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Selection of External Examiner

Selection of External Examiners

The academic unit is responsible for recommending an External Examiner who is well-qualified, objective and experienced. It is important for the integrity of the student’s degree that the External Examiner be free from any conflict of interest (or even a perceived conflict of interest).

An External Examiner must satisfy the following:

  • An External Examiner for a masters defense is usually from within the university, and must be outside the academic unit The Faculties of Education and Engineering may nominate an External Examiner from within their faculty, but outside the student’s program area.
  • An External Examiner for a doctoral defense must be from outside of the University of Regina.
  • An External Examiner is usually a faculty member from a university, but may also be any suitably qualified individual from private or public institutions.
  • Nominees are to have an established reputation in the area of the thesis research and supervisory experience.
  • Apart from acknowledged expertise in the domain of the thesis topic, the minimum acceptable academic qualification of an external examiner is a degree equivalent to that for which the candidate is being examined.

An External Examiner may not be:

  • a current or recent (last five years) collaborator (i.e., co-supervisor, co-author, co-grant holder) of either the student, or of any member of the student's supervisory committee;
  • an adjunct, associate or full member of the student's academic unit;
  • an adjunct, associate of full member of the academic unit of any member of the student's supervisory committee;
  • a family member or close friend of the student;
  • a family member or close friend of any member of the student’s supervisory committee;
  • a recent past (in the last 2 years) external examiner in the candidate's graduate program, or for a student with the same supervisor---this condition only applies to external examiners from outside the university.

The previous list is not an exhaustive list. The Dean of FGSR may reject a recommended External Examiner for any situation that the Dean believes will compromise the academic integrity of the examination process.  

Steps for approval of an External Examiner

  • Email the completed the Nomination of External Examiner form to Please include “External Examiner” in the subject line.
  • If the proposed External Examiner is not an accredited member of FGSR, please attach either a CV for the proposed External Examiner, or a link to the proposed External Examiner’s website. This CV or website must contain contact information, relevant recent research and supervisory experience, and details about the proposed External Examiner’s degrees.
  • A brief rationale in terms of the special field(s) of expertise and achievements is required on the nomination form.
  • FGSR will review the nomination for External Examiner and following approval, will notify the supervisor and the academic unit.
  • If the nominee is not acceptable, the Associate Dean will consult with the supervisor and the head of the academic unit to select another examiner.
  • The notice of approval will be accompanied by an Evaluation of Thesis Form for the External Examiner, and an information form on the role of the External Examiner.
  • For Masters candidates, the department is then responsible for ensuring that the Masters thesis and the accompanying forms are delivered to the External Examiner. For doctoral candidates, the forms and the thesis are sent by the FGSR Office.
  • A Masters thesis may not be given to the External Examiner until the department receives the formal approval letter from FGSR. A PhD thesis will be delivered to the External Examiner by FGSR; the External Examiner is not to be given a copy before then.

The External Examiner will normally have two weeks for a Masters thesis and four weeks for doctoral thesis, to read the thesis and respond in writing regarding acceptability for defense.

NOTE: For students in faculties with departments, their academic unit is the department. For students in Education or Engineering, their academic unit is their program area. All other faculities and schools are considered to be the academic unit for their students.