CS Minor

This page serves as a general guideline for all matters related to applying for a CS Minor. Please read it in full before contacting the CS minor advisor and make sure to follow the template below when emailing the CS minor advisor.

How to contact the CS Minor Advisor

Read all the information on this page carefully before contacting them. If you have any questions, please check the FAQ below first before asking by email. It might take a few days before your hear back from the CS minor advisor. Do not send them any reminder emails, unless it has been more than 7 days since you last contacted them.

By email at minor-advisor@cs.mcgill.ca. Please use the following template for your email:

  • Subject: “CS Minor - Firstname Lastname - McGillID" (e.g. "CS Minor John Doe -123456789")
  • Body:
    • Specify your full name, major degree, faculty and year of study
    • Ask any questions you may have
  • Attachment:
    • CS minor degree form completed as much as possible
    • The filename of the attached form should follow this pattern: "Firstname_Lastname_McGillID_originalFormFileName.pdf", for instance "John_Doe_123456789_CS-minor-Approval-form.pdf"

General information

The general regulations for the CS minor degree can be found here depending on your Bachelor degree:

The CS advisor is here to guide you through this process and answer any questions you may have about your choice of courses. If you have any administrative questions (e.g. course registration issues), these should be directed to Tess Pian (teresa.pian@mcgill.ca)

Note that doing a CS minor degree will significantly increase your load. You should probably only pursue a minor degree if you have top grades in your major concentration.


You should start planning for your CS minor as early as possible, and in particular be aware of all the pre-requisites which often includes MATH-222, MATH-223 and MATH-323 for CS courses. You can apply for the CS minor at any time before the end of your last term. However, it is highly recommended to apply before the start of your last year, to avoid being in a situation where you realise, at the last minute, that you are missing 1 credit (for instance) to obtain the CS minor degree.

We recommend that your first take all the required courses (depending on your degree, this might be COMP-202, COMP-206 and COMP-250, or equivalent) as early as possible. Once you have acquired these credits, you should then apply for the CS minor degree, ideally in your 2nd year.

The application process

Please note that it is your responsibility for checking for pre/co-requisites, whether a course is running or not in given term, or any regulations related to your major degree.
  1. The first step is to obtain the CS minor form that contains all the regulations, specific to your degree. This includes the mandatory list of courses, which courses count towards the CS minor degree, the number of credits required, if overlaps are allowed with your major degree, and so on.

  2. Please contact the CS Senior Admin. & Student Affairs Coordinator (liette.chin@mcgill.ca), to obtain the relevant CS minor form for your degree. When contacting them, please state what is your current major degree and your faculty.

  3. Once you have the form, your next step should be to make an initial selection of the courses you are interested to take and list them on the form. Even if you are unsure, you should plan as far ahead as possible and have a coherent plan in place. Changes are permitted later on if you decide to change one course for another, or if you decide not to pursue a CS minor degree in the end.

  4. Once you have filled up the form, contact the CS minor advisor who will be happy to answer any remaining questions you may have. If you are happy with your course selection and have no question just let them know. Once you and the CS minor advisor are happy with the form, they will sign it and return it to you, cc’ing the CS Senior Admin. & Student Affairs Coordinator (liette.chin@mcgill.ca) (no need for a paper form this year, thanks to COVID).

Completing the CS minor form

When completing the form, fill up as much as possible and pay attention to all the instructions. In particular:

  • if you are listing a course that you haven’t taken yet, leave the Grade column empty
  • if credit overlap is permitted and a course credit overlap, indicate it in the comments
  • even if you are unsure, fill up the expected Term/Year of any future courses you intend to take
  • under advisor, fill in the name of your Major degree advisor
  • Make sure the PDF form includes the requirements/constraints page when emailing it to the CS minor advisor.

In case you need to change a course on the form in the future, simply contact the CS Senior Admin. & Student Affairs Coordinator (liette.chin@mcgill.ca). They will let you know if a new form is required or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can a course outside of the CS department count towards my minor degree?

    The short answer is no. In general, only the course listed explicitly on the CS minor form can count towards your minor degree. There are, sometimes, exceptions to this rule, but in such cases, a large part of the course content should teach core CS topics. Note that even if you have to write programs in the course, this will not count as core CS since it is nowadays expected that many courses may have a programming component (in the same way many courses use algebra, statistics, probabilities ..., but this does not make them eligible for a Math minor degree).

  • Can I take COMP-400 or COMP-396 as part of the Complementary Courses?

    Unfortunately, project courses such as COMP-400 and COMP-396 cannot be counted toward the CS minor degree

  • What about COMP-401?

    Unfortunately, this course is only opened to students on the Biology and Computer Science joint major. So no, COMP-401 cannot be counted towards the CS minor degree

  • Is the CS minor degree open to student doing a software engineering major?

    Unfortunately, you cannot take the CS minor if your major is in software engineering.

  • Can I take a course that counts towards both my Major and the CS minor?

    The form will specify whether credit overlap is allowed and if so, what is the maximum number of credits allowed to overlap. Please note that if you select a course that overlaps with your major degree, you will need to confirm with your department that they are okay with that.

Tips & Tricks

  • Writing emails to Professors and Admin Staff

    Don't start with "hi!", you are strongly advised to read this document from TLS: make your email count!

  • Email subject and filename

    The CS minor advisor and CS admin receives hundreds of requests per year for the CS minor degree. Please make sure to respect the template given when emailing them, in particular the subject line and filename. This will ensure that we can treat your questions in a timely manner, with no emails/files getting lost. It will also make it easier for us to retrieve your information in future contact.