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 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 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

This information and your thesis draft (in PDF form) should be submitted no later than 7-8 weeks before the proposed defence date. The Graduate Studies deadline for final submission of defence paperwork is 6 weeks prior. It can take a week to secure a defence chair, and obtain all required signatures.

Information needed to book a defence (7-8 weeks before defence)

  • Student name
  • Student email
  • Thesis title
  • Thesis abstract
  • Proposed defence date and time
  • Has this date and time been confirmed with the entire defence committee by your supervisor, including the examiners?
  • Type of defence (Hybrid Defence Info for the Department of Archaeology):
    • In person (all members present with no remote connection needed) 
    • Fully hybrid (committee and audience split between online and in person)
    • Partially hybrid (supervisor, student, and chair in-person, examiner online)
    • Fully online (all members are connecting remotely with no room booking needed)
  • Examiner's name and email address - Student cannot select the Examiner and External Examiner and should not have any contact with the Examiner and External Examiner. 
    (If the Examiner is not from SFU, a 2-page bio is required, as well as their phone and email contact.)
  • External Examiner's name and email address
    (If the External Examiner is not from SFU, a 2-page bio is required, as well as their phone and email contact.)
  • List your committee members, including their current email addresses
  • Attach a copy of your Academic Progress Report (APR). If any requirements are displaying “Not Satisfied”, contact the Graduate Assistant as soon as possible.
  • Confirm and attach 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.)

Once they receive this information, your Graduate Program Assistant will prepare the required forms, source a chair if the Graduate Program Chair is 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.


  • Ensure you’re enrolled in ARCH 899 (Thesis course).
  • 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 Graduate Studies Graduation Checklist page.
  • Book your A/V equipment. If you are coming to campus, please ensure you will have access to any important emails that require MFA or two-factor authentication. Do you need a computer, or will you use the one in the booked room? Do you have your presentation on a USB drive just in case? Etc. If your defence is online or hybrid, please review the hybrid defence info page.


  • 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.


  • 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.