Defence information for faculty

Updated October 19, 2021

Defence Format

There is no current plan to move to in-person defences. Updates on this will come from the official COVID-19 planning communication channels should this change.

Theses/Dissertation Deadlines

The deadline to request a defence is established in the graduate calendar. Students are required to submit at least 6 weeks prior to the anticipated date of defence for a Masters degree or 8 weeks prior for a PhD (4.5/7.10 in the Calendar). The dates posted on the Theses and Dissertation Pages have been based on the calendar policy, aligned to the recent Senate decision to adjust dates, and in compliance with the Office of the Registrar's final date to submit grades.  Please review the information on final document submission below to ensure sufficient time for revisions.


We are endeavouring to be flexible wherever possible but Fall/Winter are our busiest semesters for defences. If the deadlines to submit are presenting a challenge for you, please reach out to as early as possible so we can discuss options. We will be in a much better position to support adjusting our administrative work for our faculty and students if we have a head’s up early.

Final Document Submission

Ideally, students will defend and allow sufficient time in their request for the defence date to accommodate post-defence revisions. The absolute last day we can have a defended and revised thesis/dissertation submitted to our office is grading deadline date, as dictated by the Office of the Registrar final grade deadline.

We permit students to extend the date for final submission into the next semester on an exceptional basis.  We use the add/drop date in the calendar for this concession and the grade is assigned to the previous semester. For example, a student defending in December 2021 who submits their dissertation on January 10, 2022 would have their P grade placed on their Fall 2021 registration. The previous requirement that students register and pay for the full semester (refunding fees at final processing) is no longer in place. We now do not require registration (or fee payment) within the add/drop window. Students who move past the Winter add/drop date will be registered and will incur full semester tuition fees and Time Extension Fees. This accommodation is typically not made for a student who has minor revisions.

It is important to understand that any student who does not have a final defended and revised thesis/dissertation in our office by April 26, 2022 at the very latest will not be eligible for Winter graduation. Students who submit documents in the spring semester add/drop period will move into fall graduation and will not be permitted to attend the Spring Convocation ceremony.


We have fixed the prior forms that were not working for signatures and moved these into a new template. As previously communicated, the PhD request form requirements have changed. We have amalgamated the information collected into fewer forms and eliminated redundant signatures. This change in format does not represent a change in substance and the information collected is in compliance with calendar policy. Our current forms are posted on the website.

Distribution of the Thesis/Dissertation

Based on feedback from the faculty, once the Request for Oral has been signed off, the External Examiner Confirmed and a Chair located, the draft copy of the thesis/dissertation will be attached to the outlook calendar defence invite.