TL40 – Student Work, Examinations & Theses [DRAFT]

Works created and submitted by students for evaluation in accordance with course and program requirements, including master's and doctoral theses.

Related Records | Responsible Unit | Information Steward | Information Confidentiality Classification | Retention | Disposition | Authority | Retention Rationale | Other Units with Copies | Version Information

Content & Scope

Assignments, tests, and examinations are used to evaluate student performance and competence in undergraduate and graduate courses. Policy 73 – Intellectual Property Rights details the University’s right to retain copies of student works (excluding the student’s grade and course instructor’s comments) for use in other teaching and research activities.

The fulfilment of degree requirements for certain graduate programs requires submission of approved theses for deposit with the University Library. Some faculties and academic departments/schools also retain copies of approved theses. Circulation of a thesis may be temporarily restricted where a student's rights may be jeopardized by publication.

This records class excludes: qualifying and comprehensive examination answer papers completed by Ph.D. students; and, assignments, tests and other works created by participants in non-credit courses.

The records include all student works submitted for evaluation and retained by the University rather than returned to the student, including: completed final, mid-term, and other examinations, tests, or quizzes; essays, research papers, and works in other media and formats (e.g., video, photos, drawings); co-op work reports; lab reports; content created by students in educational and learning technology solutions and evaluated as course-work; and, approved master's and doctoral theses. Additional records associated with thesis submission include approval notifications, thesis restriction forms, copies of Library and Archives Canada thesis non-exclusive license forms, and related correspondence.

Related Records

  • For qualifying and comprehensive examination answer papers completed by Ph.D. students, see ST20 Student Records.
  • For works created by non-credit course participants, see TL50 – Non-Credit Programs & Courses.

Responsible Unit

  • Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs, for theses and thesis submission records.
  • The unit responsible for the course offering, for student works, tests and examinations in undergraduate and graduate courses.

Information Steward

  • Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs, for theses and thesis submission records.
  • Dean of the relevant faculty, or the information steward responsible for the academic support unit offering courses, for all other records

Information Confidentiality Classification

  • Public: approved theses, following the expiration of any restriction period.
  • Confidential: thesis submission records.
  • Restricted: all other records.


  • Theses: retained permanently by the University Library. A copy of each thesis is also acquired by Library and Archives Canada.
  • Thesis submission records: 3 years after the release of the thesis to the University Library.
  • All other records: minimum of 1 year and not more than 3 years after the end of the term in which the work was submitted or after the resolution of any grievance (Policy 70) or appeal (Policy 72).


  • Student works which instructors attempt to return but remain unclaimed after official term grades have been made available to students may be destroyed earlier than 1 year provided students have been so advised in the course outline.
  • For tests and examinations scanned and uploaded by university staff to an enterprise information system (e.g., Crowdmark) for grading:
    • The university’s official record is the version in the enterprise information system, and the above retention period applies to these records.
    • Scanned paper source records are retained for 2 months after students have been notified of their mark, to support quality assurance procedures for the official record.
    • If a student initiates a grievance concerning the test/examination, the paper source document may be retained with other records of the student’s grievance until after the grievance or appeal is resolved.
  • Anonymized data derived from assignments, tests and examinations may be retained by the University until superseded or obsolete.


Secure Destruction.


Responsible Units should document the disposal/destruction of official records using the University records destruction form or equivalent documentation, to verify that we are following our records retention rules.


Retention Rationale

  • Examination regulations allow students to request an informal review of a final examination up to one year from the date that the examination was written or until the date indicated in the course outline.
  • Regulations to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act require that personal information be retained for a minimum of one year after its use, unless the individual to whom the information relates consents to its earlier disposal (RRO 1990 Reg 460, s 5(1)).

Other Units with Copies

Under Policy 73, copies of student works (excluding the student’s grade and course instructor’s comments) may be retained by a unit for use in other academic program, teaching, and research activities.

Retention of Copies

Until no longer needed.

Disposition of Copies

Secure destruction.

Under Review Date

9 April 2021.

Previous Version

26 July 2010.

(This records retention schedule replaces TL55 – Examination Papers & Course Assignments and TL62 – Theses)