Academic Standing

Interim Academic Standing for the Fall term are designated as Interim, as it is based solely on grades that are available in January. Note that Interim Standings do not appear on official transcripts.
Probationary Standing

Students are placed in Probationary Standing if their CGPA falls between 1.50 and 1.99. Students can continue with their program but must carry a reduced course load (maximum 14 credits per semester).

Consultation with both departmental and faculty advisors is required so that any issues with course selection and degree planning can be resolved.

Satisfactory Students in satisfactory standing require a CGPA of 2.00 or above and are permitted to continue in their program.
Unsatisfactory Students with a CGPA below 2.00 will be placed in unsatisfactory standing and will not be permitted to continue their studies. In order to continue, they must apply for readmission on Minerva. Readmission will be granted only when proof of extenuating circumstances that affected academic performance can be provided (e.g. medical or other documentation).

Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing Credits Credits granted to incoming students upon completion of university-level examinations prior to enrolling into McGill. Students who attended CEGEP or earned a French Baccalaureate are granted 30 credits of advanced standing. Students who earned an International Baccalaureate, or wrote Advanced Level or Advanced Placement examinations may also earn advanced standing, depending on their results (see “Exemption”).
Advanced Levels and Advanced Subsidiary Examinations (A-Levels) Students may receive advanced standing credit with examinations taken through British, Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore and/or African Boards for:
  • Advanced Level (AL) and/or Advanced Subsidiary (AS) board examinations with grades of "C" or better;
  • CIE Pre-U Principal Subject examinations with grades of "M3" or better;
  • CXC CAPE examinations with grades of "III" or better.
The granting of transfer credit and advanced standing is subject to your faculty and program rules. All results must be sent directly to Enrolment Services from the appropriate Examination Board in order to be considered for advanced standing credit.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits Students may receive advanced standing for results of “4” or better on examinations which carry an equivalency within McGill, with a maximum of 30 credits transferrable. AP credits must be declared upon initial registration at McGill, and final results must be sent directly to Enrolment Services from the College Board. Students may find exact AP credit-McGill credit conversion here.
CEGEP CEGEP students may receive up to 30 credits of advanced standing for CEGEP courses, subject to their faculty and program rules; they may also receive additional course exemptions (but not additional credits). McGill reserves the right to change transfer credit recognition policy without notice. Students from Collège Stanislas and Collège Marie de France should click here for specific information. Students may find courses that qualify for credit transfer here.
French Baccalaureates Students who have earned the French Baccalaureat in "premièr groupe" in the examinations of Série L (Littéraire), Série ES (Économique et sociale) or Série S (Scientifique) may receive up to 30 credits upon enrolling into McGill. . Additionally, students who completed Série S with grades of '10' or better, will be exempt from specific McGill math and science courses, subject to faculty and program rules. As the French Baccalaureate curriculum is revised every few years, McGill reserves the right to change the transfer credit recognition policy without prior notice. Students may find the specific number of credits granted for each program and faculty, depending on a given série, here.
International Baccalaureate Students who have earned International Baccalaureate Higher Level results of '5' or better may receive up to 30 transfer credits depending on their faculty and program rules. To receive advanced standing, students must arrange for the International Baccalaureate Organization to send their final IB results directly to Enrolment Services. If students receive an exemption for a course but take it anyway, they will not receive McGill credit for it. McGill reserves the right to change the transfer credit recognition policy without notice. Students may find courses that qualify for credit transfer here.


Departmental Academic Advisor Departmental academic advisors provide advice on departmental programs, study away and planning one’s program, and approve the course selection of students in their U1, U2 and U3 years of study. Students must consult with a departmental program advisor for each program to plan their course selection for each term of study. Please consult the Departmental Academic Advisor List for their departmental contact information.
Faculty Advisor The Arts Faculty Advisors are located in Arts OASIS in Room 110, Dawson Hall. They provide information on rules, regulations and upcoming deadlines governing the student’s overall 120-credit degree program. They offer guidance on choosing their programs of study, planning their degree, credit load and study away issues. They assist students in managing academic situations during periods of personal, financial or medical difficulty by working with students to identify their options. They also approve course selection for U0 Arts Freshman students and serve as their direct link to other University resources.
Peer Advisor Arts Student Advising Program (ASAP) advisors will be available to help you throughout the year and during the summer. They are located on the ground floor of Dawson Hall.

