Glossary for the School of Continuing Studies
Undergraduate: A student who has not yet completed a bachelor's degree or a program that leads to a bachelor's degree. A graduate student has completed a bachelor's degree and is working toward a master's degree or doctorate.
Bachelor's Degree: A degree that normally takes three or four full-time years to complete, depending on the educational system you come from. An honours program demands a high degree of specialization and requires a student to satisfy specific requirements while maintaining a good Academic Standing. Students generally complete a first academic year and can then select an honours program. An honours program can be a requirement for certain graduate (master's) programs.
Certificate Program: A certificate is a 30-credit first-cycle program, governed by the teaching Faculty.
Diploma Program: A diploma is a 30-credit second-cycle program which has as a prerequisite for admission, an undergraduate degree, or its equivalent, in any discipline, and for which faculty approval rests with the teaching faculty.
Graduate Diploma: A graduate diploma is a 30-credit second-cycle program which has, as a prerequisite for admission, an undergraduate or graduate degree, or its equivalent, in the same or a related discipline, and for which faculty approval rests with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Graduate Certificate: A Graduate Certificate is a program of fewer than 30 credits but no less that 15 credits, which has, as a prerequisite, an undergraduate degree, and for which faculty approval rests with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Professional Development Certificate: A Professional Development Certificate is a non-credit transcript micro-program of fewer than 45 CE Units but no less than 12 CE Units. The micro-programs are primarily targeted at professionals who already have some experience in a specific industry or professional field and wish to sharpen their professional skills and competencies, as well as validate them through academic recognition.
Credit System: The School of Continuing Studies uses the credit system, where each course is assigned a credit rating reflecting the number of weekly contact hours. In general, a three-credit course indicates three hours of lectures per week for one term, but this does not apply to all faculties. Laboratory contact hours usually count for fewer credits. Credits also reflect the amount of effort required of students and generally assume two hours of personal study for each contact hour. The credit weight of each course is indicated in parentheses beside the course title.
Continuing Education Units (CE Units): Some courses at the School may carry a Continuing Education Unit rating. These courses do not normally count toward the fulfilment of a credit program. A Continuing Education Unit is a measure of the number of hours of participation—contact and/or study—in an organized Continuing Education activity. One unit represents ten hours of participation.
Non-Transcript Activity: A non-transcript activity is a course, seminar, or workshop in any discipline that does not carry university credit or Continuing Education Units and will not appear on a university transcript.
Term: The academic year is broken into two terms: Fall (September to December) and Winter (January to April), with certain courses available during the Summer term (May to August).
Advanced Standing: If you are applying from a school system outside North America, or from another university, you may be eligible to receive Advanced Standing for university-level work you've already completed. Some students applying from outside Quebec may be able to earn exemption from taking basic courses by writing placement exams before classes start.
Minerva: By logging into Minerva (www.mcgill.ca/minerva), McGill's online administrative system, you can apply for admission, register for courses, check your exam schedule, update the status of your tuition, and look at your grades, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, from the comfort of your own computer.
eCalendar: This publication (www.mcgill.ca/study) is the official listing of requirements for degree, certificate, and diploma programs and courses offered by the University. It also describes the University's academic and administrative regulations, policies, and procedures.
Important Dates Supplement: The Important Dates Supplement is published three times a year before each registration period. It contains specific details on registration dates and information pertaining to the upcoming term. In case of discrepancy, the information contained in the supplement takes precedence over the information in the eCalendar.