Course Requirements

Course Requirements for Bachelor of Science

All required and complementary courses used to fulfil program requirements, including the basic Science requirements, must be completed with a grade of C or better. Students who fail to obtain a Satisfactory grade in a required course must either pass the supplemental examination in the course or do additional work for a supplemental grade, if these options are available, or repeat the course. Course substitution will be allowed only in special cases; students should consult their academic adviser.

Normally, students are permitted to repeat a failed course only once (failure is considered to be a grade of less than C or the administrative failures of J and KF). If a required course is failed a second time, students must submit an appeal in writing (by email) to their Faculty adviser, to obtain permission from the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, Faculty of Science to take the course a third time. If permission is denied by the Associate Dean and/or by the Committee on Student Standing on appeal, students must withdraw from the program. If the failed course is a complementary course required by the program, students may choose to replace it with another appropriate complementary course. If you choose to substitute another complementary course for a complementary course in which a D was received, credit for the first course will still be given, but as an elective. If you repeat a required course in which a D was received, credit will be given only once.

Full details of the course requirements for all programs offered are given in each unit’s section together with the locations of departmental advisory offices, program directors, and telephone numbers should further information be required.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)

Course Overlap

important

Errata: Stipulations regarding statistics courses have been appended as follows:

  • Credit will be given for only one of the following introductory statistics courses: AEMA 310, BIOL 373, ECON 227D1/D2, ECON 257D1/D2, GEOG 202, MATH 203, MGCR 271, MGCR 273, POTH 204, SOCI 350.
  • Students who have already received credit for PSYC 204 will not receive credit for any of the following: AEMA 310, BIOL 373, ECON 227D1/D2, ECON 257D1/D2, GEOG 202, MATH 203, MGCR 271, MGCR 273, POTH 204, SOCI 350.
  • Credit will be given for only one of the following intermediate statistics courses: AEMA 411, ECON 227D1/D2, ECON 257D1/D2, GEOG 351, MATH 204, PSYC 305, SOCI 461, with the exception that you may receive credit for both PSYC 305 and ECON 227D1/D2 or ECON 257D1/D2.
  • Students who have already received credit for MATH 324 or MATH 357 will not receive credit for any of the following: AEMA 310, AEMA 411, BIOL 373, ECON 227D1/D2, ECON 257D1/D2, GEOG 202, GEOG 351, MATH 203, MATH 204, MGCR 271, MGCR 273, PSYC 204, PSYC 305, SOCI 350.
  • For 500-level statistics courses not listed above, students must consult a program/department adviser to ensure that no significant overlap exists. Where such overlap exists with a course for which the student has already received credit, credit for the 500-level course will not be allowed.
  • Course Overlap Policy

    You will not receive additional credit towards your degree for any course that overlaps in content with a course for which you have already received credit at McGill, CEGEP, at another university, or Advanced Placement exams, Advanced Level results, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or French Baccalaureate. It is your responsibility to consult with a faculty adviser in Arts Academic Advising OASIS, the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA), or the department offering the course as to whether or not credit can be obtained and to be aware of exclusion clauses specified in the course description in this publication. Please refer to the following website for specific information about Advanced Standing credits and McGill course exemptions: mcgill.ca/transfercredit.

    Sometimes, the same course is offered by two different departments. Such courses are called "double-prefix" courses. When such courses are offered simultaneously, you should take the course offered by the department in which you are obtaining your degree. For example, in the case of double-prefix courses CHEM XYZ and PHYS XYZ, Chemistry students take CHEM XYZ and the Physics students take PHYS XYZ. If a double-prefix course is offered by different departments in alternate years, you may take whichever course best fits your schedule.

    Note for Arts students: Credit for computer courses offered by the School of Computer Science is governed by rules specified in each individual course description.
    Note for Science, and Bachelor of Arts and Science students: Credit for statistics courses offered by faculties other than Arts and Science requires the permission of the Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Science, except for students in the B.Sc. Major in Environment, who may take required statistics courses in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences necessary to satisfy their program requirements. Credit for computer courses offered by faculties other than Science requires the permission of the Associate Dean (Student Affairs) Science, and will be granted only under exceptional circumstances.

    Credit for statistics courses for Arts, Science, and Bachelor of Arts and Science students will be given with the following stipulations:

    Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Aug. 30, 2023) (disclaimer)

    Courses Outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science

    Courses Outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science

    Students in the Faculty of Science should consult the statement of regulations (see below) for taking courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science. A list of approved/restricted courses in other faculties can be found in the The Faculty of Science's Undergraduate Handbook (Section 3.2.2 List of approved and restricted courses outside the Faculty of Science). Students may take courses on the approved list and may not, under any circumstances, take courses on the restricted list for credit. Requests for permission to take courses that are not on either list should be submitted in writing (by email) to the Faculty adviser (SOUSA), to be approved by the Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Science.

