Here you can find the most important resources/policies and procedures for EOAS graduate studies, including information on safety, supervisory committees, advancement to candidacy for PhD students, final defense, and to-dos after the exam. You can also check out our Graduate Student Handbook for additional resources.

Prior to starting your program, you must complete the EOAS Workplace Safety Orientation with your supervisor. After completion of the safety orientation, apply for key/card access for your office and lab. Key/card access requests will not be processed until the completed EOAS Workplace Safety Orientation forms have been received.  This orientation is required for all EOAS employees, graduate students, research assistants, and teaching assistants. EOAS strives to provide a safe, healthy, and secure working environment for all.  

During your safety orientation, your supervisor will help you:

  1. Complete the Employee Safety Training Record and the Personal Safety Information Checklist forms and go over all the orientation items outlined in the Safety Orientation Guidelines form.
  2. Identify the UBC Risk Management health and safety training courses listed in the Employee Safety Training Record form. You must complete the required courses before starting work.
  3. Submit the EOAS Workplace Safety Orientation to Sebastian Medrano; Assistant Director; Facilities.
  4. Apply for your key/card access to your office and lab.

Forms you will need for safety orientation:

These forms are a regulatory requirement of WorkSafe BC. Failure to produce these documents at the request of WorkSafe BC could result in substantial fines for the department. If you have questions about the forms or training please contact our Sebastian Medrano; Assistant Director; Facilities.

Thank you for your cooperation in making EOAS a safe, healthy and productive working environment.

Descriptions on the supervisory committee provided by the the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies can be found here

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requires that each student have their supervisory committee added to the SSC (Student Service Centre). If you haven’t already done so, please send the list of your supervisory committee to Kimberly Tietjen; Graduate Program Coordinator ( to update the SSC on your behalf. Advancement to candidacy forms and thesis completion forms will not be processed by G+PS until the committee has been recorded in the SSC.

The supervisory committee consists of your supervisor and at least two additional faculty members. Their role is to provide support to you and your supervisor by broadening and deepening the range of expertise and experience available, and by offering advice about, and assessment of, your work. Graduate students who establish their supervisory committees early in their programs and who meet with their committees regularly, tend to complete their degree programs successfully, and sooner than students who wait to establish their committees.The supervisory committee should be formed during the first term of study and the first committee meeting should be held in the same time frame. The committee composition and all documentation should be documented on GradMe, a tool designed to document progress during the degree program.

Members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (commonly professors, associate professors, and assistant professors) have full supervisory privileges. They must be listed in the Calendar under the degree programs with which they are formally affiliated. Appropriately qualified individuals who are not members of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (such as clinical faculty, faculty with partner appointments, adjunct faculty, professors of teaching, senior instructors, visiting faculty, honorary faculty, UBCO faculty, affiliate professors, faculty members from other universities, and off-campus professionals who are academically qualified to advise graduate students) may be approved to supervise, co-supervise, or serve on the supervisory committees of graduate students.

If you would like to add a member who is not tenured/tenure track UBC faculty, please do the following:

1. Complete the form below.

2. Include the four documents below:
(1) Justification why the nominee is suitable (this should come from your supervisor)
(2) Statement from nominee assenting to serve on committee and accepting committee membership responsibilities
(3) Nominee's current CV
(4) Names of other committee members (at least 50% of a supervisory committee must be G+PS members)

3. For more details, please see the descriptions provided by UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral studies:
Supervision of Graduate Students by Non-members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Non-members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as Supervisory Committee Members

  Please send all related Supervisory Committee documents to the Graduate Program Coordinator (

PhD Candidacy

Descriptions on the advancement to Candidacy provided by the the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies can be found here.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies specifies that you must take your candidacy exam within the 24 months of your PhD program and advance to candidacy within 36 months of the start of your PhD program.

To advance to candidacy:

  1. You must pass the candidacy exam
  2. Your supervisory committee must approve your research proposal
  3. You must have completed all required coursework. There are no specific course requirements within EOAS, except in the ATSC program. However, you may be required by your supervisory or candidacy examination committee to complete course work
  4. The Chair of your candidacy exam committee must notify the Graduate Program Coordinator ( that you should be advanced to candidacy
  5. The outcome of the candidacy exam should be documented on GradMe

  IMPORTANT: Please complete the Advancement to Candidacy Form and email the completed form to the Graduate Program Coordinator ( as soon as you have completed the exam.

Advancement to Candidacy Forms:

PhD Candidacy Examinations

Detailed procedures about the timing and scope of PhD exams in EOAS can be found at:

Atmospheric Science PhD Candidacy

Detailed procedures about the timing and scope of ATSC PhD exams can be found at:

PhD Examination Chairs

Dr. Garry Clarke, Dr. Ronald Clowes; Dr. Roger Francois; Dr. Douw Steyn

Defence of Master’s Thesis (MSc & MASc)

Please ensure that GradMe is used to report the defense and program completion.

The Examining Committee

The Committee should include:

  • Your Thesis Supervisor who will act as the Chair
  • At least one other tenured/tenure track member of your supervisory committee
  • At least one external examiner who does not sit on your committee
    If this person isn't a UBC faculty member, the Thesis Supervisor is required to send a request (include a justification and the examiner's CV) to the Graduate Program Coordinator ( at least fourteen days prior to the exam.

Before the Exam

At least fourteen days before the scheduled defence you must:

  • Give each examiner a copy of the completed thesis
  • E-mail  to book a room for the defense (currently not applicable due to Covid-19)
  • Ask the Graduate Program Coordinator ( to post a notice of defence

During the Exam

The exam consists of:

  • A 20-30 minute presentation by the candidate to an open audience
  • A period of questions from the examiners and other members of the audience
  • A period of in camera questioning by the Examining Committee and other interested faculty
  • Adjudication by the Examining Committee based on the thesis, the oral presentation and your ability to defend the thesis
  • The chair reporting to you the result (pass with or without conditions, fail or adjourned)
  • Comments on the defense, along with other details will be recorded on GradMe

PhD Thesis Defences

The PhD defence will follow the guidelines set out by The Faculty of Graduate Studies. A detailed descriptions of procedures related to the PhD thesis defence can be found here.

At the discretion of the supervisory committee, an in-camera department level defence (e.g., including faculty and associated researchers) could be scheduled prior to submitting the thesis to the external examiner.

If you passed the exam you will need to:

  • Make any suggested corrections to your thesis
  • Submit your thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies

Note you are only considered to have completed your program once the thesis has been submitted and accepted. Your fees are prorated up until the end of the month in which you submit your thesis. If you haven't already done so, apply to graduate.

If you do not pass the exam you will need to develop a plan of action in conjunction with your Thesis Supervisor and the Graduate Chair.

Check out the Graduate Student Handbook developed by our EOAS Graduate Student Council! You can find general information on EOAS graduate programs, contact, resources, academics, EOAS activities and events, student life, and communication!