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G.L. Theses

Every graduate student in a thesis-based program must complete a thesis that makes an original scholarly contribution based on research conducted while in program.

Complete information on the formatting, printing, submission and distribution of the thesis is contained in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis Guidelines, available at

If required by the program, the student is responsible for the costs of printing and binding the required number of copies of the thesis, and for having the required number of copies bound.

Students must continue to pay the appropriate tuition and general fees until all degree requirements, including the submission of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, have been completed.

G.L.1 Quality of Thesis


The doctoral thesis must reflect a significant contribution to knowledge, must contain evidence of a critical understanding of the relevant literature, and must employ appropriate research methodology. It is expected that the material embodied in the thesis must be of high quality and reflects the standards of the discipline.


The thesis must demonstrate that the candidate is acquainted with the published literature in the subject of the thesis, that appropriate research methodology has been used, and that appropriate levels of critical analysis have been applied.

G.L.2 Integrity in Scholarly Activity

The University's policy governing Integrity in Scholarly Activity applies to all thesis work. Plagiarism and fabrication or falsification of research data will be considered academic misconduct. (See Student Academic Misconduct).

G.L.3 Research and Ethics

All research involving human participants, animals or biohazards must first be reviewed and approved by the appropriate certification committee before research can begin. Failure to obtain appropriate approvals prior to conducting research may result in an outcome of “fail” on the thesis examination.

Graduate students should consult with their departments or graduate programs, and review the Research Ethics site at for information about the ethics approval process.

G.L.4 Intellectual Property

The student holds the copyright on the thesis, but ownership of Intellectual Property included in the thesis is governed by the University of Calgary Intellectual Property Policy, available at

In the case of manuscript-based thesis, co-authored publications may be included (see L.5 Form and Style below).

G.L.5 Form and Style

The general form and style of thesis may differ from program to program, but a thesis must be a cohesive document. This document may, with approval of the supervisory committee, include elements such as original creative works, digital elements, entrepreneurial/innovation components, or policy/implementation components. See Thesis Guidelines at

In consultation with the Supervisor, students may choose to compose their theses using the traditional thesis style or the manuscript-based thesis style. The thesis must conform to the requirements and regulations described in the Thesis Guidelines, available at

Students may hire an editor to copyedit their theses, unless their program’s calendar entry prohibits copyediting. Students who choose to hire an editor must comply with the regulations set out in the Thesis Guidelines.

The thesis must conform to all relevant legislation and policy governing copyright.

G.L.6 Public Release of Theses

Theses must be submitted to the University of Calgary Online Theses Repository and are normally made public through the Repository.

Under certain circumstances, the Dean of Graduate Studies may approve Thesis Withhold (see Thesis Withhold Regulations, available at

Theses that include digital elements must include a file capturing the digital element in its form at the time of submission. See Thesis Guidelines at

G.L.7 Copyediting

Students may hire an editor to copyedit their theses, unless their program’s calendar entry prohibits copyediting. The student, supervisor and editor must abide by the following regulations:

  1. Prior to hiring a copy editor, permission from the supervisor(s) must be obtained. An agreement outlining the permitted scope of editing must be signed by the student and the supervisor(s). 

  2. A disclosure statement is required in the thesis (e.g., a sentence in the preface or acknowledgment stating that the thesis has been professionally edited).

  3. Under no circumstances should the copyediting alter the content, structure or contribution of the thesis.

Students must check their program’s regulations in the Graduate Calendar to see if copyediting is permitted before hiring a copy editor.

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