The Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences is committed to academic excellence. Only outstanding candidates are considered for entry into the graduate program. Applicants should have an academic background equivalent to that of a McGill graduate in the Honours or Major program in geology, geophysics, chemistry, or physics, and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. The admissions committee may modify the requirements in keeping with the field of graduate study proposed. In some cases a qualifying year may be required. Please see the comprehensive list of entrance requirements provided by the Admissions Office.
Because the Department offers only research-based graduate degrees, students will not be accepted without having a formal commitment from a faculty member stating his or her intention to supervise and fund the research work. Students are encouraged to read up on faculty research interests and directly contact any individuals working in their interest area prior to applying for admission into the graduate program.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) unless they have obtained a degree at a Canadian university (English or French) or a foreign university whose language of instruction is English. Please see English Language Proficiency for more information.
The Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences does not require a GRE as part of the graduate application.
Make sure that your application is submitted before the Date for Guaranteed Consideration. Applications received after this date may not be reviewed for admission. McGill will stop accepting applications on the final deadlines shown below.
|Date for Guaranteed Consideration||Final Deadline for Applications|
|Fall Semester (beginning in September)|
|Canadian||March 15||June 30|
|International||March 15||April 30|
|Winter Semester (beginning in January)|
|Canadian||September 15||November 15|
|International||September 15||September 30|
Before applying to the Department, make sure that you meet all of the admission requirements. This will save you time, aggravation, and possibly some money! Please be aware that the application fee is non-refundable.
Read these instructions carefully. Failure to follow the proper procedure may delay your application.
- 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 carefully read Preparing to Apply. It is worth your time to check out all of the links in the left sidebar of this page--all of the information therein is useful and important!
- Complete the online application, the required method of application at McGill. A credit card is required in order to pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. If for some reason you are unable to access or complete the online application, please grad [dot] eps [at] mcgill [dot] ca (contact us) at the EPS department office for help. Applications completed online are automatically forwarded to the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.
Transcripts and letters of recommendation
You must upload unofficial copies of transcripts through Minerva. In the case of transcripts that are in a language other than English or French, you must also upload an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript or by a certified translator as well. If the transcript does not indicate that a degree has been conferred, a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) will also have to be uploaded. For more detailed instructions, please read the information found here: Submitting your documents.
Two reference letters are required, although more are accepted if provided. You must identify two instructors who are familiar with your work and are willing (and able--please consider their availability during field seasons!) to write the letters of recommendation. You must provide a valid institutional e-mail address for each referee (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. addresses are not valid). McGill will email the referees to request letters of recommendation on your behalf.
Application Review & Decision
The application is reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences. The quality of each candidate is assessed and attempts are made to match the student with an appropriate supervisor, if the student does not already have one. Following this process, the student is either rejected or recommended for acceptance to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office, which makes the final decision to accept or not.
At every step of the application process, we do our best to keep the applicants informed of the status of their application. The preferred method of correspondence is email. Students can also log in to Minerva to keep track of their application status up to and including accepting the offer of admission. If at any point in the process you have any questions, please contact us.