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Registration and Course Changes

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Overview | Minerva | Course Offerings | How To Register


All students must register annually up to and including the term in which they expect to graduate, even if they are not taking any courses or have been granted Non-residence or Leave of Absence status. The only exceptions are students in non-thesis programs who have completed all the requirements (including the residence requirements) in time to graduate in the Fall.

Unless permission has been granted to register as a half-time student, all Master's students must register for at least 12 credits per term for the first year and for the first term of the second year (both terms of the second year for Sound Recording students) to fulfill the residence requirement of the degree. Students who have completed their residence requirements register in Additional Session (thesis programs) or non-thesis extension (non-thesis programs). It is expected that at this stage all the course work will have been completed and the student will be engaged in thesis preparation. Qualifying students must register for 12 credits per term to be considered full-time. For details concerning Half-Time, Special and Visiting Student status, as well as Non-Resident and Leave of Absence Status, see Categories of Students in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Programs, Courses and University Regulations Calendar. The credit system does not apply at the doctoral level.

Registration packages, giving full details about orientation, advising and registration are posted on the music website. An email is sent to students referring them to this website in mid-July. The deadline for registration is normally in mid-August (see the registration information for the exact date). Students who register late will automatically be charged a late registration fee.

MINERVA (McGill's Online Registration System)

Minerva is McGill's web-based information system providing service to students, faculty, and staff. It allows students to register and make course changes on the web. Students are expected to register and make course changes by using the web at MINERVA. MINERVA offers service in both English and French. 

Students may view their own academic and fee information under MINERVA, and can view and update personal information such as home address, mailing address and telephone number in MINERVA. Students planning to leave Montreal during the summer should change the mailing address accordingly, or make arrangements for any mail to be forwarded.

McGill ID and Personal Identification Number

Your McGill ID is a 9-digit number that will have been emailed to you. If it has not yet been emailed to you, you must wait until you receive it before you attempt to log in. Your initial PIN is your date of birth in the format YYMMDD, (year, month, and day) such as 850624. The first time you log in to Minerva, you will be prompted to change your PIN and answer a security question. Help is provided on the Minerva login page. Students who subsequently forget their PIN should enter their McGill ID only and click Forgot PIN? or call 514-398-7878. 

Identification cards

These are not issued until the student registers on MINERVA. Details concerning how to obtain the I.D. cards are sent to all new students in their registration information or can be found here


For a complete list of course offerings in the Schulich School of Music, please consult MINERVA’s “Dynamic Schedule.  A list of Music Graduate Seminars for the academic year can be accessed here. The University Course Calendar provides an exhaustive list of the courses that exist or that may be offered, while information about course offerings for the current or upcoming session can be found on Minerva in the Class Schedule section.

McGill Writing Centre offers courses for graduate students whose first language is not English, and some writing courses are offered in other units. These courses cannot be counted toward the requirements of a graduate program, and are considered ‘extra courses’. The graduate e-calendar contains a full listing of extra courses for graduate students


Students are expected to register and make course changes by using the web at MINERVA.

  • Review your acceptance package and return all documents requested therein to Service Point.
  • Follow your area's instructions to determine the list of courses for which you should register. Your area will have invited you to an orientation/advising session, or informed you that courses should be selected after meeting with an adviser. In other cases, your area will have prepared a list of courses for which you should register. 
  • All graduate students including additional session/non-thesis extension students must register for the Registration Confirmation course "REGN RCGR" in each session, in addition to any other regular courses, in order to initiate the registration for each session. However, for the registration to be valid, students must also complete a MINERVA Course Selection Form, obtain the necessary signatures and submit the form to the Music Graduate Studies Office. Please note that students in Master's and Doctoral programs cannot add undergraduate courses via MINERVA. A permit override will be made for these courses once the Form to Add Undergraduate Course Form is submitted to the Music Graduate Office.
  • For students who need to register for performance tutorials/practical lessons and/or vocal repertoire coaching, please submit a teacher preference card. Extra fees may apply (see “Registration for performance tutorials” and “Registration for vocal repertoire coaching”).
  • Register on MINERVA.  Please read the instructions in every section carefully before registering, including all menu items in the left sidebar of the page.
  • Verify your address, telephone number, courses and fees on MINERVA.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the registration on MINERVA is correct and that the courses are the same as those shown on the approved MINERVA Course Selection Form. After registering, students are advised to check MINERVA again to verify that the registration is correct. There is a charge of $50 per course for all changes made after the deadlines. As changes will no longer be made to a student's record retroactively, failure to register for a course which is being taken may result in the student not being given credit for that course, and not atregistration in a course that a student is in fact tending may result in a failing grade on the student's record. A list of deadlines for registration and course changes is included in the registration package.

