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Thesis and projects/papers FAQ and contacts

Thesis FAQ

  • Where can I receive guidance on writing my thesis or term papers?

    You should seek guidance from your research supervisor regarding the appropriate style manual you should use for your thesis and term papers for your program.

    You may also use our resources and workshops to assist you in your writing.

  • Will I have to complete a Doctoral Candidacy Examination if I have already started collecting my research?

    Yes. Each student in a doctoral program is required to prepare a written thesis proposal and pass a candidacy exam. Full-time students are normally expected to do so within 18 months of their initial registration in the program. Visit the PhD Candidacy web page for more information.

  • Do I select my oral defence examining committee myself?

    This should be done together with your supervisor and/or graduate program director.

  • If I want to defend my thesis, how far in advance should I begin to plan?

    This process differs between master’s and doctoral programs.

    A master’s student and their supervisory committee must determine a thesis is ready for oral examination at least three months prior to a desired examination date. The procedures are described in the Master’s Thesis Handbook. Please note that your graduate program director/research supervisor should begin making arrangements for the defence at least seven weeks prior to the anticipated date. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) has created tools and resources to assist you in planning your defence:

    A doctoral student and their supervisory committee must determine a thesis is ready for oral examination at least three months prior to a desired examination date. The procedures are described in the PhD Thesis Handbook.  Please note that your graduate program director/research supervisor should begin making arrangements for the defence at least 10 weeks prior to the anticipated date. SGPS has created tools and resources to assist you in planning your defence:

  • I would like to defend and graduate this term, is it feasible?

    In order to defend your thesis and complete all requirements in a given term, SGPS has provided lists of deadlines (master's and PhD) of when each stage of the oral defence prep must be completed.

    It is important to note that the thesis defence has four potential outcomes. If the examining committee requires revisions to the thesis, the student must complete them within a given period. If the student cannot submit the thesis to the program office by the final thesis package deadline, they will be subject to fees in the following term.

    SGPS has created thesis defence calculators (master's and PhD) that will populate the dates for you if your exam date is different from the last possible day to defend in that term.

  • If I defend and submit my thesis early in the semester, am I eligible for a refund?

    In certain circumstances, students who complete the requirements for their degree programs early in a given semester may apply for a partial tuition refund for tuition fees paid for that semester. The refund amount will depend on the final date of completion. 

    In order to qualify for the refund, domestic students must have completed the standard minimum period of registration. If they have not yet completed the minimum period, they may be assessed a minimum program tuition fee.

    Students registered in courses other than thesis or project courses may not qualify.

  • I submitted my final thesis early in the semester, but my tuition fees were covered by student loans. Will I still receive the refund?

    Domestic students eligible for a refund as a result of early completion may have any applicable refund amounts returned to the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC), if tuition balance was cleared using OSAP funding. Please contact Student Awards and Financial Aid at connect@uoit.ca for more information.

  • When must I complete my final oral examination?

    The minimum time allowed for full-time students to complete all requirements for a master's program is one year, and the maximum time is three years from the time of initial registration as a full-time student. Students registering on a part-time basis have a maximum of six years to complete the degree.

    The minimum time allowed for full-time students to complete all requirements for a doctoral program is two years, and the maximum time is six years from the time of initial registration as a full-time student. Students registering on a part-time basis have a maximum of eight years to complete the degree.

    Students expecting to complete beyond these timelines will need to submit a Request for Extension to gradstudies@uoit.ca

  • I am not ready to defend my thesis but I am nearing the maximum time recommended for my program. What do I need to do?

    Students needing to exceed the normal allotted time for completion of their program must formally request an extension. Please submit a Request for Extension to gradstudies@uoit.ca.

  • When am I officially done my graduate thesis program?

    Students are not officially done their master’s or doctoral program requirements until their post-defence thesis package has been approved by their supervisor (supervisory committee) and has been submitted and approved by SGPS. Students cannot receive a degree parchment until degrees have been conferred by Academic Council.

    Students are expected to be continuously enrolled and will therefore pay tuition and fees in each term until the completion of their program (i.e. their thesis package is approved by SGPS).

    Please refer to the Master's Thesis Handbook or PhD Thesis Handbook and the Checklist for Final Thesis Package.

  • Can I use my own published work in my thesis?

    All reputable publishers will allow you to include content in your thesis for free so long as you:

    1. Ask permission, usually by a web-form.
    2. Cite the work properly, including some statement that the item was reproduced with permission of the copyright holder.

    You must also include the copyright permission letters with your thesis package. Most publishers permit authors of that paper to use the content in their dissertations without having to seek further permission, but it is important that you check with the publisher.

    It is common in many fields to add a statement of prior publication at the beginning of the chapter, particularly if you are doing a “thesis-by-articles” style of thesis.

  • I have a conflict with my supervisor. What do I do?

    The relationship between you and your research supervisor is most important to your successful completion of a graduate degree. Our conversation starter document is designed to complement the Graduate Academic Calendar’s section on roles and responsibilities of supervisors and students.

    It is also the responsibility of the university and its faculties to ensure that all graduate students receive appropriate and fair supervision. Due to the nature of the relationship between the student and research supervisor, conflicts may arise. In such instances, the first step must be to attempt to resolve the conflict informally between the student and research supervisor. For more information, refer to the Student Supervision section in the Graduate Academic Calendar.

  • I have some concerns about my progress. What do I do?

    Student research progress should be evaluated at the end of each semester for every student in programs with a thesis, project or major paper, starting when the student is engaged in their research. The research progress report should be completed by the student and supervisor(s) together and should be used as an opportunity to discuss any concerns about progress and set goals.

  • How do I refer to the university on my thesis title page and throughout the thesis document?

    On your thesis document title page, use the name Ontario Tech University. In your document, use Ontario Tech University as the first reference (if applicable). Use Ontario Tech for all subsequent references to the institution. Do not use the acronym OTU or the former acronym UOIT.

  • I am having trouble filling out a thesis or project-related form electronically (for example, Research Progress Report). What should I do?
    1. If you enter information into a thesis or project-related form online and try to download and save, your work will not be saved in the document. Each electronic fillable form should be downloaded and saved to your desktop or folder and then completed. 
    2. Is your signature required? If an original signature is not needed, you can sign the form electronically by using the “Fill and Sign” tool found on the toolbar; select the “Sign” option at the top of the menu bar and re-save the file as a PDF. 
    3. If you have received a form to sign, but it has been signed by others and you receive an error message, one option is to print the form as a PDF and then add your e-signature (see step 2).

    For any other issues with thesis or project-related forms, please contact gradthesis@uoit.ca


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