The Institute of Islamic Studies only accepts admissions applications for September registration. Note that we are not under Religious Studies.

The fall 2018 admissions application is now CLOSED. The next deadline is December 15, 2018 for fall 2019 admissions.

Applications at McGill University are done electronically and must be received by the deadline. All additional documents must be uploaded by this date. No paper documents are accepted at the time of your application. A file with late documents will be rendered incomplete and will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

You should apply early enough to ensure your referees upload their letters of recommendation by the December 15 deadline.

It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure that their files are complete by reviewing periodically their electronic applications.

Applications to the MA and PhD programs

Step 1: Review the MA or PhD Admissions criteria. (See left sidebar tabs.)

Step 2: Review the MA or PhD Program Information. (See left sidebar tabs.)

Step 3: Review the Faculty webpage. It is important that the applicant’s research interests correspond to the potential supervisor's. (See left sidebar tab, under People - Faculty Members.)

Step 4: Fill out the McGill University Online Application Form and pay the non-refundable application fee.

Application fees and other charges are listed on the Student Accounts website.

Note that you cannot upload your supporting documents and cannot receive letters of recommendation unless you have completed this step.

Step 5: Complete all additional items by the deadline.

The Institute’s Admissions Committee works hard to process admissions requests quickly and efficiently. Decision letters are normally available in February.

The McGill Online Application includes:

  1. Copies of all university transcripts – this includes transfer credits and exchanges. The grading scale must also be provided (usually found on the reverse) once. If the transcripts do not indicate that a degree has been conferred, a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) will be required. Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcripts or by a certified translator. Please check the translation is complete and accurate. A copy in the original language is also required; an English or French translation alone is not sufficient. N.B.: If your document contains more than one page, please ensure that they are contained and uploaded within a single electronic file and that the pages are in the correct order. If you have several degrees from the same institution, they should all show in one document. There are various online services via the web to assist with this. Adobe Acrobat or OpenOffice can do Word to PDF conversions, create single files, and can be downloaded for free. 
  2. Two confidential letters of recommendation for MA Applicants. Three confidential letters of recommendation for PhD Applicants, preferably from teachers in graduate studies, including one from the thesis supervisor. Applicants with an MA from the Institute must submit such letters from the Institute staff. McGill University will send automatically an email to each referee you identify on the application form, asking for a reference in support of your application to be admitted.
  3. Proof of language competency. Options accepted at McGill can be found on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ website for English Proficiency. N.B.: There are no exceptions to the English language proficiency requirement. If you do not have the minimum required scores, please retake one of the accepted tests so that we may receive the results by the deadline of December15. Only scores sent directly to McGill by the test administrator are accepted.  The applicants have to ask that their test scores be sent to McGill by E-Transfer (electronically)  – to the Admission Documentation Centre.
  4. Additional Documents and Additional Questions:

                a) Personal Statement of a maximum of two pages in length; An essay in which the applicant describes the reasons for applying to graduate studies at the Institute of Islamic Studies and indicating qualifications, qualities or circumstances the applicant feels to be significant; usually provides information about educational and professional goals and discusses how the applicant became interested in the desired field of study.

                b) Writing Sample: optional for MA Applicants; required for PhD applicants, either a copy of entire Master's Thesis, or already completed chapters of Master's Thesis, or (in the cases where these are not available) two substantial research papers. If your thesis was not written in English, you may send us a thesis abstract in English or a translated chapter or additional writing samples, preferably a lengthy paper written as part of your Master’s degree or undergraduate degree.

                c) Curriculum Vitae (CV);

                d) Knowledge of languages;

                e) Research Proposal and Bibliography; A detailed description of the proposed research presenting the research background, significance and methodology. MA applicants should name at least 10 works considered relevant for their topics of interest. PhD applicants should name at least 20 pertinent works. The length of the Research Proposal should be about a page (maximum: two pages), excluding the Bibliography.

                f) Thesis Title and Supervisor: The title of thesis written to obtain the highest degree (if applicable) and the name of the supervisor;

                g) Work experience in Islamic Studies or a related field;

                h) Supervisor Preference;

               i) Arabic or Persian proficiency; Knowledge of Arabic or Persian at the first-year level is an asset to MA applicants. Knowledge of Arabic or Persian at the second-year level is an asset to PhD applicants. 

               j) Funding requested (for PhD applicants).

Note: GRE scores are not required.

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


For additional information please contact:

Institute of Islamic Studies
Student Affairs Coordinator
Tel.: 514-398-4400, extension 09665
Fax: 514-398-6731
info.islamics [at] (Email)