McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures

Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures

Deadline: Admission to McGill, to study at the graduate level, is competitive; accordingly, late applications are considered only if time and space permit. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission. Admission decisions are not normally subject to appeal or reconsideration and therefore are not subject to change. To be considered for entrance fellowships, where available, applicants must verify deadlines with individual academic units.

Application for Admission

Application for Admission

Application information is available at A non-refundable fee paid by credit card in Canadian funds must accompany the application. Applications are submitted online. The fee covers up to two program choices per term. Candidates for Special, Visiting, and Qualifying status must also apply online and pay the application fee. Please note that application fees and other charges are listed on the Student Accounts website.

Letters of reference. Applicants (with some exceptions) are required to provide the names and email addresses of two instructors familiar with their academic work and who are willing to provide letters of reference in support of the application. In some cases, where applicable employers may act as referees. McGill will request the reference letters on behalf of the applicant.

Transcripts. Applicants must themselves upload an unofficial copy of their complete academic record from each university-level institution attended to date. Transcripts written in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation prepared by a licensed translator or by their institution. An explanation of the grading system used by the applicant's university is essential. Admitted applicants will be required to send, or ask the appropriate university authorities to send, an official or certified copy of their complete, final academic record from each university-level institution attended to date. McGill graduates are not required to submit McGill transcripts. See for instructions on uploading or mailing official documents to McGill. Please note that all documents submitted to McGill University in support of an application to be admitted, including, but not limited to, transcripts, diplomas, letters of reference, and test scores, become the property of McGill University and will not be returned to the applicant or issuing institution under any circumstance.

Applications and uploaded supporting documents must be submitted according to individual academic unit specifications and deadlines; see Many programs have rolling admissions, evaluating applications as they are submitted and making early admissions offers. International students are advised to apply well in advance of the application deadlines as immigration procedures may be lengthy.

The admission decision is based on the recommendation of the graduate academic unit. Depending on the academic level and strength of the application, and any special circumstances, the application may be verified by the Graduate Admissions Unit in Enrolment Services and/or reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee. All offers of admission are approved by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and bear the signature of the Dean of GPS.

Admission Requirements (Minimum Requirements to be Considered for Admission)

Admission Requirements (Minimum Requirements to be Considered for Admission)

Note: The following admission requirements denote the minimum standard for applicants. Some graduate academic units may require additional qualifications or a higher minimum CGPA; applicants are strongly urged to consult the academic unit concerned regarding specific requirements.

Applicants should be graduates of institutions with recognized accreditation and hold degrees from such institutions.

The applicant must present evidence of academic achievement: a minimum standing equivalent to a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 or a CGPA of 3.2 out of 4.0 for the last two years of full-time study. High grades are expected in courses considered by the academic unit to be preparatory to the graduate program. Some academic units impose additional or higher requirements.

See for information on grade equivalencies and degree requirements from countries around the world. These equivalencies and requirements are provided for information only and are subject to change without notice.

Admission into a Doctoral Program with a Bachelor's Degree (Admission as PhD 1)

Admission to graduate programs at McGill is holistic, meaning that many factors are taken into consideration in the admission decision, including academic credentials and grades. The minimum requirements are listed at

Candidates with a Master’s degree are generally admitted to the PhD2 level.

Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree can be admitted to PhD1.

The following criteria must be met when seeking admission at the PhD1 level:

  • Outstanding undergraduate students who have extensive research experience may be considered for PhD1.
  • Extensive research experience (such as multiple summer research projects and/or an Honours project) that is relevant to the chosen field of study is required; the student must demonstrate potential to conduct a long-term research project.
  • The application must include a recommendation letter from a supervisor attesting to the research background of student, including evidence of discussion of long-term interests of the student.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (cGPA) required for PhD1 admission is 3.7 out of 4.0 (equivalent to A-, representing academic excellence across the board).
  • The Departmental Admissions Committee examines the entire file of the student on a case-by-case basis to decide whether admission to PhD1 should be offered. This recommendation must be approved by the Graduate Program Director (GPD).

