The Bachelor of Arts Freshman Program is designed to ensure that you gain a broad foundation for the three-year degree program. It is comprised of 24-30 credits in one of three program options. Courses taken to fulfil the core requirements in all options must be passed with a grade of “C” or better. They cannot include courses taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option. If you have received advanced credits such as AP’s, IB’s, AL’s, or university transfer credits, you may, in the case of Options 1 and 3, be exempted from part or all of the B.A. Freshman Program requirements.
In Option 1, "General Option", you are able to develop your own program of study using courses from the humanities, social sciences, languages, and/or math and sciences. Students opting for this program are eligible to register in the First-Year Seminars, small-enrollment classes offered by several departments, exclusively for Freshman students. Please click here for a complete listing of FYS: First-Year Seminars.
In Option 2, "En français", you are able to choose up to 18 credits from a variety of courses conducted in french.
In both Options 1 and 2, courses taken from the McGill curriculum should ordinarily be at the introductory level with course numbers in the 100 and 200 ranges. In addition, the majority of your courses must be chosen from those offered by the Faculty of Arts or the Faculty of Science. Note that any course listed under another Faculty’s offerings is considered to be a Faculty of Arts course if it is listed in the Faculty of Arts section of the Course Calendar.
This option includes a core requirement of 6 credits in each of 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.
I. Social Science
Social Studies of Medicine
Art History & Communications Studies
LITERATURE AND CIVILIZATION courses ONLY from the following departments and programs:
East Asian Studies
In this category, you may take courses to acquire or to improve your language skills. Literature and civilization courses offered by these departments count as Humanities, not Language courses. A placement test may be necessary and approval from the appropriate department may be required.
Classics (Latin, Ancient Greek or Modern Greek)
East Asian Studies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
English or French as a Second Language
French Language & Literature
Hispanic Studies (Portuguese, Spanish)
Islamic Studies (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu)
Jewish Studies (Hebrew, Yiddish)
Religious Studies (New Testament Greek, Sanskrit)
Russian & Slavic Studies
(Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Armenian, Czech)
IV. Mathematics and Science
Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Earth & Planetary Sciences
Math & Statistics
This option includes a core requirement of 18 credits of courses conducted in French. These credits may be comprised wholly of language courses, wholly of substantive content courses conducted in French, or a combination of the two. You may be required to take a proficiency test.
Depending on your level of proficiency, you may include a maximum of 12 credits of intensive French language courses. An intensive language course is a 6 credit term course. If you are at the introductory level, you must take at least 6 credits in French in your Freshman year, but you may be permitted to complete the remaining core requirement credits in year U1.
The remainder of your credits must be comprised of courses approved for the B.A. Freshman Program.
French Language and Literature
French as a Second Language