A doctoral thesis must make a significant contribution to knowledge in a field of study, embody the results of original investigation and analysis, and be of such quality as to merit publication. The doctoral thesis is usually about 250–300 pages. Students are usually expected to complete their programs within four years. The writing of the thesis must conform to the rules of methodology established by the academic unit. If the thesis consists of a series of published articles, it must conform to university and academic unit guidelines for such theses. It is important that the manuscript be of good quality in order to permit its reproduction.
New Option: Thesis by articles
Students have the option of submitting a traditional thesis or a thesis by articles. The conditions for theses by articles are:
- The plan to write a thesis by articles must be approved by the supervisor and by the Program Coordinator. The request must be submitted in writing no less than six months prior to the final submission of the thesis.
- The articles replace the chapters of a traditional thesis. The thesis by articles must include all of the information normally found in a traditional thesis, namely a unifying sociological problem or question, a detailed presentation of methods, discussion and analysis of findings, a general conclusion that articulates the sociological impact of the whole thesis.
- The articles must have been written for publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. At a minimum, the articles must have been submitted to eligible journals at the moment of submission.
- To be included in the thesis, articles must represent original work, have been written in the course of the student’s doctoral programme, and not have been accepted for publication prior to approval of the research proposal (SOC 9930).
- The thesis must comprise of at least 3 articles.
- Of these, the student must be the sole author of at least two articles, and the first author of each article written collaboratively.
- The articles in the thesis are to be evaluated by the Thesis Committee in the same manner as other parts of the thesis, regardless of their publication status. The Committee may require modification even if the articles have been accepted or already appear in print.
Responsibilities of the Student
Nine Months Prior to Submission:
In collaboration with your thesis supervisor and co-supervisor, find names of examiners for the defence. The external examiner must meet all the selection criteria mentioned on the form.
The external examiner's CV and list of publications must also be provided. If these conditions are not met, the thesis sector at the FGPS will not approve the examiners and will require a new list to be submitted, which will delay the defence. When in disagreement with the examiners nominated, a student must send a letter to the academic unit explaining the reasons.
Upon Submitting the Thesis:
Submit as many unbound copies of your thesis to the academic unit as there are examiners (internal and external). Submit two copies to the Thesis Sector at the FGPS. If you are in a joint program with Carleton University, you must submit three unbound copies to the Thesis Sector at the FGPS. Attach the completed Statement of Thesis Supervisor form to the copies sent to the FGPS.
Responsibilities of the Supervisor
Two Months Prior to Submission:
Contact the faculty to supply the names of the selected internal examiners and external examiner. The Nomination of Thesis Examiners form must be used. At the same time, send the external examiner's CV and list of publications. It is very important for all the examiner selection criteria for to be met and for the external examiner's CV and list of publications to be provided with the form. Otherwise, the list will be returned to the faculty, which will have to find the missing information or provide new names of examiners, which will delay the defence.
At the Moment of Submission:
- Approve the thesis in its final form.
- Complete and sign the Statement of Thesis Supervisor form certifying that you have read the thesis and consider that it merits submission to the examiners.
- Give the student the Statement of Thesis Supervisor form.