Here are the most common questions we receive regarding courses and course registration.
How should I choose which courses to take?
Before you begin the course selection process, it’s important that you fill out a Degree Audit Form. This will help you determine which courses are required and how many credits you should aim to complete each semester. You may also want to try and balance your workload by considering the evaluation methods of the course, your extra-curricular commitments, and any non-course credits you are taking.
Don't forget to look at the BCL/JD Program Structure and Requirements page as well.
Why is there a limit on the number of credits I am able to enroll in during the first round of course registration?
Priority registration is in place to give students who are in their final semester the chance to enroll in the courses they need to graduate before they are full. It is also an opportunity for upper year students to register for courses that they have been looking forward to taking since they started their program, but may have typically filled up in previous years’ registration.
Is the current list of course offerings on the SAO website final?
The course offerings that are listed on the SAO website are as complete as possible, as of the date of viewing. If new course offerings are added, students will be informed via email and information will be updated on our website. These later changes are often due to low course enrollment, changes in professors’ schedules, the hiring of new lecturers, etc.
What does "Not available yet" mean?
"Not available yet" may appear under certain fields in the course offerings information (often for the professor, course time, or evaluation method). This is generally because the hiring of sessional lecturers has not been finalized, or because the professor has not yet communicated details of the course to us. As soon as information becomes available, it is added to the online course offerings page.
Why does the course description show evaluation information from a previous year?
In some cases, instructors do not submit evaluation information or revised course descriptions to the SAO in time for course registration. This information will be added to the online course offerings page as soon as it is communicated to us, or it will be made available to students during the first week of classes by the instructor.
Can I take two courses if there is a scheduling conflict between the final exams?
This is not recommended. It’s important that you consult the Final Exam Schedule to ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts between the courses you are enrolling in. Students may not enroll in courses where the final exams are scheduled at the same time. Furthermore, it is the student’s responsibility to meet any and all deadlines. Academic accommodations will not be permitted based on a course conflict.
Why are there caps on the number of students who can enroll in courses?
We do our best to maximize the number of spaces available in courses. Caps are placed on class sizes because of classroom availability, the specific format of courses (for example, class sizes are smaller for seminar courses that are based on active participation), and professors’ preferences (it’s important to consider how an increased class size increases a professor’s workload).
The course I want to take is full. What can I do?
Don’t despair if a course that you’re interested in is full. Students often change their schedules around over the course of the summer, and especially during the first few weeks of class before the add/drop deadline. Ensure that you are added to the courses Wait List on Minerva (for courses that have one), and check back on Minerva regularly to see if spots open up.
Why do certain courses have waitlists, but not others?
Waitlists are dependent on course structure (lecture vs seminar), classroom space and course caps.
A certain course was offered last year, but it is not being offered again this year. Why is that?
There are a number of considerations that determine which courses are offered each year. Course offerings often depend on the availability of professors, the Faculty’s ability to hire sessional lecturers, and student interest/course enrollment in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure that there is a diverse selection of courses for students to choose from.
The Faculty does not offer a course on a subject I’m interested in. How can I submit a suggestion for future course offerings?
If you have suggestions or feedback on course offerings, please feel free to complete the SAO Feedback Survey. Alternatively, you can email the vp-academic.lsa [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Academic Vice President) of the Law Students’ Association with your suggestions on the types of courses you are interested in taking.
What can I do if I have questions about required courses, or want to make sure that I’m registering for the correct courses?
Most student questions can be answered by browsing the SAO website or by speaking with the SAO front counter staff. Academic Advisors are also available to assist you with course selection and planning your degree. Appointment requests can be made via sao.law [at] mcgill.ca.