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MISt admissions

This page contains admissions information for the Master of Information Studies (MISt).

Application deadlines

Applications are now open for Fall 2015 admission.

> International students - EXTENDED deadline: MARCH 15*
> Canadian students - EXTENDED deadline: APRIL 1*

*The online Application for Admission form and submission of all electronic supporting documentation should be completed by this date. We recommend all applicants to allow ample time for the submission of electronic documentation, including electronic transcripts and references.

Students are admitted for annual entry in the Fall of of each year. As space is limited, it is strongly suggested that application to the MISt program be made as early as possible.

If you have questions or difficulties with the online application process, please contact Kathryn Hubbard, Administrative & Student Affairs Coordinator, School of Information Studies.


Why study at SIS?

Considering applying to the School of Information Studies? Here are some great reasons why to study at SIS.



Admission requirements for the MISt degree:

I. Bachelor's degree from a recognized university, academic standing of at least B.

Academic standing of at least a B, or 2nd class, upper division, or CPGA of 3.0 out of 4.0 is normally required.

The School will take into account the character of applicants' undergraduate studies and their suitability for a career in library and information services.

Graduate courses in library and/or information studies taken in a school with a program not accredited by the American Library Association cannot be accepted as credit toward the McGill School of Information Studies MISt program. See below for additional information on transfer credits. A GRE is not required for your MISt application.

II. Proficiency in English

Documented proof of proficiency in oral and written English (TOEFL or IELTS) is required by all applicants whose mother tongue is not English, AND who have not obtained (or are about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction. See below for situations where proof of proficency is normally not required.*

Before acceptance, appropriate exam results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Office. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. Applications will not be considered if a TOEFL or IELTS test result is not available. TOEFL results are only valid for two years from the date the test was written.

McGill Institution Code: 0935.

Such proof normally comprises the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (IBT Internet based TOEFL) with a written score of at least 25 and a reading, speaking, and listening score of not less than 20, or the International English Language testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band score of 7.5. Applicants whose mother tongue is not English may be asked to demonstrate English-language proficiency beyond the submission of the TOEFL or IELTS scores.

*Proof of proficiency not required

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 university, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.

III. Competency in the use of computers

Competency in the use of computers is expected. is expected. Applicants should have a thorough knowledge of the Windows operating system, particularly file management and word processing, and presentation software such as PowerPoint.


Procedures & documents

Please note that as of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced by an electronic version. For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see Preparing to apply and Submitting your documents

STEP 1. Online Application for Admission

  • Complete an online McGill application for admission form. As the MISt is a non-thesis program, the supervisor field is to be left blank. The research area field is optional and may be used for those considering undertaking the research-project stream. Selection of correct term: It is important that you select the Fall term when completing the application form. We will not be able to change the application term or refund your application fee if you enter the wrong term.
  • Submit the non-refundable application fee (see Student Accounts Fees, Fines & Charges page for current fee). There are no exceptions even if you have applied to another McGill department in the same year. The fee is submitted by credit card when you submit your electronic application.

After your application has been received, you will be given access to your Minerva account. Here, you will be able to upload your unofficial transcripts and supporting documentation detailed below to complete your application. Uploading of these supporting documents is mandatory.

STEP 2. Submission of Supporting Information

All applicants must submit electronically the following information:

  1. Transcripts from each university-level institution you have attended to date - including McGill, if applicable. Uploaded copies will be considered as unofficial; final, official copies will be required once you are offered admission. These transcripts must indicate degree awarded. If credits were transferred from a different institution then transcripts must also be obtained from that source.
  2. A curriculum vitae (resume).
  3. References: On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of two instructors who are familiar with your academic work, ie have taught you in your undergraduate or graduate academic program. More current academic references are preferred if possible. If the degree was awarded more than 5 years ago, two non-academic letters of recommendation (e.g. employer, supervisor) are required in the place of academic references. Please contact Kathryn Hubbard, Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator if you have any questions regarding references.
    McGill's automated system will contact your identified referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the School. Therefore you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees.  (Any non-letterhead letters of recommendation must be accompanied by an explanation.)
  4. A covering letter of intent (1-2 pages) outlining the reasons for wishing to undertake the program of study at McGill's School of Information Studies.
  5. TOEFL/IELTS results (if applicable): when registering for the test please ensure that you request that results be sent directly to McGill University. McGill will then receive the results electronically, directly from the testing agency.  (See Admission Requirements above).

Please verify on Minerva to ensure supporting documents have been uploaded.


Transfer credits

In general, students may not count credits for courses taken toward another degree as credits towards the MISt degree.

In special cases, credit for appropriate courses previously taken outside the School at another ALA-accredited Masters program in the area of library and information studies may be transferred to the MISt program, but only with the approval of the Director, and only if negotiated at the time of admission to the program.

As a rule, no more than one-third of the McGill program course work (not thesis or project) can be credited with courses from another university.

Transfer credits must be approved by the Director of the School and the Director of the McGill Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Requests for transfer credits will only be considered at the time of admission to the MISt program.

In special cases, students may be excused from taking a required course if they have already completed an equivalent course. In such cases, however, they must obtain the permission of the instructor and the Director of the School. As well, they will be required to substitute an additional elective course to bring total earned credits in the MISt program to the normal 48.


Acceptance confirmation

Confirmation of Offer of Acceptance

After receiving the official decision of acceptance from the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Studies, students must access Minerva and confirm that they will be attending the MISt program by the date indicated in the letter from SIS.

If confirmation is not received by the date indicated, the offer of acceptance will be rescinded and the student's file archived.

Confirmation of deposit

When students access Minerva to confirm acceptance into the MISt program, a deposit is required and is payable by credit card. This amount will be credited towards the student's tuition fee account upon registration for courses. Please see www.mcgill.ca/student-accounts/deposits for details.

Confirmation will only be accepted after the deposit has been received.

Students who do not register for courses or who withdraw their application, after confirmation and payment of deposit, will forfeit their deposit.


Admissions FAQ

Do you have questions about the admissions process? Please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

If you still have admission-related questions after carefully reviewing the FAQ page, please contact:

Kathryn Hubbard, Administrative & Student Affairs Coordinator
514-398-4204 (x0742)