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Bachelor of Arts

What's special about the McGill Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)?

As employers continue to adjust to a global economy, graduates must be able to think and work across cultural and social contexts and adapt to the fast paced world around them. A McGill B.A. degree encourages flexibility, independence and knowledge in a diversity of disciplines.  It is incredibly customizable, allowing student to design their own program of study.  Our graduates are valued in a wide range of fields for their ability to think critically, communicate effectively (often in several languages) and find creative solutions.  Many graduates enter directly into careers. Others pursue post-graduate degrees in both traditional and interdisciplinary fields. Still others pursue professional degrees in fields such as business, law and medicine.

How is the B.A. structured?

This is a general outline. Consult the eCalendar for detailed program outlines.

Over the course of three years (U1, U2 and U3), students will complete a 90-credit degree.  For students from high schools outside Quebec, a 30-credit freshman year (called U0) will be added at the start of your studies (making this a four-year, 120-credit degree). 

If you will be completing advanced level course work (such as International Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced Levels, and/or university courses) you may receive advanced standing credit for all or part of the U0 year.

At the beginning of the U1 year, students will be able to choose from 4 different streams:

  1. Multi-track system
    To recognize the diversity of students’ interests, the multi-track system allows you to design your program using one of the following combinations:

      Major Concentration (36 credits) + Minor Concentration (18 credits) + 36 credits of electives
    B   Major Concentration (36 credits) + Major Concentration (36 credits) + 18 credits of electives
    C   Major Concentration (36 credits) + Minor Concentration (18 credits) + Minor Concentration (18 credits) + 18 credits of electives
  2. Honours program
    This stream demands a high degree of specialization, and requires you to satisfy specific departmental and Faculty Honours requirements while maintaining a good academic standing. It is designed to prepare you for graduate study.

    Honours program (42-60 credits, depending on program) + Minor Concentration (18 credits) + 12-30 credits of electives (depending on choice of Honours program)
  3. Joint Honours program
    If you want to study at the Honours level in two disciplines, you can combine Joint Honours program components from any two Arts disciplines; see Joint Honours Programs for a list of available programs. Students interested in a Joint Honours are strongly encouraged to speak with an adviser in each department to discuss their course selection and their interdisciplinary research project.
  4. Faculty program
    This stream consists of an approved selection of courses constituting a concentration in an intellectually coherent and inter-faculty field of studies. 
    You may select one of the programs already recognized by the Faculty of Arts: Industrial Relations or Environment.  You may also wish to consult with an advisor to obtain approval for your own selection from one of the following:
    - Courses from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science and at least one other faculty
    - Courses from the Faculty of Arts and at least one faculty other than the Faculty of Science

When do I declare my major, minor, honours, etc?

When you apply to the Faculty of Arts you do not need to have chosen your exact program of study.  All students apply as “undeclared.”

If you are admitted from a high school outside Quebec, you will enter the freshman year (U0) and only declare your choice of major(s) and minor(s) at the end of the year.
If you are admitted from Quebec CEGEP (or you receive 24 credits or more of advanced standing), you will enter the U1 year and you must declare your major(s) and minor(s) at the time registration opens (before your first semester courses begin).
Interested in an honours or joint honours program? To be registered in an honours or joint honours program, students will have to obtain a minimum GPA and CGPA at the end of their U1 year.  Consult the eCalendar for full details.

Enhance your B.A. degree!

The Faculty of Arts Internship Program is but one example of how we are committed to providing students with every opportunity to make the most of their undergraduate years and gain the necessary tools so that they will be sought after both by the best graduate schools and by the most discriminating employers.  Internships provide students with work-related experience and allow them to develop an appreciation for where and how their work at university fits into the world outside academia. More often than not, by the end of their internship students find themselves in a better position to evaluate their direction of study and career objectives.


Majors | Minors
Music (see also: Faculty of Music)