Thesis preparation and graduate program completion

Check for specific convocation deadline dates posted on the FGSR's website:

  • beginning of April (Spring convocation)
  • end of September (Fall convocation)

On the road to the final defense and convocation:

For oral exam information, please check our exam timeline page and exam committee information in the "Procedures of MSc & PhD oral examinations" document

PhD students please print out the Preliminary Acceptance of Thesis (PDF, 12.8k) form, to be signed by one's supervisor(s) and other supervisory committee members. This signed form must be given to the Physics Graduate Program Assistant before sending one's dissertation to one's external examiner/reader.

The FGSR maintains a thesis preparation page. Students are expected to read the information on this site and follow the FGSR's directions for preparing and submitting one's thesis and applying to convocate.

Need help with writing, or with writing your thesis?

  1. Student Success Centre (advertises "Editing Services for Graduate Students and Faculty")
  2. Centre for Writers

By the convocation deadline, a student must:

  1. write, defend, revise one's thesis;
  2. apply to convocate;
  3. pay all outstanding fees and fines, e.g., U of A library fines;
  4. complete and get signatures on all forms required by the FGSR for program completion; submit forms and thesis to the FGSR;
  5. take the Department's copy of the thesis, printed single-sided on thesis bond, to be bound at Burke/McCallum Printing, B-31 Cameron Library. See the Physics Graduate Program Assistant to get an indent to pay for the department's copy of the bound thesis. (Although students now submit their theses electronically to the FGSR, the Physics Department still expects to receive a hard-bound copy of each student's thesis, printed on thesis bond.)


You've successfully defended your thesis and your exam committee has recommended that you "pass" or "pass subject to revisions". Now what?

  1. Well, for starters, submit end-of-program paperwork and the final version of your thesis to the FGSR within 6 months of your successful defense; apply to convocate.
  2. Take the printed copy/copies of your thesis (see 5 above) to Burke/McCallum Printing for binding. If you are leaving Edmonton, arrange for someone to pick them up from McCallum after binding.
  3. Your new employer or graduate program might require a letter from us stating that you've completed all of the requirements for your degree. The FGSR will be happy to run a "program completion" letter for you after you submit all final paperwork and your dissertation to them. Please go in to the FGSR and talk to someone at the front desk.
  4. Within 30 days of a successful defense we expect you to vacate your graduate student office here in Physics. Not because we want to see you go, but because we don't have a lot of offices for graduate students and must soon reassign your desk to someone else.

    Leave your office/desk in "move-in" condition:
  • return all non-personal computers and other equipment to your thesis supervisor;
  • return all books, theses, etc., that you've borrowed;
  • remove ALL personal items (including but not limited to #2 pencils, reprints, yellow stickies, books, bicycle tires, posters, conference nametags, Tim Hortons cups, packets of instant noodles) from your desk, shelves, cabinets, walls, floor, windows, window sills, ceiling, coat rack, etc.;
  • completely clean the workstation for the next graduate student.
  1. Stop by the Physics general office to:
  • collect any mail from your mailslot;
  • turn in your keys (lab, office, cabinet) to the main office at CCIS 4-181; collect your key deposit;
  • leave your forwarding address (also update your address in Bear Tracks);
  • say 'Good-bye' and let us know where you're off to.