Location: Montreal, Quebec
Size: 22, 778 undergraduates
Percent Women: 57.4%
Tuition (one year): $3,963 (Quebec Canadians), $8,322 (Non-Quebec Canadians)
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 45.8%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit McGill University's website at https://www.mcgill.ca.
Why Choose McGill?
"I chose McGill because Montreal is such a great city for students. There is always something to do, whether it's exploring a suburb, trying a new restaurant, or even checking out a museum. I'm a city girl, so I couldn't go to a small-town school."
"Desautels is what drew me to McGill University. It has a very reputable commerce program and I knew it would really set me up for the the future, giving me that extra edge."
"I chose McGill because it is just far enough away from my hometown, but close enough for me to visit home every few weeks. I wanted to live independently in a big city, but still have my family only a few hours away."
"You know what they say...Harvard is America's McGill. End of story."
"McGill has everything a student could ask for: top-notch academics, tons of campus clubs, and a huge city just steps away. I really don't feel like when I go back to "McGill" after the holidays. I think of it as heading back to Montreal, my second hometown."
"McGill is in the perfect location, right in the heart of the city. You can stay on campus and have that university feel, but if you need a change of scenery, the busy city is just steps away. You sometimes have to walk right through downtown to get to class. I like that it doen't feel like a university town."
“The people that go to McGill are fun, intelligent and many are foreign. The diverse student body makes for an exciting place where people from all around the world are able to talk about and discuss issues that affect us all.”
“It’s a school with a great reputation and with lots of very qualified professors, especially in the field of political science.”
"What I like is that McGill students don't have an insane amount of school pride. Some people may not like this, but I like that all the students are different and not wearing the same Varsity sweaters and the same baseball caps. You can't rearlly tell a McGill student from any other student in the city."
"McGill's student population is so diverse and you meet people from all over the world (especially because it's so world renowned!). There are so many different cultural clubs and events on campus that introduce you to things you've never seen or done before. I'm part of the McGill International Students Network that hosts tons of events, parties and fundraisers that connect the international students with other students, and anyone is bound to have a good time at any of their events."
“McGill is among one of the best Universities in Canada and is known all across the globe. Professors are all highly qualified and the education is high quality- although quite rigorous.”
“I am from Montreal, and McGill is the #1 school in Canada. The University is just 30-45 minutes from my house so it is convenient. Also, the Arts program is big and offers plenty of majors. The campus is also breathtaking.”
"McGill really needs more libraries or better use of space in the libraries. During the year there is plently of space, but during the exam period it's almost impossible to find a spot unless you get up really early. I also don't like how there are certain study spaces reserves for people in a particular program or department. A McGill student should be able to use all of McGill's facilities."
“Some of my most frustrating experiences in the past three years have come from the bureaucracy at McGill. It always seems really difficult to get questions answered.”
"I could go on and on about tuition, which I'm sure every student could, but I really don't like that Canadian students pay higher tuition than French students from France. That really makes no sense, as we are Canadian and they're clearly international...just some Quebecois politics I guess."
"One of the most frustrating times of the year involves course registration and the few weeks of what McGill calls Add/Drop period. Course registration is admittedly stress-inducing – especially if you’re a first year, meaning you pick your courses last out of all the other students. Classes fill up quickly, with little you can do except stare at the waitlist and hope a spot opens up soon."
"I really don't like that the school has been cutting classes. Back in first year I plannes to take a bunch of interesting classes and went through all the necessary prerequisites for them and finding out that they aren't offered was brutal...all that work for nothing. The less popular majors with smaller class sizes are especially at risk and I think this problem with only get worse."
“The worst part about McGill is that since it has a reputation to uphold, the grading is brutal and it is almost impossible to get an A. It also works differently from other Montreal universities and it seems to focus on out-of-province students/international more than Montreal ones. Being from Montreal, I feel like a minority at McGill as opposed to my friends who go to Concordia or French Universities.”
New Collegiette on Campus
"Most and almost all first year students that are not from Montreal chose to stay in residence for the year, around 3,000 students. At McGill there are many different styles of residence to cater to each persons needs and preference."
"Take the time to get to know the city and even the metro (subway) system, so that you go get stuck in the proverbial "McGill Bubble". There's so much to see in Montreal and even in the surrounding suburbs, so don't spend every weekend in the same library or same cafe close to your resisdence."
"Take advantage of the Student Society of McGill University (SMMU) Activties Night. All the campus clubs and teams set up tables to provied you with information about how you can join each club and what each club is about. It's definitely worth joining a club to meet new people and even try something new. We have some pretty cool and really unique clubs, like the Cocoa & Cacao, a chocolate-lovers club, as well as the Culinary Society."
