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BA Degree Requirements

All students completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill must meet the following requirements in order to graduate.  You should review this information carefully, including the links to the official policies in the eCalendarIn all cases, the eCalendar policy will prevail over any other interpretations.

In order to graduate from the BA degree, all students must:

eCalendar Policy: Notes/Exceptions:

Complete 120 degree credits

Minimum Credit Requirement
  • Students who enter with Advanced Standing may be required do fewer credits and should verify how many credits they need to complete to be eligible to graduate
Complete the Freshman Program, if entering in U0 Program Requirements  

Complete at least two different programs (i.e. at least one Major Concentration/Honours and one Minor Concentration) in two different academic departments/units.  For example, if you are completing a Major Concentration in Psychology and a Minor Concentration in Behavourial Science, both programs are comprised of courses from the same academic department (PSYC). In such cases, you must complete the program requirements for a second program of study offered by a different academic department/unit

Remember to inform yourself about the important faculty policies on course load, course overlap, taking courses outside of the Faculties of Arts and Science and selecting the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option

Program Requirements
  • No course may fulfill the requirements for more than one program or concentration requirement.
  • The Faculty program options do not require a Minor Concentration to also be completed
  • Second Degree students can complete two programs in the same academic department
  • Second Degree students who complete an Honours program are not required to complete a Minor Concentration

Complete at least 60 credits at McGill

Residency Requirement  

Complete at least 2/3 of all program requirements at McGill

Residency Requirement  
Earn grades of C or higher in all program requirements Course Requirements  

Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0

Grading and GPA
Complete the BA degree within 10 semesters (5 years), if entering in U0; complete the BA degree within 8 semesters (4 years), if entering in U1 Time and Credit Limit
  • If you think you may need to exceed this time limit (i.e. due to part-time study, program changes, etc.), speak with an advisor at OASIS to go over your options
  • Students with some types of Advanced Standing credits can study for up to 120 credits at McGill and graduate with more than 120 total degree credits
  • Please read the PDF icon Exceeding the BA Degree requirement document for more details on exceeding the credit limit

Understanding your minimum credit requirement for a Bachelor of Arts degree

All students must complete a minimum of 120* credits for their undergraduate degree. These credits are divided into three categories.

Credits/Exemptions Advanced standing

These are credits that that will be applied toward your minimum 120 credit Bachelor of Arts degree based on your pre-McGill studies and will be used to determine your year of study.

Program Credits

These are required and complementary credits that are used to complete a minimum of two programs of study offered by different teaching units or departments.

Elective credit

These are credits that are not being used to complete a program of study.

Examples of ADVANCED STANDING with the typical number of credits granted:

CEGEP (30 credits)
French Baccalaureate (30 credits)
International Baccalaureate (Certificate or Diploma – max. 30 credits)
Advanced Levels (max. 30 credits)
Advanced Placement Exams (max. 30 credits)
University Transfer (max. 60 credits)
Degree completed under the Bologna system (30 credits)

* Explanation of “Minimum Credit Requirement”

How is my year of study determined?

U0 - Freshman Year students - You have been admitted without advanced standing or with less than 24 credits of advanced standing.

U1 – University Year 1 students - You have been admitted with 24 or more credits of advanced standing.

U2 – University Year 2 - You have been admitted with the maximum of 60 credits of advanced standing.

Understanding your program options

Option 1

MULTI-TRACK PROGRAM: The Faculty of Arts offers a 90-credit multi-track system that offers students a chance to select programs of study that reflect their interests by completing a major concentration complemented by at least a minor concentration.

Major Concentration - is the student's primary area of study requiring the completion of 36 credits

Minor Concentration - as opposed to a major, an area of secondary concentration, which is a called a minor and requires the completion of 18 credits

Concentrations within option A and B cannot be within the same Subject Code (i.e. PSYC, ENGL)

NOTE: No course may fulfil the requirements for more than one program or concentration requirement.

Option A

Major Concentration (36) + Minor Concentration (18) + 36 credits of electives

Option B

Major Concentration (36) + Major Concentration (36) + 18 credits of electives

Option C


Major Concentration (36) + Minor Concentration (18) + Minor Concentration (18) + 18 credits of electives

Option 2

HONOURS or JOINT HONOURS: These programs demand a high degree of specialization in one or two disciplines and require you to maintain a high academic standing.

Honours Program

1. Requires the completion of 42-60 credits

2. You must also complete a Minor Concentration (18 credits) in another program of study from a different teaching unit or department

3. Electives (12-30 credits)

4. Admission is normally after the U1 year of study

5. Minimum CGPA of 3.00 in the previous year; program GPA requirements vary according to department

Joint Honours

1. Requires two programs of study from different teaching units or departments

2. 30 to 36 credits in each component

3. Electives (18 credits)

4. Admission is normally after the U1 year of study

5. Minimum CGPA of 3.00 in the previous year; program GPA requirements vary according to department

6. You are not required to complete a Minor Concentration

Option 3

Faculty Program: An approved selection of courses drawn from departments in at least two faculties to form an interdisciplinary program of study.

Program options:

1. Environment

2. Industrial Relations

Requires the completion of 54 credits

Students do not need to complete a second program of study.