Program by Year

Download the PDF iconVademecum (PDF) for the PhD Program

Upon entry to the programme, students are assigned faculty mentors who will assist in selecting courses. During the first two years, PhD students must take at least three full-year courses or equivalent half-courses, plus MST 1001Y, which must be taken during Year One. Of the mandatory 3.0 FCEs, 2.0 FCEs must be in their chosen Major Area (Art History, History, Languages and Literatures, Manuscript Studies and Textual Cultures, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theology) and 1.0 FCE in their chosen Minor Area (such as those listed above, plus Musicology).

During the first three years, PhD students must take MST1003H and maintain a grade average of A- throughout all courses.

Before Year 2, in consultation with their faculty mentors, the student should have begun to consider possible academic advisors for their Advisory Committee. The faculty mentors themselves are eligible but not required to join this committee. During the Fall term in Year 2, the student will consult with the PhD Coordinator, and by the end of December should have a full Advisory Committee consisting of a supervisor and two other members, formally approved by the PhD Coordinator. A student who wishes to activate a JEP agreement should also notify this the Center by indicating the external Co-Supervisor as the fourth member of the Advisory Committee. No request for activating a JEP agreement made after December of Year 2 will be considered.

In this year and subsequent years, the student must formally organize meetings with the members of their Advisory Committee at least once per year, and submit an annual advisory report, signed by the supervisor and all members of the Advisory Committee before the end of April. The student should also prepare a CV and a timeline to be presented at this annual meeting and submit these documents with the report.

Students should pass the Special Field Examination and submit their Reading Lists by June 30th of Year 2 (see Special Field Examination Guidelines). While it is not necessary to have passed all language requirements prior to beginning work on the Special Field Examination, they must be fulfilled prior to the official oral examination. For these language requirements, see the PhD program requirements.

PDF iconMST Thesis Supervision Approval Form (pdf)

The Centre’s language requirements in Level Two Latin, French, and German (all pre-requisites for the Special Field Examination) should be passed by September, but no later than April, of Year 3.

Ideally, the student should take the Special Field Examination by April 30th of Year 3. The Advisory Committee, in consultation with the CMS Executive Committee, has the discretion to determine whether a student may retake the Special Field Examination in the event of failure. One retake only is permitted, and it must take place within two months of the initial exam and no later than August 31st of Year 3. Students who fail the Special Field Examination before the beginning of Year 4 will be recommended for termination of registration in SGS.

Years 4 and 5 should be devoted to the writing of the dissertation. Students who need additional time to finish may continue in the program up to Year 6, beyond which a formal extension is to be requested for each additional year, for a maximum of four years.

With coursework completed by this stage, the Advisory Committee’s evaluation is based on the student’s submission of written work: Special Field State of the Literature Statement, Dissertation Proposal, and other writings related to the thesis, a minimum of 20 pages per term (Fall and Spring).  The Advisory Committee determines if the submitted material meets the minimum requirements for quality and quantity.

For each of the four years after the completion of the sixth year, a student must petition for an extension (download the extension form from the SGS website [PDF]).  The student will also be required to pay one-half of the regular Canadian fees (plus the entire incidentals fee). The student will continue to work on their dissertation, and if it has not been submitted and defended within these four years, the program is terminated absolutely with no examination. These additional four years will, for all students enrolled in September 2010 onwards, be the only type of extension allowed to the length of the PhD program and only upon successful application processes, rules, and conditions.