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B.Sc. program types

Students who need 96 or fewer credits to complete their B.Sc. degree requirements (3-year degree) must select one of the following degree programs at the time of registration: Liberal, Major, or Honours. These programs must be selected from within the Science group to which you have been admitted. For detailed descriptions of these types of programs, please consult the Science section of the McGill eCalendar, or the Science department websites.

  • The B.Sc Liberal program provides students with the opportunity to study the core of one science discipline along with a breadth component from another area of science or from many other disciplines.

    Students complete a Core Science component (CSC), plus a Breadth component. The requirements of the Core Science components are given in the departmental sections of the eCalendar. For the Breadth component, students must complete a Science Minor program, an Arts Minor or Major Concentration available for Science students, or a Core Science component in a second area.

    Note that you while your first Core Science Component must be taken within the Science program group that you were admitted to, you can take a Minor or a second Liberal CSC from another group. If you are doing the B.Sc. Liberal, you won't be able to declare a second CSC from outside of your own group using MINERVA, so if you wish to do this, please e-mail your academic advisor with the request, and he or she will arrange to have your record updated accordingly.

  • Major programs are more specialized than Faculty or Liberal programs and are usually centered on a specific discipline or department.
  • Honours programs typically involve an even higher degree of specialization, often include supervised research, and require students to maintain a high academic standard. Although Honours programs are specially designed to prepare students for graduate studies, graduates of other degree programs are also normally admissible to most graduate schools. Students who intend to pursue graduate students in their discipline should consult a departmental adviser regarding the appropriate selection of courses in their field.

    The following Honours programs are available to students in their first year of studies: Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics, Physics, Physics and Chemistry. As the first-year courses in these Honours programs differ from the first-year courses in the department's Major program, students are strongly encouraged to begin one of the these Honours programs in their first year.

    The following Honours programs are open to students in their first, second, or third year of studies: Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Planetary Sciences. The first-year courses in these Honours programs are the same as the first-year courses in the department's Major program.

    The following Honours programs are only open to students in their second or third year: Anatomy and Cell Biology, Atmospheric Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Environment, Geography, Immunology, Microbiology and Immunology, Physiology, Psychology.

    Students interested in registering for an Honours program must have prior departmental approval.

  • Minor programs may be selected in addition to a Major or Honours program, or as part of the Liberal program. These are coherent sequences of courses in a given discipline or interdisciplinary area. Students are not normally given permission to start a minor in their last year. Students wishing to do so should consult with a faculty adviser in the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising Office, Dawson Hall. Minor programs in Science can be selected from any of the Science groups.

The McGill University eCalendar provides detailed program information and course descriptions for each academic department, but cannot alone provide assistance in realistic and meaningful program planning. Departmental advisers are responsible for degree programs which are administered by their departments and give specific information about prerequisites, courses, approval for required courses and program selection. Since they are also generally members of McGill University's academic staff, they can also provide useful insight into potential options for further study in their respective disciplines.

Students initially intending to pursue a particular area of study often develop other interests requiring them to change their academic profile. It is usually possible to change programs, providing that there has been consultation with the appropriate advisers.

For detailed information about courses and programs consult the McGill University eCalendar.

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