Welcome! This is the main source of information for current and future students of the Professional Development programs offered through the McGill School of Continuing Studies.
What is an independent (special) student? A student wishing to register for courses without being admitted to a program may register as an "independent (special) student" and take a limited number of individual courses, provided the student has the necessary academic prerequisites. Students who have applied to a program but are awaiting their admission letter may also register as an independent (special) student in the interim, provided they meet the admission requirements of the program.
First time Special Students must register in person, once they receive written permission to register as a Special Student from this department. To book an appointment with the School of Continuing Studies for Special Student Registration please call 514-398-2900.
· Independent (special) students can take regular credit courses but are not recognized as working towards a certificate, graduate certificate or diploma. No certificates, graduate certificates or diplomas are issued for independent studies.
· Registering for a course(s) as an independent (special) student does not imply automatic acceptance to a program. Students must meet admission requirements to be admitted to a program.
· Independent (special) students who plan on using courses towards certificate or diploma programs are required to apply for admission before completing four courses. For graduate certificate programs, students are required to apply for admission to the program before completing two course(s).
· Courses completed as an independent (special) student prior to admission to a program will be considered when reviewing a student’s application. However, the School of Continuing Studies is under no obligation to recognize credits earned by independent (special) students towards the completion of a certificate, graduate certificate or diploma.
If you are interested in being admitted to a program but have missed the application deadline, you may be able to register as an independent (special) student. We strongly recommend that you then apply online to the program of your choice and submit all supporting documents before the next application deadline.
Application Deadlines for Special Students
You must register for at least one course prior to the end of the regular registration period to avoid paying a late registration fee; exact fee amounts are available on the Student Accounts website. You may add courses until the end of the add/drop period without penalty. If you are in doubt about what course(s) to register for, please contact us via ecpcont.education [at] mcgill.ca (email).
You are responsible for your course selection, registration, and for ensuring that you have completed your program and degree requirements according to the regulations and deadlines indicated in this publication. Advisors and staff at the School of Continuing Studies are available to give you advice and guidance.
For a step-by-step guide on how to register for courses using Minerva, please click here.
When applying for admission to the University, you are bound by and agree to observe all statutes, rules, regulations, and policies at McGill University and the faculty or faculties to which you may be accepted and registered in, including policies contained in the University Calendars and related fee documents. Your obligation as a student begins with your registration and ends in accordance with the University's statutes, rules, regulations, and policies.
You should verify all information or statements provided with your application. Incorrect or false information may jeopardize your admission. The University reserves the right to revoke an admission that is granted based on incorrect or false information in an application or supporting documents.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
The Handbook on Student Rights and Responsibilities is temporarily unavailable as a handbook. However, all the related policies, procedures and guidelines affecting students are accessible on the Secretariat website.
The Student Rights and Responsibilities website may soon be hosting all the policies as a handbook again. In the meantime, their site is an excellent source of comprehensive information and resources available for both students and instructors.
All students are assigned a McGill Email Address (usually in the form of firstname.lastname@example.org) and are given a McGill email mailbox. You can view your McGill Email Address and set your McGill Password on Minerva (www.mcgill.ca/minerva), under the Personal Menu.
Email sent to your McGill Email Address is an official means of communication between McGill University and its students. As with all official University communications, it is your responsibility to ensure you read and act upon University emails in a timely fashion. If you choose to forward University email to another email mailbox, it is your responsibility to ensure that the alternate email mailbox is valid.
You should read and familiarize yourself with the policies on Responsible Use of McGill Information Technology Resources and Email Communications with Students, found under Information Technology on the University Secretariat website at www.mcgill.ca/secretariat/policies-and-regulations. For more information on email for students, refer to www.mcgill.ca/it and see For your Information Technology (IT) Needs.
Minerva is McGill's web-based information system serving applicants, students, staff, and faculty. To access Minerva, go to www.mcgill.ca/minerva and log in. Once logged in, you can:
· Apply to McGill and view your application status
· View class schedules, including course descriptions and spaces available in course sections
· Register and make course changes
· Change your major or minor program (not all faculties)
· View your unofficial transcript and degree evaluation reports
· View your McGill login information to access the Internet and email
· View your Permanent Code, citizenship, and Quebec residency status and fee information
· Update personal information such as address, telephone number, and emergency contacts
· Update your preferred first name
· Submit an online course evaluation
· Submit an application to participate in an exchange program (not all faculties)
· Apply to graduate
· View graduation status and convocation details
· Order official transcripts
· Retrieve tax receipts
For information on logging in to the Minerva website, visit our IT Services website at www.mcgill.ca/it and select Logins and Passwords.
Students are required to obtain a C grade or higher in all required core subjects and may not include more than one D grade (not exceeding 4 credits) in the elective courses. Students who obtain no more than two D or F grades (not exceeding 8 credits) may be permitted to write supplemental examinations if they are offered and/or repeat the course. Students may repeat failed courses only once. Failures and inadmissible D grades must normally be made up within 16 months of terminating the original course.
Advanced Standing: Credit/Exemption Policy
Advanced Standing and Transfer credits may be granted to students who provide evidence of equivalent course(s) completed at McGill University or elsewhere. Students should note that courses taken more than five (5) years ago will not be recognized for advanced standing. Permission must be obtained from the program director concerned. Normally, a maximum of 9 credits is permitted. In order for credits to be accepted a grade of "C" or better must have been obtained.
Advanced standing may be granted to students who have completed equivalent credit course(s) at McGill University or at another recognized university. Advanced Standing may be granted in the following form:
- Credit: Students who are given credit for a course do not have to retake that course, nor do they need to replace it.
- Exemption: Students who are granted an exemption for a co-requisite, pre-requisite, or external pre-requisite course are not required to replace it with an authorized substitution. Students who are granted an exemption for a compulsory course will be required to replace it with an authorized substitution as approved by the Department. The academic advisor will inform students of the list of courses that are considered to be acceptable substitutes.
Prerequisites for Courses
Admission to certain courses is restricted to students who have reached a certain level of knowledge by having completed other required work. In course terminology, this means that Course A is prerequisite to Course B if a satisfactory pass in Course A is required for admission to Course B. The prerequisite course(s) or conditions are specified in the course descriptions. Students must observe these prerequisites. If you fail to meet the prerequisite requirement, you will be denied permission to register in the course. Students unsure of their status with regard to a prerequisite must inquire at the School of Continuing Studies.
Programs may frequently be comprised of a number of required courses. In course terminology these represent mandatory courses that must be completed to fulfil the requirements of a program unless the student receives an exemption(s).
Programs may be comprised of a number of complementary courses. These are courses selected from a restricted list, a particular subject area, or a discipline. In some programs, students must include a number of these complementary courses to meet program requirements.
All our programs are structured to be taken on a part-time basis. Therefore, students are advised to register for no more than two courses per term. If, however, a student with special reason wishes to take a full-time load, the following conditions are applicable:
· A student would be permitted, if the schedule allows it, to register for a full load in the first term.
· If a student then has one failure, the course load will be reduced to three courses in the subsequent term.
· If a student has two failures, the course load would be reduced to two in the subsequent term.
· If a student has accumulated three failures, he/she will be asked to withdraw.
A failure is defined as being a grade less than B- (65%).
All programs must be completed within a certain amount of time, counted from the date of initial registration:
Type of Program
Program must be completed in
Certificate (10 courses)
Diploma (10 courses)
Graduate Certificate (5 courses)
Time limits will be adjusted accordingly for programs that require more than the typical number of courses, for students who are granted advanced standing, and for students who transfer from one program to another.
Requesting an extension
Students exceeding the time limit for completing a program may request an extension in writing, which may be granted under special circumstances with the approval of the Program Director. Where appropriate, a revised program of study may be recommended.
Suspending your studies
Students are not obliged to take courses every semester. Students can decide to suspend their studies for up to two consecutive semesters. Students who do not register for any course in their program for a period of one year (i.e., three semesters) are required to re-apply to their program and must meet any new program requirements.
A Convocation ceremony for graduating students of the School of Continuing Studies is held twice a year: in the Spring and the Fall.
Students need to apply for graduation using Minerva.
