This version of the McGill Department of English, Undergraduate Studies site is deprecated but has been preserved for archival reasons. The information on this site is not up to date and should not be consulted. Students, faculty, and staff should consult the new site using the link below.

Advising in the Department of English

Advising for Returning and Transfer Students

Advising in the Department of English is provided by all professors and by the Undergraduate Coordinators in the  Arts-Ferrier Undergraduate Student Affairs Office (Arts 155). Some professors advise graduate students only. Professors who do undergraduate advising help students in the specific Option in which they teach (Literature, Cultural Studies, or Drama and Theatre).

Note: Advising by professors takes place in the Department of English during course change periods in September and January and during early registration in April. Please be sure to obtain the advising you need during these periods. The website will show a list of professors’ available advising hours at the beginning of these periods.

If you are in an English program, see a professor during these periods to discuss different courses and make informed choices among them; to have your fulfillment of program requirements approved semester by semester and before your graduation; to have credits in English from other universities approved for transfer by the Student Affairs Office and assessed for use in your English program; to discuss program choices (for example, whether to pursue an Honours program); to discuss your plans for the future as these relate to your English studies (for example, graduate study, internships, and so on).

You may also see  an Undergraduate Coordinator in Arts 155 at any time of the year for clarifications of departmental program requirements, course information (content, classroom, time of day), and lists of courses that fulfill program requirements.

For any questions, please contact: undergradadvising.english [at]

Each full-time member of faculty in the Department whose name is included on the Advisor List acts as an undergraduate Advisor to provide you with information about its programs, courses, relevant electives, and other academic concerns. To discuss general matters relating to your B.A. degree, see an Arts Faculty Advisor in the Student Affairs Office located in Dawson Hall.

I. Department Program Advising

Departmental advisors are available during course change periods (early September and early January) and at the end of the Winter semester. Advisors will discuss your academic goals and help you relate them to departmental programs; clarify English program requirements; guide you in your selection of courses, and verify that selected courses fulfill program requirements as you think them to do; approve relevant English courses taken elsewhere for credit towards your English program, at their discretion (see below); and verify your program throughout your course of study, and especially in your final year, to ensure that it meets graduation requirements.

In your final year, the advisor's signature on the reverse of the Audit Sheet that is kept in your Departmental file represents confirmation by the Department that your final course selections will fulfill program requirements; students must see a Departmental Advisor in order to have that protection. All special permissions or exemptions must also be marked and signed for on your Audit Sheet. For students doing a 120-credit B.A., the Major and/or Minor program is declared via MINERVA at the end of the freshman year (U0); students doing a 90-credit degree declare their Major and/or Minor immediately via MINERVA. 

Program advising for returning students takes place each Spring, as early registration for the subsequent academic year. No Departmental Advisors can be expected to be available for such duties after that time, until course-change advising in the first weeks of the Fall Term.

When you meet with your Advisor, you should take the Audit Sheet for your program (available in Arts 155) and, if you have previously established your program in the English Department by seeing a departmental advisor, your personal file, which the Department maintains for each student. Every time you meet with an Advisor, you must first request your file (I.D. required) at the  Arts-Ferrier Undergraduate Student Affairs Office, Arts 155, to take it to your appointment. 

In your graduating year, the Faculty of Arts will audit your academic record to verify that all Departmental program requirements have in fact been fulfilled. During your years in an English Department program, the Audit Sheet in your personal file is the Department's primary means of ensuring that you know which requirements have been fulfilled and which remain to be fulfilled, and are advised accordingly. Before entering the final semesters in the program, each student should see an Advisor to have his/her entire record verified and to have the Advisor sign on the Audit Sheet confirming that all English program requirements for graduation have been met.

II. Obtaining Credit for Relevant Courses Taken Elsewhere

If you are not an English program student and you wish to receive elective credit for English courses taken elsewhere, see a Faculty of Arts advisor in Dawson Hall. English departmental advisors will only deal with requests from English program students concerning English courses taken elsewhere. 

