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SECTION 5: Doctor of Philosophy General Regulations SECTION 5: Doctor of Philosophy General Regulations

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is granted only upon evidence of general proficiency and of distinctive attainment in a special field. In particular, the candidate must demonstrate an ability for independent investigation, original research or creative scholarship. This is expected to be presented in a thesis with a degree of literary skill and by an oral examination wherein the candidate exhibits mastery of their field. The Ph.D. is a research degree and is not conferred by The University of Manitoba solely as a result of coursework study.

Although general regulations apply to all students, individual department/units may have additional regulations that supplement these general regulations. All such supplementary regulations must be approved (as specified by the By-Laws of the Faculty of Graduate Studies), be published and available to students (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admin/supplemental_regulations.html), and be kept on record in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. All students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific details regarding admission, program requirements, progression, and completion.

5.1 Admission

5.1.1  General criteria

Normally, the completion of a Master’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or equivalent in the last two (2) previous years of full time university study (60 credit hours) is the minimum requirement for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Note: This is the minimum requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and department/units may have higher standards and additional criteria. However, the criteria for admissions into the Ph.D. program are more stringent than for Master's programs; therefore, the completion of a Master’s program does not guarantee admission into the Ph.D. program. Some department/units require completion of a thesis-based Master’s program prior to admission to a Ph.D. program.

5.1.2 Direct Admission from the Bachelor’s Honours or equivalent

With special recommendation of the department/unit concerned, applicants with an honours Bachelor’s degree or equivalent may be considered for entry to Ph.D. study. These students must be outstanding in their academic background (GPA well above 3.0 in the last two full years of undergraduate study).

Note: This is the minimum requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and department/units may have higher standards and additional criteria. Once admitted, these students must complete at least 24 credit hours of coursework, unless the individual department/unit’s approved supplementary regulations specify otherwise, and will be assessed Ph.D. fees for three (3) years. A minimum of 18 credit hours at the 7000-level or higher is required. Any further coursework beyond the minimum 18 credit hours at the 7000-level must be at the 3000-level or above. A maximum of 48 credit hours of coursework is allowed toward the Ph.D. program.

5.1.3 Transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D. program

Students who have not completed a Master’s program may transfer to the Ph.D. program within the same department/unit upon the recommendation by the Head of the department/unit to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The recommendation should be made within four (4) terms (including Summer term) from the start of the Master’s program. Fees paid, coursework completed and time spent in the Master’s program will normally be credited towards the Ph.D. program. Students must complete at least 24 credit hours of coursework, unless the individual department/unit’s approved supplementary regulations specify otherwise. A minimum of 18 credit hours at the 7000-level or higher is required. Any further coursework beyond the minimum 18 credit hours at the 7000-level must be at the 3000-level or above. A maximum of 48 credit hours of coursework is allowed toward the Ph.D. program.

The request to transfer from a Master’s to the Ph.D. program must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least one (1) month prior to the term for which the student intends to commence the Ph.D. program. The applicant must indicate a request for transfer on the online Application for Admission.

The student will be admitted to a 3-year Ph.D. program and will pay a total of three years of program fees, including program fees paid in the Master’s at the time of transfer. Students are cautioned that such transfers may impact on the duration of The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.

Students who have previously completed a recognized Master’s degree and are initially admitted and registered in a Master’s program may transfer to the Ph.D. program within the same department/unit on the recommendation of the student’s advisor/co-advisor and Head of the department/unit. Where a student holds a Master’s degree that would be sufficient for admission to the Ph.D. program, students must complete at least 12 credit hours of coursework, unless the individual department/unit’s approved supplementary regulations specify otherwise. The student will be admitted to a 2-year Ph.D. program and will pay a total of two years of program fees, including program fees paid in the Master’s at the time of transfer.

5.1.4 Provisional Admission to the Ph.D.

Students nearing the completion of the Master’s degree may be accepted provisionally to the Ph.D. program for a 12 month period (commencing with the first registration in the Ph.D. program). Further registration in the Ph.D. program is contingent upon completion of all requirements of the Master’s degree within the 12 months. Students must maintain continuous registration in their Master’s program until its completion. Students will require assistance from the department/unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies to complete dual registration on the “Concurrent Curriculum Permission” form (http://intranet.umanitoba.ca/student/records/2323.html) in the Master’s and Ph.D. program simultaneously.

