PhD Submission and Doctoral Examination


  1. Completion of the PhD requires a doctoral examination: a public oral examination on the doctoral dissertation. Doctoral examinations at UBC are administered centrally by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Complete information on policies and procedures around doctoral examinations can be found on the G+PS website at The examination committee includes members of the supervisory committee as well as an external (non-UBC) examiner, a University examiner (from UBC but outside Political Science), and a member of the Department who does not sit on the supervisory committee.


  1. Guidelines for initial submission of the doctoral dissertation for examination, including information on deadlines/timeline, can be found on the website of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at on final, post-examination submission can be found here:


  1. The final examination of the dissertation by the University Dissertation Examining Committee is not a formality. Candidates may be asked to undertake revisions, or their theses may be rejected at this stage.  Nevertheless, if the candidate’s Dissertation Supervisor and his/her Supervisory Committee have done their supervision and evaluation of the dissertation effectively, rejection at this final stage should be infrequent.


  1. To be accepted, the PhD dissertation must be a significant contribution to the discipline of Political Science. It must be stressed that the dissertation will be judged on its scholarly quality rather than length.  So far as length is concerned, the dissertation will normally be of the proportions of a monograph rather than a book, and generally will not exceed 250-300 pages.


  1. The candidate should be aware of the technical requirements for the preparation of the dissertation contained in the handbook of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Instructions For The Preparation of Graduate Theses. As far as style is concerned, students may use any of the widely accepted formats in Political Science, such as the Turabian (Chicago) or MLA styles. The UBC Library website provides citation style guides for your reference.