Examinations, Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations

UBC Calendar: http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,204,342,617

Doctoral Students

The doctoral student will take the following examinations:

  1. Course examinations where applicable. A minimum of 68% must be obtained unless otherwise specified.
  2. Tests of the student's ability to read languages other than English where program regulations require it.
  3. A comprehensive examination, normally held after completion of all required coursework and intended to test the student's grasp of the chosen field of study as a whole, and the student's ability to communicate his or her understanding of it in English or in French. The candidate's committee will set and judge this examination in a manner compatible with the policy of the graduate program concerned. Programs should make available to students a written statement of examination policy and procedures. The comprehensive examination is separate and distinct from the evaluation of the doctoral dissertation prospectus.

Note: A graduate program may require a formal examination of the doctoral dissertation before it is transmitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for final oral examination.

Students should consult their respective graduate program advisors for information about program requirements.

All doctoral candidates are required to complete a doctoral dissertation which must be presented according to procedures described at Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Preparation and Final Thesis Submission. Students should consult the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for information regarding deadlines for submission of doctoral dissertations.

All doctoral students will take a final oral examination or doctoral dissertation defence:

  1. All doctoral dissertations must be assessed by an examiner external to the University, as well as by internal examiners. The external examiner is chosen by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in consultation with the graduate program concerned. Procedures for choosing a suitable external examiner must be initiated at least three months before completion of the doctoral dissertation. The external examiner's written report must be received before the final examination can take place.
  2. Final oral examinations can be scheduled no sooner than eight weeks after submission of the approved doctoral dissertation to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. All other degree requirements must also have been completed.
  3. The final oral examination is open to all members of the University and to the public. Notice of the examination will be available at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  4. The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies must approve the membership of the examining committee. The Dean or the Dean's designate chairs the examination. The examining committee judges the candidate's success and makes a recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

More information on oral examination procedures is available at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies [Final Doctoral Examination]. Students registered in a doctoral program are not permitted supplemental examinations.

Master's Students

There is no general requirement for a comprehensive examination at the master's level. Graduate programs may, at their own discretion, require a comprehensive examination in the student's field of study as part of the degree requirements.

Where a comprehensive examination is required, programs must make available to students a written statement of examination procedures such as the purpose, form, length, subject area(s) and scope of the examination, as well as information on the criteria for evaluation.

In the creative and performing arts, a thesis may consist of creative work (e.g., paintings, writing) or of a performance. Programs may, at their discretion, require additional supporting documentation.

In programs requiring a thesis, the thesis must be presented according to procedures described at Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Preparation and submission.

Note: There is no general requirement for a final master's defence. Graduate programs may, at their own discretion, require a final defence. If they do, choice of procedure and examiners is up to the graduate program.