5.1.5 Students with Disabilities

See Accommodation Policy for Students with Disabilities:

http://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/students/281.html

5.2 Student's Advisor, Co-advisor and Advisory Committee

5.2.1 Student's Advisor

Every Ph.D. student must have an advisor throughout their program, appointed by the Head of the department/unit. The advisor is responsible for supervising the student’s graduate program. The advisor is the student’s first point of contact at the University of Manitoba, and therefore should be familiar with the general policies and regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies as well as the specific supplementary regulations of their academic department/unit. In this capacity, the advisor assists the student in planning the graduate program, and ensures that the student is aware of all graduate program requirements, degree regulations, and general regulations of the academic department/unit, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the university, and external funding agencies. The advisor provides counsel for all aspects of the graduate program, and stays informed of the student's scholarly activities and progress. The student’s advisor also acts as a channel of communication to the student’s advisory committee, the department/unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The advisor must:

  • hold an appointment in the student's department/unit.
  • be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies*;
  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent**;
  • be active in research; and
  • have expertise in a discipline related to the student’s program.

*(http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/governance/academic_membership.html)

**Equivalency will be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and determined on a case by case basis and assessed by the potential advisor’s demonstrated research record and current research activities. Note that M.D., D.M.D., Pharm.D. and J.D. are undergraduate degrees and are not equivalent to a Ph.D.

Usually the student and the advisor choose to work together by mutual agreement. In department/units where the choice of thesis topic advisor is postponed for some time after entry into the program, the Head of the department/unit or the selection committee shall appoint a faculty member to advise the student as to the rules and regulations and on a program and course requirements. This interim period must not exceed eighteen (18) months after entry into the program before a permanent advisor is chosen.

5.2.2 Student's Co-advisor

In special circumstances, upon approval of the Head of the department/unit, an advisor and a maximum of one (1) co-advisor may advise a student. The co-advisor must:

  • be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies*;
  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent**;
  • be active in research; and
  • have expertise in a discipline related to the student’s program.

*(http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/governance/academic_membership.html)

**Equivalency will be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and determined on a case by case basis and assessed by the potential co-advisor’s demonstrated research record and current research activities. Note that M.D., D.M.D. and J.D. are undergraduate degrees and are not equivalent to a Ph.D.

The co-advisor may be identified either at the beginning of, or midway through a student’s program. In all instances, the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be informed of, and approve, the co-advisor arrangement. If a co-advisor is added midway through the student’s program, a new Advisor Student Guidelines must be completed. When an advisor and co-advisor are assigned, together they shall fulfill the role of the advisor (that is, neither shall fulfill any other advisory or examining committee membership requirements for that student). One (1) advisor must be identified as the primary advisor; however, both the advisor and co-advisor’s signatures are required on all documents where the advisor’s signature is required.

5.2.3 Student's Advisor/Co-advisor

A student who also holds an appointment at the University of Manitoba at the rank of Assistant Professor or above cannot have an advisor or co-advisor with an appointment in the same department/unit.

The advisor, co-advisor (if applicable) and student must discuss, and complete, the Faculty of Graduate Studies Advisor Student Guidelines prior to the commencement of any research and no later than the submission of the first Progress Report for the student. If a student does not have an advisor/co-advisor, the interim advisor will be required to complete the Advisor Student Guidelines. If the parties cannot agree on any component(s) of the Advisor Student Guidelines, the matter should be referred to the department/unit Graduate Chair, the Head of the department/unit, or the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Advisor Student Guidelines is to be completed again if there is a change in advisor/co-advisor or when a co-advisor is added midway through the student’s program.

Should, during the student’s program, the relationship between the student and advisor/co-advisor significantly deteriorate, the matter should be referred sequentially to the department/unit Graduate Chair, the Head of the department/unit, then to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It is the responsibility of the department/unit offering the program in which the student is studying to arrange an alternate advisor/co-advisor if this is appropriate and necessary.

All students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for specific details regarding advisor/co-advisor requirements.

