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Thesis Submission

A Step-by-step Guide to Thesis Preparation and Submission

M.Sc. Thesis

In Human Genetics, the M.Sc. candidate must present a thesis, which should demonstrate technical mastery and present results in an organized, clear and literate style.

Ph.D. Thesis

The Ph.D. is a research degree and represents high scholastic attainment in a specialized field, demonstrated by independent and original research.

In writing the thesis, students may choose to follow the traditional format or they may include as part of the thesis the text, or duplicated published text, of an original paper or papers. In the latter case, the thesis must still conform to all manuscript requirements of the Faculty. Examples of manuscript-based theses are available in the departmental library and can be borrowed upon request.

Students should consult the “Thesis Preparation and Submission Guidelines” six months before submission of the thesis. This contains details of the required thesis format and other important regulations. Be sure to consult the latest version:


Timeline for Smooth and Successful Thesis Submission


Phase 1 (At least 6 months before Submission)

Phase 2 (3 Months prior to submission)

  • Ph.D. Seminar (And M.Sc. if necessary ~ see M.Sc. Seminar rules) is held
  • Student provides GPC with names and email addresses of at least:
    • Two potential internal OR external examiners no later than 1 month prior to submission (for M.Sc. Thesis Examination)
    • Two potential internal examiners AND two potential external examiners no later than 1 month prior to submission (for Ph.D. Thesis Examination)
  • GPC will confirm with the student and supervisor once an internal examiner has agreed to serve.

Phase 3 Initial Submission

  • As of September 16, 2013 McGill University has adopted Mandatory Initial e-Thesis Submission
  • Theses must be submitted as a single PDF to the following email addresses:

          Masters students: mastersthesissubmission [dot] gps [at] mcgill [dot] ca 
          Doctoral students: doctoralthesissubmission [dot] gps [at] mcgill [dot] ca

  • Subject line:  Initial e-thesis submission
  • The naming convention for the initial e-thesis file must be as follows: 

          Student id #_ last name_ first name_ unit name (can be abbreviated)  thesis.pdf 
          Example: 260123456_ Smith _John_ Human Genetics (HGEN)_thesis.pdf

  • If students are having difficulty in sending the PDF please contact the thesis office at: thesis [dot] gps [at] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Students are required to provide a PDF copy to each Supervisor or Co-supervisor and to the GPC for distribution to oral defence committee members prior to the defence.
  • Should any examiner or member of a student’s committee request a hardcopy, the student must provide one to the relevant office making the request
  • Students will receive a confirmation receipt of submission from GPSO.

Forms required with initial e-thesis submission

The following forms must be duly signed, scanned, and submitted to GPS with your initial e-thesis submission. Please ensure all necessary signatures have been obtained before submission.

Please ensure all necessary signatures have been obtained before submission and ensure that a copy of this form is submitted to the graduate unit.

Please note that this form may be filled-in and printed, but must be signed before submission

The naming convention for the non-exclusive license form must be as follows: 

Student id#_ last name_ first name_ unit name_ MNL.pdf 
Example 260123456_Smith_John_Human Genetics (HGEN)_MNL.pdf

Please note that this form may be filled-in and printed, but must be signed before submission.

The naming convention for the non-exclusive license form must be as follows:
Student id#_ last name_ first name_ unit name_ LAC.pdf
Example 260123456_Smith_John_Human Genetics (HGEN)_LAC.pdf

Phase 4 Oral Examination (Ph.D. Thesis ONLY)

  • Shortly after the initial submission the GPSO will inform the department of the earliest possible date to hold the oral defence. The exact timeline varies for each thesis, but typically it is approximately 2 months after the initial submission.

Before the Oral Defence date can be confirmed, the Oral Defence Committee must be formed. The committee consists 6 (or 7) members:

Pro-Dean (Assigned by GPSO)

Department Chair (Eric Shoubridge or delegate)



Internal Thesis Examiner

External Member (TBC)

Internal Member (TBC)

The internal and external members review the thesis prior to the defence but do not submit a written report. The Internal Member needs to be from the Dept of Human Genetics. The External Member can be from within McGill, but outside the dept, or from Université de Montréal , UQAM, etc. These members attend the defence and ask questions.

The external EXAMINER will also send questions with his/her report which the supervisor(s) will ask at the defence.

  1. Shortly after the initial submission, the student and supervisor(s) should discuss potential internal and external members and provide the GPC with the names and email addresses of at least two possible internal members and two possible external members. SC members cannot serve as oral defence committee members.
  2. The examination is in two parts. In the first part, you provide a summary of your research question and the results obtained to the examiners and a public audience; the second part consists of questions and comments by the Examining Committee. You will then be asked to leave while the Committee discusses the examiners' comments, the thesis and your entire record.
  3. Further details pertaining to Ph.D. Oral Defences can be found at: http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/thesis/guidelines/oral-defence

Phase 5 Final Submission

  • As of August 13, 2009 McGill University has adopted Mandatory Final e-Thesis Submission

Full details regarding electronic submission can be found at:



  • The Dept will arrange for your final thesis to be printed, leather-bound and added to the departmental library. Additional copies can be ordered through the GPC for $30.00 each.