Examination

The purpose of both the Master’s Thesis Oral Examination and the Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination is for the student to independently defend their dissertation. The examinations are also intended to serve as confirmation of the student’s knowledge of the research topic within the context of their field(s) of study.

In order to safeguard and promote the quality of the graduate education, all students in thesis-based graduate programs must defend their dissertation in an oral examination before the degree can be granted. Both examinations are approved by the College of Graduate Studies.

Prior to the final defense, candidates must have fulfilled all coursework, examination and language requirements of the degree program. It is the responsibility of the candidate’s graduate program to ensure that all of these requirements have been met, and that the candidate’s language proficiency is sufficient for the examination to be conducted with full communication between the committee and the candidate.

Both the Master’s Thesis Oral Examination and the Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination are considered public events at UBC Okanagan, and as such will be conducted in English.

To schedule an exam, create a committee or request approval for an examiner, please see the Supervisors, Supervisory Committees, and Graduate Program Coordinators section of our Graduate Policy and Procedure Manual and use the forms found below.

Final Master’s Thesis Oral Examination

Oral Examination Scheduling Process Chart

Master’s Thesis Oral Examination Scheduling Process chart

Master’s Initiating Examination Forms

Notice of Master’s Thesis Oral Examination

This form is to be completed by the supervisor and delivered to CoGS either in hard-copy form or via email to initiate the scheduling of the defence. The form identifies the members of the Supervisory Committee members participating on the Examining Committee, the University Examiner and the Neutral Chair.  This form must be signed off by the graduate student, supervisor and program coordinator for approval by the Dean.

Request for Approval of Proposed External Examiner Form

This form is to be used by a supervisor who is requesting the approval of a proposed external examiner.

Final Master’s Thesis Oral Examination – Neutral Chair’s Report

This form is sent to the Neutral Chair from the supervisor via email prior to the examination date. This form records the voting outcome by the examining committee for the student. The Neutral Chair ensures the University Examiner, and Examining Committee members have all signed the outcome selected. The Chair records their comments and observations before signing off.  All ballots are to be attached to the form as part of the process. The form is submitted to Graduate Studies 48 hours after the examination is completed by the Chair.

Masters Thesis Oral Examination Neutral Chair Responsibilities

This document can be sent to the Neutral Chair by the supervisor via email prior to the examination. It outlines the step-by-step responsibilities and procedures for the Neutral Chair.

Voting Ballots

The voting ballots are to be sent to the Neutral Chair by the supervisor via email prior to the examination.

Masters Thesis Oral Examination Announcement

This announcement form is posted on the College of Graduate Studies bulletin board and on UBC calendar events.

Final Oral Examination Committee Member Report

If the examiners are unable to achieve unanimity regarding the defense and/or the oral examination or the examiners choose, there must be no further discussion regarding that component of the examination and the Neutral Chair must select “Failure to Reach Unanimous Decision” on the Final Master’s Thesis Oral Examination Report and immediately inform the College of Graduate Studies of “lack of unanimity”. This form is also used if examiners choose ‘fail’. Each Examination Committee member (including the University Examiner) must provide a confidential Final Oral Examination Committee Member Report to the Dean of Graduate Studies explaining the reasons for their recommendation within five business days.

Master’s Final Submission Forms

Required Forms

Master’s Thesis Approval and Program Completion Form
This form confirms that the student has completed all program requirements including any thesis changes that were required by the thesis defence committee.

Thesis Dissertation Submission Cover Sheet
This form confirms that the thesis/dissertation is the final version that was approved by the examination committee & the supervisor, the thesis/dissertation conforms to the College of Graduate Studies formatting requirements, and acknowledges that the thesis/dissertation will be made publicly available.

Optional Forms

Request for Approval to Withhold a DissertationThesis from the Public Domain
This form may be completed when:

  • Time is required for completion and submission of a significant manuscript or patent application for a device or idea that might emerge from the thesis research
  • The thesis describes something of considerable monetary potential which could, if you were given an opportunity to develop it, benefit you or the University
  • Funding for the research was provided by a commercial company which has requested a delay in publication
  • The thesis deals with a potentially dangerous product or process, or potential cure for a disease, for which you need more testing time before public release of the information

The following dates allow a student sufficient time to complete the thesis process, based on a successful defense and only minor revisions.

Students may initiate the process at any time, and have four (4) periods to be considered for degree conferral (February, May, September or November).

*Students who do not meet these deadline dates may still be eligible for the applicable degree conferral period provided they are able to meet the final approval deadline.

FEBRUARY DEGREE CONFERRAL
November 6*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
December 7*: Last date for the defense
January 8*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
January 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

MAY DEGREE CONFERRAL
February 8*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
March 15*: Last date for the defense
April 3*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
April 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

SEPTEMBER DEGREE CONFERRAL
June 12*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
July 19*: Last date for the defense
August 9*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
August 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

NOVEMBER DEGREE CONFERRAL
August 10*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
September 14*: Last date for the defense
October 5*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
October 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

Please Note:

It is highly advisable to schedule your defence prior to or after the summer months of July and August given the unavailability of many faculty members.  Restricted periods for scheduling a defence will be August and December. Due to the proximity to the start of the new academic term, limited defences will be scheduled during this time.

