Thesis Guidelines


  • A Master’s thesis must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate the ability to carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner and according to disciplinary norms.
  • A Master’s thesis does not need to constitute original scholarship.
  • The thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain (for exceptions, see withholding a thesis from circulation temporarily).


A thesis must conform to the requirements of Library and Archives Canada:

  1. Title page
  2. A detailed table of contents
  3. A brief abstract in English and French
  4. Acknowledgements
  5. Contribution to original knowledge
  6. Contribution of authors
  7. Introduction
  8. A comprehensive review of the relevant literature
  9. Thesis body
  10. A comprehensive scholarly discussion of all the finding
  11. A final conclusion and summary
  12. A thorough bibliography or reference list


Normally, a Master’s thesis does not exceed 100 pages in length. GPS considers 150 pages to be the maximum (including title page, abstracts, table of contents, contribution of authors/preface, acknowledgements, bibliography/reference list, and appendices).

Thesis Examination

A Master’s thesis is evaluated by a single examiner. The examiner must be a scholar of established reputation and competence in the field of the thesis research.

Examiners are asked to evaluate the thesis according to the criteria in the thesis examiner report form. Examiners provide an overall judgment of “passed” or “not passed.” This evaluation determines whether or not the thesis is ready for final submission, even if minor changes are recommended. For more information, consult the GPS’s Evaluation of a Written Thesis page.

Additional Information and Resources

The nature of academic research requires adherence to McGill’s policies on research ethics and intellectual property.

Please note that the faculty deadline for thesis submission is a week prior to the university deadline.

For general regulations on preparing and writing their thesis, students should consult the GPS thesis website. Students should be aware of strict deadlines for initial and final submission.

GPS and the Writing Centre also offer resources and support for thesis writing, including Graphos courses and workshops.

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