Admissions update regarding COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

Fall 2020 applicants

How can I submit required documents for my application? My university/high school/CEGEP/school board is unable to print and mail transcripts.


An unofficial copy of your transcript may be uploaded to Minerva to fulfill application requirements. Do not send official records by mail until they are requested. 

 

I am required to submit proof of English Proficiency, but my test centre is closed. What do I do?


Several  English language test providers now offer on-line versions of their tests. McGill recognizes these tests and will accept digital versions of results. Please visit our Proof of English Proficiency page for more details.  

Is McGill still processing applications and sending admissions offers for Fall 2020?


McGill processes admissions decisions on a rolling basis and we continue to make admissions offers to all applicant pools. Estimated dates for release of admission decisions are available on mcgill.ca/applying/nextsteps/decision

 

Fall 2021 applicants

Are campus tours cancelled? Until when?


McGill has suspended on campus tours and the McGill Welcome Centre will remain closed until further notice. We sincerely regret not being able to meet you face-to-face and apologize for the inconvenience these changes may cause you. We are working hard to bring the robust and dynamic McGill experience to life online. Stay tuned and visit the Welcome Center website again in June to find opportunities on how to connect virtually with our campus tour guides. 

 

SAT and ACT exams have been cancelled in spring/summer 2020. Will I be able to be considered without these tests for Fall 2021 and Fall 2022?


At this time, SAT and ACT exam dates have been rescheduled to later dates in the summer and fall 2020. We will accept digital versions of SAT and ACT exam results.

 

Newly admitted students

General questions

What happens if my secondary school is unable to provide final grades or my exams are cancelled?


We are aware that CEGEPs in Quebec and secondary schools around the world have adjusted final assessments and that how you will finish your term might look different from what you declared in your application to McGill. If you have been sent an offer of admission, we want to reassure you that McGill will accept the grades that have been submitted to date as final for the purpose of meeting your offer condition. We have also extended the deadline to provide proof of graduation from September 1, 2020 to September 1, 2021. Note: Although the deadline for receipt of official final results and proof of graduation has been extended to September 1, 2021, it is in your best interest to arrange for these to be sent as soon as possible. Once received, your admission file will be finalized officially and any applicable advanced standing or transfer credit will be processed.

 

My school board has changed its exam schedule and grading process – will this affect my offer of admission?


We will accept the alternative methods of assessment used by your school or examination board. Moreover, a change in your school’s grading process will not negatively impact your offer of admission. If your school moves to a pass/fail or a satisfactory/unsatisfactory assessment method, we will accept such grades.
 

Has McGill's confirmation deadline been extended?


The undergraduate confirmation deadline has been extended from May 1 to June 1. This means that you will now have until June 1, 2020* to confirm your offer(s) of admission. We hope that this extra time will help you and your family make the best decision for you.

Your official letter of acceptance can be found on Minerva. To accept your offer, login to your Minerva account (Applicant Menu > Applicant Status) select the application and click the "Accept this offer" link.

*The Faculties of Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Music have their own confirmation deadlines, which you will find in your letter of admission.

 

Will having outstanding high school courses when I start my fall 2020 program at McGill impact my ability to register in first year courses?


Incoming students have until September 1, 2021 to submit their proof of graduation. You will be able to register and start your program at McGill if you have incomplete secondary activities. However, if you are missing prerequisites for your program courses, you will not be able to register for the courses for which you are missing prerequisites. Please speak to your faculty or program advisor for more information. Note: Although the deadline for receipt of official final results and proof of graduation has been extended to September 1, 2021, it is in your best interest to arrange for these to be sent as soon as possible. Once received, your admission file will be finalized officially and any applicable advanced standing or transfer credit will be processed.

Will I receive transfer credits for advanced courses, exams or curriculum even if alternative assessments are used and/or some material was not covered? Will I be able to retake courses if I do not feel academically prepared?


