Oral Examination


The guide below includes the steps and policies normally required as per the Graduate General Regulations. Requests for exceptions to these for extenuating circumstances can be made by the supervisor or graduate chair to the Associate Dean, Academics in writing to defence@sfu.ca.

  • You must be registered in order to defend/graduate.
  • You may apply to graduate through SIMS.
    IMPORTANT: the deadline to apply to graduate is not the same as the library thesis submission deadline. Students can apply to graduate at any time in what is planned to be their final term of graduate studies. 
    • It is a straightforward process to withdraw your application, but more challenging to add you to the graduation list after the deadline.
  • If you complete your degree requirements during the first calendar month of the term, you may be eligible for an early completion refund. You do not need to formally apply for this. More information can be found on the Degree Completion page.

Degree Completion Timeline

6-8 months before your intended date of defence
Present your supervisor and your supervisory committee members with an outline of your thesis and notify them of your intention to defend your thesis in 6-8 months' time. Review your thesis progress regularly with your supervisor.
8-10 weeks before intended date of defence
Consult with your supervisor and committee to ensure that they have read your thesis and agree that you are ready for defence.
4-6 weeks before intended date of defence
Assist your graduate program assistant with completing all required forms. You should also apply to graduate (if you haven’t already done so).
4 weeks before intended date of defence
Your academic unit submits master's forms and abstract to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. See Graduate General Regulation 1.9.2.