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Graduate Calendar 2010|11

Programs and Course Regulations

Programs and Course Regulations

Note: Effective September 1, 2010, the project-based routes of the Master of Nursing and Master of Health Studies are closed. The regulations on this page are effective September 1, 2010 and affect all new students enrolling in programs.

Program Regulations

The following regulations apply to all CHNS graduate programs and courses, unless specifically noted otherwise.

Program Students

Program students are enrolled in any of the degrees, diplomas, or certificates offered by Athabasca University. Students who change from unclassified/visiting to a program category may use credits earned while in the unclassified category provided the course(s) meet the program requirements, including any restrictions on the age of a course, if applicable.

Students may not enrol in an Athabasca University undergraduate or graduate program while they are enrolled in a program at another post-secondary institution. Those students may take courses as unclassified/visiting students until they have either completed or withdrawn from the other program.

Program Residency Requirements

In keeping with Athabasca University’s mandate of open access, residency requirements for the MHS, MN:Generalist and MN: ANP programs are satisfied when the student has successfully completed fifteen credits in MHST/NURS graduate courses through Athabasca University. Residency requirements for the PMD:ANP (formerly called AGD:ANP) program are satisfied when the student has completed 12 credits in PMD:ANP courses through Athabasca University. The remaining credits may be transferred from other institutions, provided they are applicable to the student’s program.

Program Completion Timelines

Students must complete the MHS, MN: Generalist and MN:ANP degree requirements within seven years of their initial admission to the program.

Students must complete the PMD: ANP program requirements within five years of their initial admission to the program.

Students who do not may be required to repeat courses completed at the beginning of their program.

Program Status

To maintain program status, course-based students must successfully complete six credits of course work during each academic year (September 1 to August 31). Students who do not meet the requirements for maintaining program status will be withdrawn from the program.

Thesis-based students must also successfully complete six credits of course work during each academic year (September 1 to August 31) to maintain program status. Students who do not meet the requirements for maintaining program status will be withdrawn from the program.

Program Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from their program by submitting their request in writing to the CNHS office. Students who withdraw may re-apply to the program by following the regular application procedures. Students re-applying to a graduate program will be competing against all other applicants and will not receive special consideration.

Students enrolled in the MHS and MN programs may not normally withdraw from a course within 30 days of the final day of the course.

Two failures in one or more courses will result in the automatic removal of the student from the program with no option for re-admission to CNHS graduate programs.

Use of MHS/MN Credentials

The MHS and MN programs do not have candidacy exams, therefore the use of MN (C) or MHS (C) during your program is not permitted. When you have completed your program of study, applied to graduate, and your degree has been conferred, you may use the relevant credentials: MN (if you graduate from either stream of the Master of Nursing program) or MHS (If you graduate from the Master of Health Studies program). You may use these credentials only after the degree is conferred.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the degree, a student must

  1. successfully complete the program requirements. Students must achieve an overall average of B- (70 per cent) to graduate. The minimum passing grade requirement for all graduate nursing courses is C- (60 per cent), with the exception of those graded on a pass/fail basis.
  2. complete and submit an Application for Graduation Form to the Office of the Registrar and
  3. meet all other regulations and requirements. In addition, students must have paid all necessary fees owed to the University and have returned all library resources.

Course Regulations

Course Registration

It is the student's responsibility to register by the course registration deadline and ensure that all prerequisite requirements are fulfilled. Late registrations are not allowed. If a student registers in a course that s/he is not eligible to take, the registration will be cancelled and the tuition fee refunded. The tuition will not be applied to an alternative course.

NURS 522, NURS 524, NURS 526, NURS 528 and NURS 530 have a practicum component. If a Preceptor Request Form is not submitted by the course registration deadline, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the corresponding course. The participating health authority, institution, or agency may request a criminal record check, respiratory fit testing, and proof of current immunization status, at the student’s expense, before s/he is accepted as a practicum student.

Course Registration Procedures

Log in at the Office of the Registrar Online Services site and select "Course Registration."

NOTE:Online registration services are only available during the four-week period before the registration deadline (see Academic Schedule)

For other forms of registration, please contact the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies.

Course Re-registration

Students will be permitted one registration and one re-registration in each course. Subsequent registrations in the same course require approval of the Coordinator, CNHS Graduate Programs or designate.

One 4-month course extension may be granted for MHST/NURS 719. The regular CNHS 3-credit graduate level course fee will be changed for the extension. Two 4-month course extensions may be granted for MHST/NURS 720. The regular CNHS 3-credit graduate level course fee will be charged for each extension.

Students may not re-register in a course in which they have attained a passing grade. Students seeking to re-register in a course from which they have previously withdrawn in good standing or received a final course grade of F must pay the full course tuition fee. Students re-registering in a course will be required to complete all course requirements. Assignments completed previously cannot be carried forward or re-submitted when re-registering in a course. Practicum hours in the ANP program must be repeated in full when re-registering in a clinical course.

Course Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from a course up until one month before the end of the session (refer to the Academic Schedule). In order to withdraw from a course, students must submit a Graduate Course Withdrawal Form (PDF) to the CNHS office. The date of withdrawal will be the postmark on the request, or, if the notice is hand-delivered or faxed, the University date stamp. Note that telephone confirmation will not be provided. Students may also request a withdrawal from a course by email provided the request is later confirmed by submitting a Graduate Course Withdrawal Form by fax or regular mail to the CNHS office prior to the end of the course.

Students who withdraw from a course anytime after their course registration has been submitted and up until one month after the course start date, will have the record of registration deleted from their official transcript and will be refunded the course tuition less $350. Course materials should not be returned as there will be no additional refund.

