9. PhD regulations

Students who have not taken undergraduate programs sufficiently related to the major subject of advanced study may be required to undertake preparatory work as prescribed by the GAU concerned. Students in all graduate programs may also be required to pass qualifying or comprehensive examinations, as stipulated by the regulations of the GAU concerned. Additional grade requirements and supplementary language requirements may be stipulated by each GAU and can be found under the individual GAU Program listings.

PhD Dissertation

Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy shall present a dissertation embodying the results of their 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 scholarly format. 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 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 (see “The PhD Thesis Examination Process”).

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. If the Board, upon examining the dissertation, finds it “capable of being defended”, the SGS will schedule an oral examination of the candidate.

An Indigenous elder may be appointed to an Examining Board, as an additional voting member, when their expertise is appropriate to evaluating the content of the dissertation.

The oral examination will be open to the public and to all members of the university. 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 discretion of the Chair, members of the public and the university will be permitted to question the candidate but will have no vote. 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. The Examining Board may require the student to make corrections to the thesis. 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 as detailed in the “Thesis Formatting Guide”. Students should also consult the document “The PhD Thesis Examination Process”.

The SGS maintains and post deadlines for the submission of dissertations each term in order to graduate in the following Encaenia or Convocation. Students hoping to graduate in a specific encaenia/convocation should therefore pay close attention to the posted deadlines. 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 departmentalized Faculty, 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 subject to 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 they are studying, they will not be in violation of this regulation. However, they may not become a member of the Graduate Academic Unit until the degree is completed.