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Visiting, Exchange and Special Students

Welcome! Every year, McGill University accepts many graduate students from other institutions within Canada, and around the world who choose to study or perform research at McGill.

What kind of student are you?

There are several scenarios for those coming to McGill as visitors:

  1. If you are registered in a graduate degree program at another university in Canada and would like to take courses at McGill, you can apply as a Visiting Student.
  2. If you are registered in a graduate degree program at another university outside of Canada, and wish to pursue graduate studies at McGill, you can apply as an Exchange Student.
  3. If you are registered in a graduate degree program at another university and would like to perform research at McGill, you can apply as a Graduate Research Trainee.
  4. If you would like to take graduate-level courses, without the intention of obtaining a degree or diploma, you may apply as a Special Student.

Visiting students

Visiting Students can take courses at McGill University for credit towards a degree program at another university. To become a Visiting Student, you must obtain written permission from your university.

If you are studying at another university in Quebec, and would like to become a Visiting Student at McGill, you are eligible for a transfer of credit. However, you are only eligible for a transfer of credit if the required permission is obtained on Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) forms. These forms are available on the Transfer Credits and Advanced Standing webpage.

Graduate research trainees

If you are enrolled in a graduate program at another university and would like to attend McGill for a limited period of time (up to 12 months*) to conduct research only, you must apply as a Graduate Research Trainee.

Learn more about becoming a graduate research trainee.

Exchange students

Each year, we welcome numerous Exchange Students to graduate studies at McGill. As an exchange student, you will be able to share your wealth of knowledge and experience with other top students from Canada and throughout the world. Your peers and our internationally recognized professors will enrich what you learn in the classroom and the laboratory.

How to become an exchange student

If you would like to come to McGill on exchange, you should first contact the International Studies or Study Abroad Office at your home university. They will be able to answer your questions, and determine your eligibility for exchange to McGill. They will also provide you with pertinent information such as application requirements.

We work with several exchange partner universities throughout Canada and the World. Contact your home university to inquire if there is an exchange partnership with McGill. Please note that we only review exchange applications that are formally submitted by the exchange coordinators of our exchange partner universities.

If your home university does not have an exchange agreement with McGill, you may want to apply as a Visiting Student.

Special students

As a Special Student you can take one, or two at most, graduate-level courses per term (6 credits), without the intention of obtaining a graduate degree or diploma. Special Students, like all graduate applicants, must meet the minimum graduate-level entrance requirements. The deadline to apply as a Special Student varies depending on the academic unit (department, school or institute) concerned. Not all units offer Special Student admission. Please refer to program page to determine the Special Student deadline.

Special students:

  • may not continue as Special Students after the completion of a maximum of 12 credits
  • must apply and pay the application fee every academic year (i.e. for the Fall term)
  • may receive academic credit for relevant graduate courses taken as Special Students, if they choose to obtain a graduate degree or diploma
  • who wish to take undergraduate courses only (500 level or lower) must apply as a Special Student in the undergraduate faculty concerned, even if they already hold a degree

Visit the calendar for more information on Visiting, Exchange and Special Students

If you have questions or require additional information e-mail Graduate Admissions .

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