Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
General Information, Regulations and Research Guidelines

5 Admission

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Deadline: Admission to graduate studies operates on a rolling admission basis, and complete applications and their supporting documentation must reach departmental offices on or before the specified departmental deadline. To be considered for entrance fellowships, where available, applicants must verify the deadlines with individual departments. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission.
5.1 Application for Admission

Two procedures are available to apply for graduate admission: online and paper-based forms. Application information and the online application form are available at graduate. Paper application packages should be obtained from individual departments.

Using either procedure, applicants (with some exceptions) are required to ask two instructors familiar with their work to send letters of recommendation. All applicants must themselves send, or ask the appropriate university authorities to send, two official or certified copies of their complete university-level academic record to date. For McGill graduates the appropriate authority is the Registrar. Letters of recommendation and official transcripts must be sent directly to the department concerned. 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.

A non-refundable fee of $60 ($100 for some Management programs) in Canadian funds must accompany each application, otherwise it cannot be considered. This sum must be paid by credit card if the online application is used. For paper applications, the fee must be paid in negotiable form, such as a bank draft, money order or certified cheque (but not in cash), at the current rate of exchange, or by credit card. Candidates for Special and Visiting Student, and Qualifying status must apply and pay the application fee every year.

It is recommended that applicants submit a list of the titles of courses taken in the major subject, since transcripts often give code numbers only. Transcripts written in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation. An explanation of the grading system used by the applicant's university is essential. The applicant should also indicate the major subject area in which further study is desired.

Completed applications, with supporting documents, must reach departmental offices according to individual department deadlines. Applicants should contact the department concerned. International students are advised to apply well in advance of the deadlines as immigration procedures may be lengthy. Applications received after the prescribed dates will not be considered. Candidates will be notified of acceptance or refusal as quickly as possible. In cases of refusal, an official written appeal may be considered by the Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). The appeal fee is $40.

5.2 Graduate Record Examination and other Admission Tests

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J. 08540) consists of a relatively advanced test in the candidates' specialty, and a general test of their attainments in the 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. Only some departments require applicants to write the GRE examination, but all applicants who have written either the general aptitude or the advanced test are advised to submit the scores along with their other admission material.

This credential is of special importance in the case of applicants whose education has been interrupted, or has not led directly towards graduate study in the subject selected. In such cases the department has the right to insist on a report from the Graduate Record Examination or some similar test. High standing in this examination will not by itself guarantee admission. The Miller Analogies Test may be used similarly. Some departments of the Faculty of Education also require the taking of various tests.

Applicants to graduate programs in Management must submit scores from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

5.3 Competency in English

Non-Canadian applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized institution where English is the language of instruction must submit documented proof of competency in oral and written English. Before acceptance, appropriate exam results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL or IELTS Office. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. Examples of appropriate exam results are: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 550 (or 213 on computer-based test), or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) with a minimum overall band of 6.5. Permanent Residents may be required to submit a TOEFL score. Applications will not be considered if a TOEFL or IELTS test result is not available. Higher scores may be set by individual departments.

5.4 Admission Requirements

Applicants should be graduates of a university of recognized reputation and hold a Bachelor's degree equivalent to a McGill degree in a subject closely related to the one selected for graduate work. This implies that about one-third of all undergraduate courses should have been devoted to the subject itself and another third to cognate subjects.

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 3.2/4.0 for the last two full-time academic years. High grades are expected in courses considered by the department to be preparatory to the graduate program.

Some departments impose additional requirements and even though the applicant may appear to satisfy the general admission requirements, acceptance into a graduate degree program is not guaranteed by the department or the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. The final admission decision rests with the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office.

5.5 Parallel Admission

This program is designed to assist academically qualified applicants, lacking the minimum English language requirement for graduate studies at McGill, to adjust to the learning, research and teaching environment of a major, research-based, North American university where the usual language of operation is English. The program will ensure that otherwise suitably qualified applicants for admission into graduate studies programs will develop the appropriate level of English-language competency and adjust to the learning and living environment to be encountered in graduate studies at McGill within one calendar year of their admission to the program. Those students who fail to meet with these requirements will be asked to withdraw.

