- Normally, a history honours B.A. with at least 60 credits in history. Students with other undergraduate degrees (normally including serious research components) may be considered eligible.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 out of 4.0 (B+) in the B.A. degree.
- Applicants should have a reading knowledge of the language(s) needed for research purposes. There are opportunities to build on existing proficiency.
- Applicants need to meet McGill's English proficiency requirements
We strongly recommend that applicants for Ancient History have at least one year of Greek and/or Latin plus one modern European language (in addition to their first language). Applicants for other areas of history, e.g., Russian, should also have a reading knowledge of the language needed for research purposes.
N.B. The Department of History and Classical Studies is accepting applications between October 5 and January 15 offering 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.
Students applying to the MA Thesis program must contact potential supervisors to determine their availability.
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.
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. Note: There is no template or form required for reference letters.
MA applicants who graduated with a BA in History several years ago (5 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 work place) may be accepted with a letter of explanation. References for applicants who are recent graduates must be from academics and normally from historians.
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.
On the Department's "Application Checklist" (see below), indicate the two names of referees who have agreed to send references on your behalf. Please include names, position, university address, telephone number and email address for each referee.
As applicable, please include the following in your curriculum vitae:
- Research experience (archival or major undergraduate papers)
- Employment experience (or other full-time activities), including research positions you have held. Provide dates, starting from the most recent.
- Honours, awards, distinctions: Indicate if national/local/institutional and monetary value if applicable.
- Publications: List any refereed publications and non-referred publications. For co-authored publications, briefly describe your contribution.
Please explain your reasons for applying to our program. If applicable, you may wish inform us of any special circumstances that should be taken into consideration in evaluating your application. If you apply to one of our concentrations, please indicate why. The personal statement may not exceed one page, single-spaced, with no more than 6 lines of type per inch, body text in a minimum 12-pt Times New Roman or similarly sized font, and all margins set at a minimum of 3/4" (1.87 cm).
Submit a good BA paper (graded copy), maximum 20 pages. If you cannot submit a copy with the grades on it, submit the ungraded copy with an explanation.
Submit a research proposal as a separate document, independent of the application form. Please include the following elements:
- A statement of your research question, an explanation of its importance, and a discussion of how you plan to go about answering it, including reference to sources and methods
- Proposed Supervisor(s)
The research proposal may not exceed one page, single-spaced, with no more than 6 lines of type per inch, body text in a minimum 12-pt Times New Roman or similarly sized font, and all margins set at a minimum of 3/4" (1.87 cm). A separate, one-page bibliography may be attached.
Submit a brief essay on the following topic:
“What was the best undergraduate history course you took, why, and what did you learn from it?”
The writing sample may not exceed one page, single-spaced, with no more than 6 lines of type per inch, body text in a minimum 12-pt Times New Roman or similarly sized font, and all margins set at a minimum of 3/4" (1.87 cm).
Please note that the GRE is not required for applications to programs in History at McGill. However, if you have taken the GRE, you may wish to add it to your application. Test scores must be less than three years old and received directly from the testing agency. You must indicate McGill University's institution code: 0935.
Please see the English Language Proficiency page for more information.
The M.A. program (45 credits) is designed to be completed over three terms of residence. Students may extend the program if necessary, but fees will be charged for each semester of the program. Information on fees is available on the Student Accounts website.