IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MSE STUDENTS
Majors and Domains
If you have just completed a Freshman (U0) year at McGill, or if you are entering your U1 year from CEGEP, then you need to choose a Major. Most of the Environment degree programs (except for the BA&Sc Interfaculty Program) require that you choose an area of specialization within your Major called a Domain. If you are initially uncertain of a Domain, that's okay. You can add your Domain later to your registration, or if you change your mind about your studies later on, you can change your Domain at that time as well.
When planning your schedule and registering for courses, you need to verify where each course is offered because courses for this program are taught both at McGill's campus downtown and the Macdonald campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Courses offered at Macdonald campus are shown on the MSE website with an (M) beside them. Regardless of which campus most of your courses are on, if you wish to take several courses on the opposite campus, the program is flexible enough to allow this. The two campuses are about 35 km apart. It takes about 35 minutes by shuttle bus or car (closer to 50 minutes in rush hour), and about 90 minutes by city bus and metro or by train. Students can use the free Shuttle Bus service which runs every 45 minutes between campuses throughout the school year.
Suggested First Year Courses
As a first-year (U1) MSE student, you need to take the introductory core ENVR courses. In addition to the the core ENVR course, you can take elective courses or complementary courses for your Environment program. The Domain course lists do not represent sequences of courses; rather, they are lists of choices. For suggestions for courses to take in your first year (U1), consult the MSE Student Handbook. Feel free to email or visit Kathy Roulet during her drop-in hours, if you have questions.
The core ENVR courses can be taken on either campus. Be careful which Section you register in for the core courses! The courses will vary slightly depending on the section, and you will not be able to write your EXAM if you are in the wrong section! Section 001 is Downtown, section 051 is at Macdonald. This applies only to ENVR courses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do I know on which campus the courses I have registered for, are given?
Because ENVR courses are given on both campuses, each ENVR course is associated with a section number which corresponds to its location: Section 001 is downtown, section 051 is the Macdonald campus. Other courses have section numbers but only ENVR courses have section numbers that refer to campus location. Courses offered on Macdonald campus are shown on the MSE website with an (M) beside them.
2. When do I register for my Winter term courses?
You should register for your Winter term courses at the same time as you register for your Fall term courses. Otherwise, they may fill up. You can make changes in December and up until the add/drop deadline in January if needed or if you change your mind about your course selections.
3. How do I register for courses?
There is a detailed description of how to register for courses, including an excellent Tutorial Video on the McGill website.
4. I looked on Minerva for the ENVR courses, but it says none are available. What should I have done differently?
When you are looking up the schedule for a course using Minerva >Class Schedule, or when you want to register, you are asked to select a Term. On the next page you are asked to choose a Subject (like ENVR for example). DON'T choose anything else from that page. Just select a Subject and go to the bottom of the page and click on "Get course sections". That will give you all the courses in that subject that are offered that semester.
5. I tried to register for a course, but I received a registration error, and was not able to get a spot in the course. What do I do about this? Where can I go for assistance?
There are a number of different error messages you could receive, if you have been unsuccessful registering for a course. These messages are listed and explained on the McGill Website. As well, you will find tips and suggestions for solving common registration issues.
6. What if the courses fill up? Is it possible to be added to a wait-list?
Enrollment in most courses at McGill is now limited or "capped". Students who are required to take a course will be able to register (if an ENVR course is full, contact Danielle Lefebvre, but students looking for electives or complementary courses may have trouble if they try to register for very popular courses late in the registration period. If it is a non-ENVR course that you are trying to register in, and it is full, you will need to contact the Professor of the course or the Academic Adviser in that department, for assistance.
Many courses have wait-lists, including the ENVR courses. If you receive an error message saying the course is full, you will need to add yourself to the wait-list for that course. Full instructions of how to use Minerva wait-lists, including a Tutorial Video, can be found on the McGill Website.
7. Looking for suggestions for electives?
The Environment program is only part of your degree requirements. Electives are courses that count towards your overall degree requirements but are not needed for your Environment program. Here are some popular courses that you could consider taking:
8. I am a Faculty of Science student and there's a "restricted" course in my domain. Will I receive credit for it?
However, that being said -- courses that are on the List of Restricted Courses AND that are approved complementary courses in your domain -- ARE approved for you to take and to receive credit for. If you have ANY doubts, contact the MSE Program Adviser.
9. I need to talk to an Adviser in one of the other departments. Where do I find their name and contact information?
10. What is the S/U option? And can I use it?
The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option is explained in the e-Calendar. All MSE students may take advantage of the S/U option (according to the regulations), however students in the Faculty Program Environment (B.Arts degree), in particular, may wish to use this option to complete their program pre-/co-requisite science and numeracy requirements. If you have any questions about whether the S/U option makes sense for you to use, please contact the MSE Program Adviser.
11. Why am I unable to register in BIOL 111?
During several weeks in June, when new Science students are registering – the freshman courses (science and math) are closed to everyone else. They will reopen again to Arts students, for registration, on June 28 (maths) and July 12 (freshman sciences). This is further explained on the SOUSA website
Rest assured that registration has followed this model for the last couple of years, and it has not created a problem for incoming Faculty Program Environment students, even though their registration for BIOL 111 is delayed.
12. I am not sure which Domain I want, but I don't want to fall behind. What can I do?
You should start with the four 200-level core ENVR courses:
In addition, if you compare the Domains, you will notice courses that are common amongst them, for example:
Statistics - (Downtown Campus),
or (Macdonald Campus);
(or equivalent statistics course)
Microeconomics - (Downtown Campus),
or (Macdonald Campus)
Also, if you are in the Faculty Program Environment, you will need to complete the program pre-/co-requisites, regardless of which Domain you choose to go into.
