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SECTION 5: Doctor of Philosophy General Regulations SECTION 5: Doctor of Philosophy General Regulations

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is granted only upon evidence of general proficiency and of distinctive attainment in a special field. In particular, the candidate must demonstrate an ability for independent investigation, original research or creative scholarship. This is expected to be presented in a thesis with a degree of literary skill and by an oral examination wherein the candidate exhibits mastery of their field. The Ph.D. is a research degree and is not conferred by The University of Manitoba solely as a result of coursework study.

Although general regulations apply to all students, individual units may have additional regulations that supplement these general regulations. All such supplemental regulations must be approved (as specified by the By-Laws of the Faculty of Graduate Studies), be published and available to students (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admin/supplemental_regulations.html), and be kept on record in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. All students should consult unit supplemental regulations for specific details regarding admission, progression and completion.

5.1 Admission

5.1.1  General criteria

Normally, the completion of a Master’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or equivalent in the last two previous years of full time university study (60 credit hours) is the minimum requirement for admission to the Ph.D. program. However, the criteria for admissions into the Ph.D. program are more stringent than for Masters’ programs; therefore, the completion of a Master’s program does not guarantee admission into the Ph.D. program.  Some units require completion of a thesis-based Master’s program prior to admission to a Ph.D. program.

5.1.2 Direct Admission from the Bachelor’s Honours or equivalent

With special recommendation of the unit concerned, applicants with an honours Bachelor’s degree or equivalent may be considered for entry to Ph.D. study. These students must be outstanding in their academic background (GPA well above 3.0 in the last two full years of undergraduate study). Once admitted, these students must complete at least 24 credit hours of coursework, unless the individual unit’s approved supplemental regulations specify otherwise, and will be assessed Ph.D. fees for 3 years.

5.1.3 Transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D. program

Students who have not completed a Master’s program may transfer to the Ph.D. program within the same unit upon the recommendation by the Head of the unit to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The recommendation should be made within 18 months of the student’s commencement of the Master’s program.The coursework completed and time spent in the Master’s program will normally be credited towards the Ph.D. program. Students must complete at least 24 credit hours of coursework, unless the individual unit’s approved supplemental regulations specify otherwise.

The request to transfer from a Master’s to the Ph.D. program must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least one month prior to the term for which the student intends to commence the Ph.D. program. The following are required when making the request: The online Application for Admission indicating a request for transfer. If the transfer is made within one year, no additional application fee must be paid. In the case where the student does not hold a Master’s degree, a letter of recommendation from the Head of the unit is also required.

If the transfer occurs within 12 months of the initial registration in the Master’s program, the student will be assessed Ph.D. fees for 3 years. If the transfer occurs after 12 months, the student will be assessed Ph.D. program fees for 2 years (as they will have already paid fees for the Master’s program). Students are cautioned that such transfers may impact on The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship duration.

Where a student with a Master’s degree or equivalent is initially admitted and registered in a Master’s program, that student may be transferred to the Ph.D. program within the same unit on the recommendation of the student’s advisor/co-advisor and Head of the unit, provided that follow up transfer recommendation occurs within 12 months of the initial registration in the Master’s program. In such a case, the application fee is waived and fees assessed towards the Master’s program will be deducted from the full 2 years of Ph.D. program fees. Transfers later than 12 months must pay an application fee and their fees will be assessed as a 3 year Ph.D.

5.1.4 Provisional Admission to the Ph.D.

Students nearing the completion of the Master’s degree may be accepted provisionally to the Ph.D. program for a 12 month period (commencing with the first registration in the Ph.D. program). Further registration in the Ph.D. program is contingent upon completion of all requirements of the Master’s degree within the 12 months. Students must maintain continuous registration in their Master’s program until its completion. Students will require assistance from the unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies to complete dual registration in the Master’s and Ph.D. program simultaneously.

5.1.5 English Language Proficiency

See section 1.1.7.

Some units specify an additional language requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Students should check unit supplemental regulations regarding this requirement.

