How to Register
Change Course Period
Minerva does not necessarily prevent students from registering for courses they should not take. Therefore, it is your responsibility to be aware of prerequisites, corequisites, restrictions, and faculty regulations that apply to the courses for which you want to register.
There is a Course Change (Add/Drop) Period during both the Fall and the Winter terms. This allows you to "shop around" for courses which you may be interested in taking but have not registered for. From the beginning of the term until the end of Course Change Period you may attend as many courses as your schedule will permit. You will access Minerva before the Course Change deadlines to add or drop courses. Step-by-step instructions are available on how to add/drop courses via Minerva. All courses are limited by enrolment; therefore, do not wait until the last minute to register.
Courses dropped during the Course Change Period are deleted from your record. Your record will show only the courses in which you are registered after the Course Change Period. If you drop a course within the deadlines for the Course Change Period, you will receive a refund for the course; if you add a course during this period, you will be charged for the course. You will only be charged for the courses listed in your final schedule.
If you are a Freshman-program student, you must have changes approved by an Arts OASIS Faculty adviser.
Courses which are cancelled by the University are not automatically deleted from your record; you must access Minerva and delete the course(s).
If, after Course Change Period, you find that you neglected to add or drop a course, you will need to fill out a Course Change Request form (click on "For Students in the Faculties of Arts or Science"), have it completed by the appropriate instructor, and then return the form and a letter of explanation to Service Point, 3415 McTavish St. You must be able to explain adequately why you were unable to add or drop the course(s) during Course Change Period. If your request is approved, you will be charged an administrative fee for each late change.
During Course Change Period each term, all students must use Minerva to check their course registration. Students should ensure that they are correctly registered in all courses they wish to complete. Students who notice errors in registration after registration deadlines have passed may request that the error be corrected. However, correcting a record when a registration error has been made is costly both in time and money, and in some instances may not be possible at all.
Tips on handling registration problems
There are a variety of controls that can be placed on courses that may cause "registration errors" (i.e. registration failures) when you are registering on Minerva. Below are some of the registration errors that you may encounter with an explanation and suggestions for problem-solving. Please read this over carefully; if you are still unable to resolve your registration problems, you should contact Service Point .
Note: Always pay attention to "NOTES" that may appear directly below courses in Class Schedule as they may help explain error messages that occur.
Note: If, after Course Change Period, you find that you neglected to add or drop a course, you will need to fill out a Course Change Request form (click on "For Students in the Faculties of Arts or Science"), have it completed by the appropriate instructor, and then return the form and a letter of explanation to Service Point, 3415 McTavish St. You must be able to explain adequately why you were unable to add or drop the course(s) during Course Change Period. If your request is approved, you will be charged an administrative fee for each late change.
This will be apparent by the "C" that appears at the far left of the course number in Class Schedule where normally a tick box appears. This means that all of the places in the course are taken at that moment in time. There are two solutions to this registration error, depending on whether a) you need the course to fulfill program requirements or (b) you want the course as an elective.
(a) If you need the course to fulfill program requirements you must contact the department administering the course directly (e.g., Biology for a BIOL course, English for an ENGL course, etc.). Explain your situation to the staff person and they will determine if you are eligible for a place in the course. If the department allows you into the course they will grant you a "permit to register", an electronic indicator that is put directly onto your record that lets the student record system recognize you as eligible to register. You must still use Minerva to register after the permit is granted.
Note: If you are granted a CAPACITY permit because a course is closed, you MUST use the "quick add" feature on Minerva.
(b) If you want the course as an elective, you should not contact the department, as they must give priority to students who need the course to meet program requirements. However, it is possible during add/drop that there will be movement within the course, and if you try regularly to "quick add" the course you may be able to register because another student drops the course. If the course uses the Waitlist feature, at the time you try to "quick add" and the course is still full, you will be invited to join the waitlist. If you add yourself to the Waitlist you will be notified by your McGill e-mail if a place becomes available and you are next on the list to register.
Note: Have another course in reserve in the event you are not successful adding your first choice. You may have to plan to take this elective in another term.
Reserve Closed Course
This happens when a specific portion (a reserved section) of the course is full. For example, a department may give 50 places for students in specific programs, and 30 places for everyone else. If you are not in one of the specific programs and the 30 places are taken, you will receive this error message. The reverse is also true: if you are in a specific program and the 50 program places are taken, you will receive this error message. The solution to this registration problem is the same as for Closed courses: see a) above if you need the course for a program requirement, and see b) above if you want the course as an elective.
This refers to courses that are limited to students in a specific academic year (U0, U1, U2 or U3). Courses with class restrictions usually have "NOTES" in Class Schedule of "Limited to U0 (or U1, U2 or U3) students".
If you are not in the correct year to permit registration, you must see the department administering the course to determine if you are eligible for a place in the class (e.g. Chemistry for a CHEM course, International Development Studies for an INTD course, etc.). If the department allows you into the course they will grant you a "permit to register", an electronic indicator that is put directly onto your record that lets the student record system recognize you as eligible to register. You must still use Minerva to register after the permit is granted.
This refers to a course that is controlled by program codes; if you are not in an appropriate program you will not be able to register.
Courses with program controls usually have "NOTES" in Class Schedule of "Limited by Program". There are two possible solutions to this restriction: (a) if the course is program controlled within the faculty you are accepted into, or (b) if the course is program controlled in a faculty you are not accepted into.
