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Dear New Students, On behalf of the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS), I would like to welcome you to the McGill Faculty of Science. One of the first steps in an undergraduate’s journey at McGill, course registration, can be quite the challenge for many new students. To make things a bit easier, the SUS has put together this booklet to help guide you through the process. Here, you will find important information regarding course selection and scheduling, along with reviews of key science freshman courses and popular electives, written by other science students. This guidebook also includes plenty of information about the resources available to you as a McGill science student. Please take the time to read this booklet carefully. The SUS is here to help you throughout your time at McGill. Please feel free to contact us via email or simply drop by our office if you have any questions. The SUS executives would like to wish you the best of luck in the year ahead. Sincerely, Caitlin Loo Vice President, Academic Affairs Science Undergraduate Society

Cover design by Joanna Xu



Advanced Standing


Course Selections




Freshman Science Courses - Student Reviews


Popular U0 Electives - Student Reviews


Bachelor of Arts and Science


Academic Resources


Looking into the Future


Academic Advising


Important Dates to Keep in Mind


2013/2014 Core Class Schedule


Thank You


*** DISCLAIMER *** The views and opinions expressed in this booklet are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Faculty of Science of McGill University. The information contained within this booklet is correct as of the date of release. The SUS is not responsible should the information be subject to change. The advice outlined in this booklet is also to be followed at your own discretion and is not necessarily endorsed by the Faculty of Science of McGill University.


ADVANCED STANDING AND PLACEMENT EXAMS Advanced standing is granted for Advanced Placement (AP) examination results of 4 or better, to a maximum of 30 credits in total, subject to faculty rules. McGill University’s Faculty of Science will award a maximum of 18 non-Science/Mathematics AP credits to incoming students. Final AP examination results must be sent directly to Enrolment Services from the College Board in order to qualify for advanced standing. Please refer to for more information. Advanced standing is also granted to International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Levels of 5 or better, to a maximum of 30 credits in total, subject to faculty rules. The Faculty of Science will award a maximum of 18 nonScience/Mathematics IB credits to incoming students. Final IB examination results must be sent directly to Enrolment Services from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for students to receive advanced standing. Please see for more information. Normally, advanced standing is also granted for various combinations of Advanced Level (AL), Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS), and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) with results of C (III) or better, to a maximum of 30 credits in total, subject to faculty rules. McGill University’s Faculty of Science will award a maximum of 18 non-Science/Mathematics AL, AS, or CAPE credits to incoming students. Final AL, AS, and CAPE results must be sent directly to Enrolment Services from the appropriate Examining Board in order to receive advanced standing. Please refer to for more information. If you believe that you have the appropriate skill level and knowledge to achieve exemption from one of the basic science courses, you may write a Science Placement Exam. Placement exams are held in late August/early September, and are meant for students who DO NOT have appropriate certification for advanced standing. If you pass the placement exam for a course, you will be given EXEMPTION BUT NOT CREDIT for that course. There is a non-refundable $35 fee required to write the placement exam. Please refer to for more information. If you have any questions, contact a science adviser:


COURSE SELECTIONS You must choose at least seven courses from the list of Approved Freshman Science courses: 1.

ESYS 104 – The Earth System


BIOL 111 – Principles: Organismal Biology


BIOL 112 – Cell and Molecular Biology


CHEM 110 – General Chemistry 1


CHEM 115 – Accelerated General Chemistry: Giants in Science


CHEM 120 – General Chemistry 2


COMP 202 – Introduction to Computing 1


MATH 133 – Linear Algebra and Geometry


First Calculus course, one of: MATH 139 – Calculus 1 with Pre-calculus MATH 140 – Calculus 1 MATH 150 – Calculus A

10. Second Calculus course, one of: MATH 141 – Calculus 2 MATH 151 – Calculus B 11. First Physics course, one of: PHYS 101 – Introductory Physics - Mechanics PHYS 131 – Mechanics and Waves 12. Second Physics course, one of: PHYS 102 – Introductory Physics -Electromagnetism PHYS 142 – Electromagnetism and Optics 13. PSYC 100 – Introduction to Psychology Six of your seven courses must satisfy ONE of the following options: A. Two from MATH AND four from BIOL, CHEM, and/or PHYS B. Three from MATH AND three from BIOL, CHEM, and/or PHYS






112 110














INTENDED MAJOR Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences † Biology Chemistry Computer Science † Earth and Planetary Sciences† † Earth System Science Environment ˣ Geography Mathematics and Statistics† ˣ Neuroscience ˣ Physics ˣ Psychology† ˣ Anatomy/Biochemistry/ Microbiology/Physiology



(X) X X X





Mathematics One of: One of: 139 / 140 141/151 /150 X X X X








REMEMBER: You must take at least 7 Approved Freshman Courses X (X) O -

Recommended Strongly encouraged Must take a selection of these courses (see below)

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences – Must take at least two of the three courses indicated with an “O” Computer Science – Must take at least three of the “O” courses Earth System Science – Must take at least one “O” course Geography – Must take at least two “O” courses and either MATH 133 or MATH 141/151 Neuroscience – At least one “O” course Psychology – Must take one of BIOL 111 or BIOL 112 (or BIOL 115); Must take at least 1 additional BIOL/PHYS/CHEM course and either MATH 133 or MATH 141/151


Physics One of: 101 / 131

One of: 102 / 142


Comp. Sci.





Atmospheric 104















* If only one Chemistry course is required, CHEM 115 may be substituted. If both CHEM 110 and CHEM 120 are required, CHEM 115 can be substituted for both but you must still take 7 of the Freshman approved courses. †If students are lacking in one of the sciences BIOL/CHEM/PHYS, it is recommended that they take at least one class in the missing field(s). This is, in general, recommended for all students. ˣ Students interested in particular streams of this program should consult the website for additional recommended courses IMPORTANT: There may be changes to these recommendations over the summer so students are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at the website ( fic) for the most up-to-date and complete information. On this page, you can also find further recommendations given by different departments to keep your options open.


