Independent Study Away
Interested in doing an Independent Study Away in Summer 2023, Fall 2023 or full year Fall/Winter 2023-24?
All Arts students applying for a McGill Independent Study Away should attend one of the information sessions.
The sessions will cover: the application process, eligibility requirements, the degree planning form, course assessments and the Minerva transfer credit assessment form
EACH of the sessions will be held virtually on Wednesdays as of February 22 to July 12 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
You can register here: OASIS Booking
An independent study away is when a McGill student receives Faculty permission from Arts OASIS to apply, register, take courses and pay tuition to an accredited degree granting institution and receives an official transcript from the same undergraduate degree granting institution. Consult our listing of approved host universities. (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website) During this pre-approved term away, your status at McGill will be "non-resident" and your status at the host university will be "Visiting".
Arts OASIS reserves the right to refuse to award McGill transfer credit for any studies completed at another university if these studies were not pre-approved.
Please note that study away requests involving study abroad organizations or companies which act as intermediaries are not approved.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Health and safety vary widely across the world, from country to country. As such, study abroad terms may be cancelled by McGill and/or its partners at any time. It is therefore recommended to plan serious financial commitments accordingly and carefully review all cancellation policies (e.g., travel, accommodation, insurance, etc.)
NOTE: All study abroad activities for Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 were cancelled.
To contact the Study Away Team: email studyaway.arts [at] mcgill.ca (use your McGill email account and include your student ID number).
|Summer Term ONLY||March 15 to July 15|
|Fall Term ONLY||
March 15 to July 15
|Fall & Winter Term||March 15 to July 15|
|Winter Term ONLY||September 15th to November 15th|
At the time of application:
|Summer Term Application||Have a minimum CGPA in the McGill BA, BSW or B.Th. degree of 2.0 and maintain this CGPA for study away eligibility.|
|Fall/Winter Term Application||Have a minimum CGPA of 2.7 in the McGill BA, BSW or B.Th. degree and maintain this CGPA for study away eligibility.|
- Make sure that your Minerva record is up-to-date:
- ALL grades and credits in preceding terms must be reported.
- If you have a missing grade (i.e. grade of K. L or NR on your Minerva record), you must ask your course instructor to send an email from their McGill email account confirming the grade you have earned in this course. It must be emailed to studyaway.arts [at] mcgill.ca BEFORE the Independent Study Away application deadline in the following format: "Grade Confirmation in COURSE NUMBER" for LAST NAME/ FIRST NAME; STUDENT NUMBER”.
- Please ask your professor to copy you on the email so that you will know that the grade has been sent to us.
- Any transfer credit earned during an approved study away in a previous term of study must be articulated on your Minerva record.
- Be currently registered as a full-time resident student in the McGill BA, BSW or B.Th. degree.
- Full time status means a course load of 12 or more completed credits per semester.
- Courses taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option are not graded credits.
- You will not meet this requirement if you are on an Exchange or an Independent Study Away in the current term or if your Minerva record indicates "Non Resident" as your status.
- Students returning to their McGill studies immediately after a Faculty approved Leave of Absence, must email studyaway.arts [at] mcgill.ca to have their Independent Study Away eligibility assessed well in advance of the the Independent Study Away application deadline and to complete any required additional steps.
- Make sure that the Faculty of Arts minimum credit and program and degree residency requirements are met. Students will NOT be permitted to exceed their BA credit limit to study away.
NOTE 1: Social Work and Theology students: You must first discuss your plans to take courses at another university with your program advisor. (See Social Work program advisor or Theology program advisor). Your program advisor must send an email from their McGill email account confirming that you have departmental approval. It must be emailed to studyaway.arts [at] mcgill.ca BEFORE the Independent Study Away application deadline in the following format: SWRK/Theology approval for LAST NAME/FIRST NAME; STUDENT NUMBER and INDEPENDENT STUDY AWAY TERM
NOTE 2- Graduation: Students who are taking one or more courses at another university during their term of graduation WILL NOT be eligible to graduate at the end of that final term. These students MUST select the NEXT available term of graduation.
