Program structure and rules

Students in the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.) must fulfill the requirements of at least one Major and one Specialization.

All Majors and Specializations consist of a combination of required and complementary courses:

In this table, Specializations are shown under the Major(s) they are most often and best associated with. However, any Specialization (except for Professional Agrology) can technically be taken under any Major.

Required and Complementary credits for Majors under the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.). Complementary courses are chosen from a set list.



Required credit

Complementary credit

Total credit

Agricultural Economics

  36 6 42
  Agribusiness 12 12 24
  Environmental Economics 12 12 24
  Professional Agrology for Agribusiness* 12 12 24

Agro-Environmental Sciences

  36 6 42
  Animal Production 24 0 24
  Ecological Agriculture 12 12 24
  Plant Production 18 6 24
  Professional Agrology* 15 9 24
Environment Not applicable, students in this Major take a Concentration 21 39-42 60-63
Environmental Biology   36 6 42
  Applied Ecology 12 12 24
  Plant Biology 9 15 24
  Wildlife Biology 16 8 24
Global Food Security   33 9 42
  International Agriculture 6 18 24
  Ecological Agriculture 12 12 24
Life Sciences   33 9 42
  Animal Biology 15 9 24
  Animal Health and Disease 18 6 24
  Multidisciplinary 0 24 24
  Microbiology and Molecular Biotechnology 18 6 24
  Plant Biology 9 15 24

*Confers direct eligibility to the admission exam of Ordre des agronomes du Québec, and cannot be taken alone; must be taken with Agribusiness under the Agricultural Economics Major, or with one of Animal Production, Ecological Agriculture or Plant Production under the Agro-Environmental Sciences Major. The full list of complementary courses for Professional Agrology taken under the Agro-Env. Sc. Major is not given in the eCalendar. Find it here


How do I find my program requirements?

Program requirements change over time. The requirements that apply to you are those that were in effect at the time when your started your Major and Specialization(s), respectively. For example, you can be in the 2020-2021 version of your Major, and the 2021-2022 version of your Specialization. Program requirements are found on the eCalendar ONLY:

2023-2024 version of the eCalendar Note that this calendar will be updated in August, to its final version. Previous versions of the eCalendar can be selected from the menu on the left.

Make sure you search the correct version of the eCalendar (see the years at the top of the page) for the program component (Major or Specialization) of interest. Enter the name of the component as shown in the table above. Make sure you are looking at the correct entry, by checking the total number of credits. Take care to avoid confusing Minors with Specializations. Specializations are listed under the degree type (B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.), without the mention "Specialization". Remember that if you click on individual courses in the eCalendar's program requirements, you can view pre-requisites and other restrictions. You can also search the eCalendar for courses.

When and how do I declare my Specialization(s)?

Most students start taking courses in their Specialization in U2, so you would have to have chosen yours after you finish U1. Note that you can change your Specialization during U1 and U2, but the Major and Specialization(s) you graduate with must appear on your record for the last two consecutive terms before you graduate. To declare or change your Specialization(s), complete and sign this form (also available in paper format in my office). I need to sign it and it usually takes several weeks or sometimes months for forms to be processed by the Student Affairs Office, and your record updated. Also, note that registration in some U2 courses (like ANSC 251 Comparative Anatomy, for example), is restricted to students in certain Specializations. Thus, to register for such courses when registration opens in April of your U1, you need to already be in the Specialization. Plan ahead!

Note: the Major in Environment is not associated with a Specialization. Instead of choosing a Specialization, you choose a Concentration.  

What if there are courses that are listed in both my Major and Specialization?

A maximum of 6 credits can “overlap” between two program components (e.g., between your Major and a Specialization), if they appear on the lists for both. This means that you can use some credits in more than one place, but any credit counts only once toward the total needed to graduate. All Specializations must have at least 18 unique credits (i.e., 18 credits count ONLY in the Specialization, and nowhere else). Overlap frees up space for electives. There is one exception: all credits used in the Professional Agrology Specialization must be unique, i.e., they can count only in that Specialization and cannot be used elsewhere.

What if my program's requirements change after I start it?

Indeed, program requirements change over time. It is important to understand that you are in the version of the program that was in effect when you started the program component in question (Major or Specialization), unless you explicitly switched into a newer version of the program component. To see when you started a given program component, check your unofficial transcript on Minerva.

What else do I need to graduate?

