Candidacy and Thesis Exams

Remote Thesis Examination Guide

SGPS has advised that scheduled thesis exams can be postponed under the current circumstances, but this is a decision best made on a local level by Faculties, Programs and Departments. If you choose to proceed with a remote examination, please observe the following:

It is the responsibility of the department to set up the Zoom meeting and send the link, along with the remote thesis examination guide, out to the examiners, supervisor, candidate and chair. If you have not used Zoom before, it’s fairly intuitive. The remote thesis guidelines (previously circulated and attached) also provide instructions. If you still have questions or concerns after reviewing the guide, please contact Matt Dumouchel (mdumouc2@uwo.ca).

 
Exams may proceed with everyone participating remotely, as long as the technology remains effective. This is not ideal, but under the current circumstances it is acceptable. It is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that they have a device available which will work effectively. We strongly recommend that all participants test their system ahead of time, ideally by connecting as a committee 24 hours or so ahead of the scheduled exam, to allow time to adapt if necessary. The chair should also have phone numbers to communicate with participants in the event of a loss of connectivity. It is the chair’s decision if the exam can proceed if a single examiner is lost; if more than one is not actively participating the exam should be suspended and re-scheduled.


The chair remains responsible for conducting the examination in accordance with SGPS regulations. This means that the chair must be comfortable that the technology is working effectively, as well as that the questioning is proceeding in an appropriate way. If the chair considers that the examination is not proceeding according to the appropriate standards they should suspend it. SGPS and/or the program will reschedule as appropriate depending on the reason for the suspension. Keep in mind that re-scheduling could be done in relatively short order if necessary, given that no-one is travelling or in class.
We recognize that this is a major disruption to our usual way of doing things, and we appreciate your support and your flexibility. We are trying to find the right balance between maintaining our academic standards and allowing our students to finish in a timely way. We're all doing a lot of experiential learning right now and we will make mistakes and encouter unforseen problems. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about any of this, as we work this out together.

 

More Information

PhD Candidacy Exam

For students transferring from MSc program to PhD program

Students enrolled in the MSc program who have demonstrated outstanding academic and research qualities may be permitted to transfer into the PhD program prior to completion of the MSc degree, provided they successfully pass the PhD Candidacy Evaluation. This PhD Candidacy Evaluation must take place prior to the end of the 5th term of graduate enrollment.

For PhD students

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program must take the Candidacy Evaluation prior to the end of the 3rd term after enrollment.

 

Click here for the PhD Candidacy Evaluation Schedule Request Form

 

Click here for the PhD Candidacy Evaluation Proposal Submission Form

 

Important Considerations and additional details on the Examination Board Members, timing and process of the evaluation can be found in The Guidelines for PhD Candidacy Exam.

MSc Preparation and Thesis Defense

Thesis Requirements

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the current knowledge of the field.
  • Provide an acceptable rationale for the research problem, as a coherent project (i.e., not a series of exercises).
  • Demonstrate that a reasonable amount of experimental work has been expended on the problem, beyond the mastery of analytical or technical skills.

Naturally, the thesis must conform to the rules provided in the most recent Western University Guide for the Preparation of Theses.

Two to three months before the student intends to submit the thesis for examination, please consult the Graduate Chair to ensure that the process of setting up an examination committee can be initiated correctly.

Prior to submission, the thesis must be read and approved to proceed to examination by the supervisor and at least one member of the advisory committee. The proposed examiners and date and time of the exam are to be arranged by the student's chief advisor (usually in consultation with the advisory committee members and the student). It is your responsibility to ensure that the external examiner is a member of SGPS and is eligible to fulfil the required duties. The student must hand in the thesis submission form to the department office.

Master's Thesis Forms for the departmental office

General thesis information, (formatting, submission, copyright, etc) is found on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

The graduate chair will then review and approve the thesis exam committee, date and time to go forward for final approval by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The chair of the MSc oral examination, as well as the location of the exam, will be selected by the M&I graduate chair.

The Departmental deadline for submission of the thesis for examination is one week prior to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies deadline for submission of Examining Boards. The dates change on a term basis and students are instructed to consult the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies timelines calendar to determine the actual deadline.

Submission

The student must hand in 1 thesis submission form to the department office. Upload the thesis for examination to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the "Electronic Thesis and Dissertation" page.

Examination

The oral examination normally occurs four weeks after submission of the thesis for examination. Under no circumstances will an oral examination be scheduled in less than 15 working days after the thesis submission. Details of the examination and defense processes can be found on the homepage of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Students are reminded that two Advisory Committee Meetings are required per year.

1st: between January 1 - June 30

2nd: between July 1 - December 31

School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies General Information Calendar

PhD Preparation and Thesis Defense

Guidelines for the preparation and format specifications of theses and details of the thesis defense are found in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies calendar

Two to three months before the student intends to submit the thesis for examination, please consult the Graduate Chair to ensure that the process of setting up an examination committee can be initiated correctly.

Prior to submission, the thesis must be read and approved to proceed to examination by the supervisor and at least one member of the advisory committee. The proposed examiners and date and time of the exam are to be arranged by the student's chief advisor (usually in consultation with the advisory committee members and the student). The student must hand in the thesis submission form to the department office. Upload the thesis for examination to SGPS at the "Electronic Thesis and Dissertation" page.

Doctoral Thesis Forms for the departmental office

Doctoral Thesis Forms for the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

General thesis information, (formatting, submission, copyright, etc) is found on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

The graduate chair will then review and approve the thesis exam committee, date and time to go forward for final approval by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The chair of the PhD oral examination, as well as its location, are selected by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Ph.D. examination is arranged by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and normally occurs 6 weeks after the date of submission to the Faculty.