Concordia University

Independent students

As an independent undergraduate student, you will be taking courses on a part-time basis; typically 9 credits per term. Independent students are not working towards a degree or certificate.​

As an independent undergraduate student, you will be taking courses on a part-time basis; 9 credits per term, independent students are not working towards a degree or certificate. 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.)

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.

Independent graduate students enrol in specific courses without being admitted to a graduate 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.

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