PhD admissions

Application deadline*

January 15

*Deadline  for completed application packages, including supporting documents and references. Allow ample time prior to the deadline for the uploading of documents and electronic submission of references.

Why study at SIS?

Considering applying to the School of Information Studies? Here are some great reasons why to study at SIS.

Requirements

I. Education

An applicant should normally have a Master in Library and Information Studies (MLIS), or its equivalent. Master's degrees in other fields will be considered in relation to the proposed research. A CGPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 at both the undergraduate and graduate level is required.

An applicant with an MLIS or its equivalent will normally be admitted into PhD 2.

An applicant with a master's degree in another field may be considered for admission as a PhD 2 but may be required to register for courses to upgrade background knowledge in library and information studies.

A candidate who holds only a bachelor’s degree from McGill University or an approved institution in Information Studies or equivalent in exceptional circumstances may be admitted to PhD 1.

II. Proficiency in English

Documented proof of proficiency in oral and written English (TOEFL or IELTS) is required by all applicants whose mother tongue is not English, AND who have not obtained (or are about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction. See below for situations where proof of proficency is normally not required.

Before acceptance, appropriate exam results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Office. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. Applications will not be considered if a TOEFL or IELTS test result is not available. TOEFL results are only valid for two years from the date the test was written.

McGill Institution Code: 0935.

Before acceptance, appropriate exam results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Office. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. Applications will not be considered if a TOEFL or IELTS test result is not available. Such proof normally comprises the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (IBT Internet based TOEFL) with a written score of at least 25 and a reading, speaking, and listening score of not less than 20, or the International English Language testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band score of 7.5. Applicants whose mother tongue is not English may be asked to demonstrate an English-language proficiency beyond the submission of the TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Proof of proficiency not required

Normally, if you meet any one of the following conditions you are not required to submit proof of proficiency in English:

  • Mother tongue (language first learned and still used on a daily basis) is English
  • Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction
  • Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution in Canada or the United States of America (anglophone or francophone)
  • Has lived and attended university, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.

Identifying potential supervisors

Prospective PhD students are encouraged to review the website to assist in identifying possible dissertation supervisors and to become familiar with the School's research areas before applying to the program. Key pages include: Faculty, Publications, PhD students, and Theses.

Visit the McGill Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) Connecting with a supervisor page for valuable tips on how to find and connect with potential supervisors at McGill.

Process & documents

As of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced by an electronic version. For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see Preparing to apply and Submitting your documents 

STEP 1. Online Application for Admission

  • Complete an online Application for admission form. It is important that you select the Fall term when completing the application form. We will not be able to change the application term or refund your application fee if you enter the wrong term.
  • Submit the non-refundable application fee (see Student Accounts Fees, Fines & Charges page for current graduate studies application fee). There are no exceptions even if you have applied to another McGill department in the same year. The fee is submitted by credit card when you submit your electronic application.

STEP 2. Submission of Supporting Information. After submitting the uApply application for admission form and fee, you can then upload the following required information in uApply:

  1. Your complete record of study (transcripts) from each university-level institution you have attended to date (except McGill). A CGPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 is required. Uploaded copies will be considered as unofficial; final, official copies will be required once you are offered admission.  These transcripts must indicate degree awarded. When degree completion is expected in Spring of the application year, unofficial transcripts showing courses and grades up to the last term of study should be submitted. If credits were transferred from a different institution then transcripts must also be obtained from that source.
  2. A curriculum vitae (resume).
  3. References: On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. If your degree(s) were awarded more than 5 years ago, two employer letters of recommendation are required on company letterhead. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the School. Therefore you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees.  (Any non-letterhead letters of recommendation must be accompanied by an explanation.)
  4. A letter of application identifying the applicant’s proposed research topic, potential supervisor(s), and expected professional directions.
  5. A short summary of the proposed research topic, identifying the applicant’s main research questions, the research trends that have led to the isolation of the questions, and ways in which the research could be conducted (3-4 pages).
  6. Documented proof of competency in oral or written English, as described above. 

STEP 3. Submission of PhD Program Deposit Fee

Upon acceptance to the PhD program, a non-refundable PhD program deposit of $300 is required. Following official acceptance, applicants must access Minerva, McGill's online registration system, within 30 days of the specified deadline to confirm acceptance and pay the deposit. Payment is to be made by credit card. The $300 will be credited towards tuition. If the payment is not received within the specified deadline, the acceptance will be rescinded. The deposit will be forfeited if the student does not start the PhD program. 

Contacts

  Contact
Admissions process & general administrative questions Ms. Kathryn Hubbard, Administrative & Student Affairs Coordinator: admissions.sis [at] mcgill.ca
PhD program & general academic questions Dr. Catherine Guastavino, PhD Program Director: gpdp.sis [at] mcgill.ca

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