Glossary of terms
Academic year: Composed of two terms - a fall term (September to December) and a winter term (January to April), followed by a Summer Term (normally early May to mid-August).
Bachelor's degree: The first degree obtained at a university.
CÉGEP (Collège d'enseignement général et professionel): A post-secondary institution in Quebec offering college-level programs that either prepare students for entry into university (with two-year pre-university programs) or train students for a wide range of occupations (through three-year career and technology programs).
Certificate: Concordia offers several undergraduate certificates, usually of 30 credits, made up of regular undergraduate courses. Certificates are independent programs and not part of degree programs; however, courses taken as part of a certificate program are normally applicable to the appropriate undergraduate degree.
Cote de rendement au collégial (CRC): The CRC is a method of comparing and ranking Cegep applicants. It measures how far above or below the class average a student is, making adjustments based on the relative strength of the student within the group.
Credits: In general, a course that spans one semester is worth three credits while a two-semester course is worth six credits. Full-time students may register for a maximum of 15 credits in each of the fall and winter terms. Engineering programs may require more than 30 credits. Part-time students in all Faculties may register for a maximum of nine credits in each of the fall and winter terms. One credit represents a minimum of 45 hours spread across various activities (lectures, tutorials, laboratories, studio or work practicums, examinations, and individual work). As this guideline varies by Faculty, please check what structure applies to your program of interest in the undergraduate or graduate calendars or by contacting your academic advisor.
Diplôme d'études collégiales (DEC): The diploma earned by Cegep students upon completion of either the two-year or three-year program.
Degree: A degree that is earned by students upon completion of a unified program of study.
Department: A section within a university Faculty dealing with a particular field of knowledge, e.g. Department of English.
Doctorate (PhD): The highest degree obtained at a university, usually requiring three to five years of original research in a specialized field of study.
Extended credit program (ECP): Students from other education systems, such as graduates of secondary schools from outside the province of Quebec, may be considered for admission to the Extended Credit Program (ECP). All students admitted to the ECP are required to take a minimum of 30 credits in addition to the regular (90 or 120 credit) degree program requirements. Some programs require students to take specific first-year courses. Refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for details.
Faculty: A branch of a university encompassing various related disciplines, e.g. Faculty of Arts & Science, John Molson School of Business.
Grade Point Average (GPA): Students are required to maintain an acceptable standard of performance. Academic standing is calculated at the end of each academic year (summer, fall, winter terms), provided they have attempted a minimum of 12 credits.
Graduate student: Students registered in a Master’s or Doctorate (PhD) degree, graduate certificate or diploma program.
Honours: An honours program consists of 60 or more credits in a discipline with superior performance required to enter and remain in the program. Honours are highly concentrated programs that are primarily for those planning to pursue graduate studies. Honours programs often require the completion of an independent final project or thesis.
Independent student: Independent students register for individual courses, normally on a part-time basis. Typical Independent students are interested in taking courses for general knowledge or job-related purposes. Others may be interested in specific subject areas or may take courses to “test the waters” prior to embarking on a part-time or full-time basis as an undergraduate student at the University.
Letter of intent: This letter should express your reasons for choosing a program, your short- and long-range goals, and any relevant job or volunteer experience.
Limited enrolment program: A program in which the number of applications normally does not significantly exceed the number of available places. A minimum admission standard is set and admission is granted on an ongoing basis until all seats are filled.
Major: A major is a sequence of courses totalling 36 or more credits, except in the John Molson School of Business where the major consists of at least 24 credits in a particular discipline in addition to the required 42-credit core. A major is a more general degree, applicable to many different careers, and allows for the greatest exploration outside of the chosen program.
Master's degree: The second degree obtained at a university after the completion of a specialized program in a particular discipline. A bachelor's degree is required for entry into the program. The degree normally requires two years of full-time study and research.
Mature entry program (MEP): Canadians and Permanent Residents 21 years of age or older who lack the normal pre-university schooling may still be considered for admission to MEP. Entrants must satisfy certain admission requirements. All students admitted to the MEP are required to take a minimum of 18 credits in addition to the regular (90 or 120 credit) degree program requirements.
Minor: A minor is a sequence of courses totalling 24 or more credits that provides a basic introduction to the methodology and key concepts of a discipline or field (except in the John Molson School of Business where a minor consists of 12 credits in a chosen discipline in addition to the required 42 credit core). Students are not required to take a minor. Completion of one or more minors does not meet the requirements for a degree, but must be done in combination with a major, specialization or honours.
Open programs: Programs in which the number of qualified candidates does not exceed the number of places available. Normally all qualified applicants are accepted.
Option: In the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, concentrations are referred to as programs. Most of these programs have options, where students take a number of related courses in a chosen area.
Part-time vs. full-time: If you study full time, you will normally take 30 credits a year. If you study part time, you may take up to 18 credits during the regular session (September–April), spread equally over the two terms. It is also possible to take up to 12 credits in the summer session, although the range of course offerings tends to be limited.
Permanent Code: The Quebec Ministry of Education requires all Quebec Universities to have a permanent code for each registered student on whose behalf the University receives funding.
Quota program: A program in which the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, e.g. Communication Studies. Entry, therefore, is both competitive and selective, and closing dates for applications are stringently applied.
Specialization: A specialization is a sequence of courses totalling 60 or more credits. The specialization provides in-depth study for those interested in a career in their chosen field, while still leaving a substantial number of credits to the individual’s choice. In a few cases it includes a performance requirement. In addition to courses in a particular discipline, the specialization may include courses in other related fields.
Transfer Credit: Transfer credits are courses that are normally applied towards your degree and so reduce the length of your program. You may earn transfer credits from another post-secondary educational institution or by changing degrees within Concordia.
Undergraduate Student: Students registered in a bachelor's degree or certificate program, whether on a full-time or a part-time basis.
Visiting Student: A student currently enrolled at another university who has permission from that other university to take specific courses at Concordia.