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The purpose of diagnostics is to keep students on track to completing in a timely manner, to ensure they are producing high quality work, and to identify any student needs towards these goals. It is important to keep in mind that a diagnostic is only one way to help students progress, but it is ultimately the job of the student to see that high quality work is completed in a timely manner. The diagnostics meetings are meant to ensure all requirements of the program are being met, including satisfactory progress in thesis research, and that the department is meeting the needs of the student. All students have a diagnostic meeting with their supervisor and the thesis committee member(s) each year.

Process: The Form

The process is initiated by the Graduate Administrator who sends a version of the diagnostic form to the student, supervisor and committee member(s). The process ends when this form is signed by all participants. Though the form should contain comments about the level of satisfaction with progress, the signatures on the form simply indicate that a meeting has occurred and everyone is aware of the contents. Students enrolled in collaborative programs, such as the Environment and Sustainability program, must also complete a separate thesis advisor meeting form required by those programs.

Identifying Committee Member(s)

The student and supervisor need to identify committee members prior to their first diagnostic i.e., Spring of year one. Masters thesis advisory committee requires (at least) one member + supervisor, while the PhD thesis advisory committee requires (at least) two + supervisor.

Process: Roles



Thesis committee member(s):

Process: Timing and Content

Each diagnostic period will consist of at least one single group meeting with all participants. Year one Masters students meet in both the Spring of year 1 and Fall of year 2 (i.e., in the same calendar year). Be mindful of completing all program components in a timely manner!

New Students (Spring)

New Masters and PhD students have a diagnostic focused on next steps in the program. The next step for Masters students is typically the proposal while for PhD students it is comprehensive exam preparation. Diagnostics are separate from the proposal and comprehensive exam milestones.

Participants should include: student, supervisor, thesis committee member(s)

Continuing Students (Fall)

Continuing students must have a diagnostic in which they outline their thesis progress, their research plan for the coming year and plans to fulfill program milestones.

Participants should include: student, supervisor, thesis committee member(s)

Year X students (Fall)

Students who are near or have exceeded the maximum registration period for completion of their program (Master's-3yrs; Doctoral-6yrs) will be required to complete a Request for Extension of Deadline to Complete form for submission /approval. This form constitutes a time-limited plan for completion of all degree requirements.  A diagnostics meeting is required for all Year X students.

Participants should include: student, supervisor, thesis committee member(s), Grad Chair


Please contact the Graduate Administrator with any questions regarding the graduate program.

Phone: 519-661-2111, Ext. 85033;

Email: ljohns24@uwo.ca