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Categories of Students

Categories of Students

Students must inform themselves of University rules and regulations and keep abreast of any changes that may occur. The Categories of Students section of this publication contains important details required by students during their studies at McGill and should be periodically consulted, along with other sections and related publications.

Full-Time Students

Full-Time Students

Full-time students are students with a registration status of full-time and paying full-time fees. Full-time master's, diploma, and certificate candidates must show a minimum of 12 credits per term on their record.

Half-Time Students (Thesis Programs)

Half-Time Students (Thesis Programs)

In some departments, students are permitted to proceed toward a degree on a half-time basis, i.e., students are permitted to register half-time instead of full-time during sessions of residence.

It is expected that half-time students will spend 50% of their time in the department participating in coursework, seminars, discussions, etc., with staff and full-time students. Half-time students are reminded that they must complete the degree within the time limitation imposed by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and that if they choose to be half-time they must: a) be so for an even number of half-time terms (i.e., two half-time terms equal one full-time term) and b) fulfil the minimum residence requirement in their program.

Part-Time Students

Part-Time Students

Certain degree programs can be followed on a part-time basis (e.g., M.Ed., M.Eng. Non-Thesis option, M.B.A., M.S.W. Non-Thesis option, and S.T.M.). Students in non-thesis programs (including the C.A. program) as well as Special, Visiting and Qualifying, Certificate and Diploma students, not taking at least 12 credits per term, are considered to be part-time. Students may, in some departments, proceed toward the degree on a part-time basis.

Part-time students are reminded that they must complete the degree within the time limitation imposed by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

In cases of part-time and transfer students, all coursework might not be completed during the residency. It must therefore be completed during one or more additional terms (Non-Thesis Extension). Fees are charged accordingly.

Additional Session (Thesis Programs) and Non-Thesis Extension (Non-Thesis Programs) Students

Additional Session (Thesis Programs) and Non-Thesis Extension (Non-Thesis Programs) Students

Students in Additional Session or Non-Thesis Extension are students with a registration status of Additional Session (thesis programs) or Non-Thesis Extension (non-thesis programs) and paying fees accordingly. The following are such students:

  1. Graduate students who have completed the residency requirements in a master’s program.
  2. Graduate students who have completed 8 full-time semesters in a doctoral program (when admitted to Ph.D. 1).
  3. Graduate students who have completed 6 full-time semesters in a doctoral program (when admitted to Ph.D. 2).

In the doctoral program, students must be registered on a full-time basis for one more year after completion of the residency (i.e., Ph.D. 4 year) before continuing as Additional Session students until completion of the program. It is expected that, at this stage, all the coursework and comprehensive examinations will have been completed and the student will be engaged in thesis preparation.

Graduate students in non-thesis programs, graduate diplomas and certificates who have registered for all required courses but have not completed the work and/or have completed the residency requirements must register as Non-Thesis Extension students and pay fees accordingly. For example, a student who has registered for a last course such as a project but has not completed it, must register as Non-Thesis Extension status until graduation. Students in a Non-Thesis Extension session who are not registered for at least 12 credits per term, are not considered engaged in full-time studies.

Thesis Evaluation Students

Thesis Evaluation Students

Students who have completed the residency requirements for their graduate thesis program and who have submitted their initial thesis to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the April 15, August 15, or December 15 initial thesis submission deadlines will automatically be registered in "Thesis Evaluation" once they have registered on Minerva. All students are required to stay registered and pay the associated fees up until the term of graduation. The registration status will be updated to "Thesis Evaluation" for all subsequent terms until the term of the final e-thesis submission. Students in thesis programs whose initial thesis and final e-thesis submissions are in the same term will not require a "Thesis Evaluation" status.

"Thesis Evaluation" students are considered:

  • to be registered at the University in a full-time status;
  • to be eligible for University services;
  • to be eligible for funding;
  • to be eligible for a T2202 tax slip crediting the months for which they are registered and any ancillary fees charged.

If you are in "Thesis Evaluation" status, you are not permitted to register for courses. Students who still need to take courses to fulfill the program requirements after submitting their initial e-thesis will remain registered in additional session status and pay associated fees.

Qualifying Students

Qualifying Students

Students admitted to a Qualifying program are known as Qualifying Students for a Master’s.They must meet the application and admission requirements indicated by the chosen graduate department and the Graduate Admissions Unit of Enrolment Services. The courses taken during a Qualifying year will not be credited toward a degree program. Students are registered in graduate studies but have not yet been admitted to a degree program. These students take a full load (12 credits minimum) per semester of undergraduate courses as specified by the department. Only one Qualifying year is permitted.

