Over 90% of the department’s students are fully or partially funded and health care is covered by student fees or the province of Quebec. In addition, the stipends and scholarships that students receive are not taxed as income by either the federal or provincial governments.
Student Funding and Expenses
The department makes every effort to ensure that each graduate student has partial or full funding throughout his or her graduate studies. Financial assistance is available through a myriad of sources. The most common of which are stipends from your supervisors’ research grants, fellowships, differential fee waivers, teaching assistantships, and departmental awards. If admitted, usually the level of funding (and type) offered is specified in the admissions letter. The funding offered to students is exempt from income taxes.
The average living expenses are $1,200 per month for a single student and $1,500 per month for a married student. Accommodations with modest rent are available near McGill.Information on off-campus housing and dormitory accommodations may be obtained from McGill Student Services. Books and supplies cost approximately $1,000 per year. More detailed information may be found here and through the university’s website.
Medical coverage is available to Canadian residents through governmental health care or to non-residents through McGill’s International (student) Health Insurance (IHI). Information about the IHI health plan can be found here.
Over 70% of graduate students are funded through research stipends/scholarships the details of which are specified in the admissions letter. Students are paid to work on their own thesis research which is part of their supervisor’s research program. The student must work on the specific project for which the funding is available.
A student’s stipends and scholarships are not taxed as income by the federal or provincial governments. Typically, a fully funded M.Eng (Thesis) student receives $16,500 per annum while PhD students receive $19,000 per annum as per current NSERC approved rates. This funding provides an equivalent living salary of approximately $21,500 for a Masters student or $24,700 for a PhD student if taxes were deducted. Students, in general, are responsible to pay their own tuition fees. Annual fees are posted here.
Competitive, external fellowships are awarded to those prospective (or current) graduate students who are either Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Quebec. These fellowships are awarded by the provincial government in the form of postgraduate scholarships administered by Fonds québecois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT) and by the federal government in the form of NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) fellowships.
NSERC/FQRNT industrial postgraduate scholarships are awards that are based on a specific research proposal involving a departmental professor, a collaborating company and a graduate student. The basic requirements are much like those of the regular NSERC postgraduate scholarships. All applicants require departmental endorsement and a signed commitment from the sponsoring company.
In the case of doctoral students receiving NSERC or FQRNT post-graduate scholarships, the Faculty of Engineering provides them automatically with a Leveraged McGill Engineering Doctoral Award (Leveraged MEDA) typically $12,000 as top-up to their external award. No application for this award is required.
Direct MEDA Awards
All doctoral student applicants who apply by February 1 for admission in the May or September term are automatically considered by the Graduate Studies Committee for one of the McGill Engineering Doctoral Awards (MEDA) granting $22,000/year over a period of 3 years. Applicants are ranked and selected according to their academic (Bachelor’s and Masters level) record as well as their research accomplishments and potential as evidenced by international standard publications. Selected applicants/new students are nominated to the Faculty of Engineering which ultimately decides and informs the successful candidates. The MEDA recipients are required to provide a progress report at the end of each year before their award is renewed. Students whose research progress is evaluated as non-satisfactory may have their award cancelled.
PGF and Pro-GF Fellowships
Each year, the department grants several PGFs (Principal’s Graduate Fellowship) - the value of this fellowship is $2,500 and is not-renewable. The recipients are chosen (on the basis of academic record) by the departmental Graduate Studies Committee among the new doctoral students who start their studies in January as well all new Master’s students. In addition the Department receives a few Pro-GFs (Provost’s Graduate Fellowships) amounting to $4,000 each for the purpose of recruiting highly qualified Master’s students. This award is not-renewable. No applications are required for the above Fellowships.
Departmental Fellowships and Awards
The department offers a limited number of awards on a competitive basis to graduate students enrolled in the department. The values of these awards may range from $2000 to $6000 per year. A student must apply annually, when a Call for Applications is issued, using a prescribed form to the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC). Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of the student’s academic performance and research record/potential.
Teaching Assistantships (TA)
Teaching Assistantships are considered additional work for additional income. The Teaching Assistant and his/her supervisor should agree on a schedule arrangement in order not to delay research activities. Each semester, the department announces and posts teaching assistant positions for various courses. Interested graduate students may apply to postings on the MyFuture web page of the Careers4Engineers. Positions are posted and awarded in accordance with the dates outlined in the Collective Agreement. Pay scales are described in the Collective Agreement between McGill University and Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (A.G.S.E.M.). Teaching assistants are expected, in general, to correct course assignments, run tutorials and/or demonstrate laboratory experiments and correct laboratory reports. In the case of fully funded graduate students by their supervisor, the latter may prevent them from taking a teaching assistant position.
Loans & Bursaries
Graduate students can also receive financial aid through loans and bursaries.
- To receive support from the Quebec Loans and Bursaries Program, students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and be residents of Quebec registered as full-time students.
- Canadian residents from provinces other than Quebec can apply for Canada Student Loans and for loans from their province of residence. Information about Quebec, or Canada Student Loans is available from the Student Aid Office.
Graduate Research Travel Awards
Administered by the department’s Graduate Studies Committee the purpose of the Travel Awards is to support Graduate Students in the department in their research efforts by partially funding travel to scholarly meetings or conferences where the student is presenting a paper related to their research. The awards vary per year but usually are about $500.