For Faculty

Information for Faculty on Oral Examinations (Defences)

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.

Fall 2021 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 Master’s degree or 8 weeks 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 if you anticipate your student will be defending in mid-December to ensure sufficient time for revisions.

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 21 (Final GRADE Deadline). We encourage students to submit their request to defend early.

  • 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 21, 2021 (grade deadline)
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): December 14 to January 10, 2022

Flexibility

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 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.

Final Document Submission

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 December 21, 2021 as this is the grading deadline in the Office of the Registrar.

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 January 10, 2022 at the very latest will not be eligible for Fall graduation. Students who submit documents in the winter semester add/drop period will move into spring graduation and will not be permitted to attend the Spring Convocation ceremony.

Forms

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.