CS Minor

This page serves as a general guideline for all matters related to applying for a CS Minor.

  • Read all the information on this page carefully before contacting the CS minor advisor. The CS minor advisor might not reply to your email if you do not follow the instructions found on this page.
  • 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 or your email will be put back at the end of the queue.

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 Liette Chin (liette.chin@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.

Timeline

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. Obtain the form: 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.

    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.

  2. Complete 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 on the first page when emailing it to the CS minor advisor.
    Even if you are unsure, you should plan as far ahead as possible and have a coherent plan in place. Changes might be 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 (read point 4 below for changes).

  3. Send the CS form electronically: Once filled, send the form to the CS minor advisor by email at minor-advisor@cs.mcgill.ca using the following template:

    • 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"

    If you do not follow the template above when contacting the CS minor advisor with your form, you will not receive a reply.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have (but first check the FAQ below). If you are happy with your course selection and have no question just let them know. If the form is filled correctly, they will sign it and return it to you, cc’ing the CS Senior Admin. & Student Affairs Coordinator (liette.chin@mcgill.ca).

  4. [Optional] changes to your courses selection:

    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

  • Can I take a course at 600-level or higher?

    No, 600-level courses (or higher) are reserved for grad students only.

  • 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.

  • Can MATH 235 counts towards my CS minor?

    No. But you can take MATH 240 if you degree allows it (if not, then you have to choose another course).

  • I believe that I have sufficient knowledge with programming, can I skip COMP 202?

    Yes, but you will have to replace it with another course on the list of allowed courses. Also be aware that once you take COMP 250 (whether you pass it or not), it becomes impossible to take COMP 202, so if it happened that you overestimated your programming skills, you might get stuck further down the line. The best indicator as to whether you have the right programming skills is if if you have already taken a programming course in the past. In case of doubts, have a look at the content/assignments/exams of COMP 202 from prior years (you may reach out to the course instructors if the information is not available online).

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.