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IWRM Program FAQs

IWRM Program Frequently Asked Questions

Is my background appropriate for the course?

The MSc in Integrated Water Resources Management Water accepts candidates from a range of backgrounds, including for example: economics, geography, natural resources, environmental sciences, engineering, politics, law and humanities. The nature of water resources has evolved and requires access to a wide set of aspects and methods to accommodate a growing multidisciplinary, as well as a more holistic and adaptive approach. The multi-disciplinary nature of the IWRM program means that some aspects of the course may be more challenging than others, depending on a student’s background and experience. In order to accommodate different professional interests and future career aspirations, we provide four (4) ‘500 level or higher’ elective courses during the first two terms of the program that are relevant to the field of water resources management.

Note that students have been admitted into the program with undergraduate degrees in geography, international development studies, sociology, anthropology, mathematics, environmental studies, biology, natural resources management, and engineering, among others.

What are the key selection criteria?

The key criteria for selection are:

  1. Academic excellence; Candidates are required to have a minimum equivalent cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.0 during the last two years of full time university study. Candidates with lower cGPAs will be considered if they have work or volunteer experience in a relevant field.
  2. A demonstrated interest in water, through one or more of previous work, education, volunteer activities, or other interests, and a convincing personal statement submitted with the application.

What are the application procedures?

Before you apply, there is information you need to review and documents you need to prepare. The following checklist will help you make sure you have not left anything out of your application. It may help to print the list and check off the steps as you complete them. Be sure to:

a)    Consult the steps to applying list.

b)    Read the admissions minimum requirements information.

c)    Consult the program page for additional admissions requirements.

d)    Check the program application deadline.

e)    Upload/send supporting documents. After submitting your application for Fall programs administered by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (i.e., Master’s or Doctoral degrees), applicants must upload transcripts from each university-level institution attended so far, as well as other documents required, by using MinervaFor Winter admission, letters of recommendation, transcripts and all other supporting documents should be sent directly to the department concerned. Please check the individual program pages for mailing addresses and detailed application information. If the supporting documentation for Fall program applications is not uploaded on time, your file may be delayed and miss the current admission round. Please advise the Graduate Program Coordinator of the academic department reviewing your application of extenuating circumstances, which may cause you to upload a document after the due date. They will tag your file accordingly so that the committee will know when to expect the outstanding documentation. 

f)     McGill will request letters of recommendation on your behalf from referees you identify on the application form.

g)    Refer to the program page for the academic unit (department, school or institute) for any further application instructions and to see if additional documents are required (i.e., Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample, Application for Teaching Assistantship, Academic C.V., etc.). You are responsible for uploading or sending the necessary supplemental documents.

h)    Using Minerva, verify that your selected referees have submitted the requested letters of recommendation for you. McGill will request the letters of recommendation on your behalf from referees you identify on the application form.  You will be advised by e-mail if a referee declines to write a recommendation for you.

Arrange for test scores (i.e. TOEFL), if applicable, to be sent directly from the testing agency. You must indicate the McGill University institution code: 0935

What level of written and spoken English is required?

To register for a course or program at McGill University, you will be required to prove the standard of your written and spoken English language abilities. If you do not already have suitable qualifications, please see below information on the test scores accepted by McGill University:

Educational Testing Services Inc. cannot report on TOEFL results, which are more than TWO years old.

What sort of jobs will the course qualify me for?

The aim of the course is to train future decision makers, managers, policy makers, engineers and scientists in water management. Thus the course is aimed at providing a broad range of skills and knowledge that will enable graduates to ask informed questions of any expert (e.g. hydrologist, economist, or lawyer) who may be informing their management decisions. Past graduates have gone on to obtain positions in a range of water-related jobs. A significant number of students use the course as a launch pad for a PhD degree.

McGill's MSc in IWRM program prepares you for a wide range of positions in government, research, private firms, NGOs or consulting anywhere in the world. By the time you graduate, you will be familiar with the various controlling aspects of integrated water resources management such as economics, social and environmental sciences, and engineering. See the Alumni Page for more details.

As a graduate from this program, you will be well suited for opportunities in diverse fields of employment, such as:

  • Engineering, environmental and water consultancies
  • Municipal, provincial, federal and international government organizations
  • NGOs and international development organizations
  • Government or university research institutions
  • Public policy organizations
  • Detailed List on the Alumni Page

Graduates of the program have also proceeded to law school, medical school, MBA programs and PhD programs at McGill and elsewhere around the world.