Theses, Dissertations and Defendable Projects

Upon receipt of the necessary paperwork and copies of the thesis / dissertation, the Office of Graduate Programs requires at least six weeks (thesis) or eight weeks (dissertation) before the date of defence. It is extremely rare for these time requirements to be waived therefore student should plan their submission 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.

Important Notices

  1. In order to schedule a defence, a student must be in registered, in good academic standing with all coursework requirements complete and have achieved the required minimum cumulative GPA. Necessary forms must be on the student record. Additionally, there must be no fees outstanding.

  2. Students must apply to graduate prior to submitting a Request for Oral Examination form.

  3. Students should consider anticipated time for potential revisions post-defence when selecting defence dates. The final approved thesis must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs by the deadline to submit grades in the semester of defence in order to be eligible for graduation in the subsequent semester. UNBC graduates students three times a year (Fall, Winter and Spring) and convocation occurs in the Spring semester (in June). In order to participate in Spring convocation, the final passing grade for the thesis must be recorded no later than the grade deadline at the end of April. Deadlines will be posted on this website as they become available.

Fall 2020 Deadlines
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (PhD) for 2020 Winter graduation: October 23, 2020
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (Master's Degree/Project) for 2020 Winter graduation:  November 6, 2020
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all revisions approved in order to graduate in Winter 2020: December 18, 2020
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): December 21 to December 24, 2020
Winter 2021 Deadlines
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (PhD) for 2021 Spring graduation: February 27, 2021
  • Last day to submit a request for oral examination (Master's Degree/Project) for 2021 Spring graduation:  March 12, 2021
  • Last day to submit final document post-defence with all revisions approved in order to graduate in Spring 2021: April 23, 2021
  • Blackout period for defences (no defences can be scheduled during this time): April 26 to April 30, 2021

Location of Defence

In keeping with Covid-19 safety measures, defences are currently operating remotely via Zoom. Further updates as this changes will be included on the Covid-19 communication page and on this website.

Students: Before Organizing Defence

External Examiner Notes​

Please read the below for further information on UNBC's policies regarding External Examiners.  Please read the "Criteria of External Examiner" document, in conjunction with Regulation 4.5.2 of the Academic Graduate Calendar.​


Request for Oral Examination for a Masters Defence (no less than 6 weeks)

Please submit both the following items together to the Office of Graduate Programs, 6 weeks prior to the defence date. (Note: paperwork & copies will not be accepted on their own and will only be taken if both submitted together as a package)

Graduate Program 72 Hour Rule

The defence will only proceed if the following requirements are met 72 hours before the defence date:

  • The Office of Graduate Programs has received the final copy of the Powerpoint Presentation (PPT).
  • If a committee member or external examiner is unable to attend and will be submitting questions in lieu, the questions for the defence have been submitted to grad-office@unbc.ca.

Post Defence

Students will receive post defence instruction from the Office of Graduate Programs by email shortly after defence. Students will not have met degree requirements until all items indicated in those post defence instructions.