How to Get Into McGill University

Montreal, QC
May 6, 2024
6 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/6/24

Want to know how to get into McGill University? We’ll break down the admissions process and key tips to enhance your chances of acceptance.

Located in Montreal, Canada, McGill University is a prestigious institution known for its academic excellence and vibrant student life. Since its establishment in 1821, McGill has built a rich history and reputation for innovation. It has consistently ranked among the top universities globally, offering several programs and fostering over 40 research centers.

Gaining admission to McGill requires careful planning, dedication, and a strong application. Aspiring students looking to join this prestigious institution will find valuable insights and tips in this article to help the admissions process. 

From admission requirements to interview questions samples to tips to improve admission chances, this guide will provide essential information to help prospective students make informed decisions on how to get into McGill.

McGill University Acceptance Rate: 43%

McGill University's acceptance rate reflects its competitive admissions process. The table shows the acceptance rate and competitiveness level over the years.

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2023 41,017 17,620 43%
2022 42,968 16,968 39.49%
2021 44,534 16,955 38.07%
2020 35,505 17,385 48.90%

How Hard Is It to Get into McGill University

The University of McGill's acceptance rate is 43%, making it moderately selective. The admissions committee also considers several factors beyond academic performance, such as extracurricular activities, personal achievements, and community involvement, to stream applicants. 

McGill Admissions Statistics

Here are McGill’s stats for a recent admissions cycle.

McGill University Average GPA: 3.7

On average, international students apply to McGill with a 3.7 GPA. Canadian students typically have a 3.8, while Quebec applicants tend to have an average of 3.5. 

McGill University Average SAT Score: 1250

The minimum required McGill University SAT is 1250. 

McGill University Average ACT Score: 26

The minimum required ACT of McGill University applicants is 26. 

Keep in mind that McGill has extended its test-optional policy; students applying during the Fall 2024 admissions cycle can choose to opt out of submitting their ACT/SAT results. 

Keep in mind that McGill has extended its test-optional policy; students applying during the Fall 2024 admissions cycle can choose to opt out of submitting their ACT/SAT results. 

What Is McGill University Looking for in Applicants?

McGill University looks for academic and non-academic requirements in prospective applicants. Here are the McGill University academic requirements for prospective applicants:

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record X
Class Rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized Test Scores X
Application Essay X
Recommendation(s) X

Conversely, here are the McGill University non-academic requirements for prospective applicants:

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular Activities X
Talent/Ability X
Character/Personal Qualities X
First Generation X
Alumni/ae Relation X
Geographical Residence X
State residency X
Religious Affiliation or Commitment X
Racial/Ethnic Status X
Volunteer Work X
Work Experience X
Level of Applicant’s Interest X

McGill University Admissions Requirements

Here’s a list of McGill’s admission requirements you’ll need as a US student:

This breakdown covers both academic and non-academic requirements. Applicants must consider every requirement as they can influence admission success. 

McGill University Application Deadlines

The table below shows the respective dates of the McGill application deadline. It is important to check with the school for updates.

Application Step Deadline
Application opens October 1
Suggested priority application deadline January 15
Majority of applicants are reviewed and receive a decision June 21
Application close August 1

McGill University Regular Decision Deadline

Although McGill’s Regular Decision deadline is January 15, remember that this date can change depending on your prospective program. 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into McGill University

Here are some helpful tips to help you get into McGill University:

Highlight Your Fit with McGill

McGill looks for applicants who align with the university's values and mission. Before you begin the application process, make sure to do your research. Looking into McGill’s programs, faculty, and campus culture will help you demonstrate how your academic and personal aspirations align with what McGill offers. 

Showing your fit with the university can significantly strengthen your application.

Participate in Meaningful Extracurricular Activities

Regarding extracurricular activities and accomplishments, McGill values quality over quantity. Instead of listing numerous activities, focus on a few that truly highlight your passions, leadership, and impact. Elaborate on how these experiences have shaped your personal and academic growth.