5.1.6 Students with Disabilities

See Accommodation Policy for Students with Disabilities:

http://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/students/281.html

5.2 Student Advisor, Co-advisor and Advisory Committee

5.2.1 Student Advisor

Every Ph.D. student must have an advisor, appointed by the Head of the unit. The advisor is responsible for supervising the student’s graduate program. The advisor is the student’s first point of contact at The University of Manitoba, and therefore should be familiar with the general policies and regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies as well as the specific supplementary regulations of their academic unit. The advisor is directly responsible for the supervision of the student's graduate program. In this capacity, the advisor assists the student in planning the graduate program, and ensures that the student is aware of all graduate program requirements, degree regulations, and general regulations of the academic unit, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the university, and external funding agencies. The academic advisor provides counsel for all aspects of the graduate program, and stays informed of the student's scholarly activities and progress. The student’s advisor also acts as a channel of communication to the student’s advisory committee, the unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The advisor must:

  • be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies;
  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent*;
  • be active in research;
  • have expertise in a discipline related to the student’s program;
  • hold an appointment in the student's unit.

*Equivalency will be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and determined on a case by case basis and assessed by the potential advisor’s demonstrated research record and current research activities. Note that M.D., D.M.D. and J.D. are undergraduate degrees and are not considered per se to be equivalent to a Ph.D.

Usually the student and the advisor choose to work together by mutual agreement. In units where the choice of thesis topic advisor is postponed for some time after entry into the program, the Head of the unit or the selection committee shall appoint a faculty member to advise the student as to the rules and regulations and on a program and course requirements. This interim period must not exceed eighteen months after entry in to the program before a permanent advisor is chosen.

A staff member at the University of Manitoba at the rank of Assistant Professor or above cannot have an advisor/co-advisor with an appointment in the same unit.

The advisor, co-advisor (if applicable) and student must discuss, and complete, the Faculty of Graduate Studies Advisor Student Guidelines (ASG) prior to the commencement of any research and no later than the submission of the first Progress Report for the student. If the parties cannot agree on any component(s) of the ASG, the matter should be referred to the unit Graduate Chair, the Head of the unit or the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Should, during the student’s program, the relationship between the student and advisor significantly deteriorate, the matter should be referred sequentially to the unit Graduate Chair, the Head of the unit, then to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.2.2 Co-advisor

In special circumstances, upon approval of the Head of the unit, an advisor and co-advisor may advise a student.

The co-advisor must:

  • be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies;
  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent*;
  • be active in research;
  • have expertise in a discipline related to the student's program.

*Equivalency will be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, determined on a case by case basis and assessed by the potential co-advisor’s demonstrated research record and current research activities. Note that M.D., D.M.D. and J.D. are undergraduate degrees and are not considered per se to be equivalent to a Ph.D.

The co-advisor will usually be identified either:

A) at the beginning of a student’s program in situations where:

1 .the student desires to draw equally upon the expertise of two individuals, or

2. the project is interdisciplinary in nature and requires the expertise of two advisors from their respective disciplines, or

B) mid-way through a student’s program due to:

  1. the student's project developing in such a way as he/she requiring an additional advisor from a different discipline; or
  2.  the unit introducing a new Faculty member, to the standards of the unit, whose expertise facilitates the student's project.

When an advisor and co-advisor are assigned, together they shall fulfill the role of the advisor (that is, neither shall fulfill any other advisory or examining committee membership requirements for that student).  One advisor must be identified as the primary advisor; however, both the advisor and co-advisor’s signatures are required on all documents where the advisor’s signature is required.

A staff member at the University of Manitoba at the rank of Assistant Professor or above cannot have an advisor/co-advisor with an appointment in the same unit.

In all instances the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be informed of the co-assignment.

5.2.3 Advisory Committee

The Head of the unit is responsible for the establishment of an advisory committee for each Ph.D. student.  Advisory committees are normally selected by the advisor/co-advisor in consultation with the student and should consist of individuals whose expertise is consistent with that necessary to provide additional advice to the student during his/her program. The advisory committee must consist of a minimum of three members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, one of whom must hold a primary appointment from within the unit and one of whom must hold no appointment within the unit. Advisory committees may include one non-voting guest member who has expertise in a related discipline but is not a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

It is expected that, under normal circumstances, Advisory Committee members have a Ph.D. degree or equivalent. Equivalency will be determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Graduate students may not serve on graduate student advisory committees. A staff member at the University of Manitoba at the rank of Assistant Professor or above, cannot have an advisory committee member with an appointment in the same unit. The composition of, and any changes to, the advisory committee, including the advisor/co-advisor, must be approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The advisor/co-advisor is the Chair of the advisory committee. Advisory committee meetings which must be held at least annually are not intended to take the place of meetings between the student and advisor/co-advisor, which should occur with much greater frequency than the advisory committee meetings.

