As an independent undergraduate student, you will be taking courses on a part-time basis, to a maximum of 9 credits per term. Typically, independent students are not working towards a degree or certificate in the short term. You will need to set aside a minimum of five hours of study time a week (in addition to the time you spend in class) for each course you take.
Depending on your goals, you may wish to consider applying for a certificate program or a Bachelor's degree program rather than independent studies. If you would like to talk over your options, you can always book an appointment to meet with an admissions information officer.
The most common reasons to pursue independent studies include: to explore different fields of study without being restricted to the specific courses you need to take to earn a degree; to complete prerequisite courses in preparation for applying to a bachelor’s degree program in the future; or to improve your grade point average (GPA).
Keep in mind that some courses are reserved exclusively for students in a degree program and are not open to independent students. Most Fine Arts courses are restricted to Fine Arts degree program students.
You will be eligible to register for courses only after undergraduate degree program students have done so. If you plan to sign up for a course with prerequisites, you will need to show that you have already completed them (See course registration for details.)
You may apply to join Concordia as an independent undergraduate student if one of the following scenarios describes your situation:
You are 21 year of age or older and you are Canadian or a permanent resident. Specifically, you must be 21 or older by May 15 if you are applying for Summer term entry; by September 15 for the Fall term; and by January 15 for the Winter term.
Canadian citizens or permanent residents
You will need to submit documents that prove your age and your status in Canada when you apply for admission. Acceptable documents include:
- Canadian birth certificate (if from Quebec: Birth Certificate issued by the Quebec Directeur de l'état civil with the mention "Certified" or "certifié conforme")
- Canadian citizenship card (both sides)
- permanent resident card (both sides) or IMM 5292
Please do not submit these documents:
- driver’s licence
- health care card
- baptismal certificate
- Social Insurance Number card
Independent status is not available to international students applying to the University from outside Canada.
If you are an international student already living in Montreal, you can show proof of your identity and your status in Canada by submitting a copy of your passport and, if applicable, a copy of your convention refugee documents. You will need to submit the document(s) only once you are offered admission.
Provide your name, date of birth, first language, email address and other details. Please ensure that all information is accurate and matches all your official supporting documents. If you had to modify the spelling of your name when you created your Netname account, please correct your name here.
For the questions about languages, if you are bilingual or multilingual, please choose the options that seem most appropriate to you. Your answers will not affect your application for admission in any way.
The email address you provide will be the one we use to communicate with you throughout the admissions process.
You may specify a mailing address different from your home address.
You can change your contact information at a later date through MyConcordia.ca.
MyConcordia is the university’s main site for students to carry out key tasks related to their academic life, like checking course schedules and paying tuition. For future students, it’s also the place where you can check on the status of your application for admission. You’ll be able to log into MyConcordia once you’ve submitted your application.
Please ensure that you have PDF copies of your documents ready to upload.
You do not have to upload all the documents listed in the drop-down list, only the documents required to support your application.
File types that can be uploaded include:
- Adobe Acrobat Document (*.pdf)
- Image files (*.bmp, *.gif, *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.tif)
- Microsoft Word Document (*.doc)
- Rich Text File (*.rtf)
- Text File (*.txt)
File size can be no larger than 5 MB per document.
You may also add documents after the application has been submitted through My Student Centre on MyConcordia.
You’re almost finished!
Release of Information: Privacy rules prevent us from talking to anyone but you about your application, unless you indicate that it’s okay for us to communicate with a specific person that you have authorized on your application. Once you are admitted, this person will no longer have access to your file.
Application Fee: To finalize your application, you need to agree to our terms and conditions, and pay a non-refundable application fee ($15 CAD) by credit card or debit card. Please note: we accept the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and the following debit cards: Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank or TD Canada Trust.
Once you click the “submit” button, you will receive a confirmation email with an attached PDF copy of your application. This email will include an eight-digit student ID number that you will use throughout your studies should you be accepted at Concordia.
If you didn’t get the confirmation email (and you can’t find it in your junk mail folder either), call us at 514-848-2424, extension 2668 or email email@example.com. We will send you your student ID number.
If you have any technical difficulties with your online application please contact the Instructional & Information Technology Services (IITS) service desk.
When your application is complete and you’ve added all supporting documents to your file, we start to consider your application. Because the admissions process varies for each student, we cannot give specific dates for a decision. Read more about the application assessment period.
If you apply for admission to a semester in the distant future (for example, to start a year from the time you apply), we will defer our decision until we receive the grades for any courses that you have not completed yet.
You can keep tabs on your application status online. Log into MyConcordia.ca and go to My Student Centre.
If you still have questions about your application, you can always email us.
If you are offered admission, you will receive an offer letter by email – not in the mail. It may be a good idea to double-check your email's junk folder.
Congratulations! Your letter of permission to register at Concordia, sent to you by email, will contain important information about your next steps. Here are some key elements.
Anyone who is not a resident of Quebec pays an additional fee per credit. This fee is collected by Quebec universities on behalf of the province’s Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur. If you’re a resident of Quebec, it’s a good idea to make sure Concordia is aware of your residency status before the fee payment deadline to avoid being charged the non-resident rate. Even Cegep students need to verify we have properly recorded their residency status.
Obtaining Quebec residency status
In certain situations, non-residents of Quebec may be eligible for the Quebec tuition rate. If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, and you meet the Ministère de l’Éducation criteria, you can apply for status as a resident of Quebec through My Student Centre. Go to “Personal Information” and select “Quebec Residency Application.”
