McMaster University

McMaster University

Study Abroad Independently

Letter of Permission (LOP) for Undergraduate Study Outside Canada

Students in good academic standing, who wish to attend another university to take courses for credit toward a McMaster degree, must first request a Letter of Permission from the Office of the Associate Dean. A Letter of Permission is automatically cancelled if a student is placed on academic probation, program probation, or required to withdraw from the University. Students should take note of any conditions on the Letter of Permission that might apply, including the requirement of a grade of at least C- for transfer credit. Courses taken at another university cannot be used to satisfy the University's minimum residence requirement, will not be included in the calculation of the averages at McMaster, and therefore cannot be used to raise standing. The transcript designation will read COM, indicating Complete, when a C- or better is attained.

Full-time students taking courses on a Letter of Permission must continue to carry a full load at McMaster during the Fall/Winter session if they wish to be considered for Undergraduate In-course Academic Awards; i.e. courses taken on a Letter of Permission do not count toward your load for purposes of academic awards.

  • Before pursuing an LOP, check with the International Student Services Office (Gilmour Hall, Room 110 to see if McMaster University has an existing exchange agreement with the institution you wish to attend. An Exchange is often an easier process than LOP.
  • You will pay tuition to the host institution not to McMaster University. Check to see if the host institution charges higher fees for students from other countries if you intend to study abroad; these fees can be 2-5 times higher than those of domestic students.
  • Ensure that the host institution provides transcripts: without a transcript McMaster University has no official record of the courses you took and grades you received. You may also need to get transcripts in the future if you apply for graduate school or employment.
  • Although McMaster University may award credit for courses you take elsewhere, other institutions may not recognize the host institution you have attended. Confirm that the institution you wish to attend is recognized and accredited. This will ensure that your courses will not be discounted by another institution.
  • Request your LOP before you apply to the host university;there is no guarantee that course credit will be awarded at McMaster University. Get everything sorted out before you begin the course.
  • You are responsible for having the host institution forward transcripts to McMaster University.
  • You are responsible for informing McMaster University of any changes to your LOP (course selection, etc.) and for getting approval for course changes.
  • Withdrawal from or non-registration in courses taken on LOP must be verified by official documentation form the host institution.
  • If you wish to stay longer that you originally intended, you must contact your program counsellor/academic advisor for a new "Letter of Permission" for the new set of courses you will take.

If you have further questions:

  • Refer to the Office of the Registrar's webpage: Letter of Permission
  • Consult your program counsellor/academic advisor
  • Visit us in the International Student Services Office, Gilmour Hall, Room 110