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McGill University

© McGill University
Motto: Grandescunt Aucta Labore (Translation: "By work, all things grow")
Founded 1821
School type Public
Chancellor Richard Pound
Principal (President) Heather Munroe-Blum
Location Montreal, Quebec
Enrollment 21,399 undergrad, 6,079 grad
Campus surroundings Urban, park
Campus size 80 acres
Sports teams Martlets (women), Redmen (men)
Mascot Martlet

McGill's Arts Building, the oldest building on campus

McGill University, established in 1821, is located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. One of the oldest universities in the Americas, it has long been considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in Canada and among the finest in North America.

Known to some as "The Harvard of the North", McGill is well-known for pioneering research in the medical sciences, chemistry, physics and biology, though it is also famous for its high standard of undergraduate education and has an established history in the humanities, social sciences, law and physical education. In the past, McGill has often been compared with the best U.S. schools (The Gourman Report).

Noted for being a research-intensive university, it has in previous years garnered the most research dollars (per faculty) from federal and provincial sources of funding (including CFI, NSERC and other organizations). It also frequently has the highest publication intensity in the country. [link]

For a long time, McGill was considered Canada's best university. In recent years however, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto have outpaced McGill in many respects. This change is linked to the decline of Montreal's economic importance relative to Toronto and Vancouver and the greater ease of raising money in the latter two cities. McGill's decline is also due in part to severe underfunding by the Quebec government in the 1990s.

Table of contents
1 Campus
2 Students
3 History
4 Facts
5 Noted alumni and professors
6 Hospitals
7 Symbols
8 Other universities in Montreal
9 External Link


The main campus is situated in downtown Montreal at the foot of Mount Royal. Most of the buildings are situated north of Sherbrooke Street between Peel and Aylmer Streets, and north of Dr. Penfield Avenue west of Peel (near Peel and McGill metro stations). A secondary campus is located in the district of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue named Macdonald College, some 32 kilometres from downtown Montreal in the western tip of the Island of Montreal.


The student population is in excess of 28,000. McGill has a higher percentage of American students than any other Canadian university, and it has students from over 150 countries. Admission at McGill is done in thirds: Two-thirds of available first-year seats are allocated for Quebec residents, two-thirds of the remaining seats are allocated for the rest of Canada, and the rest are left for international students. Although the university is one of two English-language universities in Montreal, 22% of students at McGill speak French as their first language.

McGill, and other Quebec universities, have long encouraged international students from selected countries over students from other Canadian provinces. Since 1996 it has been more expensive for an out-of-province student to attend McGill than it is for many foreigners from countries that have special agreements with Quebec. This partially accounts for why McGill has a higher percentage of foreign students than any other university in Canada. Nevertheless, owing to Quebec government subsidies, many students paying out-of-province tuition find it less expensive to attend McGill than universities in their home province.


In 1813, James McGill bequeathed his 46-acre estate and 10,000 pounds to "the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning." This institution established McGill University in 1821. Later, in 1905, Sir William Macdonald helped develop Macdonald College, which currently houses research and classes in botany, agricultural science, environmental science and the like.


McGill was the first non-denominational university in the British Empire.

It is one of only two Canadian universities holding a membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization comprising top-tier U.S. research universities.

McGill boasts six Nobel laureates, two Canadian prime ministers, and one Captain of the Starship Enterprise.

McGill has the most Rhodes Scholars of any Canadian university. To date, it has produced 123 Rhodes Scholars.

McGill's MBA program has been consistently been ranked among the top 40 in the world by the Economist and Financial Times.

McGill has consistently ranked among the top four medical/doctoral universities nationwide, in the Maclean's rankings, an annual ranking of Canadian universities.

The Sunday Times in 1998 listed McGill as one of the 10 Centres of Excellence in the world. McGill appeared in tenth spot, behind Cambridge, Oxford, Sorbonne and Heidelberg.

As of November 2003, McGill has the fastest supercomputer (Beowulf cluster) in Canada.

Noted alumni and professors

Academics and scholars

Current Presidents of other Canadian universities

Business and media

Politics and government

Art, music, and film



Nobel Prize winners: It is a little known fact is that the inventions of hockey, basketball and North American football are all related to McGill in some way. The first game of North American football was played between McGill and Harvard Universities in 1874. During World War II, the International Labour Organization was headquartered at McGill.

In terms of contributions to computing, MUSIC/SP, a piece of software for mainframes, once popular among universities and colleges around the world at its time, was developed at McGill. A team also contributed to the development of Archie, one of the pre-WWW search engines. A 3270 terminal emulator developed at McGill was commercialized and later sold to Hummingbird Software.


McGill University is affiliated with seven teaching hospitals in Montreal, four of which compose the McGill University Health Centre:

The MUHC has set up a plan to close its current hospital facilities and replace them with a "superhospital" at the Glen Yards near Vendôme metro station. This plan has encountered a variety of problems and cost overruns and remains controversial.


The university's symbol is the martlet; its motto is Grandescunt Aucta Labore (by work, all things grow). Inscribed in its arms is In Domino Confido (In God we trust). Its sports teams are named Martlets (women) and Redmen (men), and its school colours are red and white. The school song is entitled "Hail Alma Mater".

Other universities in Montreal

See also List of Quebec Universities

External Link