uApply Project Updates
Update: uApply launch date
May 23, 2013
Delivery of a high quality system to the graduate units to carry out the essential work of admitting graduate students to McGill is the #1 priority for GPS, ES and the project team. This is an important and also ambitious project, particularly given the complexity of graduate admissions.
It had been expected that the launch of the latest version of uApply would take place in May 2013 to serve the applicants for the Winter 2014 term and all subsequent terms. User acceptance testing is happening now and is going well. However, the uApply project team needs more time to complete full quality assurance testing before going live and we have decided to delay the launch so as to ensure they have the time to do so. The revised target date for the launch of the new uApply system will be announced soon and a training schedule is being developed at this time for all users.
GPS and ES would like to thank administrative staff and faculty for your patience and understanding. We will continue to work with you by keeping you informed of the progress that is being made, involving many of you in testing, and providing training to all of you
Solution: uploading reference letters (returning McGill students)
Important changes have been made concerning the uploading of reference letters to the online admission system for returning McGill students (graduate applicants). On January 30, a fix designed by ISR went live. Departments requiring the documents are automatically flagged in the system and the invitations sent out to the reference. Yesterday evening the solution was applied retroactively to the 801 applications that were submitted before January 30 requiring reference letters.
Graduate admissions report and tips
uApply version 1.0 now live
October 15, 2012
As promised, today we have opened the graduate admission application to all graduate applicants for the summer 2013 and fall 2013 admission cycles. On Tuesday, October 16th, applicants will be able to upload documents for the applications they submit today and application summaries will be viewable in uApply for authorized faculty and staff at https://nimbus.mcgill.ca/gapR0/.
As part of the admissions application, applicants will be providing reference information, including mandatory email addresses for references. The functionality which allows references to upload letters electronically will be enabled later this month. Once this is enabled the references specified on the applications will begin receiving email requests to upload letters of recommendation to the system.
If you have not done so already, please remove reference to the former paper-based process from your departmental websites and add the following paragraph (in italics) to the section of your departmental website covering application procedures: 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: http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare .
Should you encounter an issue or have a question, please first consult the Knowledge Base article for answers to frequently asked questions.
A video of the system training session is available.
Duration 1h 39 minutes.
Project timeline and history
Web application for winter 2013 graduate admissions closing Oct.15, 2012
September 5, 2012
On October 15th, 2012,a series of online tools that will facilitate the paperless review of applications for admission to McGill will be launched.
To ensure the successful implementation of these tools, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Enrolment Services have agreed that the winter 2013 web application for graduate admissions will close on October 15th. In previous years, admissions via this web application closed for the winter 2013 term on November 15th. The Graduate Admissions Unit in ES will make provisions to open the web application after October 15th for individual cases upon written request from the graduate departments. This will enable departments to recruit candidates of particular of interest who happen to present themselves late.
Please note: Departments are asked to dissuade applicants from using the web application to apply for a term in which they do not intend to study. It may not be possible to correct and/or issue refunds for these applications.
The implementation of these online tools will enable:
- Applicants to upload unofficial transcripts and other documents required in support of their applications with the exception of audio recordings. Instructions about the process to follow in the event documents cannot be rendered in .PDF format will be made available online to applicants;
- Applicants to nominate references on the application form. These references will then be contacted by e-mail on behalf of the applicants, and be invited to upload a letter in support of the applicant.
- The application and all uploaded documents will be available to be reviewed online by means of secure file review (log-in required).
Electronic document uploading is already a part of the undergraduate admissions process and the online tool targeted for graduate admissions will operate in similar manner and, for the time being, use the same Minerva process. Training will be provided and a schedule will be available soon. Knowledge base articles, support videos, and FAQ documents will also be made available to departments. It is the goal of the project team to facilitate a smooth transition from paper-based graduate admissions to a leading-edge, paperless graduate admissions system for McGill.
Graduate web applications (fall/summer 2013 entry) opening Oct. 15, 2012
August 30, 2012
This is a reminder that the graduate web application for summer and fall 2013 entry will open on Monday, October 15, 2012. Some of you may be aware of this already via the July GAP newsletter http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/about/gap/news. It is expected that the later opening is a one-time occurrence, necessitated by the new system in order to streamline processes and improve the admissions experience of McGill applicants. Normally the web application opens in September.
I am asking for your help to advise applicants and staff about this year's October 15th opening date. Kindly encourage applicants to use the web application corresponding to their intended entry term. Please dissuade applicants from trying to apply for fall 2013 using the application for another term. It may not be possible to issue refunds or to forward applications to a subsequent term in such cases.
