Exceeding the BA degree credit limit

Students are not permitted to exceed 120 credits for the Bachelor of Arts degree without permission from the Associate Dean of Arts, Student Affairs. Please take note that this policy applies to your Minerva record, once you reach 120 credits or the credit limit determined by the pre-McGill advanced standing recorded on your Minerva record.

Students interested in exceeding their credit requirement are advised to consult with their service providers to ensure that extending the length of their degree will not impact their study permit, financial aid, health insurance or any other services they receive.

NOTE: Students will NOT be permitted to go over their credit limit to improve their CGPA, study away or to take prerequisite courses towards a future program of study. If you wish to take extra courses to prepare for a post-graduate program, you should apply to McGill for Special Student status.

Permission for exceeding the credit limit will be granted for the following reasons:

1. Advanced Standing:

Students who have been granted advanced standing for Advanced Level and/or Advanced Subsidiary Exams, Advanced Placement Exams, Bologna-compliant high school diploma, European Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate, who wish to complete a four-year undergraduate program at McGill, will be permitted to do so, with the appropriate limitations on the repetition of courses for which they have received exemptions. This gives students with Advanced Standing the option of exceeding 120 credits.

Students are permitted to exceed the credit limit by up to the total credit amount received for their advanced standing.

2. CEGEP Students:

Students who have been granted advanced standing for completing CEGEP, who wish to complete a four-year undergraduate program at McGill, will be permitted to do so, with the appropriate limitations on the repetition of courses for which they have received exemptions. This gives students with Advanced Standing the option of exceeding 120 credits.

Students are permitted to exceed the credit limit by up to the total credit amount received for their advanced standing.

3. Fulfilling academic programs:

Students who transfer from another Faculty or who change their course of study can request to exceed 120 credits in order to fulfill their academic program. This requires completing an academic plan. In general, students changing their declared programs in their last year will not be approved for exceeding credits.

If your academic plan changes once approval has been granted, you MUST forward a copy of your revised degree plan to (assistant-adstudents.arts [at] mcgill.ca) for approval.

4. Electives, conditional on Departmental approval

Students who want to register for resident elective courses after exceeding the credit limit, will be granted approval only if the department administrating the course determines there is space to accommodate the request. If permission to register for an elective course is granted, the course will be ‘E’ flagged for no credit. The course and grade will remain on the Minerva student record but the grade for the ‘E’ flagged course will not be included in credit totals and will not count towards the Term GPA/Cumulative GPA at graduation. Full-time status will not be impacted by the E-flagging of courses.

How to know if you are exceeding credits?

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study.

For students admitted without advanced standing credits or students who were granted transfer credit for university studies (including a previous undergraduate degree):

If it says 119 credits or less, then you are NOT exceeding credits and all your courses will continue to be included in the CGPA/GPA calculation and credit count.

If it says 120 credits or more, then you MUST follow the steps and complete the Request for exceeding the BA degree credit limit before you begin studies in your graduating term to ensure that your study plan will be approved.

For students with advanced standing credits:

Students granted advanced standing for Advanced Level and/or Advanced Subsidiary Exams, Advanced Placement Exams, Bologna-compliant high school diploma, CEGEP Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS), European Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate or the International Baccalaureate are permitted to exceed the credit limit by up to the total credit amount received for their advanced standing.

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