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Ryerson Campus Psych @ Ryerson

Psychology Graduate Program (MA, PhD)

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PhD Dissertation Forms and Guidelines

Dissertation Supervisory Committee

The Dissertation Supervisory Committee must be formed no later than May 1 of PhD Year 2.  Please complete the PhD Supervisory Committee Approval Request Form and submit to the Graduate Program Office, as the composition of the Dissertation Supervisory Committee must be approved by the Graduate Program Director. The Dissertation Supervisory Committee Guidelines Word contain more details (e.g., the composition of the Supervisory Committee).

Dissertation Proposal, and Proposal Defence

The Dissertation Proposal Defence must take place no later than the end of PhD Year 2 (August 31). Please see the Dissertation Proposal Approval Form and Guidelines Word (the guidelines are on page 2) for more information about the Dissertation Proposal and the Proposal Defence. As soon as possible after the Dissertation Proposal Defence, the Proposal Approval Form must be submitted to the Graduate Program Administrator. Please ensure that the Dissertation Proposal is prepared in accordance with the Graduate Studies Thesis MRP Dissertation Submission Guidelines PDF posted at

Dissertation Defence Committee

The Dissertation Defence Committee members are as follows (from Senate Graduate Admissions and Studies Policy 142 PDF, Section 9.3).

  Number of Members Number of Votes
Supervisor(s) 1 or more 1
YSGS Faculty - Within Program 2 2
YSGS Faculty - Outside Program 1 1
Dean, YSGS, or Dean's Designate Chair 0 (unless a tie)
External Examiner 1 1

At Least 3 Months Before the Planned Defence Date

Review the Procedures for Doctoral DefencesPDF carefully, paying close attention to the timeline that starts on page 3, which begins 3 months before the Defence.

At Least 9 Weeks Before the Planned Defence Date

Deliver the completed External Examiner Nomination FormPDF, the CV of the External Examiner nominee, and the PhD Examination Committee Nomination FormPDF to the Graduate Program Administrator. When completing the Committee Nomination Form, leave the line for the Chair of the Committee (Dean of Graduate Studies, or Designate) blank--after the forms are received by Graduate Studies, and a letter has been sent to the External Examiner, Graduate Studies will find a Committee Chair.

At Least 7-8 Weeks Before the Defence

After the Supervisory Committee considers the Dissertation ready to defend, a copy of the Dissertation to be defended must be distributed to each of the Dissertation Defence Committee members as far as possible in advance of the date of the Defence; the External Examiner must receive a hard copy of the Dissertation at least 7-8 weeks before the Defence. The Dissertation Defence Scheduling Request Form Word  must also be completed and submitted to the Graduate Program Administrator at least 7-8 weeks before the Dissertation Defence. Please submit everything to the Graduate Program Administrator for distribution from the program.

Dissertation Defence

The Dissertation Defence Oral Examination Report Form Word must be completed by the Chair of the Defence Committee during the Defence, and submitted to the Graduate Program Administrator immediately after the Defence. The Chair will bring this form to the defence.

Submitting the Dissertation

For details on how to submit the final Dissertation to Graduate Studies, please see the Graduate Studies Dissertation Submission Information webpage.