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McGill University

Canada Canada


THE World Ranking: 46



For students who dream of studying in Montreal, one of the highest-rated student cities in the world, it has to be McGill University. There are only three English-speaking higher education institutions in Quebec, but who could need any more when one of them, the oldest university in Montreal, is famous for its incredible research, strong network of past graduates and well-deserved reputation for greatness?


McGill has a two-hundred-year history, and its future looks strong. Currently, there are approximately 40,000 students enrolled at McGill across thousands of courses and hundreds of programmes of study.


32 per cent of the people enrolled are international students from 150 countries across the globe. The result is a diverse learning environment where everyone can feel welcome and supported.


Examples of easy-to-access support for international students include entrance scholarships (one year and renewable) and bursaries, dedicated orientation events and workshops, social support programmes and full access to additional resources like translators, legal information and travel advice.


There are two main campuses (Downtown Campus and Macdonald Campus) and some satellite locations. Across the sites that make up McGill, class sizes are small, excellence is the focus, and talented tutors and lecturers shine.


For people with an academic gift, McGill is an ideal place to learn and secure an undergraduate degree, potentially followed by a postgraduate qualification. Plus, the beautiful setting in the heart of Montreal offers the very best of city life to all who live and learn at McGill.


Discover more about studying at McGill:


Teaching quality

Entry requirements

Scholarships & funding

University structure


Student support

Graduate outcomes


Teaching Quality

The teaching quality at McGill University is very high. Between the alumni, the tutors and the lecturers, there are 12 Nobel laureates and 147 Rhodes Scholars. If any Canadian university sets the standard for quality teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, it’s this one.


There are just 12.6 students to every staff member, so everyone studying at McGill can receive the focus and attention they deserve. High-quality teaching is delivered. High standards are set and met. Great results are created, and graduate outcomes reflect all of this hard work by students and staff members.


McGill’s World University Ranking as of 2022 is 44th, with a subject-specific ranking for ‘Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health’ of 29. The 2022 QS World University Rankings put McGill at joint 27th. And Maclean’s University Rankings, for 17 years in a row, have made McGill the number one option in Canada when it comes to medical-doctoral universities.


Amazing research is the standard for McGill and has been for hundreds of years. Ernest Rutherford’s globally recognised and Nobel Prize-winning research into radioactivity happened at McGill, as did Thomas Chang’s creation of the world’s first artificial blood cell and the invention of Plexiglas/Perspex by William Chalmers.


Current world-renowned research efforts include work in the field of epigenetics, deep study of COVID-19, development and testing of new RNA-based therapies and efforts to create alternative energy sources from plants.


Entry Requirements

McGill University is a globally well-regarded and competitive institution for higher education. As a result, it attracts a large number of domestic and international applicants for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Each applicant is thoroughly assessed against the relevant university requirements.


Undergraduates must meet certain minimum entry requirements. The requirements differ from country to country depending on educational structure and equivalencies, but exact needs for international students are explained on the McGill website, covering everything from A Levels to the India Senior School Certificate.


Beyond the minimum, other university entry requirements must be met depending on a student’s programme and course load. These are often called prerequisites.


The university recommends that applicants look to previous years’ scores for guidance and pay particular attention to prerequisites. It also cautions that the admission review process considers a person’s entire academic record, including failed and repeated courses.


For postgraduates of any origin, standards remain high and previous university qualifications recognised by McGill are a must.


Students should be at the level of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent when they apply. They should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, with a minimum GPA of 3.2 in the last two years of their full-time education. The GPA requirement is even higher for some programmes, so individual research is necessary.


Every postgraduate applicant must also have a good understanding of English unless they are a student who submits their work in French (an option at McGill utilised by some, including many native French Canadians) and whose degree is not connected to knowledge of the English language.


English Score Required

On the subject of English, some international applicants will need to evidence their ability to communicate in English, the language of instruction at McGill, to be admitted.


Even when English is a person’s first language, they might still need to prove their ability to speak English if they haven’t been living in and attending school/university in a country where it is the primary language for at least four years in a row.


Several different tests, scores and assessments count as proof, including McGill Certificates, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Duolingo English Test (DET).


One of the most common assessment methods is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). To be admitted, students will need an IELTS band score of 6.5 or better, with no individual component scores below 6.0. IELTS Indicator tests will not be accepted as proof, and scores will only be accepted if submitted directly from an IELTS test centre.


