Newly Admitted Students

This page is addressed to students newly admitted into an undergraduate mathematics program at McGill. Here are some suggestions of some steps that you can take to make your experience at McGill less bewildering.

  • Reexamine your motives for applying. What do you hope to gain from your university degree? Experience has shown that students who have well established goals fare better at university. Quite a large percentage of new students enroll in a program and eventually switch out of it into some other program. Sometimes this is because the original program did not meet their expectations and sometimes it's because they developed different interests. Possible consequences of getting into the wrong program are:
    • taking longer to graduate,
    • increased financial burden,
    • getting a broader education than you originally intended.
  • The university no longer sends you a copy of the undergraduate calendar, but it is available on-line. It's important to read the section "General University Information and Regulations". Also read the regulations section for the faculty that you are enrolled in. Some important concepts are:
    • Grade Point Average and student standing
    • Full time and part time status
    • Course load
    • Course change period (sometimes called drop/add)
    • Course withdrawal
  • McGill organizes orientation sessions at various levels just before the beginning of the Fall semester. In view of the size of the investment you are making in your future (both in terms of time and money), it makes sense to ponder your options for a lot longer than the few days allotted by the university.
  • Start early, check out the different programs that are offered by the Mathematics & Statistics department as well as those of other departments you might consider for a secondary (minor) program. It is possible to change programs, preferably at the end of your first semester, but sometimes it is also possible at the end of the first year. If you have questions about programs in Mathematics and Statistics feel free to visit the departmental office on the tenth floor of Burnside Hall even well before classes start in the Fall. If necessary, ask to see an advisor at that point in time. Then, you will be well set up to make the most of the official orientation sessions offered by the university.
  • University Orientation, a two-hour session hosted by the Dean of Students, provides vital information about student services and university life. At this time, important documents dealing with student rights and responsibilities will be discussed and distributed. Attendance is mandatory. Please consult the 'Welcome' booklet for dates and times.
  • At Faculty Orientation students will meet the Dean of Science, the Associate Dean and advisers of your faculty. You will be able to hear about plans for your faculty and how they relate to the university as a whole.
  • Departmental Orientation session will enable you to meet the Chair of your department and the professors who are advising incoming students. You will be able to discuss general issues pertaining to your program and set up individual advising appointments.

If for some reason you miss the departmental orientation, make a point of presenting yourself at the Mathematics & Statistics Office on the 10th floor of Burnside Hall. The undergraduate secretary will be happy to arrange an appointment with an academic advisor. When you meet with your academic advisor you will discuss the program choices that are available to you, and help you make a selection of courses based on your needs and qualifications. Take the time to check out that the courses will fit into your timetable. You can get timetable information on-line from MINERVA. Note that you can search the course catalog and class schedule without logging in.

Course calendars can also be obtained on-line including the current undergraduate calendar.

McGill also maintains a website for newly admitted students.

Last edited by on Mon, 05/16/2011 - 08:59