Transcript Information

CGPA Cumulative Grade Point Average: calculated using the entire record of applicable courses at McGill. Students must obtain a minimum CGPA of 2.00 to be considered for graduation.
TGPA Term Grade Point Average: calculated based on courses taken during a specific term.
GPA Cr The denominator for the calculation of the GPA: 
Points The numerator for the calculation of the GPA.
Earned Cr Credits earned by the student for McGill courses.
Total Credits Total credits to date including McGill and transfer credits.
Transcript, Official A student’s transcript contains all of their attempted work and final grades. To obtain an official transcript, they must make an order through their Minerva account. If they require one urgently, they must go to Service Point.
Transcript, Unofficial The unofficial transcript is found on Minerva under Student Menu > Student Records Menu > View Your Unofficial Transcript.

Grading Scale

A 85 - 100%
A- 80 - 84%
B+ 75 - 79%
B 70 - 74%
B- 65 - 69%
C+ 60 - 64%
C 55 - 59% Pass. Grades of C or better are converted to Satisfactory for courses taken under the S/U option.
D Conditional Pass. This is sufficient for electives that are not prerequisites for a class, but not required courses.
F 0 - 49% Failing

Other Grades

CR Credit granted based on equivalent qualifications
EX Exemption
J Unexcused Absence (failed). In this case, students were registered for a course but did not write the final examination or did not submit other required work; calculated as a 0 in the TGPA and the CGPA.
K Incomplete; deadline extended for submission of work in a course.
KE or K* Further extension granted.
KF Failure to meet an extended deadline. This is calculated as a 0 in the TGPA and the CGPA.
KK Completion requirement waived. This will not affect the CGPA or TGPA.
L Deferred examination. (See “Deferred Exam”)
NR No grade reported by the instructor.
P Pass; this is not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
S Satisfactory; equivalent to C or better. This is not calculated in TGPA or CGPA. (See Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option)
U Unsatisfactory; equivalent to D, F, or J; this is not calculated in TGPA or CGPA. (See Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option)
W Withdrew from the course after the add/drop deadline. This does not affect the CGPA or TGPA.
WF Withdrew failing. This is a course that was withdrawn with special permission in an exceptional case, after the faculty deadline for course withdrawals, and with students’ performance in the course at that stage being on the level of an F. This is not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
WL Faculty permission to withdraw from a deferred examination. This is not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
NA or && Grade not available.
W- - or - - No grade; student withdrew from the University, not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.

Graduation Designation

Distinction The notation of Distinction is awarded to students who have completed the required number of McGill credits for graduation and whose cumulative grade point average is in the top 25%, but below the top 10%, of their faculty’s graduating class.
Dean’s Honour List A graduand identified as being on the Dean’s Honour List must have earned a cumulative grade point average within the top 10% of their faculty’s graduating class.

Transcript Remarks

A Course is included in GPA calculation but not credits
E Course is excluded from the GPA and credit calculation
I Course is included in the GPA and credit calculation
EXC Course is excluded from the GPA and credit calculation, normally at the time of a change in a student’s degree program.