Native French speakers can submit their work in French, but they must still get the same English score to be admitted, as teaching is not delivered in French. That said, English language support is readily available to help Francophones and other students for whom English isn’t their first language year-round.



The university admission process will begin when a student determines the right programme and applies (or applies twice for two different programmes if they so choose). The student can then apply for any entrance scholarships and funding opportunities relevant to them, as well as provide all the relevant supporting documents, like high school transcripts/the equivalent.


When all this is done, the student admission team will assess applications. Admission decisions will usually be released between mid-December and the end of May for students from high schools in and out of Canada and the US. Mature student admissions might be approved a little later, into July.


If a student is offered a place, they will then accept it. If a student is denied admission, they might, at this stage, submit a written request asking the office of admission to change their decision.


On the McGill University website, there is an undergraduate fees table and a graduate fees table to provide prospective applicants with an accurate sense of what tuition fees will cost.


To provide an example generated using one of the tables, an international undergraduate student starting in the autumn of 2022 and studying towards a Bachelor of Science would be looking at total annual fees of CAD 58,506. This figure includes society fees, student services fees, SSMU Dental Insurance, International Health Insurance and more, as well as the CAD 55,389 cost of tuition.


Scholarships & Funding

Merit-based university scholarships are available to international students and domestic students alike at McGill University. Awarded upon admission, they are known as entrance scholarships and can cover one year or up to four years with annual renewal.


One-year entrance scholarships are CAD 3,000 and can’t be renewed. They’re awarded automatically based on academic achievement, so no separate application is necessary.


Major entrance scholarships are either CAD 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 or 12,000 (but CAD 12,000 scholarships are available only to Canadian citizens or legal permanent residents). These scholarships do require an application, as they’re awarded based on academic achievement and leadership. They’re annually renewable, provided the criteria for renewal continue to be met.


Should an international student experience financial issues and struggle with their fees, the McGill Financial Aid Office will do its best to help via the need-based offering of loans, bursaries, etc. Appointments can be made with a Financial Aid Counsellor, and options like payment deferral, work-study and emergency loans can be discussed.


International postgraduates can apply for in-course financial aid with ease, but this aid will only be enough to provide a short-term lift to a student’s existing financial resources. Like undergraduates, postgraduates with financial difficulty can turn to the Financial Aid Office, and work-study options are also open to them if they require ongoing employment.


University Structure

McGill University is formed of two main locations, the Downtown Campus in mid-Montreal and the Macdonald Campus in west Montreal at Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue.


The Downtown Campus borders Mount Royal Park and connects urban life with natural beauty. Many of the learning sites are beautiful heritage buildings, and McGill University is proud to prove that innovation and excellence can stand alongside responsible stewardship.


Macdonald Campus is right by the water, closely connected with nature. It’s the largest green space in all of Montreal at 650 hectares and a place where sustainable living is the standard across the buildings, the farm, the greenhouses, and the arboretum.


In terms of McGill’s educational structure, there are 12 core faculties staffed by 1,806 faculty members who are tenured or tenure-stream, 153 endowed teaching and research chairs, 184 Canada Research Chairs allotted to McGill University and 228 Active Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada.


Each faculty contains several schools, departments, programmes and centres. The faculties are as follows:


  • The Desautels Faculty of Management
  • The Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • The Faculty of Arts
  • The Faculty of Dentistry
  • The Faculty of Education
  • The Faculty of Engineering
  • The Faculty of Law
  • The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • The Faculty of Science
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • The School of Continuing Studies
  • The Schulich School of Music


To explain how diversely these faculties break down, the Faculty of Law contains four multi-subject programmes, three research centres and three institutes. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Arts has 14 departments and includes five schools, 13 centres and four institutes.



The student community thrives at McGill, where there’s always plenty to do and plenty of modern facilities to enjoy. A visit to the ENGAGE McGill website reveals just how many student societies, clubs, groups and teams there are across the Downtown and Macdonald campuses.


Plus, every kind of student activity centre is available to enjoy, including student recreation centres like gyms and basketball courts and student life centres like green spaces for relaxation and libraries with cosy study spots (of which there are a total of 13, containing over six million items in total).


The elite McGill Athletics sports complex is ideal when students want to get active, complete with an arena, fitness centres, gymnasiums, indoor and outdoor tracks, outdoor fields, a stadium, weight rooms and workout rooms. The McGill Sport Medicine Clinic is also nearby to treat injuries and help varsity players efficiently and effectively.


