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Master's thesis

Handbook and guidelines

Templates and formatting

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) requires discipline-specific standards with respect to thesis format (including electronic format), organization, manuscript (co)authorship and any other requirements.

For more information on these specific requirements and to ensure standards are met, refer to the Thesis Checklist and Formatting Guidelines (PDF). A thesis template (.docx format) has also been created for your ease of use and/or reference.

Students are responsible for informing themselves of any special formats or standards required by their program or discipline.

If you need assistance, there are many resources available to assist you with your writing.

Timelines and deadlines

There are master’s thesis deadlines each term in order to guide students through each step of the master’s examination process. The objective is to help students meet requirements for specific program end dates or for graduation ceremonies.

If you are a master’s student or research supervisor looking to plan a final examination within the next year, please use the following material for guidance.  First, review the Master’s Thesis Handbook, which describes each step in the examination process, and then prepare a plan of action using our example timeline and checklist.

Students who defend their thesis and submit the final thesis package to SGPS prior to the end of an academic term may be eligible for a partial tuition refund

Faculty forms

*Form also found under student forms; can be initiated by faculty member or student.

Student forms

  • Form 1 - Establishment of Supervisory Committee*: Form is completed by the graduate program director (GPD) in consultation with the student and the research supervisors(s), normally to be completed by the end of the student’s second semester.
  • Research Progress Reports*: The student completes the research progress form with the supervisor and/or supervisory committee member(s). Student research progress is evaluated at the end of each semester for every student in a program with a thesis, project or major paper, starting when the student is engaged with research.  
  • Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA)*: Agreement may be used in order to protect certain confidential information related to the student’s research.
  • Checklist for Final Thesis Package (revised July 2019): Completed checklist submitted with final thesis package to School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS). SGPS checks contents of package against checklist for any missing components or obvious formatting errors.
  • Submission of Master's or PhD Thesis: Students must complete this form and submit to SGPS with the final, post-defence thesis package.
  • Theses Non-Exclusive License: A license to allow the thesis to be reproduced by the National Library of Canada must be submitted with the final thesis package.
  • ProQuest Publishing Agreement: Library and Archives Canada submits an electronic thesis for processing to ProQuest, to become available online on AMICUS. ProQuest requires a separate license form. It is a free publishing service and has potential royalties.
  • Request for Approval to Withhold a Thesis from Publication*: The supervisor(s) and student must complete this form and obtain necessary signatures if they would like to request a delay in publication of the thesis (embargo) on the library website.
  • Early Completion Tuition Refund Form: Students who defend and submit the final thesis package to SGPS prior to the end of an academic term may apply for partial tuition refund.
  • Thesis Binding: Students who would like the thesis bound can submit a form to SGPS. More information is available on the Library website or an email can be sent to for thesis drop-off and pick-up dates.

*Form also found under faculty forms; can be initiated by student or faculty member.