New undergraduate students!

Have you signed up for McGill PRO (Pre-Registration Orientation) yet? 

FAQs for Parents/Family of New Students

Q - What can my child do during the summer to help prepare themselves for university?

A - There are a number of things that new students can take advantage of during the summer to prepare for university:

  1. Read the regular emails that Campus Life & Engagement sends them (to the email they used when they applied to McGill).  Each one addresses a different theme that includes everything from course registration to how to get involved in campus activities.  These emails are archived for easy access at our Resources page on our website for first-year students.
  2. Visit McGill 101 on myCourses and review the master checklist and watch informational videos
  3. Review their program requirements
  4. Take advantage of our Student Matching Programs to be paired with a senior student in their Faculty who will correspond with them throughout the summer.


Q - Is there a parents' weekend?

A - The Parent's Tent (August 23-25, 2019 on the Downtown campus and August 26, 2019 on the Macdonald campus) is your opportunity to discover McGill and connect with other families and students.

Parents can also take advantage of the wealth of events and activities during Homecoming Weekend September 26-28.


Q - How can my child get in touch with an advisor?

A - Please review all the resources available to you (course requirements, sample curriculum/schedule from program's website, the First Year website's resources such as webinar and registration guides) before contacting an advisor. Students should be contacting advisors only after reviewing these resources. They should always use their McGill email address to contact an advisor and include their student ID in their email. They can consult the Advisory Directory to find their relevant contact information. 


Q – What is the difference between a U0 and a U1 student?

A – A U0 or “Freshman Program Student” refers to students who have been admitted without any advanced credit or with less than 24 credits of advanced standing. U0 students are enrolled in a four-year program and required to complete between 97 and 120 credits for their degree.

A U1 student or “Departmental Student” refers to students who have been admitted with 24 or more credits of advanced standing. U1 students are enrolled in a three-year degree program and are required to complete 96 or fewer credits for their degree.

You can find more information about advanced standing and credits on McGill’s dedicated webpage.


Q – How can my new McGill student pick up their Student ID card?

A – Students need to be registered in at least one course to be able to obtain an ID card. ID cards are available for pick-up at Service Point for students on the Downtown campus, and the Student Affairs Office in Laird Hall on the Macdonald campus with the student’s personal ID number and a piece of government ID. See more information about Student ID cards here.


Q - When can I make travel plans to bring them home for the holidays in December?

A – It is important not to make any permanent bookings or plans for travel before knowing the final exam schedules for the Fall and Winter Semesters.  A tentative schedule will be posted near the end of September/end of January respectively, to allow for exam conflicts to be identified, and shortly after, the final exam schedule will be posted.  If you must make bookings now in order to take advantage of special rates, etc., then we recommend that you book for the first day following the exam period.  Exams are written in the mornings, afternoons and evenings.  Holiday or travel plans will not result in deferred exam approvals.

  • Fall Exam Period – December 5-20, 2019
  • Winter Exam Period – April 17-30, 2020

Holidays (University closed) for students:

  • Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend: October 12-14, 2019
  • Winter Break: December 25, 2019 to January 2, 2020 (University Closed)
  • Study Break: March 2-6, 2020 (no classes, University Open)
  • Easter Weekend: Friday, April 10 to Monday, April 13, 2020


Q- When is the tuition payment deadline?

A - Tuition is paid each semester.  The fee payment deadlines are:

                August 30, 2019 - For the Fall Semester
                January 6, 2020 – For the Winter Semester

Some fees and charges (e.g. Residences, lab fees, library charges, etc.) are paid monthly.

To have direct access to your child’s fee account on Minerva, ask them to provide you with “Guest Access” on Minerva. 


Q - How can we find out more about financial aid and money management?

A - The Scholarships and Student Aid Office is responsible for financial aid and for money management education. They have a helpful FAQ section. Applications for financial aid from the University can be submitted through Minerva. 

Questions specific to your situation? Contact student.aid [at] or scholarships [at]


Q – How can my child set up a bank account?

A – The specifics of setting up a bank account will vary according to the bank and branch you choose but your new McGill student will likely need two forms of official ID and a document stating their new Montreal address (ex: bill, copy of their lease, etc.).

The university does not endorse any one bank, so it’s up to your child to decide which seems like the best fit. For a list of banks close to campus and questions to ask before opening an account, see the International Student Services’ information about banking basics. You can also see Campus Life & Engagement’s Montreal Essentials – Services website which provides links to the banks that are close to campus.


Q – How does paying for e-Bills work?

A – E-bills are delivered every month, within the first five days of every months, and can be found on Minerva. Students and guests with access privileges will receive an email notification whenever a new bill is available on Minerva. For a step-by-step guide to viewing and paying for e-Bills see the Student Accounts website. Please note, that McGill excepts a variety of payment options from within Canada, the USA, and outside North America, except for credit card payment.


Q – How can I set up access on Minerva?

A – Students have the ability to grant certain guest privileges to individuals of their choice within their Minerva account. These privileges include: viewing e-Bills and accounts summaries, viewing and printing tax receipts, accessing e-Payment services. Students can revoke these privileges at any time. For more information on how to set up guest access you can visit the Student Accounts webpage. Please note that guest privileges on Minerva do not include access to students’ grades or health information. You can learn more about student privacy at McGill here.


Q - Where can I find a proof of enrolment?

A - You can print a proof of enrolment letter directly from the student's Minerva account. See this guide for step-by-step instructions on printing a proof of enrolment letter.

Contact Service Point for more information or support. 


Q - Can we move into Residences early/late? 

A Both situations are possible provided that you contact the respective Residence to advise them of an early or late arrival. Fees will apply to an early move-in. 


Q - What time does move-in start on move-in day?

A - To find out more about the Residences' move-in dates and times, as well as what to expect, please visit the Student Housing website.


Q - Where do we park during move-in day?

A - It's mostly street parking, so be careful of restricted residential areas!


Q  - What does my child need to bring?

A - The First Year website has a list of items your student may want to bring with them. You may also want to consult Student Housing and Hospitality to find out about the specific amenities that a student's room will include if they are living in Residence. 


Q - What kind of computer will my child need?

Very few programs have specific requirements for computers. Most students will use their computer to do research, take notes, write their essays, and watch lecture recordings. As long as the computer is reliable, the choice is yours. If you are planning on purchasing a desktop or laptop computer for academic reasons, it's best to do so in Canada, or at least be sure that your warranty will be covered in Canada if you purchase outside of Canada. There are also number of computer workstations in the libraries that students have access to.


Q - What kind of phone plan can my child get while at McGill?

A - There are lots of providers and plans available! Note that McGill does not endorse any one provider, nor does the university have any specific discount agreements for students. Consult this list of considerations for purchasing a plan. No matter which one you choose, beware of extra data usage, it can quickly get expensive. 


Q - What kind of health insurance is available to my child?

A - For a breakdown of health insurance options for Canadian residents, recent permanent residents and Canadian non-residents, and international students, see CL&E's "Health Insurance"email on the First Year website. The Student Accounts website also includes general information about different insurance options. 

International students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory International Health Insurance plan

Note that the student societies' plans (SSMU and MCSS) are supplemental insurance plans. They do not offer the same coverage as provincial or international student health plans and are not sufficient on their own. Students can opt out of the supplemental plan from late August until late September. The provider typically releases the dates for the opt-out period during the summer. 



Have more questions? You can always contact Campus Life & Engagement or visit AskMcGill, McGill's online instant answer service, where you can get answers to a wide variety of questions you may have.

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