Advice for choosing MATH course(s) - Choose MATH 139 if you have not taken calculus in high school; it can then be followed by MATH 141 - MATH 150 and MATH 151 are a more challenging way to complete the freshman Math requirement; together, they are the equivalent of MATH 140, 141, and 222 (i.e. Calculus 1, 2, and 3) Advice for choosing CHEM course(s) - CHEM 115 replaces both CHEM 110 and CHEM 120 - You may only take CHEM115 if you scored 95% or higher in high school chemistry, or with permission of the instructor Advice for choosing PHYS course(s) - PHYS 131 and PHYS 142 are recommended for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Chemistry, Earth System Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Physics, and for any students wishing to keep their options open or to challenge themselves - Having taken Physics in high school does not mean that you have to take advanced physics (PHYS 131/142) - PHYS 101/102 is recommended if you do not plan on studying physical sciences; it assumes less math background than PHYS 131/142 - For students planning to study biology, PHYS 101/ 102 is suggested unless you intend to enter the Quantitative Biology stream under a Biology major, for which PHYS 131/ 142 is required - A final option is to take PHYS 101 in first semester, and if you do well to request permission to take PHYS 142 General Notes: - If you are lacking in a basic science from high school you are encouraged to include a course from the missing discipline - You may take more than 7 courses from the Freshman List - Normal course load is 15 credits (cr.) per term; you must take a minimum of 12 cr. per term with a maximum of 17 cr. to be deemed as a full-time student; 17 cr. is not recommended in your first term (see more on - Many professional schools (Med/Dent/Pharm) have required courses (often two terms of basic chemistry, biology, and physics); consult the website of the school you are interested in or SUS RedBooks ( for more details - Any science major can give you excellent preparation for studies in medicine; see for more details - Do not forget to register for both fall and winter courses NOW


SCHEDULING Once you determine a potential list of courses that you would like to take, it can be tough to figure out an ideal schedule. Some students use the ‘Personal Weekly Schedule’ on Minerva  Student Menu  Registration Menu, but it only shows the courses that you have registered for on Minerva. A new scheduling tool has recently been introduced to McGill students. Visual Schedule Builder (VSB) is a more convenient and efficient way to generate multiple conflict-free schedules and to visualize your schedule without having to register on Minerva. It also has other amazing features such as indicating your preferences to morning or afternoon classes and scheduling your courses around a particular class or lab. You can access VSB at or through the myMcGill Portal under the Student Records menu on the left of the page. When you are trying to arrange a timetable, please keep the following in mind: 1) A term with four core science courses will keep you very busy. When choosing your electives, please bear this in mind. Only take on an intensive elective course if you think you can handle it! Included in this booklet are student reviews for popular U0 electives that Science students often take. A full list of suggested elective courses can be found at science/student/newstudents/u0/bscfreshman/suggested-elective-courses. 2) Picking lab times is absolutely essential! Forget lectures – when there are 600 spots for a class, you won’t miss out. Lab times, however, are limited, so if you want to schedule a particular lab, make sure to register as soon as possible. Refer to the lab chart that we have outlined on pages 32 and 33. 3) MATH 140 and MATH 141 tutorial times are also important. Popular times (mid-week) tend to fill up quickly. Unlike many other tutorials, these sessions are mandatory, at least for the weeks when you write quizzes. 4) If possible, do not place labs back-to-back with class or another lab. Having to run up to the Stewart Biology Building for your Biology lab right after your Chemistry lecture isn’t fun – trust us. 5) Give yourself breaks. Having three classes in a row isn’t exactly a smart idea. A one hour gap in between classes will allow you to run to Tim’s to grab a coffee and to chit-chat with friends a little bit. 2-3 hour gaps mean you can actually go home or set up at the library to do some work. For a list of lecture and tutorial times for core freshman science courses, see pages 32 and 33 of this booklet.


FRESHMAN SCIENCE COURSES - STUDENT REVIEWS These reviews are based on courses in previous years. The professors and/or content may have changed. You will receive a course outline within the first week of class with the most up-to-date information. BIOL 111 (Organismal Biology) – 3 credits This fast-paced course explores the many branches of the evolutionary tree, with a new group of organisms covered in almost every lecture, concluding with a brief overview of ecology and evolution. Participation marks are awarded to students who respond to questions via clickers. The course’s grading can be broken up into a lecture, participation and lab component. Students are required to attend weekly three-hour labs, which include multiple dissections towards the end. Lab skills are evaluated via a midterm and final lab exam, both consisting of written and practical components, and the pre-lab summaries submitted each week. The midterm and final exams focus solely on the material in lectures. The exams for both the lab and lecture components cover an exhaustive amount of material, but the exams are non-cumulative. The textbook is helpful, but the lecture notes should be sufficient. The professors provide resources, including their summarized notes; pay attention to the details, but be sure not to neglect the macroscopic concepts. Although it requires memorization, if you review regularly, you’ll ace the course for sure!

BIOL 112 (Cell and Molecular Biology) – 3 credits As an introduction to many upper-year molecular and cell biology courses, the material covered in BIOL 112 can be broken up into two parts. The first half of the course goes over the fundamentals of chemistry, macromolecules, and cellular structure & metabolism, while the second half revolves entirely around genetics. Compared to BIOL 111, this course has more of an emphasis on problem solving and many exam questions are application-based. There are three hours of lectures and one four-hour lab each week. You are required to prepare a pre-lab summary before each lab and are quizzed on that same material the following week. Each student is required to give an oral presentation once during the course. The lab material is tested on the written lab exam. The rest of the grading components for the course are the midterm and final exams, both multiple-choice in format. Professors post practice questions on myCourses which are similar to the exam questions. Textbook readings are not mandatory, but can be helpful.


CHEM 110 (General Chemistry 1) – 4 credits For students who have taken high-school level chemistry, much of the material covered in CHEM 110 will be quite familiar: quantum mechanics, chemical structure, nuclear chemistry, atomic bonding, intermolecular forces and coordination chemistry; however, this course covers all of these topics quite thoroughly. The course grade is derived from a 20% lab component, two midterms (each weighs 20%) and a 40% final. In the labs, some students feel pressed for time, so make sure you come well prepared by reading over the procedure ahead of time. Students are required to submit a take-home lab report following each lab. To prepare for the midterms and final, which are multiple choice exams, make good use of the selected slides posted online by the professors and complete questions from the textbook, as well as the practice exams and sample questions that are also posted online. Students may also want to attend the optional tutorials if they are having difficulty. Overall, the key to success in this course lies in developing a strong understanding of the concepts covered and knowing how to apply those concepts.

CHEM 120 (General Chemistry 2) – 4 credits General Chemistry 2 can be viewed as an intro to physical chemistry. It covers gases, thermochemistry, kinetics, entropy and free energy, equilibrium, liquids and solids, solutions, acids and bases, along with a little bit of organic chemistry at the end. The marking scheme of CHEM 120 exactly mirrors that of CHEM 110: two 20% midterms, a 20% lab component and a 40% final. CHEM 120 uses the same textbook as CHEM 110, but covers more chapters. Again, readings are helpful but not mandatory. Labs and lab reports are similar to those in CHEM 110. With the organic chemistry section, attending lectures is imperative as the side-stories presented are definitely testable material. Optional tutorials are also held for any questions and offer explanations on some of the difficult concepts. Even if you do very well in the two midterms, don’t slack off because the third and final section has considerably more material and usually catches students off guard. It is strongly encouraged to do plenty of practice questions in preparation for the exams. Be sure to seek out the sample questions and past exams available online, as the questions found there are very similar to those found on the midterms and final. Although this course is slightly more difficult than its predecessor, it is definitely still one of the easier U0 classes.

