Guidelines for PhD Proposal Defence

All PhD students in the department must submit a written thesis proposal to the supervisory committee. The proposal defines the intended, original research and the relationship between it and existing scholarship. After submission, the student is expected to present the proposal at a departmental colloquium no later than the end of the ninth semester of residence. The written proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee prior to the start of substantive research.

For the proposal defence, the following more specific guidelines apply:

  1. Each member of the supervisory committee will receive a copy of the written proposal at least 2 weeks prior to the proposal defence.
  2. All members of the supervisory committee must be present at the proposal defence.
  3. The proposal defence should preferably take place at SFU, Burnaby campus.
  4. The chair of Graduate Studies (or a designate) will chair the proposal defence.
  5. The proposal defence follows the format of a dissertation defence (student presentation, comments/questions from the members of the supervisory committee followed by questions from the audience).
  6. After the proposal defence, the supervisory committee will meet to assess the proposal and provide the student with their feedback/comments.

Thesis/Dissertation Defence

  1. All MA and PhD students in the department must complete a thesis/dissertation based on original research, and must comply with University regulations on completing and defending the thesis/dissertation, as specified in SFU calendar entries 1.9 and 1.10.
  2. In accordance with SFU practices and in conforming to recommendations by the Office of Dean of Graduate Studies, all defences should be held at the SFU Burnaby campus, unless there is a valid reason for holding it at the down town campus.
  3. The organizing of a departmental colloquium given by an external examiner is the responsibility of the Colloquium Committee, such an event being independent from the administering of the defence.

Policy on Photocopying of Thesis/Dissertation

In preparing to submit their thesis/dissertation, graduate students should print out only one copy using the departmental printer. They can give this copy to the Graduate Program Secretary to arrange for additional copies to be distributed to the examining committee. The students are responsible for the expenses involved in making additional copies.