Section 1: Credit and Registration

Academic Regulations

Academic Integrity

Students are responsible for all information submitted in relation to their application and registration, including any documents that have been prepared by an educational agent on their behalf. Royal Roads University reserves the right to request and/or confirm any information necessary to support a student's application for admission. The submission of false statements and/or documents will result in the immediate and permanent cancellation of admission and/or registration to Royal Roads University. Information on falsifications will be shared with the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Students are not permitted to start a program of study until a formal notice of acceptance has been received from the Registrar's Office. Failure to abide by this regulation will result in the immediate and permanent cancellation of the student's registration.

For further information see the Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct for Royal Roads University Students.

Copyright

Fair dealing is a legal concept present in the Canadian Copyright Act that states that certain types of uses are 'fair;' these types of uses do not require permission from the copyright owner, and are not considered to be an infringement of copyright. The uses regarded as 'fair' in the Act are: research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, parody and satire.  For more information, please see Royal Roads University's Fair dealing policy.  Faculty and/or students that plan to use any copyrighted materials, in any format, as part of their teaching and learning activities in the classroom or for distance education may be required to obtain prior permission, in writing, from the copyright owner or publisher. Violation of the copyright law is a punishable offense. It is strongly recommended that permissions be arranged in conjunction with the university copyright office. For further information, contact the copyright officer at 250-391-2652 or by e-mail, copyrightofficer@royalroads.ca.

Course Audit

Students may be permitted to audit a course upon approval from the Dean or designate. An auditing student does not participate in assignments or examinations and no credit is awarded for the course. Participation in other activities is at the discretion of the instructor. Permission to audit a course is dependent upon the class size and other factors that the instructor and the dean or designate establish. Once a course has been audited, the course is not open to course challenge and will not be considered for meeting admission, prerequisite or course requirements. An AU grade is entered for courses in which a student is registered but for which no credit is awarded. Audit courses are limited to a maximum of one per degree program, unless approved by the dean and registrar.

Course Designations

Courses are designated by program and level. The first numeric character designates the level of study.

  • 300 and 400 level - upper level undergraduate courses

  • 500 and 600 level - masters level courses

  • 700 level - doctoral level courses

  • 800 level - executive development

  • 900 level - executive development

Directed studies courses, with "N17" designation, are individually designed courses on approved topics undertaken in consultation with, and under the supervision of, a faculty member. Directed Studies courses are typically designed to meet specific requirements for study in areas not covered by established courses. Prior approval of the dean is required and Directed Studies courses are limited to a maximum of one per degree program, unless approved by the dean and registrar.

Courses with "N90" designation are typically reserved for a major project, thesis or professional field practice.

Courses that have more than one calendar month elapsed time between academic activity are designated as 'multi-part' courses (e.g. 500A, 500B)

Credits

Program Credit Requirements

CREDENTIAL MINIMUM CREDITS

Undergraduate Degree: 120; 60 credits (previously earned) plus 60 credits (degree completion)

Undergraduate Diploma: 60 credits

Undergraduate Certificate: 30 credits

Doctoral Degree: 60 credits

Graduate Degree: 30 credits

Graduate Diploma: 18 credits

Graduate Certificate: 9 credits

A course may only be offered for academic credit if it has Academic Council approval. Each credit normally requires 33 full hours of student effort, based on the University's estimate, and includes face-to-face instruction time, online learning time, and independent study time.

Ethical Review

Each thesis or major project must comply with the terms of the Royal Roads University Research Ethics Policy. Research or coursework involving human subjects requires an ethical review by the Royal Roads University Research Ethics Board (or one of its subcommittees). Research or coursework involving human subjects cannot be initiated until the Request for Ethical Review has been approved. A student may not graduate if a required ethical review has not been completed and approved.

International Students

Students (attending domestic programs) who are not Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents are required to present their study permit and evidence of medical insurance to the Student Services Office upon arrival at Royal Roads University.

Graduate Program Research Requirements

Graduate programs may offer students the opportunity to gain experience in the design and execution of primary and/or secondary research. For such programs, For programs that incorporate research skills, research competency can be demonstrated by a variety of assessment deliverables as outlined in this document. All research involving human participants is subject to ethical review.

SHORT PAPER
A short paper requires students to select, critique, synthesize, and apply findings from the research literature to make recommendations for how to deal with a professional practice problem. A short paper is worth 3 credits and requires approximately 100 hours of effort.