If you have any questions or comments about this, kindly contact Graduate Admissions Officers, Anna Cianci 00772 (anna [dot] cianci [at] mcgill [dot] ca) or Rona Schwartz 00718 (rona [dot] schwartz [at] mcgill [dot] ca) or Kim Bartlett, Director of Admissions 4462 kim [dot] bartlett [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Online admission tools to launch Oct. 15, 2012
The Graduate Admissions Project team has been steadily working to develop a leading-edge, paperless graduate admissions system for McGill. Graduate program coordinators, admissions staff and faculty do an exceptional job with the systems available to them, but it is clear that there is a need for an improved online infrastructure to support their work.
This innovation is a part of a larger transformation of graduate studies procedures, in support of McGill’s objectives of attracting and retaining the best graduate students. An all-online, electronic, graduate admissions system will improve admissions efficiency, replace the cumbersome and environmentally unsustainable paper-driven process, reduce application processing times, streamline the review process, and improve applicant experience and recruitment competitiveness.
On October 15th, 2012, the first in a series of online admission tools will be launched to the McGill community: applicant self-serve electronic document upload functionality. Currently, documents required in support of a graduate program application are submitted primarily in paper format. This tool will permit applicants to upload almost all the documents and references to upload their references in support of applications for admission to McGill, thereby significantly reducing the amount of mail received and processed by departments. This tool will also improve transparency between departments and applicants because applicants will be able to see online that documents have been received. Further, a document checklist will be updated automatically
Please note: in order to launch this online admissions tool, the summer and fall application period cannot be opened before Monday, October 15th, 2012.
More online tools will be launched in fall 2012 and spring 2013. User information sessions and tutorials will be provided along the way. The project team welcomes your questions and feedback about this all-online graduate admissions transition. Contact Meaghan Thurston, Communications and Outreach Officer, at meaghan [dot] thurston [at] mcgill [dot] ca.
January 2011: Project Deliverables
With the initial planning phase complete, we are better able to estimate the project timeline. The revised go-live date for new graduate admissions solution is now targeted for September 2012; this will be for applicants applying to the September 2013 admissions cycle. One of our major goals is to provide a more client (applicant and staff) focused system. Some early deliverables may be available in 2011; we will keep you apprised of these developments.
Following the completion of the solution modeling stage the following items were identified as the high level deliverables that would be required to meet our goal of moving the current paper-based graduate admissions process into one that is mostly electronic:
- A dynamic online application platform:
- Departmental Self-service functionality which will include, in addition to other features, a mechanism that will allow Departments and Programs to customize parts of the online application form
- The collection and storage of electronic supporting documentation
- Electronic letters of reference
- Electronic evaluation and decision making
- Better and more transparent information provided to student about their application status
Next Phase – Development and Execution
The project team will soon be embarking on the Development and Execution phases. This will include the design and programming aspects of the overall solution, as well as the development of training sessions and other change management initiatives.
Project Team Update
In the fall, Kostya Dykukha joined the Project Team as Co-Project Manager. Kostya oversees the technical aspects of the GAP project. His role will be very prominent during the development and execution phases of the project.
June 2010: Next Steps - Solution Modeling
Process Analysis Phase Completed
The Process Analysis phase is now complete, which included seven general information sessions, 86 process mapping sessions, and multiple meetings with partner units such as ISR and CCS. The project team would like to thank all Faculties and departments for participating in the information and process mapping sessions.
Benchmarking was performed with several peer institutions that are using an electronic process for graduate admissions. The project team visited four universities: Concordia, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Waterloo and Arizona State University. In addition, the GAP team conducted 15 in-depth telephone interviews with universities in Canada and the United States, including Dartmouth, Brown, Yale, University of Toronto, etc.
Next Steps – Solution Modeling
Over the summer, the project team will be working on solution modeling. The information gathered was analyzed and various models and technologies investigated, seeking the best possible solution for the graduate admissions process. The project team will be working on finalizing the solution, which will then go through the approval process by the Executive Committee. The solution will be presented at the end of the Summer or in early Fall.
April 2010: Process Analysis, Benchmarking and Focus Groups
Process Analysis Nearing Completion
The project team is now finishing the ‘Process Analysis’ phase, which included seven general information sessions, over 80 process mapping sessions and benchmarking with peer institutions. Information sessions took place with each Faculty, which gave an overview of the project and discussed the role of the Faculty in the process. Mapping sessions within the departments will be completed by the end of April. The goal of mapping the admissions process within the individual departments is to determine how the evaluation process unfolds and what documentation is required in support of an admissions application.
