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Degree-Level Expectations

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Established by the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents (OCAV), Degree-Level Expectations (DLEs) outline the academic standards of all undergraduate and graduate degrees granted by Ontario Universities. DLEs indicate the knowledge and skill outcomes, reflecting levels of intellectual and creative development, at specified degree levels (i.e. Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral). DLEs also help to ensure program learning outcomes are appropriate, degree-graduates meet the expected competencies of the credential, and the quality and value of the credential is comparable across institutions. All Ontario universities have agreed to use OCAV’s guidelines as a threshold framework for their own degree-level expectations.

DLEs for undergraduate and graduate programs (external link)  are delineated into six broad categories:

  1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge
  2. Knowledge of Methodologies (undergrad) / Research and Scholarship (grad)
  3. Application of Knowledge
  4. Communication Skills
  5. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge
  6. Autonomy and Professional Capacity

Specific DLE requirements for undergraduate and graduate degree programs are outlined in Senate Policy 110.

Program Learning Outcomes describe the learned body of knowledge, the set of skills, and the attitudes or values that graduates of a specific TMU program will be able to demonstrate.

Degree Level Expectations outline the expected level of intellectual and creative achievement of graduates for a specific credential across the province (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate).

Whereas Program Learning Outcomes are unique to each program, DLEs outline requirements for all university degrees in Ontario.  

For quality assurance purposes, DLEs are incorporated into new program designs and into existing program reviews during Periodic Program Review (PPR). All undergraduate and graduate programs must ensure the program design and outcomes meet the established requirements at a specified standard of performance that is consistent with the expectations of the credential.

To illustrate how a new or existing program meets the credential’s DLEs, the program’s learning outcomes (PLOs) are mapped to the Degree-Level Expectations.

The Curriculum Quality team has developed the following templates for mapping DLEs to PLOs to indicate alignment for New Programs and for Periodic Program Review:

o   Mapping Undergraduate Degree-Level Expectations (UDLEs) to PLOs (external link) 

o   Mapping Graduate Degree-Level Expectations (GDLEs) to PLOs (Masters) (external link) 

o   Mapping Graduate Degree-Level Expectations (GDLEs) to PLOs (Doctorate) (external link) 

For additional information and guidance with mapping DLEs to PLOs, using our Curriculum Insights program, please contact us.