Admissions FAQ

The following page contains answers to commonly-asked questions about admissions received by the School of Information Studies. Visit the main Programs & Courses page for links to full admissions information for each program.

When can I apply?

Quebec residency

Submitting an application

MISt application

Funding, working, housing

When can I apply?

Q: When can I apply? What are the deadlines?

A: Application deadlines can be found on the main Admissions page for each program or on the McGill eCalendar. Dates vary from year to year, so be sure to check for the current dates. Please note that these are deadlines for completed applications -- including transcripts, responses from referees, etc. Be sure to begin your online McGill Application for Admission early to allow time for the uploading of documentation and for referees to submit their references. If you have difficulties with the online application process, please contact admissions.sis [at] 

Q: Can I start my application early, before the application period opens?

A: Yes! You can set up a McGill uApply account any time and add your profile information (education, etc.). Please note, however, that you will need to wait until the application period opens before you will be able to see the program in the dropdown list. To review documentation and application requirements, visit the admissions pages on this site for the specific program you are interested in applying to.

Q: Can I apply for Winter or Summer entry?

A: The PhD program accepts applicants for winter admission and the Graduate certificates accept Canadian applicants for winter admission.  There is no Summer admissions for any of our programs.

Quebec residency

Q: How is Quebec residency determined?

A: To find out if you are considered a Quebec resident for the purposes of tuition fee assessment, start here.


Submitting an application

Q: Can I request a paper application? Can I submit an application by regular mail?

A: No, only online applications and supporting documents are accepted. See below.

Q: How do I submit documentation?

A: McGill University requires that all supporting documentation, including references is submitted online. For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see Uploading your documents.

Q: How do I submit references?

A: Applicants provide referee contact information, including valid institutional email addresses for referees. The referees specified on the applications will receive an automated email request from McGill to upload letters of recommendation to the system. Letters of reference can no longer be submitted directly to the School by mail or email; all references must now be uploaded by the referees themselves following the stated procedures. To reduce delays, please ensure that referees will be checking their email and are prepared to receive a request to upload a letter of reference. Should one of your referees decline you will be able to replace them with new referee contact information on the application portal. See McGill's Frequently Asked Questions about the admission form and documentation uploading here, including FAQs about references.

Q: Are there any guidelines for references?

A: Yes. Letters must meet the following conditions: More information about references is here.

  1. The program the student has applied to must be clearly indicated and the letter should include information that would aid an admissions committee in making an informed decision.
  2. Letters must be dated and not be more than 12 months old.
  3. The referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution.

Q: Do I need to submit a transcript if I have a course in progress?

A: Yes. If you are currently enrolled in courses and your transcript does not yet include the current semester's grades, you are still required to upload unofficial transcripts by the application deadline to prove registration in these courses.

MISt application

Q: Can I still apply for the Master of Library & Information Studies (MLIS) program?

A: No. Admissions for the MLIS program are now permanently closed. Students applying for the Master's program at the School of Information Studies will apply for the Master of Information Studies (MISt) program.

Q: Do I need to indicate a supervisor and research area in the online McGill Application for Admission form?

A: Applicants for the MISt-Coursework concentration can leave this section blank. Students applying to the MISt-Project concentration will identify potential three research supervisors. Supervisors will only be selected and confirmed after an offer of admission has been made, accepted, and the student registers for Fall courses. 

Q: The McGill Application for Admission form has a field which asks if I am applying for various research funding options. Do I need to fill this field out?

A: The online form is generic for all graduate students, including PhD students. The research funding field applies to PhD students and master’s students who are doing a thesis or research option. It does not relate to scholarships and financial aid. IF you are a master’s-level student planning to pursue the research stream and have applied for or are applying for external research funding from government agencies, use this field. If you are unsure or have questions, please contact us.

Q: Do I need to provide a separate CV?

A: Yes. As space is limited in the applicant statement area in the online form, we require that you upload a CV (resumé) and covering letter of intent separately. Note: If you have any questions or difficulties, feel free to contact us directly.

Q: Can I transfer courses from another institution?

A: In general, students may not count credits for courses taken toward another degree as credits towards the MISt degree.

In special cases, credit for appropriate courses previously taken outside the School at another ALA-accredited Masters program in the area of library and information studies may be transferred to the MISt program, but only with the approval of the Director, and only if negotiated at the time of admission to the program.

As a rule, no more than 6 credits (equivalent of 2 McGill courses) can be credited with courses from another university.

Transfer credits must be approved by the MISt Graduate Program Director (gpdm.sis [at] Requests for transfer credits will only be considered at the time of admission to the MISt program.

Q: I'm an international student. Do I need to submit GRE information?

A: No. GRE scores are not required.

Funding, working, housing

Q: Where can I find information on financial aid, scholarships and funding?

A: Start here

Q: When will I know if I have been selected to receive an entrance scholarship?

A: Normally, recipients are notified in mid- to late April.

Q: Am I eligible for McGill's on-campus Work Study program?

A: The Work Study program, administered by the McGill Scholarships & Student Aid Office, is based primarily on financial need. Canadian, US, and other international students - please read the eligibility criteria carefully, including the section on government aid. Contact the Scholarships & Student Aid Office directly with any questions about program eligibility.

Q: I'm an international student. Can I work on or off-campus?

A: Please visit McGill International Student Services Work & Permits page for all information and advising relating to working as an international student.

Q: Where do I find information about housing? Do most SIS students live on or off campus?

A: Information about student housing is found here, including graduate residences. As the cost of living is reasonable in Montreal, many of our students locate housing off-campus. More information about off-campus housing.

Still have questions after reviewing the website? Please contact us.


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