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Coming to McGill on Exchange

Request Exchange


  • You must be registered in a degree program at a university that has an official exchange agreement with McGill.
  • Architecture, Education, Law, Music, Management and Nursing students (applicants to the School of Nursing must be from a U21 partner) must already be registered in the same degree program in their home university as they will enter as an exchange student at McGill.
  • You must be nominated by your home university to participate in the exchange.

This guide does not apply to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, which does not participate in the university exchange agreements. Rather, the MBA program has established a number of its own exchanges: www.mcgill.ca/desautels/programs/mba/academics/curriculum/experiential/exchange/going

The academic year: Most faculties allow students who are coming for only one term to start in either the Fall term or the Winter term. However, the Schulich School of Music strongly recommends that exchange students start in the Fall term (September).

Deadline to apply:

  • Undergraduate studies:
    • Fall only or full year sessions - April 15, 2014
    • Winter only - September 15, 2014
  • Graduate studies: please refer to the deadlines by program at: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/programs

Session Dates:

Available at www.mcgill.ca/importantdates/key-dates

Apply to McGill

Students nominated by their home institution must apply to McGill University using our online application (application fee is waived). Nomination to the exchange program is not a guarantee of acceptance by McGill - minimum admission standards will apply.

Proof of English language proficiency

The following is required ONLY if the student's home university’s primary language of instruction is NOT English

Applying Online

Undergraduate studies:

  • Apply online at: www.mcgill.ca/applying/how/online and click “Apply Now”.
  • On the Program Choice Selection page:
    • Select the appropriate faculty
    • Select “Exchange” for both the Program and Major or Subject fields
  • A notice acknowledging receipt of the application to McGill will be sent to the student by email. This notice will contain a McGill identification number and PIN, which students should use to log onto Minerva (www.mcgill.ca/minerva), McGill's self-service web-based administrative system
  • Application status can be tracked in Minerva by selecting the Applicant Menu > View Application Status
  • Upload the required supporting documents - do not mail hard copies or email as attachments:
    • Copy of recent transcript - include ALL pages
    • Copy of letter of nomination
    • Copy of letter from a school official confirming proof of English proficiency (i.e. faculty advisor/English professor etc.)– upload along with your letter of nomination (graduate applicants - arrange for test scores to be sent directly to McGill
  • Decision: Once a decision is rendered, student will be prompted to accept their offer of admission. The official decision letter will generated and available for download and printing via Minerva. Note: hard copies are no longer mailed.

Graduate Studies: refer to the instructions and guidelines at: http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

Register for courses

Students can register for courses in Minerva soon after they have accepted the offer of admission (~ 2-3 business days). A full-time course load at McGill is considered as 12-15 credits per term.

McGill's course calendar is available online at http://www.mcgill.ca/study/, and includes a full description of courses available and university regulations which will govern your stay at McGill.

The courses listed on your exchange application serve only as a guide when evaluating the application for admission. Most courses have limited enrolment, and course access and registration to any given course is not guaranteed, but is subject to availability, and may be subject to the approval of a McGill adviser.

It is your responsibility to ensure:

  • To register for courses in Minerva for each term you will be here on exchange
  • You have the required prerequisites for courses
  • Some faculties require manual registration, refer to their websites for further information :

Successful completion of courses does not guarantee entrance into a future degree program at McGill. It is understood that limited enrolment, normal timetabling and scheduling constraints apply to all students, including exchange students.

The following courses, among others, are not open to exchange students: •courses offered at McGill University by some professional faculties that are restricted to degree candidates in their programs; •research project courses and thesis courses; •special topics courses; •courses in the Centre for Continuing Education.

    Need to know


    On-campus housing: while priority is given to first-year degree students, some places may be available for exchange students -

    • Fall session or full-year: Indicate “Yes” under “Residence Accommodation” section in the online application.
    • Winter session: student must verify available space by emailing housing [dot] residences [at] mcgill [dot] ca

    Off-campus housing: www.mcgill.ca/students/housing/offcampus


    Incoming students on formal exchanges are exempt from regular tuition charges and compulsory per term charges. They are, however, required to pay International Health Insurance as well as any additional course charges that are compulsory upon registration. Such additional course charges may represent special activity charges, course materials or fees for non-credit courses. Students may also incur Campus Printing charges, which are charged to the fee account on a monthly basis and represent pay for use of printers on campus. Information on McGill’s e-billing and how to pay is available at: www.mcgill.ca/student-accounts/your-account

    International Health Insurance (compulsory)

    Information on the compulsory McGill University international student health insurance plan is available at: http://www.mcgill.ca/internationalstudents/health. Students from certain countries may qualify for an exemption from this compulsory health plan. Follow the information on the website to register or request an exemption.

    Immigration Requirements

    • Year-long (2 terms): you must obtain a Certificate of Acceptance from Immigration Quebec and a Study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    • One term only: you must have a valid passport. Students from certain countries must obtain a Temporary resident visa

    Consult: www.mcgill.ca/internationalstudents/immigration-documents/documents for complete details.

    Transcript of your grades

    McGill transcripts shows only letter grades (not numeric grades). A description of the grading system is available at: www.mcgill.ca/students/records/transcripts/key (this information also appears on the reverse side of an official transcript )

    An official transcript is mailed to your home university in February (Fall exchanges) or June (Full year/Winter exchanges), provided a HOLD does not exist on your record – students should ensure to clear any fees outstanding such as library fines and ensure to provide required immigration documentation

    Orientation Events

    Orientation for new students is to help prepare for McGill’s academic and social life and provide information about the University and its services, living in Montreal, registration and program orientation.

    • Fall term or year-long: the last week of August.
    • Winter term only: first week of January

    Event dates and details are found at: www.mcgill.ca/newstudents/