5.3 Program of Study

As soon as possible, but no later than 24 months after a student has commenced their program, the student’s program of study should be registered with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and should include:

  • information about the minimum or expected time for completion of the degree;
  • coursework to be taken;
  • any foreign language requirement;
  • the research area in which the thesis will be written.

The approval of the student’s advisor/co-advisor and the Head of the unit are sufficient for registration. The program of study, including withdrawal from individual courses and any subsequent changes, must be approved by the student’s advisor/co-advisor, the advisory committee and the Head of the unit. Withdrawal from courses or changes of course category without such approval may result in the student being required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.4 Program Requirements

All students must complete one of the following programs of study for the Ph.D. degree, unless otherwise specified in the approved unit supplemental regulations:

  • Where admission to the Ph.D. is directly from a Master’s degree, a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 7000 level or higher plus a thesis is required. Any further coursework beyond the minimum 12 credit hours at the 7000 level must be at the 3000 level or above. For those students who hold a Master’s degree, a maximum of 24 credit hours of coursework is allowed toward the Ph.D. program.*
  • Where admission to the Ph.D. is directly from an Honours Bachelor degree or equivalent, a minimum of 24 credit hours plus a thesis is required. The coursework must include a minimum of 18 credit hours at the 7000 level or higher with the balance of the coursework at the 3000 level or higher. For those students who do not hold a Master’s degree, a maximum of 48 credit hours of coursework is allowed toward the Ph.D. program.*

*Unless professional accreditation requirements and/or the unit's supplemental regulations indicate otherwise.

5.4.1 Language Reading Requirements

Some units specify a language requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Students are advised to check unit supplemental regulations regarding this requirement.

5.4.2 Advance Credit

Advance credit for courses completed prior to admission to a Ph.D. program will be considered on an individual basis. The student’s unit makes the request to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by completion of the “Recommendation for Advance Credit (Transfer of Courses)” form.

1. Application for advance credit must be made within the first year of the program (see Lapse of Credit of Courses in this section).

2. No more than half of the required coursework for the program can be given advance credit.

3. A course may not be used for credit toward more than one degree, diploma or certificate.

4. The student must register at The University of Manitoba for one academic year as a full-time student and must also complete the thesis at The University of Manitoba.

5. Regardless of the extent of advanced credit received, all students are required to pay the program fee.

5.4.3 Transfer Credit

Courses within a program of study may be taken elsewhere and transferred for credit at The University of Manitoba. All such courses:

  1. must be approved for transfer to the program of study by the unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies before the student may register for them;
  2. are considered on an individual basis;
  3. cannot be used for credit towards another degree;
  4. may be taken at other universities while registered in a program at The University of Manitoba, provided that the credit does not exceed 50% of the minimum credit hours of coursework required.

Permission is granted in the form of a Letter of Permission which may be obtained by making an application to the Registrar’s Office; an original transcript and course equivalency must be provided.

5.4.4 Lapse of Credit of Courses

Courses completed more than seven years prior to the date of awarding of a degree may not normally be used for credit toward that degree.

5.5 Time Limits

5.5.1 Minimum Time Limit

The minimum time requirement for the program of study for a Ph.D. degree will normally be two years of study beyond the level of the Master’s degree, or three years beyond the level of a Bachelor’s degree. The student may be permitted to spend one of these years in an approved program of research or study elsewhere. Such permission must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee.

5.5.2 Maximum Time Limit

A student’s candidature shall lapse if he/she fails to complete the degree within six years following initial registration in the Ph.D. program. For those students who transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D., years spent in the Master’s program are counted as years in the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. students who are declared as part-time will receive an additional four months in time to complete their program for every two years (24 months) they are declared as part time (see section 1.4.1). Requests for extensions of time to complete the degree will be considered on an individual basis and must be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least three, but no more than four, months prior to expiration of the respective maximum time limit.

