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McGill University in Montreal was the dream of James McGill, a fur trader who flourished in the Canadian wild when he was barely out of his teens. In 1787, McGill drafted a petition calling for improved education, noting that there were very few schools in the district for teaching young men. He also noted that only one boy in five could read or write, something McGill found troubling after his own education at Glasgow University. In order to correct this problem, McGill bequeathed £10,000 in his will to be placed in a trust as well as his 46-acre Burnside Place estate to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning. He placed two conditions on the trust and estate, requiring that a college be created in his name and that it must be established within 10 years of his passing.
McGill passed away just two years after writing his will and the road to the university bearing his name grew difficult. Francis Desrivieres, one of McGill’s nephews and heirs, wanted to claim the estate as his own. He stalled progress on the university in hopes that the ten-year deadline would pass. Unfortunately, the Royal Institution was young and had issues with its own operations, making them unable to deal with the machinations of Desrivieres. A colleague of McGill’s, John Strachan, who was a fellow fur trader, obtained a charter from King George IV in 1821, within the ten year window, to establish the university. In 1924, a principal was appointed. Burnside Place was formally declared McGill College in 1829, but it would take six more years before the case with Desrivieres was settled.
The college quickly outgrew McGill’s estate, prompting the construction of the Arts Building ten years after the founding of the university. The Arts Building has become the signature of the university and is one of Montreal’s most recognizable landmarks. Women began attending the university in 1884. Today, McGill University is one of Canda’s best-known institutes of higher learning. There are 40,000 students enrolled at the university which offers more than 300 programs of study. It is the top university among medical-doctoral studies in Canada and 24th in the World University Rankings. McGill has the highest number of PhD students of any Canadian university. Almost 140 Rhodes Scholars and a dozen Nobel Prize Winners have come from McGill.
McGill University Accreditation Details
McGill University is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research, Quebec. The organization is the government ministry responsible for determining policies as well as the direction of the education system in the Province of Quebec. Receiving accreditation indicates that McGill University meets or exceeds criteria established by the ministry that demonstrate excellence in education. Other programs may be accredited by industry-specific agencies as well.
McGill University Application Requirements
Admission decisions for undergraduate students at McGill University are based on the student’s academic record and is competitive. There are minimum grade requirements that are specific to geographic regions. Students must provide official transcripts as well as standardized test scores in order to apply to McGill. Admission requirements may also differ based on the program the student plans to enter. It is suggested that any student who wishes to attend McGill University contact an admissions counselor prior to completing an application.
Graduate students must provide official transcripts from each college or university attended, one of which must indicate the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Two letters of reference are required. The application requires that the email address of two instructors who are familiar with the student’s work be provided. Some programs require standardized graduate test scores as well. It is suggested that students contact a graduate admissions counselor before completing an application for admission.
McGill University Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at McGill University for Quebec students is $2,293 per year and for other Canadian students it is $7,030 per year. International students pay between $15,707 and $39,233 per year. Graduate tuition varies by program so interested students should discuss costs with an admissions counselor prior to enrollment.
Financial aid is available through scholarships, government aid, McGill financial aid and work-study programs. McGill financial aid is need-based but there are merit-based scholarships available as well. In order to qualify for any aid, students must apply to the Entrance Bursary Program within 30 days of their offer of admission or by June 30 of each year.
McGill University Degree Program(s) Available
Master of Arts Counselling Psychology
The Master of Arts Counseling Psychology program at McGill University is designed to examine the interplay between human systems in order to improve learning, wellness and human development. The program focuses on cognitive processes and the development of neuroscience, assessment and intervention. While the program is primarily based in psychology and education, it is enriched by other collaborations, including medicine, neurosciences, computer science, science, social work and law. Students benefit from access to the McGill Psychoeducational and Counseling Clinic as well as the Departmental Assessment Materials Resource Centre. The program also has partnerships with world-class public and private organizations, such as school boards and healthcare facilities where students are able to gain hands-on experience through internships and practicums.
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Doctor of Philosophy Counselling Psychology
The doctoral program at McGill University in Counselling and Psychology requires a thesis and must be a distinct contribution of knowledge to the counselling and psychology field. Students must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate the ability to plan and carry out research, organize results and defend the approach in a scholarly manner. Courses required for the doctorate program include:
- Applied Multivariate Statistics
- Assessment & Diagnosis
- Comprehensive Examination
- Consultation and Program Evaluation
- Neurological Bases of Behavior Across Lifespan
- Qualitative Methods in Educational Psychology
- Proposal Preparation and Defense
- Theory/Models: Family Therapy
- Univariate/Multivariate Analysis
Students are required to complete a doctoral field experience and a pre-doctoral internship in order to complete the degree program.
Despite a long and difficult beginning, McGill University in Montreal has been ranked highly for the degrees they offer, including those related to Psychology and Counselling. McGill University works with students who may have work, family or social obligations that may make it difficult to achieve their higher education goals.