CHEM 115 (Accelerated General Chemistry: Giants in Science) – 4 credits **This course is not scheduled for the 2013-2014 academic year.**


COMP 202 (Intro to Computing) – 3 credits COMP 202 is an introduction to computer programming in Java. The course is designed for students with no programming background, so it starts off at a very basic level with the basics of how computers work. The course then delves into the principles of programming, and quickly moves to more advanced topics such as records and objects. Course evaluation consists of 5-6 assignments, a midterm and final exam. The assignments are worth a significant percentage of your grade, and will help you grasp key concepts. Although they may appear difficult, but the toughest part is usually learning how to apply concepts taught in lecture to the problems at hand. The assignments are also great practise for the midterm and final exams, which require you to write your own program. The final exam is cumulative. The course is not easy, but can certainly be tackled with a dedicated approach. Additionally, the TAs and instructors are very helpful, both on the discussion board and during office hours and tutorials. The principles of reasoning and logic used to write successful programs can be applied to any field, be it math or biology or neuroscience.

ESYS 104 (The Earth System) – 3 credits Earth can be viewed as a dynamic interacting system of atmosphere, life, ocean, rock and soil. Earth is open energetically but largely closed materially. Earth's surface and interior have changed through time and continue to change today. Understanding these changes and what drives them is the goal of Earth system science. This course will introduce the core processes of the 'Earth System' and apply them to the 21st Century global challenges posed by climate change occurring at the same time as increasing stresses on services provided by natural ecosystems due to human population growth and resource utilization. This is a straightforward course, and students who find geography interesting will enjoy it a lot. It has two midterms and a final, all short answer questions. There are also some assignments throughout the semester. Though it is a knowledge-based course, memorization alone will not get you an A. There is no textbook, but a Course Pack is available at the Bookstore. Exams are based on material presented in lecture, but the Course Pack is none the less a great resource. This is a great course for students who wish to learn more about earth system sciences.

MATH 133 (Linear Algebra and Geometry) – 3 credits Although math majors tend to consider this one of the easiest math courses, others – especially freshmen - often have trouble with it. Like most math courses, it is almost entirely dependent on the final exam, which can seem


daunting to those who are not used to finals worth 85%. The WebWork and written assignments are relatively simple, but keep in mind that they are easier and more straightforward than what you’ll find on the final exam. The course covers: systems of linear equations, matrices, inverses, determinants, Eigen values/vectors, and basic linear algebra proofs. Many find the concepts a bit confusing and abstract, but the material is easy enough if you keep up with the coursework. The best way to study for the final is to do practice questions and past exams, although the professors tend to change every year, so past finals may not be entirely applicable. Several professors teach this course every year, but all the sections have the same assignments and exams. How difficult students find this course may depend on which professor they have.

MATH 139 (Calculus 1 with Pre-calculus) – 4 credits This course is for students who have no previous knowledge of calculus. A diagnostic test will be given early in the semester to ensure that you are registered in the appropriate calculus course. This course has been restructured. MATH 139 is followed by MATH 141.

MATH 140 (Calculus 1) – 3 credits MATH 140 is mostly a detailed review of high school level calculus courses. It starts with functions and limits and soon moves on to derivatives, which is the main focus, ending with integrals and the characteristics of curves. This course requires understanding of some basic calculus as well as trigonometry and logarithms. It consists of lectures and an-hour-long weekly tutorial. Grading is based on three quizzes (20%) a final exam (70%) and ten WebWork assignments (10%). Administered during the weekly tutorials, the quizzes are typically short and a mixture of multiple choice and short-answer questions. If your mark on the final exam is better than your quiz mark, then it will replace the quiz mark. The WebWork assignments are completed online with a limited number of tries allowed for each question. However, practice assignments are available with unlimited tries and complete solutions; they are very similar to the actual assignments. The required textbook contains straightforward explanations of all lecture content and many useful practice questions. It is also recommended to purchase the solutions manual, as it contains full solutions to the textbook's practice questions. The weekly tutorial sessions were quite useful to clarify lecture material as countless examples and textbook problems were covered. A lot of useful resources can be found online, such as past exams (some with solutions), lecture notes (including full solutions to textbook examples), and the grading scheme. This is a tough class, but it is definitely possible to do well if you make the best use of the resources available.


MATH 141 (Calculus 2) – 4 credits MATH 141 picks up where MATH 140 left off. It begins with basic integration but becomes much more complicated as it explores volumes, trigonometric integrals, parametric curves, and polar curves. There are four quizzes written in tutorials each worth 5%, a final exam worth 70%, and online WebWork assignments worth 10%. If your mark on the final exam is better than your quiz mark, the quiz mark will be replaced by the final exam mark. MATH 141 is one of the most difficult freshman courses; getting a good mark is definitely possible but requires a lot of hard work. The best advice is to attend lectures, keep up with WebWork assignments, and do lots and lots of practice questions. Your textbook is most definitely your best friend throughout this course. Do everything you can do to stay on track, including attending tutorials. If you are struggling with the quizzes, be sure to get extra help; all the TAs and professors have office hours. Beware that since there is no midterm exam, your final grade depends heavily on the final exam. The final exam usually resembles the provided past finals, so be sure to understand how to do the given problems. As long as you practice and strive to understand the concepts you learn, you should be able to obtain a successful grade.

MATH 150 (Calculus A) – 4 credits MATH 150 (along with MATH 151) is the equivalent of MATH 140, MATH 141 and MATH 222 (Calculus 1 to 3). It has two different marking schemes consisting of either online WebWork assignments or in-class quizzes (during tutorials) and a midterm, both of which are topped off with a final exam. This class starts off with limits, continuity and properties of derivatives (product rule, chain rule). It then moves on to derivative applications (exponential functions, trigonometric functions), review of vectors and 3-space, curve sketching and related rates, partial differentiation and its applications, and finally topped off with sequences and series. Attending the tutorials and doing the textbook questions is highly recommended since the professor will only have so much time to cover all the topics. As long as you keep up with the workload, the classes will not seem that difficult.

MATH 151 (Calculus B) – 4 credits MATH 151 is the condensed version of MATH 141 and 222.The beginning of the course covers various integration techniques including integration by parts, substitution, and trigonometric substitution before quickly moving on to more difficult material including double and triple integration, and integration over different coordinates (polar, cylindrical, and spherical). The final part of the


course deals with vector functions, series, and power series. This course requires a lot of work, but the class size is generally quite small and Professor Roth is very helpful if you go to his office hours. The marking is broken down into homework, midterms, and a final. The homework consists of WebWork and written assignments. The WebWork assignments cover the basics of what is taught, while the written assignments require more time, but are more representative of exam questions. To do well in this course, it is essential to attend the classes and tutorials, and to complete the written assignments. The written assignments are by far the best tool to use when preparing for exams.

PHYS 101 (Introductory Physics – Mechanics) – 4 credits This is an introductory course to physics, covering kinematics, dynamics, sound, vibrational motion and light. Professor Ragan is an excellent teacher; his enthusiasm and charisma make the courses interesting and even fun. Even if you hated physics in high school, you will probably enjoy this course. There is a midterm, a final, and a lab component as well as weekly online “CAPA” assignments. As painful as it may seem at the time, CAPA proves to be a valuable way of keeping up, and an excellent study tool. The labs are fairly easy and the reports are written during the lab time so there is no take home work. All the lectures are recorded. The optional tutorials, one of which is led by Professor Ragan, are extremely helpful. When it comes to exams, Professor Ragan usually provides a choice of which questions to answer; this is very helpful if you are stronger in certain topics over others. If you keep up with your assignments, readings and practice problems, attend class, and take advantage of the resources available, it is quite certain that you will excel in this course.

