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Academics

Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering

At McGill University you can choose from a wide array of academic disciplines (most subjects are available). Enrolling directly in the large university, you can really immerse yourself in the academic culture as you take courses alongside local and international students.

Unique study opportunities

  • Compare Canadian and US government and politics.
  • Refine or advance your French language skills.
  • Explore the sociology of gender or ethnic relations.
  • Take an intro course on abnormal psychology.

Language

Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: Optional

Although all courses are available in English, you can also take advantage of Montreal’s French-speaking heritage and enroll in French courses. To enroll in any French course, including beginners’ French, all you need to do is take a placement test. You can also study other languages through the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures department.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

  • Take a full-time course of study: a minimum of four courses and a minimum of 24 quarter/16 semester UC units. Most courses at McGill are worth 3 units which is equivalent to 6 quarter/4 semester UC units.
  • You can opt to take up to one-third (33%) of your total unit load per term on a pass/no pass basis.

Current Program Courses

After arrival, on-site staff will help you find and enroll in classes to fulfill degree or general requirements. As you research courses on the McGill University website, use the following tips:

  • McGill courses numbered at the 100, 200, 300, and 400 levels are for undergraduate students.
  • Two additional characters (D1, D2, N1, N2, J1, J2, J3) at the end of the seven-character McGill University course number identifies multi-term courses.
Course Restrictions

If you want to take science courses, you will need to work with McGill University’s advisor for incoming science exchange students. There are some departments (e.g. biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, and physiology) that have restrictions for their courses.

You are allowed to take anatomy courses only if you have the prerequisite courses and an email confirmation from your departmental advisor at UC.

The following are not available to exchange students:

  • Desautels Faculty of Management
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Law
  • Professional programs, such as Medicine and Dentistry
  • Research project courses and thesis courses
  • Centre for Continuing Education

Research and independent study are typically not available in this program.

Catalogs and resources

See McGill University’s eCalendar (search tips are at the bottom of the linked page):

  • The new course schedule for the fall term is published sometime in March. To get a general sense of which courses you would like to take, last year’s calendar should suffice - generally the same courses are offered in the same term.
  • In order to obtain syllabi, visit the departmental pages to see if the course descriptions and syllabi are available. You might also consider contacting the professor who last taught the course to get a copy of the syllabus. There is no guarantee however, that the same professor will be teaching the course or that the content will remain the same for the next session.

More catalogs and resources:

Academic culture

McGill University has a rigorous academic schedule, and coursework and grading are competitive. Students work independently, with less direction, and receive very few in-term tests and exams. The advantage of such a system is that you can set the agenda of your own education and tailor it to your interests.

To succeed, you will need manage your workload wisely to avoid falling behind, complete the readings, explore additional suggested resources and get a solid grasp of the material to ensure you get a good final grade. Success will also require being flexible with the courses you take. There is some uncertainty initially as to how courses will count towards your UC requirements. Self-motivation helps, particularly when it comes to selecting coursework.

You will have a UCEAP Liaison Officer on site to help you adjust to to the academic rigor and structure of the McGill system. If you have any academic difficulties, see the Liaison Officer as soon as possible (i.e., do not wait until the end of the term to get help).

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. A course grade can be entirely dependent on one or two big exams, so you will need to maintain strong study habits. You may not know where you stand academically in some courses until final exams at the end of the semester. Depending on your area of study, however, you may be graded on class participation as well as regular quizzes, presentations, or papers. Some courses may have lab, tutorial, or discussion components which also contribute to a final course grade. This is discipline-specific. Even in disciplines where there is more regular assessment, however, much of the final grade is still dependent on the final exam or paper.

Grades for this program are usually available in February for fall semester students and August for spring semester and year students.