A candidate for this degree must pass a minimum of two courses assigned by the Department. These are selected on the basis of the student's previous academic training and research interests. The candidate must also pass a safety training course in the first year of his/her Ph.D. registration. The candidate is required to participate in an appropriate Research Seminar course and is expected to take a preliminary examination within the first year of his/her Ph.D. registration.
The candidate must submit an acceptable thesis based upon successfully completed research and must satisfy the examiners in an oral examination of the thesis.
A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.