Degrees and Programs

Declaring a Major/Minor Declaring major and minor concentrations is done through Minerva > Student Menu > Student Records Menu > Change Your Primary Curriculum. U1 Students declare their major upon registration and U0 students declare at the end of the academic year or once they receive more than 24 credits, whichever occurs first. Students may change their program depending on their academic affinities or aspirations, although it is strongly advised to meet with both faculty and departmental advisors beforehand.
Degree Planning Worksheet The Degree Planning Worksheet allows students to track their progress in their program(s) and degree. See Degree Planning for details
Degree Residency Requirement Credit requirement for graduation with a B.A. or B.SW. from McGill. Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 60 credits at McGill towards the fulfillment of their degree requirements in order to meet the Degree Residency Requirement.
Diploma Program Diploma Programs are designed to enable students with an undergraduate degree to supplement their specialization with additional undergraduate-level coursework. The Faculty of Arts currently offers a 30-credit Diploma in Environment.
eCalendar The eCalendar is an online calendar and official listing of requirements for degrees, programs, and courses offered by the University. It also lists important dates, major and minor requirements, yearly courses offered, academic and administrative regulations, and policies and procedures.offered, academic and administrative regulations, and policies and procedures.
Faculty Program in Arts A Faculty Program in Arts contains an approved selection of courses drawn from departments in at least two faculties to form an interdisciplinary and intellectually coherent concentration that allows you to study an issue from a combination of perspectives. Environment and Industrial Relations are Faculty Programs.
Freshman Program (B.A. Freshman Program) Students entering McGill with less than 24 credits of advanced standing are required to complete the B.A. Freshman Program. The purpose of the B.A. Freshman Program is to allow students to take a variety of courses that may interest them and thus enable them to explore their academic interests and career aspirations. The goal of a Freshman Program should be to choose courses that will inform students’ decision about their programs for next year.
Freshman Program (General Option) U0 students, meaning those entering McGill with 23 or fewer credits of advanced standing, are required to complete the Freshman Program in their first year. The Bachelor of Arts Freshman Program is designed to ensure that students gain a broad foundation for the three-year degree program. It is comprised of 24-30 credits. Each course must be passed with a grade of “C” or better and can not be taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option. In the General Program, students must complete at least 6 credits in three of the following four categories: Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, and Mathematics & Science.
Freshman Program (En Français) This option of the Freshman Program includes a core requirement of 18 credits of courses conducted in French. These credits may be comprised wholly of language courses, wholly of substantive content courses conducted in French, or a combination of the two. Students may be required to take a proficiency test.
Honours Honours programs allow students to study at a high level of academic rigour and specialize in their field of study, as they are required to take more classes in their department of interest. Students following an Honours program must also meet a minimum GPA and CGPA of at least 3.00 (some departments demand higher) and attain a minimum grade (again, check with the department for details) in each program course. They are also required to complete at least a minor in another academic unit. As some departments have their own requirements and application procedures, students should consult with a departmental advisor if they are considering an Honours program.
Joint Honours Students who wish to study at the Honours level in two disciplines can combine Joint Honours Program components from any two disciplines within the same Faculty. Joint Honours students should consult an advisor in each department to discuss their course selection and their interdisciplinary research project (if applicable). Students in Joint Honours must maintain a program GPA and a CGPA of 3.00 (3.50 for First Class Honours) and attain a minimum grade (check with the department for details) in each program course. No overlap is allowed between the courses forming each segment of the Joint Honours program.
Multi-Track System Students who are neither in Honors, Joint Honors, or Faculty Programs must follow a 90-credit multi-track system designed to recognize the diversity of student backgrounds and interests when planning their program. The interdisciplinary nature of the multi-track system allows students to pursue more than one field of study during their B.A. Students are required to complete a major concentration complemented by at least a minor concentration or another combination thereof in different Departmental Units. Possible combinations could include one major concentration and one minor concentration, two major concentrations, or one major concentration and two minor concentrations.
  • Major Concentration: a program of 36 credits taken from a unit's course offerings.
  • Minor Concentration: a program of 18 credits taken from a unit's course offerings. Expandable Minor Concentrations are those which can, on the completion of 18 additional approved credits, be expanded into a Major Concentration within the appropriate unit.
Program (Departmental) Residency Requirement In order to meet the Program Residency Requirement, at least two-thirds of all program requirements (Major, Minor, Honours, Faculty program) must be completed at McGill. For example, 24 credits of a 36 credit Major Concentration program. In addition, some departments may require that the student completes specific components of their program at McGill. See also the Degree Residency Requirement.
Residency Requirement Credits required to be completed directly at McGill in order to qualify for the reception of a degree both at the Faculty or Departmental level. See also the Degree Residency Requirement.

