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General Admission for Graduate Studies

General Admission for Graduate Studies

Note: The following admission requirements and application procedures are the minimum standard for applicants to McGill's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies programs. Some graduate units may require additional qualifications or a higher minimum CGPA; prospective students are strongly urged to consult the unit concerned regarding specific requirements set for their program of interest.

Deadline: Admission to graduate studies operates on a rolling basis; complete applications and their supporting documentation must reach departmental offices on or before the date for guaranteed consideration specified by the department. To be considered for entrance fellowships, where available, applicants must verify the deadlines with individual departments. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission.

Application for Admission

Application for Admission

Application information and the online application form are available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply. Applicants (with some exceptions) are required to ask two instructors familiar with their work to send letters of recommendation. All applicants must themselves send, or ask the appropriate university authorities to send, two official or certified copies of their complete academic record from each university-level institution attended to date. McGill graduates do not need to submit McGill transcripts. Letters of recommendation and official transcripts must be sent directly to the department concerned. Please note that all documents submitted to McGill University in support of an application to be admitted, including, but not limited to transcripts, diplomas, letters of reference and test scores, become the property of McGill University and will not be returned to the applicant or issuing institution under any circumstance.

A non-refundable fee of $100 in Canadian funds must accompany each application, otherwise it cannot be submitted. This sum must be paid by credit card and is non-refundable when submitting the online application form. Candidates for Special, Visiting Student, and Qualifying status must apply and pay the application fee every year (i.e., every Fall term).

It is recommended that applicants submit a list of the titles of courses taken in the major subject, since transcripts often give code numbers only. Transcripts written in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation prepared by a licensed translator. An explanation of the grading system used by the applicant's university is essential. The applicant should also indicate the major subject area in which further study is desired.

Completed applications, with supporting documents, must reach departmental offices according to individual department dates for guaranteed consideration. Applicants should contact the department concerned, or see: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/programs. International students are advised to apply well in advance of the date for guaranteed consideration as immigration procedures may be lengthy. Applications received after the prescribed dates for guaranteed consideration may or may not be considered, at the discretion of the department. Candidates will be notified of acceptance or refusal by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as quickly as possible.

Admission to graduate programs at McGill is highly competitive and the final decision rests with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Admission decisions are not subject to appeal or reconsideration.

Admission Requirements (minimum requirements to be considered for admission)

Admission Requirements (minimum requirements to be considered for admission)

Applicants should be graduates of a university of recognized reputation and hold a bachelor's degree equivalent to a McGill degree in a subject closely related to the one selected for graduate work. This implies that about one-third of all undergraduate courses should have been devoted to the subject itself and another third to cognate subjects.

The applicant must present evidence of academic achievement: a minimum standing equivalent to a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 or a CGPA of 3.2/4.0 for the last two full-time academic years. High grades are expected in courses considered by the department to be preparatory to the graduate program. Some departments impose additional or higher requirements.

See www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/requirements/international-degree-equivalency for information on mark/grade equivalencies and degree requirements from countries in Europe and around the world.

Admission to graduate programs at McGill is highly competitive and the final decision rests with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Admission decisions are not subject to appeal or reconsideration.

Admission Tests

Admission Tests

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540) consists of a relatively advanced test in the candidates’ specialty, and a general test of their attainments in several basic fields of knowledge for which no special preparation is required or recommended. It is offered at many centres, including Montreal, several times a year; the entire examination takes about eight hours, and there is a registration fee. Refer to www.ets.org/gre for further information. Only some departments require applicants to write the GRE examination, but all applicants who have written either the general aptitude or the advanced test are advised to submit the scores along with their other admission material.

This credential is of special importance in the case of applicants whose education has been interrupted, or has not led directly toward graduate study in the subject selected. In such cases the department has the right to insist on a report from the Graduate Record Examination or some similar test. High standing in this examination will not by itself guarantee admission. The Miller Analogies Test may be used similarly. Some departments of the Faculty of Education also require the taking of various tests.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Applicants to graduate programs in Management must submit scores from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). The test is a standardized assessment offered by the Graduate Management Admission Council to help business schools assess candidates for admission. For further information see www.mba.com/mba/thegmat.

Competency in English

Competency in English

Applicants to graduate studies must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English prior to admission, regardless of citizenship status or country of origin.

Normally, applicants meeting any one of the following conditions are NOT required to submit proof of proficiency in English:
  1. Mother tongue (language first learned and still used on a daily basis) is English.
  2. Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction.
  3. 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).
  4. Has lived and attended university, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.
Applicants who do not meet any of the above-listed conditions must demonstrate proficiency in English using one of the following options:
  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum acceptable scores are
    Competency in English
    iBT (Internet-based test) PBT (paper-based test) CBT (computer-based test)*
    86 overall, (no less than 20 in each of the four component scores) 550 * The CBT is no longer being offered and CBT results are no longer considered valid, or being reported by ETS.
    N.B. an institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable.
  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 6.5 or greater.
  3. MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): a mark of 85% or higher.
  4. University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): a grade of “B” (Good) or higher.
  5. University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): a grade of “C” (Pass) or higher.
  6. Edexcel London Test of English - Level 5 - with an overall grade of at least “Pass”.
  7. McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English or McGill Certificate of Proficiency - English for Professional Communication: Certificate of Proficiency awarded. McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English or McGill Certificate of Proficiency - English for Professional Communication: Certificate of Proficiency awarded.

