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Bachelor of Science

What's special about a McGill B.Sc.?

McGill's Faculty of Science has a tradition of discovery that goes back almost two centuries and includes some of the top scientists and thinkers in history. In the 1930s, for example, one of our chemists, Bill Chalmers, went on to invent a tough substance-still widely used around the world-known as Plexiglas, while in more recent years, computer science graduate Jade Raymond won fame and fortune as a top video game producer whose hits include the bestselling Assassin's Creed.

McGill's Faculty of Science is one of the world's great centres of science education and research because we're a community consisting of top students taught by top professors. It's as simple as that. Our students have the highest entrance grades in the country, and are counted among the best in the world. We also boast a young and vibrant faculty, thanks to a hiring blitz over the past several years that has allowed us to rejuvenate our teaching staff and recruit top scholars from around the world.

Don't forget that the Faculty of Science is not just about research. Although we are proud of the research our scientists and students perform, a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill is an established stepping-stone to the workforce. Many international firms, such as L'Oreal, Ubisoft, and Merck Frosst, recruit our top students.

No matter which Science pathway you choose, we'll give you the tools to help put you on the road to success. Welcome to the McGill Science adventure. Learn more about the Faculty of Science here.

How is the B.Sc. 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 3 different options:

  1. Liberal Program

    This is a flexible and modular program. This option allows you to combine a core science component (CSC) in one discipline with a breadth component which may consist of a minor, a major concentration from the Faculty of Arts, or a second CSC. Consider the Liberal program if you do not want to overly specialise - plus, you will still have room left over for elective courses.

  2. Major

    Your major is your versatile, comprehensive primary area of study. For example, you could pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics, Chemistry or Psychology, to name just three possibilities. The specific requirements vary from major to major, but they will frequently take up approximately two-thirds of your credits (up to 90 credits in some programs).  This will often leave room for you to add on elective courses or a Minor.

  3. Honours

    Honours programs typically involve an even higher degree of specialization than majors, include supervised research, and require students to maintain a high academic standard. An honours program provides solid preparation for graduate school.

To view your choices of Liberal, Major and Honours programs, consult the Faculty of Science website.

When do I declare my liberal program, major, honours, etc?

At the time of application to the B.Sc., you must first select a specific group of programs. It is important that you apply to the group that interests you the most because, if you are admitted, you will only be able to choose your program (liberal, major, honours) from that group. 

Once you have selected your group:
Applicants from high schools outside Quebec will apply to the freshman year (U0) and only declare their choice of program at the end of the U0 year.

Applicants from Quebec CEGEP may apply as “undeclared” or choose a specific program.  If admitted, you will enter the U1 year and you must finalize your choice and declare your program at the time registration opens (before your first semester courses begin).

Enhance your B.Sc. Degree!

We are boldly transforming the way science is taught, with an increased emphasis on student/professor interaction and outreach. This new approach is reflected in the Faculty's updated slogan, Learning Through Discovery, which emphasizes hands-on research at the undergraduate level and a more personal, one-on-one style between professors and students that traditionally did not begin until the graduate level. In 2005 the Faculty opened its Office for Undergraduate Research in Science and launched a new Freshman Interest Groups program, which allows groups of 10 to 15 freshman students to meet with a professor weekly. Our Soup & Science lecture series will help you find your own special area of interest by exposing you to the cutting edge work being done by our researchers.

There are many options for field studies abroad, paid internships in the private sector, and minors in a wide array of disciplines. We also offer opportunities to participate in basic research, if that's what interests you.

Explore other opportunities through the Science Internship & Field Studies Office, which promotes field studies and internships to interested students seeking hands-on experience. Whether you decide to participate in a field study semester or turn your classroom knowledge into valuable professional experience, the Science Internship & Field Studies Office will offer you assistance in your decision.