Part 7: Examination and Assessment

Thesis oral defence

When the 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 Thesis. The student is not permitted to make changes to this document until after the Thesis oral defence has been completed.

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

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

Scheduling the Thesis oral defence

The Thesis oral defence should be scheduled a minimum of five (5) weeks prior to the date of the defence.

Table 4: Timeline for scheduling the Thesis oral defence

Responsibility

Activities

Time Required

Supervisor

1. Submission of Request for Thesis Examination form to School of Graduate Studies and, if applicable, submission of the proposed External Examiner’s curriculum vitae and completed Conflict of Interest form.

Preferably, the External Examiner’s curriculum vitae and completed Conflict of Interest form are submitted well in advance of the request to defend. The comprehensive curriculum vitae can be emailed to sgs@uleth.ca.

At least five (5) weeks prior to the proposed scheduled defence.

Student or Supervisor

2. Submission of PDF copy of Thesis to School of Graduate Studies (sgs@uleth.ca).

Dean of the School of Graduate Studies

3. Approval of the members of the Thesis Examination Committee, the Chair, and the External Examiner (if applicable), and the details and proposed schedule of the Thesis oral defence.

Less than one (1) week, normally

School of Graduate Studies

4. The Notice of Final Thesis Examination, examination materials explaining the Thesis review process and evaluation criteria, and the PDF copy of the Thesis are forwarded electronically to Thesis Examination Committee members and respective stakeholders.

Less than one (1) week, normally

Members of Thesis Examination Committee

5. Review and assessment of the Thesis.

Minimum of three (3) weeks prior to submission of Assessment of Readiness to Defend form

Members of Thesis Examination Committee

6. Submission of completed Assessment of Readiness to Defend form to the Thesis Examination Committee Chair.

At least one (1) week before the scheduled Thesis oral defence.

Normally, activities 2 and 3 occur within the same week.

Requesting a Thesis oral defence

The supervisor completes the Request for Final Thesis Examination form at least five (5) weeks prior to the proposed scheduled defence to recommend:

  • The composition of the Thesis Examination Committee, including written rationale for the choice of External Examiner.
  • The tentative schedule of the Thesis oral defence in consultation with all of the members of the Thesis Examination Committee, including the Chair.

In order to have the degree requirements met by the end of the term, it is recommended that the Request for Final Thesis Examination form be completed and a PDF copy of the defence Thesis be submitted to sgs@uleth.ca by the deadlines outlined in the following table:

Table 5: Recommended dates to submit Request for Final Thesis Examination form

To Complete Within:

Submit By:

Fall term:               

November 15

Spring term:

March 15

Summer session:

July 15

The supervisor submits the Request for Final Thesis Examination form and the student or supervisor submits a PDF copy of the Thesis to the School of Graduate Studies, via sgs@uleth.ca, for review and approval. If the supervisor submits the PDF copy of the Thesis, the student is responsible for ensuring the supervisor has the final and complete version of the Thesis.

Approving the Thesis oral defence and appointing the Chair

The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies reviews the Request for Final Thesis Examination form and the Thesis. If the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies does not approve the request, it is usually because he or she feels that the External Examiner is not suitable. In cases where the External Examiner is not suitable, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies will contact the supervisor and if necessary recommend an External Examiner.

If an External Examiner is required, the supervisor contacts him or her to make tentative travel arrangements.

The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies approves the Thesis Examination Committee Chair. The Department Chair, or relevant Departmental Graduate Education Committee Chair, or designate will chair the Thesis oral defence.

Notice of Thesis oral defence

Next, the School of Graduate Studies electronically forwards the Notice of Final Thesis Examination, examination materials that outline the the Thesis review and assessment and explain evaluation criteria, and the PDF copy of the Thesis to the Thesis Examination Committee, the Dean of the Faculty/School, the Department, and the student.

The Thesis Examination Committee, except the Chair, is responsible for reviewing and assessing the Thesis for readiness to defend. The Thesis Examination Committee has a minimum of three (3) weeks to complete the review and assessment and to forward their confidential assessments to the Chair.

The Dean of the Faculty/School posts a copy of the form outside the main office of the Faculty/School.

The supervisor informs interested faculty and staff of the Thesis presentation and defence.