Guides to Graduate Studies

Here are the rules and regulations for ÉTS’s graduate programs. 

DESS

The DESS is avalaible in French Only. 

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Master's Degree with Project

The Master's Degree with project is avalaible in French Only. 

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Master's Degree with Thesis

Duration of studies and curriculum

The specified duration of full-time master’s degree studies is six semesters (two years). However, an application for extension can be made after two years have passed. See the regulations concerning the length of graduate and doctoral studies and absences.

A master’s degree has 45 credits, composed of 15 course credits and 30 credits of research activity (thesis). The Planning a Research Project course (MTR801) is required for all master’s programs with a thesis, and must be taken during the second semester of the program at the latest. Some programs include one or two more required courses, and most programs offer the opportunity to take up to four elective courses. 

To ensure that all students plan their choice of courses properly, a curriculum must be agreed upon with the student’s thesis supervisor beginning in the first semester, usually before the period in which courses are chosen for the next semester. Your curriculum is determined at the same time that you complete a research topic identification sheet. To this end, it is important that you identify your research topic and your thesis supervisor as early as possible in your studies.

To help you choose your courses from among those offered at the graduate level, see course schedules and planning for garduate programs.

Required form :

Student actions:  

  • Set a meeting with your thesis supervisor to determine a master’s curriculum.
  • Complete and sign the Research Topic and Curriculum form.
  • Have it signed by your thesis supervisor.
  • Submit the form to the Graduate Program Office (A-1700).

Thesis supervisor action:

  •  Complete and sign the Research Topic and Curriculum form
     

Registering for program activities

You are responsible for your own registration each semester through My ÉTS in accordance with the deadlines of the university calendar. Please visit registration for graduate programs for full details about registration. 

Identifying your thesis topic and supervisor

Before you can register for research credits, you must first identify your research topic, in collaboration with your thesis supervisor, using the Research Topic and Curriculum form. You must indicate whether your project is confidential or involves human subjects. This form must be submitted during the first semester, at least three weeks before the registration period for the next semester. 

Required form:

Student actions:

  • Complete and sign the Research Topic and Curriculum form (handwritten versions will not be accepted by the Graduate Program Office). 
  • Have the form signed by your thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable).
  • Drop off the form at the Graduate Program Office (A-1700).

Thesis supervisor action:

  • Sign the Research Topic and Curriculum form
  • Provide a résumé for the co-supervisor, if he or she is external to ÉTS. 

Co-supervisor action (if applicable):

  • Sign the Research Topic and Curriculum form (the co-supervisor does not need to sign the curriculum section).

Style Guide and layout template

Your thesis must adhere to the writing and design standards set out in the Style Guide for project reports, theses or dissertations. 

To make things easier, use the layout template and view the page layout checklist. In the case of theses, the layout's compliance must be approved by the Graduate Program Office before it is submitted for evaluation. 

A thesis is an individual work. If the report was written in collaboration with another student or a research team, the thesis author must explain the context of the project and clearly identify his or her own contribution to the project in the report.

Please note that it is possible to use a “by articles” format to write your thesis (see section 1.7 of the Style Guide).

Written language
 

Your thesis must be written in French. However, if the student makes a request in writing, and the thesis supervisor approves it, the Dean of Students can authorize the student to present his or her work in English. In such cases, the document must include a French summary. 

Language quality
 

No matter which language you use, you must ensure that your report is well written. The thesis supervisor will check the grammar and spelling of your report and is authorized to refuse its submission if language use is not up to standard.

Conditions for submissions
 

In order to submit your thesis, you must

  • Be registered at the time that your thesis is submitted for evaluation
  • Have completed all scholastic activities in your program of study
  • Have a GPA that is equal to or greater than 3.0
  • Have obtained authorization from your thesis supervisor to submit your thesis 
  • Have had the Graduate Program Office approve the compliance of your thesis’s layout 


Approval of your layout 
 

Before you have your thesis evaluated, you must have its layout approved by the Graduate Program Office. You will first need to get a form from the Graduate Program Office titled “Initial Approval Prior to Submission.” It is important that you validate the title of your thesis at that point (since it may have changed since you submitted the research topic sheet). 

