Graduate Course Requirements and Exemption Policies

The normal course requirements for graduate research programs are as follows:

PhD Program: 8 graduate courses (4.0 credits)
MESc Program: 4 graduate courses (2.0 credits)

Students may request an exemption up to certain course credits based on the categories described below: 

Graduate Course Exemption 

Doctoral Students:

A PhD student may request an exemption from up to 2.0 course credits (equivalent to 4 graduate courses) of their PhD coursework if there is strong evidence that the student possesses advanced knowledge in the field of their proposed PhD research, as evidenced through relevant graduate courses successfully completed as part of a prior degree.

Specifically, for consideration of PhD course exemption, a prior course(s) must:

  • Be a graduate-level technical course
  • Be in the same content area as the proposed PhD research
  • Be verified with a course outline
  • Have been passed with a minimum grade of 80% (North American equivalent) in each course

Student can make such request by submitting the “Course exemption request form” to the home Graduate Program. The Graduate Program considers and makes all final decisions relating to coursework exemption requests. The Graduate Program may decline a request or grant an exemption up to the limit of 2.0 course credits, as described above. Decisions by the Graduate Program relating to requests by a student for course exemption cannot be appealed by the student.

Master (MESc) Students:

Course exemptions are not considered or granted for MESc students.

Credit for Prior Work 

Doctoral Students:

A PhD student who has an incomplete doctoral degree from another university may request an exemption from up to 1.0 course credits (equivalent to 2 graduate courses) of their Western PhD coursework in consideration of successfully completed courses as part of their incomplete doctoral program.

Specifically, for consideration of PhD course exemption, a prior course(s) must:

  • Be a graduate-level technical course
  • Be in the same content area as the proposed PhD research
  • Be verified with a course outline
  • Have been passed with a minimum grade of 80% (North American equivalent) in each course

Master (MESc) Students:

An MESc student who has an incomplete master’s degree from another university may request an exemption from up to 1.0 course credits (equivalent to 2 graduate courses) of their Western MESc

coursework in consideration of successfully completed courses as part of their incomplete master’s program.

Specifically, for consideration of MESc course exemption, a prior course(s) must:

  • Be a graduate-level technical course
  • Be in the same content area as the proposed MESc research
  • Be verified with a course outline
  • Have been passed with a minimum grade of 80% (North American equivalent) in each course

Student can make such request by submitting the “Course exemption request form” to the home Graduate Program. The Graduate Program considers and makes all final decisions relating to coursework exemption requests. The Graduate Program may decline a request or grant an exemption up to the limit of 1.0 course credits, as described above. Decisions by the Graduate Program relating to requests by a student for course exemption cannot be appealed by the student.

MEng to MESc Transfer

Students currently in the MEng program may request for a transfer from MEng to MESc, such that they meet the admission requirements for the MESc program.

The funding eligibility period (6 terms) is not counted from the date of transfer but rather the count begins when a student starts a graduate program at Western. Hence, the funding eligibility period is not extended on the transfer date.

i) Students who are transferring from MEng to MESc within the same Department may request an exemption from up to 2.0 course credits (equivalent to 4 graduate courses) of their MESc coursework in consideration of successfully completed courses as part of their incomplete MEng program.

Specifically, for consideration of MESc course exemption, a prior course(s) must:

  • Be a graduate-level technical course (professional courses are excluded)
  • Be in the same content area as the proposed MESc research
  • Have been passed with a minimum grade of 78% in each course

ii) Students who wish to transfer from MEng to MESc in a different Engineering Department will be required to voluntarily withdraw from their current department and apply for graduate admission to the new department. Once admitted, students may request an exemption from up to 1.0 course credit (equivalent to 2 graduate courses) of their MESc coursework in consideration of successfully completed courses as part of their incomplete MEng program.

Specifically, for consideration of MESc course exemption, a prior course(s) must:

  • Be a graduate-level technical course (professional courses are excluded)
  • Be in the same content area as the proposed MESc research
  • Have been passed with a minimum grade of 78% in each course

Student can make such request by submitting the “Course exemption request form” to the home Graduate Program. The Graduate Program considers and makes all final decisions relating to coursework exemption requests. The Graduate Program may decline a request or grant an exemption up to the limit for each category, as described above. Decisions by the Graduate Program relating to requests by a student for course exemption cannot be appealed by the student. 

MEng Completed; new MESc Degree

Students who have completed an MEng degree at Western and would like to start an MESc program in the same Department may request an exemption from up to 1.0 course credits (equivalent to 2 graduate courses) of their MESc coursework in consideration of successfully completed courses as part of their completed MEng degree.

Specifically, for consideration of MESc course exemption, a prior course(s) must:

  • Be a graduate-level technical course (professional courses are excluded)
  • Be in the same content area as the proposed MESc research
  • Have been passed with a minimum grade of 78% in each course

Student can make such request by submitting the “Course exemption request form” to the home Graduate Program. The Graduate Program considers and makes all final decisions relating to coursework exemption requests. The Graduate Program may decline a request or grant an exemption up to the limit of 1.0 course credits, as described above. Decisions by the Graduate Program relating to requests by a student for course exemption cannot be appealed by the student.