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Thesis and projects/papers FAQs and contacts

Student/supervisor relationships

Graduate thesis/project writing

  • Where can I receive guidance on writing my thesis or project/papers?

    You should seek guidance from your research supervisor(s) regarding the appropriate style manual for your thesis and term papers. 

    You may also use Ontario Tech resources and SGPS workshops to assist you in your writing (e.g. Grad Pro Skills workshop to perfect literature reviews).

  • Can I use my own published work in my thesis?

    All reputable publishers will allow you to include your published content in your thesis for free so long as you:

    1. Ask permission, usually by a web-form.
    2. Cite the work properly, including a statement that the item was reproduced with permission of the copyright holder.

    You must also include the copyright permission letters with your thesis package. Some publishers permit authors of a published paper to use the content in their dissertation without having to seek further permission, but it is important that you check with the publisher.

    It is common in many fields to add a statement of prior publication at the beginning of a chapter, particularly if you are doing a “thesis-by-articles” style of thesis.

  • Since the university has a new brand name, how should I refer to the university in my thesis?
    On your thesis document title page, use the name "University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario Tech University)". In your document, use Ontario Tech University as the first reference (if applicable) and Ontario Tech for all subsequent references to the institution. Do not use the acronym OTU or the former acronym UOIT.
  • What style of thesis is acceptable?

    SGPS allows different thesis formats, including traditional style, and the manuscript style or ‘thesis-by-articles”.

    Specifically, a manuscript style thesis should follow a similar format to the current thesis template with an introduction section, middle chapters and a final conclusion/discussion chapter.  In this case, the middle chapters would be for each manuscript, each containing their own sub-sections. For manuscript style, each chapter should contain its own methods, results, discussion, etc.

  • Where can I find information on how to format my thesis/project/paper?
    SGPS requires discipline-specific standards with respect to thesis format (including electronic format), organization, manuscript (co)authorship and any other requirements. This information can be found under the Templates and Formatting section for both Master’s and PhD’s on the SGPS thesis webpage. SGPS has also created a template (.docx format) for a Master’s major paper/project. This can be found under the Templates tab on the Master’s project/major paper page.

Research progress/timelines

  • Will I have to complete a Doctoral Candidacy Examination if I have already started collecting my research?
    Yes. Each student in a doctoral program is required to prepare a written thesis proposal and pass a candidacy exam. Full-time students are normally expected to do so within 18 months of their initial registration in the program. Visit the PhD Candidacy web page for more information.
  • What is the research progress report?

    Student research progress is evaluated at the end of each semester for every student in programs with a thesis, project or major paper, starting when the student is engaged in their research. The progress report is an opportunity for the student and their supervisor(s) to discuss goals, successes, roadblocks etc. The student’s research supervisory committee is also responsible for evaluating their research progress in relation to the student’s overall research plan. More information about research progress reports can be found here.

  • I have some concerns about my progress. What do I do?

    It is important that students maintain open lines of communication with their supervisor(s). If you are concerned about your research progress, share your concerns with your supervisor as soon as possible. It is also essential to complete research progress reports each term. The progress report can be a means to express concerns about your progress and to document reasons why or what may have caused delays. If your concerns persist, you should consult your Graduate Program Director for guidance. You may also reach out to Shelly Windsor, the Graduate Academic Affairs Specialist, for assistance or guidance in raising your concerns with your supervisor or Graduate Program Director.

  • When must I complete my thesis/project/paper degree requirements?

    The minimum time allowed for full-time students to complete all requirements for a master's program is one year, and the maximum time is three years from the time of initial registration as a full-time student. Students registering on a part-time basis have a maximum of six years to complete the degree.

    The minimum time allowed for full-time students to complete all requirements for a doctoral program is two years, and the maximum time is six years from the time of initial registration as a full-time student. Students registering on a part-time basis have a maximum of eight years to complete the degree.

    Students expecting to complete beyond these timelines will need to submit a Request for program extension to

  • I am not ready to defend my thesis/complete my project/paper but I am nearing the maximum time recommended for my program. What do I need to do?
    Students needing to exceed the normal allotted time for completion of their program must formally request an extension. Please submit a Request for program extension form to

Program extension requests

  • What is the program extension request?

    As outlined in the Graduate Academic Calendar under time limits, there is a minimum and maximum time allowed for students to complete all requirements for a graduate program. All students who will exceed the normal allotted time for completion in their program must formally submit a request to extend their program to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. See Request for program extension form.

    Along with the completed form, students are required to provide a list of the reasons for delay in degree completion and complete a one to two-page report outlining their progress and a plan for completion with a timeline. 

    Note: students that request / require a program extension are still responsible for tuition and ancillary fees in each semester they are registered.

    If you are unsure about the time in your program, contact

  • When is the program extension request due?