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Course CodeBIOL 201 BIOL 309PHGY 314PHGY 311PSYC 305PSYC 311MATH 222BIOL 588PSYC 501PHGY 425BIOL 306PSYC 410PSYC 342BIOL 309NSCI 410NSCI 420BIOL 306 vs PHGY 314PHGY 524PHGY 451BIOC 212COMP 202PSYC 302PSYC 444What was your favorite elective?PSYC 318PSYC 211PSYC 470PSYT 500PSYT 505ANAT 321
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I can't really say anything about BIOC 212, but I think BIOL 201 was one of the best classes I've taken in McGill so far. The professors are great and fair, particularly Brouhard who teaches most of the course.. most of them are really good at making the material interesting to you and making it stick.Hello! I took the course in second year and the last time I had seen calculus (II) was about a year and a half before. I definitely found the class do-able, and I'm not the biggest math fan. The only thing that may seem overwhelming at first is that the professor is a bit disorganized. That's why going to the tutorials and consulting the TA can be a great help! The textbook is also helpful for giving you a sense of structure.
Anonymous
It shouldn't be, as Dr. Pruessner is a great prof and you would learn a lot. He's super approachable, definitely knows his stuff, and really down-to-earth.
It would be a good learning experience for later courses that require presentations and more hands-on research, so I guess it really depends on the type of course you are looking for and what type of learner you are (I know I prefer writing assignments over MC exams any day, but once again, that depends, right?). There is a midterm exam, final, and group project (which is a toss-up as the groups are assigned).
Anonymous
i feel like for phgy 311 if you practice practice practice, it shouldnt be a huge problem. and neuro kids have a slight advantage as 2/3 of the course is on synapses and channels which you covered to some extent in nsci 200.
Anonymous
The final was definitely more difficult than the midterm, although it wasn't terrible. I remember I hardly studied thinking it was going to be as easy as the midterm (I also had org chem to study for on the same day), and it was significantly harder, but considering my lack of studying, it wasn't too bad. That being said, as long as you've been doing well in the course, you should be fine.
Anonymous
Really interesting! Professor Petrides is awesome, takes his time to really explain concepts and has incredible experience in the field.Avoid MATH 222
Anonymous
unless you Love-ys calculus :), i'd bet the average for MATH 222 is a couple of grade points lower (than BIOL 309).
Anonymous
This is an EXCELLENT class with Dr. Balaban from NSCI 201. The papers are marked leniently, and if you work hard you should get an A. Also, it's great to learn even more about how we hear, and all of the small details that make audition one of the most complicated and interesting systems in neuroscience.Hm, this looks like a really interesting class... Eric Cook is one of McGill's Non-Linear Dynamics gurus, my reading of this is that it will be more of a continuation of BIOL 309 - Mathematical Models in Biology as taught by the wacky yet amazing Leon Glass. I really want to take this class now, but it doesn't work with my schedule right now... Hrm.
Anonymous
I know some people below were saying 306 was interesting, but I personally found it a bit on the boring side. If you're not into neuroethology (evolutionary behavioural neurosci, basically) then Krahe's section, which most people rated as the high point of the course, lost its allure. I hear Krahe is being replaced with another professor (Watt, I believe) who I have no knowledge of; I'm not sure how that will change the content of the course.