A student who has not completed the degree requirements within the time limit or within the time limit of any extension that has been granted (see also sections “Extension of Time to Complete Program of Study” and “Leave of Absence”) will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

5.6 Academic Performance

Student progress shall be reported at least annually to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html). Students who fail to maintain satisfactory performance may be required to withdraw on the recommendation of the Graduate Chair/unit Head to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form. Two consecutive “in need of improvements” normally requires the student to withdraw.

5.6.1 Performance in Coursework

A minimum degree grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 with no grade below C+ must be maintained to continue in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Units may specify, in their supplementary regulations, standards that are higher than those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students who fail to maintain the specified grades will be required to withdraw unless a unit recommends remedial action. Any such action must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.6.2 Performance Not Related to Coursework

Students may be required to withdraw from their Ph.D. program for reasons of unsatisfactory performance other than those related to failing grades. These include, but are not restricted to, unsatisfactory attendance and lack of progress in research and/or thesis preparation. The student’s advisory committee will make a recommendation for required withdrawal to the Head of the unit. The Head of the unit may then recommend to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies that the student be required to withdraw for reasons of unsatisfactory academic performance.

5.7 Academic Requirement for Graduation

A cumulative degree grade point average of 3.0 or greater is required in those courses that constitute the program of study for graduation in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.8 Candidacy Examination

The candidacy examination is an absolute requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and, as such, cannot be waived under any circumstances. However, the format and content of the candidacy exam will vary from unit to unit. The purposes of the candidacy exam in doctoral programs is to determine the student's competence in the discipline with respect to understanding and absorbing a broad spectrum of material, and then researching, identifying, analysing, synthesizing, and communicating ideas about that material in depth.

At the time specified by the advisory committee--normally within the first year after the completion of the Ph.D. program coursework but in no case later than one year prior to expected graduation--the student must successfully complete the formal candidacy examination. 

The examination is conducted according to a procedure established by the unit and approved by the Academic Guide Committee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Please see the unit supplemental regulations for the format and composition of the examination committee for the candidacy examination. The candidacy examination must be held at The University of Manitoba.

This examination, which is independent from the thesis proposal, may be oral, written, or both and may cover subjects relevant to the general area of the candidate's research. These must be made known to the students.

A pass decision of the examiners must be unanimous. Students must be provided with feedback on their performance and access to the reasons for the pass/fail.

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be informed whether the candidate has passed or failed the candidacy examination on the “Report on Ph.D. Candidacy Examination” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html).

Any student who fails the candidacy examination twice will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

On successful completion of this examination, the student will be considered a candidate for the Ph.D. degree.

5.9 Thesis Proposal

Some units have specific procedures in place for approval of thesis proposals and students are advised to refer to the specific unit supplemental regulations. If units require thesis proposal approval, this exercise is independent from the candidacy examination.  Regardless, the proposed thesis research must be approved by the advisory committee and, if necessary, by the Human Research Ethics Board or Animal Care Committee before the work has begun on the thesis research or project.

5.10 Thesis

An essential feature of Ph.D. study is the candidate’s demonstration of competence to complete a research project and present the findings. The thesis must constitute a distinct contribution to knowledge in the major field of study, and the research must be of sufficient merit to be, in the judgement of the examiners, acceptable for publication.

The thesis must be written according to a standard style acknowledged within the candidate’s particular field of study and recommended by the unit, be lucid and well written, and be reasonably free from errors of style and grammar (including typographical errors).

The final version of the thesis must be submitted by the candidate to the Faculty of Graduate Studies following the guidelines found at: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/thesis/guidelines.html

5.11 Thesis Examination Procedures

The final examination for the Ph.D. degree proceeds in three stages (see Figure 5-1):

  1. Examination of the candidate’s thesis by an internal examining committee.
  2. Examination of the candidate’s thesis by an external examiner.
  3. Oral examination of the candidate by all examiners on the subject of the thesis and any matters relating thereto.

