Ready to Defend?


It is recommended that every student start the writing process early, and:

1. Use the Thesis Resources provided by the library
2. Use the thesis template and instructions provided by the library
3. Book an appointment with the Assistant for Theses, attend a workshop, and/or review online tutorials for help with thesis formatting and submission questions
4. After your defence, follow the instructions to upload your thesis to the library by the deadline listed

There is more information in the Completing + Graduation section at the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpage. For all Masters students, they also include information about thesis guidelines (use of a proofreader, postponement of publiction, and thesis corrections), and preparing for the oral examination.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies estimates 6-8 months for writing and completing edits prior to booking your defence. When your defense draft is approved by your supervisor and committee members, then the defence booking process begins.

Hybrid Defence Info for the Department of Archaeology

Booking Your Defence


  • Ensure you're enrolled in ARCH 898 (Thesis Course)
  • Check your student record to ensure that you have completed all required coursework for the degree. Your Academic Progress Report (APR) should only show "Not Satisfied" for your thesis course. Download and send a copy of this report to your Graduate Assistant. If other requirements are displaying “Not Satisfied” contact your supervisor and graduate assistant as soon as possible
  • Check your financial account in to ensure all outstanding fees have been paid
  • Apply to graduate (in the semester of your defence). Instructions are on the Grad Studies Graduation Checklist page.


Provide your Graduate Program Assistant with the following:

  • Date and time
  • Preferred location (online or in-person - if hybrid, see: Hybrid Defence Info)
  • Thesis title and copy of your abstract
  • List of supervisory committee members, including current email addresses
  • Information for External Examiner (your Supervisor will provide this)
    (Note: If the External Examiner is not from SFU, a 2-page bio is required, as well as their phone and email contact.)
  • Any research ethics (Thesis Resources link) or animal care approvals (if required) (Animal Care has an Animal Care Protocol Approval Form - For Thesis Submission form available on their website.)
  • A copy of your APR as listed above.

Once they receive this information, your Graduate Program Assistant will prepare the required forms, source a chair if the Graduate Program Chair or HRM Program Director are not available, and track down signatures. This information should be provided as early as possible, as sometimes it's difficult to track people down for signatures.


  • Copy of Thesis Draft to your Graduate Program Assistant for dispersal (This is your "defendable draft" and any edits you make to this draft after submitting to the department will not be seen by your examining committee. See "Thesis Corrections" on the MA Thesis page at GPS.)
  • Your A/V requirements. If you are coming to campus, please ensure you will have access to any important emails that require MFA or two-factor authentication. If the defence is taking place online, the defence chair will provide Zoom information. If a committee member is attending the defence online, the Graduate Assistant must be notified in advance.


  • Bring yourself, your computer, and your presentation. If you are presenting online, and aren't sure about your home internet connection, please contact the Archaeology office to book a room. If we are notified in advance, we can provide needed dongles and cables to ensure a good internet connection.

After the defence

  • Follow the directions your supervisor and committee have given you regarding any changes to be made to the final copy of your thesis.
  • Your supervisor will provide approval of the edits made, and your Graduate Assistant needs to be cc'd on these emails.
  • Once your Graduate Assistant sees your supervisor has approved your thesis for library upload, they will provide a signed copy of your Results, Approval and Degree Recommendation (RAD) form that will need to be uploaded with your thesis.
  • You need to upload your thesis to the library by the deadline listed.
  • Apply for Convocation through Generally, students completing September through April convocate in June, and students completing May through August convocate in October. SFU does not send out confirmations for convocation until three weeks prior. If you have family planning to attend from out of town, please check the SFU Convocation website for more information.
  • If you are not attending convocation, ensure that your mailing address in is updated. Your parchment will be sent out to that mailing address shortly after Convocation. They are expensive to replace if mailed to the incorrect address.