Thesis Committees and Examinations

M.Sc. Supervisory and Examination Committee Formation, Proposal, and Examination Scheduling

The supervisory committee consists of:

(1) The supervisor (who must be a member of SGPS and have MSc supervisory privileges)

(2) At least one other member of the Psychology Department,

(3) One additional person.

The supervisory committee advises the student on professional development in general as well as the development of the thesis topic.

Proposing the thesis: A specific meeting of the supervisory committee in which a thesis is proposed may be held, but an M.Sc. proposal defense is not required by the department. The supervisor will approve the thesis proposal.

For the exam (i.e., the M.Sc. thesis defense): The scheduling process begins with the student and supervisor agreeing on a (mostly) final draft that is ready to defend and potential examination committee members.

The examination committee will consist of three members:

(1) Two members are from the Psychology department, one of whom has served on the student's supervisory committee.  The incoming departmental committee member who serves as an examiner must be arms-length and not have made a substantive contribution to the thesis research or written thesis.

(2) The third member is a university examiner from outside the Psychology Graduate Program.

 The student's supervisor does not serve as an examiner although they do attend the examination and give feedback on the student. The committee members should be approached, their willingness to serve confirmed, and a defense date determined by the student and/or supervisor. Once a date has been set, provide a completed Thesis Examination Request Form signed by both the supervisor and student to Lisa Drysdale, Graduate Program Coordinator.  The Graduate Chair will then request that an exam be scheduled. 

Timeline: The next steps occur roughly within a 5-week window. Note that the requirements noted below are general guidelines; the student and advisor must attend to the specific dates for thesis defense requirements set by SGPS for convocation eligibility (see http://grad.uwo.ca/academics/thesis/timelines.html).  The thesis is due to SGPS no later than one week after the request to schedule an exam is made. The committee must have at least 3 weeks between the thesis being submitted to SGPS and the exam itself to allow sufficient time to read the exam. Any revisions and final thesis submission are due 6 weeks after a successful thesis examination.

 

Ph.D. Supervisory and Examination Committee Formation, Proposal, and Examination Scheduling

The supervisory committee consists of:

(1) the supervisor (who must be a member of SGPS and have PhD supervisory privileges)

(2) a minimum of two others from the Department. At least one of the other members of the committee must be a member of SGPS.

The supervisory committee advises the student on professional development in general as well as the development of the thesis topic. Note that some clusters may have different supervisory committee requirements. The student and supervisor are responsible for complying with these and should consult with the relevant cluster chair. 

Proposing the thesis: Students are expected to complete and defend a Ph.D. proposal around the end of their Ph.D. 2 year. Students should submit copies of their proposal to the committee at least two weeks before the proposal meeting is held. The committee may approve the proposal as written or may require that changes be made before the research can proceed. Further proposal meetings may be necessary before the proposal is formally approved. These meetings are scheduled by the supervisor/student.

For the Senate exam[1]: the scheduling process begins with the student and supervisor agreeing on a (mostly) final draft that is ready to defend and potential examination committee members.  The examination committee consists of a chair (determined by SGPS), two examiners from psychology (only one from the supervisory committee), a university examiner (i.e., someone from outside psychology who was not on the supervisory committee), and an external examiner (arms-length, almost always from another university).

The student should not be in contact with the university or external examiners. For this reason, the supervisor, not the student, should contact university and external examiners to determine whether they are willing to be an examiner and their availability. However, the supervisory committee must approve the proposed university and external examiners to ensure that they are qualified and at arms-length. This approval must be communicated to the graduate office when the Thesis Examination Request Form is submitted. Please remember that final approval of the Examination Committee is by SGPS.

Once a date has been determined, provide a completed Thesis Examination Request Form signed by both the supervisor and student to Lisa Drysdale, Graduate Program Coordinator.  The Graduate Chair will then request that an exam be scheduled.

The next steps occur roughly within an 8-week time frame. Note that the date requirements below are general guidelines; the student and advisor must attend to the specific dates for thesis defense requirements set by SGPS for convocation eligibility (see http://grad.uwo.ca/academics/thesis/timelines.html). The thesis is due to SGPS no later than one week after the request to schedule an exam is made. The committee must have at least 5 weeks between the thesis being submitted to SGPS and the exam itself to allow sufficient time to read the exam. Any revisions and final thesis submission are due 6 weeks after a successful thesis examination.

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[1] Optional departmental exam: An optional departmental-level Ph.D. exam may be held. If so, the examination committee will consist of at least one member of the student’s Ph.D. supervisory committee, plus a second faculty member from the Department of Psychology who is not a member of the supervisory committee. If only one member of the supervisory committee participates, then the other member will participate in the Senate Oral (see below). The student’s supervisor will chair the exam, and must not ask questions during the oral. Following an optional 10-minute talk, there will be at least one round of questions, of at least 10 minutes per examining committee member. Subsequently, the student and examiners will have the option of participating in an open discussion regarding the possible questions and issues that they believe the student should think about. As noted, this exam is optional; students may notify the Graduate Chair that they intend to proceed directly to the Senate Defense. In consultation with the supervisor and supervisory committee, the Graduate Chair may recommend to the student that it is in her/his best interest to have the departmental exam and any such recommendation will be kept in the student’s file.

 

upated: May 16, 2019