Please note that students who are on Time Limitation, or who have outstanding holds or fees and fines from previous terms will not have access to registration or course changes. Please also note that successful completion of registration is contingent upon acceptable academic standing in the previous session.  For further information about registration, please see the registration section of the Graduate e-calendar and direct all inquiries to Service Point.

Proof of Canadian citizenship/Quebec residency and Permanent Data Code Form

Students registering for the first time in a program are required to submit supporting documentation to Service Point. This documentation includes their Proof of Canadian Citizenship/Quebec Residency and the Permanent Data Code Form.

Registering for full courses

To register for a course that is full, students must:

  1. Go to the professor to see if space can be made available to take the course
  2. If the professor allows the student to take the course, he/she must let the Music Graduate Office know so that a permit override can be done.  An email to the Music Graduate Studies Office is sufficient (graduatestudies [dot] music [at] mcgill [dot] ca).
  3. Once that is done, a permit override will be done and the student can register for the course on Minerva.

Registration for graduate music seminars

Registration for graduate seminars is usually limited to ten students per class (twelve for Seminars in Performance Practice). Students are generally able to register for the seminars of their choice on MINERVA, but in cases where too many students have registered for a seminar, some will be asked to drop the course, in accordance with the following priority list:

  1. Music students in a specific program for whom the seminar is a required seminar in that program and who require the seminar to graduate the year in which it is offered.
  2. Music students in a specific program for whom the seminar is a required seminar in that program.
  3. Music students in a specific program for whom the seminar is an elective seminar in that program.
  4. Other McGill students in graduate programs (music and non-music).
  5. Visiting graduate students.
  6. McGill undergraduate music students who have the necessary prerequisites.
  7. Other McGill undergraduate students who have the necessary prerequisites.
  8. Visiting undergraduate music students.
  9. Special Students.

Registration for master's thesis credits (Master's thesis programs)

Students in master's thesis programs are required to register for these credits during the first three terms of study. NB: You cannot register for the same Master's Thesis course number more than once, so that you may not register for both MUGS 683 in the Fall and MUGS 683 in the Winter, for example. For the total number of thesis credits required for each program see the Music excerpt from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar included in the registration information. Students entering a Master's Thesis program should register for the thesis credits over three terms as follows:

  • For Composition Total thesis research credits required: 27

          MMus 1 Fall term MUGS 684 (Master's Thesis Research 6 credits)
          MMus 1 Winter Term MUGS 685 (Master's Thesis Research 9 credits)
          MMus 2 Fall Term MUGS 686 (Master's Thesis 12 credits)


  • For Music Education, Music Technology, Musicology, Theory Total thesis research credits required: 30

          MA 1 Fall term MUGS 683 (Master's Thesis Research 3 credits) and MUGS 684 (Master's Thesis Research 6 credits)
          MA 1 Winter term MUGS 685 (Master's Thesis Research 9 credits)
          MA 2 Fall term MUGS 686 (Master's Thesis Research 12 credits)

Registration for Graduate Colloquium (Ph.D. programs)

Although Ph.D. students are required to participate in the Graduate Colloquium for four terms, the student only registers for this course once, during the first year in the program. At the end of the first year a mark of HH (to be continued) is entered, and a mark of P (Pass) is entered when the four-term minimum requirement has been fulfilled and the student does a presentation at the Colloquium on their doctoral dissertation research. For more information see Doctoral Graduate Colloquium.

Registration for comprehensive examinations (doctoral programs)

Students planning to take comprehensive examinations within the next year must include these in their registration. For more information concerning comprehensive examinations see comprehensive examinations (doctoral students).

