Graduate student funding is managed by the University's academic departments and students should inquire about financial support accordingly. The primary clients of the Scholarships and Student Aid Office are undergraduates and therefore the Office does not have the capacity to replace core graduate resources (e.g. graduate funding packages, government aid). The Office can only supplement to meet modest deficits on the basis of financial need.
Students in Ph.D. and thesis-based Masters programs are generally supported by McGill funding (fellowships and assistantships) as well as external funding (grants, research stipends, and fellowships administered by provincial and federal governments or other agencies). For more information please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office website.
Canadian and U.S. graduate students without core funding may seek government aid as a primary funding source. Once the maximum available government aid is accepted, students who require a modest amount of aid to supplement their resources can apply for in-course financial aid (McGill’s loan and bursary program) via Minerva.
International graduate students who have core financial resources and require a modest amount of aid to supplement their resources can apply for in-course financial aid (loan and bursary program) via Minerva. International students who have provided proof of financial capacity to immigration authorities in order to receive their study permit are generally not eligible for consideration in their first 12 months of study.
For graduate students with demonstrated financial need, the Work Study program is an option to help supplement costs of attendance through part-time employment on campus.
McGill Financial Aid
The Scholarships & Student Aid Office administers an In-Course Financial Aid Program that provides modest amounts of loans and/or bursaries to currently enrolled graduate students in need of supplemental financial assistance. Our office does not have the capacity to replace core funding nor the ability to significantly cover a great deal of a graduate student's costs.
Newly admitted graduate students please note: our Entrance Bursary Program is only available to first-time, first-degree (Bachelor) students. You are encouraged to carefully read your graduate admission offer to understand the value and nature (one-time vs. recurring, etc.) of any financial commitments included. Your financial plan at the time of your acceptance should not assume that additional graduate funding or need-based aid will become available in your first year of studies.
To be considered for In-Course Financial Aid, applicants must:
- be currently enrolled in a full-time degree program at the University
- apply for and accept the maximum available government student aid for which they are eligible
- be in satisfactory academic standing
- demonstrate financial need
Special, Visiting, Qualifying, Continuing Education, Diploma, Certificate and Private Program students (i.e. Master of Management, Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy) are generally not eligible for aid from our office.
International students who have provided proof of financial capacity to immigration authorities in order to receive their study permit are generally not eligible for consideration in their first 12 months of study.
Students registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities may be eligible for financial aid while pursuing a reduced course load.
Applicants may be asked to provide an Academic Progress & Funding Report from their thesis supervisor.
How to apply
To apply for the In-Course Financial Aid Program, go to Minerva:
- Select the Financial Aid/Awards tab > Financial Aid Menu > Apply for McGill Financial Aid > Apply for In-Course Financial Aid > Update your financial aid profile > Submit your application.
- You will be prompted to make an appointment with a Financial Aid Counsellor. During this meeting, not only will you have an opportunity to discuss your budget, but you will also have your in-course application reviewed in detail. Find out how you can optimize your financial aid appointment.
- Downtown campus call: 514-398-6013 or student.aid [at] mcgill.ca (email)
- Macdonald Campus call: 514-398-7992 (currently unavailable until further notice)
If you are a student with a disability who requires help in completing online applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.
When to apply
Students may apply for In-course Financial Aid anytime during the academic year, as the need arises. Applications are always for the current academic year (September to August) and are available August of each year.
An assessment is posted on Minerva, usually within a week’s time of an applicant’s appointment with a Financial Aid Counsellor.
Payment methods are determined by the Financial Aid Counsellor and are based on the applicant’s financial situation. Accordingly, award payments may be disbursed:
- to a student’s fee account in one sum or divided up by semester
- to the student by direct deposit*
- as a payment towards a McGill student loan
*Students must set up Direct Deposit Banking with a Canadian banking institution via Minerva. Please ensure all banking information is entered correctly. McGill Student Accounts will issue an administrative fine for transactions returned to the University due to faulty banking information.
Loan repayments and extensions
Your financial aid assessment may result in the granting of a McGill loan. These loans are interest-free until the due date specified in the loan contract. Once the loan becomes due, it is subject to low-rate interest charges comparable to government student loans. Students who are unable to repay a McGill loan by the due date may request a loan extension (extend the due date and avoid interest charges) provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements.
To apply for a loan extension, go to Minerva:
- Select the Financial Aid/Awards tab > Financial Aid Menu > Apply for McGill Financial Aid > Apply for McGill Loan Extension > Update your financial aid profile > Submit your application
Loan extensions may be granted without meeting a Financial Aid Counsellor.
Tuition payment deferrals
Often graduate students cannot pay their tuition and fees on time due to funding delays. This is one of a few scenarios in which our office can help by deferring your tuition fee payments without interest or penalty.
Other financial aid services
The Scholarships and Student Aid Office offers the following aid-related services:
- Government student aid programs: information and administration
- Work Study Program: on-campus job opportunities for full-time degree students in need
- Emergency loans: for unforeseen circumstances
- Frugal Scholar Money Management Program: financial planning and debt management
Please note: students who would like information on how to opt out of certain fees should consult McGill's Student Accounts website (search engine >"opt out").
PGSS Need-based Bursary Program
With contributions from Post Graduate Student Society members and matching funds from the University, PGSS has created a bursary fund to support graduate students pursuing full-time masters and doctoral studies who demonstrate financial need, with priority given to members who are caring for dependents
Students who submit an application for in-course financial aid are automatically considered for the PGSS Need-based Bursary Program.