Admission

The School of Computer Science mostly admits new graduate students for the Fall semester (September). In exceptional situations, certain students may be admitted to the Winter semester (this requires an outstanding academic record, and the strong support of a professor in the department). The School offers Masters and Ph.D. programs. To decide which program is appropriate for you, please see this information on graduate programs . Note that if you have not already completed a Masters program, you must apply to the Masters program, although you will be considered for direct admission to the Ph.D. program if you request so.

Admission requirements for the M.Sc. program.

The application deadline to be considered for financial support for Fall admissions is January 1st, otherwise the deadline is March 1st.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure faster admission decisions.

Once you have read the admission requirements below, proceed to the Application page

The requirements in this section must be satisfied in order to be considered for admission. However, it must be stressed that satisfaction of these requirements does not guarantee admission; the number of graduate students accepted is limited and only the strongest applicants can be accepted.

You must be a graduate of a university of recognized standing, hold the equivalent of a McGill degree at the Bachelor's level and have taken sufficient Computer Science and Mathematics courses to meet the requirements. If you come from a university with a grade point average evaluation scheme, your cumulative grade point average (C.G.P.A.) should be at least 3.2 out of 4. If your CGPA is slightly lower but you have a superior record in Computer Science and Mathematics, your application will still be considered. If your university uses a different grading scheme, please enclose a brief description of the grading scheme with your application.

The M. Sc. Committee of the School of Computer Science, in agreement with the McGill's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office, uses the following equivalencies by default (finer gradings not shown):

Grade point 4 3 2 1
Grade A B C D
Percentage 90 80 70 60
Out of 20 18 16 14 12

To be considered for admission, you should have completed a certain minimum set of computer science and mathematics courses. A sample of suitable McGill courses follows. If you have completed courses at a comparable level (for example "Operating Systems" in place of "Programming Languages") you may still meet this requirement.

Although commercial programming experience is a useful asset, we do not find it to be an adequate alternative to formal education. Therefore, it cannot be used to replace courses. Similarly, programming experience obtained as part of a project in another academic discipline is not considered very significant.

Background required to be admitted to the M.Sc. Program

The minimum background is an undergraduate degree in Science with the equivalent of at least a strong Minor in Computer Science (see list of topics below). Applicants are expected to have taken courses equivalent to the following courses offered at McGill (note that a certain degree of flexibility is possible).

Five Core Courses:
  • COMP 206 Introduction to Software System
  • COMP 250 Introduction to the Design and Implementation of Computer Algorithms and Data Structures
  • COMP 251 Data Structures and Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMP 273 Computer Systems
  • COMP 302 Programming Languages

At least four Advanced Courses such as:

  • COMP 524: Theoretical Foundations of Programming Languages
  • COMP 506: Advanced Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMP 424/426/538: Artificial Intelligence
  • COMP 520: Compiler Design
  • COMP 537: Internet Programming
  • COMP 305/505/573: Computer Architecture
  • COMP 557: Computer Graphics
  • COMP 535: Computer Networks
  • COMP 420/421: Files and Database Systems
  • COMP 330/530: Formal Languages
  • COMP 350/540: Numerical Analysis
  • COMP 310: Operating System Design
  • COMP 335/433: Software Engineering
  • COMP 531: Theory of Computation
  • COMP 462: Bioinformatics

Or any other advanced undergraduate course with a strong computational component.

Mathematics Courses:
  • MATH 222: Calculus III, covering up to partial differentiation and multiple integrals
  • MATH 223: Linear Algebra, covering vector spaces, linear operators, eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • MATH 240: Discrete Structures

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International students who have not received their instruction in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 100 (internet-based test), before admission. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).

OR

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International students who have not received their instruction in English must pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band of 6.5 before admission. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

All applicants are encouraged to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Applicants who have NOT completed a degree in Canada MUST take the GRE: your application will NOT be considered without GRE scores. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).

Application procedure

If you feel you meet our admission requirements please go to the Application Documents page. Applications must be received by January 1st to be considered for financial support. The final deadline for all applications is March 1st.

If you do not have the background described, please do not apply. We do not offer any qualifying program for students with weak Computer Science backgrounds. If you wish, you can take equivalent courses to obtain the required background and then apply.

Admission requirements for the Ph.D. program.

The requirements in this section must be satisfied in order to be considered for admission. However, it must be stressed that satisfaction of these requirements does not guarantee admission; the number of graduate students accepted is limited and only the strongest applicants can be accepted. Read this section carefully before downloading the application forms.

In order to apply to the Ph.D. program, normally applicants should hold an M.Sc. degree in Computer Science or a closely related area, from a well-recognized university. Students who hold a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science but have an exceptionally strong academic record may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program, but they must initially apply to the M.Sc. Program. Students who are in the M.Sc. program have the option to be fast-tracked into the Ph.D. program at the end of their first academic year, contingent on excellent performance as judged by the Ph.D. committee.

Each application is considered on its individual merits. We wish to see strong evidence that there is a potential for independent, high-calibre research. It is crucial that in your statement of purpose you provide a clear, detailed and original argument for why you have chosen particular areas of research to pursue. Your application will be reviewed by a subset of specialists in these areas, taken from your list of proposed supervisors. You must convince them that you have given careful thought to these research fields. Other considerations in the admission process are whether we can provide adequate supervision for your research and whether we can provide financial support. It is quite possible that you possess sufficient academic ability to complete a Ph.D., but we must refuse you because of these considerations.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to take the Graduate Record Examinations. However, we strongly suggest that applicants who obtained their Masters degree outside Canada take the GRE general test as it will be very helpful to the Ph.D. Committee in the evaluation process, and these applicants MUST take the GRE general test if they want to be considered for a scholarship from McGill.

Information may be obtained by contacting:

Graduate Record Examinations
Educational Testing Service
P. O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
USA
Telephone Number: (609) 771-7670
Fax Number: (609) 771-7906
Website: http://www.gre.org

Applicants who have NOT studied in Canada and wish to be considered for financial aid, MUST take the GRE examination.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International students who have not received their instruction in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 before admission. For information about the TOEFL and where to take it contact:

Test of English as a Foreign Language
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151
U.S.A.
TOEFL Customer Service: (609) 771-7100
TOEFL Fax Number: (609) 771-7500
Website: http://www.toefl.org

Applying

If you feel you meet our admission requirements please go to the Application Documents page. For Fall admission, applications must be received by January 1st to be considered for financial support. The final deadline for all applications is March 1st. For Winter admission, applications must be received by September 1st

The School requires a list of at least 3 proposed supervisors that you would like to work with in order to process your application.

If you do not have the background described, please do not apply. We do not offer any qualifying program for students with weak Computer Science backgrounds. If you wish, you can take equivalent courses to obtain the required background and then apply.

Application procedure

For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please click: here.

For information about the application procedure for the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs, see Applying

Contact

For more information, please contact Diti Anastasopoulos.