University/College Questions Part IV
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12-11-2012, 05:12 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Originally Posted by
There are few profs who give you the time of day at McGill, this is a view shared by virtually all of my colleagues. If you are lucky, you can find a couple (and I have found a couple), but most of the time there is a huge gap between undergrads and profs at McGill.
From my experience, profs in the political science department are very cold. I have gone into office hours a number of times about interesting topics and have been given half-baked answers and attitudes like I am 'privileged' to be in their office.
It is next to impossible for an arts undergrad to get any RA position at McGill, much less a TA position. Graduate students take up all the spots and are more qualified to do the work, not to mention there is quite a high ratio of graduate students : undergraduate students, so your chances are slim.
Doing an honours opens the door for you on many levels. Getting to do an honours thesis gets you into a profs office once a week, alone, working and learning from their methods. There is nothing else like this if you only do a major. You can do an independent studies credit, but it won't have the depth, nor will you be able to work with the prof as much.
It is doubtful you will get into any graduate level seminar if you are not in honours, but of course there are exceptions. I would imagine getting into a graduate level course in political theory is a lot easier than getting into one in Comparative Politics for example. I have a friend who is an honours undergrad in sociology and is taking 3 600 level classes and 1 500 level this semester, this would be impossible to do if you are not in honours. Honours students get automatic priority over majors.
In my experience in the humanities electives I took it was a matter of walking to the office, knocking on the door, and asking to speak to them. Go during office hours or make an appointment, you don't want to bother them when they're doing something else.
And yes, it's a privilege to be able to discuss things with people who are leaders in their fields.
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