To obtain a B.Sc. (Ag.Env.Sc.) degree, you must complete 120 credits. Given that overlap is possible depending on your combination of Major and Specialization (as explained above), these 2 components add up to 60-66 credits. So, there are 54-60 left, and these consist of credits given at the time of admission, any missing Foundation Year-level science pre-requisites, and electives. Most student are given 30 credits at the time of admission, for example for a completed Science DEC. In this case, students have 24-30 credits of electives to take. You have almost limitless possibilities for your electives: you can take more courses from the lists given for your program, courses from the lists of related programs, or you can explore other interests entirely. Elective credit can be taken at McGill or elsewhere, but there are rules for the number of credits you must take at McGill and at Mac.

What is the minimum number of McGill credits I need to complete, to get a McGill degree?

Answer: 60 McGill credits. The majority of students take most of the 120 credits needed to obtain a B.Sc. (Ag.Env.Sc.), at McGill. This rule applies to students who transfer from other institutions or take many credits outside McGill, during an exchange, for example.

How many Mac credits do I need to complete, to get my B.Sc. (Ag.Env.Sc.)?

A rule specific to our Faculty states that 2/3 of the credits required when you begin your B.Sc. (Ag. Env. Sc.) must be taken on the Macdonald Campus. This means 60 credits if you enter from a science DEC in CEGEP, or 2/3 of the credits remaining for your degree if you are given credit for other previous studies.

Is there a minimum grade policy?

McGill has a ‘C’ minimum policy: you must get C or better in your pre-requisite, required and complementary courses. If you get a D grade in such a course, you will need to take the course again and obtain a higher grade in order to make the course count towards your degree requirements, or as a pre-requisite. In the case of a complementary course, if you get a D grade you can either take the course again or chose another from the list. Courses with a grade of D which are not re-taken count as electives. If you retake a course in which you obtained an F in initially, the F grade will continue to affect your GPA. If you retake a course in which you obtained a D or higher initially, the same as the above applies, but note that you can receive credit for the course only once. You must be especially mindful of this if you retake the course  under  a different code (e.g., get a D in FDSC 230 and get C or better in CHEM 212, these two being equivalent courses). Minerva will give credit for both courses until someone manually alters the student’s record. Students have been prevented from graduating because they banked on receiving credit twice for a course they re-took.

Anything else I need to be mindful of when choosing my courses?

You require at least 12 credits at or above the 400-level. You can tell the level of a course by the first digit of the course number.

Also, you cannot receive credit for a course which is considered equivalent to a course you already took. Check out our list of McGill-to-McGill equivalencies. Note that these equivalencies are valid for Mac students ONLY. For example, if you took PHGY 210 before transferring to Mac, you cannot receive credit for ANSC 424.

What will this all look like, at the end of the day?

The below are fictitious examples aimed at illustrating how credits can be successfully assigned to different program requirements. Look at all examples, not just the one pertaining to your status at admission. Some aspects of each example are relevant to all students, like field studies and Honours, for example.


Student arriving from a general DEC in science

Student arriving from high school outside Québec

Transfer student








Advanced Standing credits

30 Lump-sum amount of credit 6

This student took 6 credits worth of college-level courses in high school (3 in History, 3 for Calculus 1), and obtained a sufficient grade

42 Includes all program pre-requisite courses, plus one semester in an Arts program at Concordia University
Foundation Year courses taken at McGill 0   30 Taken in U0: 27 plus 3 elective credits to replace Calculus 1 0  
Required courses in the Major 36 Student is in the Agro-Environmental Sciences Major 33 Student is in the Life Sciences Major 36 Student is in the Environmental Biology Major
Complementary courses in the Major 6   9   6  
Required courses in the Specialization 18 Student is in the Plant Production Specialization 15 Student is in the Animal Biology Specialization 16 Student is in the Wildlife Biology Specialization
Complementary courses in the Specialization 3 Student took 6 credits in this section, but PLNT 302 is overlapped with the Major


Student took 9 credits in this section, but 6 credits overlap with the Major 9  
Electives 28 includes 4 cr for FDSC 230 Organic Chemistry, which was not taken in Cegep 24 This includes 15 credits earned during an exchange semester abroad, in U3 6 Student took an intensive language course during summer, before deciding to do Honours
Honours         12  
Total 121   120   127  


Still have questions?

Check out the webpage for your program:

Agricultural Economics

Agro-Environmental Sciences


Envrionmental Biology

Global Food Security

Life Sciences

Check out my FAQs


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