Dissertations

Scheduling a Doctoral Oral Examination (Defence)

Apply to Graduate

Before you proceed to requesting a defence, please ensure that you are registered and that you have applied to graduate. The majority of students will apply online. However, please note that if you previously applied and withdrew an application to graduate or have graduated from another degree at UNBC, you may have to submit a paper application form..

Deadline for Request

The Office of Graduate Administration requires eight weeks before the date of defence for request processing. It is rare for these time requirements to be waived, and therefore, students should plan their submission of the necessary paperwork and copies of the dissertation, well in advance of the proposed date of defence.

When identifying a date for defence, student should be aware of the deadlines and blackout periods in each semester. As you review the deadlines below, remember that the date listed is the absolute final day to submit a request. You must ensure you've allowed at least eight weeks prior to the proposed defence date when you submit the form. Note that if you submit your request for a defence at the end of the semester, you may not have sufficient time to complete revisions in order to meet the deadline for grade submission and eligibility to graduate in that semester. Plan carefully, and if you have questions, please ask (grad-office@unbc.ca).

Students are encouraged to submit their request to defend as early as possible before the deadline to ensure their preferred date and time of defence is available (time slots are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis).

To allow for fulsome support and and availability, defences will normally be scheduled on weekdays only between 9:00AM and 2:30PM, with 2:30PM being the last available starting time for the defence to begin at. Later times may be granted under special circumstances, though these times will not be guaranteed to have IT or Graduate Administration support for the full duration of the defence. Our office is available from 8:30AM - 4:30PM on weekdays to offer fulsome support for defence administration. Defences cannot be scheduled on weekends or holidays due to office closures.

Spring (May) 2024 Semester Deadlines 

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination for Spring 2024 defence with Fall 2024 graduation: June 18, 2024.
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all final revisions complete and approved: August 20, 2024 (final grade deadline).
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): August 12, 2024 to September 13, 2024.

Fall (September) 2024 Semester Deadlines

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination for Fall 2024 defence with Winter 2025 graduation: October 25, 2024.
  • Last day to submit final documentation post-defence with all final revisions complete and approved: December 19, 2024 (final grade deadline).
  • Blackout period for defences, during which no defences can be scheduled: December 9, 2024 to January 13, 2025.

Winter (January) 2025 Semester Deadlines

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination for Winter 2025 defence with Spring 2025 graduation: February 28, 2024.
  • Last day to submit final documentation post-defence with all final revisions complete and approved: April 20, 2025 (final grade deadline).
  • Blackout period for defences, during which no defences can be scheduled: April 14, 2025 to May 9, 2025.

*Note that no defences can be scheduled during May convocation

Spring (May) 2025 Semester Deadlines 

  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination for Spring 2025 defence with Fall 2024 graduation: June 24, 2024.
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all final revisions complete and approved: August 19, 2025 (final grade deadline).
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): August 11, 2024 to September 12, 2024.

Forms and Requirements

Request for Oral Examination: At least 8 weeks prior to the date of oral examination, submit the request for exam. Along with this request, you must also include both a Word and PDF copy of your dissertation to grad-office@unbc.ca. Request for Oral Examination (PhD)

Declaration of Readiness for Examination: All members of the student's doctoral supervisory committee must confirm the student is ready to proceed to defence. These forms are submitted to grad-office@unbc.ca but will be shared with the student prior to the defence along with the external examiner's report. Declaration of Readiness for Oral Examination

(Optional) Restricted Oral Examination: For requests to restrict the oral examination, this form must be included with the request to schedule the oral examination. Restricted Oral Examination form

Presentation: 72 hours prior to the defence, students are also required to submit a copy of their PowerPoint presentation to grad-office@unbc.ca.

Post-Defence Requirements

  1. Ensure you submit required changes to your supervisor within the specified time-frame from defence as discussed with the committee.
  2. Please submit a final PDF copy of your dissertation by email to grad-office@unbc.ca.
  3. Submit the Distribution License form.
  4. Contact Cashier to pay LAC fee.