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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 January 10, April 1, September 10. In order to arrange for a defense, the thesis must be ready at least six (6) weeks prior to these dates.


Request for Defense
to the Graduate
Department of Public
Health Sciences
Last Scheduled
Completed Thesis
and Degree
August 1
September 10
September 28
November 15
January 10
January 26
March (in abstentia) or June
February 20
April 1
April 20

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, contact Vinita Krishnan @

Student’s Role
Complete the MSc Thesis Defense Membership form according to the following guidelines:

  1. In consultation with the Supervisor, and subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, recommend the composition of the examination committee, including:
    1. The Supervisor;
    2. Member(s) of the Supervisory Committee;
    3. An external reviewer. This individual must be arms-length from the candidate and the project, must be a recognized expert in the field, and must be pre-approved by the Program Director and the Graduate Department (submit a copy of the external examiner’s C.V. for pre-approval). A university appointment is not necessary;
    4. Program Director or designate as internal reviewer (also arms-length from the candidate and project).Other members of faculty and students may be invited to attend with permission of the candidate. These individuals are ineligible to vote.
  2. Submit the Membership form to the Graduate Office at least 6 weeks prior to the defense date with a copy of the thesis abstract. Include a date and time for the defense for which all   committees members have confirmed availability to attend;
  3. Ensure that the thesis follows the format of the University of Toronto:
  4. 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 three days 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 and provides one bound copy to the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences;
  4. Students failing to complete all steps by the above deadlines will be required to register and pay fees for another term;