RESEARCH PAPER
A research paper constitutes a substantial written examination of a topic relevant to the program of study. The scope should be appropriate for the requirements of the particular program. Topics need not be original contributions to knowledge, but may constitute exercises in replication of relevant studies, application of knowledge to the field, development of instructional practices or policy analysis or development, surveys, creative work, documentary work and other types of projects negotiated with the program director. Standards of validity and academic rigor apply as appropriate to the nature of the research paper, whether it be a theoretical analysis, empirical study or naturalistic inquiry. Some, but not all, research-related learning outcomes of the program will be demonstrated in the graduating paper. The paper should require approximately 200 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 6 credit hours. The research paper will normally be assessed by a faculty member holding a doctoral degree, as negotiated with the program director.

MAJOR PROJECT
The major project is often given alternate titles such as 'organizational consulting project', 'strategic management project', organizational leadership project', etc. depending on the program. The major project is an independent, typically work-based, problem-solving project. In general, the scope, breadth and structure of major projects will be more flexible than is expected in a thesis. The scope of this integrative learning activity is substantial, such that a client company or organization would normally pay a substantial consulting fee for the level of work undertaken. A major project is typically practical and data driven. Background literature underlying the project may be more selective and practical in scope and less theoretical than would typically be expected for a research thesis. Publication is not a requirement, and the major project will not be submitted to the National Library of Canada. The major project requires a minimum of two supervisors (an academic advisor and a client or sponsor). The project will be reviewed at the program level by a program head or equivalent, designated external reviewer or committee. The project should constitute approximately 200 or 300 or 400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 6 or 9 or 12 credit hours respectively.

THESIS
A thesis is a systematic study of a significant problem, issue, or phenomenon. The thesis demonstrates the ability to analyze existing research, collate or collect data and apply it in the context of an existing problem, issue, or opportunity. The result is a synthesis of theoretical and empirical information and/or recommendations for further action. The thesis identifies a problem or issue, states the research question, identifies major assumptions, explains the significance for the undertaking, grounds the research in relevant literature, sets forth the methods of gathering information, analyzes the data and offers a conclusion or recommendation based on the data and theoretical framing. Appropriate quality standards such as validity, reliability, or authenticity must be consistent with the selected research tradition and evident in tool development and data collection. The finished thesis evidences critical and independent thinking, subject expertise, appropriate organization and format and thorough documentation.
Unless an exemption has been granted by the Vice Provost, Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies, all theses must be submitted for publication in RRU's Digital Archive, Pro-Quest and Library Archives Canada to meet final graduation requirements. Theses in non-traditional formats must be accompanied by a PDF summary (minimum 2,500 words), which is the only component that is electronically submitted and archived. Oversight by a Thesis Committee, including a supervisor qualified at the doctoral level and demonstrating relevant competencies of content and methodology, is required. A public defence and review by an external academic examiner are also required. The thesis should constitute approximately 400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 12 credits.

DISSERTATION
A dissertation is the culminating project of a doctoral program. Successful completion of the comprehensive exams is required before work on the dissertation may begin. The results of the research must make a distinct interdisciplinary contribution to applied scholarship in the social sciences. The dissertation should demonstrate a high degree of original work and understanding and knowledge of the topic area. Evidence of originality may be demonstrated by one of the following or a combination of the following: the development of a new critical analysis of a practical issue or challenge; the development of a new theory from practice; the novel application of existing theory to a practical challenge; or the discovery of a new professional approach to practice. The dissertation should be written to a standard for professional and academic communication. It should be evident that the dissertation can be the basis for a published book, a monograph or a series of articles and a significant application in the field. Unless an exemption has been granted by the Vice Provost, Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies, all dissertations must be submitted for publication in RRU's Digital Archive, Pro-Quest and Library and Archives Canada to meet final graduation requirements. Dissertations in non-traditional formats must be accompanied by a written PDF summary (minimum 2,500 words), which is the only component that is electronically submitted and archived. Work on the dissertation may not begin until a doctoral student has successfully completed the written and oral candidacy examination and thereby reached doctoral candidacy status.
Oversight by a dissertation supervisory committee, including a supervisor qualified at the doctoral level and demonstrating relevant competencies of content and methodology and methods, is required. Public defences as well as a review by an external academic examiner are also required.
The external examiner should have an "arms-length" relationship with the student, the supervisor(s) and members of the dissertation supervisory committee. The dissertation should constitute approximately 1,400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 42 credits.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all materials, electronic or in print, including essays, work term reports or assignments, laboratory reports, seminar presentations, computer programs, research projects and results, postings in discussion groups, and statistical data. The use of such material either directly or indirectly without proper acknowledgement (e.g. footnotes or endnotes, URL) is contrary to the norms of academic behaviour. For further information see the Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct for Royal Roads University Students.

Process for Appeals of Academic Decisions

Appeals of academic decisions not included in the Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct or subject to the Grade Appeals Process, may be presented to successive levels of decision-making within the Faculty up to the dean. Decisions of the dean may be appealed to the Vice President Academic and Provost. The Vice President Academic may, at his/her discretion, refer any matter to a Review Committee. When convened, the Review Committee shall be comprised of members appointed by the Vice President Academic, and shall determine its own procedure having regard to its duty to act fairly toward the student. The University reserves the right in its discretion to modify the process as it determines may be appropriate in any particular instance.

Appeals to the Vice President Academic must be made in writing by the student within 30 (calendar) days of the dean's decision.

Should the student wish to bring a witness(es) or advisor(s) to the meeting with the Vice President Academic or to the Review Committee meeting he/she must be informed at least 48 hours in advance. The deliberations of the Vice President Academic as well as the Review Committee are in closed session and those appearing before the Vice President Academic or review committee should consider their participation to be confidential.

Program Completion Deadlines

Undergraduate students must complete degree programs within five years of their initial start date and graduate students must complete degree programs within seven years of their start date. Students enrolled in certificate or diploma programs must complete their programs within five years of their initial start date. Time away from the program is included in the calculation of a student's maximum program completion deadline. Students who take longer than the normal time to complete a degree program may be required to withdraw and re-apply for admission. Students may be required to repeat elements of the program in order to ensure the currency of program competencies, outcomes and knowledge at the time of degree completion. Deans are responsible for determining which elements of a program a returning student must repeat to ensure degree currency.

Due to program capacities, seats will not be reserved for students on leave. Every effort will be made to accommodate students who wish to return from a leave; however, if a seat in the program is not available when the student wishes to return, the leave will be extended to the next available intake date and the student's program completion deadline will be adjusted accordingly.

Program/Course Cancellation, Delay or Revision Policy

Royal Roads University reserves the right to cancel, delay or revise program and/or course intake dates at its sole discretion. Applicants should note that such cancellations, delays, or revisions will only occur based upon unexpectedly low enrolment levels or unforeseen circumstances and will supersede any pre-existing offers of acceptance of students into that program, course or intake.

Registration

The Registrar's Office is responsible for the registration of all students. Upon the return of an authorized Notice of Acceptance a student is formally registered in a program and associated courses. Students who are given a conditional acceptance into a program, and do not meet the conditions specified by the deadlines indicated in their Notice of Acceptance, will automatically have their registration deferred.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their program and course registration is appropriate and accurately recorded.

Deferral

A student admitted to an academic program who, due to unforeseen circumstances, is unable to begin the program as scheduled may request a maximum one time deferral. Students must submit their request for deferral to the Admissions Office prior to the start date of the program. Students are required to pay the tuition deposit in order to secure a seat in the program.

Supervision of major projects and theses in graduate programs

Candidates for graduate degrees at Royal Roads University who are required to complete a major project or thesis as part of their program will be supported with faculty supervision and guidance in accordance with the policies specific to each program.

Block Transfer

At Royal Roads University, block transfer is used as a pre-approved basis for admission in to an undergraduate program. Block transfer requires a formal institution-to-institution agreement and students are admitted on the basis of successful completion of a cluster of courses recognized as having academic wholeness or integrity, a certificate, or a diploma.

Laddering

Academic credit earned through the completion of one credential (e.g., certificate or diploma) accepted towards the completion of another credential (e.g., diploma or degree) within the same program area. Laddering arrangements must be approved by Academic Council. Laddering arrangements enable students to build upon previously earned credentials hence the content must be identical (i.e., course completed in a certificate program must contain the same content as those in the degree program). Students who have successfully completed one credential (e.g., certificate or diploma) must apply for admission to a higher level credential program (e.g., diploma or degree) prior to starting the second credential program.

Approval to have ‘laddering’ lower level credential documented while enrolled in a program leading to a higher level credential

In general, undergraduate or graduate students are eligible to receive only the credential associated with the specific program to which they have been admitted, provided they meet the program requirements (e.g., students enrolled in a master’s degree program are not entitled to receive a graduate certificate or graduate diploma even if they complete these requirements as a part of their master’s degree program).

  1. Notwithstanding this restriction, students in degree programs starting on or after September 1, 2019, who complete the requirements for a certificate or diploma of a different name as a part of the requirements for a degree, are eligible to receive these lower level credentials upon request, with the approval of the dean and registrar, and following the payment of the admission application fee for each credential.