Registration and Student Status

Add/Drop Period (Course Change Period) A two-week period at the beginning of each term that allows students to change their course registration schedule without this appearing on their record. Add/Drop Period is characterized by a great amount of flux in the number of students registered for a given course, which allows many students to register for courses that were not available to them beforehand. Note that in the summer term, Add/Drop Period is shortened and ends on the fourth day of the course.
eCalendar See eCalendar under Degrees and Programs.
Inter-Faculty Transfer An Inter-Faculty Transfer occurs when a student would like to transfer from one faculty into another within McGill. The minimum CGPA required to transfer faculties is 3.00; students with a lower CGPA must submit an appeal. The application process for a transfer into the Faculty of Arts is done through Minerva and is available from March 4th to June 1st (deadlines vary among faculties). Consult with a Faculty Advisor (in the faculty they would like to transfer into) if a student is considering transferring faculties.
Leave of Absence A leave of absence is a definite time period from which a student may leave McGill in order to attend to such business as : maternity or parenting reasons, personal or family health reasons, professional development, or for required military service. Such a leave must be requested on a term-by-term basis and may be granted for a period of up to 52 weeks, if the students does not return following this time, they will be considered withdrawn. A leave-of-absence request ought to be submitted to the student’s faculty Advising or Student Affairs office along with appropriate documentation. Students who are granted such a leave shall have “leave of absence” recorded on the transcript. No tuition fees will be charged for the duration of the authorized leave. Following a leave of absence, a student need not apply for readmission. For specific policies on leaves of absence, students may refer here.
Minerva Minerva is McGill's web-based information system serving applicants, students, staff, and faculty. Minerva is used for a variety of tasks, from registering for classes, completing course evaluations, and ordering official transcripts. To access Minerva, click here and log in.
Readmission Readmission is the process by which a student requests to re-enrol within a given McGill program following either a withdrawal, an absence, or an unsatisfactory academic standing.
  • Readmission following a withdrawal:
    • Readmission into the same degree following a withdrawal - Students who wish to complete their Arts degree after an absence of an academic term or more must submit an electronic readmission application on Minerva.
    • Readmission into a different faculty following a withdrawal.
Withdrawal, Course A course withdrawal means a student has chosen to discontinue one or more courses. After the Add/Drop Period there are a few days where they will be able to withdraw with a grade of ‘W’ and have the course(s) refunded. This can be done on Minerva. A grade of ‘W’ does not affect students’ GPA. After the withdrawal (with refund) deadline, there is a period in which they will also be able to withdraw with a grade of ‘W’, but no refund will be given. After the withdrawal (without refund) deadline, only those in exceptional circumstances will be able to withdraw without impacting their GPA. They will have to see a faculty advisor to withdraw at this point. Note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal; in such a case they will receive the failing grade of ‘J’. Withdrawing from all of courses in a given term constitutes a university withdrawal from McGill. Consult with a Faculty Advisor before making the final decision to withdraw.
Withdrawal, University

A university withdrawal means a student has chosen to discontinue their entire term or year of studies. Withdrawing from all of their courses in a given term constitutes a university withdrawal, and if they withdraw from all of their fall term courses, they will not be able to register for any following terms. Note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal; in such a case the student will receive the failing grade of ‘J’. University withdrawals follow the same deadlines associated with course withdrawal, however additional administrative fees may apply to a university withdrawal before the withdrawal (with refund) deadline. See a Faculty Advisor before making the final decision to withdraw.