    The regulations are as follows:

    • Students may take only 6 credits per year, up to 18 credits in all, of courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science.
    • Courses offered in the Faculty of Science or in the Faculty of Arts are found in the eCalendar's All Courses search, when filtered by “Faculty of Science” or by “Faculty of Arts”.
    • Courses in other faculties that are considered as taught by Science (e.g., BIOT, EXMD, and PHAR) are so designated as offered by the Faculty of Science in the eCalendar's All Courses search.
    • Courses in Music are considered as outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, except MUAR courses, which are considered Arts courses.
    • All courses listed in the Religious Studies (RELG) section are considered courses in Arts and Science except for courses restricted to B.Th. or S.T.M. students and courses that require permission from the Chair of the B.Th. Committee.
    • Students should consult the list of restricted courses outside of the Faculties of Arts and of Science in the Science Undergraduate Handbook (Section 3.2.2 List of approved and restricted courses outside the Faculty of Science).
    • Students must have the necessary prerequisites and permission of the instructor for such courses.
    • Credit for computer and statistics courses offered by faculties other than Arts and Science require the permission of the Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Science, and will be granted only under exceptional circumstances. Requests must be submitted in writing (by email) to the Faculty (SOUSA) adviser.
    • If a students uses Minerva to register for a course that exceeds the specified limitations or is not approved, the course will be flagged for no credit after the course change period.
    • Credit will not be given for any "how to" courses offered by other faculties that are intended to provide practical or professional training in specific applied areas. Examples include courses that teach the use of certain computer packages (databases, spreadsheets, etc.) or computer languages (SQL, COBOL, FORTRAN, etc.); machine shop or electronic shop courses; technical drawing courses; and professional practice courses.
    • Students in the Bieler School of Environment may exceed the 18-credit limit for courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, provided that all such courses are necessary to complete their program of study.
    • Students in the Major in Software Engineering may exceed the 18-credit limit for courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, provided that all such courses are necessary to complete their program of study.
    • Students in the B.Sc. Liberal Program taking a Major Concentration in Music may exceed the 18-credit limit for courses outside the Faculties of Arts and of Science, provided that all such courses are necessary to complete their program of study, up to a maximum of 36 Music credits.
    • The 18-credit limit applies to students taking the Minor in Nutrition; equivalent courses in Science should be taken instead of courses in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
    Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)

    Correspondence, Distance Education, or Web-Based Courses

    Correspondence, Distance Education, or Web-Based Courses

    Science students may obtain transfer credit for correspondence, distance education, or web-based courses if they receive prior approval from the appropriate McGill department for the course content and prior approval from the Science Office of Undergraduate Student Advising for the method of delivery and evaluation. Consult the Science Undergraduate Handbook (Section 4.5 Transfer Credits) for details and instructions.

    Courses taught through distance education from institutions other than McGill will only be considered for transfer credits under the following conditions:

    • The course is given by a government-accredited, degree-granting institution acceptable to McGill.
    • The course counts for credit toward degrees granted at the institution giving the course.
    • The combined total of regular course credits and distance education course credits do not exceed the permitted maximum number of credits per term according to Faculty regulations.
    • Courses taught through distance education may not be used to complete program requirements, except on an individual basis when serious, documented circumstances warrant it.
    Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)

    Courses in English as a Second Language (ESL)

    Courses in English as a Second Language (ESL)

    ESL courses are only open to students whose primary language is not English and who have studied for fewer than five years in English-language secondary institutions. Students in the B.Sc. may take a maximum of 12 credits, including academic writing courses for non-anglophones, from the list of ESL courses in the McGill Writing Centre.

    Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)

    First-Year Seminars: Registration

    Registration for First-Year Seminars in the Faculty of Science

    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 a closer interaction with professors and better working relations with peers than is available in large introductory courses. These seminars endeavour to teach the latest scholarly developments and expose participants to advanced research methods. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum number of students in any seminar is 25, although some are limited to fewer than that.

    You may take only one First-Year Seminar. If you register for more than one, you will be obliged to withdraw from all but one of them. Please consult the departmental listings for course descriptions and availability.

    First-Year Seminars
    CHEM 199 FYS: Why Chemistry?
    EPSC 199 FYS: Earth & Planetary Exploration
    PSYC 199 FYS: Mind-Body Medicine
    PSYT 199 FYS: Mental Illness and the Brain

    The First-Year Seminars offered by the Faculty of Arts are also open to Science students. For a complete listing, please consult Faculty of Arts > Undergraduate > Browse Academic Units & Programs > First-Year Seminars.

    Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)

    Course Credit Weight

    Course Credit Weight

    The credit assigned to a particular course should reflect the amount of effort it demands of a student. One credit equals about 45 hours of work. This may be a combination of lecture, laboratory, tutorial, and conference time plus personal study hours. Personal study hours may include required activities, group activities, time spent doing assignments, and preparing and reviewing for a course.

    Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)
    Faculty of Science—2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 10, 2023) (disclaimer)
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