Special Students

Special Students

Students who meet the minimum entrance requirements of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and wish to take one, or at most two, graduate-level courses per term (6 credits) without intention of proceeding to a degree or diploma are termed Special Students. After completion of a maximum of 12 credits, an applicant may not continue as a Special Student.

If graduate Special Students subsequently become candidates for higher degrees, they may receive academic credit for relevant graduate courses taken as Special Students. They must apply every year.

Students who wish to take undergraduate courses only must apply as Special Students in the undergraduate faculty concerned, even if they already hold degrees.

Visiting Students

Visiting Students

Visiting Students are those students who are registered in a degree program at another university and who have obtained written permission from both universities to take a course(s) for credit toward that degree program. Students studying in the province of Quebec who are in this category are eligible for a transfer of credit if the required permission is obtained on Quebec Inter-University Transfer forms. These forms are available online at www.mcgill.ca/students/iut. McGill students registering for courses required for their degree program at other Quebec universities are required to pay for the course(s) at the home university. McGill University and Université de Montréal participate in an exchange (graduate) with the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

As a rule, graduate students should not register for courses through Inter-University Transfers (IUT) during the last semester before graduation. There are considerable delays in receiving official transcripts which delay the degree audit process and graduation. If special departmental permission is given for such a course to be taken in the last semester, there will be no extension given for the grade submission deadline.

Graduate Research Trainee

Graduate Research Trainee

Eligibility

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. Research trainees are not permitted to register for courses. This category of registration is for students registered in graduate programs in other universities to conduct PART of their thesis research at McGill under the supervision of a McGill professor. The purpose of the training period at McGill must be described. Acceptable reasons include: the student is engaged in collaborative projects between professor(s) at McGill and the student's sponsoring institution; the student wishes to take advantage of specific expertise, academic resources, or technical capabilities at McGill to enhance the thesis research being conducted at the sponsoring institution; the student is spending a stage at McGill under a specific Memorandum of Understanding between McGill and the sponsoring institution; the student's thesis supervisor has relocated to McGill, but the student remains registered at the former institution to complete his/her graduate degree. The category of Graduate Research Trainee cannot be used to conduct the majority of thesis research at McGill under the supervision of a McGill professor.

* Extensions beyond 12 months are not granted.

Conditions

Students applying to be a Graduate Research Trainee:

  • must be registered in a graduate degree program at another university;
  • must have permission from the sponsoring institution and include a letter of permission with the application;
  • must have the approval of a McGill professor and graduate program to supervise the research;
  • may apply for a start date throughout the academic year, but for administrative reasons, must reapply at the beginning of the formal academic year (for Fall term admission) if remaining at McGill; for example, if you begin a 12-month visit in January, you must reapply for the Fall term (September). A trainee may spend up to a maximum of 12 months at McGill, but the time does not have to be consecutive. The trainee can apply for multiple stages over a period of time that does not exceed 12 months.
  • must include copies of transcripts as part of the application package;
  • must demonstrate adequate proficiency in English to function in the University environment, including any required safety training and understanding of policies and procedures. Assessment of written and verbal language skills is the responsibility of the supervising professor;
  • are not charged fees for any term of registration including Summer;
  • are not charged any Student Services or Ancillary fees and thus do not have access to these services (including health insurance). Membership to athletics services may be purchased. Graduate Research Trainees do have access to McGill libraries, email, and required training in research ethics and safety;
  • must arrange for basic health insurance coverage prior to arrival at McGill and may be required to provide proof of coverage.

To submit an application refer to: www.mcgill.ca/gps/students/graduate-research-trainee.

Non-Resident Status

Non-Resident Status

Departments may permit or require candidates to spend one session at another institution; it is understood that this session must be one of full-time work, and that the institution selected must be able to provide expert supervision and facilities for research appropriate to the candidate, in the field selected.

Permission to spend a required year of residence at another university must be obtained before the beginning of the session in which the student will be absent. A program of the work projected and particulars of the institution selected must be sent, accompanied by a letter from the Chair of the department, to Enrolment Services for approval. Permission is only granted to students who have already completed one full-time term at McGill.

The student will be required to register and pay the normal full-time McGill tuition fee less any tuition fee payable to the host institution. Other student-related fees are not levied and the ID card is not validated.

Students participating in a formal exchange program must register and pay full-time tuition including other student-related fees. The ID card is not validated.