Our transfer credit policy will remain unchanged for students admitted in 2020. Details regarding the University’s advanced standing and transfer credit policy can be found at mcgill.ca/transfercredit/prospective

Students who do not feel academically prepared to be exempt from freshman-level math and science courses, we are ready to support you. Assessment tools and tutorials will be made available to you to help you evaluate your academic readiness; you will also be able to request to have the exemption removed to allow you to repeat any course for which you receive an exemption if you are concerned about your academic preparedness. 

Transfer credits for newly-admitted students are processed after you have accepted your offer and we have received your the final, official document(s), usually during the summer. Although the grades you submitted when you applied will be considered final for meeting your offer condition, we do require final official documents for the purpose of granting advanced standing and exemption credits. 

I am a transfer applicant. How will 'pass' grades from the Winter 2020 semester impact my offer of admission?


A change in your school’s grading will not negatively impact your offer of admission. If your school moves to a pass/fail or a satisfactory/unsatisfactory assessment method, we will accept such grades. 

Can I defer my offer of admission, and if so, under what conditions?


We are able to accommodate a limited number of admission deferrals each academic year; usually these are for a year or a single term. If you request a deferral and it is not approved, you will maintain your admissions offer for the term you initially applied for (i.e. Fall 2020) and may begin your studies then. Students may withdraw their deferral request at any time.

If you are thinking about deferring, here are a few things to consider: 

The situation is world-wide. The disruptions are temporary and the long-term view of progress through a 4-year degree should be kept in mind.

Do you feel that you can maintain your study habits and skills as well as the sense of academic momentum during a prolonged absence from formal education?

What are the alternatives? Will you be able to travel, or take on an interesting work experience?

Are there hidden opportunities in remote learning? For example, beginning university remotely could allow you to focus on the transition to your academic life at university, while not having to worry about adjusting to living away from home at the same time.  As well, workplaces have leapt into the virtual world and are unlikely to ever fully reverse, so building skills in remote communication and works provides valuable career experience.  

If you are requesting a deferral for financial reasons:

Remote learning may provide students the opportunity to save on living expenses if they remain in their family home.

Some government jurisdictions, such as the Canada Student Loan and Grant Program, introduced an extra level of generosity for 2020/21 only. Continuance of studies, regardless of mode of delivery, could result in more overall aid, a higher proportion of grants and reduction in imposed student contribution.

Refer to the Scholarships & Student Aid Office for guidance on McGill need-based aid as well as government student financial assistance programs

Only you can decide what is best for you. The deadline for deferring is July 31st, so you still have time before making this important decision. Please visit mcgill.ca/accepted/nextsteps/accepting/deferring-or-declining-your-offer for more information on deferrals. 

 

If more deferral requests are placed than can be accommodated, how is it decided whose request will be approved?


We are not able to defer an unlimited number of admissions offers as this would mean fluctuations in enrolment that make it impossible to ensure quality and program access, for example: professor-student ratios, classroom and lab space, internship opportunities. Some of these are less relevant in the context of remote learning, but since students typically attend McGill for 4 years and remote learning is a temporary measure to ensure the health and safety of our community, we must also think ahead to the number of students we will have returning to campus and our programs as soon as it is safe to do so.

Approval of deferral requests will be based on program space in future terms. If we are able to defer your offer of admission to the Winter 2021 term, we will do so as much as possible. Where this is not possible, deferral to the Fall 2021 term will be accommodated to the extent possible while also ensuring quality of our programs.

 

Fall 2020 semester

What are McGill’s plans for program delivery in Fall 2020?


McGill will deliver its programs and courses throughout the Fall term, starting as scheduled. Courses will be offered primarily through remote delivery and we are developing a suite of delivery options so that we will be able to adapt hands-on learning, such as labs, to the virtual environment.

As public health measures lift, we will look at the possibility of some on-campus activities. We recognize that not all our students will be able to be present in Montreal, so any on-campus activities will be also replicated and complimented virtually to provide equal access to students, regardless of their location.

What factors are being considered in planning for Fall 2020?


