Courses & Registration

Change of Policy

Important notice to all students: The policy regarding the S/U option and use of the D grade has been updated. These policies are in effect for Fall 2012 for all Engineering students. Please see the University Regulations and Resources section of the Undergraduate Calendar for complete details.

Find answers to your questions about courses, graduation, registration in courses outside your faculty, course categories, course grading options and final examination information to help you make the best decisions.



Transfer Credit/Registration

Can I re‐take a course for which I have already received transfer credit?

No. The University does not permit students to take the same course again for credit. Note that the Engineering Peer Tutoring Service (EPTS) is a free tutorial service offered by the Faculty of Engineering. Please take advantage of these services that will prepare you to move confidently through your courses.

Am I permitted to move on to the next level course if I received transfer credit?

Yes. It is highly suggested to move on to the next level MATH, PHYS or CHEM course. You may also take a course if your transfer credit satisfied a pre‐requisite.

Should I wait for my credits to reflect on my record before I register for my courses?

No. If you are certain you will be granted credit for a course please register for the next level course. Please refer to the following site:


Do I need to follow the curriculum in the order it has been presented?

Not necessarily. As long as you have the proper pre‐requisites (transfer credits), you may move courses from second or third semester in to your first year. The curriculum is not a rigid structure and there is some flexibility. You can move courses from the later semesters into the earlier semesters provided that you have completed the required pre‐requisites.

Course is Full

What if the course I am trying to register for is full?

If the course in question is full, please continue to try registering throughout the summer. You will notice a lot of movement in and out of classes throughout the summer and right up until the add/drop deadline in the second week of classes. If you are still not successful at getting into the course by the end of August, please contact [at]

Complementary Studies Courses

Do I need to take my Complementary Studies (Group A – Impact and Group B – Humanities) courses in the suggested semester?

If you are unable to find a suitable humanities or impact course for the semester it has been assigned, you can take these courses at a later time. However, please keep in mind that Complementary Studies courses are mandatory and must be completed prior to graduation. Note that students planning to participate in the Student Exchange program should try to hold their Complementary Studies courses for their exchange term away.

What should I do if the Complementary Studies course I am trying to get into has an error message “reserved closed”?

This means that the department offering the course is giving their students priority to register. Usually, these courses will be opened to ALL students closer to the commencement of classes.

Choosing a Major for Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineering

When do I need to choose my major?

We prefer that students chose their major prior to the add/drop deadline of their first semester. Please follow the necessary instructions on how to do so:

Science Placement Exams

After successfully passing my placement exam; will I receive transfer credit or exemption?

You will receive transfer credit; this means that you will not be permitted to retake the course.

If I did not get transfer credit for a course and feel like I have enough knowledge to not have to retake the course again, what should I do?

If you feel confident enough to not retake the course in question but you did not have the acceptable certification to obtain transfer credit, you may write the placement exam prior to the commencement of classes. If you pass the exam, you will obtain transfer credit for the course and therefore will not be required to register for it.


Is an exemption the same thing as transfer credit?

No. Exemptions are worth 0 credits and will exempt the student from having to take the course(s) in question. Students who receive a course exemption will be required to substitute this exemption with another course. The substitute course must be chosen in conjunction with and approved by your department and faculty.


When can I add a minor?

Technically you can add a minor as early as your first semester; however, we suggest that students meet with an advisor prior to adding a minor. Please refer to the Minors page to see your options. 

MINERVA Error Messages

Prerequisite/Test-Score Error 

Make sure that you have fulfilled all prerequisites and co-requisites. If you have already taken a course that is equivalent to the prerequisite/co-requisite, if you have an “L” in the prerequisite course (a deferral), or if you want to request a prerequisite override, please complete a Course Authorization Form and return it to the McGill Engineering Student centre after your departmental advisor has signed it.

Faculty/Major Restriction

 Make sure this course is open for students in your faculty and department. If it isn’t, but you believe that it should be or you would like an override, you must complete a Course Authorization form and submit it to the McGill Engineering Student Centre after your departmental advisor has signed it.

Departmental/Instructor Approval Required

Please fill out a Course Authorization Form and obtain signatures from the course instructor and your department, and submit it to the McGill Engineering Student Centre for processing.