(a) An example of a program control within your faculty would be an ENGL course which is open only to Cultural Studies students. If you have been accepted into a B.A. degree (or the BA&SC), and you want to fulfill a Major Concentration in English Cultural Studies, then you must have the program properly entered onto your record to register.
Note: You may not add programs to your record that you do not intend to follow solely for the purpose of registering in a restricted course; if you are found to have obtained a place in a limited course in this manner you will be deregistered.
(b) An example of a program control in a faculty you are not accepted into would be a Management course which is only open to students in programs in that faculty. If you plan to apply for the Minor in Management for non-Management students, you will not be able to register for any course with "NOTES" of "Limited by Program" or "For Management students only". You must select courses from those sections and terms that do not have these notes, or from those courses offered by the Department of Continuing Education (sections of 751, 761, etc. instead of sections 001, 002, etc.).
Note: If you opt for a section offered through Continuing Education you will have to wait until August 15 to access fall courses and December 15 to access winter courses; the periods prior to these dates are for priority access for Continuing Education students.
This refers to a course that is controlled by faculty codes, i.e. only students in specific faculties may register. If you are a B.Sc. student seeking to register in an Engineering course or a B.A. student seeking to register in an Education course you may experience this error message. Please contact the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA) Office to explain why you want to register in this course and to obtain further advice on how to proceed.
Departmental Approval Required
This refers to courses which require a placement test or the approval of the professor or other relevant administrator prior to registration. Courses with this type of control usually have "NOTES" in Class Schedule of "Departmental approval required" or "Adviser approval required" or "Placement test required". For example, language courses may require you to be "placed" at the appropriate level before you can register, or other courses may require you to see the professor or an administrator prior to registration. Once the department establishes your language level or your suitability to join the class, they will grant you a "permit to register", an electronic indicator that is put directly onto your record that lets the student record system recognize you as eligible to register. You must still use Minerva to register after the permit is granted.
this refers to courses (lecture activities) which have other activities "linked" to them that require you to add more than one CRN at a time. Courses with this type of control usually have "NOTES" in Class Schedule of "Must be taken with a tutorial" or "Must be taken with a lab". For example, if you are registering in a CHEM or BIOL course which have lab activities "linked" to them, a MATH course which has a tutorial "linked" to it, or to a SOCI or ANTH course with conferences "linked" to them, you must choose both the lecture activity and the linked activity and add them at the same time.
This refers to courses which have pre-requisites and/or co-requisites that must be satisfied before you can register. There will not always be "NOTES" in Class Schedule to warn you of existing pre- and co-requisites, so if this error message occurs it will be necessary to verify in the undergraduate calendar what courses are needed prior to registration. The solution to this problem varies depending on (a) whether the pre-requisites are clearly on your record with valid grades, or (b) if the pre-requisites are part of transfer credit or other types of advanced standing (i.e. not McGill courses but equivalent work done elsewhere for which you've been granted credit).
(a) An example of a clear-cut case would be a MATH course that has a pre-requisite of an introductory statistics course, and you have this course or its equivalent on your record with a grade of "C" or better. Please contact the SOUSA Office; we will evaluate your record and the MATH course description, and if appropriate, grant you a "permit to register", an electronic indicator that is put directly onto your record that lets the student record system recognize you as eligible to register. You must still use Minerva to register after the permit is granted.
(b) An example of a complicated case would be a MATH course that has a pre-requisite of an introductory statistics course and you have covered the material of this course at another university and have been granted transfer credit from that university. You must take a description of that course and the grade you earned directly to the Math department to have the content evaluated for its suitability to act as a pre-requisite. If the department establishes that you have satisfied the pre-requisite, they will grant you a "permit to register", an electronic indicator that is put directly onto your record that lets the student record system recognize you as eligible to register. You must still use Minerva to register after the permit is granted.
Note: Pre-requisite controls normally exist on courses in other faculties (Engineering, Management, Music) so it may be necessary to have that faculty verify that you have suitable pre-requisite(s). However, that faculty will not grant you a permit; you must bring written permission (e.g. a Minerva worksheet) from that faculty to the SOUSA Office for processing.
Maximum Hours Exceeded
this refers to the total number of credits in a term that the student record system will allow students to register in. New students are expected to register for a normal load of 15 credits but may register for up to 17 at any given time to allow for later adding and dropping as the student makes decisions on which courses to keep and which to give up. If you receive this error message it is because you are trying to add a course with a credit weight which will place you over 17 credits in the fall or winter term. Note: It is strongly recommended that new students not exceed 15 credits per term.
Note: If you receive this error message when adding a multi-term course (a "D1/D2" full year course) to your record and you have room in the fall, it is possible that the "maximum hours exceeded" message refers to your credit load in the winter term. You must have enough room in both fall and winter terms before registering in full-year courses.
Verification of your record
The purpose of verification is to ensure formally the accuracy of all student information. This includes program and course information, as well as personal information such as mailing and home addresses.
Students are responsible for ensuring that all information on their record is accurate. Inaccurate program or course registration may jeopardize graduation.
To verify your record check the following:
- mailing address including postal code
- home address if different from mailing address
- phone number
- e-mail address
- courses and grades from previous years
- current first program information and, if appropriate, second and third program information
- Check the academic category (major, major concentration, faculty program).
- Check the program subject (Biology, Art History).
- current course numbers
- correct graduation term (Fall, Winter, or Summer graduation term, or 'Not Graduating') if relevant
- check you have met all general degree requirements and the points addressed at the graduation checklist
Once you have checked all of these points, if you have any problems or questions please contact Arts OASIS.