Finishing Up an MSc


The purpose of this document is to inform the student about the procedures/requirements that they must deal with as they finish their thesis in our department. By understanding what is going on, the process can be made more efficient and less painful. Note: much of this information is also available in the FGS' "Guidelines for the Preparation and Examination of Theses and Dissertations, 1996".

Before the Oral Exam

FGS requires that a supervisory committee, consisting of at least two people (the supervisor and another person), be formed by the second term of study and at least 12 months before the oral exam. (This information is required for Progress Report #1 and we send it to FGS).

FGS also requires that a Thesis Proposal be submitted at least 3 months before the oral exam. Students submit this form to the grad programme assistant, Lora Zuech, along with 2 copies of the Thesis Proposal. Proposals include title, name of supervisors, brief statement of purpose of research, its relationship to existing work in the area, and the contribution which the researcher hopes to make to the advancement of knowledge in the field. Maximum length is 3500 words.

Scheduling the Oral Exam

Students should pick up, review and fill out the oral exam package with Lora. This should be done about 4 weeks before the proposed oral examination date.

FGS requires that a thesis examining committee, consisting of at least 4 people, be formed. They consist of:

(Note: the supervisor cannot be the chair of the committee.)

The supervisor and the graduate student are responsible for recommending these members. The supervisor and graduate student are also responsible for recommending a date for the oral exam, making sure that all members of the examining committee can attend this date, and that all members of the examining committee have a copy of the thesis at least 3 weeks before the oral exam.

Note: The student is responsible for making copies of the thesis. Use the photocopier instead of the laser printer (it's cheaper).

The Oral Exam

The student is given an opportunity to present an oral summary of their work (10-20 minutes). Following this, about 1.5 hours of questioning can occur.

There are 4 results of the examination: accepted with no revision, accepted pending specified revisions, referred pending major revisions and failed.

If the result is accepted pending specified revisions then the supervisor and dean's rep must ensure that the required changes to the thesis are made. All specified revisions must be completed within 6 months of the date of the oral exam.

If the result is referred pending major revisions then the committee within 12 months must either accept the revised thesis which is circulated to them or reconvene to continue the oral exam.

After the Oral Exam

The student must submit 3 unbound copies of the approved thesis to the FGS's Thesis Secretary, Barbara Budgell (283 York Lanes). As one of these copies will go to the supervisor, the student may elect to pay the $15 binding charge for this copy (it is a nice present). If the thesis has been nominated for a thesis prize submit 1 unbound to Lora, the CS grad assistant..

Please return your Marlok key to Clara and the building and office keys to the Technical Services area in 110 Steacie between 9-12 daily. As well, if you have a desk key please return it to Lora.

For statistical reasons, the grad programme needs information about starting employers. (Every 7 years a report is produced and it requres the initial employment of graduating students). Please inform Lora about where you will be going to work. Also, please leave a forwarding address.

Your computer account will be removed a little while after you graduate; please make sure you back up everything you need. Finally, if you have (co)published any papers please e-mail the grad director a reference.

Revised: August 4, 2000