Plan & Prepare

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. Planning your McGill degree is the key to a successful study abroad experience.

Attend an upcoming information session to learn more

Complete the following steps to ensure that you have prepared for your study abroad experience

  1. Set a goal and make a plan

    Review the PDF icon Study Away Checklist to help you identify your academic and personal goals and plan a successful studying away experience.

  2. Review important policies and BA degree requirements

    Degree residency requirement: You must complete satisfactorily 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.

    Course requirements: Courses that have been assessed and approved for McGill equivalence are eligible to be considered for transfer credit if the grade earned in the host university course(s) is 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.

    Courses must be taken at the host institution for the same purpose (i.e. major, minor, elective etc.) that they would have at McGill and must count for credit toward degrees granted at the institution giving the course. (i.e., not courses taken towards a certificate/diploma, nor offered through Continuing Studies).

    You must complete all components of the method of evaluation of each course to receive a final grade.

    Admissions, Faculties and Departments vet the courses they approve for credit and thus have the right to refuse certain courses that do not satisfy program or degree requirements.

    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. Refer to “U3 students and graduation” on the Transfer Credit Policy for further information. Please consult our Arts OASIS graduation checklist to be sure that you will be meeting all your graduation requirements.

    Host University: If you are a McGill student completing courses at another university, you must be registered at the host school as a visiting, non-degree student and take courses that are part of the host university’s three or four year undergraduate degree curriculum, taught by their faculty members. Refer to “Host University” on our Transfer Credit Policy website for further information.

    Transfer Credit Policy: Students must review our Transfer Credit Policy for important information on transferring credit for studies completed at another university.

  3. Plan your degree

    A degree plan is an important part of the application process. Complete the PDF icon Degree Planning Worksheet for Study Away to assist you in assessing the progression of each of your McGill programs so that you can choose a host university whose courses will be a ‘good fit’ for all your programs. Need help planning your degree? Consult the Degree Planning Guide and check this PDF icon Completed Degree Planning Form (Sample)

    NOTE: You will be required to submit a completed PDF icon Degree Planning Worksheet for Study Away to Arts OASIS concurrently with the submission of your Minerva Study Away application.

  4. Meet with academic advisers

    Consult your Departmental Program Advisers. Obtain guidance on your course selection to ensure that you are meeting your McGill program requirements and to discuss the ideal term to be completing program courses at another university. 

  5. Review your study abroad options

    Check out these websites to determine if you are interested in an Independent Study Away, a McGill Exchange, studying at another Quebec University, taking an online course, participating in the J’Explore program or Field Studies semester.

  6. Select a host university

    It is important that you select a host university that meets your academic requirements and offers a term of study that provides you with the ability to resume your McGill studies on time.  As you research the host school websites, use the questions on the “Host University Information” form (page 3 of thePDF icon Degree Planning Worksheet for Study Away) to assist you in evaluating your choices. Key questions to consider are:

    - What is the language of instruction at the host school and what is your proficiency in that language?
    - Does the school offer courses towards your program requirements or elective courses that are of interest?
    - Are these courses available to visiting students? 

    NOTE: If you are applying for an Independent Study Away, you must confirm the eligibility requirements, application periods, deadline dates and application procedures for each host university.

    McGill’s Course Equivalency System is a database of courses that have already been assessed for study away/exchange for other McGill students. This tool can assist you in assessing your choice of Host University. Don’t worry if the classes you are considering aren’t listed, you can submit new courses for review.

    Prepare for safe travel by consulting the information provided on McGill’s International Education and Canada’s Travel Advisory website. 

  7. Finance your study abroad

    Plan your budget taking into consideration the following important information about tuition during an Independent Study Away or McGill Exchange. If you are receiving a scholarship, loan and/or bursary, you must discuss the financial implications of a study abroad experience with the McGill Scholarships and Student Aid Office before beginning the application process.

    During the term you are away on an Independent Study Away you are responsible for paying the host university’s tuition (and any additional costs).

    When you go on a McGill exchange, you pay tuition directly to McGill and not the partner institution. You are required to pay for 15 McGill credits and related fees per term irrespective of the number of credits for which you register at the host school. You will need to think about other expenses such as airfare, accommodation, food, medical insurance, passport and visas and personal spending.

    Look into funding options early and be proactive in your research and planning.  We have listed the following valuable resources to get you started:

    The McGill International Experience Awards is an initiative that encompasses several awards, including the Schull Yang International Experience Awards, funded by the founders of the MIEA, and additional awards supported by endowed funds received from other donors and matched by the MIEA initiative. The Schull Yang International Experience Award, supported by Joseph Schull (BA ‘82, MA ’85) and Anna Yang (BCL , LLB ’88) helps students gain first hand international experience related to their fields of study. Administered through the Dean’s Office in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts Internship Office, this award is meant to provide partial funding to assist students with travel and other expenses related to their Independent Study Away. Complete the PDF icon Schull Yang Application  to apply.

    The Li Ka Shing Liberal Arts Exchange Initiative and the Li Ka Shing Intensive Chinese-Language Study Program are partnerships with Shantou University in China. 

    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. Consult McGill CaPS Study Abroad to search for other sources of funding. Information on Funding and Budgeting, as well as other travel awards, is available on McGill's International Education website.

  8. Complete the Minerva application

    Carefully review the Arts OASIS eligibility requirements, application periods, deadline dates and application procedures before submitting your Minerva application. Remember to attend an Arts OASIS Information Session before applying! See above for a listing of dates.

    If you are enrolled for courses at McGill during your study away term(s), these courses will be dropped once you are granted a status of 'Approved' in the 'Faculty Application Status' field of your Minerva application.  Your McGill courses for that term of study will not be reinstated if your plans change.

    NOTE: You should not submit an application for Independent Study Away until you have confirmed that you meet the eligibility requirements of your host school.

    Change of Plans?

    You must cancel all applications to schools that you are not attending according to the deadlines and instructions provided in the “Cancellation” section of each study away option. Cancellations must be made by government imposed deadlines. Late cancellations may result an administrative fee and/or limit your access to Minerva registration.

  9. Review the PDF icon Transfer Credit Checklist