Craft a Compelling Personal Statement

The personal statement is an opportunity to show your uniqueness and express your motivations for applying to McGill. Tailor your statement to reflect your genuine passion for your chosen field of study and how McGill can help you achieve your academic and career goals. Be authentic and specific in illustrating why McGill is the ideal place for you to thrive.

Seek Authentic Recommendations

Letters of recommendation are significant in the admissions process. Choose recommenders who can speak to your academic abilities, character, and potential for success at McGill. Authentic and insightful recommendations can give the admissions committee valuable perspectives on your qualifications and strengths.

Understanding and addressing these aspects of the application process can increase your chances of getting into McGill University.

McGill University

McGill University Interview

As a candidate applying to McGill University, you may be asked to come in for an interview during admissions. This interview assesses your academic preparedness, personal qualities, and potential contributions to the university community. 

Although the questions vary based on the course, here are common interview questions for McGill University applicants:

  • Can you tell us about a meaningful academic project or research experience you've been involved in?
  • How have your extracurricular activities contributed to your personal and academic development?
  • In what ways have you demonstrated leadership, either in school or in the community?
  • Can you discuss a challenging academic situation and how you overcame it?
  • How do you plan to contribute to McGill's diverse and inclusive community?
  • Can you share an example of a time when you had to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals to achieve a common goal?
  • What unique perspectives or experiences do you bring to the McGill community?
  • How do you envision yourself getting involved in campus life and student organizations at McGill?
  • Can you talk about when you had to adapt to a new environment or overcome a significant obstacle?
  • What impact do you hope to make during your time at McGill and beyond?
  • How do you plan to incorporate your passions and interests into your academic and extracurricular pursuits at McGill?
  • Can you discuss a significant community service or volunteer experience that has influenced your growth?
  • How do you see yourself contributing to McGill's academic and intellectual community?
  • How do you approach learning and personal growth outside the classroom?
  • Can you share an example of when you had to navigate a complex or ambiguous situation and how you handled it?
  • What are your long-term career or academic goals, and how do you see McGill helping you achieve them?
  • How do you see yourself positively impacting the local or global community as a McGill student?
  • Can you discuss a passion or interest that motivates and inspires you, and how does it connect to your academic and personal journey?
  • How will you engage with and contribute to McGill's vibrant cultural and intellectual life?
  • Can you share a specific example of your resilience in adversity or setbacks?

These questions will help the admissions committee gain insight into the unique experiences, perspectives, and aspirations of the applicants. Applicants must prepare thoughtful and genuine responses that show their character, accomplishments, and contributions to McGill's community.

FAQs: How to Get Into McGill University

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about how to Get Into McGill University

1. Is It Hard to Get Into McGill?

Yes, it is hard to get into McGill University. McGill is a competitive university, and admission requirements are strong. However, it is not as competitive as other schools with less than 10%  acceptance rates 

2. Can I Get Into McGill With a 95 Average?

Yes, you can definitely get into McGill with a 95 average. McGill values a strong academic profile, but keep in mind that the admission committee will also consider non-academic factors like extracurricular activities, personal statements, and recommendation letters.

3. Does McGill Look at Grade 12 Marks?

Yes, McGill considers your grade 12 marks, especially for early admission. 

4. Can International Students Apply to McGill University?

Absolutely! McGill accepts applications from international students. In fact, the university has a diverse and inclusive community with students from over 150 countries. International applicants are encouraged to review the specific admission requirements for their country and submit all necessary documentation to be considered for admission.

5. What Is the Average Class Size at McGill University?

The average class size at McGill University is 20 to 30. However, it may vary depending on the program and level of study.

Final Thoughts

McGill University is a great institution that offers a rich academic environment and diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth. Its competitive admission process ensures students are driven and accomplished, while the international community fosters a global perspective.

With average class sizes allowing for meaningful interactions and the potential for research and internships, McGill provides a well-rounded educational experience. Prospective students should consider the factors above and strive to have a good application that shows their talents and ambitions.

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