The thesis itself should be between 75,000 and 100,000 words, excluding notes, bibliography, and most appendices. It should make a significant contribution to knowledge; the regulations of the Graduate Faculty require that it “must display original scholarship expressed in satisfactory literary form consistent with the discipline concerned and be of such value as to merit publication.” Once it has been revised to meet the requirements of the supervisor, it must be submitted to the second and third readers within the Department, and then revised to meet their requirements. It is the responsibility of the doctoral candidate to:
• Obtain the consent of his/her supervisory committee to begin the search for an external examiner. The supervisory committee must inform the Chair of their consent to begin the search for an external examiner no later than three months prior the anticipated defense date.
• Deliver one unbound copy of the completed thesis (the External Examiner’s copy), the Ph.D. Thesis Submission Form, and a c.v. to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and four additional copies to the Graduate Co-ordinator in the Department no later than one month prior to the defense date.
• Make sure the abstract of the thesis (maximum length of 300 words) is sumitted electronically to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the thesis defence notice.
The supervisor must approach the Chair of the Department about the defence a minimum of three months in advance, and must suggest possible external examiners. The Chair of the Department contacts and arranges for an external examiner; the Chair’s choice is approved and the external examiner invited by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Department requires that the MLA Handbook be used as a guide to presentation of theses; it is the candidate’s responsibility to get the most recent regulations on the format of the thesis from the Office of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and to make sure that the thesis meets the regulations. The candidate must take one unbound copy of the thesis to the Office of the Faculty of Graduate Studies one full month in advance of the scheduled defence so that it can be shipped to the external examiner; it must be accompanied by the thesis submission form with appropriate signatures. At the same time, the candidate must bring four unbound copies of the thesis to the Department of English, to be read by the supervisor, by the second and third readers, by a fourth reader (all internal readers are to be approved by the Graduate Committee), and by the Chair of the Department.
The defence is chaired by a faculty member designated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and is open to anyone interested. Those entitled to examine the candidate are the external examiner, the supervisor, the second and third readers, all with some expertise in the field of the thesis; the fourth or “departmental” reader, from a field of expertise other than that of the thesis; and the Chair of the Department, whose principal role is to see that there is fair play, and who consequently may choose not to take part in the questioning. The examination normally runs about two hours, and opens with a summary statement of about twenty minutes made by the candidate before questioning begins. After the questioning, the candidate and observers are asked to withdraw, and a decision is immediately reached. Theses may be assessed as “approved” or “not approved.” A thesis can be accepted as is; accepted with specific corrections (within a set time, but not to exceed six months), rejected with permission to submit a revised thesis (within twelve months); or rejected. Candidates should read section 10 (Thesis Regulations) of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Regulations for further information on the thesis and its defence.
The candidate must submit their approved thesis electronically, and deliver hard copy of the signature sheet, to the Office of the Faculty of Graduate Studies in time to meet the deadlines for convocation as spelled out in the Graduate Calendar.