School of Computer Science Graduate Applications and Admissions FAQ

Tuition and Funding

Where can I find details about the tuition fees?

Tuition fees can be found at this page. Choose Residency depending on your status in Canada/Quebec. Relevant programs are

  • PhD Full Time and PhD Additional Session.
  • Master’s Thesis full-time and Master’s Additional Session
  • Master’s Non-Thesis Programs and Master’s Non-Thesis Extension

PhD students that have already a M.Sc. degree complete the program in 4-5 years, requiring to register for 6 semesters as PhD Full time (3x Fall/Winter) and from then on in PhD Additional Sessions.

M.Sc. thesis students usually complete the program in 2 years, requiring to register for 3 semesters as Master’s Thesis full-time (Fall/Winter/Fall) and one semester as Master’s Additional Session (Winter).

M.Sc. program students can complete the program in 16 months, requiring to register for 3 semesters as Master’s Non-Thesis Program (Fall/Winter/Summer) and one semester as Master’s Non-Thesis Extension (Fall).

What sort of funding is available to graduate students? How do I apply for funding?

All our Ph.D. students and most of our Masters students are funded either through personal scholarships, McGill scholarships, research assistantships, or teaching assistantships. The funding package offered to admitted students varies from student to student, as a function of needs and merit. The admission letter you will receive will contain a formal funding offer. To be automatically considered for such funding admission applications must be completed by December 15.

Canadian citizens and Québec residents are encouraged to apply for NSERC and FQRNT scholarships one year ahead of their expected start date. International students are encouraged to apply to similar funding programs in their home countries. Students that hold certain provincial, national and international fellowships and scholarships receive significant top-ups.

I am accepted as a student but I am currently not provided any funding, is there any funding possibility in the future?

Yes, there is still a possibility for future funding. Once at McGill, you can apply for a teaching assistantship (TA). Furthermore, supervisors might be able to offer you funding at a later time in your studies.

Where can I find more information on funding?

More information can be found on this page.

How likely is it to get a TA position and when can one apply for the same?

Most students who apply for a TA are awarded one but new students can usually only apply for a TA during their second term in the program.

Test Scores

My TOEFL score is just below the School of Computer Science minimum admission requirement. Will my application be automatically refused?

There are many factors taken into consideration when reviewing applications for admission. It is however recommended to meet minimum admission requirements of a score of 100 in TOEFL (internet based test) with at least 20 in individual sections. For more details refer to this page.

What is the minimum IELTS score expected for admission?

A band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module) is required. For more details refer to this page.

If the language of instruction at my University was in English, do I need to write the TOEFL?

If you completed a degree (Bachelor or Master's) where the language of instruction was English, you are not required to provide proof of English competency in the form of TOEFL or IELTS. You are required to provide official proof (either stated on your transcript or in a separate letter from the University) that the language of instruction for your degree was English.

How are the test scores reported?

Test scores must be sent electronically directly from the testing agency to institution code #0935.

Why have I been waived off the English Proficiency Tests?

You have been waived from the TOEFL/IELTS test because you have studied at an English university. If you like you may still submit your TOEFL/IELTS test results to McGill.

Supporting Documents

What should I include in my personal statement?

M.Sc. thesis and PhD applicants: The personal statement should describe your research interests, experience, and achievements, and mention which professors you are interested in working with. You can optionally briefly describe proposed research directions as well as any special circumstances. It should not exceed one page.

M.Sc. Non-thesis applicants: The personal statement should state why you are interested in this particular program and how it aligns with your career goals. It should also describe projects you have worked on in the past and any other achievements, and inform about your teamwork and leadership skills. You can also indicate any special circumstances. The statement also helps us assess your writing skills. It should not exceed one page. Details about what to include in the personal statement can be found here.

Degree equivalency

How do I convert my percentage grades to a CGPA on a scale out of 4.0?

Information can be found on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office International Degree Equivalencies webpage, where you may also look up degree equivalence for your country.

Eligibility for applying

Can I still apply if I don't meet minimum admission requirements?

Applicants should meet minimum requirements. The admissions process is very competitive and if your application does not meet the minimum requirements then it will likely be refused. Note that all your documents are important for your application to be considered.

I don't have a CS background. Can I still apply?

For the M.Sc. programs you will find a list of courses whose material is a prerequisite to be admitted to our programs. See details here. Sometime students from similar backgrounds such as Electrical and Computer Engineering or students with a Minor in Computer Science have already taken equivalent courses and have sufficient background to apply directly. If you do not have these courses then you must take them first before applying. If you want to take the courses at McGill then you will have to apply as "special/independent" student at the undergraduate level in order to register for these courses. If you do not have the minimum admission requirements, we cannot encourage you to apply to our programs.

Application Status

The status of my application is "submitted". When will I receive an answer?

Most applications will stay in the "submitted" status until a decision is made. This can take up to one month before an update.

How can I inquire about my current application?

For inquiries concerning your application please use the communication tool on your uApply application. Please do not send separate emails as it only delays the processing time.

What do I do if I have technical problems with my application, such as in uploading documents or logging in?

Please use the communication tool and help available for the uApply system.

For more FAQs please visit the GPS site.

Questions related to Master Programs (Thesis /Non-Thesis)

Can I apply for more than one program?

Yes, you may apply for up to 2 programs per on-line application, for the same application fee. If you are offered admission to more than one program, you may accept only one offer.

Can I transfer from one program to another or from one university to another?

Once you have started your studies you might be able to switch between the thesis and non-thesis programs under special circumstances only.

If you have already partially completed a graduate program in Computer Science at a different university or a similar program within McGill (e.g., in ECE), and you transfer to one of our Master’s program, we can transfer a maximum of 2 courses.

Supervisor information

Is it mandatory to find a supervisor before applying for admission?

PhD program: All our applicants to our PhD program must list at least 3 proposed supervisors they want to work with on their application. Your application file will be appropriately forwarded once complete. Students are also encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly to discuss specific opportunities. Advice on contacting potential supervisors can be found here.

M.Sc. Thesis program: It is not required for the application but most of our students will have a supervisor at the time of admission. Either you have already been in contact with potential supervisors before or shortly after applying, or interested professors will contact you when seeing your application. If you do not have a supervisor at the start of your studies, you will be given one year to find a supervisor.

M.Sc. Non-thesis program: You will not need a supervisor at the start of your program. In the semester before you do your M.Sc. project (if applicable) you will have to find a supervisor.

How does one find a supervisor?

PhD and M.Sc. Thesis programs: Advice on contacting potential supervisors (shortly before or after you have submitted your application) can be found here. Please check the webpages of professors carefully before sending any emails. Several professors get many requests and might have specific guidelines regarding being contacted by potential students.

If you are already admitted to the program without a supervisor, then a good way to connect is to take courses with potential supervisors.

M.Sc. Non-thesis program: Students choosing the Research Project option will seek a supervisor before the end of the second term for their M.Sc. project to permit a project during the summer. Taking courses with potential supervisors will facilitate the search.

Will I be able to do work in machine learning with a professor of my choice?

If you are hoping to work with a specific professor in machine learning, note that many have limited capacity to take on new students. Nevertheless, there are opportunities for applying machine learning techniques in many areas (either as thesis or project).