Doctoral Graduate Students

Registration and Progression

For information on program timelines, supervision, thesis committee membership, changes of status, leaves of absence, and appeals, please review the information on our registration and progression page.

Comprehensive Exams

All PhD students are required to write a comprehensive examination after completion of the core courses in epidemiology and biostatistics. The exam is written in the fourth term, provided that the first-year course work has been successfully completed. Details are available on the Epidemiology Field of Study Comprehensive Exam Information and Biostatistics Field of Study Comprehensive Exam Information pages.

Thesis Proposal Examination

All doctoral students must successfully defend a thesis proposal before proceeding with their thesis research. Details are available on the thesis proposal requirements page.

Thesis Examination

A successfully defended and completed doctoral thesis is the milestone of completing a doctoral degree in our department.

Intent to Submit

When PhD students are ready to defend their thesis, and after consultation with the supervisor and supervisory committee, an Intent to Submit Thesis (PDF Icon PDF) form must be completed and given to the Academic Programs Coordinator at least eight (8) weeks prior to the earliest proposed examination date. This form is specific to our department. 

Given that defenses are often clustered near the end of a term, a deadline to submit this form will be enforced. For the fall term (September-December), the form must be submitted no later than November 1; for the winter term (January -April), no later than March 1; and for the summer term (May-August), no later than July 1.

Thesis Exam Request

For an overview of submission dates, please visit Thesis Timelines.

When the thesis is thought to meet recognized scholarly standards for the discipline and degree and is ready for examination, the Graduate Chair arranges a Thesis Examination by setting a proposed date, and obtaining provisional consent from the potential members of the Thesis Examination Board. The thesis Supervisor(s), Supervisory committee or the candidate alone may also initiate this process. The Graduate Chair must then submit for approval the Examination Board to SGPS, using the Doctoral Thesis Examination Request Form (PDF Icon PDF) at least seven (7) working weeks before the proposed date, and, where applicable, set a date and time for the Public Lecture.

Thesis Overview and Regulations

The Thesis Guide and Thesis Regulations pages from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies outline the process of preparing a thesis and defending it.

Thesis Format

A thesis based on the report of research findings may take one of two formats: Monograph (traditional or proposal style format) or Integrated-Article (manuscript format).

These formats are well described on the SGPS website, which MUST be followed by all PhD students. The student is reminded that, regardless of the format adopted, a thesis in Epidemiology and Biostatistics needs to contain a chapter devoted to a detailed, critical review of the literature.

Completion Checklist

Please submit this form (PDF Icon PDF) for a list of additional tasks to be completed upon recepit of a notification of completion email from SGPS.