Admissions and Applications

Admissions Requirements

Entrance into either the M.A. or Ph.D. programs in Communication Studies is limited to the best qualified applicants. A minimum CGPA of 3.3 or the equivalent, i.e. 75%, is required. Decisions regarding supervisors are only made after the admissions committee has selected the successful applicants.

M.A. Program

An Honours Bachelor's degree or quivalent is required of applicants for the MA program with a minimum CGPA of 3.3 on 4.0. In any case, the transcript must show breadth or depth in related area of study.

Ph.D. Program

Applicants for the Ph.D. program are expected to have completed the equivalent of an M.A. degree. Admission will be based on academic achievement and evidence of talent and strong motivation in communication studies. Candidates with an M.A. will be admitted into Phase II of the doctoral program, thereby gaining credit for one year of resident study.

Application Deadlines

Date for Guaranteed Consideration:

MA: January 15 for following September admission.

PhD: January 15 for following September admission.

There are no January admissions for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs.

Application Process

As of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced with a more convenient electronic version.  For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please see:

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

My undergraduate degree is in a field other than Communications, but I wish to apply for your MA. Do I need to do a BA in Communications first?

No. We accept, into our degrees, students with a wide variety of backgrounds and previous degrees. We suggest, however, that you use our Statement of Interest to explain the link between your previous degree and your intended area of study.

Does your program offer practical or professional training in journalism (or public relations or television production)?

No. Our program is oriented towards the history and analysis of communications phenomena. We do not offer professional training in journalism or media production.

What should I put in my Statement of Interest? Must I name a thesis supervisor at the moment of applying? Must I have a thesis topic already?

Because we receive applications from students with a variety of backgrounds, the Statement of Interest is very useful in helping us to decide whether an applicant will fit within our program. A good Statement of Interest will provide a succinct description of the applicant's interests and intended areas of study. It should not include vague platitudes about the importance of communications in the world, or detailed reiteration of your curriculum vitae. While we do not expect you to have a final idea of your MA or PhD thesis topic at the time of applying, you should have some sense of the areas or questions which you wish to pursue.

It is helpful to us if, in your application, you can show how your intended area of study relates to the research or teaching areas of faculty within the Program. This includes indicating one or more possible supervisors from among our full-time faculty whose scholarly work reflects your study interests. It is not required that you secure an agreement from a potential supervisor in advance of your application, however it is advisable to contact potential supervisors to determine their availability and interest in supervising your studies. 

My interests cover both Communications and Art History. What is the exact relationship between the two disciplines within the Department? Can I do a joint degree in both programs?

The degree programs in Art History and Communications Studies are separate offerings within our Department. Nevertheless, many students in one discipline will take one or more courses in the other, or include a Faculty member from the other discipline on their synthesis exam or thesis committees. While the disciplines are distinct, we are looking to develop areas of possible overlap, such as the study of new media arts or histories of representational technologies (for example, photography.) As yet, we do not offer joint degrees in Art History and Communications Studies, though we may develop such degrees in the future.