Biology Defence Checklist - Masters Degree

Note: If you will be defending after the blackout dates, please contact the Biology Graduate Office to confirm submission dates (request form and final thesis). 

  Step Timeline People Involved Details Links
1 Beginning to Write Anytime Student, Supervisor, Committee You can begin to write once you (and your supervisor) feel you have enough material for your thesis. Students will have a committee meeting to go over their plans with the committee before writing to get their support and approval (Pre Defence meeting). Thesis Formatting
2 Thesis Review Ongoing  Supervisor, Student Your supervisor should be looking at your draft material as you prepare you thesis. They can give you guidance regarding your writing and how your material is presented.   
3 Set Up Defence Date minimum 4 weeks (20 business days*) before defence Student, BGO, Supervisor, defence committee In order to begin the paperwork for your defence, the BGO will need you to complete the Thesis Defence Meeting Request Form (see right).  Please submit it in person or by e-mail a minimum of 4 weeks (20 business days*) before your defence. You should contact all of the members of your examining committee to confirm availability. Thesis Defence Request Forms
You must determine if you will have an open or closed defence. Closed defence requests, where all attendees must sign a confidentiality agreement, must go to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for approval. You will need a detailed exlanation about your rationale for your request. This should be supported by your supervisior.  This approved form must be received by GSPA before you submit your thesis for examination (see Step 5). Closed Defence Guidelines
4 Paperwork, Meeting Set up  Soon after you set your defence date BGO, Faculty Office The BGO begins the defence set-up using the information you provided on the defence request form. Once the room booking is confirmed and the defence memo signed, an email will be sent confirming the date, time and room. Please note that this will be the only email sent by the BGO. Krista Parsons in the Faculty Office will find a Chair for your defence and do the official announcement which will be distributed.  
5 Thesis Submission minimum of 3 weeks (15 business days*) before your defence   Student, Faculty, Committee ** Your Thesis must be completely finished to GSPA standards before you send an electronic copy to the Science Faculty Grad Office and the Biology Graduate Office.**  MSc students are required to submit an electronic version of their thesis to the Faculty of Science Graduate Dissertation Coordinator by noon at least 15 business days prior to the chosen defence date.  Earlier submission is preferred.  Submissions received later than this will require the defence to be rescheduled.  You will need to fill out the online form and submit your Thesis using this link: Thesis Submission for Faculty of Science Dissertations. If you are having any issues please contact, and cc the Biology Graduate Coordinator.  
Optional Change of Enrollment Status After thesis is distributed Student, BGO, Faculty You are able to complete the Change of Enrollment Status Form to change to part-time status (and pay part-time tuition) at this point- this is helpful if your distribution is near the beginning of a new term when tuition is due. The change to part-time must be done before Government Count in the term you are defending in (July 1, Nov 1, Feb 1). In addition to switching to part-time, you may want to consider the tuition refund deadlines: 100% refund deadline is the 3rd week of term, and 50% refund is th 7th week of term),  but note that the faculty requires everything approved a minimum of 1 week before those deadlines.  Change of Enrollment Status Form
Important Dates/ Refund Deadlines
6 Apply to Graduate 1 month prior to completion Student In Quest - 1. Apply to graduate; 2. Verify your name for your diploma; 3. Verify your mailing and email addresses; 4. Verify your degree status; 5. Pay any outstanding fees Graduation and Covocation
7 Thesis Defence
8 Make Required Thesis Changes After defence Student, (Supervisor, Committee) The committee will complete paperwork after your defence where they may suggest changes which need to be made before submitting your thesis. This form will be given by the Chair to Krista in the Faculty office, this can take 3+ days, but once received she will send you a copy . Make all changes required by your committee. If you are given "Accepted" you have one month to make changes, if you are given a "Category B" you have up to one year. If your changes needed to be approved by your supervisor or your whole committee (Accepted Conditionally) you will need to have the second page of your Thesis Acceptance form signed and returned to Kirtsa. Once completed, Krista will send your Thesis Acceptance form to GSPA. REVIEW THESIS REGULATIONS. Thesis Regulations
9 Upload to UW Space After changes completed/ approved Student Following the thesis regulations from the last step, upload your thesis to UWSpace. If you are having a closed defence and/or you wish your thesis to have limited circulation, when uploading your thesis to UWSpace ensure that "yes" is selected from the drop-down list on the "Submit:Describe Your Item" page.  Note that your abstract will be visible to everyone, even if you limit your circulation. From GSPA: Students can apply a short term (approximately 4 months) or long term (one year) restriction to their thesis. In either case, when students are submitting their thesis to UWSpace, it is critical that they choose ‘YES’ to the ‘Patent/Copyright or Publication Pending’ question. The attached ‘Request to Restrict Circulation of Thesis’ form (see Step 3) is required for all long term restrictions.  Requests must have been previously approved by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies in Step 3. The completed form should be received by GSPA in advance of the student submitting the thesis to UWSpace. UW Space
10 Thesis Reviewed by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) Less than 1 week after submitted to UW Space  GSPA GSPA will not review your thesis until they have received your Thesis Acceptance Form - if it is still in process you will receive an e-mail from GSPA stating this fact. DO NOT WORRY.  If you know your supervisor/committee has signed off on your work, everything is OK. It can just take time for the paperwork to be processed. Be sure to check your UW e-mail as that is how GSPA will contact you with changes, and some forwarding systems do not properly forward those e-mails.   
11 Submit thesis changes to UW Space ASAP Student Make any changes suggested by GSPA and re-submit to UW Space.  UW Space
12 Thesis approved and uploaded After GSPA changes are approved GSPA GSPA will upload your approved Thesis to the Faculty of Science Theses and Dissertations Collection online and notify the BGO by email.   
13 Program Completion Paperwork After thesis is approved by UWSpace BGO, GSPA The BGO submits the Program Completion in Quest. To convocate in June, all these steps must be completed by April 30, to convocate in October the deadline is August 31. If those days fall on the weekend, the deadline is the preceeding Friday.  Important Dates/ Refund Deadlines
14 You're Done! (you're considered "finished", but there's one more step that's unrelated to deadlines and graduation)
15 Printing your thesis After thesis is approved/ uploaded by GSPA Student, New Media Services (campus printer) This step does NOT have to be completed in order to be 'program completed'. Biology does not require a copy of your thesis to be printed for the Department. Should your supervisor want a copy of your thesis, you will need to have one printed and bound for them by Mediadoc on campus. They know most of the specifications, but they will ask you for some more details. To answer FAQs: 

New Media Services

* On the order form under "Graduate Department Contact" put "April Wettig, Biology Graduate Office"; "Depositor" is you.
* You can order as many copies as you like for yourself and your family. If your supervisor does not want a copy, these are all you have to order.  
* You can use any paper stock, and you can single or double side the printing.  'Colonial Bound' is the common stock to use if you want a more premium paper.  
* Students are responsible for the cost of the copies, but in some cases supervisors will pay for them to be printed; talk to your supervisor
  * remember that university holidays are not counted as a business day  

Revised: March 2022