How to apply

Important Note

The Department of History and Classical Studies accepts applications between November 1 and January 15 and offers full-time programs only starting in September. Applications are not accepted at any other time of the year. Applications to MA programs in History or Classics will not be accepted after January 15. All supporting documents must be received by this date.

Application Form and Application Fee

For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see:

Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors to determine their availability ahead of time.

To apply for the MA or PhD program in Ancient History, please follow the application procedures on the Department of History website. For MA information, click here and for PhD information, click here.

Required Documents

  • University Transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Proposal (for thesis option only)
  • Personal statement 
  • Writing Sample
  • Proficiency in English (if applicable)

University Transcripts: You must upload unofficial copies of transcripts for all courses at all universities attended. Include transcripts for courses taken at other universities that apply to your BA or MA degrees, even if the credits have been transferred. It is important for the department to see the titles of the courses and the grades given.

Please note that uploaded transcripts will be considered as unofficial.  Once you are admitted you will be required to supply final, official transcripts before enrolling for courses.

Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are required to provide references from two instructors familiar with their work. McGill will request letters of recommendation on your behalf from referees you identify on the application form.

MA applicants who graduated with a BA several years ago (five years or more) may have some difficulty submitting letters of recommendation. If possible, it is a good idea to contact a professor who has given you a good grade in a history course. The letter could explain what would be required of a student to achieve this grade in the course. Although academic references are preferable, personal references (e.g., supervisor in the workplace) may be accepted with a letter of explanation. References for applicants who are recent graduates must be from academics.

Quebec law requires that, upon request and in certain circumstances, candidates be given access to letters of recommendation written on their behalf. You are requested to notify your proposed referees of this fact.

Curriculum vitae: Please submit a copy of your curriculum vitae, including the following information: modern languages known and level of competence; ancient languages known and level of competence. Honors, awards, distinctions: indicate if national, local or institutional and monetary value, if applicable.

Research Proposal (Thesis option only): Applicants to the MA Classics (Thesis Option) must submit a brief research proposal. Provide a non-technical summary of your proposed thesis topic and research (maximum one page) and indicate a proposed supervisor.

Personal Statement: Applicants must submit a brief personal statement (maximum one page) discussing the area of classical studies (geographic, thematic, or temporal, etc.) that interests you the most, and why. If applicable, you may wish inform us of any special circumstances that should be taken into consideration of your application.

Writing Sample: Submit a good BA paper, maximum 20 pages.

Proficiency in English: The language of instruction at McGill University is English. Students must write term papers, examinations and theses in English or in French. Non-Canadian applicants whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized institution where English is the language of instruction are required to submit documented proof of competency in oral and written English prior to admission.

Test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 186 (Internet-based), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 are required. Test scores must be less than 3 years old and received directly from the testing agency. You must indicate McGill University 's institution code: 0935.


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