Format of Thesis and Thesis Oral Defense Preparation

Preparing For Your Thesis Oral Exam

  1. The supervisor will notify SKHS Graduate Assistant of the Oral Examination by submitting a completed and signed Oral Examination Form by email to The Oral Examination Form must be submitted at least 30 working days in advance of a scheduled doctoral defense. 
  2. If the supervisor needs help finding a Chair or a Head’s Delegate, they should inform the Graduate Assistant of this when submitting the exam form. 
  3. The Graduate Assistant will then forward the complete oral exam form to the School of Graduate Studies, with an up-to-date transcript (indicating all courses have been completed) and a copy of the student’s Core Ethics Certificate.
  4. The student should submit a copy of their thesis to the Graduate Assistant at least 25 working days in advance of the exam. They will provide the thesis to the examining committee. 
  5.  The student should submit a copy of their thesis to the Thesis Coordinator at SGSPA by sending an email to 

Corrections to Thesis Document

Students may not provide corrections to their thesis after it has been submitted to the examining committee in preparation for the oral defense.  If the edit is substantial, i.e. a page or more affecting the examiner’s ability to understand the document, it may be granted on a one-off basis.  Arrangements may be made via the SKHS Graduate Assistant.

Instructions and Forms for Students

PhD Oral Exam Form PDF

Thesis Printing Instructions

SKHS Format of Thesis Traditional

SKHS Format of Thesis by Manuscript

SGSPA Thesis Formatting and Other Resources

Preparing for Your Oral Examination & Permission of Co-Authors (instructions are sent directly to student via email once their defense has been confirmed)

Instructions for Supervisors, Examiners, and Chairs on PhD Oral Thesis Exams

An email is sent by the Graduate Assistant to the Supervisor, Examiners, and Chair with instructions. Please also see:

Notes for Chairing & Conducting Oral Thesis Examinations

Checklist for Chairs

SKHS Head’s Delegate Role and Responsibilities

Definitions for Exam Outcome Categories: Passed, Passed with Major Revisions, Referred, and Failed 

Outcome Categories of the Oral Thesis Examination

A copy of these regulations is provided to the Chair as part of the oral defense package provided 3 days prior to the oral defense date.

Other Information and Instructions

Oral thesis examinations are normally open, meaning that all members of the Queen’s community may attend. Visitors outside of the Queen’s community may attend an open oral thesis examination at the invitation of both the candidate and the supervisor(s), which must be made at least one week prior to the scheduled date of the oral thesis examination. The Head of the Department/Program must be informed of any visitors who have been invited to the oral thesis examination. Only members of the Examining Committee may ask questions of the candidate, and only members of the Examining Committee may be present during the preliminary and post-examination sessions.

Information for Examiners External to Queen’s