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The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations allow post-secondary institutions to apply for the authority to offer degree programs. The University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are exempt from this legislation.
This process is strictly monitored by the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB). The SHEQAB was established by the Ministry of Advanced Education to oversee the quality assurance process in accordance with The Degree Authorization Act.
The SHEQAB works independently from, but in cooperation with, the Ministry of Advanced Education and is supported by the SHEQAB Secretariat.
The quality assurance review process ensures that new degree programs in Saskatchewan meet high-quality standards that promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.
Institutions interested in applying for authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan must request an application package from the SHEQAB Secretariat by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the SHEQAB webpage for more information.
The SHEQAB uses the following standards to assess institutions seeking authorization to provide baccalaureate (Bachelor's) and graduate (Master's and doctoral) level programs:
The standards are approved by the Minister of Advanced Education.
Pursuant to The Degree Authorization Regulations, institutions applying for authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan will be charged the following fees:
|Initial application fee:
|Partial review fee:
||Total fees, partial review:
|Full review fee:
||Total fees, full review:
|Expedited review fee:
||Total fees, expedited review:
The initial application fee is payable when an application is initially filed.
The full or partial review fees are payable when an application is referred to the Board.
All fees are designed to be cost neutral for the Government of Saskatchewan.
For full details regarding fees, please contact the SHEQAB Secretariat by email at email@example.com.
Pursuant to The Degree Authorization Regulations, before a newly authorized degree program can be offered by a private institution, the institution must post financial security in the form of a surety bond. The purpose of this financial security is to provide protection for students should a private institution be unable to meet its obligations to provide the degree program for which it is authorized. Should such circumstances arise, students are entitled to seek compensation through a claim process that may lead to the distribution of funds from the security to student claimants.
The amount of security required is the greater value of the following:
The institution will estimate the degree program's total annual revenue by estimating the annual enrolment and multiplying this by the tuition fee plus any associated mandatory fees.
For example, a program with estimated annual enrolment of 50 students, annual tuition of $7,500.00, and mandatory fees of $500.00 would have total estimated revenue of 50 X ($7,500 + $500) = $400,000
The amount of security required is determined as follows:
Once an application package is submitted and the required fee is received, the process consists of three phases as it is illustrated on this flowchart:
The Ministry of Advanced Education conducts Phase I to ensure the proposed degree program aligns with provincial needs and priorities and does not unnecessarily duplicate programming already available in Saskatchewan.
The application is then posted on the Government of Saskatchewan's Public Engagement website for 30 days to allow feedback from other post-secondary institutions, professional associations, regulatory bodies and the public. The applicant will be given the opportunity to respond to any feedback received.
The ministry's review, the public input and the applicant's response to the feedback are provided to Cabinet. If approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the application will be referred to the SHEQAB for Phase II of the process.
Once an application has been referred, the SHEQAB will determine what level of quality assurance review is required: an expedited review, a partial review or a full review.
A full review will be required for applicants proposing to offer a degree program for the first time, a degree at a new level or a precedent-setting degree. In these cases, the Board will conduct both an organizational review and a program review using external expert panels for each as required.
A partial review will be required for applicants who are not required to undergo a full review. A partial review may include a program review only, elements of a program review and elements of an organizational review, or a full program review with elements of an organizational review. The Board will determine the appropriate review for each applicant institution.
An expedited review may be permitted for out-of-province applicants that have an established history of offering degree programs or that are authorized to grant degrees in their home jurisdiction and have previously undergone a quality assurance review. The expedited review will ensure that the institution and program meet the Saskatchewan's quality standards.
Depending on the level of review required, an applicant may be required to undergo any or all of the following steps:
The SHEQAB will review the self-evaluations and expert panel reports to ensure the applicant and proposed program meet the requirements for authorization. Applicants may be given the opportunity to address areas that do not meet standards identified in the self-evaluations prior to review by the expert panels. Applicants will also be provided with a copy of the expert panel's report and will be allowed to submit a written response to it for their consideration.
Upon completion of all required self-evaluations and expert panel reviews, the SHEQAB will make its recommendation to the Minister of Advanced Education whether or not the proposed degree should be authorized.
