Independent studies

What is undergraduate independent studies?

Common reasons to study as an independent student

  • Explore different academic fields without being confined to degree program requirements
  • Complete prerequisite courses to qualify for admission to a bachelor’s degree program
  • Improve your grade point average

Consider whether independent studies is right for you prior to applying

  • Credit limit
    Independent students are limited to studying part-time, which means fewer than 12 credits per term.

  • Limited course selection
    There are many courses that independent students cannot take because they are reserved exclusively for students in a degree program. For example, most Fine Arts and John Molson School of Business courses are only open to degree program students in those faculties.

  • Limited course availability
    Independent students can only register for courses after students in certificate and degree programs. The registration period for Independent students only opens 1 month before classes begin, whereas other students can start registering 4 months in advance. This means that sometimes the classes you want to take will already be full.

  • Transfer Credits
    Up to a maximum of 30 credits earned as an independent student can transfer to a degree program. This will only be determined once you are admitted to a degree program.

Depending on your goals, it might make more sense to consider applying for a certificate program or a Bachelor's degree program rather than Independent Studies.

Why a certificate program?

  • You can complete prerequisite courses for a bachelor’s degree program.
  • You can improve your grade point average (GPA) for future degree program applications.
  • Certain certificate programs are designed for students who want to prepare for degree program admission.*
  • Certificate students register for courses earlier, meaning you’ll have a greater chance to register for the courses you want.
  • Many certificate programs have specific academic advisors who are here to help you succeed.

*Certificates to consider for students who want to prepare for degree program admission:

Faculty of Arts and Science Certificate in Arts and Science
Certificate in Science Foundations
Gina Cody School of Engineering and
Computer Science
Certificate in Science and Technology
John Molson School of Business Certificate in Foundations for Business

To discuss your academic options at Concordia, and whether independent studies are right for you, book an appointment with an admissions information officer by calling 514-848-2424, ext. 4779

Admission criteria

You are eligible for independent studies if one of the following scenarios describes your situation.

After you've applied

Confirmation email
Once you pay and submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. This email will include an eight-digit student ID number that you will use throughout your studies at Concordia. The email with further remind you of the supporting documents required to submit.
If you do not get the confirmation email (and you can not find it in your junk mail folder either), call us at 514-848-2424, extension 2668 or email We will send you your student ID number.

When can I expect a decision?
If you provide the required academic credentials (transcripts, etc.) and/or proof of citizenship or permanent residency with your application, you will be notified via email in 10-15 business days once an admission decision is made.
Remember that we cannot make a decision on your application until we have received all of the required supporting documents.

Check your application status online
You can view your application status online. You can also view the status by logging in to the Student Hub and going to My CU Account

Need more information?

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