Pollack and Dent are both crystal clear in their instruction, but both gave harder questions than Krahe (again, not sure how difficult the new prof is going to be). That being said, I would rate the overall difficulty of the course as moderate, with some of Dent's questions on the final being completely ridiculous, but otherwise very straightforward. Most likely there was also a curve applied to the final exam grades.
Anonymous
Do not drop 410! It's such a great class! The material will be useful for the rest of your life.
Anonymous
It shouldn't be, as Dr. Pruessner is a great prof and you would learn a lot. He's super approachable, definitely knows his stuff, and really down-to-earth.
It would be a good learning experience for later courses that require presentations and more hands-on research, so I guess it really depends on the type of course you are looking for and what type of learner you are (I know I prefer writing assignments over MC exams any day, but once again, that depends, right?). There is a midterm exam, final, and group project (which is a toss-up as the groups are assigned).
Anonymous
Hey! I'll admit the course seems pretty overwhelming, especially if you're not the biggest Cal fan, but, the class is doable! I don't think it makes much difference when you do it, although perhaps the closer to your Cal classes the better. I myself took Cal 1/2 in my first year of cegep (~gr12), and then only took BIOL 309 in my final semester of undergrad (I kept pushing it bc I was intimidated haha). By the time I took the course, I had forgotten most of the Cal methods. However, for this course, you actually use very little calculus in this course; you will always use the same formulas, so there is not much to stress about. As long as you do the practice questions and practice exams, you will be fine for the MT/Final, as you will learn that there are only so many different kinds of questions that can be asked. So to answer your question, take it earlier, if you can, but if you end up taking it next year instead, or even in your final year, you will be perfectly fine.
Anonymous
Hey! I did a 6 credit course, but not in the summer, I did it during a fall semester. I definitely recommend it. If you start looking early enough, you can make sure to find a supervisor whose research fascinates you. Then, you get to dedicate 2 courses worth of your time to doing that project! There are no midterms or finals. You just work on your project, and submit a progress report twice and write up a little thesis which is due at the end. The schedules tend to be flexible. You get to work out the days/times with your supervisor. Depending on his or her flexibility, you can even work a different amount of hours each week (for instance, working less in a week when you have 3 midterms, and more in a week where you have less other stuff going on). For a 6 credit course, you need to work 18 hours per week if its over one semester, or 9 hours per week over 2 semesters. For a 9 credit course, you work 14 hours per week for 2 semesters (you cant take a 9 credit course in one semester). if you take the 9 credit course in the summer, you work 28-30 hours per week for the whole summer (4 month period). It's a great preparation for grad school, and you might even get to make a poster for a student poster conference :)
Anonymous
This is a MUST! You get practical lab experience, which is essential for both med and grad school. As well, most people get an A, and 9 credits of an A can help raise that GPA a lot :).Personally, I found 311 easier than 314, mostly because I couldn't stand a couple of the 314 profs. On the other hand, I have a couple of classes with profs who teach/taught 306, and they are good profs, so I assume 306 would have been a good option.. But it really depends on the individual person.
Anonymous
I took it last year and it was very cool. Would definitely recommend it. Small class, lot of discussion and great profs.
Anonymous
PHGY 451 was 5 modules taught by different profs, each with an exam/test worth 20% (though one also had smaller assignments). The material was diverse, but if you didn't like the style/material of a particular prof, it was difficult. Also, one prof assumed knowledge from PHGY 200-level courses, and since we take NSCI 200/1 instead, we don't necessarily have that background.BIOC 212 was fine. Decent material. Lectures recorded. Final was not cumulative which was nice. Profs were okay. Just a classic biology-esque class.Do the practice problems and the course shouldn't be a problem! Dan is the best prof by far, makes everything much simpler.
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I also find that it's been helping me SO MUCH with the courses I'm taking now. I think everyone should take 201, tbh.309 isn't that bad! I'm not great at math and I was scared too but all you have to do is read the textbook and do the HW... class is pretty random and more for your entertainmentPHGY 314 wasn't an amazing course, but it was pretty straight forward. It was similar topics as NSCI 201, except there was only about half the material. I didn't like that there were so many different profs for PHGY 314, because it made it a little discontinuous. There are multiple choice exams (1 midterm, 1 final) and one paper. I found it to be a nice grading scheme.
Basically, you just need to memorize for PHGY 314. You don't need to put as much time into it throughout the semester, especially because you will follow really well in class after taking NSCI 201. You do need to spend time memorizing the details for the exams though.
There are also amazing NTCs
Anonymous
Do any and all practice problems and you should do well. Quizzes are important - they're much easier than the final!Don't bother with the prereq! Final is the only challenging partMidterm was an absolute joke, but the final is killer. Attend the conferences throughout and this will help condense the information from the readings, which serve as the primary basis of the final's content. Definitely worth taking if you're inclined towards math. One of the easier classes I've taken at McGill. It's a great class to learn Matlab, but it's a little *too* easy.Can't speak for PHGY 314, but I can say I really enjoyed BIOL 306.