  • You must get a signature from your thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable) that attests that your thesis is complete and ready to be submitted for evaluation. 
  • You must submit the form to the Graduate Program Office, along with a copy of your thesis that is spiral-bound with a plastic cover, to have your thesis’s layout checked. 
  • The Graduate Program Office has five working days to check your layout. Corrections will be made directly in the document.
  • Once you correct your document, you must submit a new copy, also spiral-bound with a plastic cover, to be checked again. The Graduate Program Office has five working days to correct each version that it checks. Therefore, it is very important that you use the official template and check the Style Guide when writing your thesis. 
  • Once your layout is determined to be compliant with standards, you will be informed verbally or by e-mail by the Graduate Program Office. 
  • The Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation will be sent to you, and you can then submit your thesis for evaluation (see the section below). 

Required form:

  • Initial Approval Prior to Submission (available at the Graduate Program Office)

Student actions:

  • Get the Initial Approval Prior to Submission form from the Graduate Program Office.
  • Have the form signed by your thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable).
  • Submit the signed form and a spiral-bound copy of your thesis with a plastic cover to the Graduate Program Office.

 Thesis supervisor action:

  • Ensure that the thesis is ready to be submitted for evaluation and sign the Initial Approval Prior to Submission form.

Co-supervisor action (if applicable): 

  • Ensure that the thesis is ready to be submitted for evaluation and sign the Initial Approval Prior to Submission form.

Thesis evaluation 

A thesis is evaluated using the Individual Thesis Evaluation form (which is provided to all jury members) which includes an evaluation grid (section 1a) and a comment sheet (section 1b)

  1. The Graduate Program Office sends each member of the jury:  
    • A copy of the thesis
    • Individual Thesis Evaluation and Defence Evaluation forms
    • A Defence Authorization Form
    • If applicable, a Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement form
  2. Jury members have a maximum of 20 working days to evaluate the thesis and submit a Defence Authorization form to the Graduate Program Office (A-1700) and, if applicable, the Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement form. They keep the Individual Thesis Evaluation form.
  3. Once all jury members have responded unanimously in favour of the defence, the Graduate Program Office will convene the thesis defence. If, three days before the planned defence date, the Graduate Program Office has not received all Defence Authorization forms, the defence will be cancelled or postponed.
  4. If jury members require major corrections, the defence will not take place. The student then has six months to make the requested corrections and present a revised version. This is the same jury that will evaluate the thesis for the second time, according to the same procedures and criteria as the first evaluation.

Forms (sent with a copy of the thesis for each jury member): 

  • Individual Thesis Evaluation and Defence Evaluation (these forms must be kept until the defence is held). 
  • Defence Authorization (must be returned within the specified time frame to the Graduate Program Office).
  • Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement (if applicable) (to be returned to the Graduate Program Office).

 Evaluator actions:

  • Evaluate the thesis by completing sections 1a and 1b of the Individual Thesis Evaluation (this form must be kept until the thesis defence).
  • Send the Defence Authorization form to the Graduate Program Office within the specified time frame and, if applicable, attach the Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement.


Thesis evaluation

Thesis defence is a required activity. The Dean of Students convenes the defence on the date suggested by the thesis supervisor in consultation with the jury members. It is public, unless an application for confidentiality has been made (see section “2. Thesis Defence” in the reference document concerning confidentiality).

A thesis defence consists of a 30- to 40-minute presentation made by the student which presents the highlights of his or her thesis (objectives, results). The jury members then question the student about his or her research, giving the student the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of his or her field and speak in depth about certain aspects. The defence is evaluated using section 2 of the Individual Evaluation form.

Students are strongly encouraged to bring an electronic copy of their thesis with them for possible reference during the presentation or the question and answer period, along with one or more files that are needed to present the thesis to the jury.

Forms:

  • Individual evaluation (Defence - section 2)
  • Notice of Decision (in the defence file that is given to the chair of the jury)

Evaluators’ Actions:

  • Evaluate the thesis defence by completing section 2 of the Individual Evaluation form.
  • Submit the Individual Evaluation form (sections 1 and 2) to the jury chair.
  • Sign the Notice of Decision form.
  • Submit graded copies of the thesis to the jury chair.

Jury chair actions: 

  • Collect the completed and signed Individual Evaluation from each evaluator.
  • Collect copies of the thesis or dissertation from other members of the jury.
  • Complete the Notice of Decision form and have all jury members sign it.
  • Submit all documents to the Graduate Program Office immediately after the defence.


Award of Excellence

After their defence, students who receive an “Excellent” mark can submit an application to the ÉTS Award of Excellence for the best thesis and best doctoral dissertation if they have been recommended by the jury. Recommended students will receive an e-mail from the Graduate Program Office informing them that they are invited to apply for this award. The e-mail contains all the relevant information (rules and a link to access the form). 

After a defence, minor corrections are usually requested; under the supervision of his or her thesis supervisor, the student has 20 working days (following the date of defence) to make these corrections, have them approved by the thesis supervisor and proceed with final submission. (Certificate of Compliance for Corrections form).

Form:

  • Certificate of Compliance (included in the correspondence sent to the student after the thesis defence or available from the Graduate Program Office).

Student actions:

  • Meet with the thesis supervisor to find out what corrections were requested by jury members. 
  • Make the corrections and submit them to your thesis supervisor for approval. 

Thesis supervisor action: 

  • Approve the corrections that were indicated to the student by the jury using the Certificate of Compliance form. 


Final submission

Once corrections have been made to the thesis, just submit an electronic copy to the Graduate Program Office along with the following required documents:

  • The “Certificate of Compliance” form signed by your thesis supervisor (this form is available at the Graduate Program Office).
  • Distribution authorization forms (ÉTS, LAC and ProQuest)
  • Co-authorship authorization form (if applicable).

If students do not make corrections to their thesis and submit it by the end of the semester following the semester during which their defence took place, their file will be closed due to withdrawal from the program. 


Distribution and binding of non-confidential theses

The electronic copy of your thesis is sent to the ÉTS library, which will make it publicly available in compliance with its copyright (bound copies are no longer kept at the library).

If the student and/or the thesis supervisor request it when the thesis is submitted for the final time (on the Certificate of Compliance for Corrections form), the Graduate Program Office will send a bound copy of the thesis to the student and/or thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable). The student or thesis supervisor can request additional copies, but these copies will be billed to them (at $50/unit). 

If it is confidential:

If it is subject to a compliance examination (human subjects, use of animals, dangerous materials, controlled materials, etc.):

Doctoral program

Duration of studies and curriculum

The specified duration of full-time doctoral program is  twelve sessions (four years). However, an application for extension can be made after two years have passed.  See the regulations concerning the lenght of graduate and doctoral studies and absences.

Registering for program activities

You are responsible for your own registration each semester through Mon ÉTS in accordance with the deadlines of the university calendar. Please visit Registration for graduate programs for full details about registration. 

The doctoral examination counts for nine credits and takes place over three semesters. Each step must be completed before you are allowed to register for the next, and you must successfully complete all three steps to obtain a “Success” grade for the doctoral exam on your transcript. The first step must be done in your second semester and the other two in the next two semesters. It is not possible to postpone any phase of the doctoral exam (except in cases of force majeure, see sec. 6.5.2 of the Graduate Studies Regulations). 

In case of failure on any step of the doctoral exam (if you have recorded no other previous failure), you will be asked if you wish to retake the failed step. If you do not take this opportunity to repeat the step, the failure is confirmed and you are expelled. Only one failure is permitted in the program, whether in an exam step or in a course. 

Because each step corresponds to three credits, you must also register for six credits of courses or research in each semester in order to retain full-time status.  It is your responsibility to verify and validate your registration on Cheminot at each stage of the doctoral exam process.

Steps  Semester 

DGA 1031 - Research Problem (3 credit)
  1. Identification of the research subject (5%)
  2. Preparation of the research proposal (75%)
  3. Oral presentation (20%)
Second semester

DGA 1032 - Written Examination (3 credits)
  1. Supervised examination (50%)
  2. Take-home exam (50%) 
Third semester

DGA 1033 - Oral Examination (3 credits)
  1. Submission of the dissertation proposal
  2. Presentation before the jury
Fourth semester 

Consult your thesis supervisor, the program director or the Office of Graduate Studies (A-1700) about any question related to the doctoral exam (jury formation, choice of exam subjects, steps in the process, etc.).

Research Problem (DGA1031) → See detailed procedure

The “Research Problem” activity aims to have you define your research topic as early as possible in your program of studies.  It includes three steps:

Step 1:  

  • First of all, in collaboration with your research supervisor, you proceed to identify your research topic. This is done by filling in the “Identification du sujet de recherche – Doctorat” (Identification of Research Topic – Doctorate) form, following these instructions : 

 Student’s Actions:

  • Arrange a meeting with your research supervisor.
  • Fill in the topic identification form electronically (handwritten forms will be rejected by the Office of the Dean of Studies).
  • Make sure the form has all the necessary signatures.
  • Submit the form to the program director.

 Research Supervisor’s Actions: 

Program Director’s Actions:

  • Assess the identifications of research topics of students enrolled in DGA1031.
  • Forward the forms to the Office of the Dean of Studies.

Designation of a co-supervisor:

  • The official designation of a co-supervisor is made at the time of filing the Identification of Research Topic form.
  • If the co-supervisor comes from outside ÉTS, this form must be accompanied by the co-supervisor’s detailed CV. 

Step 2: 

  • You must now develop a preliminary research proposal (a written work) under the supervision of your research supervisor. 

Step 3:

  • Finally, the research proposal will be the subject of an oral presentation to all the candidates registered for this activity as part of the mandatory seminars. Students must not only present their own problem, but must also attend the other students’ presentations.

Note: During the session in which the DGA1031 activity takes place, the research supervisor will be invited to compose the jury that will participate in the following steps of the doctoral exam, the Written Examination (DGA1032) and the Oral Examination (DGA1033).  View the rules for Composition of the Jury

Research projects that are confidential or those involving human subjects must be declared so that the School can take the necessary protection measures. It is very important to make the appropriate declarations on the Identification of Research Topic form.

Witten Examination (DGA1032) → View the detailed procedure

The juried written exam activity aims to confirm your basic knowledge in your domain of activity, your general knowledge and your mastery of areas more specifically related to your dissertation topic. This activity has two components:

The supervised exam, which counts for 50% of DGA 1032, takes place in class. You will have 3.5 hours to answer the questions you are given on the spot. Use of documentation being permitted, you may consult in situ any works required to respond to the questions and thus demonstrate your mastery of the domain. Calculators are permitted. Devices permitting Internet access are forbidden (except for groups of students who have received explicit permission from their research supervisor). 

The take-home exam, which also counts for 50% of the DGA 1032 grade, is a paper that you must write (within a seven day period) on one or more themes related to specific areas of specialization connected to your research subject. (This refers to what in French is called une dissertation, and should not be confused with the English word dissertation (French la thèse) which refers to the doctoral research report.) 

The written examination is held once per semester, during the final exam period. The exact date is published on the ÉTS website approximately one month beforehand, and the location is published approximately one week in advance on your SIGNETS account (under DGA1032; see the pane “Important Dates”). Information on final exams is found on SIGNETS and on the website’s  Final Exams page.

Oral Examination (DGA1033) → View the detailed procedure

The Oral Examination (DGA1033) is primarily used to show the potential originality of the research project, clarify the way in which the subject will be treated and demonstrate the project’s feasibility. The oral examination is also used to expand upon the questions of the written examination. This activity has two components:

  1. You must first of all submit your dissertation proposal which includes a description of the research problem, the objectives to be met, a critical review of the literature, the proposed methodology, the type of results expected, a bibliography and a plan of activities in the form of a schedule.  
     