The health and safety of our community is our primary consideration. Alongside this consideration, our planning has been guided by 8 key principles:

1. Remain focused on McGill’s Mission
2. Ensure continued delivery of academic programs and courses
3. Innovate within limits, without losing sight of our identity
4. Maintain high quality teaching and learning
5. Demonstrate agility and flexibility
6. Prioritize accessibility
7. Retain student enrolment and engagement
8. Communicate clearly and consistently across our community

Is McGill currently open? Will it be open in the Fall?


Yes, McGill is open. Currently, McGill’s summer term is being delivered remotely. To date, summer enrolment in undergraduate programs is up 13% and students are taking more credit hours on average. Nearly 70 departments are delivering courses or activities. Research activities are slowly and gradually ramping up on our campuses in accordance with safety directives.

Activities that can be done remotely are still happening off-campus. This unfortunately means that we are not able to welcome the public to visit our beautiful campuses for now. Please visit mcgill.ca/accepted for information on virtual events and how to reach us.

McGill will be open in the fall, with most courses being offered primarily through remote delivery. When it is safe to do so, and in accordance with public health directives, we will introduce other student life and learning activities on campus. Courses will continue to be delivered remotely throughout the fall.

How will hands-on learning, such as labs, be taught in a remote teaching environment?


A lot of really good options exist – for example, virtual labs, simulations, multimedia, video demonstrations, using open source data sets. Different courses will have different needs, so we are exploring many options to ensure we can deliver quality instruction. And McGill professors are actively engaged and collaborating to identify creative, engaging approaches and best practices.

If we are not able to identify an appropriate virtual solution for a particular course, then we are looking at moving that course from the Fall to the Winter, or front-loading the work that can be done online and moving practical, hands-on learning components to later.

I live in a different time zone, will classes be live or recorded so I can follow them during at more convenient times based on where I live?


Instructors are aware of the challenges students face when learning remotely and will be supported in adapting their courses in light of this; instructors will be encouraged to consider teaching approaches that take into consideration students who are studying in different time zones.

Will orientation activities take place this fall, and if so, when?

We are working closely with students to plan and develop virtual orientation activities. 

We are exploring ways to engage incoming students that include connecting them with returning students and recent grads so that they can gain an understanding of what the McGill experience is in a remote setting. We are also developing virtual communities and activities for both returning and incoming students based on their interests.     

Will be reaching out to incoming students after June 1st to hear their voices and gather their ideas on student engagement in the new reality. Stay updated by following announcements on Campus Life & Engagement's website.  

Since courses will be offered remotely, will residences be open in the fall?


* Visit mcgill.ca/shhs/faq-covid-19 for FAQs about Residences 

Yes, some residences will be open, and you can still apply to live in residence. The residence application deadline for undergraduate students is July 7th, 2020. Application for residences are accepted and accommodation is assigned based on the understanding that students are making a commitment for the full academic year. See the cancellation policies here

Please see visit the Student Housing website for more information. 

How can I socialize and meet other people before the Fall semester starts, or during my first semester given the restrictions on group gatherings?


We do not know what temporary measures will be in place in the fall. However, if we do need to maintain physical distancing on campus or if you are not able to be on campus, you will still be part of a vibrant community. People all across McGill are coming up with creative ways to stay connected as a community and the University is working to further enhance access to platforms and best practices for engagement, both academic and outside of the classroom. 

If you haven’t yet, join the McGill University Entering Class of 2020-2021 Facebook group to  socialize and meet other new students from around the world! And follow #McGillVirtualWave on Instagram and TikTok and "wave" back to your new community!

How will McGill support students in learning remotely who do not have access to proper technology to do so (e.g., laptops, high-speed Wi-Fi)?


McGill is continually investigating new methods and platforms and working to adapt course material and programming to be as accessible as possible, including for students who may not have high-speed devices or internet access. In delivering remote instruction, courses will be simplified and formatted in ways that take into account these potential challenges. 

McGill is a member of Eduroam, a secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. Students who have access to a local research university campus who is also an Eduroam member can use their McGill credentials to access McGill’s IT infrastructure using the local campus Wi-Fi infrastructure (at no cost). Most research universities around the world have access to Eduroam. For more information, please visit McGill’s Knowledge Base

Will there be a tuition reduction in the context of remote course delivery in the Fall?