13. I am a new student, entering McGill from CEGEP. I notice that many courses are already full, even though registration for next year has not started yet. How is this possible? And what can I do to get into the courses I need?
To briefly explain why you are finding some of these courses to be full already – it is because returning students (non-CEGEP students who did their U0 year at McGill) were able to register starting in April, for U1 or 200-level courses for next year. Next April, you will be considered a returning student and will be able to register ahead of the incoming class.
Another factor behind why you might be finding courses to be full is related to the interdisciplinarity of the Environment programs. They comprise courses from units across different departments, and faculties, and both campuses of the university. This means that from time to time you will come across courses that have restricted registrations. Just as the McGill School of Environment will restrict non-Environment students from taking our courses (when they start to reach capacity), other units will do likewise.
Rest assured that if you add yourself to the wait-list(s) for the courses you would like to take, as soon as you are able (wait-lits normally all open before the end of June), there is a very, very good chance that you will secure a spot in the course before September).
14. I'm starting the Faculty Program Environment (B. Arts degree) and I'm wondering if it's absolutely essential that I complete both the numeracy and science program co-requisite requirements before the end of my U1 year.
Ideally you will have completed both these requirements before you enter McGill, but if that is not your situation then the next best case would be for you to complete one or both in your U0 (freshman year). But still, if this is not possible, then you should try to complete both by the end of your U1 year. A common combination is BIOL 111 and MATH 139. Both courses are offered ONLY in the fall term. If this is your situation, it is acceptable to take one in the fall of U1 and the other in the fall of U2.
Did you know you are allowed to complete these requirement(s) using the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option? See the FAQ #10 above!
Taking Courses Outside your Faculty or on the "Other" Campus
There are some important rules regarding how many credits and which courses you can take outside the Faculty into which you are admitted. The rules for each Faculty are different - see below for the information that pertains to you.
Faculty of Arts
Faculty Program Environment students are restricted to a maximum of 30 credits outside the Faculties of Arts and Science. This includes courses counting towards your Environment program and any other program (e.g. Minor or Minor Concentration), as well as electives. It does not include ENVR courses, even if taken on the Macdonald campus. Normally, this restriction will not affect your course selections since the Faculty Program Environment Domains comprise mainly downtown course. You will receive no warning if you register for too many credits outside Arts and Science. The course(s) will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits, and excluded from the GPA). You do not want this to happen, so please refer to the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar for more detail, or speak with the MSE Program Adviser if you have questions.
Faculty of Science
There are science course offered on both campuses; however, B.Science students are in the Faculty of Science and must take most of their courses Downtown. Specifically, B.Sc. Major Environment students are restricted to a maximum of 18 credits outside the Faculties of Arts and Science. This does not include the ENVR courses, even if taken on the Macdonald campus. Any credits over 18 credits must be complementary or required courses for your Environment program.
Faculty of Science students should be aware that they cannot take courses outside the Faculties of Arts or Science, unless they are Approved. Please refer to the List of Restricted Courses. Minerva will not warn you if you have registered for a restricted course. Once completed, the course will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits, and excluded from the GPA). You do not want this to happen, so please check the List of Restricted Courses and contact the MSE Program Adviser if you have any doubts.
Bachelor of Arts & Science degree
BA&Sc students are restricted to a maximum of 30 credits outside Arts and Science (only 12 of which can be electives). This does not include ENVR courses, even if taken on the Macdonald campus. You will not receive a warning if you register for courses that cause you to exceed this limit. The course(s) will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits and excluded from the GPA). For further information, please refer to the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar for more detail, or speak with the MSE Program Adviser for clarification.
Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
There are science courses offered on both campuses, however, B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.) students are in the Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and must take most of their courses on the Macdonald campus. Specifically, Mac students must take 2/3 of their McGill credits from courses offered by the Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. This does not include ENVR courses, even if taken on the Downtown campus. With careful planning, you can take the downtown courses you want and need, including the required and some complementary courses in your Domain. Also, it does not preclude taking a Minor or Minor Concentration from one of the downtown Faculties. For more information, refer to the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar, or ask the MSE Program Adviser.
Statistics Courses - Overlap
There are a number of statistics courses offered at McGill that are similar enough to each other that you will not receive credit for more than one of them, even if taken by mistake. These courses are shown in the Programs, Courses, and University Regulations e-Calendar. Therefore, if you have taken, or are considering taking a statistics course other than one listed in your program, please consult the e-Calendar or the MSE Program Adviser to ensure there is no restriction. Minerva will not warn you if you register for an overlapping statistics course. Once completed, the course will be "E-flagged" (course is excluded from credits, and excluded from the GPA). You do not want this to happen, so please contact the MSE Program Adviser if you have any doubts.
Are you in the Faculty Program Environment? Do you need Calculus 1 to satisfy your program pre-/co-requisite? See the Math Department website for information about the differences between MATH 139 and MATH 140.
Student Affairs Offices
Your Student Affairs Office can provide general academic information and advice about issues such as faculty and degree requirements, registration issues, inter-faculty transfer, exchange and study away, academic standing, and graduation. In addition to advising students about such issues, either be appointment or on a daily drop-in basis, Faculty Advisers offer a variety of information sessions each term, for example: degree planning workshops, study away workshops, and freshman information sessions.
For more information, consult the Student Affairs Office website of your Faculty:
Faculty of Arts Student Affairs Office OASIS
BA&Sc Science Student Affairs Office SOUSA
Faculty of Science Student Affairs Office SOUSA
Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Mac Student Affairs