5.11.1 Formation of the Examining Committee I - University of Manitoba (Internal) Examiners

The candidate’s advisor (and, if appropriate, co-advisor) is considered to be a voting member of the examining committee. The candidate’s advisor/co-advisor, in consultation with the Head of the unit, will recommend at least three internal thesis examiners, including the advisor/co-advisor, to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for approval via the Thesis Submission Portal on JUMP. One member must hold a primary appointment within the unit and one member must hold no appointment within the unit. All internal examiners must be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It is expected that, under normal circumstances, Examining Committee members have a Ph.D. degree or equivalent. Equivalency will be determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Under normal circumstances these will be members of the candidate’s advisory committee, if not, approval must be obtained from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.11.2 Formation of the Examining Committee II - External Examiner

The candidate’s advisor/co-advisor, in consultation with the advisory committee, will recommend the names of three distinguished scholars from outside The University of Manitoba with particular experience in the field of the thesis research and Ph.D. student advisory/examination experience to serve as the external examiner to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for approval via the Thesis Submission Portal on JUMP.  The recommendations should, if possible, include a brief CV of each of the prospective external examiners and a short statement detailing the rationale behind the recommendations, the prospective external examiners’ qualifications, including a current list of his/her scholarly publications and research activities and, importantly, their experience with graduate student education. No contact should be made with any of the prospective external examiners. If any of the recommended examiners does not meet the following criteria, specified below, a detailed explanation should be included with the rationale for the recommendation.

The external examiner should:

  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent;
  • hold the rank of Associate Professor, Full Professor, Senior Scholar or Emeritus Professor (or the equivalent if outside North America) at a university, or have comparable expertise and standing if not a faculty member at a university ;
  • have an established reputation in the area of the thesis research and be able to judge whether the thesis would be acceptable at an institution comparable to The University of Manitoba; and
  • have significant recent experience with the supervision and/or examination of Ph.D. students.

 The external examiner should not:

  • have acted as an external examiner for the same Ph.D. supervisor within the previous two years;
  • have been associated with the candidate at any time or in any significant way in the past five years, present or reasonably foreseeable future (advisor/co-advisor, colleague, teacher, co-author of published material, family member etc.); or
  • be associated with the candidate’s advisor/co-advisor in any of the following ways:
  • former student;
  • research advisor/co-advisor;
  • research collaborator within the last five years;
  • co-author of published material within the last five years.
    • have had a significant academic disagreement with the candidate, the advisor/co-advisor or any member of the advisory committee.

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies will choose the external examiner from the list provided by the candidate’s advisor/co-advisor and will make the formal invitation to the external examiner. The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies shall ensure the anonymity of the external examiner until it has been determined that the student can proceed to oral defence.

5.11.3 Changes in the Examining Committee

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies must approve changes in the membership of the examining committee. No changes shall be made in the examining committee after the thesis is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Should the thesis not be submitted for examination within 12 months after the appointment of the examining committee, the committee appointment will lapse and the process shall revert to 5.11.1 above.

5.11.4 Distribution of the Thesis for Examination

Ph.D. students must submit their thesis for distribution electronically through JUMP. Consult this link for pertinent instructions: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/media/Thesis_Distribution_Portal.pdf.  It is the responsibility of the Faculty of Graduate Studies to distribute the electronic version of the thesis to all examiners. The Faculty of Graduate Studies shall attempt to ensure that the thesis is distributed to examiners as soon as possible after the submission of all required documentation. The Faculty of Graduate Studies website (umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/deadlines/index.html) should be consulted regarding dates by which theses must be submitted.

Once the thesis has been submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, neither the candidate nor the advisor/co-advisor shall have any communication with the examining committee regarding the thesis.  However should the need arise, the external examiner may contact the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies to discuss any issues related to the thesis.

5.11.5 Responsibilities of the Examiners

In general the examiners are responsible for:

  • ensuring that the thesis and the candidate meet recognised scholarly standards for a Ph.D.
  • appraising the underlying assumptions, methodology, findings, and scholarly significance of the findings of the thesis
  • ensuring that the thesis is organized, presents data and uses accepted conventions for addressing the scholarly literature in an acceptable manner
  • evaluating that the candidate has the ability to present their findings orally and demonstrate their  scholarship by responding to questions and defending the thesis

Notes:

1. Any potential breach of academic integrity should be reported to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for investigation by the Vice President (Research and International).

