Academics

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Academics

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: The workload is pretty serious at McGill, but most people that come here are serious about studying so it works out. There are a couple of different libraries on campus, but finding a spot in the biggest and most convenient one during exams should be an Olympic sport.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Heavy workload, but always fair. Some faculties are notorious for extremely challenging final exams in the intro courses such as Calc 2. Nonetheless, it is completely possible to receive A's if you study all the material.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Most professors work their hardest to present students with opportunities to provide extra support.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Academics: The workload can be tough. The nice thing about Economics is that you can tailor your program. You only need 3 required courses and the rest you choose. The professors are not the greatest in this department though.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Academics: The economics department is lacking strong professors. The professors we have are extremely brilliant but sometimes forget how to teach. The classes have potential to be extremely interesting though.

1 person found this useful Report
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McGill and its students take great pride in the institution’s prestigious reputation. This explains the immense popularity of shirts bearing the Harvard logo and the witty phrase underneath “America’s McGill”. This comparison, however, is extremely flawed. McGill is much bigger than Harvard, so there is a greater feeling of anonymity. Many introductory classes have upwards of 200 students, and lower level science classes tend to be around 600. McGill is one of the top universities in Canada, but this reputation comes mostly from its fantastic research opportunities, and talent is somewhat unevenly distributed amongst the different faculties and departments. Management and arts students often get flack from their peers in engineering and science for the comparative “easiness” of their programs, though these accusations are mostly baseless. Overall, there is a range of intelligence throughout the university, but in general, when comes to grades, everyone puts in serious work.

Another major reason behind McGill’s reputation is its excellent faculty. The faculty at McGill is both knowledgeable and approachable. Many professors know their fields inside and out, but on a whole, they are remarkably unpompous. Despite large class sizes throughout almost all first- and second-year courses, professors still engage the classes in discussion, and many have tried to learn their students’ names. Large courses are broken into weekly conferences or tutorials taught by TAs. TAs are the ones who do all the grading, so respecting them and participating in conferences is vital for success. Whether it’s the great faculty, the omnipresence of the grad students, or the mixed student body, McGill offers a really good education that is unique to itself and more than just an Ivy’s cousin to the North.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
16:1
Total FT Faculty
1,650
Faculty with Terminal Degree
95%
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 9%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 14%
  • 50 or More Students: 77%
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Desautels Faculty of Management
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science
  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Religious Studies
  • Faculty of Science
  • Schulich School of Music
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's
  • Doctorate
  • First professional
  • Master's
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Special Study Options
  • IMPM Health Sector
  • Master's in Manufacturing Management
  • MBA
Best Places to Study
  • Birks Reading Room
  • Cyberthèque
  • Islamic Studies Library
  • McGill Bookstore Café
  • Schulich Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Actually drop the courses you think are boring or too difficult during add/drop.
  • Be proactive with faculty and administration.
  • Don't get behind with reading or assignments.
  • Don't piss off bouncers.
  • Find a couple clubs you really like, and remember to go to the meetings.
  • Go to class, even at 8:30 a.m.
  • Have a good idea what your major will be.
  • Learn to cook and do your own laundry as soon as possible.
  • Take some courses satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Did You Know?
  • In 1813, James McGill, a Scottish immigrant who prospered in Montréal, bequeathed his 46-acre estate, Burnside Place, and £10,000 to what would become McGill University. James McGill, along with part of his accountant, is buried in front of the steps to the Arts Building.
  • In 1906, the University acquired a second campus when Sir William Macdonald endowed a college in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, 32 kilometres west of Montréal, today the site of McGill's Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
  • Ernest Rutherford's groundbreaking work on the nature of radioactivity was conducted in what was then the Macdonald Physics Building. He won the Nobel Prize in 1908 for this research. McGill's Rutherford Museum houses much of the apparatus the scientist built to conduct his experiments.
  • In an attempt to appease the French traditionalists of Québec, McGill charges significantly less for its French classes. Students in French classes are charged local Québec tuition fees, about $200 per French course.
  • McGill's official motto is "Grandescent Aucta Labore," meaning "By work, all things increase and grow."

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 26 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 8 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 8 responses

  • 38% This was my dream school.
  • 62% This was one of my top choices.
  • 0% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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