Doctoral Oral Thesis Examination

The designated person in the student's home department (the supervisor, the graduate coordinator or graduate assistant) will schedule the Oral Thesis Examination by filling out the Ph.D. Oral Thesis Examination Form. This form outlines the composition of the Thesis Examining Committee and other details of the thesis examination.

  • The completed and signed form must reach the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, no later than 25 working days before the tentative examination date.

  • A copy of the thesis (PDF copy if the examiners prefer) is to be submitted to each member of the thesis examining committee 25 working days before the tentative examination date for PhD defences.

  • The candidate is to also submit a PDF copy of the thesis to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (thesis@queensu.ca), for format review. The Thesis Coordinator will notify the candidate if any corrections are required before the final version of the thesis is submitted to QSpace. Note: if the thesis is too large to send by email, QShare is the best option.

Ph.D. Oral Thesis Examination Form (PDF, 191 KB)

Composition of the Thesis Examining Committee (as of July 1, 2022)

  1. Chairperson (selection made by the Thesis Coordinator)
  2. Head of the Department (or delegate) (who may serve as Chair and therefore not a voting member)
  3. Supervisor(s)
  4. Examiner: At least one faculty member from Queen's
  5. Internal/External Examiner: At least one faculty member from another Department
  6. External Examiner: An external examiner from outside Queen's University
  7. Additional Examiner: An optional additional examiner

It is the responsibility of the Department to select, verify eligibility, and invite all members of the Thesis Examining Committee.

Thesis Approval

Final approval of the Thesis Examining Committee members lies with the Dean of School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Confidential Report Form

The Thesis Coordinator circulates the oral examination particulars and confidential report forms to each member of the Thesis Examining Committee by email. The confidential report is to be submitted to thesis@queensu.ca 5 working days before the oral thesis examination.

Conflict of Interest

No member of the examining committee can be in conflict of interest with the candidate. Conflict of interest is defined as a personal or family relationship with the candidate and/or vested interest in the thesis or research for personal or financial gain. Further the Chair, External Examiner, and at least one other examiner must be ‘arms-length’ to the candidate (e.g., must not have a prior supervisory relationship, must not have co-authored with or co-presented with the candidate). Provided the conditions above are satisfied, members of a candidate’s supervisory committee are eligible to be thesis examining committee members.

Oral Thesis Examination Outcome Categories

At each oral thesis examination, the examining committee will reach one of the four outcome categories below (as of July 1, 2022):

  1. Passed
  2. Passed with Major Revision
  3. Referred
  4. Failed