Academic Policies

Academic Policies in the Schulich School of Music

General Academic Information

General Academic Information

Students are required to be punctual at all classes and lessons. Grades in academic subjects are calculated on the basis of class work, examinations, and other course-related tasks as described in the class syllabus. Students risk failure in the subject concerned if they miss examinations or class work without a valid excuse provided in a timely manner.

We strongly recommend that students follow the sample course sequence published on their respective program's website (www.mcgill.ca/music/programs) to complete program requirements within the standard 4-year time frame (B.Mus. students) or 3-year time frame (L.Mus. students). It is particularly important for students to pass the required Core Courses in a timely manner and in strict sequence, as they provide structured training in the professional competencies crucial to your success in our programs and in the field of music. Students risk delaying their graduation if they fail to complete the required courses in the recommended program sequence.

Academic Requirements by Program

Academic Requirements by Program

B.Mus. Composition

All B.Mus. Composition students must attain a minimum grade of "B-" in all courses with MUCO prefixes in order to continue in the program.

The Composition Area may recommend students to transfer to the B.Mus. Faculty program if they fail to meet this requirement. Students may also consult with an Academic Adviser to determine their eligibility to transfer to another B.Mus. program offered by the Department of Music Research.

B.Mus. Performance

Students in all B.Mus. Performance programs must attain a minimum grade of "B-" in all practical instruction/exams and ensembles to continue in the program.

The faculty will issue students an academic warning if they fail to meet this requirement. Students having received a warning are permitted to continue in their admitted program providing they do not get another grade lower than "B-" in a practical instruction/exam and/or ensemble in subsequent terms. Students failing to meet these requirements will be asked to transfer to the B.Mus. Faculty program. Students may also consult with an Academic Adviser to determine their eligibility to transfer to another B.Mus. program offered by the Department of Music Research.

L.Mus. Programs

Students in all L.Mus. Performance programs must attain a minimum grade of "A-" in all practical instruction/exams and ensembles to continue in the program.

The faculty will issue students an academic warning if they fail to meet this requirement. Students having received a warning are permitted to continue in their admitted program providing they do not get another grade lower than "A-" in a practical instruction/exam and/or ensemble in subsequent terms. Students failing to meet these requirements will be asked to withdraw from the licentiate program.

Academic Standing

Academic Standing

In addition to meeting the program-specific academic conditions stipulated above, students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic standing to allow for program continuation.

Academic Standing is based primarily on students' cumulative grade point average (CGPA), but may also be affected by their term grade point average (TGPA). Academic Standing, assessed after the end of each term, determines if students will be allowed to continue their studies in the next term and if any conditions will be attached to their registration.

Decisions about Academic Standing in the Fall term are based only on grades that are available in January. Grades for courses in which students have deferred examinations and Fall term grades for courses that span the Fall and Winter terms do not affect Academic Standing for the Fall term, even though they will ultimately affect students’ Fall TGPA. Therefore, Academic Standings for the Fall term are designated as “interim” and should be interpreted as advisory; moreover, interim Standings will not appear on external transcripts. Interim Standing decisions are mentioned below only if the rules for them differ from those for regular Standing decisions.

Satisfactory/Interim Satisfactory Standing

Students in Satisfactory Standing may continue in their program.

  • New students are admitted to Satisfactory Standing.
  • Students with a CGPA of 2.00 or greater are in Satisfactory Standing.

Probationary/Interim Probationary Standing

Students in Probationary Standing may continue in their program, but must carry a reduced load (maximum 12 credits per term) and raise their TGPA and CGPA to return to Satisfactory Standing. They should see their academic adviser to discuss their course selection.

Students in Interim Probationary Standing may continue in their program, but should evaluate their course load and reduce it as appropriate. They are strongly advised to consult their academic adviser, before the withdrawal deadlines, about their course selection for the Winter term.

  • Students who were previously in Satisfactory Standing will be placed in Probationary Standing if their CGPA falls between 1.50 and 1.99.
  • Students who were previously in Probationary Standing will remain in Probationary Standing if their CGPA falls between 1.50 and 1.99 and their TGPA is 2.50 or higher, although the TGPA requirement will not apply to the Summer term.
  • Students who were previously in Interim Unsatisfactory Standing will be placed in Probationary Standing if their CGPA falls between 1.50 and 1.99 and their TGPA is 2.50 or higher.
  • Students who were previously in Unsatisfactory Standing and who were readmitted to the Faculty by the Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs) will be placed in Probationary Standing if their CGPA is less than 2.00, but if they satisfy relevant conditions specified in their letter of readmission.

Readmitted Unsatisfactory Standing

Students who were previously in Unsatisfactory Standing and who were readmitted to the Faculty by the Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs) will have their Standing changed to readmitted Unsatisfactory Standing. Their course load is specified in their letter of readmission, as are the conditions they must meet to be allowed to continue in their program. They should see an academic adviser to discuss their course selection.

Unsatisfactory/Interim Unsatisfactory Standing

Students in Interim Unsatisfactory Standing may continue in their program, but should evaluate their course load and reduce it as appropriate. They are strongly advised to consult an academic adviser, before the withdrawal deadlines, about their course selection for the Winter term.

Students in Unsatisfactory Standing who have failed to meet the minimum standards set by the Faculty may not continue in their program and their registration will be cancelled.

Appeals for readmission by students in Unsatisfactory Standing should be addressed to the Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs) no later than July 15 for readmission to the Fall term and November 15 for the Winter term. Readmission will be considered only when proof of extenuating circumstances that affected academic performance can be provided (e.g., medical or other documentation). Students in Unsatisfactory Standing for the second time must withdraw permanently.

Normally, supplemental examinations are not permitted; however, students in Unsatisfactory Standing may appeal to the Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs) for permission to write a supplemental examination, clearly stating the reasons for special consideration and providing proof as appropriate.

  • Students will be placed in Unsatisfactory Standing (Winter or Summer term) or Interim Unsatisfactory Standing (Fall term) if their CGPA falls or remains below 1.50.
  • For the Fall and Winter terms, students who were previously in Probationary, Readmitted Unsatisfactory, or Interim Unsatisfactory Standing will be placed in Unsatisfactory Standing if their TGPA falls below 2.50 and their CGPA is below 2.00.
  • Students who were previously in Unsatisfactory Standing and who were readmitted to the Faculty by the Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs) who have not at least satisfied the conditions to attain Probationary Standing that were specified in the letter of readmission will be placed in Unsatisfactory Standing.

Incomplete Standings

Standing awaits deferred exam; must clear Ks, Ls, or Supplementals.

Students with Incomplete Standings in the Winter or Summer term may register for the Fall term, but their Standing must be resolved by the end of the Course Change Period for that term. Students whose Incomplete Standing changes to Satisfactory or Probationary may continue in their program. Students whose Standing changes to Unsatisfactory Standing may not continue in their program.

Students whose Standing changes to Unsatisfactory and who wish to ask for permission to continue in their program must make a request to the Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs) as soon as they are placed in Unsatisfactory Standing. Readmission will be considered only when proof of extenuating circumstances that affected academic performance can be provided (e.g., medical or other documentation).

Students whose Standing is still Incomplete by the end of the Course Change period should immediately consult with the Music Student Affairs Office.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2018-2019 (last updated Aug. 16, 2018) (disclaimer)
Schulich School of Music—2018-2019 (last updated Aug. 16, 2018) (disclaimer)
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