Students must submit a written comprehensive paper of approximately 50 double-spaced pages (excluding references). The paper should present a comprehensive overview of the main issues identified in the relevant literature for the student’s research area, provide a critical analysis of the student’s reading on her/his substantive area, demonstrate an advanced understanding of the subject area, and situate the issues/debates within broader criminological contexts. The paper is expected to be a solid and critical analysis and may not simply be a summary or literature review.
Evaluation of the paper
The committee and supervisor must be satisfied that the student has mastered the research and literature in their substantive area and demonstrates sophisticated and critical engagement.
The paper must be accepted by the student’s committee prior to registration for the oral defense. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the Comprehensive Paper Report Form (PDF, 417 KB) is signed by the supervisor and committee members, appended to a copy of the final paper, and deposited in his/her file no later than the final day (as per the academic calendar) of his/her fourth semester of studies.
Students whose comprehensive paper is not accepted for defence by their doctoral committee by the final day (as per the academic calendar) of their 4th semester of studies will not be able to sit their exam and will be considered to have failed the exam. Students have one additional opportunity to sit the examination provided they deposit their approved paper appended to the signed “Comprehensive Paper Report Form” into their file prior to March 15th of their 5th semester of studies and defend their comprehensive exam before the final day (as per the academic calendar) of their 5th semester of studies. Students whose comprehensive paper is not accepted for defence by their doctoral committee by March 15th of their 5th semester will be considered to have failed their second exam and will be withdrawn from the program, as per the University’s Academic Regulation, 11-5.2 (Unsatisfactory Progress and Withdrawal).
Students can request a deferral for their comprehensive examination if they are unable to meet the deadlines for reasons beyond their control. Deferral requests must be submitted to the PhD Coordinator and include proper documentation (such as a medical certificate in the case of an illness) and a letter of support/justification for the deferral from the student’s supervisor. Please consult Academic Regulation 11-5.3 (Deferred Evaluation) for further details.