Registration Terminology  
Act Actual number of students registered for that course section
C Section enrollment is currently full and registration is currently closed -until a student already in the class drops the course- (indicated by a C in the Select column).
Cap Capacity or Maximum enrollment for the course section.
CRN The CRN (Course Reference Number) is a unique identification number assigned each term to every course section.
Crse This is the number that identifies the course and its level. All courses have a 3-digit number (211, 325, etc). If it is a spanned course that spans multiple terms, a letter and number (D1, D2, etc) will follow the crse.
NR Course section is not open for Minerva registration on this date.
Sec This is the three-digit number that identifies the section of a course. Generally, the sections of a course will be numbered sequentially starting from 001
Rem Remaining places in the course section.
Subj This is the four-letter code that identifies the subject of the course (SOCI, ENGL, etc). Click here for a complete list of course subject codes.
SR Your record may be preventing you from registering (indicated by an SR in the Select column and Active in the Status column). This could be because they have holds'' that prevent them from registering, or registration might not be open on this date for them.
Status A code to define the current state of the course section. The code determines whether you can register for the section and whether it will appear in the Class Schedule on Minerva
  • Active - Indicates the section is being offered and is open for registration.
  • Cancelled - Indicates the section is no longer being offered; check the section Notes for details.
  • Temporarily Closed - Indicates that the section is being offered, but it is not open for registration temporarily. Check with the department for more information.
Title The title of the course. This title will appear on your transcripts.
Type Schedule Type indicates the academic activity taking place; Lecture, Lab, Seminar, Screening, Tutorial, etc. Many courses have more than one schedule type, but some require students to register for a section of each schedule type. These are called linked courses.
Registration Errors  
Class Restriction This refers to courses that are limited to students in a specific academic year (U0, U1, U2 or U3). On Minerva, in the Step 2 of the Registration Menu, courses with class restrictions usually have "NOTES" in Class Schedule of "Limited to U0 (or U1, U2 or U3) students". Only the department can grant them authorization to register for the class in this situation.
Credit Limit Reached A student’s course-load should not exceed 17 credits per term. If they would like to apply for permission to exceed this limit, they must fill out this form. It is CGPA-dependent, and if their CGPA is inferior to 3.5, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts will be taking the final decision.
Departmental Approval Required Students need to contact the department offering the course to be able to register for the class.
Instructor Approval Required Students need to contact the instructor teaching the class to register for the course.
Link Errors Students have not properly registered for courses that are “linked” (A1, L1, T1 etc). Some courses have more than one component that they must register for in order to complete the registration. Check the notes/restrictions in the Class Schedule Listing.
Major/ Minor Restrictions The course students are trying to register for is restricted to students in a certain program.
Maximum Hours Exceeded The student has exceeded their maximum number of credits allowed for this term. The maximum credit hours are 17 credits per term. To apply to obtain special permission to exceed the credit limit, fill out this form. Note that their request is CGPA-dependent.
Not Enrolled Since Re-Admit Term Students may be required to apply for readmission. Contact Arts OASIS.
Placement Test Required For some science courses and most language courses, students need to take the placement test prior to registering on Minerva. They can usually find the information pertaining to those tests on the departmental websites.
Prerequisite Needed If such message appears, students can first check in the course description on the eCalendar what the prerequisites/corequisites for the course are. For courses in Science, they can try contacting the Faculty of Science Advising Office. They can also get in contact with the professor, and see if it is appropriate for them to take the class without having taken its prerequisite. However, most of the time Minerva does not warn studentsthat they are missing a prerequisite, so read the course descriptions carefully.
