M.Sc. Admission Requirements

The School of Computer Science mostly admits new graduate students for the Fall semester (September). In exceptional situations, certain students may be admitted to the Winter semester (this requires an outstanding academic record, and the strong support of a professor in the department). The School offers Masters and Ph.D. programs, both with highly competitive admissions. To decide which program is appropriate for you, please see this information on graduate programs . Note that if you have not already completed a Masters program, you must apply to the Masters program, although you will be considered for direct admission to the Ph.D. program if you request so.

Admission requirements for the M.Sc. program.

You need to ensure all required documents are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Once you have read the admission requirements below, proceed to the Application page

The application deadline is December 15th for International students and Canadian students with financial consideration. Without financial assistance Canadian students will be considered until February 15th.

The requirements in this section must be satisfied in order to be considered for admission. However, it must be stressed that satisfaction of these requirements does not guarantee admission; the number of graduate students accepted is limited and only the strongest applicants can be accepted.

You must be a graduate of a university of recognized standing, hold the equivalent of a McGill degree at the Bachelor's level and have taken sufficient Computer Science and Mathematics courses to meet the requirements. If you come from a university with a grade point average evaluation scheme, your cumulative grade point average (C.G.P.A.) should be at least 3.2 out of 4. If your CGPA is slightly lower but you have a superior record in Computer Science and Mathematics, your application will still be considered. If your university uses a different grading scheme, please enclose a brief description of the grading scheme with your application.

To be considered for admission, you should have completed a certain minimum set of computer science and mathematics courses. A sample of suitable McGill courses follows. If you have completed courses at a comparable level (for example "Operating Systems" in place of "Programming Languages") you may still meet this requirement.

Although commercial programming experience is a useful asset, we do not find it to be an adequate alternative to formal education. Therefore, it cannot be used to replace courses. Similarly, programming experience obtained as part of a project in another academic discipline is not considered very significant.

Background required to be admitted to the M.Sc. Program

The minimum background is an undergraduate degree in Science with the equivalent of at least a strong Minor in Computer Science (see list of topics below). Applicants are expected to have taken courses equivalent to the following courses offered at McGill (note that a certain degree of flexibility is possible).

Five Core Courses:

  • COMP 206 Introduction to Software System
  • COMP 250 Introduction to the Design and Implementation of Computer Algorithms and Data Structures
  • COMP 251 Data Structures and Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMP 273 Computer Systems
  • COMP 302 Programming Languages

At least four Advanced Courses such as:

  • COMP 524: Theoretical Foundations of Programming Languages
  • COMP 506: Advanced Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMP 424/426/538: Artificial Intelligence
  • COMP 520: Compiler Design
  • COMP 537: Internet Programming
  • COMP 305/505/573: Computer Architecture
  • COMP 557: Computer Graphics
  • COMP 535: Computer Networks
  • COMP 420/421: Files and Database Systems
  • COMP 330/530: Formal Languages
  • COMP 350/540: Numerical Analysis
  • COMP 310: Operating System Design
  • COMP 335/433: Software Engineering
  • COMP 531: Theory of Computation
  • COMP 462: Bioinformatics

Or any other advanced undergraduate course with a strong computational component.

Mathematics Courses:

  • MATH 222: Calculus III, covering up to partial differentiation and multiple integrals
  • MATH 223: Linear Algebra, covering vector spaces, linear operators, eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • MATH 240: Discrete Structures

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International students who have not received their instruction in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 100 (internet-based test), before admission. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).


International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International students who have not received their instruction in English must pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band of 6.5 before admission. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Applicants to the M.Sc. program who obtained their undergraduate degree outside Canada can OPTIONALLY take the GRE general test and request the Educational Testing Service to report their scores directly to the School. Use the code 0935 to directly forward the test scores to McGill University from ETS.

Application procedure

If you feel you meet our admission requirements please go to the Application Documents page.

If you do not have the background described, please do not apply. We do not offer any qualifying program for students with weak Computer Science backgrounds.


For more information, please contact Ann Jack.