PhD defence guidelines

Preparing for a thesis defence

Once the supervisory committee has approved a final draft, the student's supervisor should send it to the UW's Academic Director for the PhD, along with the following:

  • a ranked list of internal/external reviewers and external reviewers. The lists should include short biographical details and contact information for each individual. Conflict of interest rules apply to the selection of all reviewers. Guidelines are posted on the GSPA's website. Please note that Global Governance faculty cannot act as internal/external reviewers. As a first step, please check the Global Governance faculty webpage and/or with the Graduate Coordinator, who will have the most up to date list of all faculty; and
  • a list of available dates and times that the candidate and the supervisory committee have agreed will suit for the defence. Please keep in mind that the defence could be carried out in person or remotely and that we are likely to be dealing with several people located in several time zones. Note as well, that the defence must be scheduled within the operating hours of the university -- from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Waterloo time -- because we rely on technical support as well as our faculty colleagues to chair the defence.

Key links

Timeline to defence

We recommend that Arts and Environment students refer to the PDF documents listed for Arts and Environment, respectively.


Remote defence

Additional guidelines given Covid-19 which require that external reviewer along with the internal-external reviewers must submit their reports in advance of the defence.

General PhD thesis information