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ThesisJudged Unacceptable for Defense

By Supervisor, Supervisory Committee, Head of Academic Unit or Dean’s Office

If the thesis is considered unacceptable by the supervisor, the supervisory committee, the head of the academic unit or the Dean’s Office, it will not be sent to the External Examiner and provisionally is deemed to have failed.

In this case, the student may opt to petition to defend the thesis. To petition to defend their thesis, a student must submit a formal written letter of application, which includes a rationale, to the Associate Dean of FGSR. A panel will be set by FGSR who will judge the petition. If the petition is successful the thesis will be sent to an external examiner.  If the petition should fail, the student’s program will be terminated.

By the External Examiner

If the thesis is judged unacceptable by the External Examiner, the External Examiner will provide a report detailing why they judged unacceptable and offering suggestions for remedy (as appropriate).

The Associate Dean of FGSR will inform the supervisor and head (or designate); the supervisor should inform the student.

The External Examiner’s evaluation of the thesis will be given to the department head who will then convene a meeting of the supervisory committee, the Associate Dean of FGSR and the student to discuss the Examiner’s report and reach a decision on a course of action. Possible courses of action include the following:

  1. A revised thesis be sent to the first examiner (this should include a memo detailing how the external’s concerns have been addressed).
  2. The un-revised thesis may be sent to a second external examiner (this is in the case at the committee disagrees with the External Examiner’s report).
It is important to note that should the thesis fail in a second attempt, the student may be required to discontinue. A decision of whether the student’s program is to be terminated, or if the student will be provided an opportunity to do further research or rewriting will be made at that time by the Associate Dean of FGSR, or a panel set by FGSR, in consultation with the external examiner and the student’s committee. If necessary a panel will be appointed to make this decision.