Types of Advising and Advisers

Types of Advising and Advisers

While at McGill, you have access to academic advisers who have different skills, expertise, and levels of authority. Your academic advisers can help you succeed academically by providing timely, accurate, and coherent information about University regulations and program requirements and by working, as appropriate, with other University services and resources to help support you throughout your degree. All conversations with your academic advisers are confidential. The main types of advisers are described below. You should refer to your faculty's section of this publication for additional advising information specific to your degree program and to the Advising website for more general information. Note that some academic matters require approval of more than one adviser, e.g., the faculty adviser and the department/school academic adviser.

Faculty Advisers are normally located in the Student Affairs Office of each faculty and are available throughout the calendar year (Contact Information for Faculty & School Student Affairs Offices).

Faculty advisers:

  • are experts in the rules, regulations, and requirements pertaining to specific degree programs;
  • provide ongoing advice and guidance on program selection, course registration, credit load, deadlines, and majors and minors;
  • communicate with other advisers within the University and, with your permission, serve as a direct link to other University resources;
  • may assist you in planning for, and applying to, university exchange programs and may also provide, or direct you to, information about scholarships, awards, research fellowships, and opportunities within a given field;
  • are a valuable source of information about the various resources available at McGill;
  • offer support, guidance, and appropriate referrals to help you manage academic situations during periods of personal, financial, or medical difficulties, and work with you to identify various possibilities and strategies for making informed decisions.

Department/School Academic Advisers are normally located close to the offices of professors in your program and may only be available during specific times of the year (e.g., prior to registration for the next session or during the add/drop period) or during regularly scheduled office hours. If you are completing a major or minor in more than one unit, you will likely have an adviser in each unit. The departmental academic adviser may be either a professor or a member of the administrative staff. You should contact your department's administrative office to determine the identity and availability of your academic adviser. You should check your progress with your departmental academic adviser from time to time—and certainly before your final year.

Departmental academic advisers:

  • guide you through course selection to meet the subject matter requirements of the major or minor;
  • consider requests for course equivalencies, recommend prior approval for inter-university transfer credits, or explain the rationale for the design of a department/school program;
  • may assist you in planning for, and applying to, university exchange programs, and may also provide, or direct you to, information about scholarships, awards, research fellowships, and opportunities within a given field;
  • are a valuable source of information about the various resources available at McGill;
  • can provide support, guidance, and appropriate referrals if you experience academic or personal difficulties while studying at McGill;
  • are often responsible for confirming that you have met major or minor program requirements for graduation.

Professors/Lecturers may act in a voluntary capacity to mentor you as you progress through your program. The faculty adviser or department/school academic adviser may be able to help you identify a good resource person in your program.


  • may provide advice on the latest trends in a specific field of study and make recommendations on related advanced readings;
  • may discuss opportunities for a student research experience and help you connect with a professor or lecturer who best suits your interests or learning style;
  • refer you back to the faculty adviser or departmental academic adviser for signatures and permission related to program requirements.

Peer Advisers are students who have been trained by faculty advisers or department/school academic advisers. They normally offer drop-in hours for advice on University life and will help you find the information you need in this publication or through other University resources. Peer advisers are only available in some faculties or departments.

Related Resources

Related Resources

For a full list of services available to undergraduate students, please refer to Student Services – Downtown Campus and Student Services – Macdonald Campus.

Ask an Advisor (mcgill.ca/students/advising) is an advising and referral resource for undergraduate students in all faculties. If you don't know who to contact with your advising questions or what your next step should be, Ask an Advisor can help by sending you to the right person or place the first time.

Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) (Brown Student Services Building; mcgill.ca/firstyear) can help new students navigate their way through this publication and the information provided to new students; see mcgill.ca/accepted. The CL&E staff are always available to provide advice and referrals to the many support mechanisms at McGill.

The Student Wellness Hub (Brown Student Services Building; mcgill.ca/wellness-hub) has professional counsellors, social workers, and psychologists who are available to discuss personal, academic, and career goals or problems. They provide individual counselling, therapy, psychoeducational workshops, and crisis intervention. Drop-in services are available. Additionally, Local Wellness Advisors can be accessed throughout faculties and services across campus, and they offer support, information, and resources tailored to each faculty and/or student population. Visit mcgill.ca/LWA to find the right adviser for you.

Career Planning Service (CaPS) (Brown Student Services Building; mcgill.ca/caps) provides career education, guidance, and individual advising to help you in your search for permanent, part-time, or summer jobs and internships.

Service Point (3415 McTavish Street, Montreal QC H3A 0C8; 514-398-7878; mcgill.ca/servicepoint) is the student-facing customer-service arm of Enrolment Services, which provides administrative services and assistance related to official documents, student records, tuition and fees, and student exchanges.

On the Macdonald Campus, information is provided by the Student Affairs Office, Laird Hall, Room 106; mcgill.ca/macdonald.

Note for Medicine: The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences' WELL Office also provides services to M.D.,C.M. students, including career planning advising offered by the Faculty's Undergraduate Career Planning Office.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Aug. 30, 2023) (disclaimer)
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2023-2024 (last updated Aug. 30, 2023) (disclaimer)
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