M.Sc. Examination Process

M.Sc. Examination Process

Oral Presentation

  • Up to 20 minutes in length.
  • Uninterrupted presentation of thesis research, including a reasonable introduction, explanation of research aims and accomplishments, and conclusions. A broad description of future aims is acceptable, but should not be treated as future aims that the student themselves would execute. Note that the presentation strategy is different if the student intends to re-apply to the PhD program and work on the same project (see "Defending an M.Sc. With Subsequent Admission below).


  • The Exam Committee will question the student on technical and theoretical knowledge related to the thesis, and to the student's general knowledge of the research area. The exam, including the oral presentation, should not exceed 90 minutes.

Exam Committee Discussion

  • A closed-door discussion of the thesis and its defence.
  • Decide on recommendations.

M.Sc. Exam Voting Procedure

All committee members must vote by filling out and signing the M.Sc. Oral Examination Voting Ballot (also found on the Forms and Links page). Abstentions are not permitted, and two negative votes fail the exam. The student may be permitted to stage a second defence. If they fail the second defence or are refused a second defence, the Department will terminate the student's enrollment in the program, and the student will not obtain a degree.

The Chair of the M.Sc. oral exam must submit a signed copy of the M.Sc. Oral Examination Chair's Summary Form (also found on the Forms and Links page) to the Graduate Program Administrator immediately after the conclusion of the exam. After a successful defence and completing revisions, the supervisor must notify the Graduate Program Administrator in writing that the student has made all the recommended corrections to their thesis. Upon a report receipt from the Chair of the Exam Committee and the letter of confirmation from the supervisor, an "M.Sc. Degree Recommendation" form is signed by the Graduate Coordinator and sent to the School of Graduate Studies.

Post-Exam Thesis Preparation

Upon timely completion of the thesis revisions and obtaining written approval from the supervisor, the student must prepare the thesis for submission to the School of Graduate Studies and the Department.

SGS has prepared guidelines outlining the regulations for the formatting and preparing a thesis for electronic submission to the SGS (see Thesis Formatting). These guidelines, available on the School of Graduate Studies website, must be strictly adhered to. SGS will inform the student of any additional completion requirements such as the payment of library fines, outstanding fees, etc.

The Department requires a hardbound copy of all student theses within one month of it being submitted to SGS. The departmental budget does not allow for the payment of costs for thesis binding; however, supervisors may be willing to help defray these costs.