Completing Your Degree

Final Submission

Please note that your School of Graduate Studies degree requirements are considered complete when one electronic copy of the thesis, revised as directed by your defence examining committee, is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies through the E-Thesis Submission module in Digital Commons.


Final Thesis Checklist

  • ONE electronic copy of the thesis, revised as recommended by the Thesis Examining Committee and approved by the Supervisor/Examining Committee
  • A standard 10-12 point font has been used
  • TOP and LEFT margins should be 3.8 cm, and RIGHT and BOTTOM margins should be 2.5 cm
  • Title Page
  • Half-title Page
  • Descriptive Note
  • Abstract of 300 words or less
  • All preliminary pages are numbered in lower case Roman numerals
  • All pages must be numbered. The main body of the thesis, including text, bibliography and appendices, must be numbered continuously using Arabic numerals.

If you have not already done so, please submit the following forms to the School of Graduate Studies, Gilmour Hall Room 212, attention Thesis Coordinator. Your final submission will not be considered complete without this documentation.

If you responded 'Yes' to the above requirements, you are ready to submit to your thesis.

the E-Thesis Process

  • Submit your electronic thesis to Digital Commons. Please follow the link and click on 'Submit Research' to deposit your thesis.
  • There is a $40 library and archiving fee for both Master's and PhD electronic theses. You must pay your $40 fee before your thesis is considered submitted. You can use a credit card to pay the fee online.

How to Submit a thesis to Digital Commons

  1. Go to Digital Commons.
  2. Log in or create a login.
  3. Click on Home on the top navigation bar.
  4. The screen should read Browse Research and Scholarship – near the bottom there is a link to Open Access Dissertation and Theses. Click on it.
  5. Once you've done that, on the left side you'll see the sub-category Author Corner. Click on Submit Research and you will be in the right place.

Digital Commons

Links to e-Theses in Digital Commons are available through a variety of tools. The contents of Digital Commons are Google indexed, bringing McMaster scholarship to the attention of a broad range of users. Automated tools will continue to integrate e-theses with other print and electronic library resources in both the local catalogue and integrated catalogues, such as WorldCat.

Theses in physical formats have historically been low-use library materials. On the other hand, digitized theses are receiving higher usage. Site statistics for theses currently available in McMaster's Digital Commons show several each month are downloaded more than 100 times and many others have multiple downloads.


Embargoed/Withheld Theses

Embargoed status is intended to protect rights for immediate commercial publication, to obtain a patent which may rise from the research, or as a result of any contract made with a third party. The student may request a postponement of digital publication for up to one year at the time of thesis submission to Digital Commons – all such requests are automatically granted. Students who would like to extend this initial period of postponement must apply to the Thesis Coordinator who will forward the request to the Associate Vice-President & Dean of Graduate Studies for determination of whether further publication postponement is warranted. This request must include a full description of why the additional delay is requested and what steps have been taken to address the issues that required the initial delay. No delay of publication more than 2 years from the initial submission will be permitted.

Please note that you and your supervisor must both sign the delay of publication area on your Final Thesis Submission Sheet. For more information, consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar.


E-Thesis Binding and Archiving

  • If you choose to bind your thesis, binding serviceis available through Lehmann Bookbinding. Lehmann Bookbinding has been a trusted McMaster Vendor for nearly 30 years and, via their website, can print, bind and send your thesis where you wish. However, this is only an option; you may use any binding service that you prefer.
  • Optional Bound Copies – Should the supervisor and/or department require one or more bound paper copies of your thesis, it is the student's responsibility to obtain and distribute these bound copies.
  • Apart from these considerations, the general guidelines for thesis production should be followed.

Any questions regarding your final submission, please e-mail:

Jessica Dorsch
Thesis Defence Coordinator
905-525-9140 x23680


School of Graduate Studies
McMaster University
Gilmour Hall, Room 212
Hamilton, ON
L8S 4L8

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