Graduate Degree Level Expectations

Ontario Council of Academic Vice Presidents’ (OCAV) Graduate degree level expectations

Degree-level Expectations

Master’s Degree

This degree is awarded to students who have demonstrated the following:

Doctoral Degree

This degree extends the skills associated with the master’s degree and is awarded to students who have demonstrated the following:

1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

A systematic understanding of knowledge, including, where appropriate, relevant knowledge outside the field and/or discipline, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice; A thorough understanding of a substantial body of knowledge that is at the forefront of their academic discipline or area of professional practice including, where appropriate, relevant knowledge outside the field and/or discipline.
2. Research and Scholarship

A conceptual understanding and methodological competence that

a) Enables a working comprehension of how established techniques of research and inquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;

b) Enables a critical evaluation of current research and advanced research and scholarship in the discipline or area of professional competence; and

c) Enables a treatment of complex issues and judgments based on established principles and techniques; and,

On the basis of that competence, has shown at least one of the following:

a) The development and support of a sustained argument in written form; or

b) Originality in the application of knowledge.

a) The ability to conceptualize, design, and implement research for the generation of new knowledge, applications, or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the research design or methodology in the light of unforeseen problems;

b) The ability to make informed judgments on complex issues in specialist fields, sometimes requiring new methods;

and

c) The ability to produce original research, or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, and to merit publication.
3. Level of Application of Knowledge Competence in the research process by applying an existing body of knowledge in the critical analysis of a new question or of a specific problem or issue in a new setting.

The capacity to

a) Undertake pure and/or applied research at an advanced level;

and

b) Contribute to the development of academic or professional skills, techniques, tools, practices, ideas, theories, approaches, and/or materials.

4. Professional Capacity/Autonomy

The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

a) The exercise of initiative and of personal responsibility and accountability; and

b) Decision-making in complex situations;

c) The intellectual independence required for continuing professional development;

d) The ethical behavior consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research;

and

d) The ability to appreciate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.

a) The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex situations;

b) The intellectual independence to be academically and professionally engaged and current;

c) The ethical behavior consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research;

and

d) The ability to evaluate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.
5. Level of Communications Skills The ability to communicate ideas, issues and conclusions clearly. The ability to communicate complex and/or ambiguous ideas, issues and conclusions clearly and effectively.
6. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge Cognizance of the complexity of knowledge and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines. An appreciation of the limitations of one’s own work and discipline, of the complexity of knowledge, and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.

Approved by Senate 2010