Degree Timeline

For those undertaking full-time study the programme is designed for completion within 48 months. Those wishing to undertake the programme on a part-time basis should consult the department for advice.

Year 1:  Fall and Winter terms

  • The programme requires all students to take four courses (12 units), taken during the first year, and our professional seminar. These units include our three core courses (DEVS 801, DEVS 802, DEVS 803) and one optional course from within DEVS or a cognate department. In addition, students take the professional seminar DEVS950 on a pass/fail basis. The latter runs on a monthly basis throughout the Fall/Winter terms.
  • Students who have already taken our core courses as part of their MA degree will either be accelerated within the PhD or, if deemed appropriate by their supervisor and/or the Graduate Chair, will find alternate topics courses to complete this requirement.

Year 1: Spring and Summer terms

  • Students establish their supervisory committee, begin to prepare their comprehensive exam literature lists, and consider the first stages of building their research proposal.

Year 2

During their second year, students undertake three tasks:

  • First they prepare for and complete their comprehensive exams.
  • Second, as part of their comprehensive exam process, the student also submits a course syllabus that they have prepared on their chosen research topic.
  • Third, on completing the comprehensive exams, the student submits and defends a formal research proposal that provides the analytical and methodological basis for their PhD research. This is examined orally by a committee of three faculty members, including the student's supervisor and at least one examiner from within DEVS. After defending their PhD proposal, the student will progress to fieldwork (if applicable).

Year 3

  • Students complete field research and/or equivalent data collection. In consultation with their supervisor and committee, they begin to write draft chapters towards their thesis.

Year 4

  • Students write up their PhD thesis, which they submit for defence, allowing for a completion date within the stipulated 48 months from the beginning of the programme.
  • Students will typically teach a fourth-year undergraduate seminar course (or equivalent) as a teaching fellow.
  • Students pursue a programme of knowledge mobilisation under supervisory guidance – seeking to present their work at suitable academic/non-academic conferences.
  • Students are requested to host a session with incoming PhD students where they talk of the strategies developed and challenges faced conducting research or undertaking an internship.

For students needing to move beyond a fourth year of study in order to complete, a clear plan to completion following School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs guidelines is established in conjunction with their supervisor and the graduate chair.