5.2.4 Advisory Committee

The Head of the department/unit is responsible for the establishment of an advisory committee for each Ph.D. student. Advisory committees are selected by the advisor/co-advisor in consultation with the student and should consist of individuals whose expertise is consistent with that necessary to provide additional advice and guidance to the student during their program. The advisory committee must consist of a minimum of three (3) members, all of whom must be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/governance/academic_membership.html). Advisory committees may, in addition, include one (1) non-voting guest member who has expertise in a related discipline but is not a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

It is expected that advisory committee members will have a Ph.D. degree or equivalent. Equivalency will be determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Graduate students, Post-Doctoral Fellows, and Research Assistants or Associates may not serve on graduate student advisory committees. A student who also holds an appointment at the University of Manitoba at the rank of Assistant Professor or above cannot have an advisor or co-advisor with an appointment in the same department/unit. The composition of, and any changes to, the advisory committee, including the advisor/co-advisor, must be approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Program of Study and Appointment of Advisory Committee” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html).

If two or more advisory committee members are in a personal relationship, the “Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form” (https://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/community/962.html) must be completed and submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. See The University of Manitoba’s Conflict of Interest policy: https://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/community/248.html.

The advisor/co-advisor is the Chair of the advisory committee.

Advisory committee meetings must be held at least annually, and are not intended to take the place of meetings between the student and advisor/co-advisor which should occur with much greater frequency than the advisory committee meetings.

5.3 Program of Study

As soon as possible, but no later than 24 months after a student has commenced their program, the student’s program of study should be registered with the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Program of Study and Appointment of Advisory Committee” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html) and should include:

  • information about the minimum or expected time for completion of the degree;
  • coursework to be taken along with course classification (“S”, “X”, “A” or “O”);
  • any foreign language requirement;
  • the research area in which the thesis will be written.

The approval of the student’s advisor/co-advisor and the Head of the department/unit are sufficient for registration. The program of study, including withdrawal from individual courses and any subsequent changes, must be approved by the student’s advisor/co-advisor, the advisory committee, and the Head of the department/unit. Withdrawal from courses or changes of course category without such approval may result in the student being required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.4 Program Requirements

All students must complete one of the following programs of study for the Ph.D. degree, unless otherwise specified in the approved department/unit supplementary regulations:

  • Where admission to the Ph.D. is directly from a Master’s degree, a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 7000- level or higher plus a thesis is required. Any further coursework beyond the minimum 12 credit hours at the 7000-level must be at the 3000-level or above. A maximum of 24 credit hours of coursework is allowed toward the Ph.D. program.*
  • • Where admission to the Ph.D. is directly from an Honours Bachelor degree or equivalent, a minimum of 24 credit hours plus a thesis is required. The coursework must include a minimum of 18 credit hours at the 7000-level or higher with the balance of the coursework at the 3000-level or higher. A maximum of 48 credit hours of coursework is allowed toward the Ph.D. program.*

*Unless professional accreditation requirements and/or the department/unit's supplementary regulations indicate otherwise.

5.4.1 Language Requirements

Some department/units specify a language requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Students are advised to check department/unit supplementary regulations regarding this requirement.

5.4.2 Advance Credit

Advance credit for courses completed prior to admission to a Ph.D. program will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The student’s department/unit makes the request to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by completing the “Advance Credit -Transfer of Courses” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html).

  • Application for advance credit must be made within the first year of the program (see section 5.4.4 Lapse of Credit of Courses)
  • No more than 50% of the required coursework for the program can be achieved using advance credit.
  • A course may not be used for credit toward more than one degree, diploma or certificate.
  • The student must register at the University of Manitoba for at least two consecutive terms and must also complete the thesis and candidacy examination at The University of Manitoba. Regardless of the extent of advanced credit received, all students are required to pay applicable program fees.

5.4.3 Transfer Credit

Courses within a program of study may be taken elsewhere and transferred for credit at the University of Manitoba. All such courses:

  • must be approved for transfer to the program of study by the department/unit and the Faculty of Graduate Studies before the student may register for them;
  • are considered on an individual basis;
  • cannot be used for credit towards another degree;
  • may not exceed 50% of the minimum credit hours of coursework required of the student’s graduate program at The University of Manitoba.

