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In addition to the general requirements outlined in the section titled, The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, the following requirements must be met by all students proceeding to the Ph.D. degree.

Admission Requirements

The normal requirement for entry into the Ph.D. program shall be an M.Sc. in Earth Sciences or an appropriate degree in a cognate discipline. Students who have enrolled in the M.Sc. program may apply to transfer to the Ph.D. program after one year of registration, and must have achieved a minimum A- average in course work and have a strong recommendation from their thesis committee.

Program Requirements and Structure

Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.Sc. degree will be required to:
a) take a minimum of four, one-semester courses, including the doctoral research proposal and graduate seminar courses.
b) Additional courses may be required if the doctoral committee feels that a particular area of the student's background needs to be strengthened.

The required courses will be chosen in the context of the student's previous education to ensure a sufficient intellectual challenge, commensurate with the Ph.D. degree.

Students transferring into the Ph.D. program after having completed one year of the M.Sc. degree will be required to take a minimum of six courses in total, including the doctoral research proposal and graduate seminar courses.

Grading: The minimum passing grade in graduate courses is “B-”. Any student whose performance is deemed unsatisfactory in course work or research will be required to withdraw.

Doctoral Committee: The doctoral committee shall comprise the advisor(s), two other faculty members from the Department of Earth Sciences and one faculty member from another department at the University of Windsor. Other committee members can be added where appropriate (e.g. from other universities or from industry).

Research Proposals: Doctoral candidates will be required to prepare research proposals that must be successfully defended in a public forum, prior to continuation in the program. Presentation of the research proposal will normally be at the end of the first calendar year after enrollment.

Dissertation: The student will be required to submit a dissertation that is a compilation of original research carried out by the student, under the supervision of the student's advisor(s) and the doctoral committee. The dissertation may be submitted in a traditional format or as a compilation of published papers and/or manuscripts, linked by introductory and conclusion chapters. In the latter case, the contribution of the student to any jointly authored papers must be clearly stated and justified.

Progress reports: The student will submit annual research progress reports to the doctoral committee. Continuation in the program is dependent on a satisfactory progress report. The Faculty of Graduate Studies also monitors student progress via an annual progress report submitted by the student and supervisor.


Comprehensive Examination: The comprehensive examination will normally occur at the end of the first year and will typically be held in conjunction with the defense of the research proposal. However, the two may be held at different times for logistical or other reasons. The comprehensive exam is complementary to the defense of the research proposal, and is designed to assess whether the student's scientific knowledge is appropriate for continuance in the Ph.D. program, and to ensure that the student has the background knowledge that is required for their research. A pass/fail decision will be by a majority vote of the committee. If a student should fail the comprehensive exam, he or she will be allowed to re-sit the exam within a four-month period after the first exam. The student will be required to withdraw from the program should he or she fail the second exam.

Defense: The dissertation will be defended by the student and examined by an examination committee in a public defense. The examination committee will comprise the student's doctoral committee and an external examiner.