NOTE 3 - Inter-Faculty Transfers: Students who transfer from another McGill Faculty to the Bachelor of Arts are not eligible to apply for a McGill Independent Study Away until they have successfully completed a minimum of 12 graded McGill credits in the McGill BA degree with McGill CGPA of 2.70 or greater.
NOT meeting the eligibility requirements or not submitting the information requested will result in an application REFUSAL.
- Step 1: Degree Planning
- Step 2 : Select a University
- Step 3: Submit your application
- Step 4: Apply to the Host Institution
- Step 5: Approval
- Step 6: Next Steps
Step 1: Degree Planning
Review the Plan & Prepare section of this website. A well researched degree plan is an important part of the study abroad process. Carefully read the Arts OASIS Degree Planning website for important information about planning your degree.
You are advised to complete an Arts OASIS Degree Planning Worksheet following the instructions in the Degree Planning Guide before submitting an application to study away to ensure that your plan meets your academic requirements. If you need help with this process, book a Degree Planning appointment with an Arts OASIS Advisor and make sure you meet with each of your departmental program advisor to carefully plan the courses needed for each program of study.
Keep in mind the degree requirements for the B.A degree when planning your study away:
- You must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 60 credits at McGill University.
- A minimum of two-thirds of all program requirements (Multi-track, Honours, Faculty program) must be satisfactorily completed at McGill.
Step 2: Select a University
Before you select a host institution, consult our Host University Checklist
Make sure to also read important information in Step 2 of the “Plan and Prepare” section of this website to ensure that you meet the application criteria.
You must select the host university you wish to attend from our listing of approved host universities. (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website) Applications to schools that do not appear on our listing of approved host universities, will not be considered. Furthermore, please note that study away requests involving study abroad organizations or companies which act as intermediaries are not approved.
Before submitting a Minerva Independent Study Away application, ensure that the host university is currently accepting students to study on campus as non-degree, fee-paying Visiting Students and that you meet the host university's eligibility requirements.
Please note that Study away requests involving study abroad organizations or companies which act as intermediaries are not approved.
Prepare for safe travel by consulting the information provided on the McGill Abroad Office and Canada’s Travel Advisory website.
Check the Course Equivalency System before applying to study away to see if the course(s) you wish to register for have previously been approved for transfer credit.
Step 3: Submit your application
There are two parts to submitting your application for Independent Study Away.
- Degree Planning Worksheet (See instructions)
- Minerva Application
In order for your application to be considered, you must submit BOTH the Minerva Application and the Degree Planning Worksheet by the application deadline.
NOTE: If you do not submit the information we request by the deadline you have been given in the "SAO comments" in your Minerva study away application, your application will be FACULTY REFUSED.
It is the student's responsibility to check their McGill email account and the Minerva Study Away module regularly for important notices as this is our official means of communication during the application process and during your term away.
If you have a "HOLD"on your Minerva record, please consult this website for information on the impact this will have on your study away application. If the hold is not cleared by the deadline you have been given in the "SAO comments" in your Minerva study away application, your application will be FACULTY REFUSED.
Arts students may only submit ONE application for Independent Study Away per application period. The application periods are Fall only, Fall and Winter (full-year), Winter only and Summer only.
1. Degree Planning Worksheet:
- Follow the instructions in the Degree Planning Guide to complete your Arts OASIS Degree Planning Worksheet
- The Worksheet MUST be completed for your entire degree and must show that you are respecting your degree and program residency requirements.
- Your completed Degree Planning Worksheet must be submitted from your McGill email account, before the deadline, to Arts OASIS at studyaway.arts [at] mcgill.ca. Subject line for email: Degree Planning Worksheet, [ISA term application ] [Family Name/First Name], [Student ID number].
- On Minerva, navigate to: Student Menu > Student Records Menu > Exchange/Study Away Menu > Request for Study Away.
- The application institution drop-down listing has hundreds of university but you must select only those on the “Approved” listings. (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website.)
- All students must submit a brief “statement of purpose” that explains your reasons for applying to study away.
- Additionally for SUMMER ONLY:
- You must also complete the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment form – which is linked to the Minerva Study Away application.
