Studying at another university is an opportunity which can enrich your undergraduate education and provide you with a chance for personal growth. Studying abroad takes planning and must be pre-approved by the Arts OASIS in the Faculty of Arts. Studies must take place at a pre-approved host university that is accredited to award three or four year undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degrees by that country's equivalent to a Ministry of Education. Planning your McGill degree is the key to a successful study abroad experience.
Complete the following steps to ensure that you have prepared for your study abroad experience
Set a goal
There are many reasons why students pursue study away opportunities. Have you given any thought to what you wish to gain from this experience? Review the “Set a goal” section of the Arts OASIS Study Away Guide to help you to identify your academic and personal goals.
Review important policies and BA degree requirements
Degree residency requirement: You must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 60 credits at McGill University.
Program residency requirement: At least two-thirds of all program requirements (Multi-track, Honours, Faculty program) must normally be completed at McGill. Some departments may require that you complete specific components of your program at McGill. Thus a maximum of one-third of all program requirements may be completed at another university.
Course load: Students are not permitted to register for more than a full-time course load during their term away.U3 students and 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.
For example, if your final term of study at McGill is the Winter term and you take one or more courses at another university in the Winter term, your term of graduation will not be the Winter term. Your term of graduation will become the next semester, which is the Summer term.
Transferring credit: Only courses successfully completed at a host university that appears on the Arts OASIS list of institutions approved for transfer credit during an approved study away are eligible for transfer credit. ALL components of the method of evaluation of each course must be completed by the end of the term of study at the host university.
Course assessment: Courses taken at another university must be assessed for course content on McGill’s Course Equivalency System. If the course you wish to take has been approved on the McGill Course Equivalency System, this does NOT:
- infer that the host university meets the Faculty of Arts host school requirements (see Host University for details);
- constitute approval to study away;
- confirm that you will receive transfer credit for the course towards your McGill degree.
Credit value: The number of credits granted for a course taken at another university may not be the equivalent of three McGill credits. The host university’s method of credit value assessment will be used to determine the number of McGill credits each course will earn.Grade required for transfer credit: The grade earned in the host university course(s) must be equal to or higher than the grade/CGPA required to graduate from the host 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.
Grades of C- or less, Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) are not acceptable. The letter grade earned will take precedence over the corresponding numerical grades if both are indicated on the transcript.
The grades earned at the host university will NOT appear on your McGill record and will NOT be calculated in your McGill CGPA.
For the complete Arts OASIS policy, see Transferring Credit.
Arts OASIS reserves the right to refuse to award McGill transfer credit if the studies completed were not pre-approved by Arts OASIS or if the host university or any of its courses fails to meet the Arts OASIS study away policies or McGill’s program or degree requirements.
Plan your degree
A degree plan is an important part of the study away process. Whether you are planning to apply for a McGill Exchange at one of our bilateral exchange partners or an Independent Study Away in the Fall and/or Winter or Summer at a school that appears on the Arts OASIS list of institutions approved for transfer credit, it is essential that you plan your degree. You will be required to submit a completed Arts OASIS Degree Planning Worksheet, following the instructions in the Degree Planning Guide, to Arts OASIS concurrently with the submission of your Minerva application. A degree plan will help you to:
- Optimize your McGill course selection to reflect your academic strengths and interests.
- Understand the McGill course content that you must cover in each of your McGill terms of study.
- Plan the number of terms it will take you to complete your McGill degree.
- Establish if the McGill course content you need to cover in a particular term is available at another host university.
Meet with departmental program advisors
Departmental program advisors provide academic advice on departmental programs and approve course selection for U1-U3 students. Students will have a departmental advisor for each academic program they are completing. Consult with each of your Departmental Program Advisors to guide your course selection and ensure that you are meeting your McGill program requirements.
Your Departmental Program Advisors will:
- Provide you with a departmental audit sheet that you can complete to help you plan your program courses.
- Ensure that you are satisfying the requirements of their program.
- Ensure that you are meeting the program residency requirement.
- Verify which program courses have yet to be completed.
- Guide you on the course content that you should be covering in the program course(s) that you take at McGill or at another host university. For example, if you need to take PSYC 212 for your McGill program, the course content you need to cover is Perception.
- Recommend the optimal term for you to study away with respect to your program of study.
Study away options
The next step is to research the different study away options to see which one is the best fit for you. Are you interested in a McGill Exchange, an Independent Study Away in the Fall and/or Winter or Summer, studying at another Quebec University, or participating in the J’Explore program? Students applying for a McGill Exchange or Independent Study Away must attend a mandatory information session.