"Know that it's okay to be unsure of your classes in the first semester. McGill has many different classes that you can try as electives to see what is right for you. I remember in first year I took everything from European History to Greek Mythology and it was definitely worth it."
All About Academics
“I feel like McGill is one of the best places to study. People come from all over the world here, giving you new perspectives on everything you learn. I’m in the Arts and Science program, and a lot of people here are very interesting and thoughtful about what we learn, which keeps things interesting for me.”
“Libraries during exam time are one of the worst places to be because there is literally no space anywhere to study. All the libraries have different temperatures ranging from Antarctica to the Sahara Desert, with no in between.”
“Signing up for courses is annoying, but I usually get into the courses I want eventually. The seniors always grab the classes you want the most and you’re stuck with the whatever’s left.”
“Some of the courses I’ve really enjoyed are the easier ones to be honest – they’re really interesting, and the pressure of having to study 24/7 over course work is gone!”
“How easy courses in McGill varies, but I know a lot of professors in McGill are usually pretty good. Some of the hardest courses I’ve taken have been taught by the most competent and fun professors I’ve had so far, so I guess it’s a trade off!”
Learn from the Best
"McGill has some of the top professors and researchers in the world, and I feel lucky that I get to learn from them. You'll meet all types of professors, but the diversity at McGill makes classes especially interesting, and most profs really care for their students, which is always a plus!"
“Academics are intense. You have to be ready to work at McGill, as the professors expect a lot from you. You definitely can't be a slouch -- one of the things I was shocked by upon arrival is that everyone is very smart. There are a lot of opportunities to collaborate and learn from people, but you have to be ready to fight for your grades, especially with the faculty we have here.”
"I can't say a bad thing about nay of my profs. Yes...some do assign ridiculous amounts of work, but it's par for the course. They're all super brilliant and they're there to help you, not be your enemy."
"McGill has such a great mix of professors -- some young, some old, some more lenient, others more strict. I love the variety, as when you sign up for a class, you don't know what to expect (aside from the handy comments on ratemyprof.com)."
"My prof actually made me like evolutionary biology! He did these great demonstrations in class and know how to have a good time. It really made the classroom more relaxed and interested in what we were learning - even the dry bits."
“There is a crazy amount of work, but you really do end up learning a lot! In many of your courses you are being taught by some of the most qualified people in the field. This gives you the tools to move on to really great things later on in life, and also great academic connections for the future. Take advantage of the office hours -- they're there for a reason!”
Interests & Involvement
“McGill has absolutely everything, and if I'm wrong, you can just start a new club and prove me right. There is no shortage of opportunities to get involved in whatsoever.”
“There are so many ways to get involved here. Every kind of club or organization you can imagine is here. There are definitely a wide array of activities to choose from like a cappella, ski & snowboard club, different dance troops..."
"One of the best parts of first year was Activities Night, because that's where I first learned of the Greek Life at McGill and I'm so glad I did. I sign up for rush week and joined a sorority. Ever since, it has been an amazing experience and I can't imagine life without my sisters."
"There are always different fairs and seminars being held on campus for a bunch of different things. The Volunteer Fair is a great and easy way to learn about how you can branch out from McGill and volunteer in the loca community at places like NGO's, soup kitchens, or community shelters."
"You could joined a new club every semester because there is so many. I was so tempted too, but I decided to stick with Borderless World Volunteers because of the great people on the team and the opportunities to travel abroad to help others. The club also hosts McGill-wide events throughout the year to fundraise and they're always a good time."
Team Spirit"I love attending games and cheering for the McGill Redmen. Although we don't always win, I just love going out with my friends and having a good time.""McGill has a great hockey team and being from a country that doesn't watch hockey, I'm glad I got to learn about the game. My buddies and I go to watch our McGill team, but you can't beat going to watch a Montreal Canadiens game!""McGill is less spirited than a lot of other schools. Because it is located in a city, students tend to not be as involved on campus.""Living in rez has really helped me be more spirited. I love Upper Rez because it feels like a community. I was on the team for the the Inter-Rez wars and we played against other residences and we all had a great time."
"Here at McGill you'll meet girls of all types with totally different personalities. You're bound to meet sorority girls, hipsters, future CEO's and more."
"I find that McGill is very empowering to women. We make up more than half of the undegrad population and in class you'll often see more girls than boys...well...that depends on the faculty, but it's definitely not a male-dominated place."
"The male:female faculty ratio seems pretty even, and we have some really inspiring women who work at McGill, lecturers, profs, TA's and coaches alike."
"Our sororities scream "girl power" and host their fair share of parties, but they're also really focused on academics. You have to keep up your grades in order to stay in a sorority and I find this really important. I wouldn't want it any other way!"