While the class opens with an overview of neurophysiology—basic stuff for us neuro kids—the rest of the class is very interesting. Lots on neuroethology and different neural systems. The class finishes with a cool unit on neurogenetics.

Profs are good, especially Watt who explains thing super clearly and keeps you interested.

Prof Dent (of BIOL 112) teaches two units, and while he does breeze through some concepts a little too quickly, he's approachable and very willing to re-explain more clearly.

No multiple choice questions, which encourages learning of broader concepts and not regurgitation!
This was one of my favorite, and most memorable classes, of my major. Dr Pruessner grades fairly, is very friendly, and engages in a lot of class discussion - the type that really makes you think and therefore, learn a lot better. And though you cover a lot of different material, you come out of there really enriched in psychoneuroendocrinology. I highly recommend this class! The workload is medium, and results are proportional to the amount of work put in - no tricks, no 'unattainable As'. Hello! I took the course in second year and the last time I had seen calculus (II) was about a year and a half before. I definitely found the class do-able, and I'm not the biggest math fan. The only thing that may seem overwhelming at first is that the professor is a bit disorganized. That's why going to the tutorials and consulting the TA can be a great help! The textbook is also helpful for giving you a sense of structure.
Anonymous
I am doing this course now and it is incredible! Everyone should do it..working in a lab is a great experience, and a nice change of pace from the other courses. Ive heard 314 is a huge headache, though i dont know to what degree that was related to the prof. I know i loved 306- you get a lot into neuroethology and see a wider spectrum of things than 314 or 201 (if im not mistaken..) PHGY 524 is a great course. It was taught for the first time last semester and I loved it. Just remember it's not only about sleep, it's about all the chronobiological rhythms (i.e. eating habits, activity, sleep etc.). The profs are extremely enthusiastic and clear. You have mini assignments every 1 or two weeks where you just have to answer 4 questions on a paper. You'll discuss the paper in class before you hand the assignment in so it's not difficult at all. The midterm and final are very straight forward. There is also a final presentation. I highly recommend the class!This course is jam-packed with content. Make sure you stay on top of it and memorize the content throughout. If a question is unclear on the midterm or final, don't hesitate to seek clarification from the professors, as some of them are poorly worded. Go do the assignments during the TA hours. They were very helpful when you get stuck. Dan Pomerantz hours were extremely helpful though sometimes you do have to wait as there was a line (at least when I took the course). The power points are pretty comprehensive and you don't really need to take notes. The best way to learn is to practice. Don't cheat on the assignments because then the midterms are infinitely harder.

For the exam, you're allowed to bring a cheat sheet. I just wrote out a full example of questions I guessed would appear on the exam. Worked out perfectly and I ended up copying most of my exam from my cheat sheet.
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hope that helps I took 314 and I liked it a lot, although it's really easy after NSCI 201. It's basically a repeat of a lot of NSCI 201, but less in depth. There are a few cool new things you learn about, like MRI, and hippocampal place fields that made taking the course worth it. I've also heard really good thing about 306 though, and I think it isn't so much of a repeat of NSCI 201.
Anonymous
This course really isn't that bad. Our background from NSCI 200 helps a lot, and overall this is a really interesting, challenging (but in the good way), and overall good course to take. Don't be scared away by the horror stories, it's really a great class.Jokes.Best Course Ever!!! Do the readings, they aren't important for the midterm, but you will get crushed on the final without themI like math but this course was miserable. Took it with Loveys who didn't explain concepts at my level (having taken math 140 and 141). Final was extremely difficult.For anyone who has a strong programming background, this course is either an easy A or not worth taking (depending on how you view it). If you already know MATLAB, you will be bored out of your mind.
Anonymous
I loved BIOL 306. I'm not even remotely interested in studying behaviour but I still found it super interesting. Its not all that difficult either. Topics are fairly scattered and kinda random at points but all really interesting!
Anonymous
I really enjoyed PSYC 410. It was one of my favourite courses at McGill because it integrated a lot of the material we have learned in other courses and used it in some fun applications like magic, hypnosis, attention and the placebo effect.
Workload was medium (in my opinion)... just had to do 2-3 readings a week which were just journal articles, so no textbook. Raz makes it VERY CLEAR what he expects in terms of the content that you have to know for the exam. This was a course where I didn't have to do too much memorization because I had actually LEARNED the material because he has a great stage presence from his work as a magician. There's some really fun in class demos too!
Anonymous
Tutorials are more important than lecture. The professor is kind of kooky. It's easy to do well on the midterm, so study hard for the exam and this will safeguard you from his somewhat arbitrary grading of the term papers. PHGY 314 is best described as a disorganized and easier version of NSCI 200/201. I hear BIOL 306 is harder
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A great course. Some of the material in this class could come off as very dry if not presented well, but Brouhard and Roy both have a great sense of humour and keep you engaged. Evaluation is fair. Can't speak for BIOC 212, but would highly recommend this course.Repetition of NSCI 201, but easier. Boring, but fairly easy to do well.This course really isn't that bad. Our background from NSCI 200 helps a lot, and overall this is a really interesting, challenging (but in the good way), and overall good course to take. Don't be scared away by the horror stories, it's really a great class.Jokes.Avoid if possible. Very difficult with a very low course average. There is no curve, and is much more advanced compared to MATH 140/141^agreed. Nowadays, most science = matlab. If you already know how to program it's an easy A and a good way to get familiar w/ matlab.It's really interesting, I liked it! The topics covered are very unusual, and there is a lot of discussion going on. The material is slightly disorganized but that's because the class is new, and there is a large part of the class about different imaging techniques that is spread out throughout the semester. But overall, I totally recommend taking it :)
Anonymous
This is a great and really interesting class! I'd recommend taking it in U1, though. It sounds scary because it's 300-level, but it's actually much easier than calc III, and your calculus knowledge is still fresh from U0. It's pretty easy if you take it in U1, because you remember most of the calculus and conceptually BIOL 309 itself isn't that bad :).Dead easy in the summer. Assignments can be tricky and take time, but in the end they are not that bad. Writing code out by hand is a pain however
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Looooots of memorization, seems to be easier than bioc 212 (non-cumulative final)There's a lot of content (though much of it elaborates on NSCI 201), so make sure you stay on top of it. The lecturers don't seem to care much, and as a result, about half of them are quite terrible. The biggest challenge in this course seemed to be trying to make sense of what the professors are trying to say. Midterm was quite easy. For Martinez-Trujillo's section, focus on the textbook.This was the single most important class of my Major, personally, not because of the 'entertaining' aspect of Dr Raz, but because of the way he engages us to think critically and really develop a scientific methodology and think like a researcher - which is absolutely essential for a career in research. I highly recommend. He also encourages us to participate a lot, if you like that sort of thing.
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Great class, though the final exam is harder than expect. The course is divided into two parts, first is metabolism and the second is general molecular cell biology I don't know why everyone is saying this course was easy. I definitely did not find it easy. I loved the material covered, and actually thought it was nice that some was a review of NSCI200. Were in neuroscience so that we relearn things over and over again from different perspectives and in different contexts until we know them well. Thats the point of a neuroscience major. Read textbook and all tables/graphs for Martinez's section. Memorize anything that has to do with drugs/addiction even though he barely mentions it. Cullen's section is all over the place. Make sure you know the names of the papers that Musallam cites. The midterm was easy and the final was a huge shock.

Nothing like PSYC 311. Amir Raz is an interesting guy, and the course material deals with intriguing aspects of neuroscience and psychology, but it felt like a weird course overall
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PHGY 314 is best described as a disorganized and easier version of NSCI 200/201
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PHGY 314 is basically a repeat of NSCI201, but much less in depth. After 201, 314 is fine. The class structure is not great though. Having 7 different profs teaching 3-7 lectures each causes huge inconsistencies among style of teaching, slides (and timely fashion of posting slides), etc. Very easy marking on the paper Really liked the course, make sure you take it with DAN THE MAN. HISP210!
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CHEM 180 --> World of chemistry is an awesome elective. Its in the sciences so it is interesting, it is super straight forward stuff, so no need to bend backwards to understand! best way to get a good grade: listen to the recordings, make a chart of all the stats/numbers and information of the substances mentioned. read a few times = A!
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