If one or both of the examiners gives the thesis an outcome of 'not passed' on the examination report, a Master’s student will not graduate and a Doctoral candidate will not proceed to the oral defence. However, the student has the option to revise and resubmit a failed thesis. When the examiner’s report is received by the Thesis Office the student’s transcript will indicate ‘Thesis Requires Revision’.
In cases where plagiarism in the thesis is alleged, the thesis examination process does not proceed any further and the case is investigated through University disciplinary processes.
Revise and Resubmit
A student whose thesis has not passed the examination may choose to revise and resubmit the thesis. To do so, the student must contact GPS within six (6) weeks of the notification of this outcome indicating the intention to revise and resubmit the thesis, including a supporting letter from the supervisor(s) confirming that the supervisor(s) will maintain supervisory oversight for the revision; this letter must be co-signed by the Head** of the Unit*.
Once the revise and resubmit request has been approved by the GPS Thesis Unit, the revised thesis must be submitted to GPS no later than 1 year from the notification of approval. GPS will send the revised thesis to the original examiner(s) who will determine if the thesis has been revised to address the issues raised in the original examiner’s report(s) and has now met the requirements for the degree.
If the original examiner is not willing or available to serve, the Unit must provide GPS with the names of two potential examiners (internal or external, depending on who did not pass the thesis). GPS will contact and secure the examiner. Once the names have been submitted to GPS, no contact between the Unit or student and potential examiners is permitted. This new examiner will be provided with the original report that did not pass the thesis, and will be asked to determine whether the revised thesis has addressed the issues raised by the original examiner’s report and has met the requirements for the degree.
The following are required for submission of the revised thesis:
- A new nomination of examiners form:
- A letter in PDF format to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies describing the changes that have been made. This letter will be submitted to the examiner as part of the re-examination process.
- A single PDF version of the original thesis that did not pass the first examination (marked as “first submission” in the filename).
- A single PDF version of the revised thesis (marked “revised” in the filename).
The revised thesis should be sent by email to GPS:
- Master’s students: mastersthesissubmission.gps [at] mcgill.ca
- Doctoral students: doctoralthesissubmission.gps [at] mcgill.ca
If the student does not contact GPS requesting to revise and resubmit the thesis within the designated six-week time period or, once approved to revise the thesis, does not submit the revised thesis by the one-year deadline, the thesis will be deemed to have failed and the student will be withdrawn from the university. Their transcript will indicate ‘Thesis Revision – Not Passed’.
For Master’s students, if the revised thesis is passed, then the student will have fulfilled that requirement for the degree. For Doctoral students, if the revised thesis is passed, then the student will proceed to the oral defence. (The oral defence committee will only receive the thesis that has been passed and nothing concerning the revise and resubmit process will be conveyed.)
Should the examiner not pass the revised thesis, the student will be withdrawn from the University unless they believe there is bias, error, or serious misrepresentation on the part of the examiner (see below).
Hearing Committee (Bias, Error, or Misrepresentation)
Revised, December 2012. Start of revision.
If a thesis has not been passed and the student feels that this judgment is not based on the academic or scholarly quality of the thesis itself, but rather is determined by bias, error, or serious misrepresentation on the part of the examiner, the student may submit to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies a written request for a new examiner for the thesis, documenting the bias, error, or serious misrepresentation. This request must be made within six weeks of the notification that the thesis has not passed, and may be accompanied by a letter of support from the supervisor and/or Unit.
To consider the request, the Dean will convene (and chair) a Hearing Committee, composed of two (2) standing members of the Council of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (C.G.P.S) and an appointed member of the student’s Faculty. This Committee will review the request at a hearing to which the student will be invited in order to present their case.*** The Committee will render a decision (in the absence of the student) as to whether bias, error or serious misrepresentation has been proven. The decision and the reasons behind it will be communicated in writing to the student by the Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies within one week of the Committee hearing.
If the request for a new examiner is approved by the Committee, the examination will be considered void; the student and supervisor with the approval of the Unit must identify and contact a new examiner (and submit a new Nomination of Examiners Form to GPS). The thesis may not be revised prior to submission of the new examiner.
If the request for a new examiner is not approved by the Committee, and this is the first time that the thesis had been evaluated, the student has the right to Revise and Resubmit under the normal procedures. If the revised thesis also fails to pass examination, the thesis will be judged as not fulfilling the requirements for the degree and the student will be withdrawn from the University and their transcript will indicate ‘Thesis Revision – Not Passed’.
Revised and resubmitted thesis: If bias, error, or serious misrepresentation is first alleged as a result of the examination of a revised thesis (i.e. a thesis that did not pass the first examination and was subsequently revised and resubmitted), the Hearing Committee process described above will be followed. If the allegation is upheld, a new examiner will be secured as described above. If the allegation is not upheld, no further revisions will be considered; the student will be withdrawn from the University and their transcript will indicate ‘Thesis Revision – Not Passed’.
Revised, July 2018. End of revision.
*Unit refers to a department, a division, a school, an institute, or a Faculty/University-wide program.
**Head refers to chair of the Academic Unit* or delegate (such as Graduate Program Director/Associate Director). Names of delegate(s) should be submitted to the Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.
*** The student may bring an advisor from the university community to the hearing (who must not be paid for their services.)