Course Registration Guide

Registration dates and course change period

Fall 2021/Winter 2022 Course Registration Change

As announced on February 23, 2021, the University is planning on a significant return to in-person teaching beginning in Fall 2021, subject, of course, to health and safety guidelines. As such, all students, and instructors, are expected to be in Montreal.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, registration on Minerva will proceed according to the schedule set out below, starting with priority registration for 4L students. Priority registration is intended to facilitate access to small enrollment courses for upper year students in order to ensure equity among students.

On June 7, 2021 at 9:00, registration opens (limited to 9 credits per term*) for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 for returning 4L students.
On June 9, 2021 at 9:00, registration opens (limited to 9 credits per term) for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 for returning 3L students.
On June 11, 2021 at 9:00, registration opens (limited to 9 credits per term) for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 for returning 2L students.
On June 14, 2021 at 10:00, registration opens to all years (except 1Ls) with a credit limit of 16 per term.
On July 13, 2021 at 9:00, registration opens for 1L students.
On August 26, 2021, at 10:00, registration opens for all years with a credit limit of 18 per term.

NOTE: Returning students who fail to register in at least one course by 15 August 2021 may continue to register after this date and until the end of the registration period, but with late registration penalties (Student Accounts site).

NOTE*: Please note that the 9 priority registration credits include non-law courses (including major and minor courses). 

Course change period

The Course Change (add/drop) period allows students to modify and finalize their programs of study taking into account factors such as changes in scheduling, course sections, and courses offered.

All students must use Minerva to change their course selection during Course Change period. During that period, you may access Minerva and drop and add courses as many times as you wish. During the Course Change period, you may add or drop courses for the Fall and Winter Terms.

After the Course Change period, for a limited time, students can drop courses through Minerva and receive a grade of "W" for any course so dropped. "W" indicates "withdrawal with approval" and is not factored into the GPA. All students must use Minerva to withdraw from a course during the withdrawal period.

Late change fee: There is a $50 fee for each course change made by the Student Affairs Office after the end of the Course Change period. Such changes must be approved by the Associate Dean (Academic) or the Assistant Dean (SLL).

Priority registration

In order to facilitate access to small enrollment courses and ensure equity among students, registration priorities have been programmed in Minerva. These priorities, established after consultation between the Faculty and the Law Students Association, occur on a rolling basis with 4th years registering first.

Exact registration dates are finalized by the Student Affairs Office and posted here. Generally, priority registration opens in mid-May with a credit limit of 9 credits. The limit then increases to 16 credits by mid-June, reaching a final total of 18 credits by September 1.


Course withdrawals

Until the Course Change (add/drop) deadline in the Fall and Winter terms, you can modify your course load without penalty.

After the Course Change deadline in the Fall and Winter terms, there is a period of a few days during which you may withdraw with a grade of "W" and a full refund of course fees. After the Withdrawal (with refund) deadline, there is a period during which withdrawal from a course will also result in a grade of "W", but no course fees will be refunded.

After the final withdrawal (without refund) deadline, students in exceptional circumstances may receive permission to withdraw from a course with no impact on their GPA. For more information,  students sao.law [at] mcgill.ca (contact the SAO).

See also McGill Courses and Programs: Withdrawing from courses (with FAQ), and Academic Dates.

Important disclaimer

Withdrawing from one or more courses during a semester may – where applicable – affect your government aid and/or McGill work-study eligibility.

In the case of international students, it may also impact their immigration status and/or permission to work in Canada.

Please ensure that you are aware of any consequences that may arise from a course withdrawal: consult with McGill's Scholarships & Student Aid Office, and International Student Services.


Building your schedule

McGill has released a Visual Schedule Builder. The Visual Schedule Builder takes information from Minerva to show you what your schedule can look like. Courses added to the Visual Schedule Builder are not added to your Minerva schedule. You must still register for courses on Minerva.

  • Students should verify their student record on Minerva prior to registration to ensure there are no HOLDS that may block access to registration.
  • Students are NOT permitted to register for Law courses that create an exam conflict: see the latest Law examination schedules.
  • Students should be familiar with course restrictions and prerequisites, current deadlines, the S/U option, and all other course related information.
  • Tout cours ayant moins de 10 inscriptions risque d’être annulé. Les cours ayant 12 inscriptions ou moins immédiatement avant le début de la session seront très probablement annulés.

Your BCL/JD program

Tracking and compliance

Students are responsible for the correctness and completeness of their records:

Equalization in multi-section courses

When a course has two or more sections, students they must ensure that they register in the right section. No unofficial section changes will be recognized. Although the Faculty does not precisely equalize enrolment numbers among various sections of a course, each section is assigned a maximum enrolment figure with availability determined on a first-to-register basis. In addition, if the registration in one section of a course is more than double the registration in any section, sections may be equalized.

Minerva

Minerva for students is your entry point for class schedules, course registration, student record, and more. Consultez aussi les instructions sur le processus d’inscription Minerva, étape par étape. A moins d’un avis contraire, Minerva est accessible 24 heures par jour, 7 jours par semaine, à l’exception de périodes d’entretien mensuelles nocturnes et des périodes spécifiques avant lesquelles vous recevrez un avis. See also: Choosing Courses and Using Minerva [.doc].


Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option

  • The S/U Option is applicable to Law and non-law Electives and Law Complementary courses within the BCL/JD Program.
  • The S/U Option is not applicable to Required Courses.
  • The S/U Option is limited to one course in the program for a max of 4 credits.
  • Students who decide to have a course graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) must do so before the Course Change deadline on Minerva as part of the Student Menu > Registration Menu > Quick Add or Drop Course Sections Menu.
  • Students cannot make any changes after the Course Change deadline even if the option was selected by mistake. No exceptions.
  • The instructor will report grades in the normal fashion. Grades "A" through "C" are converted to “Satisfactory” (S), and "D", "F" and "J" grades are converted to “Unsatisfactory” (U).
  • Courses taken under the S/U option are excluded from the grade point average (GPA) calculations, but are included in the attempted credits total. Credits for courses with a final grade of S will also be included in the number of credits earned.
  • The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option is not open to LLM, DCL, or GC students.

For more information, please refer to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option on the main McGill Programs, Courses and University Regulations site. Be aware that a D is a fail and translates to “Unsatisfactory” under this option.


Waitlists

The SAO generally determines waitlists in mid-July and sends out an email notice to students. Students are only permitted to register for one waitlist per term. To register for a waitlist, follow the five steps below: 

  1. From the Course Section Lookup results screen, look for the NOTE: Waitlisted Section appearing on your desired course section.
  2. Check the section's WL Rem number:
    • If the section's WL Rem number is 0, the waitlist is full; you cannot add yourself to the waitlist now, but you should try again later
    • If the section's WL Rem number is greater than 0, there is space on the waitlist; jot down the section CRN and follow the remaining steps
  3. Go to Quick Add or Drop Course Sections.
  4. Enter the CRN in the grid of the Quick Add Worksheet and click Submit.
  5. Use the picklist to change your waitlist status: Select the Action "Add(ed) to Waitlist" and click Submit.

For more information and frequently asked questions about course waitlists, please see McGill's Courses and Programs: Waitlisting.


Course restrictions and prerequisites

Try to plan your course selection over the long term. Take account of the mandatory degree requirements applicable to you, and make plans to meet those requirements over the course of your studies. Do not leave all of the required and complementary credits for the last term of your last year!

Take account of course restrictions and prerequisites. Many advanced courses that may be of interest to you may only be taken after the basic course in the area has been successfully completed. e.g. JICP. Students entering second year, in particular, should be sensitive to these requirements, and should select their courses accordingly.

Course restrictions

Please see our page on Required and complementary courses.

Prerequisites and/or co-requisites

Course prerequisites and/or co-requisites: You should not register for a course in which you have not completed all the prerequisites.


Taking graduate level courses

The following is the policy regarding enrolment of BCL/JD students in 600-level courses:

A BCL/JD student will be permitted to take 600-level courses, subject to the following conditions:

  • The student has a minimum CGPA of 2.7.
  • The student is in U3 or higher.
  • Requires the approval of the Director, Student Life and Learning, must complete a Course Change Form and provide a reason why the course(s) is to be taken at this time.
  • A maximum of 6 credits of 600-level courses are allowed towards the degree. Credits will not count toward a graduate degree or diploma in the future. The actual course number appears on the transcript.
  • The course evaluation methods are the same for all students, whether graduate or undergraduate.
  • The regulations and practices of the Faculty of Law are also applied to such a course.

Procedures to be followed by the student:

  • Complete the Course Change form, preferably well in advance of the start of classes.
  • Get approval on the form, or on a separate note, from the professor of the course.
  • Submit the form with the approval to the SAO.Law [at] mcgill.ca before the end of the course Drop/Add period. DO NOT LEAVE REQUESTS TO THE LAST DAY.
  • If the conditions and procedures are met, the request will be approved and the Director (Student Life & Learning) and the SAO will issue a permit-override. It is the student's responsibility to register for the course on MINERVA before the end of the course Drop/Add period.

It is the responsibility of the student to start the procedures well in advance of the term and to undertake the various steps along the way to final approval so that the documents can be completed before the end of Drop/Add. Late requests are likely to be refused, but if they are approved, the student will be subject to the Late Add Fee.


Graduating?

Complete a degree audit

See if you are on track to graduate by filling in a degree audit form, and registering for the remainder of the courses you need to graduate. Feel free to send your audit to the sao.law [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Degree%20Audit) (SAO) for verification.

For more information, see our Graduation Guide.

Applying to graduate

Here are the upcoming deadlines to apply for graduation. See also our Convocation Guide.

1 March 2021: students who expect to complete their program requirements at the end of the Winter 2021 term
1 May 2021 (tentative): students who expect to complete their program requirements at the end of the Summer 2021 term
29 November 2021 (tentative): students who expect to complete their program requirements at the end of the Fall 2021 term
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