Doctor of Philosophy

phd


Ph.D. Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the PhD program must complete:

  • Successful completion of 5 half-courses, JDE1000H Ethics in Graduate Research seminar (3 hours),

Five (5) half courses

All courses must be graduate level, which includes 1000-level and 500-level courses. Your course selections must conform to the following criteria, selected in consultation and approval from the supervisor:

  • Three (3) courses must be from MIE
  • At most one (1) APS course
  • At most one (1) 500-level course
  • At most one (1) Reading course**

Course add/drop form here.

**Reading courses are assigned by the supervisor

Transfer credit may be requested for up to two half-courses taken that were not used for credit towards a degree. The grades earned for these courses must be at least an A-. The Graduate Studies Committee will decide whether the courses are at least equivalent to MIE graduate courses, and relevant to a degree in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering.

Seminar is offered by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering twice a year (Fall term, Winter term).  It is a 3-hour non-credit seminar. Seminar schedule will be announced when information is available.  Students do not enroll JDE1000H on ROSI themselves.  The MIE Graduate Office will arrange a “CR” to be assigned on ROSI for those students who attended the seminar. Students will be notified via e-mail when the date and time are released.

Students must attend 70% of MIE weekly seminars during the first year and second year of registration, a PhD thesis

To  keep track of attendance record,

  1. Students must swipe their T-card after the seminar outside of the seminar room.
  2. Student must arrive before the presentation begins; otherwise, the attendance will be void..

For students who attended 70% of the seminars during their first year and second year of registration, A CR for SRD4444YY Doctoral seminar series will be assigned on their ROSI record in the Winter terms.

Checking Seminar Attendance: Shows the number of seminars you have attended.

Seminar Student Guide

The thesis is the primary component of the PhD program and the end result of a PhD student’s research. The research must lead to an original and significant contribution to knowledge in a subject field, and be fully reported in the thesis document. It is also expected that the work will be published in the open literature, whether during or after the PhD program. The research is carried out under the direction of a student’s supervisor, and overseen by a supervisory committee.

The supervisory committee consists of the student’s supervisor and at least two other professors appointed as SGS Graduate Faculty, with expertise relevant to the thesis topic. The majority of committee members should be from the Department of MIE.

SGS has published guidelines on graduate supervision, a document that offers excellent advice to both students and supervisors on how to establish and maintain a productive and supportive relationship.

A student must meet with the supervisory committee at least annually to remain registered in the program. Each year, the committee evaluates recent progress, in order to assess whether the student remains in good academic standing, which requires that the student meet the requirements of the program described here, and is making satisfactory progress towards the completion of the degree.

A qualifying exam, and subsequent annual committee meetings are arranged by the student, in consultation with the supervisor.

The student must submit a PhD EXAM/MEETING REQUEST FORM when a qualifying exam or committee meeting has been arranged (ten business days before the exam/meeting is to take place).

MIE PhD qualifying exams and committee meetings are open to other students, unless otherwise requested.

Academic Policy

Students are expected to remain in good academic standing during their PhD program. To remain in good academic standing, students must achieve and maintain an average GPA of A-. The minimum passing grade for a course is B-. No failure (FZ) in a course is permitted.

To remain in good academic standing, students are also expected to make satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degree requirements in a timely manner. Please refer to the Timeline section below. It is important for students to meet with their supervisor annually to obtain feedback on the progress, level, and quality of work completed.

Failure to remain in good academic standing will result in various sanctions such as student ineligibility for funding and registration in the program.

For more detail on PhD program academic policies, please visit uoft.me/Maintaining-Good-Standing

Timeline

Students must consult with their thesis supervisor if their research work is ready for exams and or supervisory committee meetings. If approved to proceed with the exam or meeting, students must:

  1. Schedule an exam or meeting time with committee members.
  2. Book a room for the exam or meeting with Reception (MC105).
  3. Submit an online exam request ten (10) business days before the exam or meeting at https://forms.mie.utoronto.ca/admintask/login.php
  4. Distribute a copy of the presentation document to committee members ten (10) business days before the exam or supervisory committee meeting
  5. Students not meeting the following milestones fail to remain in a good academic standing and ineligible for any financial supports including but not limited to MIE fellowship, travel grant, endowed scholarships, and bursaries.
Milestone Deadline Minimum Program Requirements to be completed prior to Deadline
PhD Qualifying Exam Within 14 months of registration in program
  • Completed at least four (4) half-courses with a minimum GPA of A-
  • Earned Credit of JDE1000H
  • Earned Credit of First Year SRD4444Y
First Supervisory Committee Meeting Within 26 months of registration in program
  • Completed all five (5) half courses with a minimum GPA of 3.7 (A-)
  • Earned Credit of Second Year SRD4444Y
PhD Candidacy Within 26 months of registration in program
  • Completed all program course & seminar requirements
  • First Supervisory Committee Meeting
Second Supervisory Committee Meeting Within 38 months of registration in program
  • PhD Candidacy Achieved
Draft Thesis Within 36 to 48 months of registration in program
  • Completed draft thesis for review
Departmental Oral Exam or SGS Final Oral Exam Within 46 months of registration in program
  • Completed final thesis