  2. Students who wish to withdraw from a program with a higher level credential after completing the course requirements for an embedded lower level credential may request a program transfer and, upon approval, may then be eligible to receive the lower level credential.

Program Transfer

When programs at one or more credential level (e.g., certificate and/or diploma programs) are embedded in programs at a higher credential level (e.g., diploma and/or degree programs) in order to allow for laddering, in-course students may apply to transfer from one program to another, provided the admission requirements for the destination program are the same as those for the original program. When programs are not embedded in this way, in-course students wishing to transfer from one program to another should apply for admission to the desired destination program, either using the normal admission process (with appropriate documentation) or using an expedited admission process, when available.

Transfer Credit

External transfer credit is academic credit earned at another institution and accepted toward a Royal Roads University certificate, diploma, or degree. Internal transfer credit is academic credit earned at Royal Roads University, either in a program or in a standalone course, and accepted toward a different Royal Roads University certificate, diploma, or degree.

Students may apply for transfer credit for Royal Roads University courses based on the successful completion of comparable courses at other recognized post-secondary institutions or at Royal Roads University. A student may not be awarded more credits for a course than those awarded by the originating institution (after conversion to the Royal Roads University credit weighting convention). External transfer credit requires the submission of official transcripts and all transfer credit, external and internal, requires the approval of the receiving dean and the registrar. Transfer credit is notated on a Royal Roads' transcript and included in the credits required for completion of the credential. No substitute courses are required in order to meet the minimum requirements for graduation.

Maximum transfer credits allowed by program level and type

The following table outlines the maximum number of transfer credits allowed, excluding embedded programs (i.e., formal laddering arrangements), by program level and type. These maximum credit limits include credit awarded for external transfer credit, credit granted by way of prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR), course challenge, and internal transfer credit in those cases where the credit has already been used toward another credential). Academic programs are allowed to set lower maximums of transfer credits allowed but not higher ones.

Transfer credits allowed, excluding embedded programs (i.e., formal laddering arrangements)

Program level and type

Maximum transfer credits allowed

Undergraduate diploma

30

Bachelor’s degree – within the first 60 credits

60

Bachelor’s degree completion – within the final 60 credits

15

Graduate certificate

3

Graduate diploma

6

Master’s degree

12

Doctoral degree

18

 

The transfer of credit requires approval of the appropriate dean and the registrar. Note that, when a student moves from one program to another at Royal Roads University, a course counted as eligible credit in both programs is not counted within these transfer limits. Exceptions to transfer credit limits are allowed for special circumstances, either as a part of specific program structures approved by Curriculum Committee and Academic Council or as a part of an individual student’s program of study when approved by the appropriate dean and the registrar. Exceptions can also be granted for dual degree agreements individually approved by Academic Council.

Except in the case where undergraduate courses or diplomas lead to undergraduate degree completion programs and in the case where graduate certificates and graduate diplomas lead to higher level graduate credentials, courses completed in order to qualify for admission may not be used for transfer credit. In addition, undergraduate courses may not be used for transfer credit at the graduate level.

In any case, transfer credit is only eligible for approval when the credit in question represents learning outcomes and/or curriculum content deemed appropriate for the destination Royal Roads University program by the academic head of the program, subject to the approval of the dean and the registrar.

Approval of internal transfer credit

An undergraduate or graduate student may apply to receive internal transfer credit towards a credential at Royal Roads University for appropriate courses at the same academic level completed at Royal Roads University, either within another academic program or as standalone General Studies courses, within the constraints outlined in these regulations and subject to the approval of the receiving dean and the registrar.

Approval of external transfer credit

An undergraduate or graduate student may apply to receive external transfer credit, subject to the approval of the dean and the registrar, towards a credential at Royal Roads University for appropriate courses at the same academic level completed prior to admission. To receive this previously earned credit, the coursework must normally have been completed within the program completion times allowed for the Royal Roads University program, or as approved by the appropriate dean. The credit for this coursework may or may not have been applied toward the requirements for a previously completed credential, as outlined in these regulations, or when this is explicitly permitted in the program requirements approved by Academic Council or outlined in a formal agreement with an external partner institution.

Pre-approval of credit transfer for Royal Roads University students completing courses elsewhere

An undergraduate or graduate student may apply for transfer credit toward a credential at Royal Roads University for courses at the same academic level completed at another university while enrolled at Royal Roads University. To receive transfer credit, the following conditions apply: 

    1. Application for ‘pre-approved credit transfer’ shall normally be made at least one month before the course or courses start and shall be approved by the program head and the appropriate dean and the registrar.

