Defence information for faculty

Updated July 17, 2023

Defence Format

Currently defences are being offered via Zoom, Hybrid or in-person.  Please note that if a room is unavailable or doesn't meet requirements, the committee and student may be asked to hold the defence via Zoom.

Thesis and Dissertation Deadlines

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 Masters degree or 8 weeks prior for a PhD (4.5/7.10 in the Calendar). The dates posted on the Theses and Dissertation Pages have been based on the calendar policy, aligned to the recent Senate decision to adjust dates, and in compliance with the Office of the Registrar's final date to submit grades.  Please review the information on final document submission below to ensure sufficient time for revisions.

Scheduling Flexibility

We are endeavouring to be flexible wherever possible; however, Fall and Winter are the busiest semesters for scheduling defences and scheduling is limited. Should the submission present a challenge for you, please reach out to as early as possible in order to discuss other options.

Final Document Submission

Ideally, students will defend and allow sufficient time in their request for the defence date in order to accommodate for post-defence revisions. The absolute last day we can have a defended and revised thesis/dissertation submitted to our office is the final grading deadline, as dictated by the Office of the Registrar.

Students are permitted to extend the date for final submission into the next semester on an exceptional basis.  The add/drop date in the academic calendar is referred to as a concession period and the final defence grade is assigned to the prior semester. For example, a student defending in December 2023 who submits their final revised thesis or dissertation on January 10, 2024 would have their P grade granted in accordance with their Fall 2023 registration.

Please note that the previous requirement that students register and pay for the full semester prior to dropping registration, where fees are refunded at final processing, is no longer in place. UNBC no longer requires registration or fee payment within the add/drop window, and now only students who move past the add/drop date into the next semester will be registered and incur full semester tuition fees and any Time Extension fees. This accommodation is typically not made for a student who has required revisions.

It is important to understand that any student who does not have a final defended and revised thesis/dissertation submitted to the Graduate Administration Office by April 26, 2024 at the very latest will not be eligible for Winter graduation. Students who submit documents in the Spring semester add/drop period will move into Fall semester graduation and will not be permitted to attend the Spring Convocation ceremony.


The prior forms that were not working for signatures have been revised according to a new template. As previously communicated, the PhD request form requirements have changed. The information collected on these forms has been amalgamated and any redundant signatory criteria have been eliminated. This change in format does not represent a change in substance whereby the information collected is in compliance with calendar policy. All current forms are posted on the website.

Distribution of the Thesis/Dissertation

Based on feedback from the faculty, once the Request for Oral has been signed and approved, the External Examiner has been confirmed and a Chair has been located, the draft copy of the thesis/dissertation will be attached to the Outlook calendar defence invite for the full committee to reference.