McGill University is one of the universities in Montreal, and is a top-ranked university in Canada. McGill is one of the best universities for computer science and engineering in Canada. It's is also one of the most competitive to get into, having one of the lowest university acceptance rates in Canada. McGill is a public, English-language university in Montreal, Quebec, and is internationally acclaimed for its research and work in medicine and the sciences. McGill University is sometimes referred to as the “Harvard of Canada” for its prestige and reputation. In this blog, we’ll look at everything you need to know for how to get into McGill University, including admissions requirements, selection factors, admission stats and more.

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7 min read

Mission Statement Admissions Statistics Eligibility Selection Factors Interview Format Application Timeline Acceptance and Waitlist Information Tuition and Funding Contact Information FAQs

Mission Statement

“The mission of McGill University is the advancement of learning and the creation and dissemination of knowledge, by offering the best possible education, by carrying out research and scholarly activities judged to be excellent by the highest international standards, and by providing service to society.”

Admissions Statistics

Acceptance rate overall: 39.5%

Number of applicants: 42,968

Average GPA: 3.85

Most popular majors: Arts, Science, Engineering, Management, Education

Breakdown of students at McGill University


McGill’s eligibility requirements vary depending on where you attended high school. In general, McGill first calculates your grade average and compares it to the accepted grades in the past three years. The average grades of accepted students at McGill fluctuate, so there are no set minimum grade averages you need to reach, but they will determine how competitive your own scores are.

In general, you should aim to have a grade average between 85%-95% to remain competitive at McGill for most programs. You also need to check the prerequisite courses for your chosen degree of study and ensure your grades are competitive with past students’.

Quebec CEGEP or high school students

Quebec CEGEP or high school students applying to McGill are evaluated on their overall R-score as well as their R-score average in any prerequisite courses for specific programs. McGill also looks at all of your academic results, meaning failed or repeated courses are taken into consideration.

  • You must have obtained, prior to the start of classes, a Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC).
  • Applicants must meet both the required global R-score and the required prerequisite average R-score in order to be offered admission.

Ontario high school students

For Ontario high school students, admission is based on McGill’s calculation of your "Top 6" pre-university (4U, 4M) course average.

  • A minimum of six 4U and/or 4M courses are required for admission.
  • At least four of the six required courses, as well as all prerequisite courses, must be taken at the 4U level.
  • You must have obtained an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) prior to the start of classes.

Canadian high school students (outside Ontario or Quebec)

For all other Canadian high school students, admission decisions are based on McGill’s calculation of your ‘Top 5’ academic Grade 12 courses, including the prerequisites for the program to which you applied.

  • If you are applying on the basis of a Grade 12 diploma issued by the Nunavut Department of Education, the language course, Inuktitut, and the social science course, Aulajaaqtut, are regarded as academic courses and may be included in the top-five course average.
  • Grade 12 English or French will be included in the ‘Top 5’ calculation, depending on the language of instruction at your school.
  • You must have obtained, prior to the start of classes, a high school diploma that gives you access to university education in your home province or territory.

Note that if you are attending any IB or AP classes, you can be granted advanced standing credits when applying to McGill.

US high school students

McGill’s admission requirements for applicants from US high schools are:

  • You must have obtained, prior to the start of classes, a U.S. high school diploma from an accredited* academic program leading to university entrance.
  • Grades 10, 11 and 12 academic results will be considered, including prerequisites for the program to which you applied. All results are taken into consideration, including those for failed or repeated courses.
  • Take the SAT or the ACT

Note that McGill has extended its test-optional policy when it comes to taking the SAT or ACT for US applicants for some undergraduate programs. Check the specific program requirements to determine whether the test-optional policy applies.

International students (outside US and Canada)

For those who want to study in Canada as an international student, McGill has different admissions requirements based on your country of origin. In general, all students who live in a country where English is not a primary spoken language will need to submit proof of English Language Proficiency.

Here are some other common admission requirements at McGill for international students:

  • Minimum requirements: Three A-Levels (or equivalent), in three different subjects, or two A-level and two AS subjects, in three different subjects.
  • If completing Upper Form VI, you will be considered on: (I)GCSEs, Form VI grades, AS 1(or modular/unit) results (if written) and predicted AL results. If you have completed only lower Form VI with AS and have appropriate GCSE examinations with clearly superior marks, you may be considered for admission exceptionally, on an individual basis.
  • For Caribbean students: CAPE Unit 1 and 2, and CSEC examinations minimum grade of III.
  • Students with Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects: Minimum grade is M3 with not more than one at M3.

Want to get into universities in Canada? Here's how an admissions consultant can help:

Mature students

Mature applicants are McGill must satisfy stricter admission requirements to qualify. These requirements include that students must be:

  • Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent residency
  • 23 years of age or older by the start of classes (21 years of age for the Faculties of Management and Music)
  • No high school, college or university level studies within the last five years that would constitute a basis for admission

In addition, mature applicants are required to have completed university or college level coursework during the last 3 years to demonstrate their academic potential and to qualify as mature applicants. Mature applicants must submit two college recommendation letters, a college letter of intent and a complete resume and outline of extracurriculars. In some cases, mature applicants may also need to attend an admissions interview.