PHYS 102 (Introductory Physics – Electromagnetism) – 4 credits This course, along with PHYS 101, gives students a complete foundation of basic physics principles, encompassing electricity, circuits and magnetism. Unlike PHYS 101, no lecture recordings are provided; however, the professor provides detailed lecture slides online, which can be used for notes in class and later as a studying aid. The textbook is very useful for reinforcing and clarifying concepts covered in lecture, as well as testing your understanding of the material with the practice questions that follow each chapter. Similar to PHYS 101, students are required to attend labs and complete weekly CAPA assignments. During labs, students must complete a series of experiments, while also answering the questions in their lab reports due at the end of the session. The best way to do well in labs is to come prepared and manage your time properly. It is important to note that the end-of-chapter clicker quizzes given during class and the CAPA assignments are the only graded indication of whether you understand the


concepts covered in lecture prior to the final, as there is no midterm exam for this course. As a result, it is crucial to understand how to complete the problems in your textbook and CAPA assignments, which are similar to the ones that show up on the final exam. Seek help from the professor or TAs if necessary.

PHYS 131 (Mechanics and Waves) – 4 credits While similar in content to PHYS 101, this course requires the use of calculus as a means to problem-solving. Physics 131 is intended for students pursuing programs in the physical sciences and engineering; topics covered include kinematic motion in one and two dimensions, force and energy, the laws of motion, universal gravitation, and wave mechanics. MATH 139 or a higher level calculus course such as MATH 140 or MATH 150 is a co-requisite to this course, and the use of differential calculus is an important aspect of PHYS 131. While it is very important for students to understand the applied math concepts, all required mathematical knowledge is reviewed in class. Every two to three weeks, students participate in laboratories that demonstrate the principles being discussed in lecture. It is imperative that students read the lab manuals provided prior to entering the lab. To ensure student understanding of course material, PHYS 131 makes use of CAPA assignments and clicker quizzes. Typically, this course includes a midterm and final examination.

PHYS 142 (Electromagnetism and Optics) – 4 credits This course is intended for students who have successfully completed PHYS 131. PHYS 142 requires the use of differential and integral calculus, and Math 141 is a co-requisite course. Topics covered include electric fields and forces, electric potential, magnetic fields and forces, electric circuits, capacitance and inductance, electromagnetic waves, diffraction and polarization, and interference of light waves. Conceptually, the material in PHYS 142 is more difficult to grasp than what is covered in PHYS 131, so students should attend optional tutorials as needed. Mandatory laboratories also provide demonstrations of the course’s more abstract concepts. Like in PHYS 131, PHYS 142 makes use of the CAPA system and of clicker quizzes to ensure student understanding. This course usually has a challenging final examination only (with no midterm).


PSYC 100 (Intro to Psychology) – 3 credits This introductory course covers many aspects of the wide field of psychology, including social psychology, neuroscience, perception, cognition and psychological disorders. There are two main components that students learn from - the textbook and the lectures - but often the two are not heavily connected and both are pulled from equally for exam questions. Because of this, it is important that students pay attention in lectures and complete all their readings so that they don't fall behind. This means that there is a lot of information that the student needs to cover on their own and there is a lot of information to memorize. Lectures have a great deal of interaction and challenge the students to think about questions that combine both class discussion and the assigned reading. However, there is a lot of reading involved (roughly 100 pages a week) so it is important to set aside time to do it. The class is evaluated with a midterm and a final exam, with the option to make the final exam worth the entirety of the final grade by not taking the midterm. For those wanting to get a glimpse of what psychology has to offer, this course does an excellent job of displaying the possibilities. The key to doing well in this course is attending class, taking good notes during lectures, reading the textbook carefully and memorizing all the concepts presented.


POPULAR U0 ELECTIVES – STUDENT REVIEWS After selecting the courses required for your major(s)/minor(s) of interest, you may still have some remaining credits (to make a total of 30 credits). You may choose elective courses for these credits, selecting from the wide variety of classes McGill has to offer. Electives are your opportunity to explore different areas of interest you may have. Science students may take a maximum of 18 credits outside the Faculty of Arts and Science, and B.A.&Sc. students may take 12 credits. For the complete lists of selected freshman elective courses, visit: d-elective-courses. There are different rules for different degrees, so make sure you check the website for policies. First Year Seminars (FYSs) FYSs are courses offered by the Faculties of Arts and of Science to new U0 and U1 students only. They are capped at 25 students per seminar and are aimed at providing students with a more intimate learning atmosphere. FYSs also give students a chance to learn about the cutting-edge research and advances within a particular field. Many of these classes are more like high school classes and allow for direct contact with professors as opposed to the typical first year classes which are larger in size. An advantage of many of these classes is that they don’t have final exams but instead have projects or presentations. Participation is often part of the final mark. Remember to register early! Languages McGill has an extensive variety of second languages available to interested students; these include French, East Asian languages, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Hebrew and classical languages such as Ancient Greek and Latin. For more information on language courses, refer to the freshman website: d-elective-courses#languages. It is important to note that all FRSL (French as a second language) courses require placement tests. For enrolment into fall semester classes, placement tests will take place the first week of September (3rd to 5th). For schedule and location of placement tests, visit First level Chinese and Japanese require departmental approval. The Classics Program at McGill offers courses in Ancient Greek and Latin. Introductory level courses are available for beginners. For students who have had previous knowledge of Latin and would like to start at the intermediate level, you must consult with the program adviser and seek permission from the


course instructor. You can find more information about the courses at Many language courses are year-long (6 credits) and in addition can be intensive (9 credits). Language courses are structured like high school classes, with a regular workload and small class sizes (fewer than 30 people). Do not think that they will be easy, though – the regular homework may help you to keep up with the material, but many language courses can be quite challenging. ANAT 182 (Astrobiology) – 3 credits Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary course that covers all kinds of topics such as the formation of the Universe, the origin of life from small molecules to complex organisms, the structure of the Earth, the discovery of potential signs of life on Mars, and more. Professor Vali is enthusiastic about the material and has a plethora of guest lecturers (whose material is also on the final). While the material is interesting, it can be a bit difficult for those who do not have too much background in science, especially since the guest lecturers are not always aware of this and may talk in great scientific detail. Nevertheless, Professor Vali is very kind and is always willing to help students having trouble in the course. There is a textbook that can be purchased for the course, but you only really need to attend the lectures and read the notes to be successful. There are 2 assignments requiring a 500-word summary on a seminar presented online, and another one later during the year presented at McGill (attendance is mandatory). There are also 2 midterms and a cumulative final exam. Although the course covers a lot and requires regular studying, it is not too difficult. ATOC/EPSC 185 (Natural Disasters) – 3 credits Did you think tornado chasing was the coolest thing ever after watching Twister? Do you still think tornado chasing is cool? If so, then Natural Disasters (ATOC 185) may be the right course for you. Offered jointly by the departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Natural Disasters is a great introductory course to the world’s most devastating climatic phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches, and earthquakes to name a few. The course is evaluated through a midterm, term paper and final exam (35% midterm, 30% term paper, and 35% final). The term paper is not difficult and is a great way for first-year students to learn how to write a proper, university-level essay. The midterm and final exam share the same short-answer format, both are extremely straightforward, and the final exam is not cumulative. All the lecture notes are available in a course-pack and lecture recordings are available online for those who can’t (or sometimes do not) attend class.


