How to Apply

McGill is changing their application software and detailed instructions will be available soon. Note that there is a non-refundable application fee that covers the application to up to two programs.

To understand the requirements for the PhD program please see here, and for the Masters programs please see here.

Documents Required

The following is a list of all the materials that you will need to provide. We will not begin to consider your application until ALL the materials have been received. We are not always able to send you a letter indicating whether your application is complete or not; therefore, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all their documents have been uploaded.

University Transcripts

  • A record of study is required from each university-level institution you have attended.
  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript, or by a certified translator. A copy in the original language is also required; an English or French translation alone is not sufficient.
  • An unofficial copy of your complete university-level academic record to date must be uploaded through your applicant page.
  • If the transcript does not indicate that a degree has been conferred, a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) will also need to be uploaded.

  • If you receive an offer of admission you will be required to make arrangements for an official copy of each transcript to be sent to McGill University.

Two Completed Recommendation Forms

  • Two (2) letters of recommendation are required. Reference letters must be uploaded directly by the referee.
  • Especially for applicants to the PhD and the M.Sc. thesis programs, we greatly prefer receiving academic references, that is, letters supplied by university professors or course instructors. If you had a supervisor for your university studies or for a thesis, we would like one of the letters to be supplied by this person (this is especially important for Ph.D. applicants). If you graduated from university several years ago, we realize that it may be difficult to obtain academic references. In this case, you may substitute letters from your employers or co-workers. (We give academic references much more weight when assessing an application).

  • You must identify on the application form two referees, who are familiar with your work, and who are willing to write the letters of recommendation. You must provide a valid institutional e-mail address for each referee.
  • McGill University will send an email to each referee you identify on the application form, asking for a reference in support of your application to be admitted.  If no response is received, a reminder message will be sent every two weeks. In rare cases a referee may decline the request; you will be advised by email if your selected referee declines, and you will be asked to provide an alternate. Referees will be invited to login to a secure portion of the McGill website where they can upload the letter(s) of reference.  
  • Letters must meet the following conditions:
    • 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.
    • Letters must be dated and not be more than 12 months old.
    • The referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution.

Official GRE Test Score (where applicable)

Applicants to the M.Sc. program who obtained their undergraduate degree outside Canada can OPTIONALLY take the GRE general test and request the Educational Testing Service to report their scores directly to the School. Use the code 0935 to directly forward the test scores to McGill University from ETS.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to take the GRE general test. 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.

Official TOEFL or IELTS Test Score (where applicable)

All international students have to take the TOEFL or IELTS test, except:

  • If your mother tongue is English, you do not need to take the test
  • If you completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction, you do not need to take the test. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).

Canadian students (francophones or anglophones) do not need to take the test.

The minimum acceptable test score for TOEFL is 600 (paper-based) or 230 (computer-based) or 100 (internet-based; no individual component must be below 22). The minimum acceptable test score for IELTS is an overall band of 6.5. The official copy must be supplied by the Educational Testing Service directly to the School. If you claim exemption from the TOEFL or IELTS because you have attended a university where English is used, please notify us of this.

Other Information

CV: Both Masters and Ph.D. applicants should include a copy of their CV.

Personal Statement

  • Ph.D. applicants must (and M.Sc. Thesis applicants are strongly encouraged to) provide a statement outlining the objective of their graduate program, i.e., preferred areas of study, potential research interests and proposed supervisors.
  • M.Sc. Non-Thesis applicants have to provide a 1-page statement covering the following aspects:
    • Describe why you are interested in this applied program here at McGill and how it aligns with your career goals.
    • Describe the most significant software project you have completed by addressing the following questions. In which context was the project conducted (course work, industrial work, other)? What were the key objectives of the project? What were the key technologies that you used? Was the software published as open source? Did you collaborate with others and if yes, what role did they play. Has the software be used by others?
    • Describe any other achievements that might be relevant. In particular, if you do not have an undergraduate degree in core Computer Science, feel free to indicate any other experience you have that might be valuable for this program.
    • You might also inform us about team work that you conducted and experience in leadership roles.
    • Please feel free to also indicate any special circumstances that might have delayed your studies or otherwise affected you.

For the Ph.D. program and the M.Sc. thesis program, the School requires a list of at least 3 proposed supervisors that you would like to work with in order to process your application.

Please also see the frequently asked questions page.

Deadline for September Admission

The application deadline is December 15th for International students and Canadian students with financial consideration. Without financial assistance Canadian students will be considered until February 15th. You are encouraged to apply early, as this allows time for correspondence should there be any problems with your application.

Applications for Winter Admission

We do not accept applications for January admission to the M.Sc. (non-thesis) program.

For the PhD and the M.Sc. thesis programs, you can apply for the Winter term but it is highly recommended that you contact potential supervisors at the same time. All applicants must submit ALL documents by September 1st.

Application Decisions

M.Sc and Ph.D. applications for September admission are reviewed in February and March. Applicants are informed of decisions shortly thereafter.

The School does not respond to individual inquiries concerning results of an application. You will be notified, in writing, of our decision. Later, you will receive notification, in writing, from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of the official admission decision. The School only has the power to recommend admission decisions to GPS. It is possible (but unusual) for them to alter our recommendation. Once we write to you of a recommendation, you must understand it is always subject to final, official approval by GPS.

Deferred Admissions and New Applications

Students admitted to a program may request to defer their admission to the same program for a period of up to one year, without having to pay a new application fee. This does not apply to special or visiting students, who must apply and pay an application fee every year. The application for deferral must be made in writing, signed by the student, to the academic unit offering the student's program. The signed request must state the desired term of deferred admissions and the reasons for requesting a deferral, the current mailing address, telephone and email address.

Approval of the deferral is not automatic. The academic unit, or GPS, may reject a request, subject to the program's enrolment limitations in the new term, the sequence and availability of required courses, the reasons for requesting a deferral. In addition, if the first acceptance was conditional, non-completion of conditions of admission or poor academic performance since the initial admission are valid reasons to refuse a deferred admission.

Procedures

A student must NOT complete the online application for admission to request a deferral, since submitting an online application requires a credit card payment of the application fee.