2.1 Admission Requirements
Applicants should be graduates of a university of recognized reputation and hold a Bachelor's degree equivalent to a McGill Honours degree in a subject closely related to the one selected for graduate work. Some Major Programs (at McGill and elsewhere) contain the necessary amount of specialization and may qualify the applicant for consideration.
The applicant must present evidence of high academic achievement. High grades are expected in courses considered by the Department to be preparatory to the graduate program.
2.2 Application and Supporting Documents
Please see "How to Apply."
Students accepted in the Program will receive a letter of acceptance from the Department and an official acceptance package from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. Both letters are necessary, as the department's recommendation must be confirmed by GPSO.
Note: Students who receive an acceptance and intend to register in the Program should convey their intention in writing to the Director of the Graduate Program, no later than 15 April.
New students will be notified by mail of the dates and times of registration. Students register for courses in July; the exact date changes every year. Before term begins, all students must meet with an advisor in the Graduate Program to receive advising about the program and to have their registration form signed.
Advising for new students takes place in the week before the fall term begins. Students will be notified in advance of the exact time and place. They will be asked to sign up for an appointment with an advisor.
Advising for returning students takes place in April. Specific information on advising times will be available from the Graduate Coordinator.
All students must pay their fees and/or outstanding fines before registering.
2.5 Grading System
Classification of grades:
If, in the instructor's opinion, there is sufficient reason to permit a delay in the submission of required term work in a 500-level course, an extension of deadline after the end of the course may be granted to the student. In this case, the instructor will submit a grade of "K" (incomplete). At the time of submission of the grade of "K," the instructor will indicate the date by which the work is to be completed on a "K" form (signed by the student and the instructor). For 500-level courses the maximum deadline extensions for the submission of grades will be: 30 April for Fall term courses, 31 July for Winter Term and yearlong courses. If the required work is not completed before the deadline the grade of KF (failed course) will automatically be recorded on the student's transcript. In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Associate Dean, the deadlines indicated above may be extended further, in which case the grade of K* will appear. When the extended deadline has not been met, the grade of E will automatically be assigned.
The maximum extension for submission of work assigned the grade of K in a 600- or 700-level course is normally four months. A further extension, designated E, may be granted with a note from the instructor of the course(s) to the Director of the Graduate Program stating the further extension deadline. It is the student's responsibility to adhere to this deadline and to ensure the final grade has been submitted to the Graduate Office (Arts 155B).
Students with incompletes and/or uncleared Ks, will not be assigned Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships.
Students who have failed one course required by their department while registered as a graduate student may automatically retake that course or substitute an equivalent course. For the purposes of this policy, ‘required course’ includes either a course required by the student’s program of study, or a course that has been designate by the department for an individual student’s program of study. Students with any further failures in that course, or a failure in any other course, will be required to withdraw from their program of study. When a student retakes a course, she/he is required to pay the fee charged for the course in question. PhD students and master’s students in thesis programs can also be required to withdraw from their program of study for documented lack of performance in research.
This failure policy does not pertain to the failure of comprehensive examinations, doctoral oral defenses, or thesis failures. In the case of a failed thesis or defense, the Thesis Failure Policy, detailed in the Thesis Guidelines, applies. In the case of a failed comprehensive examination, the Ph.D. Comprehensives Policy applies.
Masters students are encouraged to complete all degree requirements within two years. All M.A. requirements must be completed within three years of initial registration. If the MA degree requirements are not completed within three years, the student must withdraw from the program.
By registering annually, all Doctoral candidates may maintain their connection with the University for three years after completing their residence requirements (until Ph.D.7). GPSO imposes a strict time limitation of six years for the completion of the PhD degree. If the degree requirements are not completed within six years, the student must withdraw.
In exceptional cases, a student who wishes to submit a thesis, or to complete outstanding degree requirements after withdrawing, may do so only on the recommendation of the Department. The student must apply to the Graduate Program Director for re-admission. Only students who have completed all degree requirements, including the thesis, will be considered for re-admission.
2.9 Classification of Students
2.9.1 Regular Students
"Regular Students" are those students who are proceeding to a degree and who in any given session are attending classes or receiving regular guidance relevant to their programs, who wish to write examinations, or who are making use of the University's libraries or other facilities.
All students must register annually up to the term in which they expect to graduate. This rule applies even to students who are not residing in the Montreal area.
2.9.2 Qualifying Students
Students admitted to a Qualifying Program are known as Qualifying Students. They are registered in the GPSO but have not been admitted to a degree program. These students take a full load primarily of advanced undergraduate courses as indicated by the Department. A Qualifying Program cannot be taken on a half-time or part-time basis.
2.9.3 Special Students
Students who meet the minimum entrance requirements of the GPSO and wish to take one, or at most two, 500 or graduate-level courses per term in the GPSO without intention of proceeding to a degree or diploma awarded by this Office, are termed "Special Students" by the GPSO. Special students can take a maximum of four courses.
If "Special Students" subsequently become candidates for higher degrees, they may receive academic credit for relevant graduate courses taken as special students. Credit for such courses is granted at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director. Students who wish to take further undergraduate courses only should register as "Special Students" in the undergraduate Faculty concerned, even if they already hold degrees.
2.9.4 Visiting Students
"Visiting Students" are those students who are registered in a degree program at another university and who have obtained written permission from both universities to take a course or courses for credit towards that degree program. Permission to register as a Visiting Student is granted by the Program Director. Visiting Students must make a formal application to the program, including letters of recommendation and transcripts, providing the same information required of all other applicants to Graduate Studies in English. In addition to a regular application, visiting students must have written approval from their home institution and include in their application a list of courses they wish to take at McGill.