Program Restriction If students are not in an appropriate program they will not be able to register for this course. Courses with program controls usually have "NOTES" in the Step 2 of the Registration Menu on Minerva. There are two possible solutions to this restriction: (a) Faculty Restriction. If a course, for example, is open only to Management students, students need to ask permission from the Desautels Faculty to register for it. There might also be another section, open to all students, for the same course. (b) Minor/Major Restriction. An example of that would be an ENGL course which is open only to BA students who are minoring or majoring in Cultural Studies. To take the course, students need to have declared their major or minor as Cultural Studies on Minerva.
Note: students may not add programs to their record that they do not intend solely for the purpose of registering in a restricted course; if they are found to have obtained a place in a limited course in this manner they will be deregistered.
Reserve Closed This happens when a specific portion (a reserved section) of the course is full. The department offering the course can decide on a quota of students of specific programs for a class. For example, a department may give 50 places for students in specific programs, and 30 places for everyone else. If they are not in one of the specific programs and the 30 places are taken, they will receive this error message.The reverse is also true: if they are in a specific program and the 50 program places are taken, they will receive this error message.
Student Status Prohibits Registration Verify your registration eligibility on Minerva > Student Menu > Registration Menu > Step 1: Check your Registration Availability and Verify Your Program.
Student Status  
Exchange Student Students registered at McGill as Exchange students are registered in a degree program that has an official exchange agreement with McGill
Full-Time Student Students are registered for at least 12 credits per term. Note that if they are an international student, they must be a full-time student.
Part-Time Registration in less than 12 credits will constitute being a part-time student. Students who have received a one-time or renewable entrance scholarship are required to complete at least 27 graded credits, and international students must be full time students.
Special Student Special students must have received an undergraduate degree or be in their final year of study of an undergraduate degree. Special Students usually take additional credits in order to qualify for future studies (such as graduate studies). For more information on Special Student status, see the Applying website.
Transfer Student Transfer students are those who have transferred to McGill from another university. They are required to complete at least 60 credits and two-thirds of their program credits at McGill in order to meet the residency requirement. Only courses at their former institution completed with a grade of C or better will transfer over into McGill credit.
U0 Freshman Student “U0” or “Freshman Program Student” are the terms used to define students who have been admitted without advanced standing or with fewer than 24 credits of advanced standing. Freshman Program students are enrolled in a four-year program and are required to complete between 97 and 120 credits for their degree. Students complete up to 30 credits by the end of the academic year.
U1 Student “U1” or “Departmental Student” are the terms used to define students who have been admitted with 24 or more credits of advanced standing. These students are enrolled in a three-year degree program and are required to complete 96 or fewer credits for their degree. Students will have completed between 24 and 47 credits by the end of the academic year.
U2 Student Students complete between 48-83 credits by the end of the academic year.
U3 Student Students complete 84 or more credits by the end of the academic year.
U3+ Student Students looking to extend their degree by more than four years in the Faculty of Arts do not become U4, U5, U6 etc. Students pursuing their studies beyond 84 earned credits remain under the status of U3.
Visiting Student Visiting students are students registered in a degree program at another university (with a minimum of two semesters completed) who have applied to take courses at McGill. Credits earned at McGill will count towards their program at their home institution. Course selection should be approved by their home university, and prerequisites should be confirmed by the course instructor at McGill. For more information on Special Student status, see the Applying website.