2. Submission of previously published, peer-reviewed material in the thesis does not preclude its examination, either as a written document being reviewed by examiners or at the thesis defence.

5.11.6 Process

Internal Examiners

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies will request the internal examiners to give, within three (3) weeks of the distribution of the thesis, a detailed written report of the thesis and place it into one of the following categories:

  1. The thesis represents a distinct contribution to the candidate’s field of research and is acceptable as it stands. Minor revisions to content, structure, or writing style may be required. The thesis may proceed to external distribution.
  2. The thesis has merit and makes a contribution to the candidate’s field; however, there are research-related concerns that have the potential to be addressed in the oral defence. The structure and writing style are acceptable or require only minor revisions. The thesis may proceed to external distribution.
  3. The thesis has some merit, but is not acceptable in its current state and requires major revisions to one or more of its core components, such as research content, structure or writing style. The thesis should not proceed to external distribution.
  4. The thesis is unacceptable with respect to its core components, such as research content, structure, and writing style. The thesis should not proceed to external distribution.

If none or one (the dissenting voice) of the internal examiners fails the thesis (i.e. places it in categories 3 or 4 above), the thesis receives an internal pass and shall proceed to external distribution. The candidate’s advisor (and, if appropriate, co-advisor) may also wish to submit a report. Prior to external distribution, the candidate shall have the opportunity to incorporate changes suggested by the examining committee but not necessarily those of the dissenting voice. It is the responsibility of the advisor/student to provide a copy of the revised thesis to all internal committee members prior to the oral defence.

If two or more members of the internal examining committee fail the thesis (i.e. places the thesis in categories 3 or 4 above) then the thesis fails.

If the thesis fails, the unit Head shall convene a meeting of the internal examining committee and the candidate’s advisor/co-advisor to decide how to bring the thesis to an acceptable scholarly standard for a second submission to the internal examining committee. In normal circumstances, this will involve additional scholarly work which the unit Head will describe, in writing, to the advisor/co-advisor, the candidate and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

If more than one of the internal examining committee members fail the resubmitted thesis, this constitutes a second failure. In the case of a second failure, the candidate cannot proceed to external distribution, and the candidate is required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The awarding of a passing grade by an individual internal examiner does not preclude them from awarding a failing grade at a subsequent stage in the examination process.

External Examiner

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies will request the external examiner to give, within three (3) weeks of the distribution of the thesis, a detailed written report of the thesis and rate it either as a pass or a fail. The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies shall ensure the anonymity of the external examiner until it has been determined that the student can proceed to oral defence.

  • If the external examiner passes the thesis, the student can proceed to oral defence.
  • If the external examiner fails the thesis, the unit Head shall convene a meeting of the internal examining committee and the student’s advisor/co-advisor to decide how to bring the thesis to an acceptable scholarly standard. In normal circumstances, this will involve additional scholarly work which the unit Head will describe, in writing, to the advisor/co-advisor, the candidate and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
  • If the external examiner fails a resubmitted thesis, this constitutes a second failure. In the case of a second failure, the candidate cannot proceed to oral defence, and the candidate is required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The awarding of a passing grade by an external examiner does not preclude them from awarding a failing grade at a subsequent stage in the examination process.

Reports

If advancement to the oral examination is approved, as outlined above, the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies shall provide electronic copies of all reports to each of the advisor/co-advisor, examiners and Head of the unit.  

5.12 The Oral Examination

5.12.1 Scheduling

Units cannot proceed with scheduling the oral defence prior to receiving the approved examiners report from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The examination must be held at The University of Manitoba. It is the responsibility of the unit to ensure that all room booking arrangements are made and appropriate facilities meet minimum standards expected for a Ph.D. defence. In addition, the candidate must submit, in electronic format biographical information and an abstract of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.12.2 Attendance

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate shall act as Chair of the examination committee.

