Part 7: Thesis Examination and Assessment

Master’s Thesis oral defence

Requesting a Master’s Thesis oral defence

When the Master’s Thesis is complete, the candidate must defend it in an oral examination. The student informs the supervisor that he or she is ready to defend and provides the supervisor with an appropriately formatted PDF copy of the Master’s Thesis. The student is not permitted to make changes to this document until after the Master’s Thesis oral defence has been completed.

A student who has successfully completed all program requirements has the right to submit and defend the Master’s Thesis, even if the supervisor recommends otherwise.

NOTE: A student who does not submit and defend the completed Master’s Thesis by the end of the term must register for the next term.

Forming the Thesis Examination Committee

The supervisor completes the Request for Final Thesis Examination form (www.ulethbridge.ca/graduate-studies/forms). This form recommends:

  • The composition of the Thesis Examination Committee, including written rationale for the choice of External Examiner and the a completed Conflict of Interest form (www.ulethbridge.ca/graduate-studies/forms) with the External Examiner’s curriculum vitae.
  • The tentative schedule of the Master’s Thesis oral defence.

The Request for Final Thesis Examination form should be completed and submitted at least four (4) weeks prior to the proposed date of defence, and must be signed by all members of the Supervisory Committee and the student. Both the public presentation and the oral defence are open to other students, faculty members, and to members of the community. Under extraordinary circumstances, a request for a closed defence may be made by the student or any member of the Thesis Examination Committee to the Dean of Graduate Studies. A request for a closed defence is normally made in conjunction with the request for the Master’s Thesis oral defence.

The student in conjunction with his or her supervisor submits the Request for Final Thesis Examination form, together with a PDF copy of the Master’s Thesis, to the Management Graduate Programs Office, where it is forwarded to the Director of management graduate programs for review and approval. Students are not allowed to make revisions to the Master’s Thesis until after the Master’s Thesis oral defence.

Scheduling the Master’s Thesis oral defence

The Master’s Thesis oral defence should be scheduled for no later than one (1) month before the deadline for receiving the official copies of the Master’s Thesis. These deadlines are:

  • For Fall Convocation: August 31 (submit final document by July 30)
  • For Spring Convocation: April 30 (submit final document by March 30)

 Approving the Master’s Thesis oral defence

The Management Graduate Programs Committee reviews the Request for Final Thesis Examination form. If the Management Graduate Programs Committee does not approve the request, it is usually because the Management Graduate Programs Committee feels that the External Examiner is not suitable. In cases where the External Examiner is not suitable, the Supervisor recommends another External Examiner.

Notice of Master’s Thesis oral defence

Next, the Management Graduate Programs Office completes the Notice of Final Thesis Examination and forwards copies of this form to the School of Graduate Studies, the Thesis Examination Committee, the Dean of the Faculty of Management, the External Examiner, and the student.

A cover memo for this form instructs the student to submit a PDF copy of the Master’s Thesis for the Master’s Thesis oral defence to the Management Graduate Programs Office for distribution to the Thesis Examination Committee. The Thesis Examination Committee, except the Chair, is responsible for reviewing and assessing the Master’s Thesis for readiness to defend. Committee members have two (2) weeks to complete the review and assessment, and must submit the completed Assessment of Readiness to Defendform at least five (5) working days before the scheduled defence.

A copy of the Notice of Final Thesis Examination form is posted outside the Faculty of Management reception office. The Management Graduate Programs Office sends an announcement informing graduate students, interested faculty and staff of the Master’s Thesis presentation and defence. The Management Graduate Programs Office also sends a memo to the supervisor, student, and the remaining members of the Thesis Examination Committee that outlines the next steps, beginning with the Master’s Thesis review and assessment.