Course is Full 

As students continuously add and drop courses until the end of this period, we cannot process any Maximum Enrollment overrides until the Add/Drop period is almost over. Continue trying to register for this course until the end of the Add/Drop period nears. If you still have not been able to register, and if you need to take this course during this semester, please submit a Course Authorization form, signed by your departmental advisor, to the McGill Engineering Student Centre.

Temporarily Closed

Check again later as there are currently adjustments being made to the course.


Your student status prohibits registration at this point. Verify that you have an active record, that you have no holds preventing you from registration, and that your academic standing will allow you to register for the intended number of credits. If you are still experiencing difficulties, please go to the Student Affairs Office.

Courses and Registration

Course Conflicts in Engineering

Am I allowed to register for courses that conflict?

It is each student’s responsibility to create a conflict-free schedule. Conflicts can exist between lectures, between tutorials (or labs), or between lectures and tutorials (or labs). If two lectures conflict and there is only one lecture section for each course, you will have to decide which course is more important to you. If one of these courses has more than one lecture section, it may be possible to switch sections if there is space available. It is a university rule that students are not allowed to register in courses that conflict.
The MINERVA registration system will not stop or prevent you from registering for two courses/sections at the same time. However, ultimately, it is your decision to do so and at your own risk; but if you do, you will be in violation of this rule and not eligible for any accommodations that might be required to complete both courses (e.g., re-scheduling in-class midterms if they conflict). Consequently, if midterm exams, other course activities, or final exams for these courses are scheduled at the same time, professors and/or the Exams Office will not accommodate your conflict request.

Course Registration Details

When is the add/drop deadline?

Summer: 4th day of class
Fall: Calendar
Winter: Calendar

When is the Withdrawal deadline?

Summer: 8th day of class
Fall: Calendar
Winter: Calendar

How can I register for a graduate level course (600 or above)?

In order for an undergraduate student to register for a graduate level course, a request must be submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and forwarded to the Director, Graduate Studies for approval. The student must have a minimum CGPA of 3.2 or equivalent and receive both Departmental and Faculty permission. Students are allowed to take one course only and it will not count toward a graduate degree or diploma in the future. The student must provide a reason why the course is to be taken at this time. An approval form is available at the Student Affairs Office.

See Graduate Registration

How can I have a course marked under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option?

Unsatisfactory/Satisfactory Option may be used for COMPLEMENTARY STUDIES COURSES ONLY. Students MUST code courses under the S/U OPTION at the time of registration on MINERVA. The option will NOT be added or dropped manually to a student's record after the Drop/Add deadline. Choosing this option is done on Minerva as part of the course add/drop menu by changing the course grade mode.

See SU Option

How can I have a course marked as “Extra”?

Courses a student chooses to take which lie outside their program may be classified as "extra" - provided the student chooses this option at registration. Extra courses are indicated on the student's transcript, and grades earned in those courses do not affect the GPA. The option will not be added to a student's record after the Add/Drop deadline. Courses that are taken to satisfy the student's engineering program or a Minor cannot be designated as extra.

To designate a course as “Extra”, please complete a Course Authorization Form, have it signed by your departmental advisor and submit the form to the Student Affairs Office for processing.

See Extra


What do I do if I have a Final exam conflict?

Please see the Exam Conflicts website.

What do I do if I have a religious conflict with a final exam?

Once the Final Exam Schedule has been posted, you must complete a Final Exam Conflict Form and submit it to Service Point at 3415 McTavish Street. 

Deadline for submission of the form is 4 weeks before exams begin. Once approved, information about arrangements will be e-mailed to students shortly afterward.

Students who request an accommodation may be asked to sign a confidentiality form confirming that they will not discuss the exam with anyone until after the regular exam has been written.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the Religious Conflict exam schedule, visit the Schedules web page Schedule

How do I write a supplemental Exam?

Please see Supplemental Exams.

Courses administered by the Faculty of Engineering do not have supplemental examinations; however, engineering students may be eligible to write supplemental examination in courses administered by the Faculty of Arts & Science (typically Humanities & Social Science courses and freshman courses).

