8. Master's degree regulations

Master's Degree by Thesis
A candidate for the Master's degree, unless proceeding to the degree by a report, research essay, or course program (see following sections) will present a thesis. The subject of the thesis must be approved by the appropriate GAU within the stipulated time limits stipulated by the SGS and the GAU.

The Master's thesis must demonstrate the candidate's competence to undertake independent research work; it must make a contribution to knowledge in the candidate's field of study; it must show that the candidate is fully aware of the pertinent published material; and it must be written in a satisfactory literary style. It should be free of typographical and other mechanical errors.

The thesis will, in the first instance, be examined by the GAU and, if approved, will then be submitted to an Examining Board appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies (DoGS) of the GAU concerned or their designate. Where a thesis is emanating from a degree in the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDST) GAU of the SGS, the Examining Board will be appointed by the Assistant Dean/DoGS for the IDST program in the SGS.

The Examining Board will be constituted as follows:
(a)    The Examining Board will consist of at least three persons, including the Supervisor, not more than two of whom have been formally involved in the supervision of the candidate;
(b)    At least one non-supervising member of the Board must be from a GAU other than that in which the candidate has studied. (In the case of a Master's report this requirement, although not mandatory, is desirable.); and
(c)    The Chair of an Examining Board will be a member of the candidate's GAU and will not have been formally involved in the supervision of the candidate.

The Examining Board may also include an external reader. Should the Examining Board approve the thesis, it will then examine the candidate orally. The oral examination will be chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies in the student's GAU, who will not vote. The oral examination is open to the public and members of the university. At the discretion of the chair of the oral defence, members of the public and the university will be permitted to question the candidate but will have no vote. The Director of Graduate Studies of the specific GAU will report the decision of the Examining Board to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Note: the student must be physically present at the oral defence. Only in exceptional circumstances (e.g., extreme illness supported by medical documentation, prohibition on travel due to visa problems) will consideration be given to a request to defend remotely, all efforts will be made to reschedule the defence to facilitate the student’s physical presence at the defence, and the decision rests with the Dean of the SGS.
The thesis must conform in all respects to the Thesis Formatting Guide approved by the School of Graduate Studies. The dates for presentation of Master's theses to the GAU, posted on the website and available from the School of Graduate Studies, should be noted. However, theses may be submitted at any time of the year.

Master's Degree by Report or Research Essay

A candidate for the Master's degree by report must prepare a report as part of the program and this report must be approved by an Examining Board established by the Director of Graduate Studies of the GAU concerned or designate. The Examining Board and the process for evaluation and defense of the report are the same in all other respects as those for a Masters Degree by Thesis (see section Master’s Degree by Thesis).

A candidate for the Master’s degree by major research essay must conform in all respects to the regulations governing the supervision, preparation, and presentation of the major research essay as approved by the candidate’s GAU and the SGS.