How to apply

Admission Requirements & Deadlines


Research Supervisor

Admission is based on evaluation by the Graduate Training Committee and on acceptance by a faculty member within the department who agrees to supervise and fund the applicant.

Reach out to faculty who share your research interests after browsing our Faculty Profiles.

Before applying to Graduate Studies in Biology, students should contact faculty members with whom they wish to study.

Consult the following pages to view a list of professors according to their area of expertise, along with a brief summary of their research:

NBB | Neurobiology & Behaviour

MCDB | Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

CEEB | Conservation, Ecology, Evolution & Behaviour


Relevant Background, High Academic Standing, English Language Proficiency

Prospective graduate students must have a Bachelor of Science degree in a discipline relevant to the proposed field of study. In particular, applicants should have adequate background knowledge in cell and molecular biology (or biochemistry), organismal biology, ecology, developmental biology and statistics.

Students with high scholastic standing who have completed a program in fields other than biology (medicine, engineering, chemistry, physics, etc.) may be excused from some of the courses normally required for a major in Biology.

The minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, or a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4.0 in the last two years of full-time studies. Students who wish to be fast tracked to Ph.D1 with a B.Sc must have a minimum CGPA of 3.7/4.

The primary language of instruction at McGill is English. You may however make arrangements to write papers, examinations or theses in French, except in cases where knowledge of the English language is one of the objectives of the course.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English prior to admission. To find out if you are exempt from this requirement, please refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the Future Graduate Students site


Application Deadlines

If application materials are received after the dates shown below, it may be necessary to delay review of the applicant’s file until the following admittance period.

All inquiries pertaining to admission procedures should be directed to the Graduate Admissions Coordinator, ancil.gittens [at] (Ancil Gittens).

Applications received by February 1st will be automatically considered for a number of McGill-administered fellowships.

Canadian students who have applied for a Canada Graduate Scholarship Masters level (CGS M) must submit their application by February 1st to be reviewed for departmental nomination.

  All Applicants Non-Canadian Citizens Canadian Citizens/Permanent Residents Current McGill Students
FALL TERM September 15 January 15 March 15 March 15
WINTER TERM February 15 August 1 November 10 October 15

Submitting an Application


Applications are submitted online and require a non-refundable application fee. Review the Future Graduate Students website for instructions on Uploading Required Documents.

Prospective students should have connected with prospective faculty supervisors prior to submitting their application for admission. To make a connection, compose an e-mail to one or several prospective faculty supervisors, include your CV and unofficial transcripts, state your reasons for applying to graduate studies and highlight your research experience and skills. Explain why you are reaching out to this faculty member in particular and justify why you think your research interests align.

Application Components

Your application to Graduate Studies must be accompanied by an unofficial transcript, letters of recommendation and, if applicable, test scores verifying proficiency in English. Visit the Future Graduate Students - Supporting Documents page for more information regarding these materials.



Candidates are required to upload a copy of their complete university-level academic record to date in support of their application. If the transcript does not indicate that a degree has been conferred, a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) will also need to be uploaded.

Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript or by a certified translator. A copy in the original language is also required; an English or French translation alone is not sufficient.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to make arrangements for an official copy of each transcript to be sent to McGill University.


Letters of Reference

Our department requires applicants to provide 2 letters of recommendation from instructors familiar with their work.

Referees will be contacted and instructed by McGill about how to upload their letter of reference to the system.

Should you need to make changes to the referee information you have included on your application, please log in to uApply.


English Language Test Scores

Prior to admission, international students may need to provide proof of English language proficiency.

Visit the English Language Proficiency page on the Future Graduate Students site for more information.


Curriculum Vitae

Candidates should provide their C.V. in support of their application.


Research Proposal

Applicants should submit a brief description of the research that they would like to undertake with their prospective faculty supervisor (1/2 page maximum). 


Personal Statement

Applicants must write an essay (1 page maximum) in which they describe their reasons for applying to graduate studies in Biology and review prior research experience, educational and professional goals, and other qualifications they feel to be significant.

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