IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MSE STUDENTS
Majors and Domains
If you have just completed a Freshman (U0) year at McGill, or if you are entering your U1 year from CEGEP, then you need to choose a Major. Most of the Environment degree programs (except for the BA&Sc Interfaculty Program) require that you choose an area of specialization within your Major called a Domain. If you are initially uncertain of a Domain, that's okay. You can add your Domain later to your registration, or if you change your mind about your studies later on, you can change your Domain at that time as well.
When planning your schedule and registering for courses, you need to verify where each course is offered because courses for this program are taught both at McGill's campus downtown and the Macdonald campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Courses offered at Macdonald campus are shown on the MSE website with an (M) beside them. Regardless of which campus most of your courses are on, if you wish to take several courses on the opposite campus, the program is flexible enough to allow this. The two campuses are about 35 km apart. It takes about 35 minutes by shuttle bus or car (closer to 50 minutes in rush hour), and about 90 minutes by city bus and metro or by train. Students can use the free Shuttle Bus service which runs every 45 minutes between campuses throughout the school year.
Suggested First Year Courses
As a first-year (U1) MSE student, you need to take the introductory core ENVR courses. In addition to the the core ENVR course, you can take elective courses or complementary courses for your Environment program. The Domain course lists do not represent sequences of courses; rather, they are lists of choices. For suggestions for courses to take in your first year (U1), consult the MSE Student Handbook. Feel free to email or visit Kathy Roulet during her drop-in hours, if you have questions.
The core ENVR courses can be taken on either campus. Be careful which Section you register in for the core courses! The courses will vary slightly depending on the section, and you will not be able to write your EXAM if you are in the wrong section! Section 001 is Downtown, section 051 is at Macdonald. This applies only to ENVR courses.
I am not sure which Domain I want, but I don't want to fall behind. What can I do?
You should start with the four 200-level core ENVR courses:
In addition, if you compare the Domains, you will notice courses that are common amongst them, for example:
- (at Macdonald Campus)
- Statistics -
or (Macdonald Campus);
(or equivalent statistics course)
- Microeconomics -
or (Macdonald Campus)
Also, if you are in the Faculty Program Environment, you will need to complete the program pre-/co-requisites, regardless of which Domain you choose to go into.
Registering for Courses
How do I know on which campus the courses I have registered for are given?
Because ENVR courses are given on both campuses, each ENVR course is associated with a section number which corresponds to its location: Section 001 is downtown, section 051 is the Macdonald campus. Other courses have section numbers but only ENVR courses have section numbers that refer to campus location. Courses offered on Macdonald campus are shown on the MSE website with an (M) beside them.
I looked on Minerva for the ENVR courses, but it says none are available. What do I do?
When you are looking up the schedule for a course, or when you want to register, you are asked to select a Term. On the next page you are asked to choose a Subject (like ENVR for example). DON'T choose anything else from that page. Just select a Subject and go to the bottom of the page and click on "Get course sections". That will give you all the courses in that subject that are offered that semester.
When do I register for my Winter term courses?
You should register for your Winter term courses at the same time as you register for your Fall term courses. Otherwise, they may fill up. You can make changes in December and up until the add/drop deadline in January if needed or if you change your mind about your choices.
What if the courses fill up?
Enrollment in most courses at McGill is now limited or "capped". Students who are required to take a course will be able to register (if an ENVR course is full, contact danielle.lefebvre [at] mcgill.ca (Danielle Lefebvre), but students looking for electives or complementary courses may have trouble if they try to register for very popular courses late in the registration period. If it is a non-ENVR course that you are trying to register in, and it is full, you will need to contact the Professor of the course or the Academic Adviser in that department, for assistance.
Looking for suggestions for electives?
