Defence FAQ

Last updated July 17, 2023

How are defences run?

UNBC will continue to offer remote defences on an on-going basis. We also offer the option to have your defence in-person (where the student and all members of the examining committee participate in the defence on campus) . We have a very limited number of spaces available to run a hybrid defence (where one or more of the committee members attends via Zoom). If you are requesting a hybrid defence, we encourage you to submit a request early. Once all the hybrid defence spaces are filled, students will be required to chose a fully remote or fully in-person defence.

What are the current deadlines for requesting a defence?

Please note that your request deadline will depend on the first identified defence date on your form. For Master’s students, it is 6 weeks or more prior to the deadline date and for PhD students, it is 8 weeks or more prior to the deadline date.

The deadline to request a defence is established in the graduate calendar. Students are required to submit at least 6 weeks prior to the anticipated date of defence for a Master’s degree or 8 weeks for a PhD (4.5/7.10). The dates posted below have been based on the calendar policy, aligned to the recent Senate decision to adjust dates, and in compliance the final date to submit grades. If you are planning to defend in mid April, ensure you have left sufficient time for revisions.

Can I request a practice run-through of my defence presentation?

While the Office of Graduate Administration can organize an A/V test and defence proceedings Q and A session prior to the oral examination, students will need to connect with their supervisory committee regarding the possibility of scheduling a run-through of their defence presentation prior to the defence.

Theses/Dissertation Deadlines:

How do I plan my anticipated defence date?

You should work closely with your supervisor and supervisory committee to select 3 suitable dates. Remember that your request must be in our office 6 weeks prior last day to defence for a Master’s defence or 8 weeks prior last day to defend for a PhD defence . The deadline to submit your form depends on the first identified date of defence (not the last day to submit a request as noted above). The deadlines included above are the last possible date to submit a request and if you work to that deadline, you would be defending without leaving time for revisions. For some students, this may not be a concern. The best option is to select a defence date that leaves you enough time for final revisions (1-2 weeks before the Grade Submission Deadline).

When does my final defended thesis/dissertation have to be submitted after defence?

Ideally, students will defend and allow sufficient time in their request for the defence date to accommodate post-defence revisions. As noted above, the absolute last day we can have a defended and revised thesis/dissertation submitted to our office is the grading deadline.

However, we permit students to extend the date for final submission into the next semester on an exceptional basis.  We use the add/drop date in the calendar for this concession and the grade is assigned to the previous semester. For example, a student defending in April 2024 who submits their Final Thesis/Dissertation and Distribution License on May 6, 2024 would have their P grade placed on their Winter registration. This accommodation is typically not made for a student who has pass with major revisions (clear and minor revisions only).

Prorated Completion Tuition

This policy applies to students who are completing their degree via a thesis, project, dissertation, or practicum only. The MBA and MEng programs are not eligible for prorated completion fees or early completion. 

A student will have their tuition fees prorated to the end of the month which the Office of Graduate Administration confirms all degree requirements have been met (including submission of the final approved document) provided the student has paid the minimum instalments required for their degree.  The prorated amount is calculated based on the student's enrolment and fee instalment status. 

  • Full-time Master's student:  Fees may NOT be prorated in semesters 1-3.  Semesters 4-6 are prorated based on the full-time tuition amount.  Semesters 7-15 incur continuing registration fees and are prorated on that basis
  • Part-time Master's student: Fees may NOT be prorated in semesters 1-9.  Semesters 10-12 are prorated based on the part-time tuition amount.  Semesters 7-15 (or  in Education) incur continuing registration fees and are prorated on that basis. 
  • Doctoral students:  Fees may NOT be prorated in semesters 1-9.  Semesters 10-21 incur continuing registration fees and are prorated on that basis.

Prorated Defence Fee Reduction Schedule

The following fee prorating schedule is based on submission of a fully defended and revised thesis, dissertation, project or practicum with all committee signatures, formatted correctly for Library and Archives Canada submission (if applicable).  Student fees are not prorated.  Tuition fees must be paid in advance by the due date.  Students must have paid the minimum required instalments based on their status as a full-time or part-time student to be eligible for the fee proration. 

September (Fall) Semester Defences

  • Add/Drop period:  Full refund
  • September 30:     75% of tuition refunded
  • October 31:          50% of tuition refunded
  • November 30:      25% of tuition refunded
  • December by grading deadline (varies): No refund 

January (Winter) Semester Defences

  • Add/drop period:   Full refund
  • January 31:           75% of tuition refunded
  • February 28/28:    50% of tuition refunded
  • March 31:              25% of tuition refunded
  • April by grading deadline (varies):  No refund

May (Spring) Semester Defences

  • Add/drop period:   Full refund
  • May 31:                 75% of tuition refunded
  • June 30:                50% of tuition refunded
  • July 31:                 25% of tuition refunded
  • August by grading deadlines (varies):  No refund

How does the date I submit my final documentation impact graduation eligibility?

It is important to understand that any student who does not have a final defended and revised thesis/dissertation/project/practicum in our office by the grade deadline of the semester they are defending in may not be eligible for that semester's graduation and may not be included in convocation (depending on timing). Contact our office if you have questions.

How soon can I request a confirmation of degree completion?

A request for degree completion can be granted once the final grade entry has been processed in the final semester of study post-defence. Note that degree completion is not finalized until all forms, documents, final thesis revisions, and grades have been submitted. This process may take weeks, and in some cases, up to months, following the defence date.