Leave of Absence Status

Leave of Absence Status

Graduate and Postdoc Leave of Absence Policy

A leave of absence may be granted for reasons such as:

  • maternity or parenting
  • personal or family health
  • professional development (graduate students only)
  • required military service (graduate students only)
  • employment that precludes progress towards the degree (graduate students only)

A leave must be requested on a term by term basis and may be granted for a period of up to 52 weeks.

Students and postdocs must submit a request, by completing the appropriate web form, to their department along with supporting documentation justifying the leave. The department shall forward the request for approval to Enrolment Services, Management of Academic Records.

A status of “leave of absence” will display on the records of students and postdocs during the specified period of the authorized leave.

It remains the student's responsibility to verify his/her record; in particular, as it pertains to term and course registration to ensure that the accurate information is reflected.

During a leave of absence for parental or familial reasons, a student will not be eligible to take courses but he/she may request and expect guidance on thesis and research work. Students and postdocs will have free access to the University's academic facilities. Library services will continue to be available by registering at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (McLennan-Redpath).

During a leave of absence for personal health reasons, a student will not be eligible to request guidance on thesis and research work or to take courses. Students and postdocs will not have access to the University's academic facilities but library services will normally continue to be available by registering at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (McLennan-Redpath).

NOTES:
  • Requests for a leave of absence due to health, familial, or parental reasons must be supported by a medical certificate.
  • A request for leave without proper justification and supporting documents will not be considered.
  • A request for retroactive leave of absence will not be considered.
  • No tuition fees will be charged for the duration of the authorized leave.
  • Research supervisors are not obligated to remunerate students and postdocs on leave.
  • In order to be covered by the graduate supplemental health insurance and/or international health insurance during a leave, The Post Graduate Student Society (PGSS) and/or International Student Services must be contacted to make arrangements. Additional student society fees must be paid in order to be considered as a member and to be eligible for the insurance plans. For information about the PGSS supplemental health and dental coverage, click here. For information about international health insurance, click here.
  • A postdoc requesting a personal health or parental leave will extend his/her five-year eligibility term for registration. If granted, the leave must not exceed an eligibility window of 10 years from the date the Ph.D. degree was awarded.
  • If you would like to request confidentiality of your medical condition, you may contact the Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for advice before submitting your request for leave.

Leave vs. Residency Requirements:

A leave in a residency term may be requested; however, upon return and re-registration in the program, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that the missing residency requirements are completed. A leave indicates a break in the program.

For more information on residency requirements refer to the program requirements in the eCalendar.

Applying to Graduate Following a Leave:

If on leave of absence during the Fall term, the student must register for an active term of study in the Winter term (at least) in order to apply for graduation.

If on leave of absence during the Winter and/or Summer terms, the student must register for an active term of study in the Fall term (at least) in order to apply for graduation.

Funding Council Leave Policies for Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowships:

A summary table of various leave policies (paid or unpaid) for students and postdocs paid from the Federal and Quebec Councils through fellowships or research grants is available at: www.mcgill.ca/gps/funding/students-postdocs/accepting-maintaining-awards#poli; see information on the “Funding Council Leave Policies for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.”

Procedure:

To submit a request for leave to the department, the student or postdoc must:

  • complete the Request for a Leave web form available at: www.mcgill.ca/students/records/forms; and
  • submit the necessary supporting documents (e.g., a medical certificate, proof of employment, proof of mandatory military service) to the graduate department.

Once the department has received and reviewed the request and supporting documents, if the request is justified, a recommendation for approval will be sent via email to Enrolment Services, Management of Academic Records.

The student or postdoc will be notified once his/her record has been updated to indicate the leave.

NOTES:
  • A medical certificate must contain at least the following items:
    • the student or postdoc's name, as well as complete contact information for the physician;
    • a clear statement by the physician justifying the student or postdoc's inability to perform his/her academic duties, with start and end dates;
    • if the request is submitted during a term for which the leave is requested, a clear explanation as to why the health condition(s) in question did not prevent the normal performance of academic duties at the beginning of the term.
  • Requests without supporting documentation will not be considered.

Medical Residents

Medical Residents

Residents and fellows on staff of teaching hospitals associated with the University are included in Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies statistics. In the event that residents and fellows wish to take courses at the graduate level, they must apply for admission to be Special Students or for admission to a degree program, a graduate diploma, or certificate.

McGill Staff as Graduate Students

McGill Staff as Graduate Students

Members of the teaching staff of the University up to and including the rank of lecturer may enrol as candidates for a degree, diploma or certificate. If their teaching duties are designated as full-time, they may only enrol as half-time students.

