Requirements Summary and Frequently Asked Questions

This is a condensed version of the seminar requirements, as they apply to all MCG graduate students at the University of Ottawa.  These requirements do not apply to BMG students who have their own set of requirements.


  • M.A.Sc. and M.Eng. students are required to attend a total of at least 10 seminars and PhD students are required to attend at least 15.  The seminars are those that form a part of our graduate student seminar series.  Seminars offered at Carleton as part of their MAE seminar series also count.
  • All M.A.Sc. and PhD students are also required to present one seminar on their research work.  The seminar is typically about 20 minutes in length and can be presented anytime, prior to submitting your thesis.  There is no requirement that your supervisor be present for the seminar although it is often appreciated and desirable.

The official department-approved regulations are here – note that the seminar course codes for MCG are MCG5900, MCG9900 and MCG5947.


Depending on your program (MASc, MEng or PhD), the seminar course codes for MCG are MCG5900, MCG9900 and MCG5947.  All details of the seminars other than course registration are managed by the seminar coordinator (me).  Attendance is taken via feedback sheets that are handed out at the seminar.  These feedback sheets are also returned to the presenter (with student names removed) so that they can get some feedback on their presentation.  To schedule a time to give a seminar,  send the coordinator an email several weeks ahead of time and be prepared to send me your seminar abstract (as a word/PDF attachment) a week prior to your seminar.

Kindly note that you should complete your seminar requirement PRIOR to submitting your thesis (i.e. before you defend).  If you haven’t done so, likely Lise will not let you submit your thesis for defence.

There is a google calendar for our MCG seminars that I keep up to date.  

The goal of the seminar series is to learn what other students are up to, learn how to give a seminar and learn how to be a respectful audience at a scientific presentation.  For example, everybody is expected to show up on time, ask relevant questions and generally be polite members of an audience.  Falling asleep during a presentation is a right reserved only for those who already have a PhD and are tenured professors.


Does my supervisor have to be there when I present my seminar?

There is no official requirement that your supervisor be present at your seminar.  So if you are pressed for time, you can go ahead without them.  Having said that, it’s nice to have them present.  Giving the seminar is one your last milestones as a graduate student and your supervisor will want to be there to support you and be proud of you.

When do I have to give the seminar?

You MUST give your seminar before you submit your thesis.  Make sure to start thinking about scheduling your seminar in the semester you are thinking of submitting your thesis (or sooner).

Is there a course for which I have to register?

The seminar course codes for MCG are MCG5900, MCG9900 and MCG5947. Registration in the course codes is mandatory for new students, starting their programs in Fall 2016 and later. You should register in MCG5900/MCG9900/MCG5947.  Once you register in the seminar course, you need to maintain your registration until you complete your seminar requirements.  This will typically take 2-3 semesters or more.  So either (i) register and stay registered until you are done OR (ii) register in the seminar course in the semester you think you will complete the requirement.

If you were in your program prior to Fall 2016, you are grandfathered under the old set of regulations which requires the seminar attendance but does not require the registration in the course codes.

Can I complete the seminar requirement in one semester?

No.  Typically, it takes 2-3 semesters to complete the seminar requirements, depending on (i) how many seminars are offered and (ii) how often you attend and (iii) that you manage to show up on time for the seminar.

Do I have to be registered in the seminar course to come to the seminar?

No.  Seminars are open to everyone.  All are welcome.

If I’m not registered in the seminar course, will my attendance still count towards the seminar requirement?

Yes, it will still count.  Just don’t be late because I don’t count your attendance if you show up late for the seminar.

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