Students who withdraw from a course after the first month of the course start date and before the last month of the course will have their official record and transcript indicate that they withdrew without credit, and without prejudice or academic penalty (W). No fees will be refunded for students withdrawing after the first month of a course. Course materials should not be returned as there will be no additional refund.

Students may not normally withdraw from a course within 30 days of the final day of the course.

Course Extensions

In exceptional circumstances, and where the course instructor concurs, students may be assigned a grade of “Incomplete” (INC). This allows students to take one additional month to complete and submit the course work.

Students must receive written permission from the Program Coordinator (or designate) to extend their course, and must submit Extension Request Form and the course extension fee. One month after the original course completion date, a final grade will be assigned to the course based on the assignments completed prior to that date. If no assignments have been submitted, a final grade of F will be assigned.

One 4-month course extension may be granted for MHST/NURS 719. The regular CNHS 3-credit graduate level course fee will be changed for the extension. Two 4-month course extensions may be granted for MHST/NURS 720. The regular CNHS 3-credit graduate level course fee will be charged for each extension.

Course Grading System

In all the CNHS graduate nursing programs, course assignments will be graded using a percentage system: C- (60 per cent) is required to pass any course, however, students must achieve a B- (70 per cent) overall average to graduate. Effective September 1, 2004, all final course percentage grades are converted and recorded on student transcripts according to the Alpha/4.0 grading scale below.

Please review the Graduate Grading Policy and Academic Records FAQ for more information.

Alpha Grade Percentage Grade Point
A+ 95 - 100 4.0
A 90 - 94 4.0
A- 85 - 89 3.7
B+ 80 - 84 3.3
B 75 - 79 3.0
B- 70 - 74 2.7
C+ 66 - 69 2.3
C 63 - 65 2.0
C- 60 - 62 1.7
F 59 - 0 0.0

INC Incomplete status
W Withdrawn in good standing
MHST/NURS 719, 720, 695, 696, and 697 are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Late Assignments

Late assignments may be penalized five percent for each day that they are late. Late assignments will not be accepted after five days unless there are extenuating circumstances that have been discussed with the instructor before the assignment deadline and the instructor has agreed to extend the deadline.

Letter of Permission to Complete a Course at Another University

Students may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfillment of the program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to the Athabasca University program. Students wishing to take courses from other institutions must obtain and submit a detailed course outline, Letter of Permission Request Form, and the appropriate Letter of Permission fee (by cheque or credit card payment) to the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies office for review. If approved, the Office of the Registrar will issue a Letter of Permission.

To allow for mailing time, requests for a Letter of Permission should be made at least one month before the registration deadline at the institution where the student plans to complete the course. In order to receive credit for the course, an official transcript must be submitted to the CNHS office after the course is completed.

Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing

Some students may have completed course work at other post-secondary institutions that is applicable to the CNHS graduate programs. Students seeking transfer credit are required to submit to the CNHS a written request including supporting rationale, official transcripts (if these were not submitted in support of their application for admission), detailed course descriptions and outlines for such courses, and appropriate fees. Only graduate level courses that were successfully completed with a final grade of B- (70 per cent) or higher will be considered for transfer credit.

Grade Appeals

A student may appeal any grade assigned to written assignments or examinations that contribute to the student’s final course grade. If appealing a grade assigned to group work, the entire group must submit the appeal and the entire group will receive the subsequent outcome of the remark.

Face-to-face class presentations and demonstration examinations that cannot be reproduced in original format are not open to appeal on substantive grounds. The student shall determine whether the grounds of his/her appeal are substantive or procedural and follow the appropriate guidelines.

Academic Grade Appeals on Substantive Grounds

The student shall FIRST contact the Course Instructor who assigned the grade to discuss the grade in question. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the Course Instructor, the student shall forward in writing a request to have his/her assignment/examination remarked to the Graduate Program Coordinator, within one (1) month of the initial receipt of the grade in question. Graduate students please submit the Appeal Request Form.

If the Course Instructor is also the Graduate Program Coordinator, the student shall forward his/her request for remarking to the Director, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies.

The Graduate Coordinator will retrieve the original, unmarked assignment submitted to the original marker. Identifying information will be removed.

In the case of an appeal of a grade on a written examination, the Graduate Coordinator shall secure the marked copy of the examination from the Course Instructor. If the examination is a multiple choice examination it shall be remarked by the Graduate Coordinator. If the examination includes written responses (short answer, essay), a copy of the marked examination shall be made and the identity of the student shall be removed. Inasmuch as is possible, feedback provided/marks awarded by the original marker shall also be removed.

The Graduate Coordinator shall forward the written assignment/examination to a second marker who is familiar with the course and assignment/examination expectations, but who is unaware of the grade originally assigned to the assignment/examination or the feedback the original marker provided.

The assignment/examination shall be remarked and the grade awarded shall be communicated to the student within one (1) month of the request for remarking. The appeal of a grade, and subsequent remarking, will result in one of three possible outcomes: (1) the grade remains the same; (2) the grade is raised; (3) the grade is lowered. The resulting grade will be the grade that is used to calculate the student’s final, composite grade in the course.

If the student is dissatisfied with the result of the remarking, the student may appeal in writing to the Director, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, within one (1) month of the second marking. The student must specify in detail the reasons for making the appeal, and enclose all additional information or documentation he/she wishes to be considered. The Director shall review the case, consulting as needed with faculty, staff, the student concerned, and other persons he/she considers appropriate.

The Director shall inform the student in writing of the decision within one (1) month of the appeal. The Director’s decision of an appeal on substantive academic grounds shall be final. A copy of the correspondence will be kept in the student’s file.

Academic Appeal on Procedural Grounds

For information related to appeals on procedural grounds please consult the Athabasca University Calendar Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal Regulations.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2011.

Updated October 20, 2011