With nearly 200 years of history behind it, McGill University has educated its share of change-makers—from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and astronaut Dave Williams to Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The school has also produced more Rhodes Scholars (142) and Nobel laureates (12) than any other university in Canada.
McGill is lauded for its superior Ph.D. programs and medical school. Some of its alumni’s more notable accomplishments include mapping the brain’s motor cortex, inventing Plexiglas and discovering that atoms are divisible. Today’s researchers continue that groundbreaking tradition with innovations in green chemistry, food science and computer science. In September, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) announced its role in implementing HIVSmart, a cloud-based app that facilitates HIV self-testing and care in high-risk cities worldwide. Further, scientists from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute’s Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory recently used artificial intelligence and big data to recognize the signs of dementia two years before its onset. Also in the field of AI, McGill has a strong connection to Facebook’s first Canadian AI lab; Joëlle Pineau, an associate professor of computer science, was recently tapped to head up the Montreal facility.
As a research-intensive university, McGill continues to attract and support top-notch grad students with new programs. A new doctoral internship program, also launched this year, helps students find paid work placements, and the Graduate Mobility Award encourages students to study and conduct research abroad. The world-leading Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives interdisciplinary neuroscience program recently announced a new graduate student and postdoctoral fellowship program aimed at attracting and retaining the best and brightest in brain and mental health research. Another notable investment: Shanghai architect and McGill alumnus Peter Guo-hua Fu recently gave $12 million to boost architectural education and create the Peter Guo-hua Fu Fellowships for graduate students at the School of Architecture, with a preference given to Chinese citizens.
McGill is the most internationally diverse medical doctoral university in Canada, with 27 per cent of the student body coming from 140 different countries. A major draw is the prime location in one of Canada’s most exciting cities—in fact, Montreal has been rated by the QS World University Rankings as the best student city in the world. With its main campus situated downtown (and the smaller Macdonald Campus about 35 km west), McGill offers students easy access to the arts, culture, food and nightlife of one of Canada’s most exciting cities.