Graduate Minor Modifications & SGS Calendar Editorial Changes: A Quick Reference Guide

How can this guide help you implement academic changes?

  • By supporting divisions and units in maintaining and enhancing programs of study
  • By distinguishing between minor modifications and editorial changes
  • By improving clarity to make changes a smoother, quicker process for administrators

What are minor modifications?

  • Minor modifications are the most common type of academic change and require governance
  • Changes to courses and curriculum that do not constitute a significant change to the nature of a program or its learning outcomes
  • Each academic cycle, hundreds of minor modifications are received by the VPAP Office to review

Why is the minor modification process important?

Need for consultation

  • The minor modification governance process ensures a consultative and collaborative discussion not only at the academic unit but with your divisional Dean’s Office and other related units.
  • Academic changes can have broader impacts involving more than one program or unit. The VPAP Office can provide advice and input on any significant academic proposals (see below for examples).

Need for communication

  • Communication is integral to curriculum governance and the production of the SGS Calendar, providing greater transparency for students, who are bound by program requirements as stated in the SGS Calendar the year they begin their program of study.
  • The VPAP Office implements graduate minor modifications. Early communication guarantees a timely and accurate reflection on ROSI, ACORN, Quercus and related systems, and facilitates a smoother implementation process when submitting changes to your SGS Calendar entry.

What are editorial (non-governance) changes to the SGS Calendar?

  • Correcting errors in a calendar entry, such as typos or clerical mistakes
  • Updating contact info, application deadlines or other similar information
  • Clarifying text in a calendar entry

During the SGS Calendar production process, the VPAP Office receives hundreds of editorial (non-governance) changes.
Sometimes these changes are actually minor modifications that require governance approval.

Elective course listings

All active courses will be included in the SGS Calendar, regardless of whether they will be offered for the upcoming academic year. This is because the SGS Calendar is meant to provide a comprehensive record of programs and courses approved through governance, as opposed to a course timetable.

Examples of minor modifications & editorial changes

SGS Calendar SectionMinor Modification
(governance required)
Editorial Change
SGS Calendar Introduction
  • Changes to participating degree programs in a collaborative specialization (CS)
  • Updating overviews
  • Updating contact information
Admission Requirements
  • Revisions to admission requirements that do not impact learning outcomes but pose additional requirements for students, such as:
    • GPA requirements
    • GRE requirements
    • academic background of applicants
  • Changes to application procedures that do not pose additional requirements to students, such as:
    • updating application deadlines
    • information on English-language proficiency testing consistent with SGS General Regulations
Program Requirements
  • Minor adjustments to program requirements that alter how students complete a program, such as:
    • required courses in a program or collaborative specialization (CS)
    • program FCE counts
    • non-negligible changes to the timing of doctoral exams; e.g., changing “students must take their comprehensive exam by January 31 of Year 2” to “…October 31 of Year 3”
    • language requirements (if applicable)
    • graduate unit-specific provisions for CR/NCR election as per SGS Regulation 6.2.10 on Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR)
  • Edits that do not change program requirements, but give students greater clarity on program structure, such as:
    • details on completing activities that involve more than one academic element; e.g., oral presentations, poster presentations, practicums
    • minor changes to coursework timing and residency periods (if applicable)
Program Option Requirements
  • Changes to program option requirements, including:
    • two or more modifications to required and elective course listings within an emphasis or collaborative specialization (CS)
    • altering advanced-standing option requirements
  • As above, edits that do not change program requirements, but give students greater clarity on program structure, such as:
    • one addition or deletion of electives in an emphasis that does not draw on resources from other units or alter the scope of the program
Course Listings
  • Corrections that improve clarity to existing courses, such as:
    • editing a course to have a continuous status in cases where it already functions as such by design, such as course codes for major research papers

Resources & contact

The VPAP Office encourages graduate units to reach out to their divisional or Faculty Dean’s Offices early with any questions relating to academic or editorial changes, so that there is ample time for consultation and implementation. Below are some helpful links to provide additional guidance when you’re considering a minor modification to your program: