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Course Requirements

Course Requirements

All required and complementary courses used to fulfil program requirements, including the Freshman program, must be completed with a grade of C or better. If you fail to obtain a satisfactory grade in a required course, you must either pass the supplemental examination in the course or do additional work for a supplemental grade, if these options are available, or repeat the course. Course substitution will be allowed only in special cases; students should consult their academic adviser.

Normally, you are permitted to repeat a failed course only once. (Failure is considered to be a grade of less than C or the administrative failures of J and KF.) If a required course is failed a second time, you must appeal to the Director of Advising Services, Science, for permission to take the course a third time. If permission is denied by the Director of Advising Services and/or by the Committee on Student Standing of the Faculty of Science, on appeal, you must withdraw from the program. If the failed course is a complementary course required by the program, you may choose to replace it with another appropriate complementary course. If you choose to substitute another complementary course for a complementary course in which a D was received, credit for the first course will still be given, but as an elective. If you repeat a required course in which a D was received, credit will be given only once.

Full details of the course requirements for all programs as well as the locations of departmental advisory offices, program directors, and telephone numbers for further information are available as follows:

For a list of all programs available to B.A. & Sc. students, see Overview of Programs Offered.

For a list of complementary integrative courses, see Integrative Courses.

Course Overlap

Course Overlap

You will not receive additional credit toward your degree for any course for which you have already received credit at McGill, CEGEP, at another university, or as a result of Advanced Placement, Advanced Level, International Baccalaureate, or French Baccalaureate exams. It is your responsibility to consult the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA) or the department offering the course as to whether or not credit can be obtained and to be aware of exclusion clauses specified in the course description in this publication.

Please refer to the following website for specific information about Advanced Standing credits and McGill course exemptions: www.mcgill.ca/students/transfercredit.

Sometimes two different departments offer the same course. Such courses are called "double-prefix" courses. When such courses are offered simultaneously, you should take the course offered by the department in which you are obtaining your degree. For example, in the case of double-prefix courses CHEM XYZ and PHYS XYZ, Chemistry students take CHEM XYZ and Physics students take PHYS XYZ. If different departments offer a double-prefix course in alternate years, you may take whichever course best fits your schedule.

Credit for computer science and statistics courses will be given with the stipulations specified under Programs, Courses and University Regulations > Faculties & Schools > Faculty of Science > Undergraduate > Faculty Degree Requirements > Course Requirements > Course Overlap.

Courses Outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science

Courses Outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science

The following regulations apply to students in the B.A. & Sc. who want to take courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science:

  • Regardless of your minimum credit requirement towards your B.A. & Sc., you are allowed a maximum of 12 credits in ELECTIVE and/or COMPLEMENTARY courses taken in faculties other than the Faculties of Arts and of Science.
  • Students in certain designated programs that include a number of REQUIRED and COMPLEMENTARY courses in other faculties are permitted a maximum of 30 credits outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science. These programs are the Interfaculty and Honours programs in Environment, the Minor concentration in Environment, the Interfaculty program in Sustainability, Science and Society, and the Major concentration in Geography (Urban Systems).
  • Any courses taught at McGill University may be used toward the maximum allowed, except for courses taught by the School Continuing Studies, for which you receive credits only in Continuing Studies. Courses taught by the McGill Writing Centre are excluded from this rule and can count for credit in your degree (see the SOUSA website for a list of approved courses: www.mcgill.ca/science/student/continuingstudents/basc/conted).
  • For the purpose of this policy, courses taught in other faculties and specifically listed in Programs, Courses and University Regulations > Faculties & Schools > Faculty of Arts > Undergraduate or Programs, Courses and University Regulations > Faculties & Schools > Faculty of Science > Undergraduate are considered as courses taught in the Faculties of Arts and of Science.
  • The maximum number of credits allowed will be strictly enforced.

Distance Education Courses

Distance Education Courses

  • A maximum of 6 credits of courses taught through distance education may be used as electives toward the B.A. & Sc. degree at McGill.
  • Courses taught through distance education from institutions other than McGill will be approved as transfer credits under the following conditions:
    • the course is given by a government-accredited, degree-granting institution acceptable to McGill;
    • the course counts for credit toward degrees granted at the institution giving the course;
    • prior approval for the course is obtained from the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA).
  • The combined total of regular course credits and distance education course credits may not exceed the permitted maximum number of credits per term according to the regulations for the B.A. & Sc. (see Programs, Courses and University Regulations > University Regulations and Resources > Undergraduate > Registration > Course Load).
  • Courses taught through distance education may not be used to complete program requirements, except on an individual basis when serious, documented circumstances warrant it. In such cases, prior approval must be obtained from your program adviser and the Director of Advising Services, Science.

Courses in English as a Second Language (ESL)

Courses in English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL courses are only open to students whose primary language is not English and who have studied for fewer than five years in English-language secondary institutions. As a student in the B.A. & Sc., you may take a maximum of 12 credits, including academic writing courses for non-anglophones, from the list of ESL courses published at www.mcgill.ca/science/student/continuingstudents/basc/conted.

Registration for First-Year Seminars

Registration for First-Year Seminars

Registration for First-Year Seminars is limited to students in their first year of study at McGill, i.e., newly admitted students in U0 or U1. These courses are designed to provide a closer interaction with professors and better working relations with peers than is available in large introductory courses. These seminars endeavour to teach the latest scholarly developments and expose participants to advanced research methods. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum number of students in any seminar is 25, although some are limited to even fewer than that.

You may take only one First-Year Seminar during your first year at McGill. If you register for more than one, you will be obliged to withdraw from all but one of them.

A list of First-Year Seminars is available in Programs, Courses and University Regulations > Faculties & Schools > Faculty of Arts > Undergraduate > Faculty of Arts Degree Requirements > Course Requirements > First-Year Seminar Courses and Programs, Courses and University Regulations > Faculties & Schools > Faculty of Science > Undergraduate > Faculty of Science Degree Requirements > Course Requirements > Registration for First-Year Seminars.

Bachelor of Arts & Science—2012-2013 (last updated Nov. 12, 2012) (disclaimer)