Course Information and Regulations

Course Information and Regulations: 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 on the web at www.mcgill.ca/student-records/transcripts.

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 level and 400 level are normally taken in the student’s last two years.
  • Courses at the 500 level are intended for graduate students, but may also be open to qualified senior undergraduate students.
  • Courses at the 600 and 700 level 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—2009-2010 (last updated Mar. 31, 2010) (disclaimer)

Course Information and Regulations: 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 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 is equivalent in all modes, the only difference being the scheduling, and students cannot obtain credit for more than one version.

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 for the Winter term D2 por­tion. No credit will be given unless both components (D1 and D2) are successfully completed in consecutive terms, e.g., Fall 2009 and Winter 2010.

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 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 all three components are successfully completed.

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 credit is given for partial completion.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2009-2010 (last updated Mar. 31, 2010) (disclaimer)

Course Information and Regulations: 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 Credit System.

Course Nomenclature in Program Descriptions

Required Courses: Courses that must be completed to fulfil the requirements of a major, minor, etc., unless the student receives exemptions. Students have no choices among required courses.

Complementary Courses: A set of alternative courses that can be taken to fulfil the requirements of a major, minor, etc. Students choose a specified number of courses from the set.

Elective Courses: Courses that do not count toward the fulfill­ment of the requirements of a major, minor, etc. They are often, but need not be, selected from outside a student’s program of study. 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 option. Consult your faculty regulations concerning elective courses.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2009-2010 (last updated Mar. 31, 2010) (disclaimer)

Course Information and Regulations: Class Schedule

Class Schedule for the upcoming Fall and Winter terms normally becomes available in mid-March at www.mcgill.ca/courses. The Summer term schedule is normally published in January. Class Schedule includes the days and times when courses are offered, class locations, names of instructors, and related information. You can also access the Calendar entries of scheduled courses by clicking the CRN (course reference number) 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 have not caused conflicts in your schedule.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2009-2010 (last updated Mar. 31, 2010) (disclaimer)
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2009-2010 (last updated ) (disclaimer)