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If you would like to register for courses without being admitted to a program, you may register as an independent (special) student. As an independent student, you may take a limited number of courses, providing you meet admission requirements.
If you have applied to a program but have not yet received your acceptance letter, you may also register as an independent student in the interim, if you meet the admission requirements for that program.
As an independent (special) student, you can take regular credit or non-credit courses, but they will not count towards a certificate, graduate certificate or diploma. No certificates or diplomas are issued to independent students.
When you register for a course, it does not mean that you are automatically accepted to the program. To be admitted, you must first meet all admission requirements.
If you plan to use courses towards a certificate or diploma, you must apply for admission into the program before completing four (4) courses. For graduate certificate programs, you must apply before completing two (2) courses.
Course(s) completed as an independent (special) student prior to admission to a program will be considered when reviewing your application. However, the School of Continuing Studies is not obligated to recognize these credits.
If you want to be admitted to a program but missed the deadline, you may be able to register as an independent (special) student. We strongly recommend you then apply online to the program of your choice and submit all required documents before the next application deadline.
University Policies and Regulations for Independent Students
Independent (special) students are governed by the same academic regulations as other students.
The University Policies and Regulations includes important information on academic integrity that every McGill student is required to read.