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Types of theses

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies authorizes various types of theses. The rules for writing may differ depending on the type of manuscript.

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. 

Presentation rules for conventional manuscripts

Compilation or article-based 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

This hybrid approach combines conventional chapters and one or more chapters in the form of an article (or papers) where you, the student, are the first author. 

  • Compilation theses

In this type of manuscript, each chapter consists of a paper where you, the student, are the first author. A compilation thesis must include an introduction, general discussion, and conclusion that tie the papers together in a coherent manner.

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

  • The papers included must have been prepared and submitted in the course of your program as part of research carried out to fulfil your degree requirements.
  • 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.

Rules of presentation for compilation and article-based manuscripts 

Respect for authorship credit and copyright

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, 134 KB) 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).

Video on determining authorship credit

To learn more about the criteria for determining authorship credit, watch this video (in French only).

This video was produced by two master’s students as part of a graduate course in nutrition. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies would like to thank them, their professor, and the technical team for authorizing use of the video on our site.

Submitting articles to an academic journal

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.