Students who are eligible for graduation will be notified by the School of Continuing Studies. If you are not contacted regarding your eligibility for graduation, or if you miss the graduation application deadlines, please contact ecpundergrad.education [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Graduation)
Spring Convocation: If you will be completing your studies by December and you expect to graduate at the end of the Fall term, you must apply to graduate on Minerva by the end of November. You will be eligible to attend the Spring Convocation ceremony.
If you will be completing your studies by April and you expect to graduate at the end of the Winter term, you must apply to graduate on Minerva by February. You will be eligible to attend the Spring Convocation ceremony.
Fall Convocation: If you will be completing your studies by June, July or August and intend to graduate at the end of the Summer term, you must apply to graduate on Minerva by March. You will be eligible to attend the Fall Convocation ceremony.
General application and admission questions
- Where do I send letters of reference?
Letters of reference must be sent directly from the referee's institutionalized email address to ecpcont.education [at] mcgill.ca.
- Can I still register if I miss the application deadline?
Yes; in many cases you can register for departmentally approved courses as a Special Student. Once you are admitted to a program, you will receive credit for these courses provided that they are courses listed as part of the program you are admitted to. Normally, Special Students are permitted to register for up to three 3 credit courses before being required to apply to a program. First time Special Students must register in person, once they receive written permission to register as a Special Student from this department. To book an appointment with the School of Continuing Studies for Special Student Registration please call 514-398-2900.
- What if I don’t have the minimum CGPA required for admission; can I still be considered?
Yes, it's possible to register for certain approved courses as a Special Student. Special Students are those students who are not currently registered in a program and are studying as an independent student, usually on a temporary basis. Visit our Register for an ECP Course as a Special Student page for information related to Special Students, Quebec inter-university transfer students, visiting students, and more.
- When are Continuing Education courses offered?
Courses are offered during the evening, usually from 6 until 9 PM at the downtown McGill campus; they are offered in the evening to accommodate the majority of our students who are pursuing a career in education during the day.
- Can I study full-time?
Our professional development programs are part-time programs; we do not guarantee that any course will be offered during any given semester. If the courses are offered, it is possible to register for 12 credits per semester, which is considered full-time.
Employment Opportunities Overview
- What type of jobs can I apply for with a completed Certificate in Inclusive Education?
If you are not a certified teacher, typically graduates of the Certificate in Inclusive Education Program apply for jobs in daycare centres, as teacher aides, and as Resource Room workers.
- What type of jobs can I apply for with a Diploma in Human Relations and Family Life Education Program?
Typically our Diploma grads apply for positions in hospitals, schools, community centres, etc. which have a Family life Education Program. For further information, please visit the following web site: www.afleq.ca
- Can I apply for a position as a counsellor upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Counselling Applied to Teaching?
No; only those who have successfully completed a certifiable Graduate Degree in Counselling Psychology (such as the MA in Counselling Psychology: Professional/Internship Concentration), i.e., one that is recognized by a governing Order of Counsellors, can practise as a Counsellor and refer to themselves as Counsellors. This particular program is intended for teachers who may feel that their students might benefit from professional counselling and who then would refer their students to a certified Counsellor or Counselling Psychologist.
Program and Curriculum
- Are there any courses offered online?
Yes, but these courses are restricted to teachers who have been given special permission by MELS to register for these to continue their brevet ‘tolerance’.
- Where can I find a listing of current course offerings?
For current course offerings, visit the Minerva Dynamic Schedule - Class Schedule Search. Select a study term, then search by "EDPI" in the Subject field.
- Do I need to apply for a leave of absence?
Please notify our office by ecpcont.education [at] mcgill.ca (email) should you plan on taking a leave of absence. Please note that there is a limit of three consecutive inactive semesters, at which time if you have not registered for courses, your ‘session’ will be closed and you will be required to reapply to the program.
- Is it possible to take 1 or 2 courses if I'm not enrolled in a program or if I missed a deadline?
This may be possible. If you have missed an application deadline and would like to get started right away and not waste a semester, haven't been studying for some time and wish to 'test the waters' or merely require a course or two to meet your goals and don't need to apply to a program, you may be able to register for certain approved courses as a Special Student.
Still have questions? Contact us at ecpcont.education [at] mcgill.ca.