Frequently Asked Questions

My CGPA is below 3.2. Can I still apply?

You can still apply for Graduate Studies if your CGPA is below 3.2.  You may still be considered for admission if the Department believes you possess other strong attributes that would make a successful researcher or scholar. Note that the University minimum graduate admission CGPA is 3.0. Detailed information can be found at McGill Graduate Admission requirements. 

My CGPA is too low.  Can I be admitted to do a qualifying year? 

No.  The Department does not recommend students for admission pending completion of a qualifying year. 

My previous degree was completed in English.  Do I need to take the TOEFL?

No. Students who have completed a previous Bachelors or Masters degree in English do not have to submit proof of English proficiency.

What is the institutional code for sending TOEFL results to McGill University?

The code for McGill University is 0935.

Do I need to take the GRE?

No.  The GRE is not required for admission to our Department. However, all graduates from non-Canadian universities are strongly advised to take the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and, in addition, may find it useful to take the specialized GRE in Biology.

Can you send me a list of all your professors who are looking for graduate students?

We do not maintain a separate list of professors looking for students as this is always subject to change.  The list of Professors who are eligible to directly supervise graduate students can be found here.

What is the best way to find a supervisor?

Finding a supervisor might be the most important but challenging part of the admission process. As a graduate student, you will work under a supervisor for the selected program (M.Sc. and Ph.D.). The supervisor plays a crucial role in proposing and guiding your research project. When looking for a supervisor, start by carefully reading the information on the Professors’ pages. After that, you should be able to determine who is working in the field that interests you. If you cannot find sufficient information on the McGill website, look up some of the Professors' publications. Once you narrow your list down to a couple of researchers, please contact them directly by e-mail. In your email, you should specify your experience, educational background and your achievements in a brief Curriculum Vitae. Describe what type of research you would like to do and why you have chosen them for your supervisor. Explain why you would be an excellent addition to the lab and demonstrate which points from your CV prove that you can succeed in an academic environment. You may add your scanned transcript to demonstrate that your grades fulfill the Departmental admission requirements.

Do I have to find a supervisor before I apply to the program?

No. You may submit your online application without a secured supervisor. But, admission into the program requires you to have a secured supervisor.  If you do not find a supervisor, your application will be considered incomplete and will automatically be declined, regardless of your academic credentials.

I have contacted several professors, but none of them have responded to me.  What should I do?

If someone doesn’t reply, it likely means that they are not recruiting graduate students for this term.   You may want to continue to pursue other supervisors. 

Do you have a quota of available spots for graduate students?  Is there a limit to the number of international students that can be accepted?

No.  Because a recommendation for acceptance is contingent upon a guarantee of funding from a supervisor, the number of students who will be accepted in a given term is always fluctuating.  There is no cap or quota for international students.   Similarly, there is no set number of graduate students, domestic or international, who are accepted per term. 

How can I check the status of my application? 

Log into the McGill online application portal with your login and password.  You can check your application status as well as all documents received to date.

Is there an official form that my referees need to fill out?

On the application portal, once you provide the names and email address of two referees, the system will send an email for the referee to upload a reference letter onto your online application. While there is no specific form for recommendation letters, referees can can upload a .pdf version of letter on their official letterhead. 

Can my referees send their letters via email?

No. All the reference letters must be uploaded to the application portal.   

What level of funding is provided for graduate students?

Please see the information posted here. Current tuition fee tables are available for viewing here

Are there other research opportunities in your department apart from those reserved for graduate student trainees?

The research opportunities coordinated by our office are restricted to graduate studies applicants.  In order to determine whether or not other opportunities exist within these labs, you could try contacting the professors individually.  Information about their research as well as their contact information is listed here.

How long does it take to complete a PhD in your department?

The time required to complete a doctorate in human genetics will vary with the background of the student. In general, a student entering with a master's degree should plan for a 3-5 year program.

How much does it cost to live in Montreal?  What is it like there?

For more information on McGill University and living in Montreal, please consult this website designed for future potential graduate students at McGill:

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