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Uploading your documents

You are required to UPLOAD your supporting documents rather than mailing or faxing them. Uploading your documents saves you time, effort, and the expense of mailing transcripts and supporting documents to us during the initial processing and review of your application. It avoids delays normally incurred in the processing of paper documentation, allows you to associate your documents with the correct application and requirement, and assures you that your documents have been received. It can also speed up the review of your application so that you can obtain an admission decision sooner.

Do NOT mail or fax a copy of the documents that you have already uploaded to your application—doing so will slow down the review of your application.

Do NOT mail or fax documents required in support of your application to be admitted. All documents must be uploaded.  For certain documents which cannot be uploaded (such as Architecture portfolios) because the file does not meet McGill specifications (see below), please contact the department to which you have applied.

Important guidelines for uploading a document

  1. Ensure your document conforms to the following specifications
    • Documents must be in PDF format. See the section ”How to convert your files to PDF” below for more details.
    • PDF files must not have a digital signature.
    • Do not include password protection, as we will not be able to open the file.
    • Scanning in 300 dpi resolution is recommended.
    • Scan in black and white.
    • Ensure that your full name appears on all uploaded documents.
    • Documents uploaded must be legible. Ensure that all critical and identifying marks and information are legible—for transcripts these include institution’s name, grading scheme, your name, the names of your courses, and the grades you have received.
    • Files may not exceed 3 MB each (3000Kbytes). To reduce the size of the file:
      • Lower the resolution
      • Reduce the height and width of the image
      • Experiment with different setting until you achieve the acceptable file size
    • Page Orientation – Make sure that the scanned document orientation matches the original. For example, transcripts that are printed vertically (portrait) should be scanned so that they appear in the portrait format. Transcripts printed horizontally (landscape) should appear in landscape format.
  2. Do not upload all your supporting documents as one file! The checklist requirement selected for upload must match the document uploaded. If each checklist requirement does not have a matching document, your application will be considered incomplete.
  3. Create one single electronic file per checklist item per submission. If your document contains more than one page, please ensure that they are contained and uploaded within a single electronic file and that the pages are in the correct order.
  4. Name the file(s) according to these conventions:
    • Do not use brackets () or quotation marks (“) in the file name.
    • Separate words with an underscore (_).
    • Keep the file name short and relevant to its content.
  5. Preview your document since you cannot edit or delete once it is submitted .It may take a few minutes between when you upload your document(s) and when the respective checklist items is updated in Minerva. Note that during busy periods the delay may take considerably longer. System maintenance and downtimes may also keep your documents “In progress” for longer than usual. If you encounter difficulties with uploading your documents, or if your submitted documents stay “In progress” for several WORKING days, please contact Service Point for assistance.

Guidelines regarding uploading unofficial transcripts

All transcripts received via the upload process are considered unofficial. If you are offered admission, you will also need to provide official transcripts (sent to us by mail in a sealed envelope directly from the institution). Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. Please do not send these official records until we request them from you.

McGill University reserves the right to require official academic credentials at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found.

University/College Transcript

This is a document obtained from your academic institution. It will be a complete academic record with the institution’s name, grading scheme, your name, names and numbers of courses, credits, and the grades you have received. This document may be:

- A copy or student copy of an official transcript issued by the university or college
- A transcript obtained from a self-serve university/college web system

  • Make sure that all information has been scanned and is legible.
  • If not on the transcript, the grading scale must also be provided (usually found on the reverse).
  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation.
  • Do not upload your syllabus, course schedule, or any other documents with your transcripts.
  • If the transcript does not clearly indicate that you have completed your studies and that a degree has been conferred, you must also upload a copy of your degree certificate (diploma) as part of the unofficial transcript file.

Example 1: Your transcript (in English or French) has four pages of courses and grades with a grading scale printed on the back of each page. Please upload and submit a five-page document: the four pages of course info + the grading scale, in that order, all in ONE document.

Example 2: Your transcript (in a language other than English or French) has four pages of courses and grades plus a one-page grading scale. The certified English translation of the transcript has four pages of courses and grades plus one page for the grading scale. Please upload and submit a ten-page document: five pages for the English translation (course info + grading scale) + five pages for the original language transcript, in that order, all in ONE document.

How to upload your documents on Minerva

Once all your documents are ready, you can upload them to your application on Minerva.

  1. Log in to Minerva at www.mcgill.ca/minerva.
    (Once you have completed an admissions application, you will receive an email containing details on how to access Minerva.)
  2. Once you have logged in to Minerva (using your ID number and your PIN), click on the Applicant menu. To view your application details, go to Admissions Application Status.
  3. On the Application Status page you will see Applications Processed and Under Review.
  4. Choose the application you wish to look at by clicking on the Admission Term link as shown below. 

How to convert your files to PDF

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and PDFs have a number of advantages over other document formats:

  • PDFs retain the exact look and feel of the original document.
  • As they are so easily accessible and will always retain their look and feel, regardless of users’ viewing parameters, PDF documents are the best option for dissemination of digital documents across a large and varied audience.
  • PDFs are independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems – for long term storage, this makes them a better choice than formats that depend on things like a particular version of word processing software or the type of computer used to produce them.

Create a PDF document from MS Word 2007

  • Click the Microsoft Office button , point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF or XPS. (If the PDF option does not appear, you can download and install the Microsoft Save as PDF Add-in.)
  • In the File Name list, type or select a name for the document.
  • In the Save as type list, click PDF.
  • Next to Optimize, do one of the following, depending on whether file size or print quality is more important to you:
    • It is recommended that you click Standard (publishing online and printing).
    • If the file size is too large, click Minimum size (publishing online).
  • Click Options to set the page range to be printed. Click OK.
  • Click Publish

Create a PDF document from a physical original (using Adobe Acrobat)

  • Open Adobe Acrobat.
  • Click Create PDF from the File menu and choose From Scanner...
  • Select your scanner name from the list.
  • Choose Front sides in the drop-down menu marked Scan.
  • In your scanner window select black and white and resolution.
  • To save your PDF, click Print from the File menu and set the printer name to Adobe PDF.
  • Be sure to deselect Do not send fonts to “Adobe PDF”.
  • Click OK to close the Properties window, then click OK to finalize the Print window.
  • Create a file name and save to a location.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, you may purchase a copy at www.adobe.com. If you would prefer, you can download a free PDF creator at various sites on the Internet, such as: www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp or www.irfanview.ca.

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