Admission to the PhD Program

Admission to the PhD program

All future students must meet the following admissions criteria:

  • BA degree (or equivalent) 
  • MA degree (or equivalent) in Humanities or Social Sciences with an emphasis on Islamic or Middle Eastern Studies 
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, or GPA of 3.2 out of 4.0 in last two years of full-time study
  • Completion of a Master’s thesis
  • English proficiency (if applicable)
  • Complete application file

Completion of two years of either Arabic-language training or Persian-language training (or equivalent) is recommended.

Admission to the PhD program will be granted on the basis of the Admissions Committee's opinion that the applicant can successfully fulfill the academic requirements of the programme within an appropriate span of time (normally six years). The following sources will serve as the basis of the Committee's consideration: 

1. Previous Academic work. Students must normally have an MA in Islamic Studies from a recognized university program. In the program they should have achieved: 

            i) A minimum evaluation of "good" of their thesis.  

            ii) A minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in all subject areas equivalent to at least 3.0 on the 4.0 scale OR a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4 in the last two years of full-time studies, according to Canadian standards. 

2. PLEASE NOTE: This applies only to graduates of the McGill MA programme in Islamic Studies: Proposals of research made by graduates of the McGill MA program in Islamic Studies seeking entry to the PhD program will be considered only if accompanied by a letter from the prospective supervisor indicating his/her acknowledgment that the subject is appropriate and is suitable for later development into a PhD dissertation.

3. Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not studied in an institution where English is the language of instruction, must submit acceptable evidence of competence in English before their application for admission can be considered. The Graduate and  Postdoctoral Studies’ website provides detailed information on English Requirements.  

Students admitted to the program will usually be admitted unconditionally. In some cases, where the applicant is judged to be worthy of admission, but has minor deficiencies, the status of "conditional acceptance" will be assigned by the Admissions Committee. In such cases, the student will be assigned to the PhD 1-level to attain the qualifications needed to gain entry into PhD 2-level. When this is completed, the academic staff will reevaluate the status of the student.