  2. You must then make an oral presentation of your dissertation proposal, and demonstrate and justify the development of your project. 

The date of the oral examination is fixed by your research supervisor who will inform you. You will be officially convened by the Office of the Dean of Studies which will specify the date and time of the presentation.

Writing your thesis


Style Guide and layout template

Your thesis must adhere to the writing and design standards set out in the Style Guide for project reports, theses or dissertations.

To make things easier, use the layout template and view the page layout checklist. In the case of theses, the layout’s compliance must be approved by the Graduate Program Office before it is submitted for evaluation.

A thesis is an individual work. If the report was written in collaboration with another student or a research team, the thesis author must explain the context of the project and clearly identify his or her own contribution to the project in the report.

Please note that it is possible to use a “by articles” format to write your thesis (see section 1.7 of the Style Guide).


Written language

Your thesis must be written in French. However, if the student makes a request in writing, and the thesis supervisor approves it, the Dean of Students can authorize the student to present his or her work in English. In such cases, the document must include a French summary.


Language quality

No matter which language you use, you must ensure that your report is well written. The thesis supervisor will check the grammar and spelling of your report and is authorized to refuse its submission if language use is not up to standard.

Submitting your thesis for evaluation

The thesis supervisor is authorized to approve your thesis for official submission. He or she must complete all sections of the Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation form and sign it. If there is a co-supervisor, he or she must sign the form as well. 

The form consists of the following sections:

Proposal for composition of the jury
The thesis supervisor suggests jury members. The jury must be composed of at least three people: the thesis supervisor and two regular ÉTS professors or one regular ÉTS professor and an external person. One of the members of the jury acts as the chair; this person must be a regular ÉTS professor, but cannot be the thesis supervisor or co-supervisor. 

Confidentiality
To ensure that the Graduate Program Office can monitor your thesis accurately, when you submit your thesis for evaluation, it is important to confirm its confidentiality status, which may have changed since you submitted your Research Topic Identification form.  If you are unsure, please refer to the reference document or the Policy and Rules on Intellectual Property (in French). 

Date of defence
A date for the defence of your thesis must be determined at the same time that it is officially submitted. The date must be calculated around a minimum time frame of 30 working days: 20 days for the members of the jury to evaluate your thesis and 10 days for the signing process, sending copies to members of the jury, receiving authorizations for its defence and publishing a Notice of Defence.

When the Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation form is completed and signed, the student submits it to the Graduate Program Office with a copy of the thesis for each jury member. Each copy must be spiral-bound and have a plastic cover. 

The submission and composition of the jury are only official once they have been authorized by the Dean of Studies. The thesis will then be submitted to the jury by the Office of the Dean of Studies, which has the sole authority to do this. 

Required form:

Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation (available at the Graduate Program Office)

Student actions:

  • Pick up the Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation from the Graduate Program Office (A-1700).
  • Have the form signed by your thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable).
  • Submit the signed form and the required number of spiral-bound copies of your thesis with plastic covers (one copy per jury member) to the Graduate Program Office.

Thesis supervisor action:

  • Complete all sections of the Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation form and sign it. 

Co-supervisor action (if applicable): 

  •  Sign the Official Authorization of Submission for Evaluation form.

Thesis evaluation and defence


Thesis evaluation 

A thesis is evaluated using the Individual Thesis Evaluation form (which is provided to all jury members) which includes an evaluation grid (section 1a) and a comment sheet (section 1b).

  1. The Graduate Program Office sends each member of the jury:  
    •  A copy of the thesis
    • Individual Thesis Evaluation and Defence Evaluation forms
    •  A Defence Authorization Form
    •  If applicable, a Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement form 
       
  2. Jury members have a maximum of 20 working days to evaluate the thesis and submit a Defence Authorization form to the Graduate Program Office (A-1700) and, if applicable, the Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement form. They keep the Individual Thesis Evaluation form.
     