No. We are confident that we will offer the same quality of instruction remotely, and the value of the McGill degree remains despite this temporary interruption. Support to students and instructors for remote learning is being increased, and the vast majority of our student services are still available. We are also working to create virtual communities and experiences outside academic learning to ensure a robust student experience even in a virtual environment, including planning for orientation and frosh.

We recognize that the pandemic has affected many people financially, and so we are choosing to increase financial aid to students in need, rather than reducing tuition. It is not too late for newly admitted first-time undergraduate students to apply to our Entrance Bursary Program. Please visit Scholarships and Student Aid for more information about our aid services to help students in financial need.

 

 

CEGEP students

I am in CEGEP and received a conditional admission. I might not be able to complete my DEC by Sept 2020. Can I start my program in the Fall at McGill?

As an admitted CEGEP student in good academic standing, you can start your program at McGill with up to three missing “components”. Components can include any combination of a course, the language exit test, or the comprehensive assessment. Among those 3 components, no more than one may be a prerequisite course for the program you are entering. Because missing a prerequisite may have an impact on your program progression we strongly encourage you, if possible, to complete that program prerequisite over the summer. 

All incoming students have until September 1, 2021 to submit their proof of graduation. Therefore, you must have finished your DEC by that date. Note: Although the deadline for DEC completion has been extended to September 1, 2021, it is in your best interest to complete your DEC as soon as possible. Once proof of DEC is received from the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie, your admission file will be finalized officially.

If you are entering programs in Music, Medicine, Dentistry, or Law, please contact their admissions offices directly to verify that these parameters apply in their admissions processes.

I will not complete my DEC by September 1, 2020, but I completed all of my prerequisite courses. When will my CEGEP credits be transferred? Will I still be able to take classes that require a CEGEP course as a prerequisite?

Once we receive confirmation of your DEC from Quebec, we will award you 30 credits of advanced standing. In the interim, if you have successfully completed a CEGEP course which is prerequisite for a more advanced course at McGill, you will be allowed to take the advanced course at McGill.

Our transfer credit policy will remain unchanged for students admitted in 2020. Details regarding the University’s advanced standing and transfer credit policy can be found at mcgill.ca/transfercredit/prospective.

Students who do not feel academically prepared to be exempt from freshman-level math and science courses, we are ready to support you. Assessment tools and tutorials will be made available to you to help you evaluate your academic readiness; you will also be able to request to have the exemption removed to allow you to repeat any course for which you receive an exemption if you are concerned about your academic preparedness.

Transfer credits for newly-admitted students are processed after you have accepted your offer and we have received your final, official document(s), usually during the summer. Although the grades you submitted when you applied will be considered final for meeting your offer condition, we do require final official documents for the purpose of granting advanced standing and exemption credits.

I may have incomplete CEGEP activities when I am set to begin my program at McGill. Can I take classes at my CEGEP while I’m attending McGill?


Students coming to McGill from CEGEP may start their program with a maximum of 3 incomplete CEGEP activities, including the Ministerial Examination of College English (the English Exit Exam)/l'épreuve uniforme de français. You will be able to start your program at McGill and follow your remaining CEGEP course alongside your studies at McGill. However, if you are missing prerequisites for your program courses, you will not be able to register for the courses for which you are missing prerequisites.  We encourage you to follow any courses that are prerequisites for your program over the summer if possible. Several CEGEPs are offering distance courses over the summer. Please speak to your faculty or program advisor for more information.  

 

International Students

I was just admitted to McGill – can I apply for my CAQ and Study Permit now?


Yes, you can apply now for your CAQ and your study permit, and we encourage you to get the process started. The immigration section of the International Student Services (ISS) site can help, and ISS also has FAQs to answer questions about changes in immigration processes due to COVID-19.

What if I can’t get my immigration documents in time as a result of delays? Can I start my courses remotely from my home country?


