**This article has been updated! Please click here to see 'easy Mcgill classes'**
The required classes for a lot of McGill's programs can be serious GPA killers. And let's be real, the best way to balance it out isn't to pick electives that you really want to learn about, it's to pick electives that you know you're going to do well in.
While a lot of people like to say there's no such thing as a true bird course at McGill, there are plenty of classes that you can walk away from with an A and minimal effort input.
1. MUAR 211 Art of Listening
Never taken a music class in your life? No problem. If you take Art of Listening with Jerry Cain and you’ll have the easiest class of your McGill career.You do have to go to 2 music concerts outside of class time and write short reports on them, but they’re marked super easily. For the quizzes and exams he gives you a detailed study guide with everything that he could possibly ask you on it, so you know exactly what you’re going to get.
2. RELG 300 Second Temple Judaism
Taught by the amazing/adorable Gerbern Oegema, the class average at the end of the semester is usually an A. The breakdown is 30% attendance, 20% oral presentation or essay (your choice), and 50% for the final paper, on any topic from the course that you want to write on. Since there aren’t any actual tests you won’t need to study a single thing.
3. RELG 307 Bible, Quran and Interpretations
Another Oegema classic, the average for this class was also an A. The marking is broken down into 3 parts: 1/3 Attendance & Participation, 1/3 oral presentation or paper and 1/3 final paper. Again, no studying required.
4. RELG 202 Religion of Ancient Israel
When I took this class, the average was an A so it’s really not hard to do well. You have to do is 3 reading responses, where you get to choose what weeks you want to do. Just showing up gets you 10%, and the exams are take home.
5. ATOC 184 Science of Storms
Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to know science to do well in this class. Everything’s explained easily enough for even the biggest arts student to understand. All of the material for the exams is taken directly from class, so there’s never anything surprising on the midterm or final.
6. ATOC 185 Natural Disasters
Like science of storms cooler brother, Natty D’s has no midterms, instead just group presentations done grade-9-science-fair style. You also get to write a paper on any natural disaster you want, and the final has the most straight forward, basic questions ever. Oh, and you get to pick any five questions that you don’t want to answer and cross them off.
7. MUAR 374 Special Topics: Fiddling and Beyond
This is kind of like Art of Listening part 2. You have to go to 2 participatory music-related events and write reports on them, but they’re marked super easily. The listening quizzes are pretty simple, as long as you listen to the songs a few times, you’re good to go.
8. GEOG 210 Global Places and People
You don’t need to have any interest whatsoever in geography to take this class. It has 2 fairly easy midterms and all of the quizzes are all online, so you can just do them with other people in the class. The final project is unbelievably easy, and could probably be done by an eighth grader.
9. MUAR 201 Basic Materials: Western Music
If you know any basic music theory, this class will be an absolute breeze. And even if you don’t, it’s still not that hard. You start out learning how to name notes and rests and put them on a staff, so if you paid any attention in elementary school music class, you’ve got a good start.
10. ECON 205 Intro to Political Economy
While the prof might like to fill his lectures with some right winged ideals, everything is pretty basic so you don’t have to actually have any economics knowledge beforehand - it’s definitely worth it.
11. RELG 203 Bible And Western Culture
You don’t need any previous religious knowledge to do well in this class, although it helps. It’s mostly just memorization so if you put in a little bit of time before the exams, you’re golden.
12. MUAR 392 Popular Music after 1945
The prof for this breaks down all the material to the point that every person in the class can understand it no problem. And if you watch out for the key terms he throws out, you’ll be sure to walk away with an A.
13. CHEM 181 World of Chem: Food
Not only is this class super easy, but it’s now all online, so you don’t even have to worry about trecking it campus to get to class. Oh, and on the last day of class, you can go in and the profs will set up a meal for two of the students, for science.
14. CLAS 203 Greek Myth
This class is seriously like story time. As long as you go over the myths before the exams and can memorize the weird Greek names, you’ll do just fine. As for the in-class map quizzes, the online system they use has stopped working at some point during the semester for the last 2 years, so everyone just got an automatic 5%.
15. MATH 203 Principles of Statistics 1
With no calculus knowledge prereq, this is probably the easiest math class you’ll find at McGill. And if you do better on the final than the midterm, they’ll drop that grade all together and give you an 85% final weighting. You do have to watch out though because there’s quite a few restrictions on who can take it, probably because it’s so easy.
Photo Cred - Doug
16. Any Non-language EAST class
Especially the introduction to culture classes. The whole EAST department is pretty chill, so nothing is that difficult. If you can, take classes with Thomas Lamar, Jim Thomas or Rebecca Doran - you will not regret it.
17. PHYS 183 The Milky Way Inside and Out
If you know basic physics, this class is a joke. The majority of the course focuses on waves, light, and gravity - ya know, your usual forces.
18. SOCI 250 Social Problems
When the prof tells you what page the answers for the midterm and final will be on, you know it’s going to be good. Just make sure you take it with Jason Carmichael for optimal birdiness.
19. RELG 253 Religions of East Asia
This class has 3 midterms that are 11% each and 3 papers that are 22% each. The midterms are only based on 3-4 lectures so you really, it takes maybe a couple hours to study for them and do well.
Bonus: Any class for a language that you already know
McGill doesn’t do placement tests for any language except French, so if you already know one, and don’t mind feeling a bit guilty, then just sign up for one of the lower level classes.