2. Prepare to register

Choose an academic curriculum (Major, Minor, etc.)

If you have the option in your degree and academic level (U0, U1, etc.), it is recommended that you select your Major, Minor, Honours, Liberal, or Concentration program(s) before registering for your first term's courses. This way, you can start working toward an academic goal right away. This may also give you access to courses that are available only to students enrolled in your department or program.

The program curriculum options available to you will vary depending on the degree program you've been admitted to. Verify what your choices are on your academic unit's website (refer to the Faculties website or the Advisor Directory).

Some important notes:

  • CÉGEP students entering the Desautels Faculty of Management must select their program prior to registration. For more information, click here.
  • CÉGEP students entering Arts or Science are strongly recommended to select their major prior to registration. More information is available here for Arts and here for Science.
  • CÉGEP students entering the joint B.A.&Sc. degree are strongly recommended to choose both the Arts and Science components of their program. For more information, click here.
  • All new students should be aware of what's expected of them prior to registration by visiting their academic unit's website or speaking to an advisor.

Choose your courses

Plan ahead by narrowing down the courses that interest you before the registration period opens. That way, you'll be ready to register more quickly — and potentially before classes fill up.

Your department may have a program or degree planning guide to help you choose your courses each term.

Courses are identified by a 4-digit subject code (ex.: ANTH for Anthropology, BIOL for Biology) followed by a 3-digit course number (ex.: 202, 320). A course may include one or several course "sections" in a given term, or none at all (meaning the course is not offered that term).

Course sections are specific offerings of a course for a given term and are represented by a 3-digit section number after the course number (ex.: ANTH 202-001). Each course section is also identified by a unique Course Reference Number (CRN) and can be a lecture, tutorial, conference, etc.

  • The McGill eCalendar provides course and program listings — these will help you plan how you'll complete your program.
  • Use the Minerva Class Schedule to take note of any CRNs that interest you. To simplify things, fit any required courses into your schedule before your electives.
  • You can also use Visual Schedule Builder (VSB) to view your possible class schedules before you register in Minerva. Be sure to have alternative selections ready in case the courses you want are full or cancelled. Some courses offer waitlists so you can be notified when a spot in the course becomes available.
  • You can register for both the Fall and Winter terms as soon as Fall registration opens, even though Winter-term courses may require that you successfully complete prerequisite Fall-term courses. Changes to Winter courses can be made all through the Fall term and into January. Check the Important Dates website to find out the Add/Drop (course change) deadline and other key dates for the current year.

Move on to 3. Create a class schedule

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