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, program coordinator/chair or the Graduate Studies Coordinator for additional information. 

Before Defence: 

1.    Prior to the student submission, the Supervisor will begin the process of establishing an Examination Committee by providing the names of External Examiners to the Graduate 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:

1.    The Chair of the Examination Committee will deliver a brief introduction and will clarify the procedures and/or agenda of the examination process.

2.    Depending on the guidelines of the program, the Student will make a presentation on the MRP/T​hesis/Dissertation, about 20 to 40 minutes in duration.

3.    The Examination Committee will ask questions.  The order of the questions will vary between programs.  The questions will normally occur in rounds, with each examiner asking one question per round. The question period will normally last 1 to 2 hours.

4.    Questions from the public (if applicable) are held until after the questions from the Examination Committee have been answered.

5.    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.

6.    After deliberations the Examination Committee Chair will inform the student of the outcome.

Post Defence:

1.    Examination Committee is responsible to fill and sign Examination Committee Report.

Possible Outcomes of defence:

  • Unconditional Pass: All members can sign Signature Page
  • Conditional Pass with minor revisions: All members LESS the supervisor have option to sign the Signature Page
  • Conditional Pass with major revisions: All members LESS the supervisor have option to sign the Signature Page
  • Fail - Signature Page not needed
  • Adjourned

2.   Should revisions need to be made, the supervisor is responsible for ensuring the student makes all required changes by the date determined by the 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 Signature Page and forward along with the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation to the Defence Chair. The Defence Chair will then sign the Certificate of Examination ​and send all documentation to SGS.

3.    SGS will send the signed 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.

4.   Student submits final copy of the MRP/Thesis/Dissertation and all required documentation via two USB keys to SGS.

5.   SGS reviews all required documentation and submits a grade for approval.

6.    SGS sends one of the USB keys with all documentation to library. SGS retains one of the USB keys for record keeping purposes. 

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 USB key submission process.