Dissertation and thesis

Dissertation and Thesis

This section focuses on the writing of the doctoral dissertation and Master’s thesis, as well as the examinations at the end of the doctoral degree. The thesis exams and oral defence qualify the candidate to become a doctor in the sense of gaining a doctorate. The ultimate milestone is the final submission of the dissertation.

Although these events occur at the end of the degree, it is especially helpful to begin the discussion of the examination process early in the degree. Gradually explaining the process concerning selection of examiners, submission and examination, and how the results are handled and finalized can help allay a student's fears. Such discussions are particularly helpful for international students, who may be used to a very different system.

Highlights of this subsection

Writing the Master's thesis or PhD dissertation: overcoming challenges and anticipating examiners’ expectations

Selecting examiners: strategies and factors to consider

The oral defence: anticipating questions from multiple points of view

The outcomes: what happens after the defence


Comic courtesy of “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham, www.phdcomics.com


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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