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Admission Requirements for the M.Sc. Program

This page describes in details the admission requirements and the application procedure for the Masters program at SOCS.

  • The application deadline to be considered for financial support for September 2013 is January 1st .
  • The deadline for all other applications 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
Out of 20
16 14

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.


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).

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.