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In 2013, McGill University began its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to offer the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at McGill. This program provides academically talented young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with access to a world-class university education. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at McGill will welcome 91 Scholars from Sub-Saharan Africa, including 24 at the Master’s level, over a ten year period. Unique to McGill, some Scholars are from French-speaking countries and receive intensive English language training before starting their degree programs. In 2020, this scholarship will only be for postgraduate studies, which means applicants for bachelors degree will not be eligible for this scholarship.

A central goal of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is to create a globally educated and highly qualified group of future leaders, who, upon graduation, can return to Africa to help foster the region’s development. Toward these ends, McGill complements Scholars’ education with a comprehensive support system that includes mentorship, tailored support services, community service opportunities and sustained programming relevant to their personal development. Scholars also receive guidance and funding for two internships in their home countries during their studies. These internships aim to sustain the Scholars’ connection with their home countries and build a path toward meaningful employment post-graduation.


The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program provides access to secondary and higher education for young people who are committed to giving back to their communities. It is designed to provide students with holistic support, including the following:

  • Comprehensive Scholarships — Students receive financial support for fees, uniforms, books and supplies, transportation, accommodation, and stipends.

  • Skills Training — Students benefit from enrichment in areas relevant to employment success, such as critical thinking, communications, and entrepreneurship.

  • Transition Support — Students receive support during their transition into secondary school, university or the workforce with mentoring, career counseling, internships, leadership development, and other life skills coaching.

  • Give-Back Component — An integral component of the Program is the commitment from the Scholars to give back to their communities and countries of origin. Students demonstrate this commitment through volunteerism and community service, as well as other forms of experiential learning.

  • Alumni Network — Graduates of the Scholars Program will be connected through an alumni network that offers information, resources, and opportunities to consult with other graduates.


These are the eligible programs for the scholarship. Once a program of interest has been identified, the applicant must consult the departmental requirements as well as the standard graduate admission requirements, to verify that they are eligible to apply. Please note that meeting the minimum graduate admissions requirements does not guarantee nomination for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program or admission to McGill University.

  1. Master of Architecture (M. Arch.)

  2. Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Educational Psychology

  3. Master of Information Studies (M.I.St.) - Information Studies

  4. Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) - Urban Planning

  5. Master of Engineering (M. Eng.) - Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining & Materials Engineering

  6. Master of Arts (M.A.) - Counselling Psychology, Education & Society, Educational Leadership, Educational Psychology, Linguistics, Mathematics & Statistics, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology

  7. Master of Science Applied (M .Sc.A.) - Animal Science, Bioresource Engineering, Biotechnology , Communication Science & Disorders, Human Nutrition – Project option, Occupational Health

  8. Master of Science (M.Sc.) - Bioresource Engineering, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Food Science & Agricultural Chemistry, Mathematics & Statistics, Public Health

To find a nominator as detailed in the application process below, please visit this page on the McGill University website:


If the minimum requirements are met, the applicant may request nomination from the department via email. This request should have the following information enclosed:

  • University Transcript

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Short Personal Statement (max. 350 words)

  1. The nomination made by the department acts as a verification step. If an applicant has been nominated, they will be prompted to create an account on the uApply portal and share the username with the nominating department. The applicant MUST wait until they have been nominated before creating an account in order for the application to be considered for the MCF scholarship. Please note that being nominated does not guarantee admission to McGill University.

  2. Once nominated (department must send the completed nomination form to, the applicant will be issued a fee waiver and should complete the admission application in uApply. They should upload the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application Form, sponsor letter and bank statement to the uApply checklist.

  3. The applicant should request their Referee complete the MCFSP Recommendation form and return the completed form by email to

  4. Once all of the requested documents have been received, the department will review the application. - If the applicant is admitted to their program of study, their MCFSP application is pre-screened. If selected at the pre-screening stage, the application moves on to the MCFSP Selection Committee for review. - If the applicant is refused admission, they are no longer eligible for the scholarship.

  5. Successful applicants will be notified in April 2020 if they have been selected for the 2020 Cohort of the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program at McGill University.


LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT - In the first year of the Scholars Program, programming is centred on themes of "integration and identity." As Scholars participate in their first internships after year two, second-year programming provides Scholars with the practical skills and mindsets associated with securing internships and succeeding in the workplace. Second-year workshops include topics like Professional Networking; CVs and Cover Letters; and What to Expect when You're Expecting to Return Home. Third-year programming allows Scholars to look back at the lessons of the previous two years and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. Through a series of workshops, Scholars are exposed to different versions of leadership, and begin to develop their own personal leadership narratives. In their fourth year of programming, Scholars finalize and deliver their personal leadership narratives, which translate their values into action. Rather than serving as the culmination of leadership development, this is a launching point for responding to future leadership challenges. In parallel, Scholars develop short-term and medium-term goals and receive support with post-university transitions.

INTERNSHIPS - The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program supports Scholars for up to two internships in their home countries, typically from May to August. These internships provide an opportunity for Scholars to maintain personal connections and to explore the African professional world. While on internship, Scholars expand their professional networks and harness practical skills related to their studies and future employment.

PEER MENTORSHIP - Peer Mentorship is a 2-to-2 relationship between upper-year McGill students and Scholars. That is, two mentors are matched with two Scholars in their first year to create a Peer Mentorship Circle. This format aims to expose both mentors and Scholars to a wider network of people, interests, and backgrounds. Peer Mentors provide guidance on life at McGill in a manner that facilitates the Scholars’ transition and success. Each Scholar and each Mentor is different, but they all share a dedication to academic achievement, leadership development and an ethic of giving back to one’s community.

FACULTY MENTORSHIP - Every Scholar in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is matched with a Faculty Mentor: a professor from their program or faculty of study.

Recognizing how intimidating University can be for students with the Scholars’ background, Faculty Mentors help bridge the gap between students and professors. Each Faculty Mentor serves as an “academic elder” who discusses broad academic issues and facilitates connections to resources at McGill and beyond. Faculty Mentors may also play a role in helping the Scholars identify internship and career targets.


  • Be admissible to one of the eligible programs at McGill University

  • Have never registered for /completed any graduate studies;

  • Be nominated by a current McGill Professor or Staff Member from the department you wish to apply to (see Nomination Form);

  • Have an exceptional record of service and activity in your school and/or community;

  • Have an intent to return to your country immediately upon the completion of your degree with the goal of transforming your community through social and economic development;

  • Demonstrate that your financial status is in the lowest two quintiles of your country.

  • Must be less than 35 years old at the time of application


For further questions about the application and admission process please contact .

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