Note that there are two steps you must take to count English courses taken elsewhere towards your English program. Only the Faculty of Arts advisors in Dawson Hall can grant credit towards your degree for a course taken elsewhere. Only your Department of English advisor can accept courses taken elsewhere as part of your English program. So, when seeking such credit, you should first see a Faculty of Arts advisor. As a second step, consult the Department of English advisor to determine whether credits granted by the Faculty can count towards your program within the Department. Only courses clearly relevant to the programs of the Department can be considered for its requirements. When consulting the Department, please ensure that you have the documents specified below, as well as your Department file, obtainable from the  Undergraduate Student Affairs Office, Arts 155 (I.D. required).

Case One: Credits Preceding Study at McGill.

The Student Affairs Office of the Faculty of Arts or the Admissions Office grants credit for relevant coursework done before admission to McGill, and in that case, your total credit requirement at McGill will have been reduced accordingly. A maximum of 1/3 of departmental program credits may be completed by such transfer credits. To find out if any of these already accepted credits count towards McGill English Department program requirements, take the course descriptions, syllabi, your Department file from the General Office, and the partially-completed Course Approval form from the Student Affairs Office website (see to a Department of English Advisor. If the Advisor accepts any of these external credits towards your program, ensure that the Advisor records that permission on and signs your Audit Sheet, in the space where credit for the equivalent McGill course would be noted. Otherwise your graduation could be mistakenly delayed.

For example: The Admissions Office may grant credit for U.S. Advanced Placement (AP) courses, British A-level studies, International Baccalaureate, or comparably advanced coursework at another post-secondary institution. A student seeking exemption from English program requirements in this instance must submit detailed and school-specific course descriptions, syllabi, and any other work. deemed necessary, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for assessment. Upon proof that the Admissions Office has granted credit, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, may grant exemption from program requirements. The Director must approve the exemption by signing the student's program Audit sheet, which must then be returned to the  Undergraduate Student Affairs Office (Arts 155) for insertion in the student's file. 

Note: For students admitted to McGill prior to 2004/2005: Re: AP's in Literature/Composition. Upon receiving proof of completion, the English Department will grant exemption from the 6-credit requirement for Department of English Surveys 1 and 2. Credit will NOT be granted for Surveys 1 and 2 if they are taken. However, for students admitted 2004/2005 and later, exemption will not be granted automatically. A student seeking exemption must see the Director of Undergraduate Studies (see previous paragraph). 

Case Two: Seeking Credit for Courses Taken Elsewhere During Study at McGill.

Obtain a "Course Approval Form" form from the Student Affairs Office in Dawson Hall (website mentioned above). Normally submitted before the external studies are undertaken, these forms require written authorization by any Advisor in your English program. The Advisor must note any English course here which is equivalent to that to be taken elsewhere, and you should bring a list of such possibilities, prepared beforehand. Such equivalence is not necessary for an external course to be approved for the requirements of a student's program, but when possible the equivalent course enters his or her Faculty record to ensure that the same material is not studied twice. For each course to be considered for approval, you must provide the Advisor with calendar descriptions (and, if requested, course syllabi). After the approved external course or courses are completed, and your Department file thus includes a transcript and/or a note from Dawson Hall confirming that McGill credit has been granted, ensure that an Advisor in your English program records these external credits on the Audit Sheet in your file, just as for McGill English courses. Otherwise your graduation could be mistakenly delayed. 

A note for students at McGill as part of an exchange program, or for McGill English students contemplating an exchange semester or year away from McGill: the name of the Exchange Advisor in the Department of English and his/her contact information may be obtained from the Undergraduate Student Affairs Office, Arts 155.

III. Exemptions from Program Requirements

An English program Advisor may decide that a student's past experience or special situation merits exemption from one or more program requirements, even in those instances where no McGill credit has been given. (NB: only the Director of Undergraduate Studies in English may exempt a student from a specifically required course.) In such cases, the student is allowed to substitute an elective course applicable to the program for the affected requirement. The Advisor and student should complete a Student Adjustment Form indicating their arrangement clearly; this form must be submitted to the Student Affairs Office by the student. Thus total program requirements are not affected; the student can simply proceed more rapidly to advanced courses. The Advisor must ensure that he or she records the exemption on the student's Audit Sheet or graduation could be mistakenly delayed.

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