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Information for students in the Agro-Environmental Sciences Major

Newly-admitted students

Welcome to Macdonald campus!

Academic Advisor: Dr. Julie Major

As Academic Advisor it is a pleasure for me to help you get a good start in your program, and make sure you understand how it works. This page provides a wealth of information which will be directly useful to you now as well as in the coming years.

View a video about what your Academic Advisor can do for you.

Questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions page.


The Agro-Environmental Sciences Major is focused on the idea that agricultural landscapes are managed ecosystems, and that humans engaged in agriculture must maintain the highest possible environmental standards while providing food and other bioproducts to the marketplace. The Major’s core focuses on the basic and applied biology of cultivated plants, domestic animals, arable soils, and the economics of agriculture.


The following video briefly explain how your program works:

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Recommended Courses

Find out when to register for your courses: go to “when to register” on this page: https://www.mcgill.ca/newstudents/mcgillstudent/registration

Find out how to use Minerva for course registration: https://www.mcgill.ca/students/courses/add/register

The recommended courses for first year students are shown below. I highly recommend you follow these recommendations, to ensure that you make adequate progress in your degree and avoid potentially serious scheduling difficulties in the coming years. If you leave any of the courses below for later, you may be prevented from taking courses which have these as pre-requisites. Also, schedules are made in order for students to be able to complete their program in 3 years assuming they follow recommendations. So if you leave any of these for later there is a considerably high probability that they will conflict with other courses you want to or must take at that time. If you are missing any Freshman-level courses, please talk to me directly.

Most students take five 3-credit courses per term (15 credits total), but some select to take four courses (12 credits total) because of language difficulties, easing the transition to university studies or due to other complications with carrying a full course load. For most students the overall program can be completed in three years if a full course load (i.e., 15 credits) is taken each term.  You are considered a full-time student if you register for at least 12 credits in a given term.

Fall term

AEBI 210 – Organisms 1 (3 credits)
AGRI 215 – Agro-Ecosystems Field Course (3 credits)
AGEC 200 – Principles of Microeconomics (3 credits)
ANSC 250 – Principles of Animal Science (3 credits)
ENVB 210 – The Biophysical Environment  (3 credits)

Winter term

AEMA 310 Statistical Methods 1 (3 credits)
AGEC 231 – Economic Systems of Agriculture (3 credits)
FDSC 230 – Organic Chemistry (4 credits), or an elective if a full term of organic chemistry has already been completed (for example in CEGEP). I suggest ENVR 202 – The Evolving Earth (3 credits)
LSCI  211 – Biochemistry I* (3 credits)
LSCI 230 – Introductory Microbiology (3 credits)

*To register for LSCI 211 students must also be registered for FDSC 230 Organic Chemistry, in the same or a previous term unless an equivalent Organic Chemistry course was completed prior to coming to McGill. If you already completed a full term of Organic Chemistry, you do NOT need to take FDSC 230. If this is the case and Minerva prevents you from registering for LSCI 211 due to a “pre-requisite/test score error”, please contact me directly.


Full program requirements for the Agro-Environmental Sciences Major are available here and in the Program Handbook (Agro-Environmental Sciences Handbook for students who entered the program in 2014-2015 (PDF))


Important Notes

As soon as you accept your offer of admission from McGill, you should begin to check your McGill email account regularly.  If I need to contact you, this is the email address I will use. You can have messages sent to this address forwarded to another of your choice, by editing your email account information.

Important note for students entering the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences with completed French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate Diplomas:

Due to the faculty’s Freshman year requirements for the BSc (Ag.Env.Sc), which include one semester of Biology and two semesters in each of Chemistry, Physics and Calculus, you may be required to follow some of these basic courses before or during your progression to your Major in Agro-Environmental Sciences.  The list of basic math and science prerequisite courses for the Major in Agro-Environmental Sciences can be found at www.mcgill.ca/macdonald/prospective/freshmanyear/courses.

Your record will be evaluated once your official examination results are received by McGill.  Should you be missing and/or not have achieved the minimum required score for exemption in the equivalent basic pre-requisites, these courses will be added to your program and the adjustment will appear on your record in Minerva.  As a result, your Major may be changed to Freshman. If this is the case, the courses you will be taking in your first year will be different from the above.  Your Academic Advisor will contact you with suggestions for course choice, depending on your specific situation.

Returning students

Academic Advisor: Dr. Julie Major

AAs Academic Advisor it is a pleasure for me to help you navigate your program, and make sure you understand how it works.

View a video about what your Academic Advisor can do for you.

Questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions page.


The Agro-Environmental Sciences Major is focused on the idea that agricultural landscapes are managed ecosystems, and that humans engaged in agriculture must maintain the highest possible environmental standards while providing food and other bioproducts to the marketplace. The Major’s core focuses on the basic and applied biology of cultivated plants, domestic animals, arable soils, and the economics of agriculture.

How does my program work?

View the video or download the Handbook. If your Specialization does not appear in the Handbook for your Major, look in other Handbooks.

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Agro-Environmental Sciences Handbook for students who entered the program in 2014-2015 (PDF)

Agro-Environmental Sciences Handbook for students who entered the program in 2013-2014 (PDF)

Agro-Environmental Sciences Handbook for students who entered the program in 2012-2013 (PDF)

Agro-Environmental Sciences Handbook for students who entered the program in 2011-2012 (PDF)