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Academic year: The academic year begins with a summer session (May to August) followed by a regular session (September to April). The summer session includes all courses offered between the beginning of May and the end of August. The regular session is divided into a fall term (September to December) and a winter term (January to April), each 15 weeks long. Terms include an examination period, during which any final examination must be held.


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.

Co-op: Co-operative education (Co-op) is a model of experiential learning that bridges university life and the working world. It provides students the chance to combine study with paid work terms in their chosen fields, bringing a wealth of benefits to both students and their employers.

College: Concordia's Colleges are specialized learning units. These small learning communities prepare students for the world outside the classroom, and for their role as engaged global citizens. The Colleges offer enriching, challenging, and stimulating academic experiences where teaching and learning are approached from multiple and global perspectives. (see FAQs)

CRC (Cote de rendement au collégial): 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.


Deficiencies: A deficiency is a course you have not completed that is required for admission to your chosen program. Courses identified as “deficiencies” must be completed as early in your studies as possible. You may have two options for making up those deficiencies as indicated by the letters “A” or “B.” Engineering and Computer Science students must complete the courses identified as deficiencies before registering for classes.

DEC (Diplôme d'études collégiales): 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.

DISC (Discontinued): If you miss the DNE deadline but still want to drop a course you can, as long as it’s done before the DISC deadline. While it won’t affect your GPA, discontinuing a course will result in a DISC notation on your student record and official transcript. You will also be kept financially responsible for the payment of tuition and other fees pertaining to the course.

DNE (Did Not Enter): The DNE deadline is the date by which you can officially withdraw from a course without having to pay for it. If you drop a course before this deadline it won’t appear on either your student record or official transcript.

Doctorate (PhD): The highest degree obtained at a university, usually requiring three to five years of original research in a specialized field of study.


Exemptions: Concordia will grant you an exemption when you successfully complete a specific course and meet any indicated minimum grade for the course. An exemption does not count as credit towards a degree, so it will not decrease the number of courses you need to complete your degree — it will let you skip ahead to a more advanced course. Courses for which Concordia gives you an exemption may not be taken for credit. If you received an exemption for a course required for your program, you must take another course in the same department instead, to be determined in consultation with a departmental advisor.

Extended credit program (ECP): Academic qualifications presented by students applying from institutions outside Quebec should be comparable to those expected of students applying from within Quebec. Students who have not successfully completed a two-year pre-university program may be admitted to the Extended Credit Program, which requires them to take a minimum of 30 additional credits. This ensures the time to complete a program at Concordia is the same as it would be at any other university outside Quebec, about four years of full-time study. The Undergraduate Calendar lists ECP requirements for each Faculty.


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.

Interdisciplinary: An interdisciplinary major is a program consisting of credits comprised of courses from a range of disciplines. Interdisciplinary minor programs usually consist of less credits and are to be combined with a department major, specialization, or honours.


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 Gina Cody School 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.


Quebec residency: Quebec residents pay a lower tuition rate at Quebec Universities than other Canadian or international students. To pay Quebec resident tuition rates, first you must apply for Quebec resident tuition status. If you do not do this, you will pay higher tuition rates.  

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.

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