Research Guidelines

Most programs have strictly defined procedures regarding the steps a student must take in preparing a thesis, major paper, or dissertation. Students are advised to consult their research supervisor, graduate coordinator, or graduate program office regarding their program's specific research requirements. 

The following regulations from the graduate calendar are set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and apply to all graduate students regardless of academic program.

Master's theses, creative writing projects, and doctoral dissertations:

  • The Master's / Doctoral committee must be approved prior to the second term of registration in the thesis, creative writing project, or dissertation (course number XXXX-8960, XXXX-8970 or XXXX-9980). For committee composition and approval process refer to the Master's / Doctoral committee guidelines
  • The final oral defense should be completed at least three weeks prior to the Convocation at which the candidate expects to receive the degree.
  • Notice of the final oral defense must be submitted by the Department and received in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least eight days prior to the defense.
  • After the thesis is approved by the candidate’s thesis committee and has been reviewed by the Graduate Studies office for format compliance, the student deposits the document in the online repository. Review the final submission/ deposit step requirements.

Master's major research papers and internship papers:

  • the Committee for a Major Research Paper is approved internally by the academic department and does not require formal approval by graduate studies.
  • The Major Research Paper is a scholarly essay/research project that shows evidence of critical analysis and understanding on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor and acknowledged by the program area.
  • The Major Research Paper committee is approved by the Department and will include a supervisor, who is a member of graduate faculty, and one other program faculty member. Additional members may be added with the approval of the program/department.
  • Upon completion of the Major Research Paper each student will deliver a public oral presentation and defense which shall be announced publicly with a notice of the defense sent by the Department to the Office of Graduate Studies at least eight days prior to the defense. 
  • After the Major Research Paper is approved by the candidate’s committee and has been reviewed by the Graduate Studies office for format compliance, the student deposits the document in the online repository. Review the final submission/ deposit step requirements.
  • The Major Paper/Project is deposited in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to Convocation. 

Ethics Review

  • If the research involves human ethics, the faculty supervisor is responsible for the conduct of the study, the ethical performance of the project, and the protection of the rights and welfare of human participants. With the signed approval of the faculty supervisor, the graduate student submits an application to the Research Ethics Board. Research involving human subjects, including secondary use of data, cannot begin until ethics clearance has been obtained.
  • If the research involves animal care or biohazards, the supervisor of the dissertation is responsible for obtaining prior approval from the respective committees governing the above topics. Consult the Office of Research Services for details.

University-wide research guidelines and resources:

External resources: