Defence FAQ

Last updated October 25, 2021

Will defences be operating remotely in the Winter and Spring semesters?

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 (https://www.unbc.ca/coronavirus).

What are the current deadlines for requesting a defence?

Please note that your request deadline will depend on the first identified defence date on your form. For Master’s students, it is 6 weeks or more prior to the deadline date and for PhD students, it is 8 weeks or more prior to the deadline date.

Fall 2021 Deadlines (for Defence in the Fall semester and Winter 2022 Graduation)

Note that in order to meet requirements for end of term processing prior to the Christmas break, we require final documents in our office no later than December 15 (Final GRADE Deadline). We encourage students to submit their request to defend earlier than the required deadline.

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (PhD) for 2022 Winter graduation: October 19, 2021 (8 weeks notice)
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (Master's Degree with External Examiner) for 2022 Winter graduation:  November 2, 2021 (6 weeks notice)
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all revisions approved in order to graduate in Winter 2022: December 15, 2021 (grade deadline)
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): December 14 to January 10, 2022
Winter 2022 Deadlines (for Defence in the Winter semester and Spring graduation)

Note: that in order to meet requirements for end of term processing for Convocation in May, we require final documents in our office no later than April 22 (Final GRADE Deadline). We encourage students to submit their request to defend earlier than the required deadline.

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (PhD.) for 2022 Spring Graduation: March 2, 2022
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (Master's Degree with External Examiner) for 2022 Spring Graduation: March 10, 2022
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all revisions approved in order to graduate in Spring 2022: April 22, 2022 (grade deadline)
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): April 21, 2022 to May 6, 2022

Spring 2022 Deadlines (for Defence in the Spring semester and Fall graduation)

Note: that in order to meet requirements for end of term processing, we require final documents in our office no later than August 26 (Final GRADE Deadline). We encourage students to submit their request to defend earlier than the required deadline

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (PhD) for 2022 Fall graduation: June 24, 2022
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (Master's Degree with External Examiner) for 2022 Fall graduation:  July 14, 2022
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all revisions approved in order to graduate in Fall 2022: August 26, 2022 (grade deadline)
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): August 25, 2022 to September 9, 2022

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 Master’s degree or 8 weeks for a PhD (4.5/7.10). The dates posted below have been based on the calendar policy, aligned to the recent Senate decision to adjust dates, and in compliance the final date to submit grades. If you are planning to defend in mid April, ensure you have left sufficient time for revisions.

Will there be flexibility around deadlines this semester?

We are endeavouring to be flexible wherever possible. If the deadlines to submit are presenting a challenge for you, please reach out to grad-office@unbc.ca 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.

How do I plan my anticipated defence date?

You should work closely with your supervisor and supervisory committee to select 3 suitable dates. Remember that your request must be in our office 6 weeks prior last day to defence for a Master’s defence or 8 weeks prior last day to defend for a PhD defence . The deadline to submit your form depends on the first identified date of defence (not the last day to submit a request as noted above). The deadlines included above are the last possible date to submit a request and if you work to that deadline, you would be defending without leaving time for revisions. For some students, this may not be a concern. The best option is to select a defence date that leaves you enough time for final revisions (1-2 weeks before the Grade Submission Deadline).

When does my final defended thesis/dissertation have to be submitted after defence?

Ideally, students will defend and allow sufficient time in their request for the defence date to accommodate post-defence revisions. As noted above, the absolute last day we can have a defended and revised thesis/dissertation submitted to our office is the grading deadline.

However, 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 April 2022 who submits their Final Thesis/Dissertation and Distribution License on May 6, 2022 would have their P grade placed on their Winter 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 but do require registration if the final approved document is not submitted by the add/drop date (at which point full semester tuition becomes due). Students who move past the Spring add/drop date, may have to complete a Time Extension Request Form, 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 a clear pass or minor revisions.

How does the date I submit my final documentation impact graduation eligibility?

It is important to understand that any student who does not have a final defended and revised thesis/dissertation in our office by the grade deadline of the semester they are defending in, may not be eligible for that semester graduation and may not not be included in Spring convocation. Students who submit documents in the Spring semester add/drop period will move into Fall graduation.