How to apply
Applications to the graduate program in English are accepted between 15 August and 15 January for entrance in September. All documents must be received by the Graduate Coordinator by 15 January of each year. It is not possible to begin graduate studies in English at McGill in January.
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: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare.
Application and Required Documents
All supplemental application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system. See www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/submitting-your-documents for information and instructions.
Please submit the following documentation by 15 January:
- Online Application for Admission form: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready. Please note that it is very important to complete the document in full for your application to be processed.
- Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $100.00 (Canadian) payable by credit card when you submit the form. Applications cannot be processed without this payment. Please Note: We do not accept cash or personal cheques.
- Transcripts: Two (2) official copies of all university transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) are required. Photocopies will not be accepted. Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript or by a certified translator. Transcripts can be sent before the completed application. Only transcripts sent from a university Registrar's Office directly to the Department of English or submitted by the applicant in a sealed and signed university envelope are considered official. Student copies or photocopies are not considered valid documents. Uploaded copies will be considered as unofficial; final, official copies will be required once you are offered admission.
- Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) confidential letters of recommendation are required for all applicants, from instructors familiar with the applicant's work. 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. Letters of recommendation can be sent before the completed application. There is no special recommendation form. A letter of recommendation should be written on the instructor's home university's letterhead. If an applicant has been out of school for a few years, one letter from an employer or a colleague can be sent, but academic references are more effective.
- Statement of Purpose: Applicants should submit a detailed statement of 750-800 words about the nature of research to be pursued at McGill. The statement should focus on projects not biography. Considerable emphasis is placed on this description by the Graduate Administration Committee. Applicants are advised to submit a typed statement that exhibits the best qualities of their writing ability and demonstrates familiarity with the Graduate Program in English at McGill.
- Writing Sample: All applicants must submit a writing sample which is indicative of the quality of the applicant's academic work. PhD applicants should submit a copy of a section of their MA thesis or MA research paper (maximum 20-25 pages) or graduate essay. MA applicants should submit a copy of a good undergraduate essay (maximum 15-20 pages).
Documents 1-6 must be received in order for an application to be complete. Incomplete applications will not be processed until all of the above documentation has been received. Documents submitted with your application will not be returned.
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all documents, including the letters of recommendation, reach the English Graduate Office by the application deadline of January 15.
Non-Canadian applicants whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate degree using the English language, shall normally be required to submit documented proof of competency in English (e.g., minimum score of 575 on TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] or an equivalent test).
It is desirable to submit a list of the titles of courses taken in the major subject, since transcripts often give code numbers only. Transcripts written in a language other than English or French should be accompanied by a certified translation. An explanation of the grading system used by the applicant's university is helpful. The applicant should also indicate the branch of the subject in which further study is desired.
The following should also be submitted if available:
Application for a Teaching Assistantship: The application form is available here:
Teaching Assistantship Application
Names of referees: Indicate two names of referees who have agreed to send letters of recommendation on your behalf. Please include names, position, university address, telephone number and e-mail address for each referee.
Tests Taken: Submit any GRE, TOEFL or IELTS examinations that you have taken. Please include test name, score and date taken or to be taken.
Honours, Awards, Distinctions: Provide a list, indicating whether national, local or institutional, and monetary value if applicable.
Publications: List any refereed publications and non-refereed publications.
Notification of Decision by the Graduate Administration Committee: A letter will be sent to each applicant notifying him/her of the committee's decision. In some cases, decisions are delayed pending final marks which are not available until April or May (if this is the case, a letter will be sent to you requesting that you submit your final marks as soon as possible). Please make sure that you provide a permanent address to which mail can be addressed at any time and be sure of reaching you. Applicants will be notified between the end of March and mid-April.
Qualifying Year Program: If an applicant has done superior work in a related discipline but does not have enough English courses to be admitted into the program, he/she will be considered for a Qualifying Year.
Fellowships and Funding: All applicants are automatically considered for available fellowships and other funding.
If you have any further questions regarding your application, please contact the Graduate Coordinator by maria [dot] vasile [at] mcgill [dot] ca (e-mail).