New Undergraduate Students► Resources and FAQ
Welcome to the Department of Geography at McGill University. On this page you will find a number of helpful resources and Q&A to help get you ready for this new academic journey. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our advising and support staff for guidance. We look forward to working with you!
Undergraduate Advising & Support Staff
Undergraduate Program Advisor
Ms. Michelle Maillet
advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca
Michelle is primarily working remotely due to the pandemic, but under normal circumstances she can be found in Burnside Hall, room 323 just next door to the MUGS Lounge. Until further notice, she is available to answer your questions by advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca (email), and by virtual appointment on MS Teams, and Zoom.
Michelle is responsible for all undergraduate programs that fall under the Department of Geography (including majors, minors, honours, joint honours, and Interfaculty programs). She holds a wealth of knowledge about navigating the McGill bureaucracy and can help you be strategic with your undergraduate studies. She even holds a BA degree and MA degree in Geography from McGill University herself! Do not hesitate to contact her for any Geography-related or general questions that you may have. If she is not the right person to resolve your issue, she can connect you with the appropriate person/service/office.
Ms. June Connolly
undergrad.geog [at] mcgill.ca
June is currently working remotely, but under normal circumstances she can be found in the Geography Admin Office in Burnside Hall, room 705.
June is available by email to assist students with general registration issues for GEOG courses. She also works closely with the Program Advisor to answer student registration, program and gradations questions, and provides administrative support to Geography Faculty.
Registration dates and deadlines
- Deadline to register for at least one course to avoid registration penalties: Saturday, August 14
- Add/Drop deadline: Tuesday, September 14
- Course or University Withdrawal with refund deadline: Tuesday, September 21
- Course or University Withdrawal WITHOUT REFUND deadline: Tuesday, October 26
For more information about key academic dates & other important dates for the fall 2021 term, see the complete details posted here.
- Deadline to register without penalty (new students only): Wednesday, January 5
- Add/Drop deadline: Tuesday, January 18
- Course or University Withdrawal with refund deadline: Tuesday, January 25
- Course or University Withdrawal WITHOUT REFUND deadline: Tuesday, March 8
For more information about key academic dates & other important dates for the winter 2022 term, see the complete details posted here.
Registration Q & A to help get you started
Q: What courses should I register for in my first year at McGill?
A: U0 students should register for courses to complete their Freshmen program requirements. In BSc and BA&Sc degrees, this program is managed by your assigned Faculty advisor. In BA degrees, the program is managed by monica.hotter [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Freshmen%20program) (Monica Hotter) at OASIS. U1 students can start working on their major(s) and minor(s). U1 students can take 200-level courses and some 300-level courses that do not have prerequisites, whether they be required, complementary or elective courses. First year is a good time to explore disciplines if you are not sure what program(s) you want to complete.
Q: A course I want to register for is full, what should I do?
A: Registration as a first year student can be stressful as many courses may already be full once you gain access to the registration menu, but keep in mind you will have until the end of the add/drop period for each semester to finalize your course schedule. As there is a large amount of turnover in enrollment numbers for first year courses during this period, you may still have good chances of getting a seat in the course if you keep a close eye on minerva over the summer months, and as courses begin in September, and in January. In the meantime, try to find something else to take that may still have room for you to register, so you have something else to fall back on just in case. It is not a problem to focus more heavily on your other program(s) in your first year, and then on your Geography program in subsequent years if you have to. Each year, you will have an earlier pick at registration, so it does get easier as you progress with the degree!
Q: How do I register for a course that has an active minerva waitlist?
A: If a course has an active minerva waitlist, you will not be able to register for the course directly; you will first need to add yourself to the minerva waitlist once a spot becomes available there in order to be invited to register once spaces free up in the course. Once you add yourself to a waitlist, monitor your McGill email daily so as not to miss the invitation to register as you will only have a day or less to register. If you do not respond by the deadline indicated in the invitation to register, you will be bumped off the waitlist and the spot will be offered to the next person in line. If this is the case, you will need to start over from the back of the queue and hope for the best. For detailed instructions on how the waitlist systems functions, click here.
Q: When do I register for courses for the winter 2022 term?
A: You should be registering for both the fall 2021 and winter 2022 terms at the same time.
Q: Where can I find up to date program information and course lists?
Q: I have questions about registration to GEOG courses, or about my program. Who can I talk to?
A: When/if in doubt, email your questions to the Geography Program Advisor Ms Michelle Maillet at advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca, or book a virtual appointment with her to go over your questions together. Michelle is responsible for all undergraduate programs that fall under the Department of Geography (including majors, minors, honours, joint honours, and Interfaculty programs). She holds a wealth of knowledge about navigating the McGill bureaucracy and can help you be strategic with your undergraduate studies. Do not hesitate to contact her for any Geography-related or general questions that you may have. If she is not the right person to answer your question, she can connect you with the appropriate people/office.
