Skip to main content
Skip to main content

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies authorizes various types of theses. The rules for writing may differ depending on the type of manuscript. However, certain general presentation rules apply to all manuscripts.

Conventional Master's or Doctoral thesis

A conventional manuscript takes the form of a monograph, i.e., a complete work presenting a comprehensive study of a given subject. It is made up of chapters reporting on the various stages of the research. It generally includes the following chapters: introduction, literature review, methodology, presentation and analysis of results, general discussion and conclusion.

Article-based or combined Master's or Doctoral thesis

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies accepts Master's and Doctoral theses that include one or more papers in the manuscript. Such theses can take one of two forms:

Article-based theses
In this type of manuscript, each chapter consists of a paper.

Combined theses
This type of manuscript combines one or more chapters in the form of conventional papers or an article.

General conditions

For these types of writing, the following general conditions must be met:

  • The manuscript must include a preface, an introduction and a conclusion that highlight the coherence of the student's approach.
  • The papers included must have been prepared in the course of your program as part of research carried out to fulfil your degree requirements. For a Doctoral thesis, the articles must have been submitted to an academic journal before the initial deposit. For a Master's thesis, articles are not required to have been submitted.
  • You must be the first author of the papers. The first author is the person to whom the work was assigned, who contributed most to the research, and who wrote the various parts of the paper. If you have a first coauthor, the person cannot be a faculty member. You must also provide justification for including a paper with a first coauthor.

If you are interested in doing a compilation thesis, check first with your program director to see if it is allowed and what special rules you must follow.

Portfolio format thesis

A portfolio format thesis consists of various relatively independent original components, created to fulfill requirements of the academic program, organized according to a specific and coherent research project.

While not exhaustive, here is a list of elements that can be part of a portfolio format thesis :

  • Policy reports and statements
  • Inventions, models, prototypes, business plans, patents, technological licenses
  • Educational programs, course materials, assessment tools
  • Cultural productions such as creative works and archives from festivals, exhibitions, cultural or artistic events
  • Various digital artifacts
  • It may also include regular chapters and articles submitted for publication.

In this type of thesis, each original component constitutes a chapter.

Similar to a compilation or article-based thesis, a portfolio format thesis includes a preface, an introduction, and a conclusion that highlight the coherence of the student's approach.

Refer to you Ph.D. program’s description to make sure that portfolio format thesis is allowed, and check for specific conditions or requirements. 

If  portfolio format is appealing to you, you must first:

  • Discuss with yoursupervisor to ensure that this type of thesis fits your  research project.
  • Be aware that crafting a thesis from various components may require a good knowledge or mastery of certain communication tools or new technologies.
  • Be first author or co-first author of every original components included in the thesis.

For each chapter consisting of an original piece or an article, the rules for writing with articles must be respected.

Articles written with coauthors

Copyright must be respected when including a coauthored article.

Articles written with coauthors may be included in your thesis or dissertation provided you obtain written permission from each of the coauthors. Permission should be obtained before you start writing. Coauthor permission forms  (PDF) should be submitted at the time of initial submission.

Published or forthcoming articles

You’ll need to check with the publisher to ensure that publication of your article doesn’t prevent you from including it in your thesis or dissertation or restrict its subsequent release.

Note that a delay in the publication of an article cannot justify postponement of the evaluation of your thesis or dissertation.

For more information about the reproduction and dissemination of works for research purposes at Université Laval, consult the Copyright Office website  (in French only).

For a Master’s thesis: articles included in your thesis are not required to have been previously submitted to a scholarly journal. As a master’s student, you are not expected to have completed your training as an academic writer.

For a Doctoral thesis: articles must have been submitted to an academic journal, but are not required to have been accepted or published.

  • The Doctoral thesis must be a completed work, not a work in progress or the first draft of something else. Submitting the article to an eligible academic journal is an indication that your work has reached a sufficient state of readiness. 
  • Submitted articles are eligible for inclusion in your dissertation regardless of how they are received by the editorial board.
  • Check with your program director to find out which journals you can submit to in order for your articles to be eligible for inclusion in your dissertation.

Important! The rules governing the submission of articles to academic journals are strictly applied to all graduate students who began their studies in the fall of 2018 or later. Those who began their studies before this date should ask their program director for details on applicable requirements. 

The first author is the person to whom the work has been entrusted, who has carried out the majority of the scientific work and who has written the various parts of the article.

Each person who makes a substantial contribution to the materialization of an idea must be declared coauthor of the resulting document.

Persons who have contributed to any of the stages in the preparation of the article should be mentioned in the acknowledgements of the document or work.

Differences between author and co-author status (PDF) (in French only)