Frequently Asked Questions - Study Abroad

Exchange & Independent Study Away

What’s the difference between an exchange and an independent study away?

An exchange means studying away at one of McGill’s partner universities as a "non-resident" McGill student while earning credit and paying tuition to McGill. Bilateral student exchange agreements exist between McGill University and one other institution, which has been approved by McGill. Consult the list of McGill Exchange partners here. Students pay for 15 McGill credits of tuition per Exchange semester and must meet the course load requirements of the host university.

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 of these studies from the same undergraduate degree granting school. Consult our listing of approved host universities. (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website)

Your student status during this pre-approved term away will be "non-resident" at McGill and "visiting" at the host university.

I received a nomination from McGill Exchange but didn’t get information on how to apply to my partner university. What should I do?

Once you accept a nomination, you will receive an email from Service Point’s Exchange unit with instructions on how to submit your application to the partner university. The McGill Exchange Office, located in Service Point, oversees all aspects of the nomination process. If you have any questions about your nomination, please contact Service Point.

What information should I know about the host university I want to attend for an independent study away?

You are responsible to confirm the following information:

  1. The host university must appear on the Arts OASIS listing of approved host universities. (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website)
  2. The host university must offer undergraduate enrolment categories of visiting, non-degree, or free-mover student status.
  3. You must meet the host university’s eligibility and visa requirements.
  4. You must meet the host university's admission criteria and be able to pay the host university's tuition, related fees and any associated accommodation expenses.

Can I enroll at a host university that does not appear on the lists of Approved Host Universities?

No, if a university does not appear on the Arts OASIS listing of approved host universities, (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website), this means that this host university has not been approved for independent study away.

Will the Faculty of Arts OASIS apply to the host university on my behalf once I have been granted permission to study away?

No. It is the student's responsibility to apply directly to the host university on their own and ensure that the student status at the host university will be visiting, non-degree, or free-mover and that course load requirements and any other admission conditions of the host university are met.

How can I access a Letter of Permission for my host university?

A PDF version of the Letter of Permission is downloadable from your approved Minerva Study Abroad (Away) application. The Letter of Permission (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.

NOTE: Arts OASIS does not fax Letters of Permission to the host university. It is your responsibility to submit the LOP directly to the host university.

My host university has a form that needs to be completed by my faculty or program adviser. What is the procedure?

You can download the Letter of Permission from your approved Minerva Study Abroad (Away) application and append the McGill Letter of Permission to the form.

My host university is asking a Letter of Disciplinary Clearance. What is the procedure?

Please contact the Office for Dean of Students at the following email address: deanofstudents [at]

I’m interested in taking a course at another university in Quebec. What is the procedure?

The process to take a course offered at another Quebec university is administered through the AEHE/IUT Interface. You must submit an AEHE/IUT application indicating the host university course(s) and its McGill equivalence. Follow these detailed steps.

I’m interested in taking courses at a university outside of Quebec. What is the procedure?

Taking courses at a university outside of Quebec is considered an Independent Study Away. You must submit a Minerva application prior to enrolling at a host university. Refer to detailed steps.

Can I take online courses from another university concurrently with my McGill courses?

Enrolling in two different universities during the Fall or Winter semesters is strictly prohibited. However, this may be possible in one the following instances:

  • The online course is offered at another Quebec university and you enroll for the course through the AEHE/IUT Interface The course must meet the Arts OASIS online course policy. Refer to the detailed steps.
  • The term of enrollment is SUMMER and the course is offered by a host university on the Arts OASIS listing of approved host universities (Step 2 of the Transferring Credit section on our website). You must be approved by Arts OASIS approval to study away. The course must meet the Arts OASIS online course policy.

How do I cancel a study abroad application?

Cancellations are processed by application type:

  • For an exchange: At any stage of the application process, you must submit the "Request to Cancel Exchange term" form.
  • For an independent study away: If your Minerva Study Away application has been “Faculty approved”, you must submit the "Cancellation of study away application/term" form.
  • For an AEHE/IUT Quebec universities: You must follow the drop/withdrawal procedures of the host university AND submit this change on your IUT/AEHE application.

NOTE: Cancellations must be made by government-imposed deadlines. You may be charged an administrative fee or encounter limited access to your Minerva record if your cancellation request is received after government reporting deadlines have passed.

Minerva Travel Registry Form

Do I have to complete a Minerva Travel Registry form if I am studying in Canada?

No, this form is required only if you study outside Canada.

I already completed my a summer course at a university outside Canada, do I still have to complete the Minerva Travel Registry form?

No. If you received permission from Arts OASIS to take a summer course at an approved host university before the Minerva Travel Registry form is available, you can disregard the notice you receive to complete the form if the course you registered for has been completed.

Grades & Transfer Credit

What grade do I need at the host/partner university to earn transfer credits towards my McGill degree?

The grade at the host/partner university must be equal to or higher than the grade/CGPA required to graduate from that university. Normally, this is equivalent to a grade of C or better according to the host university’s grading scheme. The policy will apply to both elective and required courses.

What grade at the host/partner university is not acceptable to earn transfer credits towards my McGill degree?

A grade less than the host/partner university’s grade/CGPA graduation requirement is not acceptable. Grades of C- or less are not acceptable. The letter grade earned will take precedence over the corresponding numerical grades if both are indicated on the transcript.

Can I get credit for a host/partner university course graded with Pass (P) or Satisfactory (S)?

No, grades of Pass (P) or Satisfactory (S) are not acceptable.

Will the grade I earned at the host/partner university appear on my McGill transcript and count in my CGPA?

No, the grades earned at the host/partner university will not appear on your McGill record and will not be calculated in your McGill CGPA. Consult our Transfer Credit Policy for further information.

How many courses do I need to take at the host university to receive 15 McGill credits?

There are numerous credit systems across universities around the world. Establishing the McGill equivalent for those systems is the responsibility of Arts OASIS. Generally, a full course load for the host/partner university’s degree student is used to calculate how many credits can be transferred to your McGill degree; their full-year course load is equivalent to 30 McGill credits and their full-time semester term (Fall or Winter) course load is equivalent 15 McGill credits. Consult the listings of Approved Host Universities by continent for this information, in Step 1: Select a Host University. If you complete less than the equivalent of a full course load, transfer credits will be pro-rated.

What steps do I need to follow to have credits earned for an approved study abroad entered on my Minerva record?

Follow the steps outlined on our Transferring Credit website.

When will my transfer credits show on my Minerva record?

Once our Office has access to your official transcript from the host/partner university it will take several weeks for our Office to process the transfer credits. Our transfer credit process is ongoing and follows government deadlines. To ensure speedy processing, please ensure you have completed your Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment form with all course equivalencies for your host courses. If this is not done, this will cause a further delay in the transfer credit process. You will receive an email from us when your transfer credits have been processed.

I took a course at another institution but did not apply for a study away. Can I receive transfer credits?

Pre-approval is mandatory prior to enrolling in courses at other universities. If you took a course at another university and now want the credit to count towards your McGill Arts degree, this will not be approved.

Official Transcripts

I have arranged for my host/partner university to send my official transcript to McGill, did you receive it?

We are not able to confirm receipt of official transcripts. If you received confirmation from the host/partner university that it was sent, assume McGill received it.

I am applying to graduate schools and the applications require a copy of my Study Abroad transcript. Can I get it from McGill?

No, once official transcripts from host/partner universities are sent to McGill they become Property of McGill University and are not released. For this reason we strongly advise students to order extra copies of official host transcripts and guard them in safe-keeping for future use. If you do not have your own copies, you will have to contact the host/partner university directly.

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