Information for New Students

Academic Links

  • If you are a newly admitted freshman student, be sure to look over the U0 checklist.
  • If you are an U0 freshman student and want an advisor to review your freshman course selection, fill out and submit the online course approval form.
  • If you are an U1 freshman student coming in from CEGEP (or similar), be sure to look at this page for more information.
  • If you are a newly admitted student with advanced standing (coming in with AP/IB/French Baccalaureate credits) and you have questions about your credits or if you are trying to decide whether you would like to use your credits toward your degree, please find information on McGill’s new advanced standing policy here.
  • If you are thinking of applying for an Arts internship, please refer to the following link.
  • If you want to know what courses fulfill academic programs, check out the Arts program calendar.
  • If you have any inquiries in regards to admissions requirements and acceptance, submitting legal documentation, using Minerva, tuition fee payments, ID cards or official transcript requests, please contact Service Point.
The “Student Registration” tutorial walks you through the course registration process on Minerva.

Here is a helpful instructional video.

Advising

Arts OASIS (Office of Advising and Student Information Services)

Arts OASIS is there to offer you advice and support as an Arts Undergraduate student regarding your academic trajectory, from entry to graduation. It is your first stop to make whenever you have questions about planning your B.A. degree, registration, rules and regulations for Arts students, and opportunities offered outside of McGill to enhance your degree. You will find peer advisors, faculty advisors, and student advisors available for you to consult during the summer and throughout the academic year.

Arts OASIS is located at Room 110, Dawson Hall, on the right side of the main entrance to the Arts building.

Please make sure to visit our website for more information about Arts OASIS and the drop-in hours schedule as it varies throughout the seasons: http://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/
Departmental Program Advisors

Do you have specific questions related to course selection in your program of study? Would you like to have more information about our Honours programs? Are you curious to know about the different scholarships and awards offered in your program?
If so, you can contact your Departmental program advisor who is responsible for a particular degree program administered by the department to learn more about your program of study.

Here is a link to the departments, institutes, and schools within the Faculty of Arts where you will find the contact information for your departmental advisor according to your program: http://www.mcgill.ca/arts/departments

Student Designation

At McGill, all students come in to a 120-credit degree. In some cases, they have written university level examinations, so they have been granted advanced standing in their first year.
  • If you are a CEGEP student, you are exempted from the Freshman program as you have been granted 30 advanced standing credits from your DEC. You can automatically register as a U1, and declare your major and minor while registering on Minerva. The same information applies to you if you did the French Baccalaureate.

  • If you are a student who did the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificate (IB) or any Advanced Level (AL), Advanced Placement (AP) courses, depending on your examination results, you may also be qualified as U1.
Do not panic if none of these categories represent your situation! If you did not complete any of the programs above before coming to McGill, then you will be coming in as a Freshman student (U0).

For more information about the different types of Advanced Standing, please read the FAQ for new students. 
To understand what transfer credits are, please refer to this page on transfer credit.
FRESHMAN PROGRAM (U0)

The Freshman (U0) program is for students who need to complete 97- 120 credits to complete their degree. Typically anyone who has not earned transfer credits before McGill will start off as a U0 Freshman. There are two options in the Freshman program:

Option 1: General Option In this option, you will have to take 18 credits – 6 credits each from 3 of the 4 categories: Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, and Mathematics & Science. A maximum of 18 credits may be chosen from any one category but no more than 12 credits may be taken in one department.

Option 2: French Option In this option, you will have to do 18 credits of courses conducted in French. The courses you choose in the French option may be comprised wholly of language courses, wholly of substantive content courses in French or a combination of the two. You may be required to take a proficiency test. (See ‘How to Register à French Placement Test for details)

For more information about the Freshman Program, click here.

Also, please take a look at the Approved Freshman Courses list and checklist (U0).
DEPARTMENTAL PROGRAM (U1)

If you are a student coming in with transfer credits and only need to complete 90 credits out of your 120 credit degree, you will start as a U1 Departmental Program student. You must declare your major on Minerva and you will not need to complete the freshman requirements. Please carefully read about the program options below as you will need to be familiar with the Multi-Track system while planning your BA degree.

