General Studies program policies

Our program policies help ensure that we are able to offer the highest quality programs and the best experience possible for our students. Please read them carefully and contact us if you have any questions.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit proof of English proficiency (TOEFL 90 on the online test or 575 on the paper-based test, with no section less than 20 or Academic IELTS 6.5, with no individual component less than 6.0).

Please note that in rare circumstances we may request secondary verification of English proficiency prior to admission. 

We do not offer conditional acceptance for the Certificate in General Studies program.

Applications for the Certificate in General Studies Program are accepted on an ongoing basis. We endeavour to process program applications within 10 business days of receipt. International students are advised to apply well in advnace of their preferred entry term in order to allow adequate time for their study permit application.

Acceptance into the program does not guarantee registration in individual courses. Early  course registration is strongly encouraged. 


Application fees are due at time of program application. Tuition and student services fees are due at the time of course registration. View information about available payment options.

We advise early registration in courses as space and course selection cannot be guaranteed. Since courses in the CGS program can be taken from multiple areas, course registration open and close dates vary depending on your course selections. All course tuition and student services fees are due at time of course registration. We can not hold seats in courses without payment.

All international students in full-time programs who do not register in courses by the term start date or new students who do not defer their acceptance to a future term of study will be administratively withdrawn from the CGS program. Re-application to the program including application fee will be required. Please note it is the responsibility of students to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their study and/or work permits.


For international students in CGS full-time programs:
International students in full-time programs who are inactive in any course could be administratively withdrawn, which may drop you to part-time status and may have implications for your temporary resident status in Canada and eligibility for future immigration programs. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their study and/or work permits. 


All non-credit students must follow the Division of Continuing Studies academic regulations on standards of academic integrity for non-credit courses noted in the Policy on Academic Integrity. All allegations of academic integrity violations, including plagiarism, unauthorized use of an author, multiple submissions, cheating and aiding others to cheat, will be dealt with according to the University’s academic regulations.

If you have any questions about appropriate ways to acknowledge other people's work, please review the University of Victoria's Academic Integrity Resources and Plagiarism FAQs. If you have further questions, please contact your instructor or program staff.

Students in the CGS program who wish to study full-time must take a minimum of 3 courses per term. 

Students who fail or do not attend multiple courses (receiving an assigned grade of W, F, or I on their transcript), over more than one study term, may be withdrawn from the program. Students wishing to continue their studies would then need to re-apply for a subsequent term.

Upcoming new international students who are unable to begin the program on their accepted program term start date can request a one-time deferral to a future term within 1 year.

Students requesting a deferral should submit the Certificate in General Studies Deferral Application by the deadlines noted below. We are unable to accommodate late deferral requests. Deferral deadlines: 

  • September term: August 15
  • January term: December 15 
  • May term: April 15 

Deferral requests are subject to approval and available seats. A deferral fee ($100) will be charged for approved deferrals, and there is a limit of one deferral per student. no exception. Students who have previously deferred their studies will be required to re-apply to the program and pay a new application fee and program deposit.

If you are an international student and your visa is denied, the above will apply. If your visa is denied a second time, you will need to submit a new application with another deposit and application fee.


A comprehensive medical insurance plan is one of the benefits provided to international students enrolled in a full-time Certificate in General Studies program, upon payment of the Student Services Fee. This fee includes:

  • Medical insurance provided by
  • Access to CARSA, UVic’s world-class athletic facility.
  • A bus pass valid while you are studying
  • Expanded access to UVic student clubs, organizations and events

The cost of health care in Canada is very high for those who do not have health insurance. In order to ensure medical issues do not cause you financial difficulty, all Certificate in General Studies students are required to have comprehensive coverage for the duration of their studies. Family members who are with you in Canada should also have comprehensive coverage. You can purchase dependent coverage for them at an additional cost through directly. Further information can be found by visiting here.

British Columbia has a mandatory medical services plan (BC MSP) that provides health care coverage for people residing in the province. International students studying in BC for more than 6 months with a valid study permit must apply for BC MSP.

The application fee and deferral fee are both non-refundable.

Since courses in the Certificate in General Studies program are chosen from multiple areas, the refund and withdrawal policies may differ. Please ensure that you carefully review your receipts at the time of registration to be sure you are aware of the course refund and withdrawal policy.

Full-time international students who are accepted in the program, but do not register for their courses by the program start date will be withdrawn. Re-application to the program including application fee will be required.

If you are an international student and your visa application is denied by the Canadian Embassy and you wish to withdraw, we can refund tuition fees paid. In order to process the refund, students must provide a copy of the visa refusal from the Canadian Embassy. Please contact us at 

Please note tuition refunds may be less any applicable currency exchange or banking fees.

If you are an international student and your visa application is denied by the Canadian Embassy and you wish to withdraw, we can refund tuition fees paid including the program deposit. In order to process the refund, students must provide a copy of the visa refusal from the Canadian Embassy by the term start date. All requests for withdrawal must be received in writing to

If your visa is denied a second time, you will need to submit a new application with another deposit and application fee. 

Please note that refunds may be less due to any applicable currency exchange or banking fees.

International students who have received their final grades and want to request a Letter of Completion must request one.

If you are in your final term of study or you have completed the program requirements, please be sure to submit an Application to Graduate. The deadline to apply for Spring (June) convocation is February 28, and the deadline to apply for Fall (November) convocation is August 15. 

Application to graduate (online form) 

Full-time International students with valid study permits must meet certain conditions to maintain their legal status in Canada, including "actively pursuing your studies." However, we understand that sometimes you may be required to take some time off your studies for personal and/or health/medical reasons.Students who require a leave from their studies for their current or upcoming term, must complete and submit the Leave request form.

Before applying, students are advised to review the IRCC website on what counts an authorized: Authorized Leave and Study Permit Conditions. The length of the leave of absence may affect your status as a student and your eligibility for the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after completing your program.

Domestic students and those without a study permit are not required to submit leave requests. 


Students can request a formal review of their final grade by completing the Request for Grade Appeal form if they wish for clarification or are dissatisfied with their grade for an assignment or a course. Students must discuss the assigned grade with their instructor via email before requesting a formal review.

The Program Director will manage the appeal process, which may include discussion with the course instructor, a review by an external content specialist in the topic of the course, and a review of all written work assigned in the course or, in the case of online work, a review of student contributions to online course discussions.

The grade determined by means of a review will be recorded as the final official grade, regardless of whether it is the same as, or higher or lower than, the original grade. The decision of the Program Director is considered final, subject to an appeal to the Dean of Continuing Studies.

The grade appeal fee of $25 CAD will be charged upon receipt of request. The grade appeal request and $25 fee must be received within 21 days after the release of grades. Once the grade appeal request has been submitted and the fee charged, we will make every effort to complete the review within 21 days.

  • Students must provide the following documentation at the time of the request:
    • A description of the assignment(s) in question
    • The original work submitted for the grade(s) in question
    • A grading rubric for the assignment(s) in question or an explicit statement on how grades were determined and what assessment techniques were used in the course
    • Emails and correspondence between the instructor and learners discussing the assignment(s) in question
    • A clear statement in writing noting in detail the grounds for believing that the grade awarded should be changed