Select a Host University
Studies must be pre-approved by Arts OASIS and take place at a host university that is accredited to award three or four year undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degrees by that country's equivalent to a Ministry of Education. The host university must be listed on the Arts OASIS list of institutions approved for transfer credit, grouped by continent. Transfer credit will only be considered for courses that have been approved on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form and have been completed at a pre-approved host university. Click on each study away option for access to the list of approved host universities for each selection: McGill Exchange partners, Independent Study Away, Quebec Inter-University Transfer (IUT), J’Explore program.
NOTE for Independent Study Away: Although a university may appear on the Arts OASIS list of institutions approved for transfer credit, it is the student’s responsibility (not Arts OASIS) to confirm that:
- the host university has an undergraduate "visiting, non-degree" status;
- you meet the host university's eligibility and student visa requirements;
- you meet their application requirements and can afford the host university's tuition.
- 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.
- Students are not permitted to be concurrently registered as an undergraduate degree student at two different universities
- If you took courses at another approved institution while registered as a degree student at the host school, instead of an undergraduate "non-degree Visiting student", credits can only be transferred to your McGill degree once Arts OASIS has received confirmation from that institution that you have withdrawn from the university and degree program.
Finance your study away
Plan your budget taking into consideration the following important information about tuition during an Independent Study Away or McGill Exchange. In addition to tuition, you will need to think about other expenses such as airfare, accommodation, food, medical insurance, passport, visas and personal spending. If you are receiving a scholarship, loan and/or bursary, you must discuss the financial implications of a study away experience with the McGill Scholarships and Student Aid Office before beginning the application process.
McGill Exchange: When you go on a McGill exchange, you pay tuition directly to McGill and not the partner institution. You are required to pay for15 McGill credits and related fees per term irrespective of the number of credits or courses you register for at the host school. If you are applying for a McGill Exchange, consider applying for the Mobility Award.
Independent Study Away: During your Independent Study Away, you are responsible for paying the host university’s tuition (and any additional costs). If you are applying for an Independent Study Away, consider applying for the Schull Yang International Experience Award.
The Schull Yang International Experience Award, supported by Joseph Schull (BA ‘82, MA ’85) and Anna Yang (BCL, LLB ’88), helps undergraduate students gain first hand international experience related to their fields of study. The Schull Yang International Experience Award is part of the McGill International Experience Awards. The award is meant to provide partial funding to assist students with tuition, travel, and other expenses related to their international experience while independently studying away. Studies must completed during a Fall and/or Winter term of study at a school that appears on the Arts OASIS list of institutions approved for transfer credit that is located outside of Canada. At the time of application, you must be a currently registered Faculty of Arts student who has been “Faculty Approved” to independently study away on Minerva by the required deadline. Further eligibility requirements are explained on the Schull Yang Application
Funding opportunities exist for the following McGill partnerships with Shantou University in China: The Li Ka Shing Liberal Arts Exchange Initiative and the Li Ka Shing Intensive Chinese-Language Study Program.
McGill also has resources to help! Contact the Scholarship and Student Aid Office to check for sources of funding available through federal or provincial-level government programs. Information on funding and budgeting is also available on the McGill Abroad website.
Complete the Minerva application
NOTE: You should not submit an application for Independent Study Away on Minerva until you have confirmed that you meet the host university's academic eligibility, application deadline and student visa requirements.
Studying away must be pre-approved by Arts OASIS. Carefully review the Arts OASIS eligibility requirements, deadline dates and application procedures before submitting your Minerva application. Remember to attend an Arts OASIS Information Session before applying!
NOTE: You will be required to submit a completed Arts OASIS Degree Planning Worksheet, following the instructions in the Degree Planning Guide, to Arts OASIS concurrently with the submission of your Minerva Study Away application.
Once your McGill study away application is “Faculty Approved”, remember to read the “SAO Special Instructions” section of your Minerva study away application and complete all the required steps. Your Minerva record will be updated to non-resident status for the equivalent McGill term(s) you will be away. This means that if you are already enrolled for courses at McGill during your study away term(s):
-These McGill courses will be dropped.
-Your transcript will indicate "Term Away".
-In the Summer term, your record will be updated to non-resident status AFTER June 15th to allow you access to summer course registration at McGill.
-For a Winter term exchange, your record will be updated to non-resident status AFTER mid-July.
-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.
Change of Plans?
If your plans do change, you must cancel all applications to schools that you are not attending according to the deadlines and instructions provided in the “Cancellation” section of the Study Away website. 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.
Review the transferring credit section of the Arts OASIS website.