Steps for Doctoral Students

Are you a Doctoral student preparing to submit your thesis?

See here for the new thesis submission process guidelines and here for FAQs.

Click the button below to access myThesis:

Student Guidelines

  • Students can access step-by-step instructions here.
    • The new process does not apply to theses being resubmitted after revision.
  • Watch our short 'Quick Tour' video for students below:

Supervisor Guidelines

  • Supervisors can access step-by-step instructions here.

Graduate Program Director (GPD) Guidelines

  • GPDs can access step-by-step instructions here.

Important Information

Thesis title and abstract

Before completing the Thesis Submission page on myThesis, you must ensure that you have prepared and confirmed the following:
  • Thesis title (Final version).
    You should review the thesis title in the Intent to Submit Thesis tab. If needed, the title can be updated and the Intent to Submit Thesis form resubmitted. You can then return to the Thesis Submission page to continue submitting your thesis for examination.
  • Thesis abstract.
    Review your abstract(s) prior to your submission of your initial thesis. We encourage students to keep in mind the requirements for abstracts at the time of the final submission of the thesis on Minerva:

They should be text only, i.e. no images, special characters (apart from the West European character set excluding the “Œ” and “œ”), chemical or mathematical formulae, or special formatting (e.g. lists, tables).
They should be less than 4000 characters.
Abstracts in English and French are mandatory in the final version of the thesis submitted through Minerva.

  • Thesis in PDF format.
    Your initial thesis should be submitted on myThesis in PDF format. The naming convention for the thesis file must be as follows:

lastname_first name_unit name(can be abbreviated)_thesis.pdf
e.g., LASTNAME_John_Electrical&ComputerEng(ECE)_thesis.pdf

  • Supplementary file (if required)

Thesis Examination

The examiners have four (4) weeks to evaluate the thesis and return the evaluation form to GPS. Please note that the 4-week examination period does not commence from the date of thesis submission, but from the time the examiner receives the thesis.

When the completed examination reports have been returned, the procedures for Doctoral theses are as follows:

  • If both examiners have passed the thesis, the student may proceed to the oral defence.
  • If the thesis has not been passed, the student’s transcript will indicate “Thesis Requires Revision” and the student will have the option to revise and resubmit.

Any inquiries regarding the status of your thesis should be addressed to your Graduate Program Coordinator.
 

Oral defence

An ‘Oral Defence Form’ will be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator at the time the thesis is sent to the examiners, indicating the earliest date when the defence may be scheduled (i.e., two weeks after the reports are due, and usually 6-7 weeks after initial thesis submission).

This date is tentative, requiring timely return of reports by the examiners which cannot be guaranteed. Both examiner reports must indicate a passing grade in order for the defence to proceed.

GPS requires a minimum of four weeks’ notice for the defence. If the four weeks’ notice requirement is not respected, the oral defence may have to be rescheduled. The student should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator of his/her department regarding the scheduling of the defence.

Please take note of the following:

  • Both the internal and external examiners must pass the thesis before it can proceed to the oral defence.
  • GPS will send copies of the examiners' reports to all members of the Oral Defence Committee and to the Graduate Program Coordinator one week prior to the defence date. The student does not see the reports until after the oral defence.
  • The student will be given copies of the examiner reports and all available annotated copies of the thesis (if applicable) at the conclusion of the defence.
  • The student must make any corrections and/or revisions (where required) in consultation with the supervisor, or another individual designated by the Oral Defence Committee, before final submission of the thesis on Minerva.
  • Information about oral defence outcomes (and the associated timelines for corrections to the thesis) is available here.

Registration and Thesis Evaluation Status

All students must remain registered and pay fees up until the term of graduation. If you meet the April 15, August 15 or December 15 initial thesis submission deadline, your registration status for the following term will change to “thesis evaluation,” which will decrease your fees (see Student Accounts fee calculator). You can verify your updated fee statement approximately one week after the thesis submission deadline using the Student Account Menu (Account Summary) tab on Minerva.

Information on registration can be found at http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/students/registration/dates.

Graduation and Convocation

Doctoral students are NOT required to apply for graduation.

Convocation ceremonies are held twice a year (normally in November and in May/June). In February of each year, there is no Convocation ceremony. However, GPS does grant degrees in February. Students who receive their degree in February attend Spring Convocation to receive their diploma (normally held in May or June of that same year).

Additional information for students can be found on the Graduation and Convocation website.

International students interested in a Post-Graduation Work Permit should consult International Student Services for detailed instructions.

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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