Supervisor Responsibilities

Before you begin

Supervisors should review all components of the Thesis Guide to ensure they are aware of deadlines and requirements. Supervisors should review these items with their students.

FGS regulations

Supervisors are expected to have read the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) regulations for Thesis Supervisors and Supervisory Committees, and FGS Thesis Regulations in the most recent Graduate Calendar. A thesis supervisor must be a member of FGS (Sharepoint - requires log-in with NetID and password).


When faculty members accept the supervision of graduate students, they assume several responsibilities:

  • to provide reasonable access to students and to be available for consultation at relatively short notice;
  • to be as helpful as possible in suggesting research topics and in assisting students to define their theses;
  • to tell students approximately how long it will be before written work, such as drafts of chapters, can be returned with comments;
  • to be thorough in their examination of thesis chapters, supplying, where appropriate, detailed comments on such matters as literary form, structure, use of evidence, relation of the thesis to published work on the subject, footnoting, and bibliographical techniques, and making constructive suggestions for rewriting and improving the draft;
  • to indicate clearly when a draft is in a satisfactory final form or, if it is clear to the supervisor that the thesis cannot be successfully completed, to advise the student accordingly;
  • to know the departmental and University regulations and standards to which the writer of a thesis is required to conform, and to make sure that the student is aware of them;
  • to continue supervision when on leave, possibly with arrangements also being made for members of the supervisory committee to assist the student for the leave period;
  • to advise and help the student to approach other faculty members for assistance with specific problems or even to request the reading of a chapter or section of the thesis;
  • to see that all ethics approvals as appropriate, are secured;
  • to notify the MI Program Coordinator in the case of an outright rejection or a rejection with a right to resubmit.