The attendance of the external examiner in person at the candidate’s oral examination is encouraged. If the external examiner will not be present in person, his/her participation via video conferencing is expected. If the external examiner cannot participate, he/she will be asked to provide questions in advance. These questions will be read to the candidate at the defence by the Chair.

All internal members of the examining committee are required to be present at the defence, unless exceptional circumstances prevent this. Under such circumstances, and with the prior approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, one internal member may participate via video conferencing. Consequently, no more than one internal member and the external examiner may participate via video conferencing.

Under no circumstances can the candidate participate by video conferencing.

Normally, the oral examination shall be open to all members of The University of Manitoba community and the general public.  In exceptional cases the final oral examination may be closed; for example, when the results of the thesis research must be kept confidential for a period of time. In such cases, the examination committee and Head of the unit shall request prior approval in writing from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If approved, the final oral examination shall be closed to all but the examining committee and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate.

Regardless of open or closed status, no recording devices will be permitted.

5.12.3 Format of the Examination

The first part of the oral examination shall consist of an oral presentation by the candidate. This is followed by examination of the candidate by the examination committee. If time permits the Chair, at their discretion, may allow questions from members of the audience

5.12.4 Procedures for the Conduct of the Examination

The Chair should discuss the examination procedures with the examiners in camera prior to the beginning of the formal examination.

The Chair will introduce the candidate and request him/her to give a concise (20 to 25 minute) oral presentation of the thesis to include a summary of the problem addressed, the results obtained and the conclusions drawn from the study.

Following the presentation, the Chair will invite questions from each member of the examining committee, taking care to ensure that each examiner has approximately equal time for questions. The total time for questions by the examining committee must not exceed two (2) hours.

The Chair may exercise his/her discretion in allowing questions from the audience following completion of the formal examination. Once assuming the role of Chair, he/she foregoes the right to comment on the merits of the thesis whether or not he/she is an expert in the field.

5.12.5 Decision of the Committee

Following completion of the formal examination, the candidate and audience must leave the examination room. The decision of the examining committee will be based both on the content of the thesis and on the candidate's ability to defend it.

The judgement of the examiners shall be reported by the Chair to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the qualitative terms “pass” or “fail” on the “Final Examination of the Ph.D. Thesis” form.  

  • Pass: the candidate has satisfactorily presented their findings orally and answered, to the satisfaction of the examination committee, the methodology, observations and conclusions presented in the thesis.  The advisor/co-advisor is charged with ensuring that any minor editorial or typographical revisions are satisfactorily completed. Those examiners in agreement must indicate, by their signatures, concurrence with the passing grade.
  • Fail: the candidate has failed to adequately orally present, or satisfactorily respond to questions posed related to, the thesis. This shall include significant defects in conception, methodology or context.  Those examiners in agreement must indicate, by his/her signature, concurrence with the failing grade.

If the external examiner or two or more internal examiners indicate a fail, the candidate fails the examination. A copy of the report, including providing written detailed reasons for the decision, will be made available to the candidate by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.13 Candidate Awards

The examination committee may recommend in writing to the Faculty of Graduate Studies that the thesis is of sufficient merit to receive an award.

5.14 Graduation

The candidate will be recommended for the Ph.D. degree upon receipt by the Faculty of Graduate Studies of favourable reports by the thesis examining committee, a corrected copy of the electronic version of the thesis submitted to MSpace, final approval and release forms, and providing all other degree requirements have been satisfied.

Patents –Refer to section 6 “Policy of Withholding Theses Pending Patent Applications” in this Guide.

Restriction of Theses for Publication – In exceptional cases, not covered by the regulation concerning patents, where adequate cause can be shown to delay publication, the student and advisor/co-advisor may request in writing that the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies restrict access for a period up to one year after the submission of the digital version of a thesis to The University of Manitoba. The Dean shall determine for what period, if any, access will be so restricted.

Library and Archives Canada – Library and Archives Canada obtains a copy of the thesis via the University’s MSpace repository.

5.15 Student Withdrawal

A student will be required to withdraw when the Ph.D. thesis has been rejected twice at the stage where:

a)    The internal examining committee reports on the merits of the written thesis;

b)   The external examiner reports on the merits of the written thesis;

c)   The oral examination; or

d)   A combination of any of these stages.

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