Application Procedures

Application Procedures

Application Checklist

All application documents and required supplemental materials must be uploaded directly to the online application system. See for information and instructions.

  1. Online Application for Admission:
  2. Application fee: non-refundable Canadian funds payable by credit card cover up to two program choices per term. Some programs may charge additional fees. If applicable, these will be automatically charged when you submit the application form. Please note that application fees and other charges are listed on the Student Accounts website.
  3. Transcripts: a complete record of study from each university-level institution attended to date. Uploaded copies are considered unofficial; final, official copies will be required of admitted applicants.
  4. Reference letters: on the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. McGill will contact these referees by email, and invite them to upload references on your behalf. N.B. some academic units require more than two referees.
  5. TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT, CASPer or other test results: when registering for the test, please ensure that you request that results be sent directly to McGill University. McGill will then receive the results electronically, directly from the testing agency.

For detailed information regarding additional documents that may be required by certain academic units, please consult Admission Requirements and Application Procedures for each unit at

Document Checklist Terms

Document Checklist Terms

The following terms appear on the Document Checklist in the online application system and are items or documents that you may be required to upload as part of your application for admission. Please ensure that your use of certain terms conforms to the following definitions:

Audition: a trial performance where a performer demonstrates their suitability or skill.

Curriculum Vitae: an overview of the applicant's experience and other qualifications, including employment, academic credentials, publications, contributions, and significant achievements.

GMAT: Graduate Management Aptitude Test (see Admission Tests below)

GRE: Graduate Records Examination (see Admission Tests below)

Interview: a conversation between the applicant and a McGill representative, using a structured, standardized approach to allow for comparison and analysis of responses from all applicants interviewed; in person, via telephone, Skype, etc.

Personal Statement: an essay in which the applicant describes their reasons for applying to graduate studies and indicating qualifications, qualities, or circumstances the applicant feels to be significant; usually provides information about educational and professional goals and discusses the applicant's interest in the desired field of study.

Portfolio: a collection of the applicant's best work to date, selected by them, and intended to show their mastery of a given style or variety of styles; different samples of their artistic work.

Recording: an unedited recording (audio or video), either of the applicant performing at least two contrasting pieces (minimum 20 minutes), or a video statement (content as described by the academic unit).

Research Proposal: a detailed description of the proposed program of research, including proposed Thesis Supervisor(s); describes the research background, significance, methodology, and references; may include expected results; may include a detailed curriculum vitae.

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language (see Competency in English below).

Writing Sample: a recent sample of the applicant's written work, on any topic (not necessarily within the desired field of graduate study) and not necessarily previously submitted for evaluation or publication.

Written Work: a sample of the applicant's written work, drawn from essays, papers or other work previously submitted for academic evaluation or publication, and falling within the desired field of graduate study.

Admission Tests

Admission Tests

Some academic units require the taking of various tests for admissions purposes. Consult the Program page for unit-specific requirements.


The CASPer test is an individual online test that assesses for non-academic attributes or people skills. For further information, see

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540) consists of a relatively advanced test in the candidates’ specialty, and a general test of their attainments in several basic fields of knowledge for which no special preparation is required or recommended. It is offered at many centres, including Montreal, several times a year; the entire examination takes about eight hours, and there is a registration fee. Refer to for further information. Only some academic units require applicants to write the GRE examination, but all applicants who have written either the general aptitude or the advanced test are advised to ensure that official test results are sent to McGill directly by the testing service.

This credential is of special importance in the case of applicants whose education has been interrupted, or has not led directly toward graduate study in the subject selected. In such cases, the academic unit has the right to insist on a report from the GRE or some similar test. High standing in this examination will not by itself guarantee admission.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Applicants to graduate programs in Management must ensure that official results are released to McGill by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The test is a standardized assessment offered by the GMAC to help business schools assess candidates for admission. For further information, see

Competency in English

Competency in English

Applicants to graduate studies must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English prior to admission, regardless of citizenship status or country of origin.

