Outgoing Exchange Students
Considering an exchange term abroad during your undergraduate studies? It’s never too early to start planning!
Faculty of Engineering Info Session for Fall 2024 and Winter 2025 Exchanges
Learn about exchange opportunities in the Faculty of Engineering! We'll cover topics such as applications, nominations, transfer credits, and much more! Q&A period included.
To learn more about exchange and the application process for the 2024-2025 academic year, please attend the following event:
Faculty of Engineering Exchange Information Sessions:
Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
If you have accepted your nomination to go on exchange in Winter 2024 and need help with transfer credits please attend the following:
Faculty of Engineering Winter 2024 Transfer credit information session:
Friday, November 24, 2023, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
For the 2024-2025 academic year, there will be two separate application periods depending on when you want to start your exchange:
Fall 2024 (includes full year applications*)
December 5, 2023 – January 15, 2024
For more information please visit the McGill Study Abroad Website
McCall MacBain International Fellowships
The McCall MacBain International Fellowships aim to enable globally-minded young Canadians to develop strong intercultural competencies and ties to different regions of the world, and to cultivate creativity, resilience, independence, critical thinking and the ability to “stretch” outside of their comfort zones.
Think you can’t afford to go on exchange?
Undergraduate students who are approved for an eligible exchange semester abroad can apply to the Mobility Bursary for Exchanges Program (need-based bursary) through the Scholarships and Student Aid office. For more information, please visit the Scholarships and Student Aid website.
Before you make an application
AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY:
To be eligible to participate, you must:
- be currently registered as a full-time, degree-seeking McGill student
- have a minimum CGPA 3.00
- have completed at least one year of full-time study by the start of your term abroad (Year 0 students are not eligible.)
You can participate in an exchange for one or two terms.
Close to graduation?
If you are applying to go on exchange in your last term, you may be delaying your graduation by one term as the transcript from the host institution may not arrive in time for you to remain on the graduation list of the term you are on exchange. Please note that if all program requirements have already been completed in the term prior to the exchange, you will not be allowed to go on exchange and delay your graduation only to take extra course during your exchange term.
Where can I go on exchange?
- Review the full list of schools on the exchange website – note you can only chose schools that are coded as “General” or “Engineering”; it is important to do thorough research on the schools you are considering in terms of Accreditation Units (AU), programs/courses offered and language of study.
- Not all schools listed under “General” or “Engineering” offer the courses you need and may not meet our Accreditation requirement and therefore you may be required to take additional courses to satisfy the accreditation board requirements of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).
- It is VERY important to do some personal research on the different schools.
- Attend our information session in November
- Talk to your departmental advisors to determine the term which works best for your curriculum and to confirm which courses you are allowed to take on exchange.
- Review Student Experience Reports available at Explore McGill exchange partners (Select a host institution and look for “Student Reports” – Please note that these reports may not be available for all partner institutions yet.)
- Review previously approved courses in the Course Equivalency System - note that you will still need to get your courses officially approved by the department and faculty via the transfer credit form AFTER you have accepted the nomination – see more information below. Please also note that the Course Equivalency System is not a true representation of the available courses at the host institution. There may be many more available courses that have just not been evaluated in our system yet.
- Determine the language of instruction at the Host University
Funding, awards and scholarships for exchange
For each term you are on exchange you will be paying 15 McGill credits; regardless of how many courses you take.
To offset some study abroad costs, you may be eligible for financial assistance:
- Students are eligible to apply for government student assistance.
- Students may also apply to the Scholarships and Student Aid Office for further assistance.
- Holders of renewable scholarships and awards may retain their awards. Renewal of entrance awards will be contingent on performance at the Host Institution.
Awards and Scholarships:
- Mobility Bursary for Exchanges: For more information, please visit: https://www.mcgill.ca/studentaid/special-funding/mobility-exchanges
- The Killam Fellowships Program: Awards for study in the United States - For more information, please visit this website.
- Antje Graupe International Awards in Engineering: ($7,500 for one semester; renewable once for a second semester.) Established in 1999 by a generous gift from the late Werner Graupe and the Antje Graupe Pryor Foundation. Awarded by the Faculty of Engineering Scholarships Committee to second or third year Engineering students at McGill opting to study for one or two semesters at a university in the European Union, with preference given to students studying in Germany or France. For students who choose to study in Germany, further preference will be given to those studying at Technische Universität Berlin.