- The course you list on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment form will be Faculty Approved as "elective only". If you wish to use this course to meet a McGill program requirement, you must consult the departmental program adviser. Please see Step 5 of the Transferring Credit website for more information.
- The maximum number of credits you may take during one Summer session is 12 credits. This credit total includes McGill Summer Studies courses and courses taken at another host university during the Summer term.
- You are advised against registering for concurrent courses (including online classes) that are scheduled at the same time or in the same term.
Tips & Tools for your Application:
- Don’t rush through your application! Click on the Question Marks or Help tabs in the Minerva Application for explanations.
- The application will time-out after 90 minutes of inactivity, so it is advisable to have your text/course lists ready to paste into the application. This way you won’t lose your work or miss the deadline.
- Once you submit your application it cannot be modified. You will not be able to change your choices of partner universities. If you want to make changes, you will have to cancel your application and complete a new one before the deadline.
Step 4: Apply to the Host Institution
As a student applying for an Independent Study Away, you are responsible for the following:
- Ensuring that your registration at the host university will be as a “non-degree visiting student”
- You will need to confirm that the host university has an undergraduate “visiting, non-degree, or free-mover” student status
- Ensuring that the courses you register for are part of the host university’s undergraduate curriculum and are taught by their faculty members
- Meeting the host university’s application procedures and deadlines
- Paying tuition and related fees directly to the host university
- Meeting the host country’s visa requirement
WARNING – Affiliated partners and 3rd party organization. Students may not enroll in courses at an affiliated partner university of the host institution. Students will not receive transfer credit for studies arranged by or offered through study abroad organizations, third parties or intermediaries. Student are not permitted to be concurrently registered as an undergraduate degree student at two different universities.
Step 5 - Approval
Once your application is “Faculty Approved”, you can download your “Letter of Permission (LOP) from the application.
- This LOP is your official letter granting 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.
- This LOP may be required by the Host University’s Registrar's Office, Enrollment Services or International Study Abroad Office.
- This LOP is provided in place of any forms that must be provided to the host school confirming your permission to study away.
Your Minerva record will be updated to non-resident “Term Away” status for the same McGill term(s) you will be away. This means that if you are registered for McGill courses in the Fall and/or Winter terms and you are approved to study away:
- These McGill courses will be dropped.
- You will not be able to register for McGill courses in that term(s).
- Your McGill courses WILL NOT be re-instated if your plans change.
NOTE: If you are studying away in the Summer term, your Minerva record will be updated to non-resident “Term Away” in mid-June, to permit you to access summer course registration at McGill. This means that you will not have access to the McGill Travel Registry until your Minerva record shows “Term Away – Arts”. Once your Minerva record indicates "Term Away - Arts", you will not be able to register for McGill summer courses on Minerva.
ONLINE COURSES: If you plan to take an online education course, please read the information under Transferring Credit, "Online Education Policy".
Step 6 - Next steps
All students participating in a university-sponsored international activity including Independent Study Away are required to register for a Pre-departure Orientation via the webform available on the McGill Abroad website in order to be granted access/enrolled into the course.
To register or acquire more information about registering for Pre-departure Orientation, consult the McGill Abroad website.
Students are required to register their Independent Study Away activity using the McGill Student Travel Registry app as soon as possible and at least 4 weeks prior to departure. Information about how to download and register using the app can be found on the McGill Student Travel Registry website.
* NOTE: If you are studying away in the Summer term, your Minerva record will be updated to non-resident “Term Away” in mid-June, to permit you to access summer course registration at McGill. This means that you will not have access to the McGill Travel Registry until your Minerva record shows “Term Away – Arts”. Once your Minerva record indicates "Term Away - Arts", you will not be able to register for McGill summer courses on Minerva.
Failure to register your trip in the McGill Student Travel Registry and/or not completing Pre-Departure Orientation may also result in consequences including cancellation of your activities and the loss of academic credits for your activity.
If you have any further questions regarding these requirements, please contact McGill Abroad at mcgillabroad [at] mcgill.ca /safetyabroad [at] mcgill.ca