Taking into consideration the SHEQAB's recommendations, the Minister will decide whether or not to authorize the new degree program. Two options may occur:
Upon authorization, a private institution will be required to post financial security before being allowed to offer the degree program.
The SHEQAB monitors authorized degrees annually to ensure institutions adhere to the terms and conditions of authorization.
Seal of Approval
When an institution is authorized to offer a degree program in Saskatchewan, it will be granted the ability to use the SHEQAB Seal of Approval. This identifies the program(s) that have met SHEQAB's quality assurance standards.
Seal of Approval
The table below shows the status of applications received by the Ministry of Advanced Education.
|Institution||Submission (Application)||Status||Period of Authorization*|
|Bachelor of Arts
|Authorized||July 1, 2013
|Bachelor of Arts English/
|Authorized||July 1, 2015
to June 30, 2022
|Bachelor of Arts
|Authorized||July 1, 2018
to June 30, 2025
|Bachelor of Arts History/
|Authorized||September 1, 2018
to June 30, 2025
|Bachelor of Arts Biblical Studies/
Biblical Studies (Honours)
July 1, 2021
|Bachelor of Arts
|Authorized||July 1, 2021
|Bachelor of General Studies||Authorized||July 1, 2021
|Bachelor of Science in
|Authorized as Bachelor
of Psychiatric Nursing
|July 1, 2013
|Bachelor of Science in
|Authorized as Bachelor
of Construction Management
|July 1, 2017
to June 30, 2024
|Bachelor of Applied
|Authorized||July 1, 2019
|Bachelor of Management||Withdrawn|
|Bachelor of Addictions Counselling||Withdrawn|
|Master of Business Administration in
Community Economic Development
|Authorized||July 1, 2020
*NOTE: Date of authorization may not coincide with date of program implementation. For more information, please contact the institution.
Please note that the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are not required to have their programs authorized under The Degree Authorization Act, and therefore, are not required to use the Seal of Approval to indicate the quality of their programs.
Briercrest College and Seminary
There are a number of theological colleges in Saskatchewan that grant theological degrees. These institutions and programs are not required to go through the quality assurance review process and will not display the Seal of Approval. A theological degree must be given a name that meets the requirements of section 31 of The Degree Authorization Regulations. The following are names of degrees that are recognized as theological degrees in Saskatchewan.
In Saskatchewan, a theological degree cannot be named "Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies" or "Bachelor of Arts in Religion," alone or in conjunction with another subject. The reason for this restriction is that these two degree names (and variations of them) are commonly used for secular (non-theological) degrees offered by the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan, and other public universities in Canada.
Some institutions knowingly offer substandard programs leading to degrees or other credentials that cost a lot of money but are worth little or nothing in academia or the employment market. In some cases, a student will be required to do no work at all – just pay a fee and receive a degree or diploma. These institutions are sometimes known as degree mills or diploma mills.
The following information about degree mills or diploma mills is taken from the joint Council of Higher Education of America and UNESCO 2009 document entitled: Toward Effective Practice: Discouraging Degree Mills in Higher Education.
A "degree mill" or "diploma mill" may be characterized by:
Any one of the descriptors above should be cause for concern.
How Do Degree/Diploma Mills Harm or Impact You?
(Adapted from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education)
If you have any questions about an institution offering programs in Saskatchewan, please contact the SHEQAB Secretariat by telephone at 306-787-1782 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An out-of-province institution holding an authorization or consent from another jurisdiction that was obtained under legislation similar to The Degree Authorization Act, that has partnered with either the University of Regina or the University of Saskatchewan to offer a degree or joint degree program may apply for an exemption from the Act by submitting the following documentation:
The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations make it possible for post-secondary institutions other than the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to apply for the authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan.
Requiring applicants for authorization to grant degrees to go through a comprehensive quality assessment of their institution and program(s) protects students by ensuring that all degree programs that are offered in Saskatchewan meet accepted quality standards, and that the credential awarded upon completion of the program will be recognized by other academic institutions and employers.
In accordance with the The Degree Authorization Act, the Ministry of Advanced Education established the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) to oversee the quality assurance process that ensures new degree programs in the province meet high-quality standards. Visit the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board page for more information.
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