For general registration issues, you may also contact our Undergraduate Coordinator Ms June Connolly at undergrad.geog [at] mcgill.ca for assistance.
An exemption may be granted if you have completed a course at another institution that is equivalent to a McGill course. A non-university credit exemption does not give you course credits. Rather, it means that you must take another course in the place of the one for which you receive the exemption. Your advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca (program advisor) can help identify suitable alternatives.
For general information on transfer credit and advance standing, click here.
Q: I am a newly admitted student with CEGEP, AP, A-levels, IB, or French Bacc. How do I know if I have credit exemptions and when will these be added to my McGill record?
A: The Admissions office will record your transfer credits on your McGill transcript by October, though in most cases the information will be showing on your record during the summer and prior to starting classes where the following five conditions are met:
- you have confirmed your offer in a program at McGill
- your CEGEP, university or exam board has provided us proof of official results (often not until July or August)
- the course is listed on one of the sub-pages of the "Prospective and newly admitted students" page of this website, and is pre-approved for credit (subject to change)
- the course is counted towards your degree or program
- you passed the course with the required minimum grade or better (see individual pages for details)
You can see your transfer credit(s) on your unofficial transcript in Minerva, under the "Student Records" menu.
Note: In general, students can claim up to 30 credits worth of exemptions.
Q: I completed courses at another university prior to admission at McGill. Can I receive transfer credits and use some of these courses towards my program requirements?
A: Up to 1/3 of program requirements can be fulfilled using university transfer credit (i.e. courses competed at another University). You must be awarded a specific course credit at the 200-level or above, and verify with your advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca (program advisor) to be sure that the course can be integrated in your program. The advisor can also help you figure out if additional steps are needed so that the transfer credit exemptions are added to your McGill record.
Note: To qualify for a McGill degree, a minimum of 60 credits must normally be completed at McGill.
Program overlap & Faculty-specific regulations on double counting of courses between programs
You may notice that certain courses appear in multiple programs across the Faculties of Arts and Science. However, as double counting of courses between programs is not permitted in BA and BA&SC degrees, if this is the case, you will need to consult your program advisors to determine which program will use the course, and what course substitution will be done in the other to ensure there is no overlap. Program advisors can help you find suitable alternatives to complete your program and degree requirements. In BSc degrees, double counting may be permitted, but only in a few minor programs. Double counting of courses between majors is not permitted. If you are in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your Program and Faculty advisors for case-specific guidance.
Statistics Course Overlap
Credit for statistics courses will be given with the following stipulations:
Credit will be given for only one of the following introductory statistics courses: AEMA 310, BIOL 373, ECON 227D1/D2, ECON 257D1/D2, GEOG 202, MATH 203, MGCR 271, MGCR 273, POTH 204, PSYC 204, SOCI 350.
Credit will be given for only one of the following intermediate statistics courses: AEMA 411, ECON 227D1/D2, ECON 257D1/D2, GEOG 351, MATH 204, PSYC 305, SOCI 461, with the exception that you may receive credit for both PSYC 305 and ECON 227D1/D2 or ECON 257D1/D2.
Pre-Admission Statistics Credit Exemptions
If you have received a credit exemption for MATH 203 from CEGEP or high school studies (including AP, IB and French Bacc), you will not have to re-take the course or an equivalent for your program as credit has already been awarded. You will however need to replace these credits in your program with university-earned credit. See the credit exemptions section above for more information. If you have a doubt or are unsure whether this may apply to you, don't hesitate to check in with your advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca (Program Advisor).
Events for new students in the Department of Geography
Check here often! Information about upcoming events for new students in the Department of Geography will be regularly updated.
The Official McGill Orientation 2021 schedule will be released shortly. Move-In weekend is August 21st/22nd. Orientation activities will start August 23rd and will continue throughout the week. There will be a variety of events including Faculty Orientation, Department Orientation and Frosh activities. Please check back later for more details about events specific to the Department of Geography, and refer to the Fall Orientation 2021 website for information on all events taking place over the course of the week.
McGill PRO: Q & A with the Geography Advisor for Quebec CEGEP students
Join our Program Advisor on Zoom for a question and answer period to help get you ready for program selection and course registration.
When? Friday June 4th from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
McGill PRO: Q & A with the Geography Advisor for students outside Quebec (U0/U1)
Join our Program Advisor on Zoom for a question and answer period to help get you ready for program selection and course registration.
When? Thursday June 10th from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
McGill Undergraduate Geography Society (MUGS)
The McGill Undergraduate Geography Society, also known as MUGS, is active in a range of academic and social activities, including the annual publication of Fieldnotes, a journal of undergraduate research. All students in Geography, Urban Studies & Sustainability, Science and Society programs are members of this association.
Students in the SSS program have their own student association, in addition to being part of both MUGS and MESS, the McGill Environmental Students' Society. For more information on SASSS, the Student Association of Sustainability, Science & Society, please refer to the SSS program website here.