The government is providing increased flexibility for international students in light of the pandemic. As new measures are being announced regularly, please consult the COVID-19 FAQs on the International Student Services site. You may be able to study remotely without having your immigration documents in hand. Plan to join classes from the very beginning of the term.

My courses are all remote in the fall, can I start my studies from my home country without having my study permit in hand?


Yes, you may begin your Fall courses online, while waiting for your CAQ and Study Permit. However you should be aware that studying without a valid Study Permit may affect your eligibility for a Post Graduation Work Permit. Please consult the COVID-19 FAQs on the International Student Services site.

Will McGill’s medical insurance for international students cover any COVID-related illness?


McGill’s mandatory International Health Insurance (IHI) plan, which international students are required to enrol in, covers testing, hospitalization and treatment for COVID-19 in Canada. For more information, please see the International Students Health Insurance Plan FAQs.  

Where can I find information on processing times for immigration applications (e.g. study permit, temporary resident visa, work permit)? 


You can find more information regarding immigration applications on the following webpage: canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/check-processing-times.html

Immigration Quebec is also experiencing some processing delays. However, new processing times are not published at the moment.

I am experiencing delays in processing my CAQ which are preventing me from applying for my Study Permit. What should I do? 


Find out about the process and the documents you need for studying in Quebec. As new measures are being announced regularly, we encourage you to visit McGill’s International Student Services website for the latest information.

Will my upcoming travel plan to Canada be impacted by the current travel restrictions?


To manage the outbreak of COVID-19, Canada has implemented travel restrictions to stop non-essential travel to Canada by most foreign nationals with only a few exemptions.

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by an airline before you’ll be allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

When you arrive in Canada, your health will be assessed before you leave the port of entry. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms.

For more information about the travel restrictions and exemption, please visit the Travel FAQ’s on International Student Services website.

In the context of remote delivery this fall, will incoming students be able to register for classes without immigration documents? 


You may begin your courses online from outside of Canada without a valid CAQ and study permit. However you should be aware that studying without a valid Study Permit may affect your eligibility for a Post Graduation Work Permit. As new measures are being announced regularly, please consult the COVID-19 FAQs on the International Student Services site.

Will a deferral impact my Study Permit?


If you are approved to defer to Winter 2021, you will be able to use the CAQ and Study permit issued to you for your fall start. If you are approved to deferring your studies to begin in the Fall 2021, you will be required to apply for a new CAQ before starting your program. However your deferral to September 2021 will have no impact on your Study Permit.

 

Academic support

Will math and science departments implement tutorials to help first year students starting in the fall who missed course material due to school closures?


All our U0 and U1 Fall math and science courses will include a review component in the first two weeks. For students wishing to catch up on missed material over the summer, mini courses consisting of pre-recorded lectures will be available in July. The Faculty of Science is also planning to make self-assessment tools available.  

Please speak to your faculty or program advisor for more information. 
 

I am concerned that I will struggle with learning in a remote environment. Will there be tools and supports available to support me? How can I start to prepare?

We are developing tools and supports to transition students to remote learning. These will be announced in coming weeks and months, in the meantime: 

  1. Become familiar with Zoom. Zoom is one of the most popular web conferencing tools in higher education today. It allows instructors to easily convene an online meeting with students, chat with or without video enabled, and deliver presentations while maintaining a good quality connection between all participants. Get started by previewing the resources on the Learning with Zoom webpage.
     
  2. Introduce yourself to myCourses. myCourses is McGill's learning management system and as a student you will use it to access course materials, view grades, submit assignments, and more. Get started by previewing the myCourses resources for students available online or watch some tutorial videos.
     
  3. Sign up for SKILLS21. SKILLS21 is McGill skills development program for undergrads. SKILLS21 offers workshops and webinars on a range of topics, including studying, exam prep, leadership, communication and more. To get started, register for SKILLS21 today and you'll be the first to know about new resources and workshops to support you with remote learning.
     
