Program Structure

Data Centre

PhD requirements

Students will be given clear expectations at the outset of the milestones that they must meet within the program in order to be considered to be making good progress. For doctoral students, the milestones are as follows:

  • Successful completion of the two required and two elective courses in the 3-4 semesters year; and any other optional elective courses no later than the end of the 6th semester.
  • Completion of a comprehensive examination, usually within five terms of registration. This consists of a take-home, written comprehensive followed by an oral examination of that written document.
  • The setting up (with input from the Program Coordinator and/or Associate Dean) of the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee no later than the fifth term in the program. This Committee will consist of a Chief Thesis Supervisor, who must be approved for HIS doctoral supervisory status by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and, usually two Readers/Committee members.
  • Approval by the Thesis Advisory Committee of the student’s Thesis Proposal, normally within six terms of registration. This proposal must include the following elements: a statement of the research questions and their significance; a preliminary review of the relevant research literature; a statement of the specific research methods to be used, together with any research instruments, and protocols such as questionnaires.
  • Submission of the final draft of the thesis and its successful defense by the end of the fourth year of registration (i.e., by the end of the period of funding eligibility).

PhD normal progression

PhD courses are generally 14 weeks in duration, but the format of delivery may vary.  For example, some courses may be offered in a modular format, with short-duration modules dedicated to specific topics.  Similarly, Guided Reading courses will be structured by agreement between the student and faculty member. Students will also be encouraged to take graduate courses from other programs of the University, if appropriate to their emerging area of research interest. This option is subject to the approval of the Program Coordinator and the Associate Dean (or designate) of the faculty administering the program, as well as permission from the program in which the course is offered. Additional non-credit course work (e.g., language preparation in a language other than English), if recommended by the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee, may be obligatory. All PhD students are required to attend any HIS-related research colloquia during the first two years of their programs.


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PROGRAM INFO: PhD HIS Home; Goals & Objectives; Program Structure; Comprehensive Exam; Courses; Additional Courses; Thesis Supervision; Tuition & Finances; How to Apply.