General Information

Image by Jeremy Brammer.



Information for Current NRS Graduate Students

On this page you will find general information for students enrolled in a graduate program in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University (Macdonald Campus). The following information will make your life on the Macdonald Campus easier (we hope!). 

For more graduate information visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) Website.

Important Forms for Graduate Students

Or contact:

Macdonald Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Macdonald-Stewart Building MS2-074 
Monday-Friday 8:30-12:00; 12:30-16:30
Telephone: 514-398-7838
gradstudies.macdonald [at]


Popular topics:

Bulletin Boards

There is a general information board for graduate students next to room MS2-074.


There's a coffee room (MS2-094) where everyone can meet informally. If you drink tea or coffee, you are welcome to join our coffee club. The club is self-supporting and non-profit. A fixed sum of $2.00 per week is charged for all the coffee you drink. Coffee is also available for $0.50 a cup.

Course Changes

For information on course add/drop deadlines visit McGill's course changes webpage.

For other course information consult the booklet: University Regulations and Resources (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2017-2018 or the GPS web site

Desk Space

The Department is now using a "hoteling" system for graduate-student work space in MS2-094.  Desks and lockers are available for graduate students.  

Please contact susan.gregus [at] (Susan Gregus) to obtain keys for the lockers. 

Departmental Computers

There are several computers available for graduate-student use in the Department in MS2-093. Any serious problems should be reported to the Departmental Chair. Printing is done using McGill's Uprint system. The Faculty computer facilities in MS2-026 are available to graduate students as well. This room is accessible 24 hours a day with a valid student ID card.  

Please see ann.gossage [at] (Ann Gossage) 

Departmental Vehicles

The Department operates a seven-passenger minivan and two pick-up trucks. These may be rented for research and teaching purposes. They are not available for personal use.  Drivers must be approved to operate the vehicles.  Rental rates are $0.25/km + $4/hr (NRS) and $0.25/km + $5/hr (non-NRS).  

Contact vinko.culjakmathieu [at] (Vinko Mathieu) for more information.


It is important that each student communicate their McGill Email address to the Macdonald Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Most information is circulated electronically and it's to your own advantage not to miss anything.

ContactMacdonald Computing Center.

Getting Paid

It takes time (from 6-8 weeks) for new appointments and renewals to be processed by the Payroll Department.

Graduate Fellowships and Awards

Information on fellowships and awards is available on the GPS website.

Graduate seminars

Link to grad seminar info

ID Cards

New students can obtain an ID card from the Macdonald Campus Student Affairs Office in Laird Hall, Room 106. 

Immigration (International Students)

It can take approximately 6 weeks to get an appointment with Immigration Quebec to get a renewal authorization and a further 6 weeks to be processed through Canadian Immigration. Therefore you should start the renewal process 3 months before your authorization expires.

a) For a renewal of your authorization, call Immigration Quebec for an appointment. The following documents are required:


  • A valid Passport
  • The previous year's Certificat d'Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) and present CAQ application form completed and signed
  • Previous valid student authorization issued by Immigration Canada
  • Proof of medical insurance


  • A cumulative report of academic standing 
  • A letter from the Chair which states that you are continuing in the program and the length of time needed to complete your degree (Please request this letter from the graduate coordinator several days in advance of your appointment with Immigration.)


  • Confirmation of your financial standing (bank statements, letters from your sponsors, letters from the Department Chair confirming a graduate assistantship, etc.)

Assuming everything is in order, you will be issued a new CAQ which you must then mail to Canadian Immigration together with a completed application and supporting documents.


b) Permission to Work on Campus

Students holding a Student Authorization are eligible to accept employment on Campus.

To work in Canada you must have a Social Insurance Number. This can be obtained from Employment and Immigration Canada in Pointe Claire (address follows).


Certificat D'Acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)

For the Québec government’s internet site for immigration:

English version

French version

Ministère des Affaires Internationales de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturels (MAIICC)
415 rue Saint-Roch, Montréal, H3N 1K2 (Parc Metro)
Telephone: 514-864-9191 (Information and appointments)
Fax: 514-873-9930

Student Authorization

For picking up packages only:
Employment and Immigration Canada
1010 St. Antoine West, 2nd Floor
Montreal H3G 1B2
Telephone: 514-496-1010

Completed packages should be mailed to:
CPC Vegreville, 6212-55 Avenue,
Vegreville, AB, T9C 1W5
(No telephone number available).

Employment and Immigration Canada
181 Hymus Blvd.
Pointe Claire (near Zellers)
H9R 5P4
Telephone: 514-496-1101


By Mail:
Service des opérations et des renseignements aux personnes assurées
Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
C.P. 6600 Québec, QC
G1K 7T3

In Person:
425, boul. de Maisonneuve-Ouest
3rd Floor
Montreal, QC

services.beneficiaires [at] (Email)

Keys/Access to Building

Access to the Barton/Macdonald-Stewart/Raymond complex after hours is limited to those with a valid ID card.

