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University-Related Employment for Full-Time Graduate Students

In order to qualify as full time under ministry rules, graduate students must:

  • Be pursuing studies as a full-time occupation.
  • Identify themselves as full-time graduate students.
  • Be designated by the university as full-time graduate students.
  • Be geographically available and visit the campus regularly,  graduate students, while still under supervision, may be absent from their university (e.g. visiting libraries, doing field work, attending a graduate course at another institution, etc.) provided that, if any such period of absence exceeds four weeks in any one term, written evidence shall be available in the Graduate Studies Office to the effect that the absence has the approval of the chairperson of the department and the dean of Graduate Studies.
  • Be considered to be a full-time graduate student by his/her supervisor or equivalent (designated by the university)

A full-time graduate student at Laurier is defined as someone who works no more than 10 hours per week on campus (on average; 520 hours per year) in employment outside of their studies. 

From the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies: 

Full-time graduate students should be in a position to devote their full time and energy to a coherent program of graduate study and research, and should make full-time progress toward completion of the requirements of that program. 

  • Even though university-related employment (such as an assistantship for teaching, research or administrative tasks) may provide a significant portion of the financial support that enables a graduate student to pursue graduate study, and may provide experience that supplements the formal academic program in developing skills relevant to a future faculty position or other career, too much time spent on employment activities diverts time and energy from the program of study and research, and delays completion.
  • The common benchmark for the maximum acceptable time spent on university-related (or other) employment for full-time graduate students is an average of 10 hours per week. 
    • Versions of the 10-hour rule have been adopted by the federal granting councils and the Ontario Graduate Scholarships, as well as by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies.

Wilfrid Laurier University, as a member university of the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies upholds the 10-hour rule (i.e., that every member university is committed that full-time graduate students should not be permitted to work more than an average of 10 hours per week on campus, and should be encouraged to limit their time spent on employment either inside or outside the university to an average of no more than 10 hours per week).

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