Graduate Funding

Graduate students at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences receive funding from several different sources during their enrollment at McGill. The total financial support will come from a combination of:

  • guaranteed funding (tuition subsidies, research stipend) for progress towards your degree
  • expected salary from employment, for example, as a Teaching Assistant (TA)
  • external or internal scholarships/awards (if applicable)


In the table below are the amounts of financial support from all sources for students not holding scholarships/awards, and tuition, miscellaneous fees, health insurance that students will pay out of the total funding package during the 2023-2024 academic year. Note the exact amount in each category may vary with program year, with a guaranteed total take-home salary. Continued financial support from McGill is dependent on satisfactory progress towards your degree as evaluated annually by your progress tracking committee. Receipt of either an internal or external scholarship will result in additional take-home salary to this basic package. The take-home amount increases annually based on the Canadian Cost of Living or Consumer Price Index and the TA hourly rate increase.

Region of origin [Program]

Quebec [MSc]


Canadian [MSc]

Canadian [PhD]

International [MSc]

International [PhD]

Study level MSc1 MSc2 MSc1 MSc2 PhD1-4 PhD5 MSc1 MSc2 PhD1-4 PhD5
Department contribution1 $7,041


$10,096 $7,041 $23,888 $15,464 $21,868 $7,041
Research stipend $18,937 $19,130 $18,937 $19,130 $18,937 $18,172 $19,888 $20,081 $19,888 $19,123
Total funding $25,978 $26,171 $32,089 $29,226 $25,978 $25,213 $43,776 $35,545 $41,756 $26,164
Tuition and misc. fees $4,548 $4,741 $10,659 $7,796 $4,548 $3,783 $22,346 $14,115 $20,326 $4,734
Health insurance2 $0 $0 $0 $951 $951
Total take-home3 $21,430 $21,430 $21,430 $21,430 $21,430

1Department contribution includes tuition subsidies, TAships and top-up.
2Optional dental insurance not included.
3Total take-home is total funding minus tuition, fees and health insurance.


Department Contribution

Tuition and Fees

The EPS Department currently provides tuition fee subsidies to out-of-province Canadian students and International students such that the tuition amount paid is identical to that of a Quebec resident. In summary, all graduate students pay the same tuition amount and miscellaneous fees, while health insurance may differ from student to student. The most up-to-date information on tuition and fees may be obtained from Graduate Fee Calculator.

TAships and Top-Ups

We expect graduate students will have the opportunity to work approximately 160 hours over the course of the academic year as a teaching assistant, approximate salary of $5,284 ($2,642 per term), assuming that they are legally allowed to work in Canada, apply for the recommended number of posted employment positions, and meet all stated requirements of those positions. The conditions of TAships are governed by the union collective agreements, and graduate students are considered to be in a priority pool for the first two years of their MSc program, and the first four years of their PhD program (first five years if enrolled as a PhD1). While the department typically is able to offer TAships to all priority pool students, eligibility for TA employment depends on existing union collective agreements, so cannot be guaranteed. The TA salary increases annually according to the union collective agreements.

All students in our program also receive a TA top-up amount of $1,757 per academic year when they are in the ‘priority pool’, assuming satisfactory progress.

Research Stipend

Research stipend is provided by supervisor(s) for students who are in session (MSc1-2, PhD1-5). See Table of Example Funding Scenarios for stipend and take-home amounts for non-scholarship and scholarship holding students.

Scholarships, Awards and Top-Ups

Internal awards: Students with EPS and Geotop scholarships (both considered internal) receive up to $5,000 increase in take-home; extra goes to offset supervisor research stipend contribution.

External awards: Students with external fellowships (e.g., NSERC, FRQ) receive a top-up in supervisor research stipend that brings their take-home to non-scholarship take-home minimum + $5,000 (2023-2024 level $21,430 + $5,000 = $26,430). Students with external, one-off awards of a combined value of less than $5,000 are eligible for EPS internal scholarships, and these (external, one-off, with a combined value less than $5,000) are not included in the 'ceiling' ($26,430) calculation.

Example Funding Scenarios

Internal/External awards

Internal Scholarship

(EPS or Geotop)

External Awards

Scholarship $0 $2,500 $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $17,500 $21,000 $35,000 $50,000
Research stipend/top-up1 $18,937 $18,937 $18,937 $13,936 $8,937 $6,437 $2,937 $0 $0
Department net contribution to take-home2 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493 $2,493
Total take-home $21,430 $23,930 $26,430 $26,430 $26,430 $26,430 $26,430 $37,493 $52,493

1Based on 2022-2023 EPS minimum stipend for Canadian MSc1/PhD1-4
2(TA salary + TA top-up + department tuition subsidy) – (tuition + misc. fees), example of MSc1/PhD1-4

Pay Schedule

There are currently two pay schedules. TA salary is paid in every two weeks while stipends/awards are disbursed twice a month on the 1st and 15th. Note that if you receive both stipend/award disbursements and TA salary, the total amount directly deposited to your bank account in a month varies during the year. For example, stipends/awards are received throughout the year, however, TA salary is paid by term. Therefore, the amount you receive in the Summer term will differ from that of the Fall and Winter terms. Other variations in the amount of the pay cheque (up to a few hundred dollars) can occur at other times in the school year. For example, the amount you receive on your TA pay cheque at the beginning of each term and the end of each term may vary due to the number of days you work in a given pay period.

External Scholarships and Fellowships

There is a wide range of scholarships/fellowships available for excellent students.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for NSERC scholarships and those who are residents of Québec should also compete for FRQNT scholarships. The annual award amounts are currently:



NSERC MSc $17,500 (CGS M)
  PhD $21,000 (PGS D) / $35,000 (CGS D)
FRQNT MSc $17,500
  PhD $25,000

There are also scholarships available for international students. For a comprehensive list, please visit the McGill International student funding webpage. Also see details on eligibility and how to apply for internal and external awards at

EPS and Geotop Scholarships

EPS departmental scholarships (typically, $2,500 to $15,000) are awarded to suitably qualified and eligible graduate students. Please refer to EPS Graduate Handbook for eligibility and evaluation criteria.

Geotop offers graduate scholarships at MSc ($5,000) and PhD ($7,000) levels. Please refer to the Geotop website for eligibility criteria.

Additional information


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