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Adopting Course Materials

The McMaster Campus Store strives to inspire innovation and discovery through the delivery of accessible educational materials in partnership with the Academic community, positioning students for success. We continue to prioritize making both print and digital options available wherever possible, so students can select the option that best suits their learning style and budget. Please see below for information on submitting a course adoption for the upcoming term.

Here's how you can assist us in sourcing materials for your course:

  • Submit a Course Adoption to the Campus Store:

    Email and include:

  • Instructor name and email address
  • Course information (code, section, estimated enrollment)
  • Book information (ISBN, author, publisher, edition)
  • Is the book required or optional?

  • Non-Traditional Course Materials:

    The Campus Store is here to assist with locating the course materials you require for your course.  If your needs cannot be met via a traditional textbook, please reach out to our team to discuss alternate options and creative ideas. We're always here to help!  Our Course Materials buying team can be reached at

  • Adopt Required Supplies
    Fill out our Required Supplies Adoption Form to request items such as lab coats, lab kits, goggles, calculators, lab books, etc. for your course. We want to ensure that we have these on hand if your students required them for your course.

  • Everybody wins when you:

    Adopt early. The mission of the Campus Store is to provide required course materials at the lowest prices possible.  To that end, we encourage Faculty to adopt their books as early as possible and to consider low cost alternatives.

    Support the use of your chosen course materials to your students.  By stressing the importance of purchasing your course materials and utilizing them as much as possible throughout the course, sell-through of these materials will increase which minimizes the amount of stock returns to the publishers and saves the university valuable dollars.


Textbook Adoption General FAQ
Frequently asked questions about adopting textbooks and electronic course materials.

University Guidelines for Digital Learning Resources

This University developed document guides Instructors on the use of paid digital learning resources in McMaster Courses.


Contact the Course Materials Team

Cathy Overeem, Course Materials Buyer
Karin Stonehouse, Course Materials Buyer
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 21913.

Kim Foottit, Required Supplies & Merchandise Coordinator
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 22621

Textbook Adoption FAQ

  • How do I determine a title's availability?

    If you need to check the availability of a particular title, we recommend you use Books in Print. Because we order directly from publishers and distributors and not from other bookstores such as Amazon and Indigo, other commercial websites do not accurately reflect pricing, availability and in-print status.

  • Why don't you order based on the estimated enrollment alone?

    Our goal is to ensure that each student has all the required materials they need, when they need them at the most reasonable price we can deliver.

    While we do budget to have some surplus inventory, we generally do not order one book for every student as sell-through on textbooks is rarely ever 100% of enrollment. Excessive returns to publishers are very costly.

  • How do you determine the number of books ordered?

    Ordering decisions are based on:

    1. Enrollment in the course
    2. The status of the book i.e. Required or Optional and information on how the book is used in the course
    3. Sales history of that particular text and other texts for the course
    4. Cost of the book
    5. The likelihood of other copies on campus and availability of used books
    6. The availability of the material in an eBook or loose-leaf format
    7. An open book exam in the course
  • What do you do if you run out of textbooks?

    We try to determine how many students still need books and then order them straight away. Our team keep an eye on stock levels throughout the term and determine when an order is needed. We realize that being without the required text is a serious issue for students and for you, and when that happens, we try to react immediately and get the books in as fast as possible.

  • What do you do if you run out of textbooks?

    We try to determine how many students still need books and then order them straight away. Our team keep an eye on stock levels throughout the term and determine when an order is needed. We realize that being without the required text is a serious issue for students and for you, and when that happens, we try to react immediately and get the books in as fast as possible.

  • What can I do to help avoid or solve problems?

    If you know enrollment next term is likely to differ from past terms, you plan on using the text in a different manner or that the text is available in eBook format, please let us know when you place your adoption. If new information comes to light after you have placed your adoption please contact us as soon as possible.

  • Why are early adoptions important?

    Getting your adoptions in early is another way you can help avoid or solve problems. Not only does it give us sufficient time to have the books delivered, an early adoption means we can:

    • Source multiple vendors and negotiate with publishers to get the best price
    • Get the text on the Sellback list.
      If we know which texts you will use far enough in advance we will make sure those titles are on the Sellback list. Sellback is a critical part of keeping prices low and give students a chance to get the best price for books they want to sell after they have finished a course. It allows us to source used copies on campus, saving on shipping time and costs and most importantly puts money back into the pockets of McMaster students!
    • Compensate for unexpected problems.
      Problems do arise. Books go out-of-print or out-of-stock and editions change. Getting your adoption early gives us time to react to the unexpected.
    • Source alternate formats
      Many publishers offer their titles in a variety of formats. With sufficient time, we can source these different formats (i.e. eBooks, loose-leaf, packages etc.) that will give students options so they can select the materials that best suit their budget and learning style.
  • Are there any guidelines on textbook costs?

    McMaster University does not have an official policy on how much the books for a course should cost, and ultimately pedagogy is more important than price. However, when asked, we give rough guidelines of $100 per course.

    To keep the cost to students reasonable we try to secure a balance of new and used materials from a variety of resources across North America.

    We encourage Faculty to commit to using the same textbook over multiple semesters allowing students to sell back their textbooks if they choose.

    We are always happy to assist with finding suitable course materials for your course.

  • How long does it take for books to arrive?

    The time it takes for textbooks to arrive varies greatly depending on where the books are sourced (imported foreign language books taking the longest). If you place your adoption by the suggested deadlines, we aim to have the books in stock by the time the booklist is posted live on our site (about 3 weeks before a term starts). If there are delays that will prevent your books from arriving by the first week of class, we will let you know.

