This page contains important information designed to help you complete the application process. Be sure to review it carefully before submitting your application.

You should also consult the Applying and admissions section of the Prospective Graduate Students website.


Admission requirements and deadlines

 Deadlines to apply to program

Please note that the online application as well as all required documents must be submitted BEFORE the departmental application deadline. 

Summer – No admissions


  • International Applicants: March 15
  • Canadian/Permanent Resident Applicants: June 1


  • International Applicants: September 15
  • Canadian/Permanent Resident Applicants: October 1

Deadlines for supporting documents


  • International Applicants: April 15
  • Canadian/Permanent Resident Applicants: June 15


  • International Applicants: September 22
  • Canadian/Permanent Resident Applicants: October 15

Deadlines for supervisor acceptance

Note: This is the deadline to be accepted into a lab in Biochemistry. An email from both the new supervisor and the student confirming acceptance into a laboratory must be sent to christine.laberge [at] (Christine Laberge).


  • International Applicants: April 29
  • Canadian/Permanent Resident Applicants: June 30


  • International Applicants: October 1
  • Canadian/Permanent Resident Applicants: November 1

Supporting documents

Each application requires the following documents to be mailed directly to:

Christine Laberge
Student Affairs Administrator
McGill University, Department of Biochemistry
McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Room 905A
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3G 1Y6
admissions.biochemistry [at]
Tel: 514-398-2423

Letters of recommendation

  • Two (2) letters of recommendation are required.
  • You must ask two instructors, who are familiar with your work, to write the letters of recommendation.
  • Please ask your instructors to send the letters directly to McGill c/o Department of Biochemistry, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, Room 905A, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1Y6, Attention: Ms. Christine Laberge
  • Letters may be sent electronically (via e-mail) and will be accepted if sent by University Career Centres, Electronic Portfolio Management Companies and other document storage services. Letters sent electronically must meet the following conditions:
    1. The e-mail communicating the electronic letter must be sent from a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address (domain). Electronic letters sent from public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Videotron, etc, cannot be accepted.
    2. The electronic letters must be specific as to which program the student has applied and include information that would aid an admissions committee in making an informed decision.
    3. Letters of reference (electronic and hard copy) must be dated and must not be more than 12 months.
    4. The referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution.
    5. Electronic letters sent from a Career Centre or Portfolio Management Company must state that the letters are confidential.
  • For hard-copy letters submitted on electronic letterhead with an electronic signature, the letter must conform to conditions 1) through 5) (above) and must also be sent in an envelope sealed by the referee.
  • If your instructor cannot mail the letter to McGill ask them to give you the letter in a sealed envelope which they have signed across the back. You may then send the letter to the Biochemistry Department with your other required documents.

University transcripts

You must submit two (2) official copies of all university academic transcripts. Please note:

  • Transcripts should be sent directly by the academic institution or included in your application in a sealed and signed envelope (photocopies will not be accepted)
  • Transcripts must be accompanied by an explanation of the grading system used by the academic institution
  • If your transcripts give course numbers only, submit a list of the titles of courses taken in the major subject
  • Transcripts written in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation

Note: Students graduating with a degree from McGill University are not required to submit official transcripts. A copy of your Minerva transcript is sufficient.

Personal essay

Your personal essay should briefly describe your background, your past work in the intended field and your reasons for applying for graduate studies in biochemistry at McGill.

Curriculum vitae

Provide an English CV that lists previous research experience and publications, if applicable.

Potential supervisors

You must provide the names of professors in our Department with whom you would be interested in working. Use the supervisors_application.doc form to list supervisors.


Note: You can find out more about our faculty members by reading their laboratory pages and by consulting their research interests page.

Special requirements for international applicants

TOEFL or IELTS scores

All international applicants whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone) must submit exam results from the Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS).

TOEFL - McGill requires:

  • The computer-based Test (CBT) is no longer being offered. CBT results will no longer be accepted as ETS no longer reports these results.
  • Paper-based test (PBT): a minimum score of 550
  • Internet-based Test (iBT): a minimum overall score of 86 with each component score not less than 20

IELTS - McGill requires:

  • A minimum overall band score of 6.5 or greater

Important Note: You must ensure that the official test results are sent directly to McGill (Institution Code: 0935) by the test service.

GRE scores

International students who have received their degree outside North America should submit the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), either the General or Subject test in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. The minimum score is 550. The GRE is not required but is strongly recommended.

Important Note: You must ensure that the official test results are sent directly to McGill (Institution Code: 0935; Department Code: 0202) by the test service.

Admissions procedure

Once a student has submitted all the required documents, the applicant’s file will be reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee. If the applicant has fulfilled all the requirements, recommendation for admission to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office will be made once the applicant has secured a supervisor and adequate financial support. Financial support should be in the form of a stipend from the supervisor's research grant or a fellowship held by the student.

For further details about financial support, visit Graduate studies - (Financial Support Heading)

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