CHEM 180, CHEM 181, CHEM 182, CHEM 183 (World of Chemistry Courses) – 3 credits There are four different World of Chemistry courses, which include two offered in the fall semester (Drugs, Technology) and two offered in the winter semester (Food, Environment). All classes are taught by the same three professors, who make the material very interesting and incorporate stories into the lectures, which make them very enjoyable. Although these courses are in the Faculty of Science, it is not essential to have a scientific background. Chemical structures and equations are not a focal point as it is geared more toward the origin and uses of chemicals in everyday life. There is one midterm and final, both of which are multiple choice. These courses require a lot of memorization. It is essential to learn the details of the material taught in class, such as names of some scientists and chemical compounds. The slides are mostly images, so it is essential to attend classes and take thorough notes. It helps to listen to the lectures a second time online. The NTCs can also be very helpful. Regular attendance in class and thorough note-taking, as well as a lot memorization and attention to detail, will allow you to succeed in these courses. CLAS 203 (Greek Mythology) – 3 credits Greek Mythology is a good course for those interested in learning something less science-focused. This course involves reading stories and poems that narrate the legends associated with ancient Greek gods. The professor enjoys teaching the course, which makes lectures that much more interesting to attend. She presents a huge array of stories in an organized and logical fashion. The textbook is required since the student must do the assigned readings, which emphasize what the professor has taught in lecture. This course does not have a midterm but instead has numerous quizzes and a final exam, all of which consists of multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank and short answer questions. The quizzes are not cumulative so as long as you are up to date on the readings, there shouldn’t be any problem. This course does not require you to memorize every single story word for word but it does require you to remember the names of Greek gods associated to stories as well as the different time periods. The key to doing well in this course is to attend lecture, take good notes and keep up with the readings assigned. Overall, this is a very enjoyable course that does not require long hours of memorization.

COMP 102 (Computers and Computing) – 3 credits COMP 102 is an introduction to the basic concepts of computing. The material covers a ground-up approach to learning the inner workings of a computer as well as specific special topics regarding current research. The class is taught to


generate interest in computer science and involves some coding, but only enough to gain a rudimentary understanding of programming. However, the class is not a walk in the park. Some of the assignments can be time consuming and exams will test your ability to extrapolate knowledge to other areas. Assignments tend to involve abstract thinking and powering through lines of code. There is no easy way of getting around this, but paying attention in class will give you most of the answers you need. Exam questions will most likely be posed in class as hypothetical applications of a certain concept, so pay attention to those! DO NOT take this class if you are trying to learn how to program for higher level science courses (the appropriate course in this case would be COMP 202). DO take this course if you want to get a feel for what a computer is and what they can do.

ECON 208 (Microeconomic Analysis and Application) – 3 credits This course serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of microeconomics, including demand & supply, consumer behaviour, production theories, and market structures. Students are evaluated based on a midterm (30%) and a final exam (70%). As the course is designed for students with no previous knowledge of economics, the material covered in this course is extremely fair. However, as an introductory course, the material encompasses a wide range of concepts and the final exam is cumulative. It is important to attend lectures, as not all of the material is covered in the textbook. The course also offers optional, weekly conferences, where TAs explain the questions posted by the professor. In preparation for the exams, the online MyEconLab and the Study Guide both serve as excellent practice for the types of questions that appear on the examinations. Students who attend the lectures and do the necessary review will find this to be a very fair first-year course.

ENGL 230 (Introduction to Theatre Studies) – 3 credits ENGL 230 is an introductory theatre course taught by a rotating professor. This is not an acting class – though, if you enjoy acting, the opportunity may present itself. There is a good chance that you may tackle plays that you have seen in high school or CEGEP, yet even for the theatre-illiterate, it is an awesome crash course in a lot of different areas of theatre history and theory. You tackle a play a week and even get to do creative assignments instead of papers (for all you science kids who can't write). Attendance is semi-mandatory, but you often get to watch movies or to listen to guest lecturers, which makes coming to class interesting.


EPSC 180 (The Terrestrial Planets) – 3 credits If you loved looking at the starry night sky and learning about the planets and galaxies as a child, then this class is definitely for you. Professor Jensen keeps the course simple and to the point. Apart from the lectures, which are recorded, she gives out notes for the whole semester in PDF format, and she will also go over previous final exams. Studying from these materials is more than enough to do well in her class. There is also a choice of writing an essay in English or French, worth 30% of your final mark, or you can write the final exam for 100%. The final exam is mostly MCQs and some short answers, and it is not difficult. More importantly, if you do manage to fail the course somehow, which no one has, she will compensate you by posting your picture on her door!

EPSC 201 (Understanding Planet Earth) – 3 credits Understanding Planet Earth is a course that discusses a range of topics from the formation of rocks and minerals, to earthquakes and volcanoes, and even the dinosaur extinction. This is an introductory geology course. It is offered in both fall and winter semesters by different professors, both are excellent lecturers. The evaluation consists of a 35% midterm and a 65% final exam. This course has a lot of material to memorize, but the questions are always based on the concepts discussed in class. Attending lectures will help you achieve a better grade, especially if you pay attention and take notes because the slides do not have a lot of information written on them but the questions are directly from the lectures. There is a required textbook and the readings complement what is discussed in class. As long as you keep up with the material and give yourself enough time to study for the exam, you should do well in this class.

HIST 214 (Introduction to European History) – 3 credits This course provides a very general overview of European history, starting with the Romans and continuing until the early 18th century. With so much material to cover it is impossible to go into detail on any particular topic; therefore focus is given to general themes. The class is fairly large, but students have the opportunity to discuss the material in mandatory weekly or bi-weekly conferences led by TAs. Readings are assigned from both the textbook and course-pack and must be completed by each conference. Grading is based on conference participation, a midterm and a final exam. Both exams are takehome and consist of several “identifications” and an essay. Students can choose from multiple essay topics, each drawing upon the major themes of the course. This course provides an opportunity to hone your critical thinking skills. Along with HIST 215, it is a pre-requisite for many other history courses.


