Thesis Defences and Document Submission

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Thesis Defences and Document Submission

Doctoral Theses

Doctoral Thesis Documents

Check your graduate program's Graduate Program Handbook to determine if further program thesis format specifications are required.

Doctoral Thesis Defences

Graduate thesis defences will normally be open defences. A request for a closed defence must be approved by the Faculty Dean and the Dean of Graduate Studies and will be based on certified medical or compassionate grounds.
The arrangements for a thesis defence will commence once all members of the supervisory committee have signed off indicating their approval that the thesis is ready for defence.

The examination committee of a doctoral defence will minimally comprise the supervisory committee, an internal examiner (from outside the graduate program but within Brock University) and an external examiner. The approval of the external examiner is the responsibility of the Dean of Graduate Studies or designate.

Typically a thesis defence will occur four to six weeks following the external examiner's receipt of the thesis document. External examiners shall submit their report no later than one week prior to the defence. External examiners shall as part of their report identify whether the thesis is ready for defence and whether the thesis is to be recommended for submission to internal/external thesis award competitions.

If the external examiner reports that the thesis is not ready for defence, the student must revise the thesis within a reasonable period of time in response to the examiner's comments and the thesis will then be resubmitted to the external examiner. A decision by the external examiner that the thesis is not ready for defence is binding.

A change of external examiner, in exceptional circumstances, must be justified in writing to the Faculty Dean or designate for a master's thesis and the Dean of Graduate Studies or designate for a doctoral thesis.
The external examiner's report will be shared with the examination committee and the graduate student prior to the defence.

The required format and procedures for a doctoral defence are outlined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies or designate will chair doctoral defences.
Students should typically be given two to four weeks to complete minor revisions which are to be approved by the graduate supervisor and four to twelve weeks to complete major revisions which are to be approved by the graduate supervisor and the chair of the defence.