COVID FAQs for First-Year Students

McGill University Central COVID Website

Check this page for up-to-date University directives.

Student Housing/Residences FAQs

Check this page for up-to-date residence information.

International Students COVID FAQs 

Check this page for questions about study permits, immigration, travel restrictions. 

Orientation and Frosh FAQs

When is Orientation Week?

Orientation Week will start on August 24 for undergrads and August 18 for grads. It officially ends on September 1. 

Will Orientation Week be virtual?

In light of government regulations as a response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Campus Life & Engagement, faculties and student associations have agreed to move forward with a virtual format for Orientation Week 2020 in the Fall semester. This is a big change from previous years, but we are confident that it will be a fun and unforgettable experience for all involved.

When do I register for Orientation Week including Frosh events?

Registration for Orientation Week 2020 will begin in early August. The invitation will be sent to both your McGill and preferred email.

Please note that you will need your McGill email to register for O-Week including Frosh events. 

Where can I find a schedule for Orientation Week?

For undergrads, click here

For grads, click here.

Why should I participate in Orientation Week including Frosh?

Orientation Week helps you navigate the McGill community as well as introduce you to valuable resources on campus. Furthermore, you will meet important staff and faculty members who will support you through all the best years to come at McGill. Most importantly, you will have a chance to connect with your peers!

For undergrads, Frosh is one of the first opportunities to connect with others who are also experiencing life as new students at McGill. It is also a chance to meet upper-year students that can act as mentors and resources during and after Frosh. Finally, Frosh is an excellent introduction to the McGill community at large, and can help you identify extra-curricular activities that are of interest to you, resources that you can benefit from over the course of your time at McGill, and of course, introduce you to your fellow students’ favourite parts of Montreal!

Why is virtual Frosh important?

During such uncertain times, we are in need of community and connection now more than ever. With McGill’s decision to move learning opportunities for the Fall semester of 2020 to a virtual format, incoming students will be faced with the task of meeting classmates and making friends in an online world, which is no easy feat. Virtual Frosh will help you to get acquainted with students who are going through the same experiences as you and help you to feel connected to our community of support and hope for all members of the McGill community.

Will Frosh be four days in front of a computer?

Details of specific Frosh programming will be released in the weeks leading up to your first day of classes at McGill, but events will be spread out over the four allotted days of Frosh, including pre-recorded events, live-streams, social activities and challenges to be completed offline, to name a few. You are not expected to spend your day seated in front of a computer screen in order to benefit from what Frosh has to offer!

What is Frosh doing for time zones outside of Montreal?

We are keeping in mind that Frosh participants will be located in different places and time zones all around the world during events. Steps will be taken to make events as inclusive as possible, such as spreading out programming throughout the day and repeating certain events or recording events to be viewed at a later time. Keep in mind that this will vary by faculty and that the specifics have not yet been decided. Rest assured that this issue is being taken into account in the event planning process.

Will there be an in-person Winter Orientation including Frosh?

While being mindful of current government regulations which prevent us from hosting in-person events for the time being, we remain hopeful that gatherings may occur in a safe and inclusive manner during the Winter semester. Should this be the case, we, along with your Frosh Coordinators, will be re-visiting the possibility of hosting an event for the incoming students in January 2021.

Involvement and Engagement FAQs for the Fall

Where can I find a list of involvement opportunities at McGill?

A good point to start is visiting our Engage McGill website. 

SSMU maintains a list of Clubs, Services and ISGs on their website with contact information. These groups are always looking for more members and ways to engage with other McGill students, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

For more ways to stay engaged, visit McGill Checks In to staying socially connected through remote learning organized by the McGill Alumni Association.

What is Activities Night? And will it be virtual this year?

Activities Night is the bi-annual SSMU club fair! Once a semester, all of SSMU’s 250+ student groups showcase what campus has to offer. Each group is able to speak with attending students directly and communicate their activities, goals, and the ways that students can engage with them.  

This year’s Activities Night will take place on September 9th and 10th from 4pm to 8pm (tentative, but will be solidified on Thursday, July 30) via an online fair platform.  

How can I join clubs?

Get in contact with the clubs you are interested in via email, social media or at Activities Night! All clubs have ways for general members to get involved in their activities and potentially become leaders (executives) within the club.  

Will clubs be operating in the Fall term since classes will be delivered remotely?

Yes! Most clubs will be active for the Fall term, operating in a virtual/remote capacity as well. If you are interested in whether a specific club will be active, you can find them at Activities Night, on their social media pages or you can email them directly!

Can I create a club that does not already exist at McGill?

Yes! The SSMU website outlines the process by which you can start your own club, which begins with making sure your club has no or limited overlap with others. You are in fact encouraged to create your club if there is no existing equivalent!  

If you are a graduate student, you can create a club, but you must have undergraduate members in your club and at least one to start it. Graduate students can also email their department to start a committee, or the executive committees.

How will clubs function remotely?

Clubs are asked to provide online or remote programming where possible, in order to ensure that all students – whether they are on campus or not – can be accommodated, as well as to maintain the health and safety of all students. In the late Fall and Winter semester, clubs may be permitted to take part in certain in-person activities on a limited and case-by-case basis.  

All clubs will carry out their activities differently! Upcoming events for clubs can be found in the SSMU’s email newsletter, as well as the SSMU’s central calendar advertising student events.

What is your piece of advice for getting involved?

Try out different things and see what works for you! 

Reach out to student groups and faculty associations at McGill.

Don’t hesitate to ask other students about how they got involved, especially if you see them in positions or groups that you are interested in!  

Make sure that you maintain a balance between schoolwork and extracurricular activities and remember that you are human first, student second!  

Try new things! The McGill environment is the perfect place to explore your interests with minimal risk, so join those groups that have always intrigued you that you never got the chance to be part of before!

What SSMU Services are available this Fall?

All 16 SSMU Services will be providing their Services this Fall in some capacity! Whether online or in-person, each Service will be adapting their activities differently. You can find more information on their websites and social media pages.  

These Services are the Arab Students’ Network, Black Students’ Network, Midnight Kitchen Collective, Eating Disorder Resource and Support Centre, Nightline, Peer Support Centre, SACOMSS, TVM, Musician’s Collective, Flat Bike Collective, Queer McGill, Union for Gender Empowerment, Walksafe, Drivesafe, MSERT and Plate Club. 

What PGSS Services are available this Fall?

PGSS Events: PGSS will be hosting a variety of online events this year! From virtual cooking classes, panel discussions, concerts to virtual trivia and board games nights. To stay up to date on PGSS events and involvement opportunities make sure to follow them on Facebook (@PGSSMcGill) and Instagram (@pgss.mcgill) and keep an eye out for the PGSS Newswire, their bi-weekly newsletter.  

Post-Graduate Student Associations (PGSAs) represent graduate students at the departmental level. PGSAs often organize social and academic events for their members and are a great way to get to know people in your program. For a list of PGSAs please see  

Join a Committee- Would you like to work with other PGSS members? Are you interested in helping to change or improve the lives of fellow students? Then consider joining a PGSS committee. If you would like to work with University administrators and faculties on issues on campus, a University committee might be the right fit for you. For more information on joining a committee please visit: 

Leisure Courses- PGSS members can join a number of live online leisure courses this year including French, Spanish and Yoga courses. For more information please visit:  

If you have questions you can email PGSS at info.pgss [at] mail.mcgill or studentlife.pgss [at] or you can call the PGSS office at 514-398-3756 ext 09098  

Getting Ready for the Start of Classes FAQs

Are there any self-quarantine resources?

Which services will be open in the Fall?

Almost all of McGill’s services will be accessible remotely in the Fall semester. Check this page for more info:

What will remote learning look like in the Fall?

Classes will primarily be held on the Zoom platform. For more information about the platform, please visit Teaching and Learning Services’ webpage:

Did you check out the What’s New special edition on remote learning?

What will labs, tutorials and conferences look like in the Fall?

On the first day of classes, your instructors will be able to inform you what they would look like. For a sneak peak, please refer to:

When do labs, tutorials and conferences start?

They usually start after the add/drop deadline. Your course instructor will provide further information on the first day of classes.

When will the syllabus for my classes be available and how do I know what textbooks and course materials to buy? Will the be available online?

Your course syllabus will be available usually at midnight on the first day of classes (September 2). You can access them through Minerva. On your syllabus, it will contain important information including your instructor(s)'s contact information, course schedule and what textbooks and course materials you will need. For the Fall semester, you will be able to get them online. Please wait until you have attended your classes to buy your books and materials. Remember, you may add and/or drop courses. 

How and where do I get my ID card?

Starting August 24th, you will be able to get your ID card, by appointment only, at Service Point. Please refer to this Student Account webpage for up-to-date information.

How and when do I pay my tuition and fees?

Your Fall tuition fees are due on August 31, 2020. Please refer to the E-billing section of the Student Account webpage for the instructions.

What if I cannot register for my program’s courses?

Seats in courses are reserved for students in their program first and then by different levels (i.e. U0, U1, U2 etc). Sometimes courses may be full or a “reserved closed” error message will pop up. The rule of thumb is if the course you are trying to get into is a required course for your program, you can email the department administering the course and kindly ask them to issue you a permit to register. However, it is not guaranteed you will get the permit. Remember, during the add/drop period, lots of courses will see openings and you have the next 3-4 years to take your courses! Please take a look at this webpage that will help guide you with the registration process.

Who is my Faculty Advisor?

For some faculties, an advisor is assigned to you (i.e. Faculty of Science). You can find out who is your Faculty Advisor on your unofficial transcript on Minerva. For other faculties, please visit the Advisor Directory to find out how to contact a faculty advisor and/or departmental advisor.

Why haven't my transfer credits shown up on my unofficially transcript yet?

The Student Records team is working very hard to upload and grant transfer credits and course exemptions. Please check back in a few weeks. Remember, you have up until the add/drop deadline to change your course selection.

Can I opt out of the McGill health and dental plan?

For domestic students, the McGill health and dental supplemental plan is administered by your student union. If you are a domestic student who is covered elsewhere, you may opt out. Please refer to this webpage for all the guidelines for the non-tuition charges which includes health and dental.

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