B.Sc. Freshman Program

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B.Sc. Freshman Program

If you need 97-120 credits (four years) to complete your degree requirements, you must register in the Science Freshman Program, which is designed to provide the basic science foundation for your subsequent three-year Liberal, Major, or Honours program. For a detailed description of the Science Freshman Program, you should consult Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Freshman Program (30 credits) and the Science Freshman Student information available on the SOUSA website, www.mcgill.ca/science/sousa.

If you have completed the Diploma of Collegial Studies, Advanced Placement exams, Advanced Levels, the International Baccalaureate, the French Baccalaureate, or McGill placement examinations, you may receive exemption and/or credit for all or part of the basic science courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. Similarly, if you have completed courses at other universities or colleges, you may receive exemptions and/or credits. You should consult www.mcgill.ca/student-records/transfercredits for more information.

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Freshman Program (30 credits)

Students who need 97-120 credits to complete their degree requirements will normally be registered in the Science Freshman Program until they complete their first year. They must consult an adviser in the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA) to obtain advice and approval of their course selection. Full details are available on the SOUSA website at https://mcgill.ca/science/sousa. Academic advising is also available by email. The address is newstudentadvising.science [at] mcgill.ca.

Students normally complete 30 credits which must include at least 7 courses from the list of Approved Freshman Science courses, selected as follows:

General Math and Science Breadth

Six of the freshman courses to satisfy one of the following:

Option 1) 2 courses from MATH and 4 courses from BIOL, CHEM or PHYS;


Option 2) 3 courses from MATH and 3 courses from BIOL, CHEM or PHYS.

Science Complementary

The seventh course is chosen from the list of Approved Freshman Science Courses.


1. Students who have not studied all of Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level or equivalent are strongly advised to include at least one course in the missing discipline in their freshman program.

2. Many students will complete more than 7 courses from the Approved Freshman Science Courses list, particularly those who wish to leave several options open for their choice of major.

3. Students entering the Freshman Program should be aware of the department specific requirements when selecting their courses. Detailed advising information is available at www.mcgill.ca/science/sousa/bsc/freshman.

4. The maximum number of courses per term, required, complementary and elective, is five.

5. Some medical and dental schools have specific freshman course requirements. Check the admission requirements of the school(s) to which you intend to apply.

List of approved Freshman Science Courses

Select the approved courses according to the instructions above.

BIOL 111 (3) Principles: Organismal Biology
BIOL 112 (3) Cell and Molecular Biology
CHEM 110 (4) General Chemistry 1
CHEM 115* (4) Accelerated General Chemistry: Giants in Science
CHEM 120* (4) General Chemistry 2
COMP 202 (3) Introduction to Computing 1
ESYS 104 (3) The Earth System
MATH 133 (3) Linear Algebra and Geometry
PSYC 100 (3) Introduction to Psychology

* CHEM 115 is not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

* CHEM 120 is not open to students who have taken CHEM 115.

First calculus course, one of:

MATH 139 (4) Calculus 1 with Precalculus
MATH 140 (3) Calculus 1
MATH 150 (4) Calculus A

Second calculus course, one of:

MATH 141 (4) Calculus 2
MATH 151 (4) Calculus B

First physics course, one of:

PHYS 101 (4) Introductory Physics - Mechanics
PHYS 131 (4) Mechanics and Waves

Second physics course, one of:

PHYS 102 (4) Introductory Physics - Electromagnetism
PHYS 142 (4) Electromagnetism and Optics


Students wishing to take elective courses may choose them from introductory courses offered by departments in the Faculties of Science or of Arts. A list of recommended courses is found at https://mcgill.ca/science/sousa/bsc/freshman/approved. Certain courses offered by other faculties may also be taken, but some restrictions apply. Consult the SOUSA website at https://mcgill.ca/science/sousa/bsc/course/outside for more information about taking courses from other faculties.

Faculty of Science—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)
Faculty of Science—2010-2011 (last updated Apr. 22, 2010) (disclaimer)