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Major Program-specific advice

Students interested in programs in the following areas are advised to select their Freshman courses in accordance with the corresponding recommendations.

Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Physiology

BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

two calculus courses*
two physics courses**
  • students who wish to leave open the option of Biology, Environment, Geography, Earth System Sciences or Earth and Planetary Sciences should also take BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology .
  • students who wish to leave open the option of a physical science such as Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences, Chemistry or Physics should choose the PHYS 131/PHYS 142 stream of physics (see the **Note below).
  • students who wish to leave open the option of a Computer Science major or joint major degree, or who wish a solid introduction to programming, should consider taking COMP 202 in their freshman year.
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves
PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics
two calculus courses*
MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry

at least two of:
CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)
ESYS 104 The Earth System
  • students who have not taken all of Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level should include any missing subjects in their freshman program.
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Biology

BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology
BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

two calculus courses*
and
two physics courses**
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.
  • Note that students interested in the Joint Major Biology and Mathematics should take PHYS 131 and PHYS 142, rather than PHYS 101 and PHYS 102.

Chemistry

BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves
PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics
MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
two calculus courses*
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Computer Science / Software Engineering

COMP 202 Foundations of Programming
MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
two calculus courses*
plus at least 3 of BIOL/CHEM/PHYS**
  • students who do not take COMP 202 in the freshman year may still follow these majors, but might have to start with COMP 202 in the U1 year.
  • students interested in the cognitive science minor may also want to take PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology .
  • students interested in Joint Physics and Computer Science programs must take PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves and PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics .
  • students interested in Joint Major in Computer Science and Biology must take BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology.
  • students with High School calculus and who are interested in the Joint Honours Mathematics and Computer Science program are strongly advised to consider taking the more challenging calculus sequence MATH 150 Calculus A and MATH 151 Calculus B .
  • students who have not taken all of Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level should include any missing subjects in their freshman program.

Earth and Planetary Sciences

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves
PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics
ESYS 104 The Earth System
two calculus courses*
  • students are also strongly encouraged to include BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology in their program
  • students who have not taken all of Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level should include any missing subjects in their freshman program.
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Earth System Science

BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves
PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics
two calculus courses*

plus at least 1 of:
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2 (unless CHEM 115 is taken)
MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
ESYS 104 The Earth System
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Environment

BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

two calculus courses*
two physics courses**
  • students considering the Environmetrics Domain, or who are interested in environmental modeling, should also take MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
  • students considering the Ecological Determinants of Health Domains should also take BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.
  • freshman students interested in Environment should take ESYS 104 The Earth System . They are advised NOT to take the ENVR 200-level courses until their U1 year.

Geography

Calculus 1*
Calculus 2*
and/or MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry

PHYS 101/131**

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology

at least two of:
ESYS 104 The Earth System
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
PHYS 102/142**
Calculus 2*
and/or MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
  • students with strong science backgrounds should consider enrolling in GEOG 203 Environmental Systems in their first year.
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
two calculus courses*
plus any 4 courses to fulfill the freshman requirements.
  • students with high school calculus and who are intending on taking an Honours programs in Mathematics, a Joint Honours program in Mathematics and another discipline, or an Honours program in Physics are strongly advised to consider taking the more challenging calculus sequence MATH 150 Calculus A and MATH 151 Calculus B .
  • students interested in a joint Mathematics and Computer Science program should include COMP 202 Foundations of Programming in the freshman year.
  • students interested in the joint Physiology and Mathematics programs should include BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology , CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1 , CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2 or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci , and two physics courses** in the freshman year.
  • students interested in a Physics minor should take PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves and PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics in the freshman year.
  • students who have not taken all of Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level should include any missing subjects in their freshman program.

Neuroscience

PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology
and/or BIOL 111 Principles:Organismal Biology
BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

two calculus courses*
two physics courses**
  • students interested in Neuroscience should choose a freshman program that leaves some options open as this program has limited enrolment.
  • students intending to have the option between Psychology or Neuroscience open should choose PSYC 100.
  • students intending to have the option between a biological/life science or Neuroscience should choose BIOL 111.
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Physics

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves
PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics
MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry
two calculus courses*
  • students who would like to leave their options open for a biological/life sciences major, or who might choose the Joint Physiology and Physics program should choose BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology . BIOL 112 is a prerequisite for PHYS 319 Introduction to Biophysics.
  • students interested in a Joint Physics and Computer Science program, and who do not have a strong background in programming, should consider taking COMP 202 Foundations of Programming in their freshman year.
  • students with high school calculus and who are intending on taking an Honours program in Physics are strongly advised to consider taking the more challenging calculus sequence MATH 150 Calculus A and MATH 151 Calculus B .
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Psychology

PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology

1st calculus courses*
2nd calculus courses*
and/or MATH 133 Linear Algebra and Geometry

CHEM 110 General Chemistry 1
or CHEM 115 Acc Gen Chem: Giants in Sci (this advanced course replaces CHEM 110 and 120)

BIOL 112 Cell and Molecular Biology
plus at least one more from BIOL/CHEM/PHYS
  • students interested in the cognitive science minor should take COMP 202 Foundations of Programming in their freshman year
  • students who have not taken all of Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level should include any missing subjects in their freshman program.
  • Note that CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Leaving open the option to apply for medical school

Students who wish to leave open the option of applying to medical school should be aware that they can select any of the Science majors (not just the biological or life science ones). Medical schools are looking for a diverse applicant pool and all of the Science programs provide ample room to include medical school prerequisite courses (see http://www.mcgill.ca/science/prospective/medical/). Students perform best when they select a major in which they are interested and engaged. Choosing the appropriate major can also leave many options open, not just medical school.

Students who wish to leave open the option of applying to medical school at the end of the undergraduate studies should review the prerequisite courses required for medical schools at which they may apply to ensure that they complete all of the required basic science courses during their undergraduate degree studies. However, not all such courses need to be completed in the freshman year. Students are encouraged to select the freshman courses that best prepare them for their possible areas of study.

In addition, students should be aware of other constraints on their programs imposed by medical school admissions. For example, some medical schools will not allow courses to be taken under the S/U option, and some medical schools require a full course load. Medical schools vary in their prerequisite requirements but in general it is recommended that interested students complete both one full year of biology and one full year of chemistry during their freshman year. Specific admission requirements for all Canadian medical schools can be found at http://www.afmc.ca/publications-admission-e.php.


* Choosing your calculus Courses

  • students with no previous knowledge of Calculus should take MATH 139 Calculus 1 with Precalculus , followed by MATH 141 Calculus 2 .
  • students with high school calculus take either the sequence MATH 140 Calculus 1 / MATH 141 Calculus 2 or the sequence MATH 150 Calculus A / MATH 151 Calculus B . The MATH 150/MATH 151 sequence covers the material of (and gives equivalence for) MATH 140, MATH 141 and MATH 222 Calculus 3 and is more challenging than the standard MATH 140/MATH 141 sequence.

** Choosing your physics courses

  • Students who want to take a physical science (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Systems Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences or Physics) or who want to keep their options open should take the sequence PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves / PHYS 142 Electromagnetism & Optics . Students in the biological sciences can take PHYS 131/PHYS 142, but may prefer to take the sequence PHYS 101 Intro Physics - Mechanics / PHYS 102 Intro Physics-Electromagnetism , which covers the same material but assumes less mathematical background.