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A Complete Guide to McGill University in Canada


Table of Contents

McGill University is one of Canada’s most famous institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. International students come to McGill from over 150 countries, making it the most internationally diverse research-intensive university in Canada. This article is a complete guide about an amazing Canadian research institution and its admission process.


In this guide:

  • About McGill University
  • McGill’s Educational Quality
  • Courses at McGill University
  • McGill Admission Process
  • Conclusion


About McGill University

The University of McGill is a public research institution in Montreal, Canada.

The university was founded in 1821 by a royal charter issued by King George IV. It was named after James McGill, a Scottish businessman.

The University of McGill College, or simply McGill College, changed its name to McGill University in 1885.

Along with the University of Toronto, McGill is one of only two universities outside of the United States members of the Association of American Universities.

It is also the only Canadian member of the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum (GULF).

Most students of McGill enroll in the five largest faculties, Arts, Science, Medicine, Education, Engineering, and Management.

McGill has the most internationally diverse student body of any medical-doctoral research university in Canada.

Almost 41 percent of McGill students were born outside of Canada. Over 32 percent of international students come from over 150 countries.

McGill has led the annual Maclean’s Canadian University Rankings for the past 16 years, and significant educational magazines consistently rank it among the world’s top colleges.


McGill University Campuses

McGill’s campus was originally 46 acres. Today it has three campuses, including:


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  • Downtown campus, which is about 80 acres;
  • MacDonald campus, which is about 1600 acres;
  • Gault Nature Reserve, which is about 2470 acres.

The main campus is located on the slopes of Mount Royal in the Ville-Marie neighborhood of downtown Montreal.

The second campus is almost 30 kilometers west of the main campus at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Montreal Island.

The downtown campus is accessible by public transportation, bicycle, or foot.

On the western extremity of Montreal’s Island, the Macdonald campus is located, which houses the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition and The Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


McGill’s Faculty and Staff

McGill University is a prominent research and teaching university with 6750 staff.

Over 5500 full-time employees make up the majority of the workforce. There are almost 1200 part-time employees as well.

McGill offers over 340 academic programs in eleven faculties. Over 250 doctorate and master’s degree programs are available at the university.

Despite considerable increases in university enrollment across North America, McGill has maintained a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

There are over 1600 tenured or tenure-track academics at this university.

McGill has 12 Nobel laureates among its alumni and 147 Rhodes Scholars. They include 16 billionaires, the current prime minister, and two former prime ministers of Canada.

There are also 2 Governors-General of Canada, 15 justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, at least 8 foreign leaders, and more than 100 members of national legislatures.

Graduates of the university include the inventors of basketball, modern organized ice hockey, gridiron football pioneers, and the founders of several prominent universities and colleges.

Ernest Rutherford is one of the most notable researchers at McGill. He discovered the atomic nucleus and did his Nobel Prize-winning research on the nature of radioactivity while at the university.

McGillians also invented the world’s first artificial cell, a web search engine, and a charge-coupled device, among other things.


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McGill’s Educational Quality

McGill University believes its primary goal is to improve learning and knowledge creation and transmission.

They try to do this by delivering good education, conducting research and scholarly activities with high international standards, and providing service to society.

McGill University Library provides major collections, access to the world of information, and exceptional service to support teaching, learning, research, and community service.

McGill has the highest average entrance grades of any Canadian university and provides degrees and certificates in over 300 fields of study.

This university’s Career Planning Service (CAPS) provides workshops, individual advising, a comprehensive job posting service, and an extensive Career Resource Centre to help its students.

In keeping with McGill University’s commitment to education and innovation, Athletics and Recreation commit to providing students and workers with opportunities to participate in sports and physical activity in an inclusive environment that values health, well-being, and fair play.

mcgill university

Courses at McGill University

Over 400 postgraduate programs, including master’s degrees, PhDs, MBAs, and graduate certificate programs, are offered by McGill University’s 11 faculties:

  • Environmental and Agricultural Sciences
  • Arts
  • Dentistry
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Management
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Science
  • Dentistry


McGill University offers approximately 1236 programs, 551 graduate and 685 undergraduate.

International students can apply for Bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctorates, diplomas, and certificates.

There are so many courses to choose from, so McGill University has an online calendar at that allows students to browse all of the university’s programs.

McGill, as a research-intensive university, focuses on multidisciplinary research.

International students interested in research-based programs must examine the profiles of faculty members, select potential advisers with comparable research interests, and contact them to learn about available research possibilities.

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McGill Admission Process

McGill University accepts applications for the fall, winter, and summer semesters.

The online application for fall intakes for undergraduate students begins in October and closes on January 15th.

Undergraduate students usually are not admitted to McGill University for the winter semester.

Only a few exceptions are made for undergraduate students during this session.

As a result, overseas students applying to undergraduate programs should try to enroll in the fall semester.

The admissions process for graduate programs is on a rolling basis. Departments and programs have different application dates.

International applicants should check the department’s page for deadlines and apply as soon as possible. Keep in mind that delayed applications may not be accepted for admission.

Completed applications with accompanying documentation must arrive at the departmental offices before the deadline.

Furthermore, a late application will be disqualified from consideration for a scholarship.

Since not all departments offer summer or winter admissions, international applicants must verify the application deadline well ahead of time.

It is recommended that applicants check the course page on the official website for the precise start date.


Step-By-Step Guide for Admission

The following are the steps in the application process at McGill University:

  • Begin by picking a program from the college program list corresponding to the department or institute you have chosen.
  • To find a supervisor for a course, requirements, and deadlines, contact the department of your choice.
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork for an online application.
  • Select a Login ID and PIN to create an online application account.
  • Fill out each section of the application form completely.
  • Pay the application cost using a credit card.
  • Upload supporting papers to the Minerva account after obtaining application acknowledgment via email; access to the account will be provided in the same email.
  • Accept the offer of admission through your apply account once you have been accepted to the university, and pay the confirmation deposit if necessary.

Most undergraduate schools do not consider interviews, extracurricular activities, or papers such as a personal statement, letter of recommendation, or portfolio.

Applicants should check the official program page for the most up-to-date admission requirements.

mcgill university

Admissions for McGill University International Students

Regardless of their country of origin or educational history, all applicants must achieve the following minimum academic requirements:

Have acquired an approved or recognized university degree, equivalent to a McGill undergraduate degree, Bachelor’s that can be used to apply for a graduate degree program at a renowned research-intensive university in the same country.

The degree mentioned above must have been completed with a minimum grade of 3 of 4 or the equivalent.

Applicants must also meet any academic standards established by the graduate program they are applying to. McGill admissions are stern, and fulfilling the minimum requirements does not ensure entrance.

As an overseas applicant, you must also demonstrate English proficiency, understand international credentials and grade equivalencies, and be aware of applicable admission deadlines.



McGill University is one of the world’s most prestigious universities in Canada. McGill has the most significant proportion of international students of any Canadian research university, with almost 30 percent coming from more than 150 countries. Read this article thoroughly to learn about McGill University and its academic programs.



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