Financial Assistance

The Department and the University offer financial aid, on a competitive basis, to well-qualified doctoral students. On being accepted, students will normally be offered a package of financial support. Students whose work is of high quality may expect to receive departmental support for up to five years. The following sources of support are available (all amounts are given in Canadian dollars):

  • McGill University Fellowships, Scholarships and Bursaries. Fellowships are valued from $5,000-$20,000 and may be tenurable for more than one year. Fellowships for continuing students are allocated annually by Graduate Faculty on a competitive basis; application forms are available in September. McGill University may also offer Recruitment fellowships of $5,000-$20,000 to outstanding incoming students nominated by the Department.
  • The Department has at its disposal a number of Teaching Assistantships, the value of which in 2016 will be $5,049/term. A student who receives a Teaching Assistantship and who does not have an external fellowship or scholarship may receive additional financial support from the Department, in the form of a Bursary, a Fellowship, or a Research Assistantship.
  • Remission of the difference between international fees and fees for Canadian students (Differential Fee Waiver) is available on a competitive basis to international students; students should mention in their letters of application if they wish to be considered for a DFW.
  • Graduate students who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants are eligible for support through the graduate fellowship programmes of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Those who are also residents of the Province of Québec may qualify for fellowships from Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture, (FQRSC) administered by the Government of Québec. Applications for both competitions become available in September.
  • The Department is able to offer qualified students Research Assistantships funded from faculty research grants (e.g. SSHRC and FQRSC Research Grants). Such Research Assistantships, when supplementary to a teaching assistantship, have a value of up to $6,000 and will normally be awarded to students whose research interests fit the profile of the research grant in question. Students who do not have Teaching Assistantships may receive Research Assistantships up to a value of $12,000.
  • The Department has at its disposal the Dow-Hickson Fellowship in Theoretical Philosophy, with a total value of $14,000 a year. This Fellowship is normally awarded jointly rather than to a single student.
  • The Department has at its disposal the David Fate Norton and the Mary J. Norton Fellowship in Philosophy, with a value of $5,000 per term.  The Fellowship is to be awarded to a graduate student who has begun, or who by the date the Fellowship support commences will have begun, writing a PhD thesis in Philosophy supervised by the Department of Philosophy.  Preference will be given to a student who expects to complete her or his dissertation in the year when the Fellowship is held. Recipients must agree not to accept paid or unpaid employment (including any form of teaching, tutoring, grading of papers or research for another party) during tenure of the Fellowship. The award is based on merit, nonetheless, in awarding the Norton Fellowship, the Department may at its discretion take into account the relative financial needs of candidates who are equally meritorious.  Where two graduate students are deemed by the Department to be worthy of receiving a Norton Fellowship in a given year, the Department, if resources permit, may divide the Fellowship between the two candidates and provide  matching funds to ensure that each student receives the same total amount as a full Norton Fellowship would provide for the relevant period. The Fellowship may be renewed for a second term and, under exceptional circumstances, for a third term.