Students admissible to the program will have been screened by the staff of the graduate program into which they wish to be admitted, and recommended to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. If the applicant is deemed by the GPSO to be admissible on purely academic grounds but has a TOEFL score below the entrance requirement of the graduate program, by no more than 27 points (paper-based scale) or 20 points (computer-based scale), he/she will be admitted to the Parallel Admission Program for a period not to exceed twelve (12) calendar months. In order to start his/her studies in the graduate program into which he/she had been admitted he/she would have to obtain the McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English according to the rules and regulations in force in the Department of Languages and Translation within the twelve-month period, or pass the TOEFL with a score meeting the admission requirement of the graduate program for which the student has applied.

Any students who fails to meet the English-language requirement within one calendar year of admission to the Parallel Admission Program will be asked to withdraw.
5.6 Admission to a Qualifying Program

Some applicants whose academic degrees and standing entitle them to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies, but who are considered inadequately prepared in the subject selected may be admitted to a Qualifying Program. The undergraduate-level courses to be taken in a Qualifying Program will be prescribed by the department 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 cases where a department recommends a change of registration from Qualifying Program (Fall) to Master's Degree First Year (Winter), students must apply to the degree program by November 1 at the latest.

Successful completion of the work of the Qualifying Program does not automatically entitle the student to proceed towards a degree. Qualifying-year students must re-apply for admission to the program for which they seek qualification. A Qualifying-Year applicant admitted to a Winter term as a first term of studies must apply for admission for a Fall term as his/her 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.

5.7 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.

5.8 Admission to Two Degree Programs

Students may, with special permission granted by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office, be admitted to two degree programs or to two departments or faculties. Students are never permitted to pursue two full-time degree programs concurrently.

5.9 Admission to an Ad Personam Joint Program

Ad Personam joint graduate programs are restricted to Master's Thesis Option and Ph.D. programs. Students shall be admitted and registered by one department, to be known as the "first department". Approval for the joint program must be obtained from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. The request shall be signed by the Chairs of both departments involved and shall explicitly list the conditions imposed by the second department.The student shall undertake research under the joint supervision of both departments.

Students shall fulfil the degree requirements of the first department and shall complete all the requirements specified by the second department in the request for admission. This program is described in more detail in a document available from the GPSO.

5.10 Admission to an Ad Hoc Program (Thesis)

In exceptional cases, admission to an Ad Hoc program (thesis) may be considered. Before the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office will authorize the admission of a student into an Ad Hoc program, it must receive a favourable report from a departmental committee constituted to examine the program in question.

Candidates, through the supervisor designated by the department most closely related to their research field, must submit a research proposal, an outline of the course work needed including a Comprehensive Examination (for Doctoral programs) in the relevant field, and the list of four supervisory committee members.

Once the request has been approved, the candidate may register following all the regular procedures. Full description of the admission procedure is available from the GPSO.

5.11 Reinstatement and Admission of Former Students

Students who have not been registered for a period of up to two years but who have not officially withdrawn from the University by submitting a signed Withdrawal Form to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office are eligible to be considered for reinstatement into their programs. The student's department must recommend, in writing, that the student be reinstated, stipulating any conditions for reinstatement that it deems appropriate. The final decision rests with the GPSO. Normally, the GPSO will approve the departmental recommendation. If the student's department chooses not to recommend reinstatement, the student may appeal to the Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). The Associate Dean's decision can be appealed to the Graduate Committee on Student Standing.

Reinstatement fees will be charged in addition to the fees due for the academic session into which the student has been reinstated. The amount of the reinstatement fees is the tuition portion of fees owed for all unregistered terms, up to a maximum of two years just prior to the term of reinstatement.

If an individual has not registered for a period of more than two years, their student file will be closed. These individuals and those who have formally withdrawn may be considered for admission. Applicants' admission applications will be considered as part of the current admission cycle, in competition with other people applying during that cycle and in accordance with current graduate admission procedures and policies.

Implementation: This procedure took effect in January 2004.

Revised Council of February 9, 2004.

5.12 Deferral of Admission

Under exceptional circumstances, an admission for a particular semester can be considered for a deferral. 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.

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