  4. Consult the remote learning resources created by McGill's Teaching and Learning Services. 

 

 

Scholarships & student aid

My offer of admission does not specify funding. Is it too late to obtain/apply for funding?

We know that the pandemic has changed the financial circumstances for many people.  If you face financial challenges, we encourage you to apply for McGill’s Entrance Bursary program, if you have not already done so. The application deadline has been extended from 30 days to 60 days from your official admission date

Throughout your degree, if you continue to experience financial difficulties, you may apply to the Scholarships & Student Aid Office for In-Course Financial Aid.  This program is available to all students, regardless of their geographic origin.     

Canadian and American students are strongly encouraged to apply for government aid by June 30th so their aid arrives in time.  The Scholarships and Student Aid Office provides information on all Canadian provincial/federal aid programs as well as the U.S. federal aid available to American students studying at McGill.  Please  visit mcgill.ca/studentaid/government 

 

Will there be financial aid for students even though courses are online? 


Yes. Any newly admitted students coming from high school or CEGEP with financial concerns about the 2020/21 academic year is strongly encouraged to apply for our Entrance Bursary program. While it’s preferable to apply soon after your offer of admission is in hand, it’s not too late! You can apply up to June 30th.

 

Does a remote semester negatively impact my ability to access government student financial assistance programs?


Having a Fall semester using remote learning does not impact undergraduate and graduate students’ ability to access government student financial assistance programs. This include all provincial/territory programs, the Canada Student Loan program and the U.S. Direct Loan Program. The Scholarships and Student Aid Office can guide students, based on their residency, what government aid program to apply to.

What do I do if I haven’t received my financial aid by the time I need to pay my tuition? Can I defer my tuition payment?


For students waiting for their government aid to come in, or who are experiencing delays in international fund transfer, can apply for a Tuition Payment Deferral to have more time to pay their tuition and ancillary fees without worrying about interest or penalties. Fee Deferrals can be initiated in Minerva and are for different amounts and time frames depending on the situation.

I have been selected for an Entrance Scholarship - what happens if my final grades do not meet the Entrance Scholarship requirement of grades?


Scholarship decisions with regard to the Entrance Scholarship are made during the admission process and are based on academic information available at that time. There is no reconsideration of additional or final results. 

I have been selected for an Entrance Scholarship and I have requested an admission deferral. If my admission deferral is granted, can I defer my scholarship offer?


First-time entrance scholarships are tenable only for the session for which they are awarded and cannot be deferred unless the newly-admitted student has been granted deferred admission. If deferred admission is granted, it is likely that the scholarship will also be deferred. Deferrals are tenable for up to one year. The entrance scholarship offer of the highest value that you received will be deferred to the following year. No new applications for major scholarships will be entertained in the second year.

I am already concerned about next year (2021-2022). Is financial aid available to returning students?


Yes. If financial difficulties arise during the academic year when you are a registered student, we have an In-Course Financial Aid program. It opens up on August 1st each year, but students can apply any day of the academic year. This involves a completing an application in Minerva and scheduling an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor in the Scholarships & Student Aid Office. In all cases, we do take into consideration that students on a study permit have demonstrated financial capacity for their first 12 months of study.

 


Residences

Visit mcgill.ca/shhs/faq-covid-19 for FAQs about Residences!


Ways to connect with us

If you have any questions about next steps for admitted students, please read through mcgill.ca/accepted and be sure to save a copy of our Essential Guide. In addition, please join our Entering Class of 2020-2021 Facebook group, where answers to common and specific questions are answered daily. Lastly, if you still have unanswered questions, please email us at recruitment [at] mcgill.ca.

Join us online!

Sign up for an online event for newly admitted students

Follow our stories

Take a virtual tour

Social media

Follow @mcgilladmissions on Instagram and Facebook

Parents can join the McGill International Parent Community Facebook page

Contact us

Here are some of the ways admitted students and their families can connect with McGill:

*responses may be delayed due to the volume of inquiries

Concerns about your application? Contact Service Point

Connect with our Recruitment team: recruitment [at] mcgill.ca

Updated: May 26, 2020

 

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