MRP/Thesis/Dissertation Defence Process

The MRP/Thesis/Dissertation is a culmination of all of the work and effort that goes into researching and preparing for a graduate degree. Outlined below is a general description of the defence process and may vary depending on program. Please contact your Supervisor, Graduate Program Coordinator/Chair, or the Graduate Studies Coordinator (SGS) for additional information. 

Before Defence: 

  1. Prior to the student submission, the Supervisor will begin the process of establishing an Examination Committee (using the Request to Declare a Supervisory Committee Form) by providing the names of External Examiners to the Graduate Program Coordinator/Chair, using the External Examiner Recommendation Form.
  2. The Supervisor will send the committee-approved MRP/Thesis/Dissertation with the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). SGS will share the document with External Examiner, who has up to 4 weeks to complete a report.
  3. Once SGS receives External Examiner's Report, it is then shared with Supervisor. (Defence date and time can be booked minimum 1 week from receipt of External Examiner's Report)
    N.B.  If the External Examiner has serious concerns, the defence maybe postponed.
  4. Based on the recommendations on the External Examiner's Report, SGS will make arrangements for the date, time and location of the defence.
  5. SGS invites Nipissing University community to defence.

During Defence:

The School of Graduate Studies sets aside up to 3 hours for an oral defence. The duration of each defence varies, based on the following general timeline:

  1. The Chair of the Examination Committee will deliver a brief introduction and will clarify the procedures and/or agenda of the examination process (5 to 10 minutes)
  2. The Student will make a presentation of the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation (20 to 45 minutes, depending on specific program requirements)
  3. The Examination Committee will ask questions in rounds (1 to 2 hours total)
    •  Round One of Questioning: (15 minutes per committee member)
    •  Round Two of Questioning: (10 minutes per committee member)
    •  Round Three of Questioning: (optional - only if needed)
  4. The Chair invites questions from the audience
  5. The Student may give closing remarks, if desired (5 minutes)
  6. After the questioning has been completed the Examination Committee will deliberate in camera to decide on the outcome of the defence and complete the Examination Committee Report.
  7. After deliberations the Chair will inform the student of the outcome.

Post Defence:

Possible Outcomes of defence:

  • Unconditional Pass
  • Conditional Pass with minor revisions
  • Conditional Pass with major revisions
  • Fail - (Signature Page not needed)
  • Adjourned
  1. The Chair of the Examination Committee signs the Certificate of Examination, the Examination Committee Report, and Signature Page and sends the three forms to SGS.
  2. SGS collects the remaining Examination Committee member signatures on the Examination Committee Report and Signature Page. The Supervisor is the last person to sign the forms.
    2b.   Should revisions need to be made, the Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the Student makes all required changes by the date determined by the Examination Committee and shared on the Examination Committee Report. Once final version of the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation has been reviewed and approved by the Supervisor, the Supervisor will then sign the Examination Committee Report and Signature Page and send the forms to SGS.
  3. SGS will send the signed and completed Examination Committee Report, Signature Page, and Certificate of Examination to the student. The student will then insert the Certificate of Examination into the final version of their MRP/Thesis/Dissertation. At this point the student will also receive instructions for the final submission process from SGS.
  4. Student submits final copy of the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation and all required documentation via email to SGS.
  5. SGS reviews all required documentation and submits a grade for approval.
  6. SGS sends all required documentation to the Harris Learning Library for processing.
     N.B. The student remains active in his/her program and pays any corresponding fees until the USB key submission is approved by SGS.  Students should account for additional time after the oral defence for revisions and the final submission process.