Master’s Thesis/MRP Exam Procedures and Deadlines

Students should consult the Graduate Handbook for information about the expectations for the length/scope of a thesis or MRP.

Exam Request Form

To confirm exam details, students must submit the Exam Request Form and submit their thesis/MRP to the committee and graduate office (graduate.geography.utoronto.caa minimum of 10 full working days prior to the exam. For clarity, this timeline does not include the day of the exam, or any days which the university is closed. The thesis/MRP must be sent by 9am in order for that day to count as a full working day. If the thesis is not distributed by this deadline, the graduate office will cancel the exam.

Master’s exams can take place remotely or on in person/on campus. For remote meetings, the supervisor or student should create an online meeting link (preferably using university Zoom or MS Teams account) to share with participants. We recommend that supervisors “host” the meeting so that the student can be placed in a “waiting room” while the committee discusses the exam result. 

To book a room/AV for the exam at STG, please contact prior to submitting the exam request form. The exam should be booked for up to 2 hours.

SGS Completion Deadlines

The department recommends that defense exams/MRP presentations are scheduled at least 2 weeks prior to the SGS deadlines below to allow enough time to complete any corrections.

Deadline Details
September 13, 2024 For students starting a PhD program at U of T, this is the final/latest deadline to complete master’s degree requirements in time to register for the Fall 2024 session.
September 15, 2024 Deadline to complete all requirements/submission in order to avoid fall fees and to be eligible for November 2024 convocation. Master’s students who intend to meet this deadline are not required to register for the fall session and can ignore their fees invoice in ACORN.
January 15, 2025 Deadline to complete all requirements/submission in order to avoid winter fees and to be eligible for March (in absentia – no ceremony) or June 2025 convocation. Students who complete by this deadline will have their winter fees cancelled in ACORN.
April 11, 2025 Deadline to complete all requirements/submission to be eligible for June 2025 convocation.

Examination Committee

The thesis examination committee must include:

  1. The supervisor/co-supervisors
  2. One geography graduate faculty member
  3. One additional graduate faculty member who may be from geography or another graduate unit at the University of Toronto

The Major Research Paper (MPR) must be read and evaluated by:

  1. The supervisor/co-supervisors
  2. One geography graduate faculty member

Additional graduate faculty members can be added if necessary. Students enrolled in a collaborative program may be required to have a collaborative program faculty member participate in their exam/MRP presentation. Please consult with the collaborative program office for instructions.


Dates Details
5-6 weeks prior to the exam The student should confirm the membership of their examination committee (thesis only) or the second reader (MRP only) in consultation with their supervisor.
3-6 weeks prior to the exam The student will schedule an examination (thesis) or presentation (MRP) meeting date/time in consultation with the faculty members. The thesis defense must be booked for 2 hours and an MRP presentation booked for 1 hour. Room and equipment (projector/laptop) bookings can be made through the front office –
2 weeks (10 working days) prior to the exam date The student must submit the Exam Request Form to the graduate office (

The student must provide each participating faculty member and the graduate office ( with an electronic copy of their thesis or major research paper a minimum of 2 weeks (10 working days, not including any days the university is closed) prior to the exam date. This deadline may be earlier at the discretion of the supervisor/committee members. If the thesis / MRP is not received by all participating faculty members and the graduate office 2 weeks prior to the exam/presentation meeting date, the meeting will be cancelled by the graduate office. Students should also be prepared to provide printed copies if requested. The thesis/MRP must follow the SGS formatting guidelines.

Day of the exam Exam results forms will be provided to the supervisor, to be returned to the graduate office immediately following the exam.
2-4 weeks after the exam Corrections/revisions must be completed. The supervisor must approve the final corrected thesis by email to the department. The student may then submit the final copy.

Exam Results

The outcome of the exam is one of the following:

  • Pass.Thesis is accepted as-is 
  • Pass with minor corrections. Pass with minor corrections: Thesis is acceptable subject to minor corrections to be reviewed and approved by the supervisor. Deadline for completion of corrections is _______(maximum one month from the date of the exam).   
  • Pass with modifications. Thesis is acceptable subject to modifications to be reviewed and approved by the supervisor and, if deemed necessary, the committee. Examples of modifications are clarification/rewriting/addition of textual material, qualification of research findings or conclusions. Deadline for completion of modifications is _____ (maximum three months from the date of the exam).
  • Fail. If this is the first failure, the student can repeat the exam within six months. If this is the second failure, the department may recommend termination of the student’s registration.

After the Exam


Once revisions have been reviewed the supervisor will confirm via email to the graduate office that they have been satisfactorily completed and the final thesis/MRP is approved.

Submission of the Thesis/MRP

An electronic copy of the thesis/MRP must be submitted to the graduate office by email to immediately following the supervisor’s approval of the final copy, within the deadlines noted above.

Students are not required to submit a bound copy to the department, however the supervisor may request a bound copy. If a bound copy is requested it is the student’s responsibility to have one produced and delivered. If the student is enrolled in a collaborative specialization they may be required to submit an electronic or print copy of the final thesis/MRP to the collaborative program office (please consult collaborative program staff for instructions).

Students who complete a thesis must also submit the final, approved copy electronically to SGS by the deadlines posted above.

Degree (Convocation) Recommendation

Once the final thesis/MRP has been submitted to the graduate office, the department will submit a recommendation for convocation to SGS for the next convocation date.

Fees and Convocation

Fees adjustments for students who complete in time to avoid fall or winter fees are usually made within 2-3 weeks after the recommendation for convocation has been submitted to SGS.
Students who have outstanding fees as of the deadlines above will be permitted to attend convocation. Students who owe fees who attend convocation will receive an empty envelope, which will be identical to other envelopes containing diplomas. However, such students will not receive their diploma and a financial hold is placed on the student’s financial account. Transcripts and confirmation of degree letters will not be issued until fees have been paid.

Information about convocation will be emailed to the student approximately 3 weeks prior to the convocation date. Please visit SGS Graduation and Convocation for more information.

Students who require a letter prior to convocation which confirms all degree requirements have been completed can request a Confirmation of Degree letter from SGS.