Information for

PhD thesis procedures

Thesis information

Your thesis must conform to the thesis standards established by the University of Waterloo and Library and Archives Canada. The Graduate Studies Office (GSO) provides comprehensive information on preparing your thesis and submitting your thesis.

External Examiner Criteria can be found on the GSO Web site, under "PhD Thesis Examining Committee".

Supervisor Checklist  please use this form to help ensure proper procedures are followed.

Grad Student Checklist  please use this form to help ensure proper procedures are followed.

Blackout dates and holidays

There is a blackout period for defences in the Fall, Winter and Spring terms. There will be no MSc or PhD thesis defences during this period. UW Space final uploads are acceptable.

The blackout period is necessary and is supported by the Graduate Studies Office as a result of limited faculty member availability to attend and to chair examinations during this time period.

In exceptional cases where committee members and/or external examiners are available only during the blackout period and the examination is required to be completed by the end of the term, the supervisor must contact the Math Grad Office Coordinator. All requests to hold an examination during the blackout period must be approved by the Associate Dean of Mathematics Graduate Studies before they can be scheduled.

Blackout dates and holidays:

  • Winter 2017: Monday, April 24 – Friday, April 28
  • Spring 2017: Monday, August 21 - Friday, September 1
  • Fall 2017: Monday, December 18 - Friday, January 5/18
  • 2017 Holidays: January 2, February 20, April 14, May 22, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 9, December 25 - January 2

PhD candidates

  1. At least six weeks before defence: Complete Notice of PhD Thesis Submission for Display and required documentation submit to your dept grad coordinator. Supervisor books room and confirms audio-visual (if required) for oral defence. It is the Supervisor's responsibility to ensure all electronic equipment is functioning properly prior to the defence and have a back-up plan should the connection fail.
  2. Five weeks before defence: Candidate to e-mail an electronic PDF format thesis copy to Examining Committee (except External Examiner) and to MGO. (submitted to MGO will email the External Examiner a copy of the thesis.
  3. Prior to four weeks before defence: Candidate obtains signatures from all Committee Members except External Examiner on the notice of receipt of PhD Thesis and returns an electronic copy of the form to MGO. 
  4. 10 days before defence: Supervisor to let MGO know if any Committee Member is unable to attend the defence. Should a committee member not be able to attend, the supervisor(s) shall ask the Grad Officer to have a delegate assigned on the missing members behalf. The Committee Member should submit a signed written report to MGO 10 days prior to the defence.

Note: These deadlines are firm. The defence is postponed if they are not met.

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.