Want to meet McGill's high academic requirements? Here are some top undergrad study strategies to try:

Selection Factors

McGill’s initial admissions screening looks at your overall grade average and the courses you’ve completed that are relevant to your chosen field of study. While the minimum grade average for most McGill programs is 85%, many admitted students have a grade average over 90%, making admissions extremely competitive.

McGill also takes in account your entire academic record, meaning any failed or repeated courses may factor into admissions decisions. Special attention will be paid to prerequisite courses or courses taken that are relevant to your chosen degree, so it’s best to keep those key grades as high as possible to keep your grades competitive.

McGill takes a holistic approach to admissions, but it’s acknowledged that your academic performance is the largest factor in admissions at McGill, so if you’re looking to get into college with a low GPA, you’ll need to do what you can to bring your grades up.

Some undergraduate programs may also ask for supplemental application materials, such as a portfolio, audition, short essay or interview. These additional components will factor into your admissions score, too.

Interview Format

McGill University does not typically conduct college admission interviews for undergraduate applicants. Mature applicants may sometimes be invited to interview to gain a better view of their candidacy. If you are invited to interview as a mature applicant, expect questions such as “why should we accept you?” and “how will you contribute to your future college community?”

Applicants to certain faculties, such as the Desautels Faculty of Management and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill Medical School may be invited to attend an admissions interview, though not every student will be offered one. International students may also be invited to an online or video interview.

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

Offers of acceptance are sent out throughout the admissions cycle on a rolling admissions basis. Depending on the type of applicant you are (Quebec resident, Canadian non-Quebec applicant, US high school student etc.) you can expect to receive an offer of acceptance at different times throughout the year.

McGill University does use a college waitlist for some programs. Students may be placed on an unranked waitlist until a spot opens up in their chosen program. From there, McGill may send out additional offers of acceptance to students on the waitlist. 

  • Mid-December to Late June – Admissions decisions sent out for international students (including US applicants)
  • Mid-January to Late June – Admissions decisions sent out for out-of-province applicants.
  • Late February to Late June – Admissions decisions sent out for Quebec applicants.

Application Timeline

Below are some of the important dates and deadlines for McGill University. Keep in mind that your application deadline, as well as deadlines for applying to entrance scholarships and submitting other documents will be different depending on what type of applicant you are. 

Tuition and Funding Opportunities

Tuition for Quebec residents is around $5,000-$6,000 per year. For out-of-province applicants in Canada, tuition fees fall around $11,000-$12,000 depending on the program of study. International students can expect to pay $25,000-$55,000 in tuition depending on the program.

To help cover the cost of tuition, students can apply for loans or financial aid through McGill university. The school also offers entrance scholarships to students who have achieved high academic standards. Or, applicants can apply for external scholarships. There are many free Canadian scholarships and unique scholarships in Canada available to students from all provinces, as well as scholarships in Canada for international students.

Contact Information

Phone: 514-398-7878


Address: 3415 McTavish St

Montreal QC H3A 0C8 Canada


1. Is it hard to get into McGill University?

McGill has a fairly competitive acceptance rate of 39%, meaning it is a very selective university and getting it can be quite challenging. In general, having a strong academic record and solid application will help you get into McGill. McGill is one of the most prestigious universities in Canada, and receives thousands of applications per year!

2. What is McGill known for?

McGill is one of the top universities in Canada and ranks in the top 50 universities worldwide. It is sometimes called the “Harvard of Canada” or one of the “Canadian Ivy League schools” for its elite reputation. McGill is also well-known for its medical and scientific research programs.

3. What GPA do I need to get into McGill University?

On average, your GPA should be above 3.7 or at least a 90% grade average to be considered a competitive applicant for most McGill programs.

4. Can I get into McGill University as an international student?

Yes, McGill University accepts international students, including students from US high schools. 

5. What are the admission requirements for McGill University?

The admission requirements can vary depending on where you are attending high school, but in general you will need to have a completed high school diploma and have completed any prerequisite courses required by your field of study. Mature applicants will also need to submit additional application components and qualify as a McGill mature applicant to apply.

6. How can I increase my chances of getting into McGill?

McGill is well-known for admitting students with high grade averages, so it’s best to keep your GPA as high as possible to remain competitive with current students at McGill and have your best chance of getting admitted. However, your grades alone will not guarantee admission, so the best way to stand out in your overall application is to present strong and relevant non-academic activities and extracurriculars.

7. How much is tuition at McGill?

Tuition for Quebec residents is around $5,500 on average per year. For out-of-province applicants, tuition is higher at around $11,500 per year, depending on the program. International students can expect tuition costs over $25,000 per year.

8. Do you need to speak French to attend McGill?

No. McGill University is an English-language university, so it is not necessary to speak French to apply to its undergraduate programs. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

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