McGill University

Founded in 1821
2 Campuses
28,140 Students
7,370 Staff
Joined U21 in 1997

Founded in 1821, McGill is the oldest of the four Montreal universities and one of only two Canadian members of the American Association of Universities. McGill has over 28,000 students enrolled in 21 faculties and professional schools.

An English language institution in predominately French-speaking Quebec, McGill allows students to submit term papers and write examinations in either language. The University also provides language and literature courses covering more than 30 languages. McGill offers degree and diploma programmes in over 300 areas of study.

McGill students have the highest average entering grade of any Canadian university and have for the last several years won, on average, the most national prizes. McGill faculty members also win major recognition for their achievements and their numbers and breadth have in recent years been enriched by a recruitment programme bringing in over 100 new professors per year.

For many years, McGill has emerged on top in both national and international rankings. It leads the rest of Canada in terms of both research dollars and number of refereed publications per full-time faculty member. McGill conducts groundbreaking health science research in areas ranging from cancer to neuroscience through the Faculties of Science and of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals, including the McGill University Health Centre – for which a major new complex will be built in the coming years.

McGill alumni have been prominent in all fields of endeavour, from medicine and science – Donald Hebb, William Osler, Steven Pinker, and Hubert Reeves; to business, law and politics: Zbigniew Brzezinski, John Humphrey, Richard Pound, and Canadian prime ministers John Abbott and Wilfrid Laurier; to arts and culture: Burt Bacharach, Jake Eberts, Moshe Safdie, and William Shatner. Many prominent graduates are still conducting teaching and research at McGill, including Phil Gold, Brenda Milner and Charles Taylor. McGill graduates are at the helm of a large number of universities in Canada and elsewhere.

McGill is located on two campuses. The downtown campus includes more than 70 buildings covering approximately 32 hectares. The Macdonald campus, occupying 640 hectares on the western tip of the island of Montreal, is home to the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The newest buildings on the downtown campus testify to McGill’s diverse strengths in research, teaching and service. The last decade has seen the opening of the Gelber Library of the Faculty of Law, the Brown Student Services Building, a building dedicated to laboratories for genomics and proteomics and the Trottier Building, dedicated to the teaching of information technology. Newest is the bold new building of the Schulich School of Music, opened in the fall of 2005, with world-class facilities for recitals, rehearsals, research, production and a library. Construction is underway on the Bellini Life Sciences building, conceived to stimulate the cross-fertilization of research. McGill University has a rich international quality.

Students from approximately 150 countries outside Canada represent almost 20% of the student body. All academic units have links abroad. Activities, some run under the auspices of U21, range from sharing of information with foreign partners, to joint research and technology transfer activities, to the use of research facilities, to the exchange of faculty and students.

Professor Ollivier Dyens