  3. Once all jury members have responded unanimously in favour of the defence, the Graduate Program Office will convene the thesis defence. If, three days before the planned defence date, the Graduate Program Office has not received all Defence Authorization forms, the defence will be cancelled or postponed. 
  4. If jury members require major corrections, the defence will not take place. The student then has six months to make the requested corrections and present a revised version. This is the same jury that will evaluate the thesis for the second time, according to the same procedures and criteria as the first evaluation.

Forms (sent with a copy of the thesis for each jury member): 

  • Individual Thesis Evaluation and Defence Evaluation (these forms must be kept until the defence is held).  
  • Defence Authorization (must be returned within the specified time frame to the Graduate Program Office).
  • Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement (if applicable) (to be returned to the Graduate Program Office).

 Evaluator actions:

  • Evaluate the thesis by completing sections 1a and 1b of the Individual Thesis Evaluation (this form must be kept until the thesis defence). 
  • Send the Defence Authorization form to the Graduate Program Office within the specified time frame and, if applicable, attach the Recognition of Confidentiality Agreement. 

Thesis evaluation

Thesis defence is a required activity. The Dean of Students convenes the defence on the date suggested by the thesis supervisor in consultation with the jury members. It is public, unless an application for confidentiality has been made (see section “2. Thesis Defence” in the reference document concerning confidentiality).

A thesis defence consists of a 30- to 40-minute presentation made by the student which presents the highlights of his or her thesis (objectives, results). The jury members then question the student about his or her research, giving the student the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of his or her field and speak in depth about certain aspects. The defence is evaluated using section 2 of the Individual Evaluation form.
Students are strongly encouraged to bring an electronic copy of their thesis with them for possible reference during the presentation or the question and answer period, along with one or more files that are needed to present the thesis to the jury. 

Forms:

  • Individual evaluation (Defence - section 2) 
  • Notice of Decision (in the defence file that is given to the chair of the jury)

Evaluators’ Actions:

  • Evaluate the thesis defence by completing section 2 of the Individual Evaluation form.
  • Submit the Individual Evaluation form (sections 1 and 2) to the jury chair.
  • Sign the Notice of Decision form.
  • Submit graded copies of the thesis to the jury chair. 

Jury chair actions: 

  • Collect the completed and signed Individual Evaluation from each evaluator. 
  • Collect copies of the thesis or dissertation from other members of the jury.
  • Complete the Notice of Decision form and have all jury members sign it. 
  • Submit all documents to the Graduate Program Office immediately after the defence. 

Award of Excellence

After their defence, students who receive an “Excellent” mark can submit an application to the ÉTS Award of Excellence for the best thesis and best doctoral dissertation if they have been recommended by the jury. Recommended students will receive an e-mail from the Graduate Program Office informing them that they are invited to apply for this award. The e-mail contains all the relevant information (rules and a link to access the form). 

Final submission

Once corrections have been made to the thesis, just submit an electronic copy to the Graduate Program Office along with the following required documents:

  • The “Certificate of Compliance” form signed by your thesis supervisor (this form is available at the Graduate Program Office).
  • Distribution authorization forms (ÉTS, LAC and ProQuest)
  • Co-authorship authorization form (if applicable).

If students do not make corrections to their thesis and submit it by the end of the semester following the semester during which their defence took place, their file will be closed due to withdrawal from the program. 

Distribution and binding of non-confidential theses
 

The electronic copy of your thesis is sent to the ÉTS library, which will make it publicly available in compliance with its copyright (bound copies are no longer kept at the library).

If the student and/or the thesis supervisor request it when the thesis is submitted for the final time (on the Certificate of Compliance for Corrections form), the Graduate Program Office will send a bound copy of the thesis to the student and/or thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if applicable). The student or thesis supervisor can request additional copies, but these copies will be billed to them (at $50/unit). 

Distribution and binding of confidential theses
 

If the thesis is confidential, the electronic copy will be saved on the library server, where neither the thesis nor the notice will be visible before the end of the confidentiality period.

As well, bound copies are not produced for confidential theses. Once the confidentiality period has passed, it is the student and/or thesis supervisor’s responsibility to request binding and submit unbound copies to the Graduate Program Office.