There is no separate application required. You will be automatically considered for it. For more information, please visit the Antje Graupe Pryor Award page.
- For all other funding options, please visit: www.mcgill.ca/mcgillabroad/goabroad/funding
Application Process - Important Dates and Deadlines
You can only submit one application which can include 4 University choices – there is a non-refundable fee that will be charged to your student account, please refer to McGill Abroad.Application: It is VERY important to do some personal research on the different schools.
- Fill out the application form on Minerva (Student Menu àStudent Records Menu àExchange Study Away Menu àRequest for Exchange)
- Select up to for 4 host institutions (Important: Do research on their programs and courses to make sure the selected universities are a good fit for you!)
- Add a tentative course selection. (Make sure the courses that you need to progress in your curriculum are offered in the term you would like to study abroad)
Decisions: There are 3 levels of decisions that will be made on MINERVA.
- The departmental level will review your school choices and proposed course list to assess if your choices are suitable – their decisions are made before February.
- The Faculty level will provide a second review to confirm the department’s decision in allowing you to participate in an exchange - decisions are made before February -The department and faculty are only approving the concept of you studying abroad- we do not approve which school nor term you will be selected for.
- FINAL APPROVAL AND NOMINATIONS: The Exchange office/Service Point will start the process of nominating students to a specific school destination and term – decisions will be sent from the exchange office in February through to April.
It is important to note that if you do not get nominated to any of your choices, you will be sent an alternative choice.
Accepting/declining nominations: The exchange office will usually allow for a week for students to make a final decision on their offer of nomination.
Following your decision you will be sent communication and instructions via email and also listed in the comments section on MINERVA. The Exchange office will email students with the host application instructions- for a student going away in Fall or full year will get an email anywhere between March and July. For those going for only Winter will hear from them between July and October. Please make sure to check your emails regularly.
Any questions you have about the Host application (please contact the exchange office/ Service Point) studentexchanges [at] mcgill.ca or book an appointment through the appointment booking tool.
3415 McTavish St. (corner Sherbrooke)
Montreal, Quebec | H3A 0C8
Steps after you accept your nomination
Once you have accepted your nomination it is important to follow these guidelines:
- Apply to Host University – instructions will be sent to your McGill email address – any questions about Host application, language proficiency, or additional required documents are to be asked at International Education Service Point 3415 McTavish St. Please use the Service Point Help Center if you have any questions or wish to book an appointment with them.
- Review the fact sheet of your host institution for more information about the institution, course registration process, cost of living, housing etc: Explore McGill exchange partners website
- Attend the pre-departure session you will be invited to. More information can be found at the Predeparture website.
- Review Student Experience reports for some tips about your exchange destination/institution. The reports are available on the Explore McGill exchange partners website (Select a host institution and look for “Student Reports” – Please note that these reports may not be available for all partner institutions yet.)
- Review the Safety Abroad website and FAQ.
- Complete the Mandatory McGill Student Travel Registry.
- Simultaneously while you are applying to the Host University you will be required to get all exchange courses evaluated and approved by the departments and faculty (MESC).** See departmental advising contact sheet under "IMPORTANT INFORMATION".
- Carefully review the following section + Steps to receive approval for transfer credits
- Keep in mind that you will be paying 15 McGill credits for your term abroad no matter how many transfer credits you are granted – please see funding opportunities.
Cancelling your exchange term
If you decide to cancel your exchange term, please submit a cancellation form to the Exchange Office. Once your exchange term has been removed from your record, you will be able to register for McGill courses at McGill. Kindly note that you will be eligible to apply for an exchange again.
If any of you are interested in sharing your email with other students please email us at exchange.engineering [at] mcgill.ca so we can get you in contact with other students that are going to the same university as you!
Steps to receive approval for transfer credits
- Please note that it is MANDATORY to have all exchange courses (even courses you are taking for your own interest) evaluated prior to your departure. Transfer credits for all courses have to reflect on the Minerva transcript even those that are considered extra courses which do not satisfy any program requirements. We will add a registration hold to the record in case exchange courses have not been evaluated by the time we receive your official transcript. Such hold will restrict you from adding/dropping courses and will only be removed once the transfer credits requests for the missing courses have been reviewed and approved. Please keep in mind that the transfer credit review process may take several weeks.
