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Preparing to Defend Your MSc Thesis

Step 1 - Apply for Convocation

  • You must apply for convocation before you submit your thesis to the Thesis Office. The application to graduate can be found on the MyConcordia Portal under Student Services.

Step 2 - Initial Submission of your Thesis

  • The electronic copy submitted to the Thesis Office will be checked for format only, not content.
  • You must submit an electronic copy to your thesis supervisor, committee members and the MSc Program Office.

Step 3 - Scheduling your Defense

  • Once you, your supervisor and committee members determine the date and time preferred for your defense please have your supervisor email Karen Fada with the date and time of the defence. Please take note that you must allow ten working days between the time of submission and your e-thesis to the Thesis Office and the defense date.
  • The MSc Program Office will provide the Chair of the defense with the required signature sheets. The MSc program will distribute the defence announcement.

Step 4 - At the Defence

  • The thesis defense is conducted before an examining committee, the chair of which is a faculty member from outside your area of specialization. The chair will manage the defense process. Generally the defense will proceed as follows:
  1. Chair will introduce the student and provide any ground rules for the conduct of the session.
  2. Student will make a 15-20 minute presentation (typically PowerPoint).
  3. Supervisor will ask questions. Previously submitted questions from faculty will be addressed. The chair will then open up the discussion to other faculty members.
  4. When the chair is satisfied that an adequate examination of the thesis has taken place, the chair will close the public defense and request that everyone except the thesis committee leave the room.
  5. In the private session, the merits of the thesis will be discussed and a recommendation made:
    • Accept as submitted.
    • Accepted with minor modifications. Minor modifications are defined as corrections which can be made immediately to the satisfaction of the supervisor.
    • Accepted with major modifications. Major modifications are defined as corrections requiring further research, or structural changes, or other substantive revision. When a thesis is accepted with major modifications, a precise description of the modifications must be included in the examining committees report and a deadline set for the completion of the modifications.
    • Rejected
  6. The chair will advise the MSc Program Office of the decision.

Step 5 - After the Defense

  • Once your revisions have been made and approved by your Thesis Supervisor and Committee, your final copy should be submitted to Spectrum.
  • Your Thesis Supervisor will notify the MSc Program Office by email once you have completed any required revisions and have submitted your thesis on Spectrum. The signed Graduate Activity Report will then be submitted to the Office of the Registrar to process so that you will be able to graduate at the next convocation. Please take note that you will not receive a grade on your transcript for the Thesis. It will merely show MSCA 699 – Accepted of Fail.