Normally, applicants meeting any one of the following conditions are not required to submit proof of proficiency in English:

  1. Mother tongue (language first learned and still used on a daily basis) is English.
  2. Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution in Canada or the United States of America (anglophone or francophone).
  3. Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction.
  4. Has lived and attended university, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.

Applicants who do not meet any of the above-listed conditions must demonstrate proficiency in English using one of the following options:

  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum acceptable scores are: iBT (Internet-based test): 86 overall, and no less than 20 in each of the four component scores.
    Note: an institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable.
  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 6.5 or greater.
  3. McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English or McGill Certificate of Proficiency – English for Professional Communication: Certificate of Proficiency awarded.

In each case, applicants must ensure that official test results are sent to McGill directly by the testing service. Applications cannot be considered if test results are not available. These scores are general minima; some academic units may set higher requirements.

Revised – March 2021

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the academic unit and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at

Information on application deadlines is available at

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Admission to a Qualifying Program

Admission to a Qualifying Program

Some applicants whose degree and academic standing make them very good candidates for admission to graduate studies, but who are considered inadequately prepared in the subject selected, may be admitted to a Qualifying program for a master’s. The undergraduate-level courses to be taken in a Qualifying program will be prescribed by the academic unit concerned.

Qualifying students are registered in graduate studies, but not as candidates for a degree. Only one Qualifying year (i.e., two full-time terms) is permitted.

In all cases, after the completion of a Qualifying year or term, an applicant interested in commencing a degree program must apply for admission by the application deadlines. Successful completion of the work in the Qualifying program (B- in all courses) does not automatically entitle the student to proceed toward a degree. Qualifying year students must apply for admission to the program for which they seek qualification.

In cases where an academic unit recommends a change of registration from Qualifying program (Fall) to Master's Degree First Year (Winter), students must apply to the degree program by the academic unit's Winter application deadline. A Qualifying year applicant admitted to a Winter term as the first term of studies must apply for admission for a Fall term as their second term of studies.

Students who are ineligible for a Qualifying program may apply to the appropriate undergraduate faculty for admission as regular or Special Students, and seek admission to graduate studies at a later date. The normal admission requirements must be met and the usual procedures followed.

Admission as a Special Student

Admission as a Special Student

Candidates wishing to take one or two courses at the graduate level, but who do not wish to pursue a degree, can submit an application to be considered as a Special student. Special students must hold a recognized undergraduate degree, and must meet the admission requirements to the program for which they are being considered.

Special students must register for at least one 600-level course, or higher, but can simultaneously register for undergraduate courses, normally with permission from the department. Special students cannot register for more than two terms, and can complete a maximum of six credits per semester, up to a maximum of twelve credits in one year. Under no circumstances are Special students eligible to obtain a degree.

Admission to a Second Degree Program

Admission to a Second Degree Program

A candidate with a given higher degree may apply for admission to a second degree program at the same level but in a different subject. The normal admission requirements must be met and all the usual procedures followed.

Admission to Two Degree Programs

Admission to Two Degree Programs

Students may, with special permission granted by the Graduate Admissions Committee (composed of the Dean and Associate Deans of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) and in consultation with the Graduate Admissions Unit of Enrolment Services, be admitted to two degree programs or to two academic units or faculties. Students are never permitted to pursue two full-time degree programs concurrently.

Admission of Former Students

Readmission of Former Students

Students who have reached time limitation or officially withdrawn from the university should refer to Admission of Former Students for further information.

Deferral of Admission

Deferral of Admission

Under exceptional circumstances, an admission for a particular semester can be considered for a deferral. Normally, the deferral period granted will not exceed one academic year (two terms). This can be considered only if the student has not registered. If the student has already registered, no deferral can be granted. The student must withdraw from the University and apply for admission to a later term.

Requests for deferral of admission are submitted via the online application system. Any inquiries should be addressed directly to the academic unit.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)
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