Preparing for course registration

  1. Verify the date that registration will open for you

  2. Determine your graduation requirements

    You will need to fulfill two types of requirements to graduate:

    A) Your degree requirements - these are the requirements you must fulfill to obtain your Bachelor's degree (this will include how many credits you need to graduate, how your degree is structured and any U0 courses you must take).

    B) Your chosen program requirements - these are the requirements you must fulfill to graduate with the Major(s)/Minor(s)/Honours/Concetration(s) that you choose to pursue within your degree (for information on the difference between Majors, Minors, etc... consult our terminology guide).

    Consult the Advising Information table (at the bottom of this page) for advising information for each Faculty and School.


    The number of credits you must complete to graduate, as well as the U0 courses you are required to take, will depend on any advanced/university-level coursework you completed prior to studying at McGill. You may be granted transfer credit and/or exemptions for this work (up to a maximum of 30 credits). This will determine whether you are placed in U0 or U1:

    I did not complete any advanced-level course work during my pre-McGill studies. You will be placed in U0 
    • In your first year at McGill, you will fulfill your U0 requirements (i.e. courses).
    • In your second year at McGill (U1) you will declare and begin taking courses towards your Major(s)/Minor(s)/etc...

    I completed CEGEP, A-Levels, CAPE, French Baccalaureate or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

    You will be placed in U1
    • In your first year at McGill, you will declare and begin taking courses towards your Major(s)/Minor(s)/etc...
    • Depending on your program at McGill and the courses you took in CEGEP or high school, you may be required to take certain U0 courses. If a large number of U0 courses need to be taken, your U1 status may be changed to U0.

    I completed other advanced-level coursework (such as APs, IB Certificate, university courses, etc...).

    You will be placed in U0. McGill will evaluate your coursework once final, official results are received and your status may be changed to U1.
    • If you are awarded 23 credits or less of transfer credit, you will remain a U0 student and you will have to complete several U0 requirements (i.e. courses) before you can declare your Major(s)/Minor(s)/etc... Depending on how much credit you are granted, this will take a semester to a year.
    • If you are awarded 24 credits or more, your status will be changed to U1. You will be able to declare and begin taking courses towards your Major(s)/Minor(s)/etc... However, depending on the courses you took in high school (and the exemptions you are granted), you may be required to take certain U0 courses.

    Consult Transfer Credit & Advanced Standing for full details on transfer credit and exemptions.

    If you feel that you've completed the equivalent of one or more McGill math or science courses but do not have the certification to prove it, you may be eligible to write placement exams in linear algebra, biology, chemistry, math or physics.

  3. Plan your program

    Start thinking about how you plan to fulfill both your degree and program requirements over the course of your 3-5 years at McGill.

    STEP 1: Make use of the resources outlined on this page - in particular, the Course Selection links found in the table at the bottom of this page (here you will find detailed information about your program structure and requirements).

    STEP 2: Read through the information found on your Faculty or School's advising website (see the table below for links).

    STEP 3: Get support. You can contact your Advising Office directly, but note that most program advisors will only be available for new student advising in June. This means that you will likely select and register for your first year courses before meeting an academic advisor. Don't worry about making a mistake in your course selection, you will have plenty of time to review your selection with an advisor before the add/drop deadline.


    • Start by planning your first year registration, but also consider how you want this to tie into future years. For example: if you think you might want to do an Honours program, consult the eCalendar for any prerequisite courses that you may need to take in your first or second year.
    • Check your McGill email inbox! Important advising information and updates will be sent to your McGill email over the summer.
  4. Build your first year schedule

    Once you understand what courses you should be registering for in your first year, use these tools to help you build your schedule:

    Class Schedule - instructions on how to navigate the Class Schedule Search on Minerva so you can build your schedule.

    Visual Schedule Builder (VSB)- a tool that lets you input the courses you'd like to take and view the resulting schedule options. Note: VSB does not actually register you in courses, it is only a tool to help coordinate your schedule.

    You do not need approval from an advisor to register for courses. Also note that not all students are assigned a specific advisor (this will depend on the program you are in) and not all programs have mandatory advising.


    • Focus on required courses first, then fit in electives (when possible).
    • Take courses of an appropriate level. If you have been admitted to U0, you should be taking 100 and 200-level courses during your first year. If you have been admitted to U1, you should be taking mostly 200-level courses during your first year.
    • Many courses offer multiple ‘sections’, which are held on different days/times of the week. You should select the section that best fits your schedule (and your personality!). Choosing different sections can also help you better fit electives into your schedule.
    • Make note of the CRN (course reference number) for each course you want to register for – this information is found on the Minerva Class Schedule Search. You can use the CRN to ‘quick add/drop courses’ on Minerva when registration opens (this lets you register faster).
    • Certain classes will not be open to you immediately when registration opens. This may be because that course is reserved for students in a specific degree or program (this course may open up later if space is available). NOTE: If you are trying to register for a first year science course, the dates that each course opens for registration will vary.
    • Prepare alternative course selections in case a course is full or does not fit into your schedule. Some courses will offer a waitlist or a spot may open up before classes start (track over the summer to see if a spot opens). If you can't get in, don't worry - next year you will have higher registration priority as a returning student! Note: If one of your required courses is full, contact your Advising Office (not the professor). They will help you find a place in required courses.
    • If registering for a waitlist, note that there is no limit to the number of waitlists you can be on.
    • Do your best, but don't stress! The only mistake you can make is not registering for courses. You will have plenty of time to speak with an advisor before the add/drop deadline.
  5. Register for courses on Minerva

    Login to Minerva on the date registration opens for you and complete your course registration.

    For instructions on how to register using Minerva, consult the Registering for courses.

    You must register for at least one course by August 14 to avoid paying a late registration fee.

  6. Register for McGill's Sexual Violence Education Program

    McGill University is committed to creating a campus community free of sexual violence. All new students will be required to complete an online consent education program, It Takes All of Us, during their first semester at McGill. By completing this program, you are helping create a safe and inclusive learning environment for everyone on our campuses. For more information, visit the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) website and consult the Frequently Asked Questions.

    If you need emotional support or accommodations to complete the modules, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) at osvrse [at] or 514-398-3954.


Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Academic Advising


Student Affairs Office (OASIS)
Arts & Science Guide for new students and Academic Advising
Dentistry Academic Affairs
Human Nutrition, School of Academic Advising
Education Academic Advising


(includes Architecture)

Mandatory Orientation for new students

Academic Advising


Guide for new students

Academic Advising

Management Academic Advising
Medicine Academic Support and Student Services

Academic Advising

Nursing Academic Advising
Physical & Occupational Therapy Student Services
Religious Studies Academic Advising

Academic Advising

Faculty of Science Undergraduate Handbook

List of Academic Advisors by department

Social Work Academic Advising


Get to know Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) !

As a service for everyone “new” at McGill, CL&E provides year-long support for new McGill students. Please don't hesitate to contact them, especially when you aren’t sure where to go with your questions or concerns. They are a phone call, or email away from helping you find the answers to your questions.

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