Independent Study-Away Programs for McGill Law students

Students may obtain a maximum of 12 outside credits to count towards their BCL/JD Prgram: 6 Outside Law credits* and 6 Outside Non-Law credits**.

Students who do not wish to complete non-law credits may choose to take an additional 6 outside law credits (for a total of 12 outside law credits).

For more information, check our page on Non-course credits and outside credits.

During the summer term only, students may take up to 6 credits of non-law courses (electives only) via online learning or "at a distance”. Courses must be pre-approved.

Online learning or "at a distance" is a Pilot Project and the Curriculum Committee will re-evaluate in each year.

Courses must be offered at the degree level (i.e. bachelor level)

Set up an appointment with an SAO advisor to discuss your plans to study away and being the following materials with you:

  • Completed degree audit form
  • Tentative list of courses

Application Periods & Deadlines

Summer term: February 1 to July 15

Deadline for application (Summer 2023 term): May 15th 2023

Application Procedure

  • All applications are submitted online through MINERVA.
  • Log onto MINERVA, select Student Records Menu, then Exchange/Study Away Menu, then Request for Study Away.
  • Follow the steps and refer to the provided information text and/or help keys.
  • Processing time is normally 5 to 10 working days of submission.
  • If approved, you will be issued a Letter of Permission which you can download from your Minerva application.
  • If approved, your McGill record will be updated to “Term Away” for the summer.
  • After completing the Study Away application, students must also complete the linked Minerva Course Approval and Transfer Credit Form.
  • Courses traditionally offered by the Faculty of Law, McGill University, will not be approved.
  • Courses must be offered at the degree level (i.e. bachelor level)
  • All required and complementary courses must be completed at the Faculty of Law, McGill University.

Letter of Permission

  • This letter grants you McGill authorization to take courses at the specified host university during the specified term as a Visiting student for the purpose of transferring course equivalences and credits toward your McGill degree in progress.
  • This letter should be submitted to the Host University’s Registrar's Office, Enrolment Services or International Study Abroad Office.

Apply to Host University

  • Apply DIRECTLY to the host university as a Visiting student (or their equivalent to a non-degree student status) according to their deadlines.
  • Do not use a study abroad company or organization for your application; otherwise you risk not receiving transfer credits for your studies. Refer to “Where can I go” tab then the “Study Abroad Companies and Organizations” notes for details.
  • With your application, submit the Letter of Permission and any other requested documents.
  • If offered admission, register in courses according to the registration dates and conditions given to you.

Pre-departure Information Session

If approved for an Independent Study-Away term outside Canada you are required to attend a mandatory Pre-departure session.

International Travel Registry Form

  • If approved for an Independent Study-Away term outside Canada you are required to fill out the McGill Travel Registry Form.
  • You will have access to this Form once your McGill record indicates “Term Away” for the specified term(s).

At the Host University

  • Forward official Course syllabus to the SAO once course selection is confirmed.
  • Regularly check your McGill email for important notices.
  • Order an official transcript and have it sent directly to McGill University immediately after completing your studies. Refer to the “Transferring credits” tab above for the mailing address.

Cancelling your Application

  • If you wish to cancel an application which has not been granted “Faculty Approved” status, please open your Minerva application and cancel it.
  • If you wish to cancel an approved application you must submit your request to [at] as soon as possible. If you plan to stay at McGill for the term, please note that any courses on your record would have been deleted when your McGill record was updated to “Term Away”. It will be your responsibility to re-add your courses using Minerva.

Transfer credits

  • Order an official transcript and have it sent directly to the SAO immediately after completing your studies to the following address:
    Faculty of Law, McGill University
    Student Affairs Office
    Chancellor Day Hall
    3644 Peel Street, Room 433
    Montreal, Quebec
    Canada H3A 1W9
  • Grades for transfer credits do not enter into any McGill grade point calculations (TGPA/CGPA); however, the number of credits granted will appear on the McGill transcript.
  • Students who independently study-away at a non-partner institution or via IUT must receive a minimum grade of “C” for credits to be granted. For details please see the McGill Calendar, University Regulations and Resources.
  • Deadlines for transcripts to be received at McGill:
    • For Summer term: October 1
    • You are advised to order a few official copies for your own future use – e.g. Graduate studies applications, job interviews, etc.
    • Upon receipt of an official transcript, successfully completed transfer credits are entered on the McGill transcript (without grades) and are credited towards the law program.

Financing your Independent Study-Away

  • During the term you are away you will pay the host university’s tuition (and any additional costs) but not McGill’s.
  • Plan your budget.
  • Look into funding options early and be pro-active in your research and planning.
  • Check if funds are available through federal or provincial-level government programs, foundations, private or public organizations, etc. Inquire about the application criteria and deadlines.

*Outside Law Credits are approved courses taken at other faculties of law.
**Outside Non-Law Credits are approved courses taken at other faculties at McGill University or other universities.

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