2.9.5 Graduate Research Trainees
Graduate Research Trainees are distinguished from "Visiting Students" insofar as they do not take courses. Nevertheless, they must also submit an online application, as well as apply to the Graduate Program Director in order to attend McGill. Graduate Research Trainees will work with a particular faculty member as a supervisor. The student must be registered in a graduate degree program at another university. At McGill, the trainee will perform research only; the student may not enroll in or audit courses.
2.9.6 Transfer Credits from Quebec Universities
McGill students registering for courses at other Quebec universities will be required to pay for the course(s) at the home university. Students may enroll in appropriate graduate courses at other Quebec universities. For such courses, students register through www.crepuq.qc.ca. Credits will appear on students' transcripts, but no grade is recorded and the credits do not count towards the CGPA.
The University reserves the right to change any fee without notice. Transcripts of records, diplomas, and permission to re-register will be withheld if tuition fees, residence fees, library fines, student loans, or any other amount owing either to McGill University or the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning remain outstanding, and this notwithstanding any bankruptcy of the debtor under the Bankruptcy Act.
A fee information booklet is published in June of each year. It is available online.
2.10.1 International Students
International students are required to pay higher tuition fees than Canadian students or permanent residents (e.g., landed immigrants). Current tuition fees for new international students are shown in parentheses in this section of the Handbook. Exemption from international student fees may be claimed by students in certain categories. A list of these categories and required application forms are available at the Registrar's Office or at the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Records Office. International students are also required to enroll in the compulsory McGill International Health Insurance Plan; see here.
The tuition fees for two terms of resident study in a degree program is $2167.80 for Quebec students, and $5858.10 for non-Quebec Canadian Masters students. Fees for full-time International Masters students are approximately $14,561.70 per year. Students in non-thesis programs must register for a minimum of 12 credits per term in order to be considered full-time. Activity fees and health insurance are not included in tuition fees. Please confirm all fees here.
2.10.3 Additional Session
Candidates requiring additional terms beyond the required period of residence currently pay the following rates for full-time enrollment: $656 (Quebec), $656 (Canadian), $656 (international).
Students who wish to take a leave of absence from the University for one year before returning to complete their residence requirements should first obtain permission to do so both from the Department and from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. The student must register as a non-resident student and pay the non-resident fee. No other fees are levied.
A "Special Student" is not enrolled in any degree program and tuition fees are assessed on a per course (per credit) basis.
2.10.6 Qualifying Program
Tuition fees in the "Qualifying Program" are assessed on a per course (per credit) basis. A "Qualifying Program" may consist of a maximum of two terms of full-time studies.
2.10.7 Student Accounts
Fees are levied by the university. The most up-to-date fees and regulations are available at mcgill.ca/student-accounts/fees.
2.10.8 Students' Societies and Student Services Fees
All students, with the exception of those categorized as "Non-Resident" students, are entitled to a valid identity card and must pay fees for students' societies and student services. These student fees are separate from any tuition or registration fee assessed and are not included in the calculation of the minimum tuition fees for the degree.
Additional fees include Student Societies and other student-related activities fees. Fees are collected by the University on behalf of the various campus wide, faculty, and departmental students' societies, CKUT radio, Daily Publication, QPIRG (Quebec Public Interest Research Group) and the Legal Information Clinic. A breakdown of these fees is available online.
Full-time student services fees include Athletic fees. Additional session, part-time, special and visiting students wishing to have athletic privileges are required to pay an additional fee. Such students should contact the Dept. of Athletics at 475 Pine Avenue W., tel: 398-7000.
Other fees are levied for late registration, re-reads, graduation, thesis examination, resubmission of thesis, and so forth.
2.10.9 Regulations for Payment of Fees
For specific information on fees, including exact due dates, deposit amounts, bursaries, scholarships, and loans, please consult the Student Accounts section of the McGill website.
2.11 Graduation and Convocation
Names of candidates who have completed all their requirements are presented to Senate on three occasions during the year: February, May, and October. Transcripts of successful candidates will indicate the date on which the degree was granted and this is the official date of graduation.
Convocation ceremonies are held in May and November, at which time the degree is conferred by the Chancellor of the University.
In Quebec, holders of student visas cannot establish legal residence in the province and therefore do not qualify for inclusion in the Quebec health plan. As a result, such students who need hospitalization may find themselves facing very heavy financial charges. All full-time international students and students who are not permanent residents must enroll in the compulsory McGill International Student Health Insurance Plan at the time of registration. Full details of the plan are available available online and from International Student Services, Brown Student Services Building, Suite 3215, 3600 McTavish St., Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, tel: 514-398-4349.
2.13 Reassessments and Rereads
Reassessments of grades and rereads of exams for 500 level courses follow the regulations of the Faculty of Arts. For courses at the 600 and 700 levels the application for reassessment or reread should be made in writing to the Admissions and Records Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office within 30 days of the posting of final marks.
2.14 Leave of Absence
Leave of absence may be granted with permission of the Program Director and the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office to graduate students who find it necessary to interrupt their studies during the residency period. A student may have a leave of absence for no more than one year. The time so spent will not be counted as part of the limited time period allowed for completion of the degree program.
No student shall, with intent to deceive, represent the work of another person as his or her own in any academic writing, essay, thesis, research report, project or assignment submitted in a course or program of study or represent as his or her own an entire essay or work of another, whether the material so represented constitutes a part or the entirety of the work submitted.
Upon demonstration that the student has represented another person's work as his or her own, it shall be presumed that the student intended to deceive; the student shall bear the burden of refuting this presumption by evidence satisfying the person or body hearing the case that no such intent existed. Failing to do so, the student may be permanently expelled from the University.