MUAR 201 (Principles of Western Music) – 3 credits Principles of Western Music is a music theory course that anyone, even without a background in music, can complete successfully. Topics covered will be what symbols mean, where notes are placed on a staff, accidentals, intervals, meters, triads, transposition of music into a different key and cadences. Although the course pack is thick, the course is light on material and there are many exercises within the course pack as practice. Attending lectures does help understand the material. Exercises are done together with the class and with the professor during each class for a better understanding of the material. The material taught during each class builds on the material taught during the previous class. Therefore, it is essential to stay on track by attending class or doing the required reading for that class. There are 4 assignments worth 20% in total that are spread out during the semester and are to be completed and handed in. These assignments can be done with others, but each person must hand in their own copy. There are 2 midterms worth 20% each and a cumulative 40% final. The questions on the midterms and the final exam are similar to the questions on the assignments. Since most topics tie into each other, the exam is not heavy on material to study even though it is cumulative. There is an ear training component to the course which will be tested on both midterms and the final, but with the practice done in class, it becomes easy. Overall, it is a great course to learn something new and achieve a good grade.

MUAR 211 (The Art of Listening) – 3 credits Art of Listening is a great elective for any student who is passionate about music or simply looking for an interesting class outside the domain in which you are studying. The course is composed of a theoretical portion where basic music theory is discussed, as well as a listening portion where clips from various compositions are analyzed. Musical pieces are selected from a variety of genres, ranging from medieval chants to classical to contemporary, and are all explained in an engaging and exciting way. Class participation is encouraged, and is a great way to begin talking to classmates and making new friends. As assignments, you will be required to attend classical concerts (offered free of charge at McGill) and to write a short paper reviewing the performances. Quizzes, midterms and the final exam also have both audio and theoretical components. The listening section of the exams requires you to recognize aspects of the musical pieces analyzed in class, while multiple choice and short answer questions are based on theory and historical background. Overall, this course provides a refreshing change of pace in your studies, introduces you to music you never would have thought you would enjoy, and teaches you, in a truly engaging way, how music has greatly changed and progressed over the past 1000 years.


PSYC 213 (Cognition) – 3 credits As an interdisciplinary academic field, the study of human cognition draws from many domains in the pursuit of exploring cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, memory, language, and intelligence. The teaching of PSYC 213, by Professor Ristic, follows a similar path, where it begins with a general introduction to the field of Cognitive Neuroscience, followed by a transition to Perception. Thereupon, the class will focus on Attention for several lectures until Memory becomes a salient topic of discussion. Within the parameters of Memory, Traces & Schemas is taught first, followed by Memory Systems. By this point, the first midterm will have been administered and thereafter a varied approach to Intelligence will be undertaken. Respectively, the broad themes of Language, Imagery, Problem Solving, Reasoning, and Creativity will be addressed and evaluated by a second midterm. Finally, Applied Cognition and Social Cognition will be taught and in the last two classes before finals begin, Prof. Ristic will lecture on topics suggested by the students. The marking scheme includes two midterms (although only the better of the two will be considered) worth 35% and a cumulative final worth 65% of your grade. In order to do well in PSYC 213 one must simply do two things: (1) attend class, and (2) perform the assigned readings. Just like any of the 200-level courses required for fulfilling a Psychology major or minor, there is nothing particularly difficult about the material or the multiple-choice examinations. Simply do the work and you will do well.

RELG 207 (The Study of World Religions 1) – 3 credits This is a very interesting course, and is not difficult. It gives a brief overview of the origins of the major religions of the world. None of the philosophies are dealt with in detail, though this means you have to memorize a lot about each religion. Some people found this challenging, since the names are in Sanskrit, Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese. But keep in mind, the TA’s grade the papers and they are not that picky about the spelling. The TA’s also make the exam, so it is important to go to the tutorials since they tell you what to study. The exams contain only fill in the blanks, true/false, MCQ and short answers, which makes it easier to recall the names. The midterm and final are both worth 50%. The classes are very interesting as Dr. Sharma talks about the philosophies behind the religions, but since he does not make the exam, you can make do without attending class. There is one book for this class that you have to read, and most things on the exam will be from this book. But a good proportion of the questions are what the TA goes over in the tutorials-especially the terms list they hand out for each religion.


BACHELOR OF ARTS AND SCIENCE As a B.A. & Sc. student you may feel overwhelmed about picking courses because there is just so much to choose from! Go to science/student/newstudents/u0/bascfreshman, as it explains course selection for B.A. & Sc. students in great detail. It is important to look at all the options for arts and science majors before picking courses because there is not a lot of room for extra courses in this program. As a U0 B.A. & Sc. student, you must take:  At least two courses in math selected from: MATH 139 or 140 or 150; MATH 141 or 151; MATH 133  At least three foundational science courses selected from BIOL 111, BIOL 112, CHEM 110 (or CHEM 115), CHEM120, PHYS 101 or 131, PHYS 102 or 142, and  At least three Arts freshman courses to be chosen in two of the following three categories: Social Sciences, Humanities (Literature and Civilization), and Languages. A maximum of two courses may be chosen from one area, and no more than two courses can be taken in one department. See the website listed above for a full list approved arts electives. Many science majors in B.A. & Sc. require more than three foundational science courses. Check the website above for which foundational science courses are required for each science major and read the science section of this manual for reviews of the foundational science course. For your Arts Freshman courses, it is a good idea to pick courses that you may be thinking of majoring in instead of only taking classes that you think will be easy. If you are thinking of going to medical or dental school, you should be aware that your freshman B.A. & Sc. requirements may not satisfy the entry requirements. Most medical schools require a full year of biology, chemistry and sometimes physics. However, you can always take summer courses or leave some of these requirements until your second year. Though the SUS is here to help out B.A. & Sc. students and we encourage them to become involved in SUS, B.A. & Sc. students are primarily represented by the Bachelor of Arts & Science Integrative Council (BASiC). To learn more about BASiC and their services, check out “Arts & Science: the BASiCs” guide included in your Frosh registration package, or visit


ACADEMIC RESOURCES myCourses You will develop a love-hate relationship with this wonderful piece of software. myCourses is the online course management system that McGill uses to upload course information, notes, lecture recordings, and grades. There are also discussion boards so students can ask each other questions. You will depend on myCourses to access a lot of information that will help you with your academic dealings. Your professor might post past midterms, problem sets, tutorial questions, online quizzes, and more. The ‘Announcements’ function is also a very good way to keep up-to-date with important information on the course you are taking. You can access myCourses through the myMcGill portal or by visiting myMcGill The myMcGill portal is your all-access pass to the most important applications you will be using. You can access myCourses, your McGill email account, library services and more by only signing in at one spot. You can modify the page with favourite links and keep track of Montreal weather! Mercury Course Evaluations Mercury Course Evaluations have the potential to be a great resource – if more students would take part. Towards the end of each semester, students have the option of submitting anonymous course evaluations via Minerva for all of their lecture, lab and tutorial sessions. These evaluations provide valuable feedback to faculty and administrators to help them shape the course for next year. They can also be valuable to students; provided that a certain minimum percentage of students respond and the instructor grants permission, numerical results of the evaluations are made available to students. In practice, however, the minimum percentage is rarely met. If too few students respond, it is very difficult to get an accurate assessment, as the ones who do are usually the students who either loved or hated the course for some reason or another. Please remember to fill out your course evaluations at the end of each semester to help your fellow instructors, your fellow students and yourself. Library Services McGill has 13 branch libraries that are open to students at varying hours. In addition to being a great place to study, the library also holds general information sessions at the beginning of the year as well as seminars on how to