Permission is granted in the form of a Letter of Permission which may be obtained by making an application to the Registrar’s Office; (http://umanitoba.ca/student/records/leave_return/710.html) an original transcript, and course equivalency must be provided.

5.4.4 Lapse of Credit of Courses

Courses completed more than seven (7) years prior to the date of awarding of a degree may not normally be used for credit toward that degree.

A Department or Unit may request an exception to this limit on behalf of the student. Such requests, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, must be accompanied by supporting information including a detailed summary of the content of the course as taken initially and as offered most recently, and a detailed rationale explaining how the student has maintained knowledge of the course content.

Courses completed more than ten (10) years prior to the date of awarding of a degree cannot be used for credit toward that degree.

In the event that coursework is no longer considered current, students must take additional course-work (as recommended by the department/unit Head, or designate, and as approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies) to meet the minimum credit hour requirements for their program.

5.5 Time Limits

5.5.1 Minimum Time Limit

The minimum time requirement for the program of study for a Ph.D. degree will normally be two (2) years of study beyond the level of the Master’s degree, or three (3) years beyond the level of a Bachelor’s degree.

5.5.2 Maximum Time Limit

A student’s candidature shall lapse if they fail to complete the degree within six (6) years following initial registration in the Ph.D. program. For those students who transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D., years spent in the Master’s program are counted as years in the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. students who are declared as part-time will receive an additional four (4) months in time to complete their program for every two (2) years (24 months) they are declared as part time (see section 1.4.1) to a maximum of seven (7) years. Requests for extensions of time to complete the degree will be considered on an individual basis and must be submitted using the "Time Extension Request" form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html) to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least three (3), but no more than four (4), months prior to expiration of the respective maximum time limit.

A student who has not completed the degree requirements within the time limit or within the time limit of any extension that has been granted (see also sections “Extension of Time to Complete Program of Study” and “Leave of Absence”) will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

5.6 Academic Performance

Student progress shall be reported at least annually (but no more than once every four (4) months) to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html).

Students who fail to maintain satisfactory performance may be required to withdraw on the recommendation of the Graduate Chair and/or department/unit Head to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form. Students who receive two (2) consecutive “in need of improvement” or one (1) “unsatisfactory” rating will normally be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

5.6.1 Performance in Coursework

A minimum degree grade point average (DGPA) of 3.0 with no grade below C+ must be maintained to continue in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Departments/Units may specify, in their supplementary regulations, standards that are higher than those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students who fail to maintain the specified grades will be required to withdraw unless a department/unit recommends remedial action. Any such action must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.6.2 Performance Not Related to Coursework

Students may be required to withdraw from their Ph.D. program for reasons of unsatisfactory performance other than those related to failing grades. These include, but are not restricted to, unsatisfactory attendance and lack of progress in research and/or thesis preparation. Unsatisfactory performance must be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the “Progress Report” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html). Students who fail to maintain satisfactory performance may be required to withdraw on the recommendation of the department/unit Head to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.7 Academic Requirement for Graduation

All students must:

  • maintain a minimum degree grade point average (DGPA) of 3.0 with no grade below C+;
  • complete GRAD 7500
  • complete GRAD 7300
  • meet the minimum and not exceed the maximum course requirements; and
  • meet the minimum and not exceed the maximum time requirements.

Individual department/units may have additional specific requirements for graduation and students should consult department/unit supplementary regulations for these specific requirements.A cumulative degree grade point average of 3.0 or greater is required in those courses that constitute the program of study for graduation in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.8 Candidacy Examination

The candidacy examination is an absolute requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and, as such, cannot be waived under any circumstances. However, the format and content of the candidacy exam varies from unit to unit. The purpose of the candidacy exam in doctoral programs is to determine the student's competence in the discipline with respect to understanding and absorbing a broad spectrum of material, and then researching, identifying, analysing, synthesizing, and communicating ideas about that material in depth.

At the time specified by the advisory committee, normally within the first year after the completion of the Ph.D. program coursework, but in no case later than one year prior to expected graduation, the student must successfully complete the formal candidacy examination. 