Under the Ministère de l’Éducation, each student has a “permanent code” to identify them within the Quebec education system. You will pay more tuition unless you provide Concordia with yours. Simply fill out the "permanent code" form in My Student Centre under “Student Services.” If you don’t have a permanent code, Concordia will issue you one directly after you complete the form.
If you are an international student with permission to register at Concordia, you wiill need to visit the International Students Office with a copy of your immigration documents. Read more about joining Concordia as an international independent undergraduate student.
You will be eligible to register for courses only after undergraduate degree program students have done so, or approximately one month before the beginning of the academic term. Keep in mind that some courses are reserved exclusively for students in a degree program and are not open to independent students.
Normally, you must register by the Did Not Enter (DNE) deadline.
- The DNE deadline for the Fall term, including year-long courses, is September 17, 2018.
- The DNE deadline for the Winter term is January 21, 2019.
You may submit a request to be considered for late registration.
If you are an international student, you will be permitted to register only once you have shared your Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ) and your study permit with the International Students Office.
Since you are considered a part-time student, you may register for a maximum of 9 credits per academic term in the Fall and Winter terms, or a maximum of 12 credits in the Summer term.
Plan to set aside a minimum of five hours of study time a week (in addition to the time you spend in class) for each course you take. Especially for your first term, you may wish to carefully consider all of your commitments as you plan your schedule, so you can balance your academic work with any other work and/or personal commitments.
You do have the option of submitting a request to take more courses than the normal maximum.
To register for a course with prerequisites, you will need to show that you meet those conditions by completing a prerequisite waiver form. In some cases, you will need to contact the academic department offering the course to ask for a prerequisite waiver specific to that department.
If you are planning on pursuing a degree or certificate program at some point in the future, it may make sense for you to choose specific courses as part of your independent studies, to meet the requirements of your future program of choice. If you studied at a Cegep and this is your first time pursuing studies at Concordia, you may be entitled to a course exemption, meaning you'll be exempt from the requirement to take that specific course.
If you need advising about the courses you are planning to take, please get in touch with the appropriate Faculty.
- Arts and Science: 514-848-2424, ext. 2104 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Engineering and Computer Science: 514-848-2424, ext. 3055 email@example.com
- Fine Arts: 514-848-2424, ext. 4612 firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Molson School of Business: 514-848-2424, ext. 2721 | or book an advising appointment online
The Did Not Enter (DNE) deadline allows you to withdraw from courses with no academic penalty and receive a full tuition refund. Dropped "Did Not Enter" courses will not appear on your transcript, nor will they affect your grade point average.
- The DNE deadline for the Fall term, including year-long courses, is September 17, 2018.
- The DNE deadline for the Winter term is January 21, 2019.
The Discontinued (DISC) deadline allows you to withdraw from courses with no academic penalty, but you’ll still have to pay all tuition and other fees associated with the course, including winter-term tuition for year-long courses.
- The DISC deadline for the fall term is November 5, 2018.
- The DISC deadline for the winter term, including courses that began in September, is March 18, 2019.
Dropped courses will be noted on your transcript as DISC for “discontinued.” Normally, you cannot drop courses after the DISC deadline. You do have the option of submitting a request for late withdrawal.
Please keep in mind it is your responsibility to take all steps necessary to properly withdraw from a course. Simply not attending classes or informing an instructor of your intent to withdraw does not constitute officially withdrawing from a course. If you do not properly withdraw prior to the posted deadlines, you will automatically receive a failing grade and you will remain responsible for full payment of tuition and other associated fees.
Independent students are bound by the same rules as certificate or degree program students in matters like dropping courses, yearly academic standing, examination regulations, etc. See Sections 15 and 16 of the undergraduate calendar for details.
Request to review exceptions
The Independent Student Request Committee reviews exceptions to academic regulations, or related matters. You may submit a request form and supporting documentation directly to the Independent Student Request Committee. Forms are available online or at the Birks Student Service Centre. Decisions are normally rendered within (30) working days of receiving the request and will be final.
For independent students in failed standing
If you are in failed standing, you must apply for readmission to the University before you can register for future courses.
If you are already an independent student at Concordia and you wish to apply for admission to a Bachelor's or certificate program, you will need to submit to a new application. Review the admission requirements by consulting the recommended courses, by checking your program's admission requirements or by speaking to an academic advisor.
In some cases, credits you earned as an independent student can be applied towards a degree or certificate program. The number of credits you receive will depend on the program and the Faculty. The Faculty of Arts and Science, for instance, may grant an independent student a maximum of 30 credits towards a degree program.
To apply for admission as an independent graduate student:
1. Contact the graduate program assistant for your program to determine if the program accepts independent students (see "Contact us" at the bottom of the description of your program for contact information).
2. Review course descriptions in the graduate academic calendar and choose the course(s) that interest you.
3. Complete the authorizaton form.
4. Submit the completed form to the graduate program assistant, along with a copy of your most recent transcript and proof of residency.
5. Read the complete information on Independent Graduate Students in the Graduate Calendar.
The graduate program director will evaluate your academic background and review your request to take graduate courses.
In some cases, the University may require proof of English proficiency if it is deemed necessary.
Keep in mind that if you do become an independent graduate student, you will need to wait to register for courses until after degree-seeking students have registered. We cannot guarantee you a place in a specific course.
Limit on course registration
As an independent graduate student, you may take no more than the equivalent of two graduate courses per term and you are limited to a maximum of 12 credits from a specific program.
After you are accepted
Avoid the "permanent code" surcharge
Under the Ministère de l’Éducation, each student has a “permanent code” to identify them within the Quebec education system. You will pay more tuition unless you provide Concordia with yours. If you don’t have a permanent code, Concordia will issue you one directly after you complete the request form.