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Course Requirements

Course Requirements for Bachelor of Science

All required and complementary courses used to fulfil program requirements, including the basic Science requirements, 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; you should consult your 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 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, 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 offered are given in each unit’s section together with the locations of departmental advisory offices, program directors, and telephone numbers should further information be required.

Course Overlap

Course Overlap

You will not receive additional credit towards your degree for any course that overlaps in content with a course for which you have already received credit at McGill, at another university, at CEGEP, or for Advanced Placement, Advanced Level, International Baccalaureate, or French Baccalaureate results. 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 the same course is offered by two different departments. 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 the Physics students take PHYS XYZ. If a double-prefix course is offered by different departments in alternate years, you may take whichever course best fits your schedule.

Credit for computer and statistics courses offered by faculties other than Science requires the permission of the Director of Advising Services and will be granted only under exceptional circumstances.

Credit for statistics courses will be given with the following stipulations:

Courses Outside the Faculties of Arts and Science

Courses Outside the Faculties of Arts and Science

As a student in the Faculty of Science, you should consult the statement of regulations for taking courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science (see below). A list of approved/not-approved courses in other faculties is posted on the SOUSA website (www.mcgill.ca/science/student/continuingstudents/bsc/outside). You may take courses on the approved list and may not, under any circumstances, take courses on the not-approved list for credit. Requests for permission to take courses that are not on either list should be addressed to the Director of Advising Services.

The regulations are as follows:

  • You may take only 6 credits per year, up to 18 credits in all, of courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science.
  • Courses offered “in the Faculty of Science” or “in the Faculty of Arts” are found under Programs, Courses and University Regulations > All Courses (available at www.mcgill.ca/study) when filtered by “Faculty of Science” or by “Faculty of Arts.”
  • Courses in other faculties that are considered as taught by Science (e.g., BIOT, EXMD, and PHAR) are so designated as offered by the “Faculty of Science” under Programs, Courses and University Regulations > All Courses (available at www.mcgill.ca/study).
  • Courses in Music are considered as outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, except MUAR courses, which are considered as Arts courses.
  • All courses listed in the Religious Studies (RELG) section are considered as courses in Arts and Science except for courses restricted to B.Th. or S.T.M. students and courses that require permission of the Chair of the B.Th. Committee.
  • Students should consult the list of restricted courses outside of the Faculties of Arts and of Science on the SOUSA website (www.mcgill.ca/science/student).
  • You must have the necessary prerequisites and permission of the instructor for such courses.
  • Credit for computer and statistics courses offered by faculties other than Arts and Science requires the permission of the Director of Advising Services and will be granted only under exceptional circumstances.
  • If you use Minerva to register for a course, and it exceeds the specified limitations or it is not approved, the course will be flagged for no credit after the course change period.
  • Credit will not be given for any “how to” courses offered by other faculties that are intended to provide you with only practical or professional training in specific applied areas. Examples include courses that teach the use of certain computer packages (databases, spreadsheets, etc.) or computer languages (SQL, COBOL, FORTRAN, etc.), machine shop or electronic shop courses, technical drawing courses, and professional practice courses.
  • As a student in the McGill School of Environment, you may exceed the 18-credit limit for courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, provided that all such courses are necessary to complete your program of study.
  • As a student in the Major in Software Engineering, you may exceed the 18-credit limit for courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, provided that all such courses are necessary to complete your program of study.
  • As a student in the B.Sc. Liberal Program taking a Major Concentration in Music, you may exceed the 18-credit limit for courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, provided that all such courses are necessary to complete your program of study, up to a maximum of 36 Music credits.
  • If you registered in the Minor in Management before September 2007, you may take 21 credits of courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science.
  • The 18-credit limit applies to students taking the Minor in Nutrition; equivalent courses in Science should be taken instead of courses in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Correspondence, Distance Education, or Web-based Courses

Correspondence, Distance Education, or Web-based Courses

As a Science student, you may obtain transfer credit for correspondence, distance education, or web-based courses if you receive prior approval from the appropriate McGill department for the course content and prior approval from the Director of Advising Services, Science, for the method of delivery and evaluation. Courses taught through distance education from institutions other than McGill will only be considered for 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.
  • The combined total of regular course credits and distance education course credits do not exceed the permitted maximum number of credits per term according to Faculty regulations.
  • Courses taught through distance education may not be used to complete program requirements, except on an individual basis when serious, documented circumstances warrant it.

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.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/bsc/outside.

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. If you register for more than one, you will be obliged to withdraw from all but one of them. Please consult the departmental listings for course descriptions and availability.

First-Year Seminars
CHEM 199 FYS: Why Chemistry?
EPSC 199 FYS: Earth & Planetary Exploration
PSYC 199 FYS: Mind-Body Medicine
PSYT 199 FYS: Mental Illness and the Brain

The First-Year Seminars offered by the Faculty of Arts are also open to Science students. For a complete listing, please consult Programs, Courses and University Regulations > Faculty of Arts > Undergraduate > Academic Programs > First-Year Seminars.

Course Credit Weight

Course Credit Weight

The credit assigned to a particular course should reflect the amount of effort it demands of you. Normally, one credit will represent three hours total work per week for one term—including a combination of lecture hours, other contact hours, such as laboratory periods, tutorials, and problem periods, as well as personal study time.

Faculty of Science—2013-2014 (last updated Feb. 26, 2013) (disclaimer)