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Practicum student guide


The Practicum is a 3 credit elective course (GLIS 699) through which McGill School of Information Studies master's students participate in supervised field practice, applying their theoretical knowledge base and learning gained over the course of the program with the opportunity to practice professional skills. The program is typically taken by second-year master's students in their final semester.

The GLIS 699: Practicum syllabus [.pdf] contains comprehensive information about the program. 

Fall 2015 information session

An information session for MISt students interested in enrolling in the Winter 2016 Practicum program will be held in Fall 2015. This session provides an orientation to the program and information about the site application process which begins in Fall. While not compulsary, it is strongly recommended that students attend this information session.

Selection and registration process

Matching process

Following the receipt of the practicum applications, the Practicum Coordinator reviews ranked choices of practicum sites as indicated on each application and sends the application letter and CV (resume) to the sites. Students requests are matched to the site where possible as described below:

Factors influencing the matching process are, among others:

  • Number of applicants who request the same site;
  • Requirements of the project and student qualifications;
  • Possible request by the site to restrict the number of student applications sent to them for review.

Note that each site will give different emphasis to different student qualifications based on their specific requirements. All efforts are made to ensure that a student’s ranked choices are respected, but there is no guarantee of that, given the competitive nature of the process.

All initial contact for practicum planning is to take place through the SIS Practicum Coordinator; students are not to contact potential sites directly. See FAQ "Can I suggest the recruitment of a Practicum site?" below.

Prior to interviews

  • The Site Supervisor makes the choice(s) of students to interview, following a review of the application(s).
  • The Site Supervisor indicates this information to the SIS Practicum Coordinator.
  • The SIS Practicum Coordinator informs the student they have been selected by the site for an interview. The student is then responsible for contacting the Site Supervisor and arranging for an interview as soon as possible.

    Note: normally a student is initially matched to one site. Subsequent interviews may be arranged as necessary.

Following interviews

  • The Site Supervisor indicates their final choice to the SIS Practicum Coordinator.
  • The SIS Practicum Coordinator informs the student of the offer. The student will accept or decline.
  • Once the student has accepted a site, the student is then responsible for contacting the Site Supervisor to finalize a Work Plan and the Agreement Document, with the appropriate signatures.
  • The student then must submit the signed Work Plan and Agreement to the SIS Practicum Coordinator by the deadline (see Dates) for review and approval.

Following submission of Workplan & Agreement documents

  • The Administrative & Student Affairs Coordinator OR Administrative Assistant codes Minerva for GLIS 699 for the student, and informs the student they have approval to register for the course.

  • The student registers for GLIS 699 in the upcoming term.


Submitting Practicum forms

Please submit all practicum forms by email. Name your forms using the following convention:
[Lastname_Stream_FormName] e.g. Smith_AS_PracticumApplication


Q. Are there prerequisites for the Practicum program?

Yes. The Practicum program is designed for students who have completed a strong base of academic courses and are ready to apply the knowledge and skills acquired over the course of the program in a professional workplace. Typically, the program is taken in the final semester of the second year of the master's degree.

To be eligible for the Practicum program, students must:

  • Be in good academic standing;
  • Have taken 18 credits (4 required and 2 complementary courses in the appropriate stream);
  • Have approval of both their Academic Advisor and the SIS Practicum Coordinator.

Q. Is there a fee for the program?

Yes. The course is equivalent to a 3-credit academic course and carries the same tuition fees as other courses in the program.

Q. Can I suggest the recruitment of a Practicum site or apply directly to a site?

Students can suggest the recruitment of a site to the SIS Practicum Coodinator if they are aware of a site which may be suitable for a Practicum. However, students SHOULD NOT CONTACT PRACTICUM SITES DIRECTLY. Students who contact a potential practicum site directly may have their practicum application cancelled. After a site has been suggested, the SIS Practicum Coordinator will then ensure that the requirements for a practicum site are fulfilled before proceeding further with the site recruitment. In all cases, the program timeline must be respected (see Dates).

Q. Am I guaranteed a Practicum placement?

While the program makes every effort to match students and sites, please note that the Practicum placement process is competitive; neither students nor sites are guaranteed a placement or a first choice of placement.

Q. My site requested proof of health and safety insurance. How do I obtain this?

Contact the SIS Practicum Coordinator to request such proof of coverage.

Q. Can I conduct a Practicum placement outside of Canada?

For more information, please speak with the Practicum Coodinator. Should an international practicum be approved by your Advisor, the Practicum Coodinator, and the site, and the placement is confirmed, you will have to attend a mandatory orientation and registration session with the McGill International Registry Office beforehand.


Nathalie Blanchard
SIS Practicum Coordinator / Coordonatrice de stages
School of Information Studies / École des sciences de l'information
McGill University
3661 Peel St., Montreal, QC H3A 1X1