Course Information and Regulations

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Course Information and Regulations

Students are advised to also refer to University Regulations and Resources > Graduate > Regulations > Registration and Student Records.

Note for Summer Studies students: Refer to Student Types and Registration Procedures and Student Records

The University reserves the right to make changes without prior notice to the information contained in this publication, including the revision or cancellation of particular courses or programs.

At the time this publication was finalized, new courses and modifications to some existing courses were under consideration. Students preparing to register are advised to consult Class Schedule on the web at www.mcgill.ca/students/courses for the most up-to-date information on courses to be offered.

Not all courses listed are offered every year.

Note for Health Sciences: For information, you should refer to your Faculty/School section in this publication.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Jan. 24, 2017) (disclaimer)

Class Schedule

Course Information and Regulations: Class Schedule

Class Schedule for the upcoming Fall and Winter terms normally becomes available in March prior to the opening of advising. The Summer term schedule is normally published in early February. Class Schedule includes the days and times when courses are offered, class locations, names of instructors, and related information. You can also access the details of scheduled courses by clicking the course reference number (CRN) that appears with each course section shown in Class Schedule.

You should make a note of any preregistration requirements for a course, such as placement tests or departmental approval/permission required.

Class Schedule information is subject to change and is updated as courses are added, cancelled, rescheduled, or relocated. It is your responsibility to consult Class Schedule at the time of registration, and again before classes begin, to ensure that changes in the schedule have not caused conflicts in your schedule.

Once you have selected some courses from the Class Schedule, try Visual Schedule Builder (VSB) to view your possible class schedules in an easy-to-read weekly schedule format. Please note that you cannot use Visual Schedule Builder to register but you can copy your choice of course reference numbers (CRNs) from VSB to have handy for registration in Minerva.

Please note that the last day of classes in a term varies according to a course's schedule pattern (e.g. Mon-Wed-Fri, Tues-Thurs, Monday only, etc.). You may verify these details at www.mcgill.ca/importantdates/key-dates.

Note for Health Sciences: For information, you should refer to your Faculty/School section in this publication.
Note for Medicine: This section is not applicable to M.D.,C.M. students; see www.mcgill.ca/ugme.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Jan. 24, 2017) (disclaimer)

Course Numbering

Course Numbering

Each McGill course is assigned a unique seven-character course “number.”

The first four characters (Subject Code) refer to the unit offering the course.

These codes were implemented in September 2002, replacing the three-number Teaching Unit Codes previously used. A complete list of Teaching Unit Codes and their Subject Code equivalents can be found at www.mcgill.ca/students/records/transcripts/key in the section Grading and pre-2002 course numbering.

The three numbers following the Subject Code refer to the course itself, with the first of these indicating the level of the course.

  • Courses numbered at the 100, 200, 300, and 400 levels are intended for undergraduate students. In most programs, courses at the 300 and 400 levels are normally taken in the student’s last two years.
  • Courses at the 500 level are intended for qualified senior undergraduate students but are also open to graduate students.
  • Courses at the 600 and 700 levels are intended for graduate students only.

Two additional characters (D1, D2, N1, N2, J1, J2, J3) at the end of the seven-character course number identifies multi-term courses.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Mar. 4, 2015) (disclaimer)

Multi-term Courses

Multi-term Courses

Most courses at McGill are single term (Fall or Winter or Summer) courses with final grades issued and any credits earned recorded at the end of that term. Single term courses are identified by a seven-character course number.

A unit may, however, decide that the material to be presented cannot be divided into single term courses, or that it is preferable that the work to be done is carried out over two or three terms. Under such circumstances, courses are identified by a two-character extension of the course number.

In some cases, the same course may be offered in various ways: as a single term and/or in one or more multi-term versions. The course content and credit weight are equivalent in all modes; the only difference is the scheduling. Students cannot obtain credit for more than one version of the same course.

Courses with numbers ending in D1 and D2 are taught in two consecutive terms (most commonly Fall and Winter). Students must register for the same section of both the D1 and D2 components. When registering for a Fall term D1 course on Minerva, the student will automatically be registered in the same section of the Winter term D2 portion. No credit will be given unless the same section of both components (D1 and D2) are successfully completed in consecutive terms, e.g., Fall 2015 and Winter 2016.

