Applying to the Graduate Program

On this page: GRE | Applications Deadline | Application and Required Documents | Application Status


Admission to the MA program is open competitively to students holding an Honours or Major BA in Anthropology, although special provisions are made in the MA program in Medical Anthropology for students with a joint expertise in Health Sciences and Anthropology. Outstanding candidates with Bachelor's degrees in other disciplines but with substantial background related to Anthropology are sometimes admitted on the condition that they complete a specified number of additional courses in Anthropology. The applicants we admit usually have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.5 or above, using a 4.0-point scale.

Admission to the PhD program is open competitively to those with an MA in Anthropology, although we may in special circumstances admit candidates with Master's degrees in related disciplines. Samples of written work in the form of a research paper or similar are essential to our assessment. All admissions for the academic year, which begins in September, are decided as a group the previous spring. Individual admissions will not be considered at other times in the year. The nature of the student's intellectual and research interests is a second important factor. Our program requires that applicants have a focus and see themselves moving in a particular direction. MA applicants should have at least a tentative commitment to a particular sub-discipline, approach, or research issue. PhD applicants should have a fairly well-delineated research problem. To judge this factor, we give serious attention to the Statement of Purpose, considering its degree of focus, intellectual sophistication, and creativity. The decision to admit depends on correspondence of the student's interests with interests and resources available in the Department. Some applicants with excellent records, worthwhile interests, and promising futures are not admitted to our Department because we do not feel able to serve their particular needs. Since the number of students that can be admitted each year is limited, final decisions are made on a competitive basis.

For additional information, visit the Future Graduate Students website.


We look for students capable of working at the research frontiers of the discipline who can benefit from the opportunity to design and carry out their own program. We put great weight on a high level of intellectual capacity and achievement. University grades as well as the results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are taken as a good index of these factors. GRE (general exam) scores are mandatory for all international student applicants, and the exam should be taken no later than December. Information on the GRE is available here Registration for the December exam takes place before mid-October. Write to Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 008541-6000, U.S.A., or call 609-771-7670. Graduate Record Examination scores above 600 are regarded as competitive.

The TOEFL examination is required for student applicants whose first language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from either: a) a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction, or b) a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone).  A minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT), with each component score not less than 20, is required.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)is accepted in place of TOEFL, for detailed information click here

Deadline for Receipt of Completed Applications

DECEMBER 15 - new deadline for Fall 2017 admissions

Any applications that are incomplete (including letters of reference, scores from any required standardized tests and grades) by the application deadline will not be considered.

Application and Required Documents

Applications to McGill's Graduate Program in Anthropology must be submitted online.  For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see:

All applicants must submit the following:

1. Online Application for Admission form:

2. Personal Statement: 1 to 2 pages describing your reasons for applying to our graduate studies program in anthropology and indicating your significant qualifications, qualities or circumstances as an applicant. This statement should also include information about your educational and professional goals and explain your interest in your desired field of study.

3. Written Work: All applicants must submit a recent sample of their academic writing of no more than 15 pages. For example, a graded essay, chapter of your M.A. thesis or an article or conference paper you have written. Can be written in English or French.

4. Transcripts: Your complete record of study from each university-level institution (including McGill) that you have attended to date including any transfer credits or study abroad including grading scheme (typically the reverse side of transcript for many institutions). Uploaded copies will be considered unofficial; final, official hard-copies will be required upon the offer of admission.

5. Reference Letters: TWO letters are required. On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the Department. Therefore, you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees.

6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores: General exam scores are required for international students only.

Application Status

Please verify the status of your application, including which supporting documents have been uploaded, via uApply.

The Department Admissions Committee announces its selections by end of April.