FAQ

BIOCHEMISTRY PROGRAMS & COURSE REGISTRATIONS

Q. Which undergraduate programs are offered by the Biochemistry Department?

A. The Biochemistry Department offers three programs:

1. Liberal Program: this is the more broad of the three Biochemistry programs. Students study a Core Science Component (CSC) in Biochemistry (47 credits), plus a Breadth Component (at least 18 credits) in another area of study. For the Breadth Component, students must complete one of the following:

2. Major Program: bridges the gap between the more general Liberal program and the more specialized and challenging Honours program. Students interested in the Honours Program should enroll in the Major program in U1.

3. Honours Program: combines the substantial background given by the major program with a challenging opportunity to carry out laboratory research projects in the U3 year. These courses provide students with research experience under the supervision of a professor in the Department.

Q. I’m in my U2 year and I meet the requirements for the Honours program. How do I obtain permission to switch my Major program to Honours?

A. If you are in your U2 year, have completed your major requirements with a grade of B- or better in each required course, and have a CGPA of at least 3.20, contact christine.laberge [at] mcgill.ca (Christine Laberge), the Student Affairs Officer/Advisor in the Department, for permission to change your program to Honours.

Q. I’ve looked at the credit requirements for my program, but I’m still not really sure what to register for. Is there someone I can talk to?

A. Of course! If you are unsure what to register for, you can contact christine.laberge [at] mcgill.ca (Christine Laberge), the Biochemistry Student Affairs Officer, by email or during her drop-in hours. Please remember to include your McGill Student ID and to use your firstname.lastname [at] mail.mcgill.ca email in all correspondences with anyone in the Department.

Q. What is a ‘normal’ course load?

A. Please see the following link for information on course load: https://www.mcgill.ca/science/undergraduate/handbook

Q. I can’t register for a course that is required for my program. What should I do?

A. If the course you’re trying to register for is a BIOC course, contact undergrad.biochem [at] mcgill.ca. Include your McGill ID and the course you need to register for.

For any other courses, contact the department that offers the course:

BIOL = Biology; CHEM = Chemistry; ANAT = Anatomy; PHGY = Physiology; MATH = Mathematics; MIMM = Microbiology; COMP = Computer Science; PSYT = Psychiatry; EXMD = Experimental Medicine; PHAR = Pharmacology

Q. I’ve failed a course. What should I do?

A. If you have failed a course, speak to christine.laberge [at] mcgill.ca (Christine Laberge) about the different options available to you. Christine will help you determine which option is best suited for you.

Options:

If you have received a grade of D or F in a required course, you have two options:

1. Take the supplemental exam for the course. See this site for more information: https://www.mcgill.ca/exams/dates/supdefer. For most (but not all) courses, the supplemental exam counts for 100% of your grade and covers material from the entire course.

2. Retake the course.

If you have received a grade of D or F in a complementary course, you have three options:

1. Take the supplemental exam for the course. See this site for more information: https://www.mcgill.ca/exams/dates/supdefer. For most (but not all) courses, the supplemental exam counts for 100% of your grade and covers material from the entire course.

2. Retake the course.

3. If you received a grade of D (not F) in a complementary course, that course can be counted as an elective. If you count the course as an elective, you must then replace the complementary course with another course from the same complementary course list.

A grade of D is considered a pass for an elective course. If you have received an F in an elective course, you have three options:

1. Take the supplemental exam for the course. See this site for more information: https://www.mcgill.ca/exams/dates/supdefer. For most (but not all) courses, the supplemental exam counts for 100% of your grade and covers material from the entire course.

2. Retake the course.

3. Choose another elective course to replace the one you failed.

Q. I’ve taken courses at another university that seem equivalent to courses at McGill. Can those courses count toward my degree? If so, how can I get credit for those courses?

A. If courses you have taken at an accredited university are deemed equivalent to courses at McGill, you are eligible to receive credit for them.

If the course you’d like to receive credit for is a Biochemistry course, please make sure to use the course equivalency system.

Please see the following link for more information on transfer credits and study away: https://www.mcgill.ca/science/undergraduate/handbook

Q. What can I do with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry?

A. Due to the broad scope of biochemistry, there is an incredible range of options that exist for graduates who earn a B.Sc. in Biochemistry. The following have been popular options in recent years for graduates from the program:

Further Studies:

  • Medical School
  • Law School
  • Pharmacy School
  • Education (to teach)
  • Graduate School (M.Sc./PhD)

Working in Industry:

  • Technologist
  • Toxicologist
  • Product testing & control
  • Research & development

Research positions in:

  • Cancer biology
  • Genetics
  • Structural biology
  • Enzymology
  • Molecular kinetics
  • Immunology

RESEARCH

Q. I would like to obtain research experience. Are there any undergraduate research courses in Biochemistry that are available to me?

A. BIOC 396 , BIOC 462 and BIOC 491 are research courses offered by the Biochemistry Department that offer excellent research experience.

Please note that BIOC 396 is an elective course, and BIOC 462 and BIOC 491 are honours research courses.

Q. How do I find a supervisor for my research courses (BIOC 462 and/or BIOC 491)?

A. Have a look at each professor’s research interests. You can also search MedPub and read papers that have been published by different professors. Once you have found a professor whose research interests are congruent with your interests, contact them directly and ask if they could supervise your project. Once you have found a supervisor, please email the name of your supervisor to undergrad.biochem [at] mcgill.ca.

Q. I want to take BIOC 396 with a professor in the Biochemistry Department. Are there any forms I have to fill out?

A. Yes. You and your supervisor must fill out a 396 project form. Once filled out and signed by you and your supervisor, please send it by undergrad.biochem [at] mcgill.ca (email) or bring the form to Briana Blair in McIntyre room 905. Once the form submitted a permit will be issue to register for the course.

ADVISING

Q. Who are my advisors?

A. There are many advisors you can contact if you encounter issues during your undergrad:

Departmental Advisor: For questions concerning course selection, course equivalencies, or other questions with regards to your program, contact christine.laberge [at] mcgill.ca (Christine Laberge). You can visit Christine during her office hours.

Faculty Advisor: for information on rules, regulations, requirements and upcoming deadlines governing your 120-credit Bachelor degree program, as well as help with your programs of study, planning your degree, credit load and study away, contact your Faculty Advisor. Your Faculty Advisor’s name can be found at the top of your online transcript.

Q. I’m interested in going to Medical School once I complete my B.Sc. degree. How should I prepare for Med School?

A. Have a look at this link for more information on preparing for Med School: http://www.mcgill.ca/science/prospective/medical

 

 

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