The examination is conducted according to a procedure established by the department/unit which is approved and documented in departmental/unit supplementary regulations. The department/unit supplementary regulations state the format and composition of the examination committee for the candidacy examination. The candidacy examination must be held at either The University of Manitoba Fort Garry or Bannatyne campus, or the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre normally during regular business hours.

This examination, which must be independent from the thesis proposal, may be oral, written, or both and may cover subjects relevant to the general area of the student's research. The structure of the exam must be made known to the student well in advance of the exam. In the case where there is a required oral component, the student must be physically present.

A "pass" decision of the examiners must be unanimous. Students must be provided with feedback on their performance and access to the reasons for the pass/fail.

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be informed whether the candidate has "passed" or "failed" the candidacy examination on the “Report on Ph.D. Candidacy Examination” form (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/forms/index.html).

Any student who fails the candidacy examination twice will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

On successful completion of this examination, the student will be considered a candidate for the Ph.D. degree.

5.9 Thesis Proposal

Some departments/units have specific procedures in place for approval of thesis proposals and students are advised to refer to the specific department/unit supplementary regulations. If departments/units require thesis proposal approval, this exercise must be independent from the candidacy examination.  Regardless, the proposed thesis research must be approved by the advisory committee and, if necessary, by the Human Research Ethics Board or Animal Care Committee before the work has begun on the thesis research or project.

5.10 Thesis

An essential feature of Ph.D. study is the candidate’s demonstration of competence to complete a research project and present the findings. The thesis must constitute a distinct contribution to knowledge in the major field of study, and the research must be of sufficient merit to be, in the judgement of the examiners, acceptable for publication. The thesis must be written in English unless approved by the department/unit and Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The thesis must be written according to a standard style acknowledged within the candidate’s particular field of study and recommended by the department/unit, be lucid and well-written, and be reasonably free from errors of style and grammar (including typographical errors).

The final version of the thesis must be submitted by the candidate to the Faculty of Graduate Studies following the guidelines found at: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/thesis/guidelines.html

5.11 Thesis Examination Procedures

The final examination for the Ph.D. degree proceeds in two (2) stages:

  1. Examination of the candidate’s thesis by the examining committee;
  2. Oral examination of the candidate by all examiners on the subject of the thesis and any matters relating thereto.

5.11.1 Formation of the Examining Committee - University of Manitoba (Internal) Examiners

The candidate’s advisor/co-advisor is considered to be a single voting member of the examining committee. All voting members of the advisory committee are expected to serve on the examining committee; any exceptions must be approved in advance by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. All examiners must be members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/governance/academic_membership.html). It is expected that examining committee members will have a Ph.D. degree or equivalent. Equivalency will be determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Note that in the case of an advisor and co-advisor, both together have a single vote on the examining committee.

If two or more examining committee members are in a personal relationship, the “Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form” (https://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/community/962.html) must be completed and submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  See The University of Manitoba’s Conflict of Interest policy:  https://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/community/248.html.

5.11.2 Formation of the Examining Committee - External Examiner

The candidate’s advisor/co-advisor, in consultation with the advisory committee, will recommend the names of at least three (3) distinguished scholars from outside The University of Manitoba with particular experience in the field of the thesis research and significant Ph.D. student supervisory/examination experience to serve as the external examiner to the Dean (or designate) of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for approval via the Ph.D. Thesis Submission Portal on JUMP.  The recommendations must include a brief CV of each of the prospective external examiners and a short statement detailing the rationale behind the recommendations, the prospective external examiners’ qualifications, including a current list of their scholarly publications and research activities and, importantly, their experience with graduate student supervision/examination. Advisors and/or units may make contact with prospective external examiners to obtain this information and determine if they are available to review the thesis. If any of the recommended examiners do not meet the criteria specified below, a detailed explanation should be included with the rationale for the recommendation.

The external examiner must:

  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent (if outside of North America);
  • hold the rank of Associate Professor, Full Professor, Senior Scholar or Emeritus Professor (or the equivalent if outside North America) at a university, or have comparable expertise and standing if not a faculty member at a university;
  • have an established reputation in the area of the thesis research and be able to judge whether the thesis would be acceptable at an institution comparable to The University of Manitoba; and
  • have a demonstrated record of supervising a significant number of Ph.D. students to completion, and significant recent experience with the supervision/examination of Ph.D. students.

