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. Permission for exceeding the minimum credit limit will normally be granted only for valid academic reasons. Please take note that this policy applies to your Minerva record, specifically to elective credit, once you reach 120 credits or the minimum credit limit determined by the pre-McGill advanced standing recorded on your Minerva record

Students interested in exceeding their minimum 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.

First, you must determine if you are in fact exceeding your minimum credit requirement of 120 credits based on the academic background upon which you were admitted to McGill.

Situation A

Your Minerva record shows that you were admitted to McGill:

  • without advanced standing
  • based on a Quebec Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS)
  • based on studies completed at a University

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study: 119 credits or less

You will NOT need to make a request to exceed the credit limit and all your courses will continue be included in the CGPA/GPA calculation and credit count.

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study: 120 credits or more

You MUST follow the steps and complete the PDF iconrequest for exceeding the ba degree credit limit form  before you begin studies in your graduating term to ensure that your study plan will be approved. Please note that your Minerva record must accurately reflect the programs of study you intend to complete. It is also recommended that you have a substantial number of credits successfully completed in the new program you are requesting to complete.

NOTE: Students will NOT be permitted to go over the their minimum credit limit to improve their CGPA 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.

If your request is approved, a DA Hold will be added to your record (Associate Dean Hold). This notation indicates that you have received permission to exceed the degree credit limit and are permitted to complete the required course(s) you listed on the Arts OASIS Degree Planning Worksheet. This hold does not prevent registration and does not appear on official transcripts. Please note that any elective courses that you register for after exceeding the minimum credit requirement, will be ‘E’ flagged for no credit and will not count towards your TGPA/CGPA at graduation. Full-time status will not be impacted by the E-flagging of courses. If your academic plan changes, you must forward a copy of your revised degree plan to (assistant-adstudents.arts [at] mcgill.ca) for approval.

Situation B

Your Minerva record shows that you were admitted to McGill based on:

  • Advanced Level and/or Advanced Subsidiary Exams
  • Advanced Placements Exams
  • Bologna-compliant high school diploma
  • European Baccalaureate
  • French Baccalaureate
  • International Baccalaureate

Students who have been granted advanced standing for the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement examinations, GCE A-Levels, French Baccalaureate, and other qualifications, but 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.

EXAMPLE A: If a student was admitted with 30 credits of advanced standing (Advanced Level, Advanced Placement, Bologna, European, International or French Baccalaureate):

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study: 149 credits or less

You will NOT need to make a request to exceed the credit limit and all your courses will continue be included in the CGPA/GPA calculation and credit count.

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study: 150 credits or more

You MUST follow the steps and complete the PDF iconrequest for exceeding the ba degree credit limit form before you begin studies in your graduating term to ensure that your study plan will be approved. Please note that your Minerva record must accurately reflect the programs of study you intend to complete. It is also recommended that you have a substantial number of credits successfully completed in the new program you are requesting to complete.

EXAMPLE B: If a student was admitted with 6 credits of advanced standing under “SITUATION B

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study: 125 credits or less

You will NOT need to make a request to exceed the credit limit and all your courses will continue be included in the CGPA/GPA calculation and credit count.

Check your Minerva record for TOTAL CREDITS at the start of your final semester of study: 126 credits or more

You MUST follow the steps and complete the PDF iconrequest for exceeding the ba degree credit limit form before you begin studies in your graduating term to ensure that your study plan will be approved. Please note that your Minerva record must accurately reflect the programs of study you intend to complete. It is also recommended that you have a substantial number of credits successfully completed in the new program you are requesting to complete.

NOTE: Students will NOT be permitted to go over the their minimum credit limit to improve their CGPA 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.

If your request is approved, a DA Hold will be added to your record (Associate Dean Hold). This notation indicates that you have received permission to exceed the degree credit limit and are permitted to complete the required course(s) you listed on the Arts OASIS Degree Planning Worksheet. This hold does not prevent registration and does not appear on official transcripts. Please note that any elective courses that you register for after exceeding the minimum credit requirement, will be ‘E’ flagged for no credit and will not count towards your TGPA/CGPA at graduation. Full-time status will not be impacted by the E-flagging of courses. If your academic plan changes, you must forward a copy of your revised degree plan to (assistant-adstudents.arts [at] mcgill.ca) for approval.

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