All candidates in a thesis route shall present a document embodying the results of their research. The thesis should reveal that the student is able to work in a scholarly manner, and is acquainted with the principal works published on the subject of the thesis. The thesis research should make a contribution to knowledge in the field, or a significant contribution to a problem in a particular area.
The thesis proposal and the final thesis must be written according to a standard style acknowledged by a particular field of study and recommended by the academic unit. Refer to “Format for Theses and Dissertations ”.
An overview of the timelines for the completion of the forms can be found at Timelines for Forms for Master’s Thesis Route Program (PDF - 104KB).
Each student is required to develop a written thesis proposal in their chosen field of study. The thesis proposal is developed under the mentorship of the supervisor and the supervisory committee.
The supervisor and the supervisory committee must formally approve the thesis proposal at an oral examination. The supervisor chairs the oral examination. An email from the supervisor notifying FGS of the oral examination and that all committee members have indicated the proposal is ready for the oral examination is normally sufficient. FGS can then provide the supervisor with the necessary materials for the conduct of the oral examination. If a Proctor is needed, then FGS will make those arrangements.
The student conducts a formal presentation of the proposal to the committee within a closed session (no one besides the student, the supervisory committee, and the Dean, FGS are allowed to be present). The presentation is followed by an oral examination, in which the committee will ask questions related to the proposal, raise questions or issues the student may anticipate in conducting the research, and determine whether the student is adequately knowledgeable in the proposed research area to proceed with the thesis research. The conduct of the oral examination component must follow the guidelines for Oral Examinations for “Master’s Thesis Route and Doctoral Programs”.
The decision shall be that of the majority. Each committee member, including each co-supervisor holds one vote. If a decision cannot be reached, the supervisor’s report should record the recommendation of each committee member on the “Master’s Thesis Proposal Oral Examination Report”, which is submitted to the FGS, who will determine an appropriate course of action. Normally, one of the following outcomes of the examination must be recorded on the form: Pass; Resubmit with Revisions; Fail; Adjourned, Repeat Oral.
In the case where the examination committee recommends an adjournment or resubmission, the student is given a second opportunity for the oral examination or review of the revisions. At the second attempt, the oral examination and proposal must be rated as a Pass or Fail. Under extraordinary circumstances, the student may obtain an Adjourned, Repeat Oral on the second attempt.
If the recommendation is a Fail, consultation with the FGS will be required. Depending upon the reason for the Fail, the committee may recommend to FGS that the student be allowed a second attempt at the oral examination or proposal. If the FGS agrees with this recommendation, at the second attempt the examination committee must select one of two adjudication categories, Pass or Fail. Any student who receives a Fail at the second attempt is required to withdraw from the program with a Fail appearing on the transcript. Under extraordinary circumstances, the student may obtain an Adjourned, Repeat Oral on the second attempt of an oral examination.
The oral examination and proposal are approved. The proposal may or may not require minor revisions or modifications.
All committee members indicate their decision on the “Master’s Thesis Proposal Final Report” form.
The supervisor may decide to withhold their signature until the revisions/modifications have been made, and should indicate that on the form.
The revisions to the proposal are sufficiently substantial; e.g., major revisions of sections are required.
The student did not demonstrate an adequate knowledge in their proposed research area during the presentation and/or oral examination. The proposal itself is unacceptable; e.g., poorly written, does not adequately address the literature in the research area, or contains other significant omissions.
The presentation and examination should be adjourned in compelling, extraordinary circumstances.
Updated October 29 2014 by Student & Academic Services