The Environment program is only part of your degree requirements. Electives are courses that count towards your overall degree requirements but are not needed for your Environment program. Here are some popular courses that you could consider taking:
Taking Courses Outside your Faculty or on the "Other" Campus
There are some important rules regarding how many credits and which courses you can take outside the Faculty into which you are admitted. The rules for each Faculty are different - see below for the information that pertains to you.
Faculty of Arts
Faculty Program Environment students are restricted to a maximum of 30 credits outside the Faculties of Arts and Science. This includes courses counting towards your Environment program and any other program (e.g. Minor or Minor Concentration), as well as electives. It does not include ENVR courses, even if taken on the Macdonald campus. Normally, this restriction will not affect your course selections since the Faculty Program Environment Domains comprise mainly downtown course. You will receive no warning if you register for too many credits outside Arts and Science. The course(s) will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits, and excluded from the GPA). You do not want this to happen, so please refer to the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar for more detail, or speak with the kathryn.roulet [at] mcgill.ca (MSE Program Adviser) if you have questions.
Faculty of Science
There are science course offered on both campuses; however, B.Science students are in the Faculty of Science and must take most of their courses Downtown. Specifically, B.Sc. Major Environment students are restricted to a maximum of 18 credits outside the Faculties of Arts and Science. This does not include the ENVR courses, even if taken on the Macdonald campus. Any credits over 18 credits must be complementary or required courses for your Environment program.
Faculty of Science students should be aware that they cannot take courses outside the Faculties of Arts or Science, unless they are Approved. Please refer to the List of Restricted Courses. Minerva will not warn you if you have registered for a restricted course. Once completed, the course will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits, and excluded from the GPA). You do not want this to happen, so please check the List of Restricted Courses and contact the kathryn.roulet [at] mcgill.ca (MSE Program Adviser) if you have any doubts.
Bachelor of Arts&Science degree
BA&Sc students are restricted to a maximum of 30 credits outside Arts and Science (only 12 of which can be electives). This does not include ENVR courses, even if taken on the Macdonald campus. You will not receive a warning if you register for courses that cause you to exceed this limit. The course(s) will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits and excluded from the GPA). For further information, please refer to the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar for more detail, or speak with the kathryn.roulet [at] mcgill.ca (MSE Program Adviser) for clarification.
Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
There are science courses offered on both campuses, however, B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.) students are in the Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and must take most of their courses on the Macdonald campus. Specifically, Mac students must take 2/3 of their McGill credits from courses offered by the Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. This does not include ENVR courses, even if taken on the Downtown campus. With careful planning, you can take the downtown courses you want and need, including the required and some complementary courses in your Domain. Also, it does not preclude taking a Minor or Minor Concentration from one of the downtown Faculties. For more information, refer to the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar, or ask the kathryn.roulet [at] mcgill.ca (MSE Program Adviser).
Statistics Courses - Overlap
There are a number of statistics courses offered at McGill that are similar enough to each other that you will not receive credit for more than one of them, even if taken by mistake. These courses are shown in the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar. Therefore, if you have taken, or are considering taking a statistics course other than one listed in your program, please consult the e-Calendar or the MSE Program Adviser to ensure there is no restriction. Minerva will not warn you if you register for an overlapping statistics course. Once completed, the course will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits, and excluded from the GPA). You do not want this to happen, so please contact the kathryn.roulet [at] mcgill.ca (MSE Program Adviser) if you have any doubts.
Are you in the Faculty Program Environment? Do you need Calculus 1 to satisfy your program pre-/co-requisite? See the Math Department's site for information about the differences between MATH 139 and MATH 140.
Student Affairs Offices
Your Student Affairs Office can provide general academic information and advice about issues such as faculty and degree requirements, registration issues, inter-faculty transfer, exchange and study away, academic standing, and graduation. In addition to advising students about such issues, either be appointment or on a daily drop-in basis, Faculty Advisers offer a variety of information sessions each term, for example: degree planning workshops, study away workshops, and freshman information sessions.
For more information, consult the Student Affairs Office website of your Faculty: