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Application Procedure

Important Note: The Department of History and Classical Studies accepts applications between November 1st and January 15th and offers full-time programs only starting in September. Applications are not accepted at any other time of the year. Applications to PhD programs for 2015–2016 in History will not be accepted after January 15, 2015.

Application Forms

For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see:  http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare.

Application Fee

Application fees and other charges are listed on the student accounts website. Applications cannot be processed without this payment.


You must upload unofficial copies of transcripts for all courses at all universities attended. Include transcripts for courses taken at other universities that apply to your BA or MA degrees, even if the credits have been transferred. It is important for the department to see the titles of the courses and the grades given.

Please note that uploaded transcripts will be considered as unofficial.  Once you are admitted you will be required to supply final, official transcripts before enrolling for courses.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to provide references from two instructors familiar with their work. McGill will request letters of recommendation on your behalf from referees you identify on the application form.

Quebec law requires that, upon request and in certain circumstances, candidates be given access to letters of recommendation written on their behalf. You are requested to notify your proposed referees of this fact.

On the Department's “Application Checklist" (see below), indicate the two names of referees who have agreed to send references on your behalf. Please include names, position, university address, telephone number, and email address for each referee.

Curriculum Vitae and Applicant Statement

Please submit your curriculum vitae and your applicant statement as two (2) separate documents, in addition to the short descriptions requested on the application forms. In your applicant statement, you may inform us of any special circumstances that should be taken into consideration of your application.
If applicable, please include the following in your curriculum vitae:
Research Work: Provide a brief summary of any current or previous thesis/ major research work.
Employment Experience (or other full-time activities): Please indicate any employment, including research positions you have held. Provide dates starting from the most recent.
Honours, Awards, Distinctions: Indicate if national/local/institutional and monetary value if applicable.
Publications: List any refereed publications and non-referred publications. For co-authored publications, briefly describe your contribution.

PhD Research Proposal:

Please submit your research proposal as a separate document, independent of the application form.
Nature of proposed research: Provide a non-technical summary of your proposed research (maximum 1 page).
Proposed Supervisor(s)

PhD Writing Sample:

A section of your MA thesis or MA research paper (maximum of 20 pages) is required, including the complete title of your thesis or research paper on the cover page of the writing sample.


Please note that the GRE is not required for applications to programs in History at McGill. However, if you have taken the GRE, you may wish to add it to your application. Test scores must be less than 3 years old and received directly from the testing agency. You must indicate McGill University's institution code: 0935.

Proficiency in English:

The language of instruction at McGill University is English. Students must write term papers, examinations and theses in English or in French. Normally, if you meet any one of the following conditions you are not required to submit proof of proficiency in English:
* Mother tongue (language first learned and still used on a daily basis) is English
* Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction
* Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution in Canada or the United States of America (anglophone or francophone)
* Has lived and attended school, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.

Test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 are required. Test scores must be less than 3 years old and received directly from the testing agency. You must indicate McGill University's institution code: 0935.

Notification of Decision by the Graduate Committee, Department of History and Classical Studies:

A letter will be sent to each applicant after final recommendations by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) are received in the department. The department attempts to make recommendations to GPS on acceptance or rejection within six weeks of the application deadline. Applications that are incomplete or arrive after January 15, 2011, may not be considered for September 2012 registration. In cases where marks for courses or other work in progress are not available, the History Graduate Committee may make provisional recommendations for admission, pending receipt of these marks. Two final transcripts indicating “Degree Conferred” must be sent to the department as soon as it becomes available. Please provide a permanent address to which mail can be addressed at any time and be sure of reaching you.