do research properly. One of the more useful tools that the library has is MUSE, the online catalogue. You can use it to search the entire library collection, place holds on books that you would like to check out, and access e-books, journals and even past exams (eExams)! You can also set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that allows you to access the library’s online collection from home. eExams eExams are a great resource for students in all years. Many professors will submit the final exams from past years to the eExam database, which can be accessed by signing in on the McGill Library’s website. They are a little tricky to find but are well worth the effort! You can find details at regarding how to log-in to see these exams. Note: you need to be connected to the McGill VPN or use a campus computer. The Computer Taskforce (CTF) CTF is a student-run organization offering computer-related services to the McGill Science undergraduate population. Most of your on-campus computer use and printing will probably be in the basement of Burnside Hall. Rooms 1B16, 1B17, and 1B18 are dedicated computer labs that open 24/7 for your use. Each Science and Arts & Science student is given $15 worth of printing credits (1500 credits) per semester. This is equivalent to 375 double-sided pages worth of printing. If you run out of credits, you can purchase them at the CTF office (Burnside basement 1B19) for 1 cent/credit. Freshmen Undergraduate Science Society (FUSS) FUSS is the Freshmen Undergraduate Science Society, and is a first-year council just for freshmen; it welcomes you to McGill and is responsible for making your year great! With awesome social and academic events to plan, FUSS is an excellent way to get involved. FUSS is here for you and is what you make of it! Make this year the best and get involved in FUSS. Keep a look out for information in September! Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs) Freshman Interest Groups are discussion groups comprising approximately 15 newly admitted (U0 or U1) students. They are led by a professor in science or medicine along with an upper year student. FIGs meet once every two weeks during the fall semester to discuss a wide range of topics, from academics and research to extracurricular activities and life in Montréal. The groups allow students to interact with professors in a more intimate and informal setting.


Registration for FIGs can be done on Minerva, and opens at the same time as regular courses. For more information, please refer to the FIGs’ webpage: Peer Advising Peer advisors from Science Undergraduate Recruiting and Peer Assistant Support Services (or SURPASS) are upper-year students who are trained to answer students’ questions relating but not limited to academics at McGill. They will have office hours at Dawson Hall in the Arts and Science Advising Office. Feel free to ask them any questions you may have relating to freshman courses or your intended major program of study. They can even give you advice on how to adapt to life in Montreal. Think of them as an upper-year friend with lots of experience who is there to help you out. Please keep in mind, however, that peer advisers CANNOT sign any official forms relating to courses, give you exemption/ credit/approval for courses and exams, or make changes on your Minerva records. If you need to get these issues settled, or if you have an issue that you feel is of great significance, please see your assigned Science academic adviser. Peer Tutoring During the course of the year, you may find that you’re struggling in certain courses. Don’t fret! We have just the right solution for you. SUS runs a free peer tutoring service that is renowned for helping students score those A’s on their transcripts. This service isn’t just for individuals who are borderline academic probation material; they serve all students in order to help them achieve the grades that they want. If you choose to use the peer tutoring service, you will be paired with an exceptional (student) tutor in the subject for which you want help. This is a tried and true resource; many students are happy with the miracles that peer tutoring performs! Check out to find out how you can get yourself a quality peer tutor! RedBooks RedBooks is a website created and maintained by McGill students that provides concise information regarding admission requirements for a variety of graduate and professional programs (Med, Dent, Pharm, Law). Featuring over 300 programs, both Canadian and International, the website offers information about required courses, GPA cut-offs, standardized test scores and much more. Many programs have specific required courses which you should be aware of when making your course selections. RedBooks is also a fantastic way to learn about other programs that you may not have considered or been aware of. You may just be starting your undergraduate degree, but it's never too early


to think about what comes next. You can visit SUS RedBooks at Medical Direction (MD) Medical Direction (MD) is a service of the SUS and serves as the official premedical society of McGill University, supported by the Faculty of Science. MD aims to enhance the experiences of students interested in a career in medicine so that they can make an informed and educated decision. To learn about upcoming MD events, join the Medical Direction group on Facebook. Also, be sure to check out Charting Your Future: A Guide to a Career in Medicine and the MedCasts podcast series available for free download at Study Spaces Regardless your program of study, you will have to work to succeed! While some students prefer to study at home or in residence, many find that there are too many distractions. Luckily, McGill boasts plenty of study spaces for you to get down to business. Many students will say that the best places to study are the ones that only a few people know about, so we will not ruin their secrets here. For now, here are the basics to get you through until you find that perfect building no other student has yet adopted as their own.   

Basement of Burnside – an excellent place to study with three computer labs! Science students have access to the building 24/7 via McGill ID card scanners so it can be key for late night cramming session. Schulich Library – 3rd, 4th and 6th floors are designated QUIET study floors while 5th floor is a group study floor. There are lot of individual study desks, ideal for those quiet studiers. First Floor Redpath (a.k.a. the Fishbowl) – during exam time, this place is open 24/7, and there is a Tim Horton’s and Pizza Pizza downstairs so you can grab a snack anytime! But beware: it can get cramped and, since everyone is constantly walking by, you may find it slightly distracting. Cyberthèque – the newest addition in study spaces for McGill students boasts considerable study space on the street-level floor of the Redpath Library Building. The well-lit floor houses 125 computer work stations, an electronic classroom, a quiet study area, a production center for scanning, photocopying and printing, and study pods and booths available for group studying. They have white boards and large flat panel TVs that can be hooked up to a laptop. For more on McGill libraries, visit


LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE Selecting your Major Program of Study Choosing your major can be stressful, but remember that once you decide, it isn’t set in stone! It is possible to change your major later on, although it’s always best to choose wisely the first time. When trying to decide on a future major (or minor) the best place to start is You will find lists of all of the required courses for a major, and descriptions of those courses. For further information, you can consult the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Program Calendar at In addition, the departmental websites often have a nicely laid out listing of undergraduate course requirements for Liberal, Major, Minor and Honours programs. They also provide course descriptions that are far more extensive and informative than the abbreviated ones listed in the Calendar; read these descriptions carefully! Some majors are quite small, others are large. There may be some that you have never even heard of! Take a thorough look and try to choose the one that suits you best. Remember that you can also go to your science adviser for help. Planning ahead is very important, especially when starting out in U0. For example, some majors prefer an advanced level of U0 Calculus, while other major programs do not. Other majors have 100 level courses that you can take as an elective during U0; this can help prepare you for an intended major program. Majors are declared at the end of the U0 year using Minerva, and appear each semester on your transcript.

