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Frequently Asked Questions for Freshman Interest Groups (FIGS 196)

I already have friends in Montreal, so why do I need to attend a FIG?
While FIGs provide an opportunity to meet other students, an equally important function is to help you become more comfortable talking to and interacting with other professors, which will be helpful as you choose courses, investigate research opportunities, or ask for reference letters. FIGs foster mentorship between first-year students, between first-year and upper-year students, and between students and professors. FIGs will help you to become better informed about the resources that McGill provides to students, opportunities that are available, and your responsibilities.

Will I get credit for FIGs?
FIGs 196 is a non-credit activity, does not cost anything, and does not appear on your transcript; however, FIGs will help ease your transition to university life at McGill.

Will the FIGs focus on specific science subjects?
No. FIGs are not courses, so the FIGs leaders will not lecture on specific topics. Because the topics are of general interest and are designed to help students become familiar with all aspects of student life, the format is informal and very interactive. You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions. You will also be able to suggest topics that are of specific interest to you.

Will the FIGs help me to learn about requirements for medical school?
One of the FIG sessions may be devoted to a discussion of medical school requirements and answering questions. There may be medical students who will discuss the route they took to get into the Faculty of Medicine. You may also learn about careers that are related to medicine.

Is attendance mandatory?
No. However, your FIG leader will organize guest speakers and field trips, including visits to research labs, so it is very important that you advise him or her if you will not attend.

Will FIGs help me to choose my departmental program?
There may be discussions about the disciplines available to B.Sc. and B.A. & Sc. students. You will have an opportunity to ask questions about the value of studying a particular discipline. You may meet senior undergraduates from several different departments. You could learn about differences between various types of programs available (honours, majors, faculty programs, minors) as well as the advantages and disadvantages of choosing one type of program over another.

Will FIGs give information about careers in science?
One FIG session may introduce McGill's Career and Placement Service (CAPS). During this session, there may be a guest from CAPS who will inform you about, among other things, job opportunities of particular interest to science students. You could also hear about grad school requirements and funding opportunities.

Will we learn about issues not directly related to academics?
Yes. One session could be devoted to such topics as off-campus housing, getting around Montreal, clubs and teams on campus, where to get information about McGill events, McGill Athletics. Topics may also cover volunteer opportunities around Montreal, services offered by SSMU and SUS, inexpensive restaurants, etc.

Is it possible to take courses at another university to fulfill the requirements of my departmental program or degree?
During one FIGs session, you will learn about McGill's official bilateral and exchange opportunities, McGill's field study programs and Study Away on Your Own. Possible guests at this session are a representative from the Study Abroad Office and students who have been on exchange, study away on their own, or participated in fields studies programs. You will also learn about summer programs abroad, as well as scholarships for students who interested in international education.

What if the topics being covered don't address my concerns?
You should feel free to suggest to your FIG leaders topics or concerns that are of particular interest to you.

How do I register for a FIG?
To register for one of the FIGS 196 sections, log into Minerva, then select the Student Menu, then choose the link to the Registration Menu.

Who are the FIG leaders?
Each FIGs has two leaders: a professor and an upper level undergraduate science student. In addition, many FIG sessions may have guest speakers from other McGill faculties and services, as well as graduate and other undergraduate students.

Can I register for a FIG if I am a new student in U1?
U1 students are not eligible to register for a FIG through Minerva. Newly admitted U1 students from outside Quebec who would like to attend a FIG can have their names put on a waiting list by contacting us fig [dot] science [at] mcgill [dot] ca (via email) .

Can I change my FIG section if it no longer fits in my schedule?
You can add or drop sections until the end of the add/drop period.

What do I do if the only FIG section I can fit in my schedule is full?
If the section you want is full, contact us fig [dot] science [at] mcgill [dot] ca (via email) , and we will add your name to our waitlist. Because we may add new sections, it is very important that you indicate all of the times that you are available.

Why does Minerva tell me there is a "Major Restriction" when I try to register for a FIG section?
The FIG program is only for newly admitted U0 B.Sc. and B.A. & Sc. students. Newly admitted U1 students from outside must contact us fig [dot] science [at] mcgill [dot] ca (via email) if they are interested in participating in a FIG. Returning students are not eligible to register for this activity.

Whom can I contact if I have other questions concerning FIGs?
You can send your questions to us by fig [dot] science [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email) .