Reading Weeks occur in the fall and winter terms; they start with the Saturday before the public holidays of Thanksgiving Day and Family Day and end on the following Sunday.

Requirements during scheduled pauses

Graduate students are engaged in both their own educational activities – taking courses and conducting research – and in assisting the University to deliver its academic mission – serving as Teaching and Research Assistants. As such, it is useful to clarify the roles and responsibilities of graduate students during scheduled academic pauses. To this end, the following guidelines are established:

  • If a graduate student is enrolled in courses, then that student (like all students) is on an academic pause. Graduate students shall not have academic due dates during a scheduled academic pause.
  • If a graduate student is serving as a Teaching Assistant (TA), then that student is not obligated to interact with students enrolled in the course during the academic pause. But, the graduate student (at their discretion only) may wish to conduct activities that are supportive of the enrolled students. For other TA requirements, particularly marking, graduate TAs are encouraged to coordinate with the course instructors to agree on due dates that allow for the graduate students to balance workloads with the opportunity to have an academic pause.
  • If a graduate student is conducting research as an Graduate Research Assistant or as part of a Graduate Research Studentship that requires regular activity (lab work that requires daily data collection, for example), then it is the student’s responsibility to see that those responsibilities are met during the academic pause. Supervisors are encouraged to provide the break as an opportunity for students to have a pause in activities when the research activities are not time sensitive and are required to articulate expectations for breaks in the research assistantship or research studentship agreement.
  • PhD comprehensive exams, graduate thesis defences, etc. may take place during this time.