Transfer Credit Approval Process:
Before starting this approval process, it is recommended to check in with your departmental advisor to confirm the type of courses you are allowed to take on exchange. This may differ from the department to department. This will also help determine the courses you will need to register for in the terms before/after your exchange. You can find the departmental contacts on the Departmental Contacts List.
**Important information for ECSE and Bioengineering students only: Core courses, courses that are a mandatory part of the curriculum, must be taken at McGill. Please discuss with your departmental advisor if you have any questions.**
- Step One – Course Equivalency System (CES):
- A database of previously approved courses is available for review in the Course Equivalency System. Please note that this database is not a true representation of the courses offered at our partner universities. If you cannot find the courses you wish to take, you must submit a new course equivalency request in the CES. Note that all courses must be first approved in the CES in order to have them approved for transfer credit.
- If an equivalency decision has expired, you must request a ‘Reassessment’ on the system, which will require a new course syllabus.
- In order to successfully submit a CES request, you must upload a detailed course outline, which includes all lecture, lab, and tutorial hours, as well as the number of weeks the course is being taught. This information is required in order to calculate accreditation units (AUs). If this information is not available in the course outline you have found, you must upload supporting documents that include this information (i.e. an academic calendar that indicates the number of weeks in a term at the host university; an email from the host institution etc.). Please see more information about accreditation units in the next section “Additional Information about Accreditation Units (AU)”.
- Full instructions on how to use the CES can be found on the Course Equivalency System Website.
- IMPORTANT: Please submit evaluation requests well in advance since approvals may take some time. Please keep in mind that a decision of ‘equivalent’ in the Course Equivalency System does not mean that transfer credit approval has been granted. The Course Equivalency decision is the first step in obtaining transfer credit approval for your courses.
- Step Two – Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form (MTCAF):
- Once you have received all CES approvals, add your courses to the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form (MTCAF), which is linked directly to the CES. The MCTAF can be accessed on Minerva via this pathway: Student Menu - Student Records Menu – Exchange/Study Away Menu – Transfer Credit Assessment.
- It is always good to include a few courses that are back-up options, but please limit the number of courses you add to the MTCAF to 10 courses. If needed, you can get more courses approved at a later time.
- Once the Minerva form has been completed, please send an email to exchange.engineering [at] mcgill.ca as well as your department to confirm that you have completed the MTCAF.
- In this email, please include your name, ID number and the course outline(s) of all non-Engineering course(s) that you have added to the Minerva form. Please make sure that the course outline(s) include a clear breakdown of the course hours (lecture, tutorial hours, etc.) for the verification of AUs. The AUs for the Engineering courses should appear in the MTCAF (it is being pulled from the Course Equivalency System), for all other courses you need to provide the AU information/calculation.
- If you have any additional comments or information for us (e.g. approvals from a minor advisor), please include this information in the email.
- Once departmental and faculty approval have been given, you can no longer make changes to your form. So, if there are any issues or errors with a submitted form or you wish to get more courses approved, please email the exchange.engineering [at] mcgill.ca (Exchange Team at MESC) to have the form re-opened.
- Please also refer to the following overview of Required Course Approval Levels:
Course Equivalency Decision
Departmental Sign Off
Faculty Sign Off
Departmental required courses, technical complementary courses
Non-departmental required courses (Engineering courses)
Non-departmental required courses (non-Engineering courses)
General complementary courses
No, but may need sign off by minor advisor.
- Note that without the submission of a MTCAF you will not receive your transfer credits. Having courses listed as equivalent on the Course equivalency database is not sufficient to grant transfer credits. It is mandatory to complete the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form (MTCAF) before your departure so that your department/school and MESC can approve your course selection. The Course equivalency database is just a tool to identify the equivalency of a course; the MTCAF will be used to identify how you will use each course towards your degree.
- Once all completed documents have been submitted, it may take up to 6 weeks to process and receive the faculty decision on your transfer credit request.
- The Faculty of Engineering will review all courses for final approval. Please pay special attention to the comments in your MTCAF.