The following conditions apply when applying to write a supplemental examination:

  • Students must be in satisfactory or probationary standing;
  • Students are permitted to write a supplemental for courses which they’ve received a mark of D, F, J or U;
  • Special permission is required if students wish to write supplemental exams totaling more than seven (7) credits, from the Student Affairs Office
  • Only one supplemental examination is allowed in a course;
  • The supplemental result may or may not include the same proportion of class work as did the original grade. Students are instructed to verify with the instructor;
  • The supplemental result will not erase the grade originally obtained; both the original mark and the supplemental result will be calculated in the CGPA;
  • Additional credit will not be given for a supplemental exam where the original grade for the course was a D and the student already received credit for the course.
  • There is a $35.00 non-refundable fee per each supplemental exam, which is charged directly to the student’s McGill student account.
  • The supplemental examination period for fall courses is during the months of April and May, and for winter and span (two-term) courses during the last week of August. Supplemental applications are available through Minerva.

Is it possible to have an instructor reread my final exam?

Please see Rereads

What happens if I missed a midterm?

Please see Midterms.

All arrangements regarding midterms must be coordinated between the student and course instructor. The Student Affairs Office is not involved in issues dealing with midterms. 

What is the faculty standard calculator?

Please see Calculators.

All students must have one of the following types of calculators, and no exceptions will be permitted: CASIO fx-115, CASIO fx-991, CASIO fx-570ms SHARP EL-520, or the SHARP EL-546.

  • The Faculty Standard Calculators CASIO fx-115, CASIO fx-991, CASIO fx-570ms, SHARP EL-520, or SHARP EL-546, will be required for some examinations. Under these circumstances, no other calculators will be permitted, regardless of their level of sophistication. NON-REGULATION CALCULATORS WILL BE REMOVED AND NO REPLACEMENT CALCULATOR WILL BE PROVIDED.
  • The use of calculators during examinations is at the discretion of the instructor. Please check with your instructor if you are unsure about the specific calculator requirements for your course.
  • Unless explicitly stated on the examination paper, calculator programs prepared prior to the examination are not permitted. Students using continuous memory calculators are responsible for erasing any stored programs or information prior to examinations.
  • Covers on calculators must be removed or the invigilator will remove it for you.

Exam Deferrals

Please see Deferrals for information about deferrals.

  • What do I do if I need to defer an exam?

If you have missed a Final Examination due to illness or family affliction, you must submit a request for a deferral to the Student Affairs Office along with the documentation listed below (requests will not be considered if any information is missing).

  • An original medical certification or other documentation.
  • A completed Deferral Request Form
  • A detailed letter justifying your request for a deferral.

The medical certificate MUST cover the date of the missed exam, and the nature and duration of the illness. You MUST also attest that you have completed all coursework to date, which will be verified with the instructor(s). The Student Affairs Office MUST be informed of the reasons for absences from a final examination(s) no later than one week after the date of the final examination(s) that was missed.

Your signature on the Deferral Request form will allow the Faculty to verify the authenticity of your medical certificate and the nature of your illness or any other documentation provided. If the form is not signed, it will result in an automatic failure. Deferrals are granted ONLY for compelling reasons. If your request for a deferral is denied by the Associate Dean, you will receive a "J" grade (absent) in the course. For the purpose of calculating GPA'S and CGPA'S, the grade of "J" is treated as an "F" (failed, 0%). You will be contacted regarding the approval of a deferral initially via email approximately two weeks after the end of the examination period. If you are granted a deferral, you will be given an "L" grade which will be replaced by a "J" should you miss the NEXT deferred or regular examination in the course, whichever occurs first.

  • What do I do if I become sick during the exam?
  • If you become ill during a formal Final Examination, you must inform the invigilator right away. If it is necessary, you will be escorted to Health Services. As stated above you MUST return to the Student Affairs Office with medical certification within one week of the exam. NOTE: If you complete the exam in a routine fashion, the grade received CANNOT be changed.
  • If I defer an exam, when do I take it again?
  • For Engineering courses, students granted a deferral MUST write the final exam the NEXT time it is offered. You should be aware that a deferred examination may not be available until the next time the course is given (one year).
    For Arts, Science, and Management courses, students MUST write the supplemental/deferral examination offered during either May (for Fall courses) or August (for Winter courses). ** Deferrals are not permitted for summer courses. You may be permitted to withdraw from a course without refund instead.For Continuing Education courses, students granted a deferral should contact the Centre for Continuing Education directly for more information.


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