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Information for students in the Environmental Biology 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 FAQs for AgEnvSc Students.


Checklist for new students:

  • Check your McGill email account. You will receive important information and potentially personalized advice at this address, before classes start.
  • Check your unofficial transcript on Minerva. You should get in to the habit of checking it regularly, to make sure your courses, credits and grades are in order. Between the time of admission and the start of classes, Admissions will add to your record the credit you were given upon admission, and any missing program pre-requisite courses will also be listed. Your unofficial transcript also indicates what year you are coded as (U0, U1, etc).
  • Become familiar with your academic program. To do this:
    • Watch the video below that explains how your program works
    • Carefully read the current version of the Handbook for your program, which contains important rules and regulations as well as program requirements. Note that academic programs change over time – the version of the program that is in effect now is the one you must complete, no matter how your program changes in future years. It is important to realize this. You have the option of switching into an eventual newer version of your program, if you so choose.
    • Make sure you are comfortable using McGill’s eCalendar to find program information. Always check that you are looking at the correct version of the calendar (look at the years at the top). When arriving to the eCalendar from Google, for example, it is usually NOT the most recent version that is displayed.
      Bachelor of Science (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) (B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.)) - Major Environmental Biology (42 Credits)
  • if you still have questions, contact your academic advisor.

The Environmental Biology Major is very hands-on, with many field courses and exciting learning opportunities. Environmental Biology is about the biology and ecology of animals, plants and other organisms, and it is about the ways these organisms interact with each other and their environment. This program also allows for the opportunity to understand how we manage our precious ecosystems in light of the numerous environmental challenges facing the planet.

The following video briefly explain how your program works:


Recommended Courses

Find out when to register for your courses: go to “when to register” on this page: http://www.mcgill.ca/accepted/preparing-register

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)
ENVB 210 – The Biophysical Environment (3 credits)
ENVB 222 – St. Lawrence Ecosystems (3 credits)
FDSC 230 – Organic Chemistry (4 credits) OR a complementary course if a full term of Organic Chemistry was completed previously (in CEGEP, for example). I suggest ENVB 301 – Meteorology (3 credits)
LSCI 204 – Genetics (3 credits)

Winter term

AEBI 211 – Organisms 2 (3 credits)
AEBI 212 – Evolution and Phylogeny (3 credits)
AEHM 205 – Science Literacy (3 credits)
ENVB 305 – Population and Community Ecology (3 credits)
LSCI 211 – Biochemistry 1 (3 credits)*

*To register for LSCI 211 in Winter 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 Environmental Biology Major are available in the Program Handbook (Environmental Biology Handbook for newly-admitted students 2016-2017.pdf) and in the eCalendar
Bachelor of Science (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) (B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.)) - Major Environmental Biology (42 Credits)

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.

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 Environmental Biology. The list of basic math and science prerequisite courses for the Major in Environmental Biology 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 FAQs for AgEnvSc Students.


The Environmental Biology Major is very hands-on, with many field courses and exciting learning opportunities. Environmental Biology is about the biology and ecology of animals, plants and other organisms, and it is about the ways these organisms interact with each other and their environment. This program also allows for the opportunity to understand how we manage our precious ecosystems in light of the numerous environmental challenges facing the planet.

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.

 

Environmental Biology Handbook for students entering the program in 2016-2017 (PDF)

Environmental Biology Handbook for students who entered the program in 2015-2016 (PDF)

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

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

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

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