IV. Degree Regulations

Doctor of Veterinary Science


Each candidate shall prepare a thesis on the approved research project. The thesis is expected to be a significant contribution to knowledge in its field and the candidate must indicate in what ways it is a contribution. The thesis must demonstrate mature scholarship and critical judgement on the part of the candidate and it must indicate an ability to communicate in writing in a satisfactory style.

The thesis will be based on the research project carried out in the DVSc program. Like all theses, it will contain a detailed critical review of the pertinent theoretical and empirical literature and place the work in the context of existing knowledge in the field. The hypotheses, research design, results, and discussion of the results will be presented in normal thesis format as approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

External Examiner

For each doctoral thesis, an external examiner from outside the university is appointed on behalf of the dean of Graduate Studies by the department chair, in consultation with the advisor and the program committee chair. The nomination will be made when the candidate's advisor declares that the thesis is about to be prepared, normally no later than the beginning of the student's last semester. The external examiner will submit a written appraisal of the thesis (at least seven days prior to the examination) to the chair of the department who will then provide these comments to the candidate and the Advisory Committee. The external examiner is expected to participate in the final oral examination and to assist in evaluating all aspects of the candidate's performance.


The thesis may be submitted at any time of the year, but candidates are advised to allow ample time for revision and examination. A copy of the schedule of deadlines should be obtained from Graduate Program Services by the candidate no later than the beginning of the semester in which the candidate intends to graduate.

It is understood that, as the thesis is being written, the candidate will be in regular communication with the advisory committee. When a draft is completed which the advisory committee recommends for examination, the candidate, with the endorsement of the departmental chair, formally requests an examination. A copy of the final draft is then sent to the external examiner as fair copy of the thesis. Arrangements for the final oral examinations are made. It is understood that as a result of the final oral examination corrections may be necessary to produce a revised final draft of the thesis.

Final Oral Examination

The final examination is devoted chiefly, but not necessarily entirely, to the defence of the thesis. It is a faculty (as distinct from a departmental) examination, for which the arrangements are made by the department and the college on behalf of the faculty in consultation with Graduate Program Services.

The examination is conducted by a committee consisting of five members, as follows:

  • The departmental graduate co-ordinator, who acts as chair of the examination committee;

  • The external examiner;

  • A member of the graduate faculty who is not a member of the advisory committee, selected by the department chair;

  • Two members of the student's advisory committee, selected by the advisory committee.

The dean of Graduate Studies, or a designate, may attend a part or all of the examination. The examination is open to the public and members of the audience may question the candidate only upon invitation of the chair of the committee.

The members of the examination committee, including the external examiner, report individually on the final examination and the thesis. The candidate is deemed to have passed if no more than one of the five examiners votes negatively. An abstention is regarded as a negative vote. Concurrently, the members sign the Certificate of Approval, which is submitted with the approved thesis in its final form to Graduate Program Services (see Submission of Thesis). The report to the dean of Graduate Studies will record the decision as unsatisfactory or satisfactory. If unsatisfactory, the candidate may be given a second attempt. A second unsatisfactory result constitutes a recommendation to the Board of Graduate Studies that the student be required to withdraw (see Unsatisfactory Progress and Appeals of Decisions).

Copies of Thesis

Two unbound copies of the certified thesis must be submitted to Graduate Program Services by the deadline date shown in the Academic Schedule in the calendar. Both copies must include the Certificate of Approval signed by the external examiner and the members of the examination committee. Also included must be a copy of an abstract consisting of no more than 350 words and a copy of the circulation waiver and the copying licence.


The Certificate of Approval indicates that the thesis is suitable for publication. The university requires publication of the thesis in the following manner:

One unbound copy of the thesis is forwarded to the National Library of Canada, together with an agreement form signed by the candidate authorizing the National Library to microfilm the thesis and to make copies available for sale on request. The National Library will film the thesis exactly as it is and will list the thesis in Canadiana as a publication of the National Library.

The National Library's Microfilm Publication Agreement will be sent to the candidate prior to the final oral examination, to be signed and submitted to Graduate Program Services immediately after the successful completion of the examination.

An abstract of not more than 350 words, prepared by the author and approved by the advisor, is forwarded by the National Library to the publishers of American Doctoral Dissertations. The abstract is printed in this work and the availability of the thesis in microfilm at the National Library is announced.

The candidate, in consultation with the advisor and the department chair, shall have the right to request that circulation and/or copying of the thesis in any form be withheld for up to one year.

Publication in the above manner does not preclude publication of all or part of the thesis in journals or in book form.

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