University (Transfer, Second degree, Special or Visiting Student)

Requirements and deadlines for admission in 2017-18


Where a deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the effective deadline will be the following business day.


Application from a university or college outside of Canada

Submission of supporting documents

January 15

April 30

Application from a university in Canada

Submission of supporting documents

May 1

June 1

McGill Financial Aid application (online via Minerva)

30 days from acceptance date



May 1

Submission of supporting documents

June 1


Music application & documents

January 15

Architecture portfolio submission

March 7

Religious Studies (B.Th.) application & documents

College affiliated applicants may be considered for admission to the fall term after the May 1st deadline upon recommendation of the affiliated college. Please contact the college of your affiliation for more information.

May 1


Social Work (B.S.W.) applicants: submission of supporting documents*

May 15

Music application & documents

January 15

Accepted diplomas and review process For all diplomas: 

- Admission is competitive and presentation of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

- All results are taken into consideration in determining admission, including those for failed or repeated courses

Transfer or Second Degree

The University welcomes applications from well-qualified students who wish to transfer to McGill. Please note that for many programs (including in the Faculty of Arts) applications for transfer are often considered exceptionally and on the basis of space available. Admission standards may vary significantly from year to year depending on demand for the program.

Transfer applicants are considered on the basis of university/ college work and previous studies. You should have well above-average academic records and prerequisites appropriate to the program you wish to pursue at McGill. Particular attention will be paid to results of courses relevant to the proposed program of study. 

In order to form a basis for admission for a science-based program or to be considered for credit or exemption, science and mathematics courses normally must have been completed within the last five years.

If you are an accepted Transfer student, your advanced standing credit can only be determined after you have confirmed your program at McGill, paid the required deposit, and provided all necessary supporting documents (including detailed course descriptions/syllabi). In addition to course descriptions of mathematics and science courses, you are asked to specify the names and editions of textbooks used.

A Quebec high school graduate who did not proceed to CEGEP but undertook one full year of university study outside Quebec may be admissible as a Transfer student. If you fall into this category, you should consult the appropriate McGill University Admissions Office prior to applying, in order to ensure that you possess a valid basis for admission. Please note that courses completed at schools or institutions designed primarily to offer religious education (such as bible colleges, seminaries, or yeshivas) normally are not considered equivalent to university study.

Individuals who have undertaken studies in non-university post-secondary institutions such as technical colleges may not be eligible for admission as Transfer students.

Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CPGE):

McGill has a long history of admitting applicants from France; we are familiar with the structure and grading systems of the French Baccalaureate (FB) and French universities, as well as the Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CPGE). At this time, studies completed in CPGE do not serve as a basis for admission to McGill, even if integrated with a program leading to university credit in France.

Accordingly, McGill applicants who have undertaken CPGE study are evaluated on their FB results. Such applicants should identify themselves as "Applicants from High Schools Outside Canada and the USA - French Baccalaureate" not as "Applicants from Other Universities or Colleges and Second Bachelor Degree Applicants (‘Transfers').

McGill is aware that Bologna reforms have changed the assignment of credit and exemptions for CPGE study at some universities in Europe. We continue to monitor developments in this regard.

Special or Visiting

To qualify as a Special Student, you must:

  • Have received an undergraduate degree or be in the final year of a course of study at a recognized college or university leading to an undergraduate degree consisting of 120 credits over eight semesters following completion of high school. If you have received a CEGEP DEC in the Province of Quebec, you must have completed 90 credits (six semesters) in a Quebec university to obtain the required degree.
  • Have a plan of study that is acceptable to the faculty you wish to enter. Some faculties stipulate prerequisite coursework.

In addition:

  • Music applicants do not require a university degree but must have the necessary Music prerequisites for certain courses. Special Students in Music are not entitled to instrument or voice lessons and, therefore, are not required to audition.
  • The maximum course load is 15 credits per term for a maximum of two terms (with the exception of Architecture where the maximum course load is six credits per term). 
  • If you wish to hold Special Student status in Engineering or Architecture, you must provide a referral from the Order of Engineers or the Order of Architects, as appropriate.
  • Applicants to the Faculty of Science are expected to have a recognized undergraduate Science or Engineering degree completed in the last five years. Holders of any other undergraduate degrees will be considered on an individual basis and only if they have completed a number of advanced university-level mathematics and science courses. Frequently, Special Student applicants to the McGill's Faculty of Science have the intention of taking mathematics or science courses to qualify eventually for admission to graduate or professional programs. However, please note that basic mathematics and science courses (100 and 200 level) are not open to Special Students at McGill. The intended McGill courses must be at the 300, 400, or 500 level and be listed on the application.
  • To take courses in English or French as a Second Language, you must obtain written permission from the Department and will be permitted entry only if there is space, after degree students have registered. A plan of study cannot consist only of E.S.L. or F.S.L. courses.
  • If applying to the B.Th. program in the Faculty of Religious Studies, you must submit two letters of reference, at least one of which should be from an instructor at an academic institution previously attended. The reference form is available at