    2. The student must be in good standing and shall maintain normal enrolment at Royal Roads University (i.e., cannot normally be on a personal or medical leave) while completing the course or courses at another university under these provisions. 

Minimum grade required for external transfer credit

The minimum grade required for coursework completed elsewhere and accepted for transfer credit is a B for graduate level studies or a C for undergraduate level studies, because the grade achieved will not be included in the calculation of the program-based grade point average. Credit granted for transfer credit must be approved by the program head, the dean, and the registrar.

The use of the same credits for multiple credentials at the same academic level

The number of credits already counted toward another non-embedded credential that may be used as transfer credit toward a new credential is limited.  At the undergraduate level, when allowed by program requirements, this is normally only permitted for courses at the first and second year levels and for up to 15 credits in the third year, as outlined in the table below. At the master’s level, when allowed by program requirements, credit earned toward a graduate level credential (i.e., a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, or master’s degree) can be approved for use toward another graduate level credential by the head of the receiving academic program and the appropriate dean and the registrar, as outlined in the table below:

Course Challenge

A student may challenge a course on the basis of prior knowledge or experience acquired outside the university. Credit may be granted for a course through either an academic assessment (e.g. challenge exam, preparing a portfolio), or completing some form of assessment as determined by the dean. Students electing to challenge for credit should continue in their enrolement in the course until the result of the challenge is determined. Credit assigned through course challenge requires the approval of the receiving dean and the registrar. The dean is responsible for documenting the formal process to be followed and the registrar retains a copy of all relevant material used for evaluation purposes for inclusion in the student's file. Students who successfully challenge a course are given credit for that course and are required to pay 50 percent of the normal prorated tuition for the course. Students who challenge a course unsuccessfully are assessed an administrative fee in accordance with the University's approved ancillary fees. Courses that are successfully challenged are shown on Royal Roads University transcripts.

The maximum number of credits that can be awarded through course challenge in a degree program is 50 per cent of the minimum number of credits required for graduation. No more than 50 percent of the minimum number of credits required for graduation in a credit-based program may be earned via course challenge, prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR), or external or internal transfer credit, combined.

Students wishing to challenge a course must submit their request in writing to the appropriate dean and the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible and no later than ten business days after the course start date.

Approval to complete a second undergraduate degree

Students who have a bachelor’s degree (either from Royal Roads University or another university) can apply to complete a second degree at the same level, and will be assessed for admission according to the requirements in place for the second degree program. Students admitted to a second undergraduate degree completion program must complete all program requirements, normally at least 60 credits; the amount of credit that may be transferred from the first degree to the second cannot exceed the limits outlined in the academic regulations.

Exceptions may be made for formal internal combined or joint degrees or for external dual or joint degrees; in these cases no more than 50 percent of the third and fourth year credits may be transferred in from another program to account for “overlapping” content. The standard regulations on transfer credit, and challenge for credit apply. A student enrolled in such a second degree program is subject to the standard maximum allowed time to completion for an undergraduate degree completion program; the clock for each of the two programs runs independently.

Approval to complete a second graduate degree

Students who have a master’s or a doctoral degree (either from Royal Roads University or another university) can apply to complete a second degree at the same level, provided (1) the amount of credit to be transferred from the first degree to the second does not exceed the limitations outlined in the academic regulations, and (2) the research performed for each of the programs is either completely new or the research performed for one of the programs builds upon the research performed for the other program in a new way. A student enrolled in such a second degree program is subject to the standard maximum allowed time to completion; the clock for each of the two programs runs independently.

Approval to complete a non-joint concurrent undergraduate or graduate credential

Students who are currently registered in an undergraduate or graduate program at Royal Roads University can apply to complete a second program at the same level concurrently, provided (1) the amount of credit to be transferred from either program to the other does not exceed the limitations outlined in the academic regulations, and (2) the research performed for each of the programs is either completely new or the research performed for one of the programs builds upon the research performed for the other program in a new way. A student enrolled in such a second program is subject to the standard maximum allowed time to completion, and the clock for each of the two programs runs independently.

Before a current student is allowed to apply to and enrol in a second non-joint program concurrently, both the original program of enrolment and the new program being applied to must be informed of, and must approve, this concurrent study plan, which is also subject to the approval of the appropriate dean or deans. Concurrent study of this kind may often be discouraged, because of the workloads required in each individual program. The maximum allowed time to completion for each of the two programs remains in place independently, and no extensions will be given due to being registered in more than one program. Notwithstanding this, a student may choose to apply for a personal leave from one of the programs while completing requirements for the other program, though time spent on personal leave will continue to count towards the maximum time to completion allowed in each case.