Course and Credit Terminology

Assessment An assessment is anything in a course for which students receive a grade. The University Assessment Policy protects students from unfair assessments.
Complementary Courses Complementary courses are courses that students are able to choose from a restricted list, subject area, or discipline to count towards their departmental program (i.e. major/minor/honours/joint honours). Depending on their program, students may be required to take complementary courses.
Corequisite Corequisites are courses that must be taken concurrently with another course.
Course A course refers to a class that is being taught at McGill, whether it be conducted over one term or two terms.
Course Codes Course codes contain four letters that tell students which department is offering the course (eg. ENGL = English) and three numbers that tell them what level the course is. In general, 100-levels are beginner French courses or First Year Seminars, 200-levels are the main introductory courses, 300-levels are intermediate, 400-levels are advanced, and 500-levels are high-level seminar courses. 600-level courses are almost exclusively restricted to graduate students.
Course Load Course load refers to the number of courses students would be taking per term. The average course load is four or five courses (12-15 credits) per term.
Credit Credits are entries received and recorded on student transcripts upon the completion of a course. The B.A. degree is a 120-credit program, with some students entering with advanced standing credit. Courses at McGill are usually 3 or 4 credits each, although variants exist. Registration in less than 12 credits will lead to a part-time status for students, which may have repercussions on visas or financial aid and awards.
Credits/CE Units The Credits or CE Units field on the student’s transcript shows the credit weight for a section. If a course has more than one schedule type, the credit weight is assigned to the Primary schedule type (usually a lecture) and all other schedule types have a credit weight of 0.000.
Elective Courses Elective courses are courses which are not being used toward a departmental program (major/minor/honours/joint honours). Normally, students select their electives from the courses listed in the Arts or Science section of the McGill eCalendar. Students are allowed a maximum of 12 credits in elective courses taken in faculties other than the Faculty of Arts.
Exemption An exemption may be granted if students have completed a course at another institution (either during study away or exchange or as advanced standing credits) that is equivalent to a McGill course. An exemption does not give students course credits, rather, it means that students must take another course in place of the one for which they receive the exemption.
First Year Seminars Registration for First-Year Seminars is limited to students in their first year of study at McGill, i.e., newly admitted students in U0 or U1. These courses are designed to provide closer interaction with professors and peers than is available in large introductory courses. The maximum number of students in any seminar is 25, although some have lower enrolment caps. Arts students may take only one First-Year Seminar.
myCourses myCourses is McGill's learning management system that houses everything related to courses. Information such as syllabi, important news, assignment submissions, and readings can be found in myCourses, depending on the preferences of the instructor. It can also be used as a means of communication between instructors and students, acting as an enhancement to classroom-based instruction.
Prerequisite Prerequisites are courses that are required to have been completed with a satisfactory pass before taking other courses. For example, course A is prerequisite to course B if a satisfactory pass in course A is required for admission to course B.
Required Courses Required courses are mandatory courses that must be completed in order to meet the requirements of the student’s program (e.g. Major, Minor, Honours etc), unless the student has received an exemption. There is no choice among required courses.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option is an alternative grading scheme that allows students to take courses outside of their area of specialization without fear of affecting their GPA, as courses taken under the S/U option are not included in GPA calculations. Students must receive a grade of ‘S’ to get credit. It is also commonly termed as the ‘Pass/Fail’ option. Only elective courses can be taken under the S/U option; they will not count towards major or minor requirements. Only one S/U course can be taken per term, to a maximum of 10% of the student’s total McGill credits.
Spanned Courses Spanned courses span two or more consecutive or non-consecutive terms. Students must register and complete all components of the course to earn credit. Spanned courses are identified by the following codes, found after the 3-digit course number:
  • 2 consecutive terms - D1, D2
  • 3 consecutive terms - J1, J2, J3
  • 2 non-consecutive terms - N1, N2
Transfer Credit Transfer credit is credit granted towards students’ McGill program for courses taken at another institution. Transfer credit can be granted for a specific McGill course (if the coursework is deemed to be equivalent) or as a block of credits (i.e., for CEGEP graduates).
Tutorials, Laboratories, Conferences, Rehearsal, Screening These classes are linked to regular lecture sections. Registration and attendance is mandatory because they form part of the course work.
Waitlist Some courses offer waitlists if the course becomes full. Please note, however, that being on a waitlist does not guarantee a spot. To register to be on a waitlist, students must enter and submit the CRN in the Quick Add Worksheet, then use the picklist to select the action ‘Add(ed) to Waitlist’ and click submit. If a spot becomes available, students will have a limited amount of time to respond, or they will lose their spot. Students must be sure to check their email frequently so they can act quickly if a spot becomes available.

