Defences and Qualifying Exams

For thesis students, completing your QE (Ph.D. students only) and defending your thesis are integral parts of your degree. Coursework MSc students do not defend a thesis, but instead, write a Major Research Paper (ANSC6900) that is graded by their Advisor and another faculty member (ie. co-advisor or advisory committee member). A grading rubric can be found on our Courses page.

Your QE should occur before the end of the 5th semester of your Ph.D. Because it can be challenging to find a time and date to suit all Examiners, the QE chair, Student and their Advisor, the oral exam should be organized well in advance: at least 2-3 months ahead of time, especially if it involves a written component. For more details on the process and the standards we expect, see our Qualifying Exams page

In preparing for your defence, you and your Advisor will need to plan carefully so that you have time to analyze your data, write and edit your thesis addressing comments made by your advisor and advisory committee members, put together a suitable defence committee and book a room for the defence. There are separate defence deadlines for M.Sc. and Ph.D. candidates, and you need to work through these carefully so that you can graduate in your intended semester -especially if you want to avoid paying additional fees. In a nutshell, if you're an M.Sc. Student, your Examiners must have a copy of your final thesis at least two weeks before your defence date (the Office of Graduate Studies provides good information on a sensible M.Sc. Defence Timeline), If you're a Ph.D. Student, the external Examiner needs your final thesis at least four weeks prior to your defence date and the remaining Examiners need to be allotted 3 weeks for review (see sensible Ph.D. Defence Timeline). For details of the defence itself, please see our Defences page. Once the defence has been completed and follow-up edits approved, you must forward a copy of your thesis to the library for storage.