The Freshman Program and Computer Science

Academic programs at McGill are normally four-year, 120-credit programs. In the B.Sc., B.A. and B.A.&Sc. degrees, this is split into a 30-credit freshman program and a three-year, 90-credit departmental program.

Students entering directly from high schools (outside of Quebec) usually start with the 30-credit freshman program, whereas students coming from Quebec CEGEP programs are usually granted 30 credits at the time of admission and they start directly into the 90-credit departmental program.

If you are a CEGEP student, you do not need to read any more about the freshman program, since you will not need to take it.

If you are a high school student, then you will need to consider which courses to take in your freshman year to best prepare you for a Computer Science or Software Engineering Major.

There is a separate freshman program for each degree, as specified at:

Although each degree (B.Sc., B.A., B.A.&Sc.) has its own freshman requirements, all freshman students interested in continuing on to a Computer Science or Software Engineering major can use the following general guidelines for selecting the computer science part of their freshman programs.

  • In all cases, if you intend to study Computer Science or Software Engineering, then you should complete two calculus courses in your freshman year ( MATH 139 or MATH 140 or MATH 150) and ( MATH 141 or MATH 151 ). For more detailed information on how to choose your calculus courses see the SOUSA Website.
  • If you can find room in your freshman year, you should also try to take MATH 133 and COMP 202. If you are unable to do so, you can still follow a Computer Science or Software Engineering major, but you will not be able to proceed to the higher-level courses as quickly.
  • If you already have some programming experience or if you want to get ahead on your computer science curriculum, then you might also consider including COMP 250 and/or COMP 206 in your freshman year. If you have significant programming background, you may be able to start with COMP 250 instead of COMP 202.
  • More details about all the introductory general interest and technical computer science courses can be found on this list.