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Registration for Independent (Special) Students

Students will need to present their supporting documents before being allowed to proceed with registration.

NOTE: If you are coming in person to client services, you are required to bring your original documents as well as clear, colour copies. The School will no longer make copies on behalf of students. Please consult, as per below, the legal document sections of our website to determine documents you will need for registration purposes.

Registration in Undergraduate Courses

If you wish to register for an undergraduate course as an independent (special) student you must:

  • be at least of 18 years of age (or have completed your CEGEP diploma – DCS, DEC)
  • meet the department’s language proficiency requirements
  • meet any other academic criteria that may apply, depending on course requirements
  • present all legal documents required by the School (for more information, see Legal Documents)

Registration in Graduate Courses                                                                                                                                           

Please note that a number of graduate courses are not available for independent (special) student registration, as they are program-specific and restricted to students in a program. 

If you wish to register for a graduate course as an independent (special) student, you must:

  • hold an undergraduate degree from a recognized university
  • meet the department’s language proficiency requirements
  • meet any other academic criteria that may apply, depending on course requirements
  • present all legal documents required by the School (for more information, see Legal Documents)

Students must present the following documents prior to registration as proof that they hold a university degree:

  • An official transcript confirming degree completion and the date the degree was awarded.  
  • If your degree has not yet been granted, a letter from the issuing university confirming the expected date of completion of the degree is required (if applicable).
  • If you hold a degree that was awarded outside of Canada and the transcript is not in English or French, you will be required to provide an official certified translation.
  • You may also need to present an “Évaluation comparative des études effectuées hors du Québec” (Comparative Evaluation for Studies done outside Quebec) from Immigration Quebec if you received your degree from an educational institution outside of Canada.

Note: Independent (special) students who wish to register for graduate-level courses for the first time at the School may need to consult an advisor prior to registration. If you hold a degree from a university outside of Canada, we strongly encourage you to apply online for the program of your choice prior to your registration appointment and upload all the required documents so that we can review your file. This will avoid long wait times and facilitate your registration. Once you have uploaded your documents, please call 514-398-6200 for registration information.

Note: For information regarding exemptions for mathematics or statistics, see Mathematics Requirements.


For more information on meeting with an advisor, see Advising Services.

Register In-Person

If you are an independent (special) student who has already taken a course at the School, you should register for courses online using Minerva. Current students and newly admitted students in a program also register online. For more information, see Registration.

New independent (special) students are required to register in person.

Only new independent (special) students who have never taken a course at the School and new part-time language students need to register in person.  Please contact Client Services for more information regarding in-person registration.

Registering for Part-Time Language Courses

New students registering for part-time English and French courses are required to take an Entrance Placement Test and register in person at the School. Information regarding a registration appointment will be provided to the student at the Test Centre when they write the test.

What Documents to Bring for In-Person Registration

When you come to the School for in-person registration, you must bring the following documents with you:

  • Legal documents to prove that you are a Quebec student, a Canadian student from another province or territory, or an international student. If you do not provide the required documents, you will not be permitted to register for courses. Please refer to Legal Documents for more detailed information.
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)
  • proof of satisfactory completion of prerequisite course(s), if you are registering for a course that has a prerequisite (Example: a transcript and course outline, etc.)
  • Any other transcript or document relevant to your registration

Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook

Independent (special) students are governed by the same academic regulations as other students.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook is required reading for all students at McGill. The handbook contains important regulations and policies you need to know as a student.