Engineering Graduate Studies COVID-19 Operating Guidelines

EGSO Office Closure

As per the directive from the President’s office, the EGSO will be closed for all in person business effective immediately until further notice.

The EGSO staff will continue to work remotely during our office closure. As such, all business will be conducted by email. Should you need to get in contact with a member of the EGSO staff please review our personnel page here.

Below we have outlined our temporary operating procedures for the coming weeks.

Health and Wellness

We understand that many students may be struggling with fear, stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health related issues in this difficult time. We encourage anyone who is feeling this way to review the UW Managing Stress and Anxiety during Coronavirus web page as well as the GSPA's work from home and remote resources which includes a list of virtual campus services for graduate students.

Additionally, students can reach out to any one of a number of community resources:

Student Access to Non-Laboratory Space in the Faculty of Engineering

Please refer to the University's COVID-19 Information page for Accessing Campus page, including specific information provided for the Faculty of Engineering.

Course Work

Students who are currently enrolled in courses should speak with their course instructors if they have questions regarding the alternative learning arrangements that are being implemented across campus. Please consult for additional information.

Research Activities

For the most up to date information on research activies on campus please visit UW's Research information page.

Comprehensives, Defenses and Theses

Provided the University is open, Comprehensive Examinations and Thesis Defenses can go forward as planned. The EGSO has made the following considerations:

  • Defenses and comprehensives may take place with all parties participating remotely. It is the responsibility of the Supervisor to coordinate the teleconference or video conference of the comp/defense if they wish to proceed this way. Faculty members in need of technical support should contact their Departmental IST support personnel or Eng Computing for assistance.
  • Students who wish to reschedule their thesis or comprehensive to another date in the upcoming term will be permitted to do so without academic penalty
  • The EGSO will also permit closed-door defenses and comprehensives for the near future to abide by social distancing guidelines.
  • PhD students who have already had their examining committee approved and need to put their thesis on display are asked to send a digital copy of their thesis as well email confirmations of receipt from all committee members to Laura Anderton.
  • MASc students should fill out the MASc Thesis Submission form and send it to your department graduate coordinator who will seek the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies approval of the committee.
    • Wait for an email from the deparmental coordinator confirming your committee has been approved
    • Distribute your thesis and collect email confirmations of thesis receipt from your supervisor(s) and readers
    • Combine the (1) MASc Thesis Submission form and (2) each committee member’s confirmation of thesis receipt into a single PDF file and send to your graduate coordinator along with a seperate PDF of your thesis
    • Within 3-5 days you will receive an email confirmation of display and some instructions about the thesis approval steps from the EGSO. Note: Your display start date is retroactive to the date of submission
  • MAsc and PhD theses will be put on display electronically via SharePoint.

If the University closes, all Comprehensive Examinations and Thesis Defenses will be cancelled and will need to be rescheduled once the University re-opens

  • Students who currently have a thesis on display with the EGSO will not be penalized for the closure and theses will remain “on display” throughout the closure period

Records and Forms

Provided the University is open, the EGSO will continue to process forms and records as best we can. In order to do this we request that students abide by the following procedures:

  • Students should complete an electronic copy of the required form and obtain approve from their Supervisor(s) via e-mail (preferred over e-signatures).
    • Supervisrs should indicate what they are approving in the email (i.e. “I approve John Smith the be inactive for the Spring 2020 term” versus “I approve
  • Students should email a copy of the form and approval from their supervisor(s) to their Department Graduate Coordinator
  • Department Graduate Coordinators will obtain the e-mail approval from the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies and submit the request on to the EGSO for processing.

Note: These guidelines apply to the booking of PhD Comprehensives/Defenses and MASc thesis submissions as well


Provided the University is open, TAs are expected to continue to support course delivery. Given that the nature of the courses will change, the activities of the TA may be different from those originally agreed on. TAs should not be having face-to-face contact with students (e.g., office hours can be held – but through on-line means).