General Information

Prospective graduate students should have adequate background knowledge in cell and molecular biology (or biochemistry), organismal biology, ecology, developmental biology and statistics. Students with high scholastic standing who have completed a program in fields other than biology (medicine, engineering, chemistry, physics, etc.) may be excused from some of the courses normally required for a major in Biology.

Admission is based on an evaluation by the Graduate Training Committee and on acceptance by a research director (supervisor) who can provide adequate funding for personal and research expenses. Prospective graduate students need to contact staff members with whom they wish to study before applying for admission.
Note: Students are admitted into the program on a full-time basis only.

Choosing a Supervisor

CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average)
Applicants must have a B.Sc. in a discipline relevant to the proposed field of study with an overall Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0/4.0 or a Grade Point Average of 3.2/4.0 in the last two full-time academic years. Students who wish to be fast tracked to Ph D1 with a B Sc, must have a minimum CGPA of 3.5/4.

Required scores -
Internet-Based Test (IBT): a minimum overall score of 86 with each component score not less than 20. or 6.5 on IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems), is the minimum standard for admission.

As of Fall 2013, students are required to upload unofficial transcripts in support of their web applications. For instructions, please see:

Letters of Recommendation
Referees will be contacted and instructed by McGill about how to upload their letter of reference to the system.

The department requires applicants to provide two letters of recommendation from instructors familiar with their work; McGill undergraduates who wish to ask their prospective McGill supervisor to write a letter on their behalf must submit a total of 2 letters of recommendation. There is NO SPECIAL FORM for the reference letters.

    1. The e-mail communicating the electronic letter must be sent from a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address (domain). Electronic letters sent from public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Videotron cannot be accepted.
    2. Letters must be specific as to which program the student has applied to and must include information that would aid an admissions committee in making an informed decision.
    3. Letters must be dated and must not be more than 12 months old; this time period conforms to best practices for other documents submitted in support of an application to GPS.
    4. The referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution, to allow for 3rd party verification when necessary.

Other Application Materials

Research Proposal
Please provide a brief description of your proposed research (1/2 page maximum)

Personal Statement
An essay (1 page maximum) in which the applicant describes their reasons for applying to graduate studies in Biology and reviews prior research experience, educational and professional goals, and other qualifications the applicant feels to be significant.

The CV (2 page maximum) should include (where applicable) academic credentials; research, teaching, and other work experience; honors, awards, grants, fellowships, publications, and other significant achievements.

Biology Department Graduate Admissions:
Graduate Studies Office
Stewart Biology Building
Room N7/18B
Office Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm

Ancil Gittens (Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator)
(514) 398-5478;