Cohort Year 1 Year 2 Candidacy Achieved Year 3 Year 4 End of Year 4
4 courses (with min GPA: A-) JDE1000H Ethics in Research + 70% of MIE weekly seminars  (1st of 2 credits) Qualifying
Exam
5th Course 70% Weekly seminars (2nd of 2 credits) 1st Progress Meeting 2nd
Progress Meeting
3rd
Progress
Meeting/
Dept. Exam
SGS Final Oral Exam
Jan
2017
Complete by December 2017 Complete by December 2017 Complete by February 2018 Complete by December 2018 Complete by December 2018 Complete by December 2018 Complete by December 2019 Complete by December 1, 2020 Complete by December 2019
May
2017
Complete by April 2018 Complete by April 2018 Complete by June 2018 Complete by April 2019 Complete by April 2019 Complete by April 2019 Complete by April 2020 Complete by April 1, 2021 Complete by August 2020
Sept
2017
Complete by April 2018 Complete by April 2018 Complete by August 2018 Complete by April 2019 Complete by April 2019 Complete by August 2019 Complete by August 2020 Complete by August 1, 2021 Complete by August 2020

The PhD qualifying exam must be held within 12 months of registration for students who begin their program in September, within 14 months for January or May registrants, within 16 months for students in the flex-time option, and within 8 months of a fast-track transfer from the MASc program into the PhD. The qualifying exam evaluates both the student’s background knowledge and the proposed research.

Prerequisites

Before a qualifying exam will be scheduled, a student must have successfully completed at least four courses, with at least a B+ average. A student who does not meet this requirement will not be allowed to sit the qualifying exam, and a recommendation to terminate the program will be submitted to SGS.

Research Proposal

Once a qualifying exam has been scheduled, the student must submit a research proposal to the committee members, at least ten working days prior to the scheduled exam. This document must be double-spaced and no longer than 10 pages (including figures, tables, and a short list of references). Click here for advice on how to write a good proposal.

The Exam

The qualifying exam begins with a student presentation of no more than 20 minutes, that summarizes the proposal. This is followed by questions from the committee. Following the exam, the committee assesses progress to date and suitability for the PhD program. If the assessment is “unsatisfactory”, the committee decides whether to adjourn the exam and allow the student another opportunity to pass the exam within three months, or to fail the student and recommend termination of the PhD program.

The student must submit a PhD EXAM/MEETING REQUEST FORM when a qualifying exam or committee meeting has been arranged (ten business days before the exam/meeting is to take place).

MIE PhD qualifying exams and committee meetings are open to other students, unless otherwise requested.

Following the qualifying exam, a PhD student must meet his/her supervisory committee at least annually for a progress review meeting. These meetings allow the committee to assess the progress of the student, in order to decide whether the student remains in good academic standing.

Progress Report

Ahead of each progress review meeting, the student prepares a report of no more than 10 double-spaced pages, that (i) summarizes recent progress in the research, (ii) lists the major tasks that remain, and a timetable for completion of the program, and (iii) lists the papers (journal and conference, published and submitted) and presentations that have resulted from the work. The student may include additional material as appendices to the report (and should refer to this material in the report); the committee, however, is not obliged to read this additional material. The report must be submitted to the committee at least ten working days prior to the scheduled meeting.

The Meeting

Similar to the qualifying exam, a progress review meeting begins with a student presentation of no more than 20 minutes, followed by questions from the committee. Following the meeting, the committee assesses progress since the last exam/meeting. If the assessment is “unsatisfactory”, another meeting will be scheduled for within three months, to determine whether to allow the student to remain in the program.

When all other requirements have been met, and the PhD student has prepared a polished draft of the thesis, the student submits the draft to the supervisory committee. Based on a review of the draft, the committee decides whether to require that the student sit a Departmental Oral Exam, or whether the student may proceed directly to the SGS Final Oral Exam (FOE).

The rules of the Departmental Oral Exam are similar to those of the SGS FOE. The student summarizes the thesis in a presentation of no more than 20 minutes. This is followed by questions from the committee.

Following the exam, the committee decides whether the thesis is acceptable, as is or with corrections, or not acceptable. If acceptable, and once corrections have been made, the student may proceed to the SGS FOE. If not acceptable, another Departmental Oral Exam will be held within three months.

Detailed information on the SGS FOE is available here. Students approaching the end of their program are strongly encouraged to review this information.

SGS requires that a quorum of four voting members attend the FOE.

SGS allows no more than three members of the supervisory committee to vote, and requires that the FOE committee include two members who have not previously been involved with the student and thesis.

As a result, the Department of MIE requires that the FOE committee have five voting members:

  • the thesis supervisory committee
  • one other examiner from the University of Toronto not closely involved in the supervision of the thesis
  • an examiner external to the University of Toronto.

The student’s supervisor must submit an Examination Committee Nomination Form to the Graduate Studies Office at least eight weeks before the proposed exam date.

SGS must approve the external examiner, based on criteria posted here. Once approved, the thesis may then be sent to the external examiner, who must return a written appraisal at least two weeks before the exam, to be distributed to the student and the exam committee.

Graduate Discovery Award

At the time of your FOE – you may be eligible to apply for the Graduate Discovery Award. Please see here for more details.

Following a successful SGS FOE, and once the thesis has been finalized, the PhD student must submit a final thesis.

Students are also required to submit the MIE Graduate Clearance Form to the Graduate Studies Office.