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Degree-Granting in Saskatchewan

The Degree Authorization Act and 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.

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) is authorized by The Degree Authorization Act to oversee a quality assurance review of institutions seeking degree-granting status in Saskatchewan and the degree programs they wish to offer.

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1. How to Apply

Institutions interested in applying for authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan must request an application package from the Secretariat of the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB). 

For more information on how to apply including information on fees, levels of review, standards, etc., please see the Saskatchewan’s Higher Education Quality Assurance Board website.

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2. After an Application is Submitted

Once an application package is submitted and the required fee is received, the process consists of three phases:

  • Phase I – System Coordination Review
  • Phase II – SHEQAB Quality Assurance Review
  • Phase III – Minister’s Decision,  Authorization and Monitoring

Phase I - System Coordination Review

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 Ministry of Advanced Education 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.

Phase II - SHEQAB Quality Assurance Review

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. Depending on the level of review required, an applicant may be required to undergo any or all of the following steps:

  • An organizational self-evaluation;
  • An organizational review conducted by an external, expert panel, possibly including a site visit;
  • A program self-evaluation;
  • A program review conducted by an external, expert panel, possibly including a site visit

 The SHEQAB will review the self-evaluations and expert panel submissions 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 whether or not the proposed degree should be authorized.

Phase III - Minister’s Decision, Authorization and Monitoring

Using the SHEQAB’s recommendations, the Minister will decide whether or not to authorize the new degree program in Phase III. Two options may occur:

  1. SHEQAB may recommend that the program be authorized, with or without conditions.
    In this case, the Minister will have the final say with the approval of Cabinet. 
  1. SHEQAB may recommend that the program be refused.
    In this case, the Minister must refuse authorization. The applicant may appeal this decision to the Minister.

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.

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3. New Degree Applications

The table below lists applications received by the Ministry of Advanced Education. Please refer to Active Applications for a listing of applications under review by the SHEQAB.

Institution  Submission (Application) Closing Date for Public Comment Status Period of Authorization
Briercrest College  Bachelor of Arts Humanities Closed Authorized  July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2020
Saskatchewan Polytechnic Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Closed Authorized as Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2020
Briercrest College Bachelor of Arts English/English (Honours) Closed Authorized July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2022
Briercrest College Bachelor of Arts History/History (Honours) Closed Authorized July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021
Saskatchewan Polytechnic Bachelor of Science in Construction Management Closed Authorized as Bachelor of Construction Management July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2024
Briercrest College Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Closed Referred to SHEQAB  
Saskatchewan Polytechnic  Bachelor of Management Closed Withdrawn  

Please refer to the Authorized Programs list on the SHEQAB website for information on the outcomes of the applications, including, where applicable, the Minister’s decision regarding authorization.

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4. The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) is authorized by The Degree Authorization Act to oversee a quality-assurance review of institutions seeking degree-granting status in Saskatchewan and the degree programs they wish to offer.

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. Please visit the SHEQAB website for more information. 

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