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Admission Requirements for the PhD Program

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. Read this section carefully before downloading the application forms.

In order to apply to the Ph.D. program, normally applicants should hold an M.Sc. degree in Computer Science or a closely related area, from a well-recognized university. Students who hold a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science but have an exceptionally strong academic record may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program, but they must initially apply to the M.Sc. Program. Students who are in the M.Sc. program have the option to be fast-tracked into the Ph.D. program at the end of their first academic year, contingent on excellent performance as judged by the Ph.D. committee.

Each application is considered on its individual merits. We wish to see strong evidence that there is a potential for independent, high-calibre research. It is crucial that in your statement of purpose you provide a clear, detailed and original argument for why you have chosen particular areas of research to pursue. Your application will be reviewed by a subset of specialists in these areas, taken from your list of proposed supervisors. You must convince them that you have given careful thought to these research fields. Other considerations in the admission process are whether we can provide adequate supervision for your research and whether we can provide financial support. It is quite possible that you possess sufficient academic ability to complete a Ph.D., but we must refuse you because of these considerations.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to take the Graduate Record Examinations. 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.

Information may be obtained by contacting:
Graduate Record Examinations
Educational Testing Service
P. O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
Telephone Number: (609) 771-7670
Fax Number: (609) 771-7906

NOTE: Applicants who have NOT studied in Canada and wish to be considered for financial aid, MUST take the GRE examination.

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 600 before admission. For information about the TOEFL and where to take it contact:

Test of English as a Foreign Language
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151
TOEFL Customer Service: (609) 771-7100
TOEFL Fax Number: (609) 771-7500


If you feel you meet our admission requirements please go to the Application Documents page. For Fall admission, applications must be received by January 1st to be considered for financial support. The final deadline for all applications is March 1st. For Winter admission, applications must be received by September 1st

The School requires a list of at least 3 proposed supervisors that you would like to work with in order to process your application.

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.