 The external examiner must not:

  • have acted as an external examiner for a student of the same Ph.D. advisor and/or co-advisor within the previous two (2) years;
  • have been associated with the candidate at any time or in any significant way in the past five (5) years, present or reasonably foreseeable future (as advisor/co-advisor, colleague, teacher, co-author of published material, family member etc.); or
  • be associated with the candidate’s advisor/co-advisor in any of the following ways:
    • former student within the last ten (10) years;
    • research advisor/co-advisor within the last ten (10) years;
    • research collaborator within the last five (5) years;
    • co-author of published material within the last five (5) years.

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate will choose the external examiner from the list provided by the candidate’s advisor/co-advisor and will make the formal invitation to the external examiner. The Dean (or designate) of the Faculty of Graduate Studies shall ensure the anonymity of the external examiner until their report has been submitted.

5.11.3 Changes in the Examining Committee

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies must approve changes in the membership of the examining committee. No changes shall be made in the examining committee after the thesis is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5.11.4 Distribution of the Thesis for Examination

Ph.D. candidates must submit their thesis for distribution electronically through JUMP. Consult this link for pertinent instructions: https://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/thesis/index.html.  It is the responsibility of the Faculty of Graduate Studies to distribute the electronic version of the thesis to all examiners. The Faculty of Graduate Studies shall attempt to ensure that the thesis is distributed to examiners as soon as possible after the submission of all required documentation. The Faculty of Graduate Studies website (umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/deadlines/index.html) should be consulted regarding recommended dates by which theses must be submitted.

Once the thesis has been submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, neither the candidate nor the advisor/co-advisor shall have any communication with the examining committee regarding the thesis.  However, should the need arise, the examiners may contact the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies to discuss any issues related to the thesis.

5.11.5 Responsibilities of the Examiners

In general, the examiners are responsible for:

  • ensuring that the thesis and the candidate meet recognized scholarly standards for a Ph.D.;
  • appraising the underlying assumptions, methodology, findings, and scholarly significance of the findings of the thesis;
  • ensuring that the thesis is organized, presents data and uses accepted conventions for addressing the scholarly literature in an acceptable manner;
  • evaluating that the candidate has the ability to present their findings orally and demonstrate their scholarship by responding to questions and defending the thesis.

Notes:

  1. Any potential breach of academic integrity should be reported to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for investigation by the Vice President (Research and International).
  2. Submission of previously published, peer-reviewed material in the thesis does not preclude its critical examination, either as a written document being reviewed by examiners or at the thesis defence.

5.11.6 Process

Examination of the Written Thesis

Support of the candidate's advisor/co-advisors, advisory committee, and department/unit is required before the thesis is eligible for examination. Such support must be provided to the Faculty of Graduate Studies through submission by the department/unit Head of a completed "Approval to Proceed to Examination" form (https://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/media/approval_to_proceed.pdf).  By completing the “Approval to Proceed to Examination” form:

  • each member of the advisory committee verifies that they have read the complete version of the thesis and have provided the candidate with a detailed review and comments including any necessary revisions;
  • the student verifies that they have received feedback from all members of the advisory committee and have taken the feedback into account in preparing the thesis and are ready and willing to have their thesis examined; and 
  • the department/unit verifies that the student’s thesis has been reviewed by all members of the advisory committee and that the department/unit fully supports the thesis proceeding for examination.

The thesis will be eligible for examination if no more than one (1) member of the advisory committee is not in support, the department/unit is in support, and an external examiner has been secured by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies will request the examiners to give, within four (4) weeks of the distribution of the thesis, a detailed written report of the thesis.

The examiners will be asked to place the thesis into one of the following categories:

  1. The thesis represents a distinct contribution to the candidate’s field of research and is acceptable as it stands. Minor revisions to content, structure, or writing style may be required. The thesis may proceed to oral examination.
  2. The thesis has merit and makes a contribution to the candidate’s field; however, there are research-related concerns that have the potential to be addressed in the oral defence. The structure and writing style are acceptable or require only minor revisions. The thesis may proceed to oral examination.
  3. The thesis has some merit, but is not acceptable in its current state and requires major revisions to one or more of its core components, such as research content, structure or writing style. The thesis should not proceed to oral examination.
  4. The thesis is unacceptable with respect to its core components, such as research content, structure, and writing style. The thesis should not proceed to oral examination.

