Current Graduate Students

For research and evidence-based advice to graduate students and their supervisors about how to work together effectively and avoid common problems in supervision, consult the Supervision: Graduate and Postdoctoral Support website.

Forms for current graduate students

Reading Courses

Oral Comprehensive Exam

All PhD students are required to take the oral comprehensive exam within 24 months of registering into the PhD program (whether through direct entry or through “fast-tracking” from our own MSc program). The examination session is closed to all except the student, the supervisor(s) and the members of the Oral Comprehensive Examination Committee. The entire examination session should last about 1.5 hours.

The goal of this examination is to confirm that the trainee is prepared to carry out the final 2 to 3 years of the program by exhibiting adequate understanding of his/her research project and key elements of the research field, as well as the ability to thoughtfully consider related issues. Evaluation criteria include 1) Project organization (including presentation), 2) Project content (including progress and potential), and 3) Ability to communicate concepts clearly.

  • The student will give approximately a 30-minute presentation on their research program, progress they have made, and future work and directions.
  • Probing questions about their work and the research field are to be asked by the committee members for about 1 hour.

The Exam will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

If the decision is a Fail, a re-examination must occur within 6 months.

The Oral Comprehensive Exam form must be completed and signed by the supervisor(s) and all members of the committee.

Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking

McGill requires annual tracking of doctoral students’ progress toward the degree. The Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking Form is to be used during face-to-face meetings between the doctoral student, supervisor, and at least one other departmental representative.  Having written agreed-upon expectations and clearly defined requirements aids in reduced times to completion and leads to fewer supervisor-supervisee misunderstandings.

Please refer to the Regulations on Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking for the steps to be followed for doctoral students. Units may also use the Form for Master’s students in thesis and non-thesis research programs, if this is a unit-wide practice.  

This Form must also be completed by Master's and Doctoral external award holders (e.g., of NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR fellowships). The signed Form must be submitted by the student (with the supervisor copied) to GPS Funding. Award holders must abide by McGill regulations governing awards and should also refer to the relevant Award Holder’s Guide.

GPS Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking Form*

* This is a fillable pdf form and can be signed with digital signatures. Download the pdf from your browser (Firefox and Internet Explorer work best with digital signatures) and save it to your desktop. Open the form using Adobe Acrobat Reader and save it again after filling it in.

General rationales and practical advice on progress reporting are available on the Monitoring student progress page of the Supervision: Graduate and Postdoctoral Support website.

Graduate Student FAQ - Click Here

Course Change Request Disclaimer

Note that withdrawing from one or more courses during the semester may – where applicable – affect your government aid and/or McGill work--study eligibility. For international students, it may also impact your immigration status and/or permission to work in Canada. 

Please ensure that you are aware of any consequences related to a course withdrawal request: consult with Scholarships & Student Aid Office, International Student Services, and/or your Faculty Student Affairs Office, where relevant.

The following web forms are available to graduate students on the student records website:

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