Liberal, Major, Minor and Honours Programs Depending on your future goals and how much you wish to focus on one particular area of study, you may choose to pursue a Liberal, Major or Honours program.


The BSc. Liberal program is a flexible and modular program. You 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 prefer not to over-specialize – plus, you will still have room left over for electives. For more information on Liberal programs, please refer to the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Program Calendar at Major programs provide a greater degree of focus than Liberal programs or Minors, yet are not quite as intensive as Honours programs. Most Major programs will provide you with a solid background for a professional career or graduate studies in your chosen field, though it is important to consult with an academic advisor to ensure that your chosen program of study coincides with your future plans. Major programs should leave you with enough time for a Minor program or other elective courses. Though similar to Major programs, Honours programs require additional courses and often provide students with the opportunity to conduct supervised research projects. These additional courses may begin as early as your U1 year. Honours programs are excellent preparation for graduate studies and careers in research. Admission to an Honours program takes place at the beginning of your U1 or U2 year, depending on the department, and requires a certain minimum GPA (in the range of 3.00 to 3.50). For full details on admission requirements, consult the current program calendar. Although an Honours program may not allow you enough leeway to complete a Minor program, you should still have time for a few electives. Minor programs allow students to develop and explore an interest without committing themselves to the department. They provide basic but comprehensive knowledge through careful design of courses that will best present the essence of the programs.


ACADEMIC ADVISING The home of Science student advising at McGill is the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA), which can be found in Dawson Hall. The website ( contains a wealth of information geared towards students entering a threeor four-year program. This information includes descriptions of course selection, registration, and examination information, among other things. It is a very useful resource and should be able to answer many questions. In the last few weeks of August and the first few weeks of September, there will be drop-in advising for all freshmen students. SOUSA can be reached Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (514) 398-5442. In addition, advising is available via e-mail at For further details on McGill advising and registration, the best place to look is the Welcome to McGill book, which was sent out in the acceptance package, along with the previously discussed SOUSA website (



June 10 - Sept 17

June 17 - Sept 17

June 18 - Sept 17 June 19 - Sept 17 June 19 - Aug 14

Aug 23 – Sept 13

Aug 22 – Aug 30 (exclude Aug 27)

Sept 2 Sept 3 Sept 17

Online academic advising is available for newly admitted Freshman students; see Registration opens for newly-admitted undergraduates from Quebec CEGEPs as well as French Baccalaureate students from Collège Marie de France & Collège Stanislas Registration opens for newly-admitted U1 undergraduates from French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate, or at least one year of university. Registration opens for all newly-admitted U0 undergraduates registering for B.A.&Sc. Registration opens for all newly-admitted U0 undergraduate students in Science. Canadian students can get their ID cards; see for locations of ID card centres; must be registered for at least one Fall term course ID cards will be available at Service Point (ground floor of the McLennan Library Building) including Sat., Aug 24 & Sun., Aug 25; must be registered for at least one Fall term course Orientation Week and Advising Drop-in with the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA). See bscfreshman Labour Day (University closed) Classes begin; deadline to register for Fall courses without a late fee Add/Drop period ends; this is your last chance to make changes to your Fall schedule without penalty.

** IMPORTANT: New students have until Wednesday, August 14, 2013 to register for at least one course in order to avoid late registration penalties. ** Find the complete and most recent list of important dates at



FALL 2013

Lectures T,R M,W,F T,R

CHEM 115 COMP 202

N/A - Not scheduled for 2013-2014 academic year M,W,F 10:35-11:25 N/A N/A M,W,F 3:35-4:25 T,R 1:05-2:25 M,W,F 11:35-12:25 M,R 8:35-9:25 M,W,F 11:35-12:25 M,T 11:35-12:25 T,R 8:35-9:55 M,W,R,F 12:35-1:25 M,W,F 1:35-2:25 M,R,F 2:35-3:25 M 3:35-4:25 F 4:35-5:25 M,W,F 1:35-2:25 F 9:35-11:25 W 2:35-4:25 T,R 8:35-9:55 T 8:35-9:25 T,R 10:05-11:25 W 10:35-11:25 M,T,R 4:35 - 5:25 M,W 11:35-12:25 M,W,F 11:35-12:25 T,R 12:35-1:25 T,F 1:35-2:25 M,W,R 2:35-3:25 T,W,R,F 3:35-4:25 T,R 1:05-2:25 T,W,R,F 8:35-10:25 M,T,W,R,F 10:35-12:25 M,W,F 1:35-3:25 M,T,W,R,F 3:35-5:25 M,W,F 12:35-1:25 T,W 8:35-11:25 M,T,W,R,F 2:35-5:25 W 5:35-8:25 N/A N/A

MATH 140

MATH 150 MATH 133

PHYS 101

PHYS 131 PSYC 100

10:35-11:25 10:35-11:25 11:35-12:55

Required Labs/Tutorials

BIOL 111 CHEM 110


2:35-5:25 8:35-10:55 11:35-1:55 2:35-4:55


WINTER 2014 ESYS 104 BIOL 112 CHEM 120


Required Labs/Tutorials


4:05-5:25 9:35-10:25 10:35-11:25 11:35-12:55 10:05-11:25 2:35-3:25 3:35-4:25 8:35-9:25 11:35-12:25 2:35-3:55


N/A 1:35-4:55 11:35-1:55 2:35-4:55 N/A


8:35-10:25 10:35-12:25 11:35-1:25 12:35-2:25 1:35-3:25 2:35-4:25 3:35-5:25

MATH 151 MATH 133


11:35-12:25 8:35-9:25 9:35-10:25

PHYS 102



PHYS 142




9:35-11:25 8:35-9:25 11:35-12:25 3:35-4:25 4:35-5:25 8:35-10:25 10:35-12:25 1:35-3:25 3:35-5:25 11:35-2:25 2:35-5:25

COMP 202

MATH 141

** Only the most common freshman courses are included here for brevity, but all course times can be found on Minerva ** Lab times fill up the quickest so be sure to register for your chosen times ASAP; course sections fill up much more slowly ** Course times are subject to change; see up-to-date course times on Minerva



A great deal of time and effort was spent putting this resource guide together. Thanks to the following individuals for their input and advice:

The Academic Portfolio Directors Bill Mei, Hannah Namgung, Vivian Ng, Annie Tseng, Sharon Wang

The SUS Execs Danielle Toccalino – President Caitlin Loo – VP Academic Sahil Kumar – VP Internal Emily Boytinck – VP External Eileen Bui – VP Finance Bryan Zimmerman – VP Communications Shaun Lampen – Executive Revenue Officer Shannon Herrick – Executive Administrator

McGill Staff Nicole Allard – Director of Advising Services Peter Barry – Chief Academic Adviser in Science Jane Hawes – Adviser Laurie Hendren – Associate Dean (Academic)

If you have any questions or comments, email


Absolute Zero Guidebook 2013 - 2014  
Absolute Zero Guidebook 2013 - 2014