The candidate’s advisor (and, if appropriate, co-advisor) may also wish to submit a report.

If none or one (dissenting voice) of the internal examiners fails the thesis (i.e. places it in categories 3 or 4 above), then the thesis may still proceed to oral defence if a passing grade is received from the external examiner. If two or more members of the Internal examining committee fail the thesis (i.e. places the thesis in categories 3 or 4 above), then the thesis fails.

If the external examiner passes the thesis (i.e., places the thesis in category 1 or 2 above), then the student can proceed to oral examination so long as not more than 1 of the internal examiners fails the thesis (i.e., places the thesis in category 3 or 4 above). If the external examiner fails the thesis (i.e., places the thesis in category 3 or 4 above), then the candidate fails the examination.

The awarding of a passing grade by an internal or external examiner does not preclude them from assigning a failing grade at a subsequent stage in the examination process.

In the event of a first failure, the candidate may, on support of their home department/unit, be allowed to have the thesis evaluated a second time, by the same examining committee. In this case, the department/unit Head shall convene a meeting of the internal examiners of the examining committee and the student’s advisor/co-advisor to decide how to bring the thesis to an acceptable scholarly standard. In normal circumstances, this will involve additional scholarly work that the department/unit Head will describe, in writing, to the advisor/co-advisor, the candidate, and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Support of the candidate's advisor/co-advisors, examining committee, and department/unit is required before the thesis is eligible for re-examination. Such support must be provided to the Faculty of Graduate Studies through submission by the department/unit Head of a new completed "Approval to Proceed to Examination" form, accompanied by a detailed summary of the changes made to improve the thesis. The thesis will be eligible for second distribution only once this is received by Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Two failures at any combination of written review and/or oral examination stage will normally result in the candidate being withdrawn from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

Reports

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies shall provide electronic copies of all reports to each of the advisor/co-advisor, examiners, and Head of the department/unit. In the event of a failure, hard copies will be sent to each of the advisor/co-advisor, examiners, and Head of the department/unit instead of an electronic copy.

5.12 Oral Examination

5.12.1 Scheduling

Departments/Units cannot proceed with scheduling the oral examination prior to receiving the approved internal and external examiners report from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The oral examination must be held at either The University of Manitoba Fort Garry or Bannatyne campus or the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre normally during regular business hours. It is the responsibility of the department/unit to ensure that all room booking arrangements are made and appropriate facilities meet minimum standards expected for a Ph.D. defence. In addition, the candidate must submit, in electronic format biographical information and an abstract of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least two (2) weeks in advance of the date of the oral examination.

5.12.2 Attendance

The Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate shall act as Chair of the examination committee.

The attendance of the external examiner in person at the candidate’s oral examination is encouraged. If the external examiner will not be present in person, then their participation electronically is expected. If the external examiner cannot participate electronically, they will be asked to provide questions in advance. These questions will be read to the candidate at the defence by the advisor.

All internal members of the examining committee are required to be present at the defence, unless exceptional circumstances prevent this. Under such circumstances, and with the prior approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, one (1) internal member may participate electronically. Consequently, no more than one (1) internal member and the external examiner may participate electronically.

The candidate and advisor/co-advisor must be present in person for the examination.

Normally, the oral examination shall be open to all members of The University of Manitoba community and the general public. In exceptional cases the final oral examination may be closed; for example, when the results of the thesis research must be kept confidential for a period of time. In such cases, the examination committee and Head of the department/unit shall request prior approval in writing from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If approved, the final oral examination shall be closed to all but the examining committee and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or designate.

Regardless of open or closed status, no recording devices will be permitted.

5.12.3 Format of the Examination

The first part of the oral examination shall consist of an oral presentation by the candidate. This is followed by examination of the candidate by the examination committee. If time permits, the Chair, at their discretion, may allow questions from a guest member (if applicable) of the examining committee and then members of the audience.

5.12.4 Procedures for the Conduct of the Examination

The Chair should discuss the examination procedures with the examiners prior to the beginning of the formal examination.

