Master's degree completion procedures

Defences should not be scheduled during the last two weeks of August and the week before University of Waterloo closes for the Christmas break through to when it re-opens in January. Students must begin this process a minimum of one month prior to the desired defence date. 

Step 1: Approval of committee and scheduling of defence

As a reminder, this step should be completed a minimum of one month prior to the desired defence date. 

Master's Examining Committee:

Once committee members have been chosen (see MMath programs), the student and supervisor(s) should select a date and time for the defence and ensure desired committee members are available to attend. This should be done as far in advance as possible. To finalize the defence date and obtain committee approval, the student or supervisor(s) must contact the graduate coordinator with the following information:

  • (Tentative) Thesis title
  • List of all committee members, specifying supervisor(s)
  • Proposed date and time of defence

Once this information is received, the graduate coordinator will obtain approval by the graduate officer. The graduate coordinator will book a room and secure a chair person for the defence. Confirmation will be sent to the student and all committee members. The defence is not confirmed until a chair person is assigned.

Students are encouraged to visit the GSPA website for information on preparing your thesis (formatting requirements, etc.). 

Step 2: Submission of thesis & agreement form

At least 15 days prior to the defence date the following must be submitted to the graduate coordinator:

  • Title and abstract (email as a .txt or .doc file).
  • Electronic copy of thesis (email a .pdf file). A hard copy of the thesis is not required for submission purposes. 
  • Hard or soft copy of signed Agreement to Read MMath Thesis (PDF). Electronic signatures are acceptable if submitting via emailWhen completing this form, provide each of your committee members with a hard or soft copy of your thesis and obtain their signature confirming receipt. The graduate coordinator will obtain the graduate officer's signature. Failure to submit this form on time will result in rescheduling of the defence to a later date. 

​The graduate coordinator will forward the thesis and the Agreement to Read Thesis form to the Math Graduate Office. These documents should not be submitted to the MGO office directly. For additional details, please visit the Mathematics Graduate Office website.

Step 3: Final thesis approval & submission

In all cases, the student must submit final thesis with any required revisions to supervisor and/or committee members after defence. The supervisor must advise graduate coordinator by email when final version of the thesis has been reviewed and approved. Final completion paperwork will then be prepared and submitted to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA).

The graduate coordinator will notify the student when they can submit the final thesis to UWSpace. Submissions to UWSpace will be reviewed within 3 to 5 business days of GSPA receiving the final completion paperwork from the department. 

For details, consult the UWSpace submission instructions. Please visit the GSPA website for information on preparing your thesis (formatting requirements, etc.). 

Step 4: Apply to graduate in Quest

Immediately after submitting final thesis to UWSpace, the student should apply to graduate in Quest. Log into Quest, Navigate to My Academics > Graduation, and select Apply for Graduation. Students should select the term in which they will complete their degree requirements (not the convocation ceremony).

Step 5: Degree completion

Once the thesis has been approved by UWSpace, the Graduate Coordinator will prepare a program completion form and submit to GSPA. Once processed, the degree will appear as "complete" on the student's unofficial transcript. 
Students must return their office key to the Graduate Coordinator upon degree completion. 

Important deadlines:

100% and 50% tuition refund deadlines The thesis must be approved by UWSpace (step 3) on or before these deadlines for refunds to be automatically applied to your account. Approval by UWSpace can take up to 5 business days after submission. 
Deadlines to apply to graduate in Quest: Spring Convocation - April 30; Fall Convocation - August 31.