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Below is a summary of our defense procedures. Questions regarding specific defenses and defense procedures in general should be directed to our Thesis, Defense and Convocation Specialist at or 306-585-5378.

Defense Procedures 

  1. The chair will introduce the candidate and all members of the Examining Committee. 
  2. The candidate will give a presentation that is a brief overview of their research, findings and conclusions (approximately 15 minutes for a Masters candidate, and 30 minutes for a Doctoral candidate).  No questions are allowed at this time.
  3. After the student’s presentation, the supervisor or co-supervisors will be asked if the candidate has omitted any major points of the work in the presentation.
  4. The External Examiner will question the candidate.  This is expected to be the longest single period of questioning, usually from 30 to 60 minutes. 
  5. The other members of the examining committee will question the candidate.
  6. After the first round of questioning is completed, the chair will ask for further questions.
  7. When the questioning is completed, the candidate, and all individuals who are not members of the examining committee, will be asked to leave the room. 
  8. The examining committee will discuss the thesis and its defense. The acceptability of the thesis and the defense are two different issues. The chair polls the committee, beginning with the external examiner, and asks two questions:

a)  Whether the thesis:
     (i)  Passes without revision,
     (ii)  Passes with revision,  
     (iii)  Must be rewritten.  

b)  Whether the defense was: 
     (i)  Acceptable, 
     (ii)  Not acceptable and must be repeated, 
     (iii)  Not acceptable and student fails.

For the thesis to pass (either without or with revision) the External Examiner must agree that it passes; further, at least half of the committee must also agree that the thesis passes.

For the defense to be found acceptable, the External Examiner must agree that it is acceptable; further, at least half of the committee must also agree that the defense was acceptable.

9. The candidate will be invited back into the room and the decision of the committee will be announced.

10. The candidate will be asked to complete several forms.

Please refer to the Instructions for the Chair for further information.