Benchmarking was conducted with peer institutions who are already using an electronic process for graduate admissions. The purpose of these visits were to discuss the procedures and technologies that each institution has in place in order to process electronic graduate admissions, as well as to discuss best practices and obstacles they encountered in launching this initiative. In February members of the project team visited Concordia, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Waterloo and in March the team members visited Arizona State University. Valuable information was collected which will be put to good use during the solution modeling stage of the project.
In March, three focus groups were conducted with recently admitted graduate students to gather feedback on the graduate admissions process from an applicant’s point of view. The students were very open and helpful and provided a great deal of feedback for use by the project team as well as the Admissions and Recruitment areas of GPS.
Following the completion of the Process Analysis phase, the project team will begin to create a solution for McGill using all the information collected and incorporate it into a reorganized graduate admission process. Once the model has been approved by the Executive Committee, the planning phase will begin for the implementation of the process changes and the new technologies.
GPS/ITS announce a project to improve graduate admissions at McGill
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), in partnership with Information Technology Services (ITS) would like to announce the launch of a project to move the current paper-based graduate admissions process to an entirely electronic one, benefitting applicants, recruitment units, and GPS.
This project will assess the current application and evaluation process for graduate admissions, focusing on the student experience, availability of technologies and improving the information available to the decision makers. This project aims to streamline the overall process in order to provide a faster, more effective service resulting in a more timely decision communicated to applicants. The project is directly tied to the university’s ‘green’ initiatives that prioritize using fewer resources and reducing costs and time.
Joan Soares from the Project Management Office has been appointed Project Manager for the initiative. In her role as Project Manager, Joan is responsible for the planning, scheduling and controlling of projects objectives; she will also be the primary link to the community with regard to all project activities. As the GPS representative on this project, Admissions Officer Mark Quinsey will be working full time on the Project Team. Mark joined Joan in the Project Management Office on Nov. 2nd in preparation for the official launch, slated to take place in late November.
Phase one of the project will include an in-depth Process Analysis focusing on the recruiting units, all of whom will be impacted by the change. Before the project team moves forward with decisions pertaining to technical solutions, it will be important to understand how the admissions process unfolds within the recruiting units and what types of documents will need to be collected in support of an application. General Information Sessions will be scheduled in the coming month to explain how the team plans to roll-out the Analysis Phasevisions made to GPS e-calendar
Revisions made to GPS e-calendar
September 18, 2012
Due to the change to an electronic-based graduate admission system, uApply, some of the existing explanatory text in the e-calendar, which refers to the paper-based application have been changed to conform with new admissions procedures related to the Graduate Admissions Project. Accordingly, the Project Management Office was authorized by Enrolment Services and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to edit and restructure the pre-existing text pertaining to admissions requirements and application procedures to reflect the new electronic procedures for applicants to the summer 2013 term and beyond. You will see the new text when the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies e-Calendar is re-published by October 15th, 2012.
Past training sessions
Web tools training and information sessions: Oct. 4, 9 and 10, 11 2012
As you are no doubt aware, on October 15th, 2012, several new web tools representing the first step towards a paperless graduate admissions process will be released to the McGill community. These new web tools will assist with the time consuming tasks of collecting and collating the various documents required for each application, collecting the reference letters, and sharing and distributing these various documents amongst the academic reviewers.
The Graduate Admissions Project team invites you to attend an Information/Training Session to learn more about these web tools and how to make effective use of them within your area. We realize that this is a busy time for everyone but would greatly appreciate your attendance and feedback.
We will be offering three information sessions on the downtown campus and one on the Macdonald campus (see below). Please take note of the times and dates. Using Minerva, please sign up for one of the sessions which will be presented by Mark Quinsey, Subject Matter Expert, PMO, and Laurens Verkade, Manager, Graduate Admissions.
Information Sessions (uApply 101 and uApply 102)
- Section 1: October 4, 2012, 10:00 – 12:00 – Downtown – James Administration Room 301
- Section 3: October 9, 2012, 1:30 – 3:30 – Downtown – James Administration Room 301
- Section 4: October 10, 2012, 1:30 - 3:30 – Downtown – Leacock 232
- Section 1: October 11, 2012, 1:30 – 3:30 – Macdonald campus – Faculty Lounge, Macdonald Stewart Building
FACULTY AND STAFF ONLY: REGISTER ONLINE: (Minerva > Employee > IT Customer Services (ICS) Training Menu > Enrolment Services Workshops)
Space is limited so please register for the information session you wish to attend right away. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us at: gap [dot] pmo [at] mcgill [dot] ca