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Information for

PhD thesis procedures

General information

The PhD student and supervisor(s) should reference the GSPA thesis information website for details regarding preparing your thesis, PhD thesis examination regulations, and submitting your thesis. The supervisor(s) in particular should review the External Examiner criteria that can be found on the GSPA Web site, under "PhD thesis examining committee".

When selecting a date to defend, the student may want to schedule their defence before important deadlines found on the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (e.g., the Fall or Spring convocation deadlines, the 100% and 50% refund deadlines, etc.).

Blackout dates and holidays

There is a blackout period for defences in the Fall, Winter and Spring terms. There will be no MMath 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 and Postdoctoral Affairs 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 Mathematics Graduate Office. All requests to hold an examination during the blackout period must be approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies before they can be scheduled.

  • Fall 2017: December 18, 2017 - January 5, 2018
  • Winter 2018: Monday, April 23, 2018 - Friday, April 27, 2018
  • Spring 2018: Monday, August 20, 2018 - Monday, September 4, 2018
  • Fall 2018: Monday, December 17, 2018 - Friday, January 4, 2019
  • Holidays: Please refer to the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for a table of holidays.

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.

Steps to completion

Please read the following steps required to complete a PhD defence by the student/supervisor(s)/MGO etc. or the Math PhD Defence Checklist: Steps to Completion PDF   for a printer friendly version.

Contact the Mathematics Graduate Office (MGO) if you have any questions or concerns regarding the PhD thesis process.