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Orientation for New Students

If you've received an offer of admission, be sure to visit Admissions: Newly Admitted Students to find out how to accept your offer and what to do next (housing, finances, immigration documents, placement exam preparation).

If you've accepted our offer and you're ready to register...


Dr. Jacqueline Leclair, Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Schulich School of Music.Welcome to the Schulich School of Music, one of the most distinguished and inspiring music schools in North America! 

You are joining a more-than-century-old tradition of music scholarship and performance here at McGill. Our students are from Quebec, the rest of Canada, and from countries all over the world. They benefit from both our outstanding music school as well as the other facets of McGill, a renowned research university here in the heart of Montreal, one of the world's great cultural centers.  We are very excited to welcome all of you to our school as we look forward to a wonderful year educating the next generation of music scholars and performers...you!

Dr. Jacqueline Leclair
Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Schulich School of Music

Key information for new students

This will guide you from registration through to orientation/advising and your first week of classes.

You can browse our website to find your program requirements, Minor options, information about student life, health & well-being, our facilities, etc. Get in touch with the Student Affairs office if you have questions.

Important dates (June-September)

June 1, 2016 (Wednesday)

Deadline to submit your Practical Instruction request form online. Late registration fees will be charged if you miss this deadline.

June 9, 2016 (Thursday)

Orientation session for Cegep Students who have confirmed their acceptance: CSI McGill

June 13- 21, 2016

Registration opens on Minerva. Classes fill up quickly so register early!

August 14, 2016 (Sunday)

Deadline to register for at least one course in order to avoid late registration penalties.

August 27 and 28, 2016 (Saturday & Sunday)

McGill Residence Move-In Day.

August 29, 2016 (Monday)

Mandatory placement exams begin for all students except B.Mus. Jazz Performance.

August 30, 2016 (Tuesday)

  • Discover McGill Day, a one-day campus-wide welcome event for all new students.  
  • Schulich School of Music orientation.

August 31, 2016 (Wednesday)

  • Mandatory placement exams begin for B.Mus. Jazz Performance students.
  • Your first tuition payment is due. You will receive a revised fee statement in September which includes the course changes you have made after meeting with your advisor on September 2nd.

September 1, 2016 (Thursday)

Tentative date for orchestral instrument ensemble auditions (Strings, Woodwinds, Brass). 

September 2, 2016 (Friday)

  • Mandatory advising sessions for all new students, with Area Chairs (12:00pm to 1:00pm).
  • First day of classes.  Classes normally scheduled for Monday (Labour Day holiday) will take place on Friday, September 2nd instead.  The first Friday lecture for regular Friday classes will be held on Friday, September 9th.

September 5, 2016 (Monday)

Labour Day (public holiday). There are no lecures on this day and administrative offices are closed.

September 6-9, 2016

  • First week of classes.
  • Tentative date for Jazz, Choral, Early Music instruments and Piano ensemble auditions.

Registration & McGill ID card

You register for all courses online through MinervaRegister for at least one course by August 14, 2016 (Sunday) to avoid late registration penalties. 

  • You can register for Fall and Winter terms as of:
    • June 13th if you're coming from a Quebec Cegep.
    • June 20th if you're a transfer student from another university or if you have advanced standing qualifications such as Advanced Levels, Advanced Placements, French Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, etc. 
    • June 21st if you're coming from high school.
  • Not sure which courses to register for? Use the sample first year course list on your program page as a reference. You should register for courses for the full academic year (Fall and Winter semesters).  You will only be charged for your Fall courses in the first bill. A second fee statement will be generated in early December for the Winter courses. 
  • Register for your assigned ensembles after you receive the ensemble audition results. 
  • You can't register for practical instruction (MUIN) courses yourself. Once you've registered for at least one course (MUPD 135 for example), the Performance Department will add the MUIN course for you.
  • If you need help with Minerva, watch the Mcgill 101 "Registration Tools" video.

You can get your McGill ID card from Service Point once you've registered for at least one course.

Tuition and Fee Payment (August)

  • Your first tuition payment is due on August 31st, for your Fall courses only. You will receive a revised statement in September which includes course changes you have made after meeting with your advisor on September 2nd.
  • You will receive another fee statement in early December for your Winter courses.
  • Visit Student Accounts for all other finance questions, such as:
    • How much should I budget for my studies?
    • When is the deadline to pay for tuition and fees?
    • What funding can I apply for to support my education at McGill?


Orientation days are a great way to meet new and current students, connect with some of your new teachers and meet administrative staff from Student Services.

  • June 9, 2016 (Thursday): Orientation session for new students coming from a Cegep: CSI McGill.
  • August 30, 2016 (Tuesday) is Discover McGill Day, a one-day campus-wide welcome event for all new students.  You will learn about the many resources available at McGill to help you succeed academically, personally and professionally. It's also Faculty Orientation day, where you will meet the Schulich School of Music Dean and key representatives from our music departments with whom you will interact while you're at McGill.

Advising Day, September 2nd (mandatory)

On September 2nd, 2016, you must attend a mandatory advising session. This is also the first day of classes.

You will meet the Area Chair or your program advisor, get a personalized degree audit for course planning, and your placement exam results.  Advisors will meet you as a group and give program-specific advice, after which you can talk with the advisor on an individual basis.

Contact the Area Chair directly for a one-on-one appointment if you have enrolled in:

  • B.Mus. Theory
  • B.Mus. Performance - Percussion

For all other programs, refer to this schedule:

Program Major Room Number Time
B.Mus. Brass C-309


B.Mus. Composition C-301 12:00pm
B.Mus., L.Mus. Early Music Voice, Organ, Viola da Gamba, Lute C-304 12:00pm
B.Mus. Faculty C-413 12:00pm
B.Mus. Faculty Jazz C-204 12:00pm
B.Mus., L.Mus. Jazz Performance C-310 12:00pm
B.Mus./B.Ed. Music Education C-412 12:00pm
B.Mus. Piano C-411 12:00pm
B.Mus., L.Mus. Strings C-201 12:00pm
B.Mus. Woodwinds C-210 12:00pm
B.Mus., L.Mus. Voice E-109 12:00pm

Placement Exams

Everyone must take placement exams in theory, musicianship and keyboard proficiency. For study samples, see Admissions.

Placement exams start on:

  • August 29, 2016 (Monday) for all B.Mus. students except Jazz Performance.
  • August 31, 2016 (Wednesday) for B.Mus. Jazz Performance students.

Ensemble Auditions

You need to register for one or more ensembles while you are taking practical instruction (MUIN) courses. You are responsible for checking your program's ensemble requirements. For information, see your Program page.

You must audition in order to be placed in an ensemble. Ensemble auditions start on September 1st (Thursday) and end on September 9th. For audition schedules and ensemble descriptions, visit our Ensembles section.

Other important academic information can be found in the eCalendar.

We look forward to a great year with you!

Schulich School of Music students in Toronto for the MGSO debut at Koerner Hall (2015).

Photo by Tam Lan Truong: McGill Symphony Orchestra students in Toronto for their Koerner Hall debut (2015).