Feedback

This is the 20122013 edition of the eCalendar. For the most recent publication, click here.  

Types of Advising and Advisers

Types of Advising and Advisers

While at McGill, you have access to a variety of advisers, mentors, and counsellors who have different skills, expertise, and levels of authority. You can talk about your situation freely with your advisers; they will respect your wish for confidentiality. Typical types of advisers are described below. You should refer to your faculty's section of this publication for additional advising information specific to your degree program. Note that some academic matters require approval of more than one adviser, e.g., the faculty adviser and the department/school academic adviser.

Faculty Advisers are normally located in the Student Affairs Office of each faculty and are available throughout the calendar year (Faculty Student Affairs Offices).

Faculty advisers:
  • are experts in the rules, regulations, and requirements pertaining to specific degree programs;
  • provide ongoing advice and guidance on program selection, course registration, credit load, deadlines, and majors and minors;
  • offer help managing academic situations during periods of personal, financial, or medical difficulties, by working with you to identify various possibilities and strategies for making informed decisions;
  • communicate with other advisers within the University and, with your permission, serve as a direct link to other University resources;
  • may assist you in planning for, and applying to, university exchange programs and may also provide, or direct you to, information about scholarships, awards, research fellowships, and opportunities within a given field;
  • are a valuable source of information about the various resources available at McGill;
  • offer support, guidance, and appropriate referral to help you manage academic situations during periods of personal, financial, or medical difficulties, and identify various possibilities and strategies for making informed decisions.

Department/School Academic Advisers are normally located closer to the offices of professors in your program and may only be available during specific times of the year (e.g., prior to registration for the next session or during the add/drop period) or during regularly scheduled office hours. If you are completing a major or minor in more than one unit, you will likely have an adviser in each unit. The departmental academic adviser may be either a professor or a member of the administrative staff. You should contact your department's administrative office to determine the identity and availability of your academic adviser. You should check your progress with your departmental academic adviser from time to time—and certainly before your final year (Contact Information for Advising).

Departmental academic advisers:
  • guide you through course selection to meet the subject matter requirements of the major or minor;
  • consider requests for course equivalencies, recommend prior approval for inter-university transfer credits, or explain the rationale for the design of a department/school program;
  • may assist you in planning for, and applying to, university exchange programs, and may also provide, or direct you to, information about scholarships, awards, research fellowships, and opportunities within a given field;
  • are a valuable source of information about the various resources available at McGill;
  • can provide support, guidance, and appropriate referrals if you experience academic or personal difficulties while studying at McGill;
  • are often responsible for confirming that you have met major or minor program requirements for graduation.

Professors/Lecturers may act in a voluntary capacity to mentor you as you progress through your program. The faculty adviser or department/school academic adviser may be able to help you identify a good resource person in your program.

Professors/lecturers:
  • may provide advice on the latest trends in a specific field of study and make recommendations on related advanced readings;
  • may discuss opportunities for a student research experience and help you connect with a professor or lecturer who best suits your interests or learning style;
  • refer you back to the faculty adviser or departmental academic adviser for signatures and permission related to program requirements.

Peer Advisers are students who have been trained by faculty advisers or department/school academic advisers. They normally offer drop-in hours for advice on University life and will help you find the information you need in this publication or through other University resources. Peer advisers are only available in some faculties or departments.

Related Services

Related Services

The First-Year Office (FYO) (Brown Student Services Building; www.mcgill.ca/firstyear) can help new students navigate their way through this publication and the information contained in the Welcome to McGill publication (www.mcgill.ca/newstudents). They help newly admitted students prepare for the course registration period on Minerva. To maximize this help, you are strongly urged to read the sections in the Welcome to McGill publication that apply to your faculty. The FYO staff are always available to provide advice and referrals to the many support mechanisms at McGill.

Counselling Service (Brown Student Services Building; www.mcgill.ca/counselling) has professional counsellors and psychologists who are available to discuss personal, academic, and career goals or problems. They provide individual counselling, therapy, psychoeducational workshops, and crisis intervention. A walk-in service is available.

Career Planning Service (CaPS) (Brown Student Services Building; www.mcgill.ca/caps) provides career education, guidance, and individual advising to help you in your search for permanent, part-time, or summer jobs and internships.

Enrolment Services (Service Point, 3415 McTavish Street, Montreal (QC) H3A 0C8; 514-398-7878; www.mcgill.ca/students/records) is the place to start if you have questions related to credits on entrance or Advanced Standing based on previous studies.

On the Macdonald campus, information is provided by the Student Affairs Office, Laird Hall, Room 106; www.mcgill.ca/macdonald.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2012-2013 (last updated Mar. 19, 2012) (disclaimer)