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Independent (Special) Students

What is an independent (special) student? A student wishing to register for courses without being admitted to a program may register as an "independent (special) student" and take a limited number of individual courses, provided the student has the necessary academic prerequisites. Students who have applied to a program but are awaiting their admission letter may also register as an independent (special) student in the interim, provided they meet the admission requirements of the program.

For information on registering, see Registration for Independent (Special) Students.

  • Independent (special) students can take regular credit courses but are not recognized as working towards a certificate, graduate certificate or diploma. No certificates, graduate certificates or diplomas are issued for independent studies.
  • Registering for a course(s) as an independent (special) student does not imply automatic acceptance to a program. Students must meet admission requirements to be admitted to a program.
  • Independent (special) students who plan on using courses towards certificate or diploma programs are required to apply for admission before completing four courses. For graduate certificate programs, students are required to apply for admission to the program before completing two course(s).
  • Courses completed as an independent (special) student prior to admission to a program will be considered when reviewing a student’s application. However, the School of Continuing Studies is under no obligation to recognize credits earned by independent (special) students towards the completion of a certificate, graduate certificate or diploma.

If you are interested in being admitted to a program but have missed the application deadline, you may be able to register as an independent (special) student. We strongly recommend that you then apply online to the program of your choice and submit all supporting documents before the next application deadline. For more information and deadlines, see Apply.