Info for New Students

Dear New ArtSci,


BASiC would like to warmly welcome you to McGill Arts & Science! The B.A. & Sc. program occupies a unique niche and attracts a stellar cohort of students – you’ll find that academic diversity is just the beginning of the vibrant ArtSci community here. The BASiC execs and committees form a great network of support. To stay in touch , watch for our listservs in your email inbox, join our Facebook group, and don’t hesitate to get in touch at any time via email or dropping by our office in Leacock 114-B to chat.There are tons of ways to get involved with BASiC – from our combined experience, we say that that this is a fantastic way to get to know other ArtScis and engage with the McGill community. We hope to see you at our many events throughout the year. The coming months will be a whirlwind of new experiences. Through it all, just know that BASiC is here for all ArtScis and we are always happy to hear from you! Congratulations on your Acceptance to McGill, and looking forward to meeting you!


BASiC Initiatives     Course Checklist     First Year Resources     Orientation


1. BASiC Initiatives

Academic Committee


Freshman Arts & Science Committee (FASC)

This committee helps with tasks under the VP Academics portfolio. This include helping with the preparation of career information seminars, offering feedback on academic program changes, and working to come up with suggestions for new major combinations or interfaculty programs. This is a great opportunity to learn more about and make a real difference to  the B.A. & Sc. program!   This committee, chaired by the VP First Year Affairs, is in charge of planning both social and academic events for first-year students. It is also committed to enhancing the relationship between first years and the rest of the BASiC team. By joining FASC, you’l not only meet tons of ArtScis, but you’ll also be able to suggest and run first year events.

Presidential Affairs Committee


Events Planning Committee

Members assist with projects under the BASiC President’s portfolio, a great way to learn about how BASiC operates and relates to the wider McGill community. These could include: working to enhance BASiC’s relationship with the administration or other campus groups, drafting documents such as ArtSci surveys or constitutional amendments and organizing students consultations on pertinent issues   Do you have a talent for event-planning. Then this committee, chaired by the VP Internal, is the one for you! You’ll be in charge of planning events for all ArtScis that range from semi-formals and fundraisers to beer pong nights and group excursions. Creativity, enthusiasm, and a knack for throwing a great party are all welcome traits.

External Affairs Committee


NiRC Planning Committee

Do you want to get first hand experience with the inner workings of McGill student politics? Would you like to help BASiC expand its relations with the wider Montreal community (e.g. by planning charity fundraiser?) Then this committee is for you! Members   can choose between two roles: helping the VP External adequately represent Arts & Science interests at AUS and SUS council (2 positions) or increasing BASiC’s involvement with  local organizations (1 position)   Under the BASiC VP Academic’s portfolio, the committee will work with the NiRC Chair on the successful execution of the annual research conference. Presenters will be invited to share their integrative research with the McGill community and any other undergraduate students who wish to attend. Committee duties will including finding speakers and undergraduate research submissions, obtaining funding and sponsorship, organizing event logistics and promotion. For more information, email

The Ampersand Journal

Ampersand is the undergraduate Arts & Science journal, consisting of papers on integrative topics. We’ve ad submissions ranging form the history of potatoes to the science of the Chinese cricket fighting. Honestly, the diversity of Arts & Science student’s knowledge never ceases to amaze! Find out more info and check out previous issues, click here.    




2. B.A. & Sc. Freshmen Checklist and Course Selection

The B.A. & Sc Program has a lot of flexibility, but this can also lead to lots of questions! When in doubt, all the nitty gritty details can be found if you click here.

BASC 201 is a requirement to get your degree. McGill recommends you take it your U1 year but you can take it whenever you want! 

When you’re coming up with a schedule, a great resource to use is McGill’s Visual Schedule Builder (VSB). It generates schedules for you!

You can find even more information in the Academics tab on the site. Feel free to post questions or e-mail Esther Vinarov at

U0’s click here!

You can find a great explanation on what courses you should be taking depending on which program you’re planning to go into under the ‘B.A. & Sc. Freshman Program Requirements.’ You do not need to complete your freshman requirements in your first year. They can be completed in any year.


Mathematics Component
  • ☐  MATH 139 OR MATH 140 OR MATH 150
  • ☐  MATH 141 OR MATH 151
  • ☐  MATH 133

*Check 2/3 options*

Science Component

 3 foundational sciences from the following list

  • ☐  BIOL 111
  • ☐  BIOL 112
  • ☐  CHEM 110
  • ☐  CHEM 120
  • ☐  PHYS 101 or PHYS 131
  • ☐  PHYS 102 or PHYS 142
  • ☐  COMP 202*
  • ☐  ESYS 104*
  • ☐  PSYC 100*

*No more than 2 courses that are asterisked*

Arts ComponentCourse list:

     1st Course:___________________________________       ☐ Humanities   ☐ Soc Sciences   ☐ Language

      2nd Course:___________________________________       ☐ Humanities   ☐ Soc Sciences   ☐ Language

      3rd Course:___________________________________       ☐ Humanities   ☐ Soc Sciences   ☐ Language

*No more than 2 courses may be from one category or one department*

U1’s click here! 

  • As a U1, you have to choose which of the three ways you want to complete your B.A. & Sc. Degree:
  •                 ☐ Multi Track – 1 Arts Major Concentration, 1 Science Major Concentration
  •                 ☐ Interfaculty – Sustainability, Science, and Society; or Cognitive Science; or Environment
  •                 ☐ Joint Honours – Psychology or Math; and an Arts Honours Major


The link provided above has links to the websites describing each of the program choices available. Don’t stress too much about your choice as many students switch to different majors and programs later on in their academic career. nonetheless, we strongly recommend talking to your advisor as soon as possible to consider your major program as well as meeting any graduate or professional school requirements.

As far as extracurriculars are concerned, prioritization is essential. Try to think about what you’re passionate about, what experiences you would like to cultivate, and how you want your CV to look when applying to jobs or graduate schools. Try not to take on more than 3 separate activities because of the time constraints associated with a full course load. As ArtScis know better than anyone, success in university is all about balance!



3. First Year Resources


BASiC Buddies

The Freshman Arts & Science Committee is in charge of planning events, activities and info sessions for all B.A. & Sc. first years. FASC is BASiC’s direct connection with first years – it’s a key resource and avenue for you to relay your concerns to us! BASic Buddies is a great program where first years who sign up are assigned an upper year “senior buddy”, who will help them navigate through their first year at McGill. Senior buddies are there to help their juniors with everything from academics to city life. It’s a great resource and a great way to meet new ArtScis! A variety of awesome social events are planned for everyone in the Buddy program throughout the year.Sign up for a Buddy here!



4. Arts & Science Orientation

Click here to sign up for Orientation week!