critical engagement with relevant theoretical and historical texts that relate to the student's art practice. In the dossier stream, students will develop a dossier comprised of an introduction, a comprehensive artist statement, documentation of the artistic practice, and a writing practice component (outlined in more detail on a separate handout available from the Graduate Assistant). In both streams, the written thesis will be submitted for examination by committee, in conjuction with the student's thesis exhibition.
No later than September 1 of the student's second year, a substantial portion of the thesis must be received by the student's Supervisor, who must confirm in writing its receipt to the Graduate Committee. MA students are expected to submit one chapter or one of the integrated-articles (approximately 20-25 pages). MFA students in the monographic stream are expected to submit 16 new pages and present a substantial, new body of work produced during the summer term. MFA students pursuing the thesis dossier stream are expected to submit the writing practice component (case study, interview, or exhibition review) of the dossier and present a substantial, new body of work produced during the summer term. Ongoing funding is dependent upon this production and confirmation.
Timeline of important deadlines
The language requirement which applies only to MA candidates can be met in one of two ways.
1) Through approved course credit.
Students will be expected to attain at least a B+ (76-78%) grade in the following courses (or their equivalent from another institution): French 1020 or any higher level language or language translation course, German 1022 or any higher level German language or language translation course. The same applies to Latin 1020, Spanish 1020, Russian 1020 etc. Other languages may be appropriate (e.g. Italian) even if they are not currently offered at the 1020 level or higher at UWO. If students wish to meet the language requirement through previously completed language courses at other institutions, they should submit a request in writing to the Graduate Chair. This request must include either a course outline or a calendar description of the courses taken. The Graduate Chair will present this material for approval by the Graduate Committee.
2) Through a translation test.
can meet their language requirement by passing a reading test
administered by the Department. The test will be tailored to the
student's special area of research and the use of a dictionary
is permitted. The accuracy of the translation will be assessed
by a faculty member who has expertise in the language selected.
Students wishing to take such a test must submit a request in
writing specifying which language they have selected at least
four weeks prior to the requested test date.
All MA students are strongly encouraged to meet the language requirement in their first year of study.
Since the language requirement is part of the MA and PhD program, students do not need to pay additional fees for courses taken to fulfill this obligation. To enroll in an undergraduate course students need to download a Graduate Student Taking Undergraduate Course Formhttp://grad.uwo.ca/documentation/GRD%20adding%20UGRD%20FIPPA.pdf. The student must have this form signed by their supervisor (or mentor) and the graduate chair. The student then takes the form to the appropriate language department and enrolls in the recommended course. A placement test may be necessary to determine the right level. To complete the registration process, the student returns the fully completed form to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
The student will develop a body of work begun in Studio courses. In consultation with his/her supervisor, s/he will apply for an exhibition date and space. The examiners will be invited to view the exhibition at least one day prior to the scheduled oral presentation of the exhibition. The MFA thesis, which articulates the research undertaken and which has been produced along with the work presented in the exhibition, will be submitted at least one month before the exhibition.
It is imperative that MFA candidates plan ahead in order to coordinate the timing of their MFA exhibitions and thesis defense. Ideally, the exhibition should be up when the thesis goes to defense. It is expected that those students intending to graduate will inform their supervisor of their intentions at least three months prior to the deadline for submitting the names of the examining board. That means if you intend to graduate in the spring, you will meet with your supervisor not later than the end of December and if you plan to graduate in the summer, you will meet with your supervisor not later than the end of May. At the meeting with your supervisor a substantial portion of the thesis (i.e. 20-25 pp. of text) and a substantial amount of work produced for the exhibition will be reviewed. Should the student's studio production be of such a nature as to preclude the presentation of a 'substantial amount produced for the exhibition,' then a presentation of substantial 'sketches', plans and proposal documents indicating the student's readiness to exhibit should be made. At this point the student should also be prepared to discuss the relationship the two shall have in their final form. The supervisor, in consultation with the second reader, shall determine whether or not the work is of sufficient quantity and quality to proceed working towards the convocation deadlines.
Once the work has been approved, students should start planning for their graduating exhibitions. If they plan to hold their exhibition in the ArtLab, they should immediately notify the ArtLab Steering Committee so that an appropriate date can be scheduled. If they are planning to hold their exhibitions elsewhere, they must select a venue that is reasonably accessible to all members of the examining committee. If the student is not planning to exhibit in the ArtLab and an 'outside venue' has not been arranged, they should indicate their plans for securing a space. They should also be prepared to provide details about alternative arrangements, should the need arise.
the student and the advisor should immediately notify the Graduate
Chair as soon as a decision is made to proceed towards the graduating
show and thesis defense. At that time the supervisor and student
should agree on a series of possible dates for the thesis defense,
bearing in mind that all examiners must be given a finished copy
of the thesis at least three weeks prior to the defense. This
list of dates must be communicated to the Graduate Chair.
candidates should plan to meet with their thesis supervisor at
least six weeks prior to the Graduate Chair submitting the names
of the examining board. At that time they should submit a completed
draft of the thesis to the supervisor who, in consultation with
the Second-Reader and/or thesis committee members will decide
whether it is of sufficient quality to proceed towards the defense.
If the thesis draft is approved, the student and advisor should
immediately notify the Graduate Chair suggesting a list of possible
dates for the thesis defense, bearing in mind that all examiners
must be given a finished copy of the thesis at least three weeks
prior to the defense.
GUIDELINES TO ACADEMIC APPEALS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
Graduate Appeals Committee (a subcommittee of the Graduate Committee)
Terms of Reference:
NOTE: The outcome of an appeal may result in an increase, decrease, or no change in the grade under appeal.
Grounds for Appeal:
The Department of Visual Arts does not view the appeals process as an opportunity for students to solicit a second opinion on a grade assigned to a particular piece of work. Appeals must pertain to the final grade in a course, and will only be entertained if sufficient grounds for appeal can be met. Grounds for an appeal must be based on circumstances that extend beyond a student's mere concern or disappointment with their grade standing. The committee must be able to ascertain that the circumstances surrounding the assessment were flawed and therefore that the grade itself may be shown to be flawed.
Stages in the Appeals Process:
The Department Chair will consider the recommendation from the Graduate Appeals Committee, and will make a decision. The student and the instructor will be notified promptly and in writing by the Department Chair of the decision and of the change in grade, if any. Within the Department of Visual Arts, the Department Chair’s decision on the matter is final.
A student can appeal to the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) (or designate) only if s/he has undertaken an unsuccessful appeal process at the program level but the student should carefully consult the guidelines regarding such Appeals.
An "Application for an Appeal to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies," which also provides information on appeal procedures, must be used by students appealing to the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). This application and all supporting documents must be submitted to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within three weeks of the date the Graduate Program's decision is issued. An appellant who is not satisfied with the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies)' decision may have a further appeal to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA) if the matter is within SRBA's jurisdiction. Appeals to SRBA must be made within six weeks after a decision has been issued by the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). Information on appeals to SRBA can be found at www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/. Additional information and SRBA Appeal Applications can be obtained from the University Secretariat, Room 290, Stevenson-Lawson Building.