Contact: ann.gossage [at] (Ann Gossage)


All students have a mailbox in the Reception area. Outgoing mail leaves the office by 9:30 a.m. and incoming mail is distributed by 11 a.m. Stamps for personal letters may be purchased from the Post Office in Laird Hall (open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon).

Note: Personal mail should be sent to your home address and not to the Department.

Parking Permits

Students who live farther than walking distance from the Campus and who park on Campus are required to obtain a parking permit. An annual parking permit costs approximately $200.00 and is available from the Security Office in Laird Hall.


There are two photocopiers in the Department, outside MS3-045 and MS2-045 and both are hooked up the McGill's Uprint service. Copies are $0.0775 each.
There are also photocopy machines in the Library. 

Contact: ann.gossage [at] (Ann Gossage)

Poster Printing

1) Dimensions: the paper is on a 36" wide roll so one of your poster's dimensions can be no larger than 36".  The other dimension is typically limited by your software.  Better to decide on your poster's dimensions FIRST and then create it.  

2) Posters prepared using a PC tend to be less problematic than those prepared on a Mac.  If your poster is prepared on a Mac, then provide a PDF file for printing. 

3) Although PowerPoint is by far the most popular software to use for preparing posters, consider using MS Publisher if you have it. The printer's computer does not have Adobe Photo Shop so if that is what you want to use, send a pdf or even a jpg version to print from.

4) Suggested font sizes: no smaller than 30 or 32, depending on how much text you have.  A good test is to prepare your poster (or at least part of it), zoom your screen to 100% then step back about 4 feet (1.5 m).  If you can read the text easily then the font size should be OK.

5) Don't use weird fonts...the printer's computer may not have them and if you don't embed them into the file, they will be changed to a default font.

6) Try to include photos and graphs and avoid having too much text.

7) GIVE A WEEK to print it, especially if it's coming from a Mac: problems are common.

8) The ink is water-soluble: Don't get your poster wet!!


You have to register every year and registration is done electronically via MinervaMinerva Course Selection Forms are available online. Entering students register for the first time in September or January, depending on the start of your program. Thereafter, you normally pre-register every Spring (April-June) for the following year. If you plan to submit your thesis before the end of August, you need not re-register.

Fee payments are normally required twice a year. Information on fees is available on the McGill Student Accounts webpage.

Student Services

Student Services operates a small office on the first floor of the Macdonald Campus Centennial Center. 

Services include: 

  • Nurse and Doctor by appointment
  • Student aid
  • Counselling
  • Off-campus housing
  • Career placement

To obtain more information and make appointments, contact Student Services at 514-398-7992.

Supervisory Committees

Each student will have a supervisory committee which will serve as a resource for all aspects of the student's graduate program.  A Graduate Student Research Objectives Report Form 1  will be submitted within 60 days of initial registration in the program and thereafter by December 20th annually. Further information appears in the Guidelines for Graduate Studies in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Macdonald Campus.


There are telephones in each research lab which you may use for local calls.

To reach phone numbers:

Within McGill dial only the last four digits.

Outside of McGill dial 9 first.

Please remember that these rooms are for research and keep calls to a minimum.

Fax Machine

There is a fax machine in the Welcome Centre (MS2-022A); the fax number is 514-398-7990. Unfortunately, we cannot send personal faxes. There is a service in Centennial Center for long distance faxes in Canada and the U.S. and in the Student Affairs Office (Laird Hall) for international faxes.


When you're ready to begin writing your thesis, please consult the GPS website for “Thesis and Non-Thesis Info”. Although you are free to submit your thesis to Graduate Faculty at any time of the year, there are "official" submission dates associated with the various convocations/granting of degrees. 

Contact: Macdonald Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


Forms to order transcripts are available from the Student Affairs Office and on Minerva; the exception is the request for transcripts for certain fellowship competitions. Transcripts for these purposes are ordered from the Department. This information is posted, but if you are unsure where to request a transcript, please see the graduate coordinator.



Key Staff Members

Below you will find the names of some of the staff you may have to contact as well as their office and telephone numbers.










brian.driscoll [at] (Dr. Brian Driscoll)


(514) 398-7887

Chair of the Department and graduate seminar coordinator

ann.gossage [at] (Ms. Ann Gossage)


(514) 398-7913

Administrative Assistant: photocopier codes

paul.thomassin [at] (Dr. Paul Thomassin) MS3-032 (514) 398-7956 Graduate Program Director (Agricultural Economics)

sebastien.faucher2 [at] (Dr. Sébastien Faucher)


(514) 398-7886

Graduate Program Director

vinko.culjakmathieu [at] (Mr Vinko Mathieu)


(514) 398-7901

Technician: departmental vehicles, Soil Barn, field equipment, incubators and growth benches

khosro.mousavi [at] (Mr. Khosro Mousavi-Torbati)


(514) 398-7939

Technician: safety issues, undergraduate lab courses

david.meek [at] (Dr. David Meek) MS3-069

(514) 398-7888

Technician: keys, incubators, autoclaves and plant growth chambers; undergraduate microbiology lab


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