Thesis examination policy comparison

In 2014 the thesis examination regulations changed. Students admitted before Sept 2014 can choose to be examined under the old or current regulations. This page highlights the major differences.


Regulations as of Sept 1, 2014

Scheduling an Examination

A thesis examination can be scheduled when:

  1. All members of the supervisory committee have reviewed the student’s research and a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis or the entire draft thesis document (as determined by the program) and;
  2. The supervisor has determined that the thesis meets the minimum standard

Composition of the Examination Committee

  • For master’s student without a supervisory committee: The examination committee consists of the student’s supervisor, an additional member of the academic staff and an internal or external examiner.
  • For master’s student with a supervisory committee: The examination committee consists of the student’s supervisor, supervisory committee and an internal or external examiner.
  • For PhD students: The examination committee consists of the student’s supervisor, supervisory committee, internal examiner and external examiner.

Internal/External Examiner

Internal Examiner: The program determines if the internal examiner needs to be external to the program. The internal examiner must meet the following criteria:

  1. Has a well-established research reputation
  2. Has expertise in the area of the student’s research
  3. Has experience in evaluating theses at the graduate level
  4. Has experience in supervising to completion at the graduate level
  5. Has not collaborated with the student’s supervisor in past five years
  6. Has not worked with the candidate
  7. Is not a close personal friend of the supervisor

External Examiner: Normally, the external examiner can only serve in the same program once every two years.

Outcome of the Examination

The Examination Committee can recommend the following outcomes for the thesis:

  • Pass with no revisions [5 days to submit thesis]
  • Pass with minor revisions [30 days/1 month to submit thesis]
  • Pass with major revisions [180 days/6 months to submit thesis]
  • Fail

Regulations prior to Sept 1, 2014

Scheduling an Examination

A thesis examination can be scheduled after the completion of all degree requirements.

Composition of the Examination Committee: 

  • For Master’s: The examining committee consists of the supervisor (and if applicable the co-supervisor) and two other members, one of whom must be external to the student’s program. If there is a formal Supervisory Committee only one additional examiner external to the program is required.
  • For PhD: The examination committee consists of the student’s supervisor, supervisory committee, a member external to the student’s program (but internal to The University of Calgary) and another member external to the University.

Internal/External Examiner

There are no specified criteria for the internal/external examiner, but they must not be within the same department as the student. There are no restrictions on the number of appointments of the external examiner.

Outcome of the Examination

Students can receive a Pass or a Fail on the thesis and on the oral examination. There is no time limit to provide revisions after the exam.