Additional information about Accreditation Units (AU):
- Students have to calculate accreditation units for courses they are planning on taking during their exchange term. The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) has strict requirements. All Engineering students in Canada have to complete a certain number of hours of Engineering courses. Students must complete a minimum of 225 AU of Engineering Design (ED) and a minimum of 600 hours of Engineering Design AU + Engineering Science at McGill.
- Accreditation Unit (AU) Calculation Formula:
AU = [# lecture hours × # semester weeks] + [(# lab+tutorial hours ÷2) × # semester weeks]
- The following is a general guideline only:
- Many departmental courses are approximately 45.5 – 52 AU (for some courses even higher!)
- Technical Complementary (TC) courses are usually 39 AUs (Note that TCs from the ECSE department are 45.5 AUs)
- Complementary Studies (Impact & HSSML) are 39 AUs
- Important: Any AU shortfalls must be made up by an extra exchange course in the same category, or by an extra course here at McGill. In certain cases, shortfalls may also be made up by surplus AUs from an approved TC course. Please pay special attention to the comments in your MTCAF.
- Accreditation Unit (AU) Calculation Formula:
Transfer Credit Policy:
- If you are completing a B.Eng. or B.S.E. degree, half of your program must be completed at McGill. The number of transfer credits granted can therefore not exceed 50% of the total credits for your program. Note that the total credits for your program includes those associated with the Required Year 0 (Freshman) courses.
- If you are completing the B.Sc. (Arch.) degree, the number of transfer credits granted will be limited to ensure that you complete a minimum of 60 credits of courses at McGill taken to satisfy your degree requirements, excluding those taken to satisfy the Required Year 0 (Freshman) courses listed in your program.
- Transfer students who have received a number of transfer credits for Engineering courses already, may be required to take an extra course at McGill.
- Minor courses: Up to 6 credits of courses taken toward a minor can be taken outside McGill, provided that the course is being used only toward the minor or is being used toward both the minor and the Complementary Studies / Elective requirement.
- Exchange courses are not pass/fail but rather credit/non-credit. All courses taken at the host institution will be reflected on the McGill transcript including failed courses.
- Once we receive and review official transcripts from your host institution, the appropriate McGill transfer credits can be viewed on your unofficial transcript in Minerva.
- Students who participate in a formal university exchange shall be eligible to transfer earned credits back to McGill if the grade earned for each course is a C or higher. The policy shall apply to both elective and required courses. Please note that sometimes the grading system can be very different from ours. 55% at the host institution may not be acceptable if it is considered to be equivalent to a D grade here at McGill. Grades of C- or less, Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) are not acceptable. The letter grade earned takes precedence over the corresponding numerical grades if both are indicated on the transcript. Please refer to the International credentials and grade equivalencies website as a reference. For more detail please contact the exchange.engineering [at] mcgill.ca (McGill Engineering Student Centre) (FDA 22).
- When in doubt as to whether your grades are eligible for transfer credit, please contact MESC. Do not rely on the minimum passing grade at the host institution.
Steps during your exchange term or after your return
- Did you change your course schedule because courses were conflicting or full once you arrived at the host institution? Please make sure to add these courses to your MTCAF as soon as possible to get the approval for courses that have not been evaluated prior to your departure. It is MANDATORY that all courses taken on exchange be evaluated as transfer credits for all courses have to be reflected on the Minerva transcript even if those are considered extra courses which do not satisfy any program requirements. We will add a registration hold to the record in case exchange courses have not been evaluated by the time we receive your official transcript. Such hold will restrict you from adding/dropping courses and will only be removed once the transfer credits requests for the missing courses have been reviewed and approved. Please keep in mind that the transfer credit review process may take several weeks.
- Register for courses at McGill for the next term.
- Submit an Experience Report.
- Ensure with your Host University that they have sent an official copy of your transcript to the Exchange office/ Service Point.
- Did you take some pictures during your exchange term? Show us what you’ve done and where you’ve been! Enter the McGill Engineering Photo Contest and share your pictures for the chance to win great prizes. Please find more information here.
Pre-Departure Transfer Credit Information Session
Pre-Departure Transfer Credit Information Session slides
WARNING: Some information on the presentations and/or PDF documents may be outdated – please always consult with an advisor when deciding on studying abroad.
E-mail us at exchange.engineering [at] mcgill.ca