Points to Remember:

  • You can complete your program at any time during the year as long as your coursework is completed and you have successfully defended a thesis
  • Convocation is held in June of each year and you may choose to attend or not
  • In order to graduate, a student must apply online through the Student Service Centre (SSC). Please note that application deadlines differ from the deadline dates above
  • Click here for more information on Graduation and Convocation

Final Doctoral Thesis Oral Examination

Oral Examination Scheduling Process Charts

Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination Scheduling Process chart

DOCTORAL Initiating Examination Form

Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination

This form is to be completed by the supervisor and delivered to CoGS either in hard-copy form or via email to initiate the scheduling of the examination. The form identifies the members of the Supervisory Committee members participating on the Examining Committee, the External Examiner, the University Examiner and the Neutral Chair. This form must be signed off by the graduate student, supervisor and program coordinator for approval by the Dean.

External Examiner Email Notification Request Example

This is a sample email that the supervisor can use when initiating the request for invitation of an External Examiner.

Request for Approval of Proposed External Examiner Form

This form is to be used by a supervisor who is requesting the approval of a proposed external examiner.

Final Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination – Neutral Chair’s Report

This form is sent to the Neutral Chair from the supervisor via email prior to the examination date. This form records the voting outcome by the examining committee for the student. The Neutral Chair ensures the External Examiner, University Examiner, and Examining Committee members have all signed the outcome selected. The Chair records their comments and observations before signing off. All ballots are to be attached to the form as part of the process. The form is submitted to Graduate Studies 48 hours after the examination is completed by the Chair.

Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination Neutral Chair Responsibilities Procedures

This document can be sent to the Neutral Chair by the supervisor via email prior to the examination. It outlines the step-by-step responsibilities and procedures for the Neutral Chair.

Voting Ballots

The voting ballots are to be sent to the Neutral Chair by the supervisor via email prior to the examination.

Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination Announcement

This announcement form is posted on the College of Graduate Studies bulletin board and on UBC calendar events.

Final Oral Examination Committee Member Report

If the examiners  are unable to achieve unanimity regarding the examination and/or the oral examination, there must be no further discussion regarding that component of the examination and the Neutral Chair must select “Failure to Reach Unanimous Decision” on the Final Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination Report and immediately inform the College of Graduate Studies of “lack of unanimity”. This form is also used if examiners choose ‘fail’. Each Examination Committee member (including the External Examiner and University Examiner) must provide a confidential Final Oral Examination Committee Member Report to the Dean of Graduate Studies explaining the reasons for their recommendation within five business days.

Doctoral Final Submission Forms

Required Forms

Doctoral Dissertation Approval and Program Completion Form
This form confirms that the student has completed all program requirements including any dissertation changes that were required by the dissertation examination committee.

Thesis Dissertation Submission Cover Sheet
This form confirms that the thesis/dissertation is the final version that was approved by the examination committee & the supervisor, the thesis/dissertation conforms to the College of Graduate Studies formatting requirements, and acknowledges that the thesis/dissertation will be made publicly available.

Optional Forms

Request for Approval to Withhold a DissertationThesis from the Public Domain
This form may be completed when:

  • Time is required for completion and submission of a significant manuscript or patent application for a device or idea that might emerge from the thesis research
  • The thesis describes something of considerable monetary potential which could, if you were given an opportunity to develop it, benefit you or the University
  • Funding for the research was provided by a commercial company which has requested a delay in publication
  • The thesis deals with a potentially dangerous product or process, or potential cure for a disease, for which you need more testing time before public release of the information

The following dates provide a guideline for students to complete the dissertation process, based on a successful examination and only minor revisions.

Students may initiate the process at any time, and have four (4) periods to be considered for degree conferral (February, May, September, or November).

*Students who do not meet these deadline dates may still be eligible for the applicable degree conferral period provided they are able to meet the final approval deadline.

FEBRUARY DEGREE CONFERRAL
October 2*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
December 7*: Last date for the defense
January 8*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
January 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

MAY DEGREE CONFERRAL
January 3*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
March 8*: Last date for the defense
April 3*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
April 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

SEPTEMBER DEGREE CONFERRAL
May 3*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
July 12*: Last date for the defense
August 9*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
August 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

NOVEMBER DEGREE CONFERRAL
July 4*: Last date for submission of documents/thesis to initiate a defense
September 6*: Last date for the defense
October 4*: Last date for submission of final documents/thesis for formatting review
October 30: Final Thesis approved by Grad Studies

Please note:

It is highly advisable to schedule your examination prior to or after the summer months of July and August given the unavailability of many faculty members.  Restricted periods for scheduling an examination will be August and December. Due to the proximity to the start of the new academic term, limited examinations will be scheduled during this time.

Points to Remember:

  • You can complete your program at any time during the year as long as your coursework is completed and you have successfully defended a dissertation
  • Convocation is held in June of each year and you may choose to attend or not
  • In order to graduate, a student must apply online through the Student Service Centre (SSC)  Please note that application deadlines differ from the deadline dates above
  • Click here for more information on Graduation and Convocation