6.4 Thesis Requirements

The University of Alberta Calendar - Thesis Requirements and the Calendar provides a general description of the thesis requirements.

The following provides further details and additional expectations within the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

  • The thesis may be written in either "traditional" or "paper-based" format. The supervisor and supervisory committee will choose between these formats.
  • The student's research is expected to make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in the area of the thesis. Publication of research results is a common standard used to determine if a given body of work is considered significant amongst peers. Therefore, to meet this expectation, the Graduate Studies Committee recommends that the student achieves the following goal before the thesis is submitted to the supervisory committee in preparation for a defense:
    • A Master of Science student has at least one paper submitted for publication
    • A Doctor of Philosophy candidate has at least one paper accepted for publication and at least two additional papers submitted for publication
  • Students are encouraged to look at theses from former students to gain a general understanding of the content and format requirements for a thesis.
  • In addition to the general guidelines provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, the Graduate Studies Committee recommends the following:
    • The font size may be increased for certain headings or titles as appropriate.
    • Funding support for the work contained within the thesis as well as scholarships that enabled the student to complete his or her degree must be named in the Acknowledgement section. Acknowledgement of the supervisor, supervisory committee, and other such support is optional.
    • The thesis body must begin with an introduction, the recommended order for the thesis body is provided below.

Traditional Format

  • Introduction
    • Contains background, rationale or problem, hypotheses, objectives
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Limitations
  • Conclusions
  • Future Directions
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices

Paper-Based Format

  • Introduction
    • Contains background, rationale or problem, hypotheses, objectives
    • Linkage between papers is explained
  • Papers*
    • Minimum number is two for an MSc thesis and three for a PhD thesis
    • Each paper contains its own introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusions, and bibliography (similar to a publication)
    • Tables and Figures may be placed after the chapter bibliography
  • Discussion
    • Bridge together findings from each chapter
  • Future Directions
  • Bibliography of all references cited in the thesis
  • Appendices

*The student must be lead author on all papers used in a paper-based thesis.

  • It is the student's responsibility to ensure that reference software (e.g., Refworks, Endnote, Reference Manager) produces an accurate and error-free bibliography.
  • There is no requirement for a hardcopy of the student's thesis. If an examining committee member requests a hardcopy, it is the student's responsibility to provide one.