Professorial members of the academic staff may not enrol in graduate degree and diploma programs. This rule shall apply also to any persons who have been on the professorial staff within the previous 12 months, unless they resign completely from their positions at McGill.

Should persons registered in graduate studies be promoted to professorial rank, they may no longer remain graduate students, unless they resign or are granted a leave of absence from their professorial appointments.

In certain exceptional cases, professorial members of the academic staff may apply to a graduate program in academic units other than their own. Enrolment Services may grant permission if it is satisfied that the applicant's teaching unit and proposed unit for graduate study are sufficiently remote that conflict of interest situations will not arise. Permission must be granted before any courses are taken toward the proposed degree.

Quebec Inter-University Transfer Agreement: McGill Students

Quebec Inter-University Transfer Agreement: McGill Students

The Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) agreement permits concurrent registration at McGill and another Quebec institution.

If you are a regular McGill undergraduate or graduate degree, diploma, or certificate student, you may register, with your faculty's permission, at any Quebec university for three, or in some cases six, credits per term in addition to your registration at McGill. You may also obtain permission to complete a full term (i.e., 12 to 15 credits) at another Quebec university. These courses, subject to faculty regulations, will be recognized by McGill for the degree that you are registered for, up to the limit imposed by the residency requirements of the program. Normally, you must complete a minimum residency requirement of 60 credits at McGill in order to qualify for a McGill degree (you should check with your faculty). This privilege will be granted if there are valid academic reasons.

If you want to take advantage of this agreement, consult your Student Affairs Office for details. Note that this agreement is subject to the following conditions:

  • The Quebec universities concerned may, at their discretion, refuse the registration of a student for any of their courses.
  • You must complete your faculty and program requirements.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that the McGill Class Schedule permits you to take these courses without conflict.
  • The Quebec universities concerned are not responsible for special arrangements in cases of examination or class schedule conflicts.
  • Grades earned at the host university will not be included in your McGill grade point averages (GPA) or show on your McGill transcripts.
  • If you are attending McGill as an Exchange student from outside Quebec, you are not eligible to take courses at another Quebec institution through the IUT agreement.
  • Any grades received late from host universities may delay your graduation.

If you are a scholarship holder, you should consult with your Student Affairs Office and the scholarships coordinator concerning eligibility for continuation or renewal of your award(s).

You must initiate an online Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) application to request the required authorizations at www.mcgill.ca/students/iut. You may find additional information posted on your faculty website.

Note: Once the Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) application is approved by both the home and host universities, you must register in the course that was approved. The method of registration of the host university will vary (e.g., web, in-person, phone, etc.). You must allow sufficient time to complete and submit your electronic application, because you are responsible for adhering to all the host university's registration deadlines. If you decide later to drop or withdraw from the approved course(s), you will need to drop or withdraw from the course using the host university's registration method AND submit this change on the online Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) application.

The host institution will automatically submit your grades to McGill for any completed courses.

Note for the Faculties of Arts and Science (including B.A. & Sc.): If you participate in any type of study away or exchange (including Quebec Inter-University Transfer) during your final (U3) term—even if you are taking only one course outside of McGill—you will not be able to graduate by the end of this final term and must change your graduation to the following term.

Quebec Inter-University Transfer Agreement: Visiting IUT Students

Quebec Inter-University Transfer Agreement: Visiting IUT Students

The Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) agreement permits concurrent registration at McGill and another Quebec institution.

If you are a student at another Quebec university and you want to take courses at McGill using the Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) agreement, you must initiate an online application to request the required authorizations at www.mcgill.ca/students/iut. You should also refer to your home university website for regulations on the number of credits allowed, as well as the policies for transferring the credits.

Note: Once the Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) application is approved by both the home and host universities, you remain responsible for registering in the course that was approved. At McGill, you have to register on Minerva (www.mcgill.ca/minerva). You will be informed via email of the necessary registration steps once your application has been approved. You must allow sufficient time to complete and submit your electronic application, because you are responsible for adhering to all McGill's registration deadlines. If you decide later to drop or withdraw from the approved course(s), you will need to drop or withdraw from the course on Minerva AND submit this change on the online Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT) application.
Note for Engineering: Courses administered by the Faculty of Engineering that are offered in the Summer term are open only to McGill students.
Note for Continuing Studies: If you are a Visiting IUT Student and your application has been approved, you must register in-person, by appointment only (see the eCalendar under University Regulations and Resources > Continuing Studies > Registration for Continuing Studies Students > Other Ways to Register > In-Person Registration).

McGill will automatically submit your grades for any completed courses to your home university.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014) (disclaimer)