Archived theses can be found online at the SFU Library.

Defence Process

If you wish to defend, discuss with your supervisor and the following documents should be submitted by your supervisor on behalf of you.

  1. Signed Examining Committee for Oral Examination form
  2. Finalized version of student’s thesis
  3. Examiner's documents  (only applies to PhD Defence)
    • A full, comprehensive external examiner CV if the examiner is not from SFU; or
    • A bio for non-faculty committee members being added
  4. Research Ethics (if applicable)
  5. Minimal Risk Approval letter (if applicable; please submit a current copy of the letter, with study number, dates, etc. as proof)

For MASc students, completed paperwork must be provided to the Graduate Program Assistant a minimum of 4 weeks prior to your defence.

For PhD students, completed paperwork and your thesis must be provided to the Graduate Program Assistant a minimum of 6 weeks prior to your defence.

For assistance with defence procedures, please email the Graduate Program Assistant at

After submitting the paperwork, the request will follow the process below:

  • Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral (GPS) will the review and approve the request and confirm the thesis is ready to be defended
  • Upon the confirmation, the Graduate Program Assistant will distribute the thesis to exam committee, as well as advertise the defence to the school
  • The result of the defence will be processed by the exam committee, graduate program assistant and GPS after the exam

Post Defence: You will review and submit the finalized version of your thesis to the library by deadline. You can then apply for graduation. The deadline to apply for graduation can be found on GPS's website.

There is no guarantee your request will be approved if the request is submitted less than 4 - 6 weeks prior to your proposed defence date. We encourage you to submit the paperwork early for admirative processing. For more information, please visit GPS’s website: Masters Defence  PhD Defence.

Thesis publication postponement 

postponement will delay the inclusion of a thesis in the institutional repository for a period of 12 months from the end of the term in which the thesis is submitted to the Library, in order to protect confidential commercial information, patentable material, pending application, or where immediate commercial publication in a restrictive venue is anticipated.

A postponement request should be made in writing at least 30 days prior to submission of the thesis to the Library. The submission process and timeline remains the same, however, a copy of the thesis or project shall not be made available in the Library institutional repository during the restricted period.

In order to receive a postponement, please complete the Thesis postponement of publication request form and email it to If approved, this form needs to be included in your submission to the library thesis registration system and “Postponement being requested” must be selected to “yes.” Please also email me to let me know with your approved postponement form attached so that I can set the postponement.

Note: If these steps are not followed, your thesis will be published and accessible online.