Completing Your Degree

A student is ready to graduate when they have completed all required courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0, successfully defended the research project or thesis, and after final corrections are complete, submitted to the library for publication. The library submission triggers an email which "stops the clock" on the program. This must happen before the library deadline or the student must enroll for the next term. This is a firm deadline; there is no flexibility. Submit or enroll.

Supervisory Committee
MRM Thesis and PhD students should submit their Supervisory Committee by the end of their first year. If this has not been done, or if there have been changes to its composition, download and complete the correct form from Graduate Studies Forms. You need to provide the SFU ID number or external email address and CV of committee members or second readers. MRM project and planning students do not need to have prior approval of a committee, but must still provide the SFU ID or external email and short CV of their second reader.

Program Requirements
Students are responsible for ensuring all requirements of their program are met before they apply to defend. This is checked using the Academic Progress Report (APR) in goSFU and ensure it is correct and showing complete. Cross-check specifics with your Senior Supervisor or the Graduate Program Assistant if you have questions and get any errors in your APR corrected before you apply to graduate.

Getting ready for your defense
Students wanting to defend and complete must be enrolled in their capstone course (REM 697, 699, 899) for that term. Contact the REM GPA about necessary paperwork 3-4 weeks prior to a Master’s project defense, 5 weeks before an MRM thesis defense, and 8 weeks prior to a PhD defense. They will work with you and your Supervisor to complete and submit your documents. Any ethics approvals from the Office of Research Ethics and/or the Animal Care Office must be forwarded to the Graduate Program Assistant. Once the GPA has all the necessary information, they will circulate the correct forms for signature and submit to the Graduate Studies. This step must happen by the correct deadline (6 weeks before a Ph.D., 4 weeks before an MRM thesis, 2 weeks before an MRM Project) or you risk having your request denied. Do not miss this deadline.

The Graduate Studies provides comprehensive resources on preparing for your defence and best practices to follow.

Examining Committee
Thesis and PhD students should already have their supervising committee on record. They will form the core of your examining committee and then your supervisor will recommend internal and external examiners as required by the Graduate General Regulations (GGR). The GPA will assign a Chair from the members of REM faculty. MRM Course Work (Project) students will be working primarily with a senior supervisor and will require a second reader for their defense. They will also need to recruit a chair from their fellow students.

When you are ready to schedule your defense, the GPA will complete the correct form, but you will need to provide the names, SFU ID and contact information for everyone participating in the exam (candidate, committee and chair) and a short bio or CV for any members of the examining committee who do not have an SFU ID number. Please contact the GPA for a checklist.

A note that PhD students should be defending their proposal (REM 898) by the end of their fifth term in the program. Your supervisor will guide you in preparing for an 898 defense, but you will need the GPA to assign a Chair from among the REM faculty, so contact them early to arrange that.

Liaising with the Library
The SFU Library provides a Thesis Librarian and a REM Librarian. The Library website provides templates and timelines for preparing your thesis for defence and eventual publication. You should refer to this website early and start connecting with the library staff who are there to assist.

The Approval Page is no longer used to collect the signatures of your committee at your exam. The Recommendation of Award form (RAD), which will be provided to the Defense Chair by your GPA, is the only form required for signatures (effective August 2020).

You must also apply to graduate when you are preparing to defend. It is much easier to remove students from the list of graduands if necessary than it is to add people in late, so always apply even before your thesis is complete. If there are delays with your edits, your graduation can be withdrawn. Please note that if you need to withdraw your application to graduate, you need to do this before you will be allowed to enroll for the next term.

Letters confirming credential completion for the purposes of employment or immigration are self-service from the Forms page of the Graduate Studies website.

The Graduate Studies provides information about confirming your Convocation attendance and reserving your regalia. It’s a special experience, so make time to attend if you can.