Registration for performance tutorials/practical lessons

MMus Performance students and DMus Performance students registering for Performance Tutorials on MINERVA, are also required to complete a teacher preference card each year (sent to new students by the Admissions Office of the Schulich School of Music, and to returning students by the Graduate Studies Office of the Schulich School of Music). It is important to return this card promptly as the student will not be assigned to a teacher unless this card is received by the School AND the student is registered for the course on MINERVA. Teacher assignments are sent to the student at their official McGill email address during the first week of classes. It is then the student's responsibility to register for the correct course number and section and to contact the teacher to arrange lesson times. Students are required to pay extra fees if:  (1) they are not full-time; (2)they are taking additional terms of lessons; (3) they are taking practical instruction as an elective. See fees and funding for more information. Students may not withdraw from performance tutorials after the second week of term.

Registration for vocal repertoire coaching (Voice performance students only)

In addition to registering for a performance tutorial, Voice Performance MMus and DMus students registering for Vocal Repertoire Coaching are also required to complete a teacher preference card for this coaching. Students taking Vocal Repertoire Coaching who do not receive an additional teacher preference card for this should contact either the Performance Department or the Graduate Studies Office. It is important to return this card promptly as students are not assigned to a voice coach until the card is received by the School and the student is registered for the course on MINERVA. Half-time students and those wishing to take additional terms of Vocal Repertoire Coaching are required to pay extra fees. See fees and funding for more information.

Registration for recital examinations (Performance students)

Performance students playing recital examinations during the next year must register for them at the beginning of the academic year. For further details concerning examination recitals see recital examinations.

Registration for ensemble courses

As acceptance into all ensemble courses is by audition, and the student may register for these courses before the audition, it is very important that students check that their ensemble registration is correct after ensemble assignments have been made, and before the course change deadline. NB: Students may not withdraw from ensemble courses after the second week of any term. The ensemble audition schedule and information is posted on the Schulich School of Music website under Ensembles. For more information concerning ensembles see ensembles.

Registration for undergraduate courses

Graduate students cannot register for undergraduate courses (500-level and lower) via MINERVA. All undergraduate courses should be included on the MINERVA Course Selection Form and accompanied by the Form to Add an Undergraduate Course before it is submitted to the Music Graduate Studies Office. Once the form is approved, the Graduate Studies Coordinator will do a permit override on Minerva and an email will be sent to the student for him/her to register. It is the students' responsibility to register for the course on Minerva before the deadline.

Registration for courses not required in program (extra courses)

All courses which are not required in the student's program are considered extra courses and should be marked as such on the MINERVA Course Selection Form. Students are required to pay additional per credit fees for all extra courses. The pass mark for all courses not marked as extra is 65% (B-), and grades of less than 65% (B-) are automatically converted to F (Failure). It therefore important that extra courses be flagged as such at the time of registration. Courses will not be flagged as extra retroactively.

Course changes

Course changes are also made on MINERVA, but all changes must also be submitted, with the necessary signatures, to the Graduate Studies Office. Students are responsible for making all necessary course changes, including dropping courses that they are not accepted into, and for ensuring that they maintain full-time status during the terms of residence. Further details concerning course changes and course change deadlines are included in the registration package sent to you each year by the Schulich School of Music Graduate Studies Coordinator. The deadline for dropping ensembles and performance tutorials is the end of the second week of classes in any term. (As this deadline applies only to the Schulich School of Music it is not included in the list published by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office). To avoid late course change charges, students wishing to add or drop undergraduate courses should ensure that the MINERVA Course Selection Form and the Form to Add an Undergraduate Course reaches the Music Graduate Studies Office a few days before the deadline.

Changing programs

Students who wish to change programs or options should make their request in writing to the appropriate Department Chair. In some cases(e.g. for fast-tracking from an MA program into the PhD), students are required to re-apply by the December 1st deadline.

Withdrawal from the university

Students who wish to withdraw from McGill should consult the Withdrawal regulations stipulated in the e-calendar, and fill out the Withdrawal from University Form. Please note that this form may be filled on this web site and printed, but must be signed and dated before submission.

Mandatory online academic integrity tutorial

Since spring 2001, graduate students must complete a mandatory online academic integrity tutorial accessed through MINERVA's MyCourses. New students must complete the tutorial within their first semester, or a Hold will placed on their record. Refer to registration deadlines for more details.