Methods of Evaluation

Exam Conflict An exam conflict exists when students have:
  • Two exams on the same day, at the same time
  • Three exams in one day (morning at 9 a.m., afternoon at 2 p.m., and evening at 6 p.m.)
  • Three consecutive exams in 24 hours
  • Four exams in two days
  • Five exams in three days
Students will receive an email notification if there is an exam conflict. In the case where students are not notified, they must contact Service Point.
Deferred Exam If you are unable to write a final exam due to illness or another serious reason, you may apply for a deferred exam. You must obtain documentation (such as a doctor’s note) explaining your inability to write the exam on its original date and bring it to the Student Affairs Office as soon as possible after the exam, but no later than January 15th (for the fall term) and May 15th (for the winter term). If your request is approved, you will be permitted to write it during the next deferred exam period (usually right after the exam period for the next semester).
Language Placement Test Some courses require students to take placement tests in order to determine which course is most appropriate for their skill level. Placement tests are required for all French language courses and many other language courses. If a placement test is required, students will not be able to register until they have completed the test. Placement tests occur before the start of classes on a drop-in basis.
Supplemental Exams If a student received a grade of D, F, J, or U, they may in some circumstances be permitted to write a supplemental exam, which will count for a large percentage of their final grade. Their initial grade will still appear on their transcript beside their new one, and both will be calculated into their CGPA. Applications can be done through Minerva, and a $35 fee will apply. Except for the loss of the registration fee, there is no penalty for not writing a supplemental examination. If students are considering applying for a supplemental exam, they should seek the advice of their Arts OASIS Faculty advisor beforehand. The advisor can help them with decisions concerning whether it is best to apply for a supplemental exam, what their course load should be for the next term, and so forth.
Reassessments and Rereads There are two recognized types of re-evaluations: reassessments and rereads. In both cases, reviewers assess the the original grade received. If a grade is deemed inaccurate, the reviewer’s grade takes precedence over the original grade, regardless of whether the new grade is higher or lower than the original. Reassessments and rereads in courses not in the Faculty of Arts are subject to the deadlines, rules, and regulations of the relevant faculty.
Reassessment of coursework (term papers, mid-terms, assignments, quizzes, etc.) Reassessments are administered according to procedures specified by the appropriate departments. Requests for reassessments must be made within 10 business days of students receiving a grade. Reassessments should normally be completed within 20 business days of the request.
Reread of a final exam Rereads are administered by Service Point, but conducted by the units involved. Requests to Service Point must be made by March 31 for courses in the Fall term, and by September 30 for courses in the Winter or Summer terms. These deadlines are strictly enforced and no requests will be accepted once they have passed. It is strongly recommended, but not required, to consult the instructor of the course before requesting a reread of a final exam.

Study Abroad and Internships

ARIA (Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Award) The Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Award is there to support students financially should they decide to undertake research during the summer under the supervision of a faculty member. If awarded an ARIA, students can contribute to a professor’s research agenda while gaining research skills.
Bilateral Exchange Bi-lateral exchange agreements are tuition exchange agreements that exist between McGill University and another institution, which has been reviewed and approved by McGill. The number of exchange spaces available at the host institution are limited, and vary from year to year. McGill students must apply for Exchange on Minerva to be nominated to participate on an exchange term abroad and are billed McGill tuition and fees for that term (equivalent to 15 McGill credits). Students must have a minimum CGPA of 3.0 to apply.
Course Equivalency System The Course Equivalency System allows users to search and review course equivalency decisions made for courses offered at McGill and partner institutions. As of April 2015 the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form will be linked to the Course Equivalency System.
EXPLORE Program The “Explore” Program is a government-funded, intensive and a fun way to learn French during the summer term at another Canadian institution. Please note that not all courses offered through this program are for credit. It is important to read the Explore website to ensure that the host university you select grants university-level credits for their courses.
Field Studies and Off-Campus Courses McGill field studies semesters are packages of McGill courses usually offered during the fall and/or winter terms that give upper-year students to integrate and apply their knowledge. In many cases, credits earned can also count towards major requirements. Currently, McGill offers Field Study semesters in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and/or Tanzania), Barbados, and Panama. Off-Campus Courses are usually offered in the summer in varied locations around the world.
Independent Study Away Independent Study Away is when students study as a visiting student at an approved host university with which McGill does not have a student exchange agreement for one term or more. McGill student must apply for Independent Study Away on Minerva and then apply to the host institution directly, paying their fees and following their deadlines. Students must have a minimum CGPA of 2.7 to apply.
Internships Internships allow students to gain valuable on-the-job experience in their field with the possibility of earning pay or credits. Consult the Arts Internships website for more information.
Quebec Inter-University Transfer The Québec Inter-University Transfer Agreement (IUT) allows you to take one course or a full course load at another university in the province of Québec. During the term of your IUT you will pay McGill tuition.


Back to top