The Chair will introduce the candidate and request him/her to give a concise (20 to 25 minute) oral presentation of the thesis to include a summary of the problem addressed, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn from the study.

Following the presentation, the Chair will invite questions from each member of the examining committee, taking care to ensure that each examiner has approximately equal time for questions. The total time for questions by the examining committee must not exceed two (2) hours.

The Chair may exercise their discretion in allowing questions from the audience following completion of the formal examination. Once assuming the role of Chair, they forego the right to comment on the merits of the thesis regardless of whether they are an expert in the field.

5.12.5 Decision of the Committee

Following completion of the formal examination, the candidate, guest member (if applicable) of the examining committee and audience must leave the examination room. The decision of the examining committee will be based both on the content of the thesis and on the candidate's ability to defend it. The performance of the candidate at the oral examination may reveal problems of comprehension or explanation, and the examining committee may require revisions be made to the written thesis to address these problems prior to granting final approval.

The judgement of the examiners shall be reported by the Chair to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the qualitative terms “pass” or “fail” on the “Final Examination of the Ph.D. Thesis” form.

  • Pass: the candidate has satisfactorily presented the thesis rationale, methodology, findings, and conclusions to the general satisfaction of the examining committee. Notwithstanding this, stylistic, grammatical, and content revisions to the thesis may be required. Normally, the advisor/co-advisor is charged with ensuring that any revisions are satisfactorily completed. Under some circumstances, the entire examining committee may wish to ensure any required revisions are completed satisfactorily. Regardless, those examiners in agreement must indicate, by their signatures, concurrence with the passing grade.
  • Fail: the candidate has failed to adequately orally present the thesis rationale, methodology, findings, and/or conclusions, or to satisfactorily respond to questions posed related to the thesis. Failure may also arise because of defects in conception, methodology, or context. Those examiners in agreement must indicate, by their signature, concurrence with the failing grade.

If either the external examiner or two (2) or more internal examiners indicate a failure, then the candidate fails the examination. In this case, the Chair must submit of a copy of the report, including written detailed reasons for the decision, to the candidate, all members of the examining committee, and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

In the case of a first failure of the oral defence, the candidate may, on support of their home department/unit, be allowed to have the thesis evaluated a second time. In this case, the Department/Unit Head shall convene a meeting of the internal members of the examining committee and the student’s advisor/co-advisor to decide how to bring the thesis to an acceptable scholarly standard. In normal circumstances this will involve additional scholarly work which the Department/Unit Head will describe, in writing, to the advisor/co-advisor, the candidate, and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Support of the candidate's advisor/co-advisor, advisory committee, and department/unit is required before the thesis is eligible for re-examination. Eligibility for re-examination must be provided to the Faculty of Graduate Studies through submission by the Department/Unit Head of a new completed "Approval to Proceed to Examination" form, accompanied by a detailed summary of the changes made to improve the thesis, if any. The thesis will be eligible for second distribution to internal and external examiners only once this is received by Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Candidates whose thesis is failed twice at the written review and/or oral examination stage will normally be withdrawn from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the notation on the student record will be “Required to withdraw”.

5.13 Graduation

The candidate will be recommended for the Ph.D. degree upon receipt by the Faculty of Graduate Studies of favourable reports by the thesis examining committee, a corrected copy of the electronic version of the thesis submitted to MSpace, Copyright Declaration License and final approval, and providing all other degree requirements have been satisfied.

Patents –Refer to section 6 “Policy of Withholding Theses Pending Patent Applications” in this Guide.

Restriction of Theses for Publication – In exceptional cases, not covered by the regulation concerning patents, where adequate cause can be shown to delay publication, the student and advisor/co-advisor may request in writing that the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies restrict access for a period up to one (1) year after the submission of the digital version of a thesis to The University of Manitoba. The Dean shall determine for what period, if any, access will be so restricted.

Library and Archives Canada – Library and Archives Canada obtains a copy of the thesis via the University’s MSpace repository.

5.14 Student Withdrawal

A student will be required to withdraw when the Ph.D. thesis has been rejected twice at the stage where:

a)    The internal examining committee reports on the merits of the written thesis;

b)   The external examiner reports on the merits of the written thesis;

c)   The oral examination; or

d)   A combination of any of these stages.