Keep up with all things SASSS-related with the SASSS Facebook page, SASSS Facebook Group, SASSS Instagram account, and SASSS website. You may also reach the executive team at internal.sasss [at] mcgillasus.com.
Welcome at the Home of Geospatial Data Science at McGill University! We are here to support your work using geospatial data analysis and visualization. You don’t have to be a geographer to come to us, work at the Geographic Information Centre’s study and work space, or get advice and support for your analysis from our team of staff and student experts on GIS, remote sensing and geospatial data science.
We Support You
All McGill community members are eligible for a personal ArcGIS licence; please GICsupport [at] mcgill.ca (subject: ArcGIS%20licence%20) (send us and email) for more information. If you would like to access our computers remotely to work with geospatial software only available at the GIC, please GICsupport [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Request%20for%20remote%20access) (email us) as well. During the closure of McGill campuses, the GIC continues to offer workshops online via Zoom. Workshops are open to everyone at McGill free of charge.
We are located at 805 Sherbrooke St West, Montreal, QC, H3A 0B9. During normal circumstances, you will find us in Burnside Hall, on the 5th floor. Send us an e-mail: gicsupport [at] mcgill.ca or call us at 514-398-7438.
Due to McGill campus closure, the physical space of the GIC is closed until further notice.
Prof. Benjamin Forest
benjamin.forest [at] mcgill.ca
Geography Undergraduate Affairs Committee Chair
Prof. Forest is the current Chair of the Undergraduate Affairs Committee (UAC). This committee addresses matters involving our undergraduate students and our bachelor’s programs, and has both faculty and student members. Its routine duties involve consideration of new courses and programs (or significant changes to them), and discussing any problems raised by MUGS or other student organizations. In all cases, it acts as an advisory body to the department as a whole. As UAC Chair, Prof. Forest is also available to students who wish to discuss individual problems or concerns. He has taught at McGill since 2006.
Prof. Sarah Moser
sarah.moser [at] mcgill.ca
Urban Studies Program Director
Urban Studies Program facebook group
Prof. Moser is the Director of the Urban Studies Program, an interdisciplinary program based in the Department of Geography. As Director, Prof. Moser oversees program changes and updates, and co-organizes urban-related activities and events with students. Prof. Moser is happy to speak with students about the program, about post-Urban Studies plans, and about co-organizing urban activities. She has taught at McGill since 2013.
Prof. Graham MacDonald
graham.macdonald [at] mcgill.ca
Sustainability, Science and Society Program Director
SSS Program website
As the Director of the Sustainability, Science and Society (SSS) program, Prof. MacDonald oversees the continued development and evolution of the program, which is nearing its 11th anniversary. Contact him if you have questions about how to make the most out of your SSS degree and experience in the program, including regarding undergraduate research opportunities. Working closely with the program advisor, Prof MacDonald also happy to help address issues that may arise regarding course planning.
Events & Resources from the 2020-2021 school year
Fall 2020 - Winter 2021 Advising Syllabus
The updated version of the Fall 2020 - Winter 2021 Undergraduate Advising Syllabus for students in Geography, Urban Studies & Sustainability Science and Society programs has now been published! You may access the document by clicking on the compass icon. The Geography Advising Syllabus details the role of the advisor, how they may be of service, and what they expect of the students they advise.
Advising in the Department of Geography is conceptualized as a form of teaching and learning; whereby the advisor assists students in navigating the McGill bureaucracy, sharing experiences and lessons learnt to help students be strategic throughout their undergraduate studies. Through experiential learning within the advisor-advisee relationship, students will gain important life skills and develop transferable knowledge that we hope will serve them well in the future.
Orientation Week: Faculty of Science programs Q & A with the Geography & Sustainability, Science and Society Program Advisor
Meet the Program Advisor and ask questions about Geography & Sustainability, Science and Society program options for BSc and BA&Sc students.
When? Wednesday August 26th from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm EST on Zoom
Orientation Week: Geography, Urban Studies, Sustainability, Science and Society programs & Field Study Semesters Q & A Information Session
Meet the Program Advisor and ask questions about Geography, Urban studies & Sustainability, Science and Society program options for BA, BSc and BA&Sc students. Students will also have the occasion to ask questions to representatives from the ifso.science [at] mcgill.ca (Science Internship and Field Studies Office) about Field Study Semester programs.
When? Wednesday August 26th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST on Zoom
Department of Geography Virtual Orientation
Meet your Program advisor, the Department Chair, Geography Program Directors, and the McGill Undergraduate Geography Society (MUGS) student representatives.
Friday June 12th
11:00 am to 12:00 pm EST
Click here to access the Department Orientation slide deck & Geographic Information Centre Orientation slide deck. If you have any questions or concerns about the material covered at the Orientation event, please do not hesitate to contact Michelle at advisor.geog [at] mcgill.ca.