Degree Names and Parchments

Approved by the Senate in October 1997 upon recommendation of the Academic Policy Committee.

Degree Names

  • Degree names should generally be restricted to those based on the names of faculties or schools.
  • New degree names, other than those based on the names of new faculties or schools, should not be approved unless a strong case can be made that it would be either confusing or inconsistent with North American practice to offer the program within an existing degree.
  • In considering whether a new degree name is required, Senate should review how information about the field of study (program) will appear on the parchment.
  • When a degree name based on the faculty or school, together with information about the program, does not adequately identify the field of study, Senate should approve a degree name that identifies the field in a manner that is consistent with usage in North America.


  • The degree, program and standing information that appears on the parchment should be clearly identified to and approved by Senate when the program is approved.
  • If a faculty or school wishes to change what appears on the parchment they should propose this change to the Senate Curriculum Committee for consideration and approval by Senate.
  • In addition to the degree name, information about the program may appear on the parchment with the approval of Senate. While continuing to take into consideration the “possible implications of narrow academic background” referred to by the ad hoc committee in 1979, Senate should also consider the wishes of the faculties awarding the degree and administering the program.
  • If Senate approves the inclusion of information about the field of study this should appear on the line following the degree name (e.g. “Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental and Geotechnical Option”).
  • If Senate approves the inclusion of information in addition to the degree name and field of study (e.g. “Co-operative Education Program”) this should generally appear on the next line, together with any information about the standing achieved (e.g. “Co-operative Education Program, with Distinction”).
  • Those Faculties and Schools which offer degrees with names that do not conform to these guidelines should review these names and report back to Senate through the Senate Curriculum Committee, either recommending names that do conform to the guidelines or giving the rationale for not doing so.”

This information is for quick reference. For the full text of the Minutes of Senate, which include the motions and discussion, please see the Minutes Archive.