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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 eCalendar.  In 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

Program Requirements
  • 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 see below for more details on exceeding the credit limit


Exceeding the BA degree credit limit


Students who want to exceed the credit limit for their BA degree will need to request permission to do so if admitted to McGill under the following categories:

  • without advanced standing
  • CEGEP students with a Quebec Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS)
  • based on credits completed at a University

If you will start your final semester of study with 119 credits or less (89 credits or less for Bachelor of Social Work students), you will not need to make a request to exceed the credit limit and all your courses will continue be included in the CGPA/GPA calculation and credit count.

However, if you will start your final semester with 120 credits or more (90 credits or more for Bachelor of Social Work students), you WILL need to seek permission to exceed the credit limit and will NOT be permitted to take additional elective credits.  Any elective credits taken at this point will be E-flagged (excluded from credit count and excluded from the CGPA/GPA calculation).  Permission to exceed the credit limit will normally be granted only for valid academic reasons.

What to do:

  • Students must complete the PDF icon Bachelor of Arts - Degree Planning Worksheet and meet with an Arts OASIS Faculty Adviser during their drop-in advising hours to discuss their study plan.  This study plan should clearly indicate how exceeding the credit limit will allow the student to meet specific academic goals (i.e. completing program requirements, prerequisite courses for graduate school, etc.).
  • If the request is approved, a "DA Hold" notation will be added to your transcript in Minerva. This notation indicates that you have received permission to exceed the degree credit limit. This hold does not prevent registration and does not appear on official transcripts.



Students are permitted to exceed the credit limit by up to the total credit amount received for their advanced standing if they were admitted under the following categories:

  • Advanced Level and/or Advanced Subsidiary Exams
  • Advanced Placements Exams
  • Bologna-compliant high school diploma
  • European Baccalaureate
  • French Baccalaureate
  • International Baccalaureate

Example: A student who received 27 credits for Advanced Placement exams can complete up to 120 credits at McGill and graduate with up to 147 total degree credits (listed as "TOTAL CREDITS" on your transcript in Minerva).

NOTE 1: Students with this academic background who are considering completing more than 120 total degree credits may wish to complete the PDF icon Bachelor of Arts - Degree Planning Worksheetand meet with an Arts OASIS Faculty Adviser during their drop-in advising hours to discuss their study plan and ensure that the additional credits will add academic value to their degree.

NOTE 2: Students with this academic background who wish to exceed 120 credits at McGill  MUST request permission as per Situation A above.