Getting Started

  • Meet with your supervisor, select courses, and create a plan for your Ph.D.
  • Sign the Letter of Understanding with your supervisor
  • In consultation with your supervisor, form a Progress Committee

Course Registration

Discuss the course reduction form with your supervisor. This could be done at any time during your Ph.D., however note that course reduction requests are considered only in the first week of each fall and winter term.

Comprehensive Exam

By the end of your first year in the program, Ph.D. students must complete a comprehensive examination. Exams are only conducted twice a year, in late August/September, and again in early January. In order to take the exam, a student must register for COMP 700 in either the winter (January exams) or fall (August/September exams) semester

Proposal Exam

Most students will take the proposal exam at some point late in their second year of registration. Proposal exams must be completed within three years of initial registration in the Ph.D. program, and after the successful completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive exam.

Progress Reports

For the first year or two after entry into the program, progress is mainly evaluated when the student takes the comprehensive and proposal (area) exams. At the beginning of September starting in the third year, the student is required to complete a Progress Report Form and submit it to their Progress Committee.


  • Once the thesis is complete, the student forms a Ph.D. defence committee, and schedules a Ph.D. defence.
  • After the defence, assuming a successful result, the supervisor verifies that the student makes all changes requested by the examiners the defence committee.