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Planning for the thesis defense should take into account the School of Graduate Studies deadlines for convocation and fees. Approximate deadlines for defense are mid-January, beginning of April, mid-September. In order to arrange for a defense, the thesis must be ready at least seven (7), but preferably eight (8), weeks prior to these dates.


Request for Defense
to the Graduate
Department of Public
Health Sciences
Last Scheduled
Completed Thesis
and Degree
March (in abstentia) or June

Prior to the Defense

Supervisor’s Role
When all members of the candidate’s supervisory committee agree that the thesis is complete and ready for defense, the supervisor, in consultation with the Student,

  • will submit a copy of the external examiner’s C.V by email to the MSc Degree Program Director, to receive approval for the External Appraiser and Internal Reviewer
        1. An external reviewer: this individual must be arms-length from the candidate and the project, must be a recognized expert in the field. A university appointment is not necessary;
        2. An internal reviewer: this individual should also ne arms-length from the candidate and project.
  • will forward the MSc Degree Program Director’s approval to the student.

Student’s Role
Once the student has received approval for the External and Internal Reviewers, they will complete the Public Health Sciences MSc – Biostatistics Thesis Defense Form 7-8 weeks prior to the defense date and on the form they will

  1. Include the names and emails for the Supervisor, member(s) of the Supervisory Committee, the approved external reviewer, and the approved internal reviewer
  2. Upload a copy of the thesis abstract
  3. Upload a copy of the MSc Remote Attestation Form
  4. Include a date and time for the defense for which all committees members have confirmed availability to attend
  5. Ensure that the thesis follows the format of the University of Toronto:
  6. Distribute the thesis to all examination committee members at least six (6) weeks prior to the defense.

Graduate Office’s Role

  1. Ensure that student has completed all other degree and course requirements;
  2. Inform the external examiner of his/her role including the need to submit a written  critique at least two (2) weeks before the defense;
  3. Book a room and equipment, distribute notices, and appoint an independent, non-voting chair;
  4. Familiarize the student with the examination process and expectations.

At the Defense

In order for the defense to proceed, a quorum of four (4) members must be present.

  1. The Chair follows clearly established examination procedures. Please see MSc Thesis Defense: Guidelines and Procedures;
  2. The examination committee votes on the acceptability of both the thesis and the oral defense;
  3. The Supervisor informs the student of any modifications/corrections required in the thesis.

After the Defense

  1. Student makes modifications/corrections to the thesis as required;
  2. Supervisor informs the Graduate Department in writing that the student has made modifications/corrections;
  3. Student submits the final thesis to ProQuest;
  4. Students failing to complete all steps by the above deadlines will be required to register and pay fees for another term.