  • What are the options if a book is unavailable or out-of-print?
    1. Used copies.
      If the book hasn't been out of print long, given enough notice, we may be able to find adequate quantities of used copies.
    2. Placing copies on reserve in the Library.
      If the context of the course allows placing textbooks on reserves may be an easy solution and will also save your students money
  • How do I request a desk copy?

    Desk copies are requested directly from the Publisher. Please let us know if you need assistance in contact a publisher to request a desk copy.

  • How do I order non-textbook materials?

    Many courses require that students come prepared for class with specialized supplies such as lab coats, goggles, notebooks, mineral kits, technical pencils, journals or dissecting kits.

    We want to ensure that all the necessary course supplies are in stock and available for the students. If you let us know what your students need we will include them in the booklist along with the rest of your course materials. We do not stock these items unless we are requested to do so.

    To adopt Required Supplies you can either...

    1. Include the details in your course materials adoption
    2. Submit an adoption directly to the Required Supplies Buyer using this Required Supplies request form
  • How do I get in touch with the Course Materials Department?

    Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 21913
    In person – our office is located in the Campus Store in Gilmour Hall

The Campus Store - Your Digital Concierge


Resources and functional expertise to assist faculty with sourcing and identifying digital resources for their course

The Campus Store Course Materials team works in partnership with instructors to source the digital materials they require for students to be successful in their class. This includes both paid and FREE content.


Robust digital delivery platform

Faculty have access to digital materials through our online platform Campus EBookstore Inc (CEI) - our online platform gives faculty access to over 302,00 digital resources (and growing) from e-texts to access codes to OER materials.



  • Platform was created by, and is operated under the direction of, independent Campus Stores from 22 of the largest Universities in Canada.
  • Currently is the platform of choice for 67 Institutions across Canada (Colleges & Universities), enabling the Campus Store at each institution to seamlessly deliver digital content.
  • Supports the distribution of FREE OER materials and FREE public domain titles to students.
  • Supports the distribution of dynamic content and interactive course materials with agreements in place with the majority of Canadian publishers.
  • Is small publisher friendly, levelling the playing field by enabling smaller publishers to digitize their print materials.
  • All online sales are processed through the McMaster Campus Store website, ensuring all transactions are fully PCI compliant and that customer’s payment information is protected.
  • We protect the student’s privacy - contact information is never used for marketing purposes or shared with other entities.
  • Students can purchase and receive their digital materials within minutes, enabling them to shop and study at a time that works best for them.
  • We ensure students aren’t paying for materials they no longer need - If a student drops out of a course, we work with the publisher to issue a refund. Our digital platform facilitates the discussion, and once approved, the subsequent refund to the student’s original method of payment.


Committed advocates of digital material

Our Campus Store Course Material buyers continue to lobby publishers and vendors, on behalf of faculty, to make digital versions of print materials available wherever possible. For course materials that are not currently available digitally we have leveraged our relationships with publishers to ensure that they are loading digital content to our platform. Most of the large Canadian publishers have partnerships with Campus eBookstore Inc. (CEI). For those vendors who do not, we are actively working on making materials available through our custom publishing service.


Digitized custom courseware

The Campus Store works in partnership with Media Production Services (MPS) to offer custom courseware in a digital format.


Facilitate access for students through our online booklist

If digital resources are not available through the Campus Store, we will provide all information needed in the booklist for students to access their required course materials elsewhere. We are committed to ensuring that students have the materials they need to succeed, regardless of where these materials are purchased.



Support for Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and Library Accessibility Services (LAS)

Wherever possible we work with Student Accessibility Services and Library Accessibility Services to ensure they have the materials needed to provide accessible formats to students they work with. We utilize our relationships with publishers and vendors to assist in securing materials and in many cases provide the materials themselves to assist SAS and LAS.



We need your assistance in spreading the word

Share our digital platform - to assist in finding a suitable digital resource for McMaster courses. An email from the Instructor to will make this resource available to students via the Campus store website.

Encourage faculty to submit their course adoptions - via email to Our Course Materials Team is here to help and can do much of the legwork needed to identify digital resources for instructors. Most of our adoptions arrive just a week or two prior to the start of term. The sooner we have the adoptions in hand, the sooner we can work on ensuring we can provide access to a digital resource for the course.

Ensure Mosaic is updated with instructors and cancellations – the Course Materials Team relies on the information populated in Mosaic around course information and instructor contact information. As instructors are hired and courses are cancelled, please ensure that information is provided in Mosaic.

Let us know what else we can do! Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or suggestions for how we can best support your department. We want to use our resources to support teaching and learning on campus, we are happy to help in any way we can.


Contact the Course Materials Team

Fiona O'Connor, Course Materials Manager (currently on leave)
Cathy Overeem, Course Materials Buyer
Karin Stonehouse, Course Materials Buyer
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 21913.

Kim Foottit, Required Supplies & Merchandise Coordinator
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 22621

Textbook Publisher Contact Information

Ordering Desk Copies

The textbook publisher contact information on this page is provided as a service of the McMaster University Campus Store to aid faculty in the choosing of new textbooks and ordering desk copies.

Textbook Publisher Quick Links

Required Supplies Adoption Request

Please let us know the tools that your students require to be successful in class. We want to ensure we have these tools on hand when your students need them. (i.e. lab goggles, calculators, lab coats, disection kits, lab books, etc.)

All fields are required.