From the hundreds of lecture theatres full of modern technology to the five residential dinner halls and 20 on-campus restaurants with options for all students to enjoy, each space at McGill has been carefully thought out.


On the scientific and academic side of things, there are also many dedicated best-in-class research centres across the university’s sites, including:


  • The Business and Management Research Centre
  • The Centre for Strategy Studies in Organizations
  • The Desmarais Global Finance Research Centre
  • The Management Science Research Centre
  • The McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics
  • The McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • The McGill Institute of Marketing



For every frequently asked question about student accommodation, McGill University readily shares an answer. First-year undergraduates studying on McGill’s Downtown Campus have nine on-campus university accommodation options. Five of the available residences are single rooms with shared bathrooms:


  • Douglas Hall
  • Royal Victoria College
  • The upper residences of Molson, McConnell and Gardner


Three of the residences are of a more modern style with double rooms, private bathrooms and the added security of a 24/7 front desk:


  • Carrefour Sherbrooke
  • La Citadelle
  • New Residence Hall


The last residence, Solin Hall, is a collection of apartments with private bedrooms and spacious common areas. The furniture is provided.


First-year undergraduates at Macdonald Campus can benefit from community-focused small-town living in either Laird Hall or the EcoResidence. The EcoResidence is made up of fully furnished apartments perfect for independent living. Laird Hall is dormitory housing (some single bedrooms, some double bedrooms) with shared kitchens and bathrooms.


Second, third and fourth-year undergraduate housing and postgraduate housing options on-campus are harder to come by. However, there are still apartment and shared student house options available, including Greenbriar Apartments, Hutchinson Apartments and University Hall.


Of course, students can also choose their accommodation and live off-campus in exciting, diverse Montreal. The colourful streets often beckon, offering new freedom and new adventures, all within easy reach of the Downtown Campus.


Student Support

There’s a strong structure of student support that matches Canada’s kind reputation at McGill University, and the standard of those student support services is unrivalled. Those enrolled benefit from the moment they arrive all the way past graduation in the form of a highly active, highly supportive community of previous graduates.


No student, whether from the other side of Montreal or the other side of the world, is left behind or left uncatered for at McGill. For example, the university’s website includes a comprehensive international student guide covering help with immigration documents, health insurance and more.


There are also dedicated international student orientation events, workshops and buddy programmes to help everyone feel at home, as well as scholarships and bursaries for those in need of financial aid.


The firm belief at McGill university is that student wellness matters, from academic and financial wellness to social, emotional and physical wellness. As such, McGill’s student support programme is comprehensive, and all the following student services and organisations are available:


  • Access Advisors
  • The Career Planning Service (CAPS)
  • Counselling, psychiatry and mental health care
  • Equity at McGill
  • First Peoples’ House
  • The Frugal Scholar Money Management Program
  • International Student Services
  • Local Wellness Advisors
  • Medical care
  • The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
  • The Office for Students with Disabilities
  • The Scholarships and Student Aid Office
  • The Student Wellness Hub


Graduate Outcomes

The standards at McGill University are high for everything from deadlines to communication. Those who attend this institution are thoroughly prepared for professional life. The career services at McGill are also expertly designed to prepare students, helping them explore their career options and plan their next steps effectively.


When in need of a career guide, accessing an Advisor is as simple as a click of a button or a trip to the Career Resource Centre. This Centre contains over 2,000 books and resources covering everything from finding the right role to preparing for an interview.


Other employment services and forms of career support offered by McGill include the myFuture portal, the myInvolvement portal, the Job Search Toolkit and a whole host of industry events, workshops and fairs.


A year to a year and a half after graduating from McGill, 51 per cent of people are employed, with 40 per cent choosing to get some more education (either with the same university or elsewhere). Only five per cent still find themselves looking for a job at this point [McGill Career Planning Service]. Notable McGill alumni include Leonard Cohen and William Shatner.


Career and job prospects are especially exciting for those with academic ambitions beyond undergraduate studies. Between 2008 and 2018, a ten-year-long university-wide project called TRaCE McGill (Track, Report, Connect, Exchange) monitored postgraduate outcomes among former PhD students.


The results revealed that over 50 per cent now worked in academia, and over 20 per cent had tenure-track jobs. The study also found that 33 per cent of former international students remained in Canada, and now work for Canadian companies and institutions. International students can truly begin to build a life for themselves in Canada with their studies at this welcoming, world-renowned institution.



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Key facts and figures at McGill University


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2023
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
Source: ARWU


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