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PhD thesis

PhD students make an original contribution to scholarship by completing a doctoral thesis.

Students should approach a prospective thesis supervisor prior to applying to the program. If the supervisor accepts, they will guide the student in preparing a 5-8 page research proposal for the application.

Once admitted to the program, students are guided by their supervisors as they write a longer thesis proposal, which serves as the basis of their comprehensive examinations. Once students are admitted to candidacy, they work closely with their supervisors who guide them through the research, writing and submission processes.

The following should be noted with regard to the submission of the doctoral thesis:


Deadlines to submit the final thesis:

1 September  - to graduate in the fall term (November convocation) and avoid fees for the fall term

31 December - to graduate in the summer term (June convocation) and avoid fees for the winter term

1 April – to graduate in the summer term (June convocation) and avoid fees for the spring/summer terms

As always, students may make their final thesis submissions at any point during the year. The deadlines above affect graduation and fees.

PhD students wishing to meet the above deadlines must submit their thesis to the School of Graduate Studies at least 6 weeks before their scheduled defence, leaving ample time between the defence and the deadline to make changes that might be requested.

Please note that it is no longer possible to submit on the DNE date in order to avoid fees. Extensions beyond the above deadlines will be granted only in instances of unforeseeable family or medical emergencies.


The application to graduate is separate from the thesis submission process. There are two graduation application deadlines each year:

15 January - summer graduation (June convocation) application deadline

15 July - fall graduation (November convocation) deadline

Read more about applying to graduate.



Once students have completed all the changes requested by their committee, they will send the finalized thesis to the supervisor in PDF/A format, requesting permission to submit on Spectrum. The supervisor responds, cc'ing the Graduate Program Assistant and the Graduate Program Director. Students submit to Spectrum once they have received this permission.



The doctoral signature page is prepared by the Thesis Office and copies are provided to the Chair of the defence for signature at the defence. The Thesis Office will provide a blank copy to the student for inclusion in the thesis upon request.



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