"Her Campus McGill was the perfect thing for me to join, as I didn't want to be in a sorority, but I wanted to work with and hang out with a close groups of girls. There's never a dull moment and we make quite a team - whether we're writing, running an event, or (shh!) partying!"
"I loved being involved in McGill Women in Leadership. I believe that any club on campus, whether women-oriented or not, which provides one with the opportunity to gain skills and improve one’s confidence, is amazing. I feel the beauty of organizations like Women in Leadership is that it gives women the opportunity to work together and have powerful women to talk to them."
Food & Drink
“The selection is pretty bad and expensive, though they are steadily improving things. The good news is: you're in the city! You can eat anywhere.”
"Montreal has some of the best dining and entertainment in the world. Go off campus and go explore! Check out one of the markets that features local produce as well as everything you can find at your grocery store -- usually at cheaper prices."
“The dining halls are not always great, but Montreal has some of the best food on the continent! There are tons of small restaurants around the McGill area that have delicious and healthy food.”
“There are an abundance of local places to eat downtown, but they often close early on weekdays and aren't open on Sundays.”
"Eating in rez can be really expensive, so go to places around campus like Tim Hortons, Liquid Nutrition, or La Prep Cafe."
"There are a lot of activities for first year students who live in residence, but after that the social scene is what you make of it. Since the age of legality is eighteen in Quebec, drinking and going out clubbing or to bars is popular for students of all ages.”
“Montreal is the best place to party. There is any kind of venue and crowd you can imagine. The social scene can be tricky to navigate because people tend to form cliques, but you should never be afraid to try somewhere new - there are too many cool places. You can go out on St. Laurent, St. Denis, Crescent Street or St. Catherine's, as there are clubs and bars on all of them!”
“There is definitely a fair amount of partying done at McGill. There is always some sort of event or party being organized by the students. And of course, Montreal is known for being a chic party town. It has been referred to as a mix of Paris and New York City due to its extensive nightlife and culinary scene. It is difficult not to fall in love with the downtown core of Montreal, and the McGill campus is right in the middle of it all.”
“Although the campus bar, Gerts, was apparently rated worst in the country, it's a good place to relax with friends after an exam or to blow of some steam with cheap drinks.”
“There is great student life in Montreal with 4 universities. Many clubs and bars to choose from, very fun nightlife. Montreal always has a big music and arts scene with many festivals, and of course it's a very international city. McGill is also located in the heart of downtown so it is very easy to access all resources.”
“Whether it’s pubs, clubs, lounges or raves, we’ve got it all. From CandyBar to Santos, Globe to McKibbons, you will never not know where to go. You’ll need a lot of time to discover all the hidden nightlife gems of Montreal. If you like to dress up, kick your heels, drink martinis and paint the town red; I highly suggest this city!”
“New Rez is the biggest residence out of all. With over 800 people it's a great place to meet new people! Our cafeteria is also one of the best.”
"At La Citadelle we have flat screen TVs and queen sized beds. I also live with my roommate who also happens to be my new best friend. I guess you can say I love my rez.”
“At the Greenbriar Apartments, being independent is key and remembering to buy your groceries… I find myself eating a lot of KD but I mean I guess that’s all part of the first year experience. I love all the space our apartment has and my roommates are awesome.”
“I stayed in the MORE House during first year and the floor fellows did an amazing job of welcoming us , we all created such close bonds with them and consider them our older siblings."
“I loved Solin Hall, even though I had to take the metro to McGill every morning. Because of the distance to campus and the us being obligated to cook for ourselves, we developed a super tight knit community throughout rez."
“McConnell is the perfect balance. We can always go visit our guy friends on their floor or chose to have a nice girls night by just staying on our floor. There is never any pressure.”
"Living in Gardner myself has made for an amazing year. The accepting and inclusive environment makes you feel right at home with your new Gardner family."
"Because Montreal is a big city, there's lots to explore and more going on off campus than on. There will always be concerts, sports games, art exhibitions and in the warm months, street festivals.""Montreal is famous for its bagels. St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmont Bagel are the most famous companies - they're institutions! Oh, and smoked eat. Head to Schwartz's pronto.""I am a vegetarian and love the city's many healthy eateries. There is so much to try. There are tons of vegetarian and vegan restaurants like Lola Rosa and Crudessence.""It's almost too cold to explore in the winter but as soon as summer hits, everyone takes to the streets. There are so many neighbourhoods with different vibes and taking long walks through them is the best way to get to know the city. The Plateau is hipster, Mile End is chic and Westmount is fancy - whatever you're looking for you'll find it in Montreal.""The best place to explore is by far Old Port. That part of the city is not just on the water - it's also so Paris. There are jazz bars, cobblestoned streets and open squares. It's the perfect place for date night or daytime exploring."
HC's Complete College Guide: McGill University
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