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McMaster-Grenoble Exchange

Dual Master’s degree (McMaster-Université Grenoble-Alpes) in Mathematics, Statistics and applications 

Are you currently working on a Master’s degree in mathematics or statistics at McMaster, or will you be starting one soon? Are you interested in studying abroad? In two years, you can complete a dual Master’s degree between McMaster and the Université Grenoble-Alpes in France.

What is the degree program? 

  • A two-year thesis MSc with the first year spent at McMaster and second spent at the Université Grenoble-Alpes (UGA) in France.
  • Complete your research project with two supervisors: one at McMaster and one at UGA.
  • You will obtain two degrees: an MSc in Mathematics and Statistics from McMaster and a Masters in Mathematics and Applications from UGA.

What and where is UGA?

  • UGA brings together 59 500 students including 10 000 international students, 3 000 PhD students, and 10 400 staff on several campuses.
  • Grenoble is located in southeast France, an hour from Lyon, two hours from Geneva, two hours from Turin and three hours by train from Paris. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Olympics, and is ideal for outdoors activities like skiing and hiking as it is surrounded by three mountain ranges (Belledonne, Chartreuse and Vercors). 

Why would I want to do this?

  • Gain valuable international cultural and scientific experience.
  • Establish international contacts and references for graduate studies or industry
  • Build a competitive resumé supported by international experience
  • Enhance your marketability and gain a competitive edge
  • Broaden your horizons and experience different ways of living
  • See the world from different points of view
  • Be exposed to new academic and career opportunities
  • Take unique courses that are only offered at certain institutions overseas
  • Improve your French (especially if you were an immersion student)!
  • Live in Europe for a year as part of your MSc studies.
  • Take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

How do I get more information? How do I sign up?

  • Ask your supervisor and/or the Associate Chair (Graduate) (Ben Bolker) for more information.
  • You should normally choose the Dual M.Sc. Degree option by December 1 of your first year. We will also be issuing a call shortly for current master’s students (in the first year of their program) who would spend part or all of their second year at UGA.
  • The main partner departments at UGA are ENSIMAG (applied mathematics, statistics and computer science) and the Institut Fourier (pure mathematics).

How does it work?

  • Your supervisor and the Associate Chair (Graduate) will work with you to draft a “Learning Agreement” outlining your programme of study. It should include a timeline,  principal supervisor at McMaster and co-supervisor at UGA, thesis topic, proposed courses,and a specification of the thesis defence procedures. The learning agreement will also confirm the funding arrangements, including the provision of any additional funding for travel or living expenses.
  • Courses are available in both English and French at UGA; your grades will be recorded as pass/fail.
  • Your funding is entirely covered by McMaster: you do not pay any additional university fees to UGA.
  • McMaster and UGA can provide advice on living in Grenoble (e.g. accommodation, food, travel, health insurance). You can also contact the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) in Grenoble
  • Your TA responsibilities will be adapted appropriately, based on the dates of your stay in Grenoble.


Math & Stats resources at UGA:

As usual in France, academic resources are divided in two categories: research activities take place in “laboratoires” while “départements” are in charge of undergraduate and graduate education. Researchers are therefore part of both a laboratoire and a département. To make things more complicated, UGA was created as the aggregation of multiple institutions so there is some overlap between the departments’ focal areas. 



Historically, engineering education was not part of the educational mission of universities in France, so math programs are split between two components of UGA: