Four Science units - Computer Science, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics, and Psychology - offer B.A. degrees (Bachelor of Arts) through the Faculty of Arts in addition to B.Sc. degrees (Bachelor of Science) through the Faculty of Science.
Why is it important to choose the degree or faculty that is right for you?
Students are accepted at McGill into a certain faculty (i.e., Arts for B.A., or Science for B.Sc.). It is sometimes possible to switch to a different degree or faculty (e.g., from B.A. to B.Sc.), though this requires a transfer application and you may have to take additional courses. In contrast, it is easier to change your major within a faculty.
Why should you choose Science?
If your background lies in Science, and if your interests lie more in Science, choose Science. You can include Arts minors and electives in your science program. Choosing Science will allow you the most flexibility now and later on when choosing possible second programs (majors, minors, honours, joint honours) or if you wish to change your area of study.
Why should you choose Arts?
One reason to consider a B.A. rather than a B.Sc. is if you have the prerequisites for your discipline (i.e., for Computer Science, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics, or Psychology), but you do not have all the basic science prerequisites. (However, note that all Computer Science programs have a strong mathematics component, whether you choose the B.A. or B.Sc. stream.) Another reason is that some combinations, such as the Joint Honours in English and Mathematics, are available in a B.A. but not in a B.Sc.
Some considerations for specific areas:
Arts major concentrations offer less depth than corresponding Science majors.
An Arts major concentration alone may not be adequate preparation for graduate studies in a given field.
Combinations in Arts (of major concentrations and minor concentrations) can often approximate some of the corresponding Science majors.
- Science Maj. in Computer Science (60 credits)
- Or both Arts Maj. Conc. in Computer Science (36 credits)
- And Arts Supplementary Min. Conc. in Computer Science (18 credits)
- Also note that there are additional choices for software engineering and computer science.
- For Human Geography, choose the B.A. program;
- For Physical Geography, choose the B.Sc. program;
- For more information, please visit our page for prospective geography students.
Mathematics and Statistics
- Science Maj. in Mathematics (54 credits)
- Or both Arts Maj. Conc. in Mathematics (36 credits)
- And Arts Minor. Conc. in Statistics (18 credits)
- Also note that the Arts combination given above focuses on statistics, whereas the B.Sc. major program allows you to orient your program toward your choice of statistics, computer science, applied mathematics, secondary school teaching, or vocations in business, industry or government.
- Science Maj. in Psychology (54 credits)
- Or both Arts Maj. Conc. in Psychology (36 credits)
- And Arts Min. Conc. in Behavioral Science (18 credits)
What about the Bachelor of Arts and Science (B.A. & Sc.)?
See our B.A. & Sc. page.