Time Targets

Year One


  • Select courses, including (usually) Core Course(s) in Field 1 and/or Field 2
  • Agree on program/course requirements with Graduate Director
  • Check in with designated Advisor


  • Submit fellowship applications (OGS, SSHRC, etc.)

January to August

  • Explore ideas for thesis in a general way and candidates for thesis committee. Meet with potential supervisors

May or August

  • Write Field Exam(s)

Year Two


  • Select courses to complete PhD course requirements


  • Submit fellowship applications
  • Explore additional funding sources for later stages/field work (if applicable)

October to December

  • Select thesis supervisor and committee members additional to supervisor (if not already done)

January to April

  • Work towards thesis proposal (for many, this is in conjunction with Dissertation Research Workshop, taken in close consultation with thesis supervisor)Satisfy language requirement(s)

May to August

  • Work on thesis proposal
  • Work on ethics review, if applicable
  • Consider, if possible and applicable, preliminary field work
  • Complete Field Exam(s)

Year Three


  • Meet with your dissertation supervisor and register for POL2812

October to December

  • Finalize supervisory committee
  • Ensure that ethical review (if applicable) is prepared
  • Complete a draft of thesis proposal

January to May

  1. Finalize thesis proposal
  2. Ensure all non-thesis requirements satisfied, if not already (absolute deadline for such requirements is end of year three)
  3. Begin thesis work, including fieldwork, if applicable

Years Four and Five


  • Thesis work


  • Submit fellowship applications