Successful applicants to McGill University as Special or Visiting Students are generally required to have a minimum “B” overall average. In addition, grades obtained in courses relevant to the proposed program of study will be considered.

The admission of Special or Visiting Students is subject to the availability of places in a particular program, and students who present the minimum requirements are not guaranteed acceptance. Entrance to courses with enrolment limits, notably freshman-level science courses, or courses that require permission of the instructor, cannot be guaranteed. Applicants are expected to possess the same prerequisite courses as those applying as Transfer students.

Completion of courses as a Special or Visiting Student at McGill University does not guarantee or improve the chances of entrance into a McGill University degree program in a future year. Normally, Special and Visiting Students remain at McGill University for no more than one semester or two consecutive semesters per academic career.

If you are currently registered in a degree program at another university and have completed at least two semesters of study there, you may apply to take courses at McGill University as a Visiting Student. Course credits can be applied toward the program of study at your home university. Admission decisions on visiting applications are final and there is no appeal process.

**** The Desautels Faculty of Management is not open for applications from Visiting students. ****

Prerequisites and minimum grades

Consult the prerequisites by program and minimum grades required for admission in September 2016.

Programs for students with a Previous University Degree

You must hold an appropriate university degree to be eligible for admission to the following programs. (Note to our francophone applicants: the English word “Diploma” has a different meaning than the French “Diplôme”. At McGill, a Diploma is usually a short, specialized program, which follows a Bachelor's degree.)

Diploma in Environment

The Diploma in Environment is a 30-credit program, two semesters in duration if taken full-time. This program is offered through the faculties of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Arts, or Science. You must hold an undergraduate degree equivalent to 16 years of schooling, with a minimum CGPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale. A science background is required for students applying through the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Diploma in Meteorology

The Diploma in Meteorology is a 30-credit program, two semesters in duration if taken full-time. You must hold a B.Sc., with an appropriate background in mathematics, physics, or other suitable studies, or B.Eng. degree equivalent to 16 years of schooling, with a good standing.

Bachelor of Theology

Admission is open to candidates who possess a Bachelor's degree, whether or not it contains courses in religion or theology. A CGPA of 2.70 or higher is required for admission to the 60-credit (two-year) program. If you have a CEGEP DEC or high school diploma you may also be considered. For further information:

Supporting Documentation

1) Academic Documents - All academic documents must be uploaded to your Minerva file.

Unless applying only to Music, you must submit descriptions of graduation requirements and course syllabi for each college/university level mathematics and science course taken. Mathematics and science course syllabi must specify the names and editions of textbooks used.

You are required to submit a copy of your high school record unless you have completed two or more years of university study. All applicants who have completed any Advanced Level, Advanced Subsidiary, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate examinations or the French Baccalaureate, European Baccalaureate, Abitur, or Bagrut must submit at least a copy of these results. Official copies will be required in order to process advanced standing credit and/or exemption. If you completed high school and CEGEP, you are not required to submit your high school transcript.

If admitted, you must then arrange for your college/university to send McGill University an official complete, final transcript, indicating graduation if applicable, as soon as the results become available.


2) Proof of English Proficiency

The language of instruction at McGill University is English. You must demonstrate the required level of English proficiency prior to admission to McGill, regardless of citizenship status or country of origin.

To see accepted tests or whether you are exempt, consult Proof of English Proficiency.


3) Additional supporting documents

Additional supporting documents (such as recommendation letters and personal statements) are only required in the following circumstances:

 - You have applied to Architecture, Education, Music, Religious Studies and/or Social Work

 - You have complete the separate application for Major Entrance Scholarship and/or Financial Aid

 - You selected ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ on the application for admission

If none of the above circumstances apply, additional supporting documents are not considered in the admission review and should not be submitted.


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