Courses with numbers ending in N1 and N2 are taught in two non-consecutive terms (Winter and Fall). Students must register for the same section of both the N1 and N2 components. No credit will be given unless the same section of both components (N1 and N2) are successfully completed within a twelve (12) month period.

Courses with numbers ending in J1, J2 and J3 are taught over three consecutive terms. Students must register for the same section of all three components (J1, J2, J3). No credit will be given unless the same section of all three components are successfully completed.

Note for the Faculties of Arts and Science (including B.A. & Sc.): If you select a multi-term course, you are making a commitment to that course for its entirety. You MUST register in the same section in all terms of a multi-term course. Credit will be jeopardized if you deliberately register in different sections of a multi-term course. In the case of Fall/Winter D1/D2 courses, attempting to change section in Winter may result in an inadvertent withdrawal (W) from the D1 course, and reinstatement in the D1/D2 course will result in administrative fees being charged to the student.

In exceptional cases, when circumstances are beyond the student's control, the Faculty Student Affairs Office may grant permission to change sections midway through a multi-term course. You must make your request in writing citing your reason for the request. The request must also have the written support of the instructors of the sections involved and of the coordinator of the course (if applicable). Your request must be submitted to:

  • Arts students – Associate Dean, Student Affairs
  • Science and B.A. & Sc. students – Director of Advising Services, Science
Important Conditions for Multi-term Courses
  1. Students must be registered for each component of the multi-term course. Students must ensure that they are registered in the same section in each term of the multi-term course.
  2. Students must successfully complete each component in sequence as set out in the multi-term course. Credit is granted only at the end of the multi-term course; no partial credit is given, i.e., for completing only one component of a D1/D2 or N1/N2 course, or one to two components of a J1/J2/J3 course.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Mar. 4, 2015) (disclaimer)

Course Terminology

Course Terminology

Prerequisite: Course A is prerequisite to course B if a satisfactory pass in course A is required for admission to course B.

Corequisite: Course A is corequisite to course B if course A must be taken concurrently with (or may have been taken prior to) course B.

Credits: The credit weight of each course is indicated in parentheses beside the course title. For D1 and D2 courses, the credit weight is indicated after the course number. For further information, refer to University Regulations and Resources > Undergraduate > Student Records > Credit System.

Course Nomenclature in Program Descriptions

Course Nomenclature in Program Descriptions

Required Courses: Mandatory courses that must be completed to fulfil the requirements of a program (e.g., major, minor, etc. at the undergraduate level or specific courses at the graduate), unless the student receives exemptions. Students have no choices among required courses.

Complementary Courses: Courses selected from a restricted list, a particular subject area, or a discipline. In some programs, students must include a number of these to meet program requirements. Complementary courses are not electives.

Elective Courses: Courses, in some cases, taken outside of a student’s program of study that do not count toward the fulfilment of the specific program requirements. Some restrictions may apply, but students have the most choice in selecting elective courses. Some faculties also permit students to take elective courses using the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option. Undergraduate students should consult their faculty regulations concerning electives; graduate students require the approval of their Program Director and Enrolment Services.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Mar. 4, 2015) (disclaimer)

Course Change Period

Course Change Period

You may make changes to your course registrations (add or drop courses), subject to the requirements and restrictions of your program and individual courses from the opening date of registration until the end of the Course Change period. The Course Change deadline coincides with the deadline for late registration. See www.mcgill.ca/importantdates.

If you are registered in the Fall term, you may add and drop Winter term courses throughout the Fall term until the Winter term deadline for course change/late registration.

After the Course Change deadline, you may add courses exceptionally only with written permission of the instructor and your department, and the approval of Enrolment Services. A fee will be charged for each course you add.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Jul. 15, 2016) (disclaimer)

Auditing of Courses

Auditing of Courses

McGill does not permit auditing of courses.

Note for Continuing Studies: You can register for a Continuing Studies course and opt to have it "non-evaluated."
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Jan. 24, 2017) (disclaimer)
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2016-2017 (last updated Jan. 24, 2017) (disclaimer)