21. PhD Regulations

Candidates may be required to pass qualifying or comprehensive examinations. PhD comprehensive examinations (successful or not successful) should be recorded on a doctoral student's academic record and transcript.

Candidates who have not taken undergraduate courses sufficiently related to the major subject of advanced study and equivalent in quality to courses in this University shall be required to undertake such preparatory work as may be prescribed by the GAU concerned. 

The residency requirements for the PhD degree are given on page 6-7. 

Specific grade requirements and supplementary language requirements are set by each GAU offering a doctoral program. Such requirements may be found under the individual GAU listings. 

PhD Dissertation

The candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy shall present, either during the student's course of study or at the completion of it, a dissertation embodying the results of investigations on an approved topic. The work upon which the dissertation is based must have been done by the candidate under the direction of an approved supervisor. 

The dissertation must demonstrate the candidate's competence to undertake independent research work. It must contribute significantly to knowledge in the candidate's field of study and must be of sufficient merit to suggest publication in an appropriate scholarly journal or other form. The dissertation must show that the candidate is fully aware of the pertinent published material, must be written in a satisfactory literary style, and must be free of typographical and other mechanical errors. 

The dissertation proposal must be approved by the GAU concerned within the time limits prescribed by the GAU

The dissertation must be examined by the GAU concerned and, if approved, will then be submitted to an Examining Board appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with the GAU (please consult the document ―Procedures For the Submission and Assessment of Doctoral Dissertation approved by Senate in 2004 and available on the SGS website and in paper form from the SGS). The Examining Board will consist of the candidate's supervisor(s), and three other members from the School of Graduate Studies, at least one of whom must be from the candidate’s GAU and at least one of whom must be from a GAU other than the candidate’s. There will also be an external examiner from outside the University of New Brunswick. The Dean of Graduate Studies will name one member of the Examining Board who is not a member of the candidate’s GAU as Chair. If the Board, upon examining the dissertation, finds it capable of being defended" at the oral defence, the School of Graduate Studies will proceed to schedule an oral examination of the candidate. 

The oral examination will be open to the public and to all 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 Dean of Graduate Studies, the Associate/Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, or a Senior Faculty Member appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies will chair the oral examination.  At the conclusion of the oral defence, the examining board will make its decision about recommending the candidate for a degree based on both the content of the dissertation and on the candidate’s ability to defend it.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained, and either before or after the oral examination, the Examining Board may require the student to make corrections to the thesis/report. The candidate must make such corrections and return the corrected copies of the thesis to the Dean of Graduate Studies in order for the recommendation for a degree to proceed. 

The dissertation must conform in all respects to the regulations governing the presentation of dissertations approved by the School of Graduate Studies, as applicable. Copies of these regulations, Procedures for the Submission and Assessment of Doctoral Dissertations,‖ may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies or may be downloaded from the SGS website. Students should also consult the document ―Regulations and Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Graduate Theses, PhD. Dissertations, and Reports‖ available on the SGS website and in paper form from the SGS.

The recommended dates for the submission of dissertations to the School of Graduate Studies are posted on the SGS website and available from the SGS. Candidates planning to graduate in a specific encaenia/convocation should pay close attention to the posted deadlines. However, those candidates not attempting to meet graduation deadlines may submit dissertations to the SGS at any time of the year. 

NOTE: If a faculty member at UNB wishes to undertake doctoral studies at UNB the following rules apply:

  1. The supervisor(s) shall not be from the same academic unit as the candidate.  This means that in non-departmental Faculties the supervisor(s) must be from another Faculty.  In a Faculty with departments the supervisor(s) may be from a different department within the Faculty.
  2. The Supervisory Committee may contain members from the candidate’s academic unit, but they cannot form a majority.
  3. The Examining Board must not contain any members from the same academic unit as that of the candidate.   

When a GAU is establishing Supervisory Committees and Examining Boards, Adjunct Professors, Honorary Research Associates, and Emeritus Faculty are under the same regulations as other faculty members.

If a student who has a doctoral degree nearly completed accepts a faculty or term position in the academic unit in which s/he is studying, s/he will not be in violation of this regulation. However, s/he may not become a member of the Graduate Academic Unit until the degree is completed.