M.Sc. Admission Requirements

Please note that the deadlines for our graduate programs are much earlier than the McGill default deadlines. Please see Application Deadlines.

The School of Computer Science mostly admits new graduate students for the Fall semester (September). In exceptional situations, certain M.Sc. thesis students may be admitted to the Winter semester (this requires an outstanding academic record, and the strong support of a professor in the School).

The admission requirements for the M.Sc. Thesis program and the M.Sc. Non-Thesis program are very similar and thus described together on this page.

To decide which program is appropriate for you, please see this information on graduate programs. Note that if you are interested in a PhD but you have not already completed a Masters program, you must apply to the M.Sc. thesis program, although you will be considered for direct admission to the Ph.D. program if you request so.

Students must ensure all required documents are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Once you have read the admission requirements below, proceed to the Application Documents page.

Minimum admission requirements

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.

  1. Undergraduate degree. You must be a graduate of a university of recognized standing, hold the equivalent of a McGill degree at the Bachelor's level.

  2. Grade point average. 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.

  3. Computer Science and Mathematics background. To be considered for admission, you should have completed a certain minimum set of computer science and mathematics courses. The minimum background is an undergraduate degree in Science with the equivalent of at least a strong Minor in Computer Science.

  4. Course requirement:

    1. Core Computer Science Courses: Applicants are expected to have taken courses equivalent or analogous to at least four of the following core courses offered at McGill. (Note that a certain degree of flexibility is possible).

      • COMP 206 Introduction to Software Systems
      • COMP 250 Introduction Computer Science
      • COMP 251 Algorithms and Data Structures
      • COMP 273 Introduction to Computer Systems
      • COMP 302 Programming Languages and Paradigms

    2. Advanced Computer Science Courses: Applicants should have taken at least four advanced courses that are equivalent to the courses the School of Computer Science offers at the 300-level and above. The courses should cover both foundational (i.e. theoretical) material and applied material (i.e. courses with programming components).

    3. Mathematics Courses:
      • MATH 222: Calculus III (partial differentiation and multiple integrals)
      • MATH 223: Linear Algebra (vector spaces, linear operators, eigenvalues and eigenvectors)
      • MATH 240: Discrete Structures

  5. Note: Although programming experience in an industry or research context 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.

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) OR 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)

Applicants to the M.Sc. programs who obtained their undergraduate degree outside Canada can OPTIONALLY take the GRE general test. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) should directly forward the test scores to McGill University (code 0935).

Application procedure

If you feel you meet our admission requirements please go to the Application Documents page.

If you do not have the background described, please do not apply. We do not offer any qualifying program for students whose Computer Science background does not fulfill our requirements.


For any specific questions, see contact information here.