Study Away

Study Away

Please note that in person or online Independent Study Away is canceled for the Summer 2021 term. Therefore, students are not allowed to take in person or online courses in the summer term either internationally or in Canada outside of Quebec. Please check the McGill Coronavirus FAQ and the McGill Abroad page for updates. Exemptions may be considered in cases where courses are time sensitive or critical for the student in order to graduate; please contact [at] if this is your situation. The Inter-University Transfer (IUT) program for courses at Quebec universities is still permitted.

Study Away at a Quebec university

Students who wish to take a course at a Quebec University, must complete an application for Inter-University Transfer (IUT)

Study Away at a university outside Quebec

Students who wish to take courses outside Quebec must apply to Study Away on Minerva. Students may create up to three Study Away applications for a given term. Engineering students (B.Eng. and B.S.E.) can only apply to study away during the Summer semester. B.Sc. (Architecture) students can apply to study away in the Fall, Winter or Summer semester.

Questions regarding Study Away may be addressed at the MESC (McGill Engineering Student Centre) at FDA 22 or by email to [at]

Application Periods

Summer Term February 1 - August 15
Fall Term (Architecture Students only) February 1 - September 1
Winter Term (Architecture Students only) February 1 - December 1

Students must ensure that they submit their request, before they leave, both in Minerva and by submitting the Exchange/Study Away Transfer Credit Form.

Study Away Information

With permission, B.Eng./B.S.E. students may take the following courses outside McGill:

  • Freshman (Year 0) courses
  • Complementary Studies courses (Impact of Technology (Group A) or Humanities and Social Sciences, Management Studies and Law courses (Group B))
  • Mechanical Engineering Elective courses (for students from a CEGEP background)
  • Computer or Software Engineering Natural Science Complementary Courses (for students from a CEGEP background)
  • 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.

Please consult the McGill Course Equivalency System for course equivalencies at other institutions. Complementary Studies and Mechanical Engineering Elective courses do not require evaluation by the department unless direct course mapping is required (i.e., where the course satisfies a Minor requirement, students should have the course evaluated and approved by the appropriate department). Computer or Software Engineering Natural Science Complementary Courses must be evaluated by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. See below for Freshman (Year 0 courses).

Architecture students:  The permission of the School of Architecture is required to take Freshman (Year 0) courses, required courses, as well as architectural complementaries and outside electives, in a Study Away semester. Students interested in undertaking a Study Away term must have their plans approved by the mary.lanni [at] (Architecture Student Advisor) before committing to any program or course. Permission may be granted only after a review of documentation that includes course lists with the host university’s course descriptions and syllabi.

Eligibility: Students must be in Satisfactory Standing.

Application Process

  1.  Review the Study Away Application Guide [pdf] for step-by-step instructions.
  2.  Research Summer course offerings at the host institution(s).
  3.  Obtain detailed course outline(s), including class schedule (or number of lecture hours).
  4.  Verify the Course Equivalency System for course equivalencies. If the course cannot be found in the System, a new evaluation request must be submitted.
  5.  Complete the Exchange / Study Away Request for Transfer Credit form, include course outlines and schedule, and submit to the MESC (FDA 22). A copy of this form will be sent to the student following the approval.
  6.  Complete the Minerva Study Away module, as well as the Minerva Course Approval and Transfer Credit Form. Please note that you can only add courses to the Course Approval and Transfer Credit Form that have been approved int he Course Equivalency System.
  7.  A Faculty Advisor will review your request and make the decision in Minerva. Once the Minerva Study Away Application has been approved, a Letter of Permission can be generated in Minerva.

Note: 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. Please plan accordingly.

When you return: Upon completion of a Study Away, students must ensure that the host institution sends an official transcript to MESC as soon as possible. Please note that a processing fee may be charged if there is a delay in providing the transcript.

Cancellation: If a student did not complete their Study Away, but has a Study Away term on their Minerva transcript, they have to notify MESC by emailing [at], otherwise they will be charged a processing fee to have this Study Away term retroactively removed.

Transfer Credit Policies

All courses taken during a Study Away term require MESC approval in advance.

Former CEGEP students who did not receive the maximum of 29 transfer credits, may be allowed to return to CEGEP to complete the missing Freshman course(s) for which transfer credits were not received. Please meet with an academic advisor at MESC for more details as prior approval is necessary. All other students are not eligible for any transfer credits for any CEGEP courses.

Students taking courses at an Ontario College or US Community or County College during a Study Away term are not eligible for transfer credits. Only university level courses are allowed.

Online Courses

Online courses will only be approved if the online course offered is also available as a regularly scheduled course at the same institution in the same term. This is important in order to determine the number of Accreditation Units (AU) associated with this course. If there is a final exam, this must be a proctored, written (sit-down) exam (i.e., the final exam cannot be taken on-line). NOTE: Students taking online courses are not eligible to receive US Direct Loans through McGill.

  • B.Eng./B.S.E. students may take Complementary Studies courses (Impact of Technology (Group A) or Humanities and Social Sciences, Management Studies and Law courses (Group B)) through distance/online learning at another university.
  • B.Sc.(Arch.) students may take Elective courses through distance/online learning.
  • Freshman (Year 0) mathematics and science courses cannot be taken through distance/online learning.


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 shall only be eligible to transfer earned credits back to McGill if the grade earned for each course is a C or higher. 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 details please contact the [at] (McGill Engineering Student Centre) (FDA 22).

When in doubt as to whether your grades are eligible for transfer credits, please contact MESC. Do not rely on the minimum passing grade at the host institution.

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