The oral examination of the MASc thesis may be scheduled once the student and the supervisor agree that the research, experimental work, and written dissertation are complete.
A committee of professors will examine the MASc thesis and the student’s oral defense of the thesis. The committee must read the thesis and have sufficient knowledge of the content to examine the student and to judge the acceptability of the thesis for the MASc degree.
The supervisor will select professors to serve on the committee according to the following regulations:
- The committee will consist of three professors, including the supervisor. Where there are two supervisors, the committee will consist of four professors, including the two supervisors.
- Each professor must hold an appropriate graduate faculty membership (GFM) at the University of Toronto. To serve on this committee the professor must typically hold a full, associate (unrestricted), or emeritus GFM; an associate member with restricted duties can serve only if their graduate faculty membership specifically includes the privilege to serve as a member of a master’s thesis committee.
- Normally, all professors on the committee will hold a graduate faculty appointment in ECE. However, should the scope of the thesis fall outside ECE, professors from other departments within the University of Toronto may also serve on the committee (as a complement to the committee members from ECE).
- At least one professor on the committee must hold a full graduate faculty membership in ECE.
In addition to the professors selected by the supervisor, the ECE Graduate Office will secure a professor who will serve as chair of the committee. The chair must be external to the student’s research field, but hold a graduate faculty appointment within ECE. The chair will oversee the conduct of the examination and is expected to perform the following duties:
- guarantee that the candidate is given a reasonable opportunity to defend the thesis;
- ensure that it is the candidate alone, and not the supervisor or any other member of the committee, who defends the thesis;
- protect the student from harassment;
- read the thesis and examine the student, though usually at a higher (more general) level than the other committee members, thereby ensuring, together with the other committee members, that the thesis meets the standards of the ECE Department.
The student and the supervisor are welcome to suggest a preferred chair. They are also welcome to secure a chair for the committee, if they wish to do so for themselves. In such a case, the chair should be added to the Master’s Thesis Oral Examination Booking Form.
The student must distribute the thesis to the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination.
The student must submit the MASc Thesis Oral Examination Booking Form to the ECE Graduate Office at least two weeks prior to the examination. If two weeks’ lead time is not provided, the supervisor will be required to secure the committee chair.
The ECE Graduate Office will book a venue, prepare the relevant documents, and distribute the notice of examination to the ECE Department.
All professors on the committee must be present for the examination to proceed.
During the examination, the student will make a twenty-minute presentation concerning their research, which will be followed by questions from the committee. The presentation and question period are open to all graduate students and professors in ECE. After the question period, the committee will vote to determine whether the student has passed the examination. The committee may require that the student make revisions to the thesis after the examination – but before the thesis is ultimately approved and submitted to SGS.
The chair will return the examination report and thesis grade to the ECE Graduate Office immediately after the examination.