Research Paper & Thesis Guidelines

The Research Paper

For students who are required to write a research paper as part of their Collaborative Specialization requirements, the paper must be on an environment related topic and supervised by a faculty member from the home department, preferably a member of the graduate faculty of School of the Environment. Students whose faculty supervisors are not appointed to the School of the Environment should contact the Graduate Administrator. On a case-by-case basis, students who cannot find a research supervisor from their home unit may be supervised by a professor from the School of the Environment or another participating graduate degree granting unit.

If your home department does not have an established research paper designated code, you would enrol in the School’s designated course ENV5555Y: Research Paper (1.0 FCE). Contact the School's Graduate Administrator with your paper topic and the name of your supervisor to be reviewed by the School's Graduate Associate Director and for the Graduate Administrator to enrol you in the course.

The length, style and format of the research paper are within the discretion of the home department supervisor. The School of the Environment, however, recommends that the research paper be 20-30 double-spaced pages in length. ENV5555Y is evaluated based on credit/non-credit. 

An electronic copy of the research paper must be submitted to the Graduate Administrator of the School of the Environment along with an email from your supervisor confirming that your paper has been graded and approved. This is required of students completing ENV5555Y, as well as those completing a research paper with your home unit. 

Types of research papers include:

  1. A research paper based on an internship experience.
  2. A literature review in an area related to the field of research.
  3. A primary research paper based on an area of interest.

The Thesis

Collaborative Specializations students who pursue a thesis stream degree in their home units are required to write (and if applicable, defend) an environmentally relevant research thesis of acceptable quality. Thesis research should be supervised by one or more faculty members from the home department, at least one of whom is a graduate faculty member of the School of the Environment.

An electronic copy of the final approved thesis must be submitted to the School of the Environment's Graduate Administrator prior to convocation, along with an email from your supervisor confirming that your thesis has been approved.