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Information for

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students

PhD thesis submission

  • Must be submitted a minimum of 25 business days before the date of the Examination (5 weeks)
  • Once your external examiner is approved you will need to get the  Appointment of PhD Thesis Examining Committee Form (Form F) from the Engineering Graduate Office (DWE 3520) for committee members to acknowledge receipt of the thesis.
  • Each committee member needs to sign the  form when receiving their copy of the thesis
  • The MME Graduate Studies Office  will sign for the external examiner and send the thesis by courier
  • Once all signatures are received you will need to take the form back to Eng. GSO with the display copy of your thesis

Forms to be completed

Degree completion and thesis submission

  • Once you have completed your thesis your supervisor will need to email Lbi Brown to notify her that your thesis is complete and sign-off the PhD Thesis Examination Report (page 2)
  • You will then need to submit electronically your thesis to the University Grad Office for review, once accepted they will send you an email which you will then print and take to Graphics with your copies of your thesis for binding. You must abide by the given regulations.

If you are going to be completely finished by the 100% completion date (see Graduate Studies Academic Term Deadlines) you don’t have to register. If you don't finish in time, you will need to register and can look at being done by the 50% refund date. 

PhD comprehensive

*Must be completed by the end of the 4th term

Once a date and time has been set please email the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Graduate Administrator, PhD Program, Graduate Studies with your date, time and proposed thesis title.

Your supervisor will then need to send an email to the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Graduate Administrator, PhD Program, Graduate Studies with the Proposed Examiners names. The Examiners consist of three members of the University (plus supervisor(s)) with at least one examiner external to the department.

Student must submit a Research Proposal which consists of a double spaced report of no more than 50 pages including tables, diagrams, and references. 

Your proposal should: 

  1. identify the research problem 
  2. review the relevant literature 
  3. describe the tasks planned to solve the problem, and
  4. propose a timetable for the completion of the project, including the defense of the PhD thesis. 

With approval from your supervisor, you may wish to distribute background working papers to members of the Committee to provide further evidence of background preparation. 

You must submit your proposal to your committee, one copy to each member, at least two weeks before the date of examination. 

You can distribute the proposal electronically through e-mail.

A notice of your Comprehensive Examination will be sent to all Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Faculty and Graduate Students.

Transfer to the PhD Program

A student enrolled in a MASc program at the University of Waterloo may apply for transfer to the PhD program without completing a Master's degree. Transfer from a MAsc program to a PhD program will normally be considered if an applicant:

  • has an excellent undergraduate record,
  • has obtained a course work grade average of at least 80% in courses that have been taken for graduate credit,
  • has developed a clearly defined research program that seems likely to satisfy the research proposal component of the PhD comprehensive examination and has demonstrated an aptitude for research,
  • presents objective evidence of adequate English language skills which should enable the candidate to write a thesis and to communicate orally, and
  • is not beyond the fourth academic term of a MASc program.

The supervisor shall prepare a memorandum which summarizes the candidate's qualifications under each of the above. Student has to do the comprehensive examination by the end of the forth term after s/he is transferred to PhD program.

PhD oral defence

Approval of External Examiners

  • Please have your supervisor email the MME Graduate Administrator , Phd Program, Graduate Studies for the external examiner to be approved. Supervisor must attach the External Examiners CV to the email and then will be given a Nomination of PhD Thesis Examining Committee Form to complete and sign and the issue of at arms length must be addressed.
  • You will also need to email the date and time of the defence and thesis title at the time of approval of the external examiner and the MME Graduate Office will look after booking the room for your defence.

Your defence committee is the same as the Comprehensive Exam committee plus the external examiner. All committee members must be in attendance at your defence (If they can’t make it they must notify me and arrange for a delegate to attend on their behalf.)