Advising & orientation for U1 students

New Student Orientation Sessions - Fall 2015

Monday, August 31st,  2015
10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.

This session will take place - Burnside Hall, Room 1205

New undergraduate students who are unable to attend this event should contact our Undergraduate Coordinator in the Maths & Stats Department office on the 10th floor of Burnside Hall. She will be pleased to give you an appointment with an advisor.

Please note that U0 students are advised by Faculty advisors in Dawson Hall.

Advising in General

Many sources of information are available to you in planning your academic program, exploring career opportunities, and clarifying policies and procedures. This document has been prepared as a reference and a guide and not as a substitute for personal contact between yourself and your academic advisor.

You are strongly encouraged to meet with your Academic advisor before registering for courses using MINERVA (McGill's Automated Registration System) and during the course of the academic year. If you are unable to meet with an advisor prior to registering for your courses, you should make an appointment at the beginning of your first semester here at McGill to ensure that you are on the right track.

Seeing your academic advisor annually is a good idea, but going very much out of fashion. Sometimes advisors know of fixes to situations that students are not aware of. For example in Arts and Science, a student's academic advisor has the discretionary power to make up to six credits of substitutions in the student's program. If the student does not have an advisor, this option is not open. Some students who have not seen an academic advisor make horrendous errors in course selection.

There are three primary sources of help and information available to students at McGill: your academic advisor, advisors in the Student Affairs Office and peer advisors.

Departmental Academic Advisors

The most important function of your academic advisor is to advise and assist you in planning a realistic and meaningful program tailored to your specific needs. All new students with 96 credits or less should make an appointment to see an academic advisor. The first time that you meet with your academic advisor, please bring your transcript and letter of acceptance into McGill.

You know your strengths and weaknesses. You know whether you are the sort of person who performs well under pressure, or whether you are the sort of person who requires a more secure environment in order to succeed. Your advisor knows nothing of these things. On the other hand, your advisor knows much more than you do about the programs McGill has to offer. He/she has a lot of experience in fitting programs to meet specific needs and may be able to suggest possibilities you were not aware existed. All of these issues have a bearing on the program you should choose and ideally in the advising process, you work as a team to find the program that is most suitable for you.

In case that you come across a situation that requires special departmental approval or a specific ruling on departmental regulations you should see the chief advisor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. Contact information for departmental advisors is here.

Faculty Advisors

Advisors in the Student Affairs Office are responsible for advising all incoming Arts and Science freshman students (97 to 120 credit degree) and provide the general advising to all undergraduate students. Their function is to assist you in the proper selection of courses so that you may develop the academic program most suitable to your educational needs and consistent with the academic requirements of the university.

Advisors in the Student Affairs Office provide the following general academic information and advice:

  • Prerequisites & programs
  • Procedures for withdrawal
  • Course changes
  • Rereads
  • Deferrals & supplementals
  • Second programs/degrees
  • Academic standing
  • Faculty transfer
  • Transfer credits
  • Year or term away

Faculty advisors are located in the Student Affairs Office on the ground floor of Dawson Hall. Office hours are 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday to Friday. If you wish to make an appointment with a Faculty advisor any time during the year, please contact the Student Affairs Office in person or by telephone at 398-4210. If you don't know where to go for your particular problem, ask someone in the Student Affairs Office in Dawson Hall. If they can't help you, they will, in most instances, find out who can.

Peer Advisors

SUMS, Society of Undergraduate Mathematics Students is a very active group of students. They have a lounge located in the basement of Burnside Hall in room 1B20 directly opposite the elevators. Apart from many other activities they organize a buddy system for first-year students and a peer advisor system. They will also suggest possibilities and give assistance in arranging tutorials.


Last edited by on Thu, 06/04/2015 - 10:51