In each case, applicants must ensure that official test results are sent to McGill directly by the testing service. Applications cannot be considered if test results are not available. These scores are general minima; some departments may set higher requirements.

Revised – July 2008

Admission to a Qualifying Program

Admission to a Qualifying Program

Some applicants whose academic degrees and standing entitle them to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies, but who are considered inadequately prepared in the subject selected may be admitted to a Qualifying Program for a Master’s. The undergraduate-level courses to be taken in a Qualifying Program will be prescribed by the department concerned.

Qualifying students are registered in graduate studies, but not as candidates for a degree. Only one qualifying year (i.e., two full-time terms) is permitted.

In all cases, after the completion of a qualifying year or term, an applicant interested in commencing a degree program must apply for admission by the dates for guaranteed consideration. Successful completion of the work in the Qualifying Program (B- in all courses) does not automatically entitle the student to proceed toward a degree. Qualifying year students must apply for admission to the program for which they seek qualification.

In cases where a department recommends a change of registration from Qualifying Program (Fall) to Master's Degree First Year (Winter), students must apply to the degree program by the Winter departmental dates for guaranteed consideration. A Qualifying-Year applicant admitted to a Winter term as a first term of studies must apply for admission for a Fall term as his/her second term of studies.

Students who are ineligible for a Qualifying Program may apply to the appropriate undergraduate faculty for admission as regular or special students, and seek admission to graduate studies at a later date. The normal admission requirements must be met and the usual procedures followed.

Admission to a Second Degree Program

Admission to a Second Degree Program

A candidate with a given higher degree may apply for admission to a second degree program at the same level but in a different subject. The normal admission requirements must be met and all the usual procedures followed.

Admission to Two Degree Programs

Admission to Two Degree Programs

Students may, with special permission granted by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, be admitted to two degree programs or to two departments or faculties. Students are never permitted to pursue two full-time degree programs concurrently.

Admission to an Ad Personam Joint Program

Ad Personam joint graduate programs are restricted to master's Thesis option and Ph.D. programs. Students shall be admitted and registered by one department, to be known as the “first department”. Approval for the joint program must be obtained from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The request shall be signed by the Chairs of both departments involved and shall explicitly list the conditions imposed by the second department. The student shall undertake research under the joint supervision of both departments.

Students shall fulfil the degree requirements of the first department and shall complete all the requirements specified by the second department in the request for admission. This program is described in more detail in a document available from GPS.

Admission to an Ad Hoc Program (Thesis)

Admission to an Ad Hoc Program (Thesis)

In exceptional cases, admission to an Ad Hoc program (Thesis) may be considered. Before Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will authorize the admission of a student into an Ad Hoc program, it must receive a favourable report from a departmental committee constituted to examine the program in question.

Candidates, through the supervisor designated by the academic department most closely related to their research field, must submit a research proposal, an outline of the coursework needed including a comprehensive examination (for doctoral programs) in the relevant field, and the list of four supervisory committee members.

Once the request has been approved, the candidate may register following all the regular procedures. A fuller description of the admission procedure is available from GPS.

Reinstatement and Admission of Former Students

Reinstatement and Admission of Former Students

Students who have not been registered for a period of less than two years and who have not officially withdrawn from the University by submitting a signed Withdrawal Form to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are eligible to be considered for reinstatement into their program. The student's department must recommend, in writing, that the student be reinstated, stipulating any conditions for reinstatement that it deems appropriate. The final decision rests with GPS. Normally, GPS will approve the departmental recommendation. If the student's department chooses not to recommend reinstatement, the student may appeal to the Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). The decision of the Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) shall be final and not subject to further appeal.

Reinstatement fees will be charged in addition to the fees due for the academic session into which the student has been reinstated. The amount of the reinstatement fees is the tuition portion of fees owed for all unregistered terms, up to a maximum of two years just prior to the term of reinstatement.

If an individual has not registered for a period of more than two years, their student file will be closed. These individuals and those who have formally withdrawn may be considered for admission. Applicants' admission applications will be considered as part of the current admission cycle, in competition with other people applying during that cycle and in accordance with current graduate admission procedures and policies.

Procedure: Requirements for completion of the program will be evaluated. Some of these requirements may need to be redone or new ones may be added. Applicants must inquire about the fees that will be charged.

Revised – Council of February 9, 2004.

Deferral of Admission

Deferral of Admission

Under exceptional circumstances, an admission for a particular semester can be considered for a deferral. This can be considered only if the student has not registered. If the student has already registered, no deferral can be granted. The student must withdraw from the University and apply for admission to a later term.

School of Nursing—2011-2012 (last updated Aug. 10, 2011) (disclaimer)