As a university student, you will find there will be many departments and programs in the Faculty of Arts that cater to your background and interests. McGill offers a 90-credit multi-track system that allows you to complete a major concentration complemented by at least one minor concentration.

The multi-track system may be completed in the following ways:

Options
A: Major Concentration (36) + Minor Concentration (18) + 36 credits of electives
B: Major Concentration (36) + Major Concentration (36) + 18 credits of electives
C: Major Concentration (36) + Minor Concentration (18) + Minor Concentration (18) + 18 credits

Doing an honours program is excellent preparation for graduate study, or if you would like to specialize in your field of study. You must meet the specific departmental and Faculty Honours requirements, while also maintaining a good academic standing.

Regulations
To be registered in an Honours program after the first year, you must have attained a GPA and CGPA of at least 3.00 in the previous year. To complete an Honours degree, you must achieve a minimum CGPA of 3.00. The program GPA (the GPA of all required and complementary courses taken at McGill which constitute the Honours program) must be a minimum of 3.00, although academic units may set higher requirements for their program GPA. In addition to the completion of the Honours requirements, you must complete at least a minor concentration in an academic unit other than the one in which the Honours requirements are satisfied. (If you complete a second degree in the Faculty of Arts, you do not need to complete a minor.)

If you are a student who would like to study the Honours level in two disciplines, you may combine the Joint Honours program components from your two chosen disciplines. Each Joint Honours component consists of a maximum of 36 required and complementary credits. To complete your Joint Honours degree, you must achieve a minimum CGPA of 3.00. Some departments set higher GPA requirements for the completion of the Joint Honours degree. This is a great option if you are thinking of pursuing graduate studies in the future, but are not sure which discipline to choose. This way, you get both!

For more information about the Departmental Program, click here.

Please make sure to also check out the checklist for Departmental Program students (U1).

EXCHANGE STUDENTS

Exchange students are visiting students who have been accepted to McGill on a formal exchange program. Their letter of admission from the Enrolment Services specifies their status as ‘Exchange’. They must see a Departmental Academic Adviser to have their course selection approved. Normally, exchange students are accepted to McGill for a period of one year. The adviser reviews the courses the students have already completed elsewhere to ensure that they have the appropriate preparatory background for their course selection at McGill.

http://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/special/arts
VISITING STUDENTS

If you are currently registered in a degree program at another university and have completed at least two semesters of study there, you may apply to take courses at McGill University as a Visiting Student. Course credits can be applied toward the program of study at your home university. Admission decisions on visiting applications are final and there is no appeal process. As a visiting student, you must obtain approval of your course selection from a Departmental Academic Advisor.

http://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/special/arts

Registration

When it comes to registering for classes, Minerva is your first destination.

Please visit to https://horizon.mcgill.ca/pban1/twbkwbis.P_WWWLogin and log in with your McGill email address and password. Once on the registration menu, follow the steps to register for your courses.

For more information regarding registration process, please visit

McGill’s step-by-step guide to Minerva.

Course and University Withdraw

What is a withdrawal?

There are two kinds of withdrawals: Course Withdrawal and University Withdrawal. A Course Withdrawal means you have chosen to discontinue one or more courses. A University Withdrawal means you have chosen to discontinue your entire term or year of studies. Depending on the date of withdrawal, you may be entitled to a refund.

Why would you want to withdraw?

You may wish to withdraw for a number of personal and/or academic reasons, which may include simply not liking the course, not doing well in the course (see Grading procedure), illness, financial difficulty or personal issues.

On your transcript

You will receive a grade of “W” on your transcript if you choose to do a Course or University Withdrawal before the Course Withdraw deadline. A grade of “W” does not affect your CGPA as it does not count towards it, and a few over the course of your academic career will not affect future studies or career goals. However, keep in mind that you must officially withdraw from your course or the university on Minerva. You cannot simply stop attending your lectures or notify your professor about your situation. You must consult your Faculty Advisor, and then withdraw on Minerva. If you do not declare your withdrawal on Minerva, you will receive a grade of “J” instead of a “W” for a final grade. A “J” grade is equivalent to a zero in the course and will count as such for your CGPA. For more information on Course and University Withdrawal, click here.