First steps as an Independent student

First steps as an Independent student
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    Now that you've applied and received authorization to register for courses as an Undergraduate Independent Student at Concordia, it's time to take action! Start by reading through your letter of authorization, sent to you by email. It will contain important information about your next steps. Let's review some of those steps now. Firstly, and most importantly, you have to register for your courses. But before physically registering for them on your Student Centre through my.concordia.ca, you have to figure out which courses to take. If you are planning on pursuing a degree program at some point in the future, you will likely be required to complete specific courses to meet the admission requirements of your future desired program. Find out what those required courses are! You can start by referring to the "Recommended Courses" section of the Independent Student website, and if you need further advising you can speak to a representative from the Faculty you'd eventually like to get into. If the program you would like to get into does not require specific courses to be taken in advance and simply requires you to complete 18 credits for example, then you can just choose courses based on your interests. Ideally, you should try to select courses you think you will do well in since grades are very important. Pro Tip: Start by looking for 200-level courses, those are normally the courses students take in their first year. The best place to look for courses is in the Undergraduate Calendar. The Undergraduate Calendar is the university's official document that outlines all undergraduate academic programs offered at Concordia. Although there's an actual calendar inside it, this document is way more than just a calendar! You will find the breakdown of every degree as well as the list and description of every course taught at Concordia. You can then validate which courses are being offered each term by using the Class Search tool in your Student Centre through my.concordia.ca It's best to make a list of courses you have to, or would like to take, and then add at least 3 more courses as alternatives. Since Independent Students are only able to register for courses one month before the beginning of term, it's quite possible that some of your desired courses will already be full seeing as the registration period for certificate and degree students opens several months before classes start. Also, remember that there are many courses Independent Students are not allowed to take because they are reserved exclusively for students in a degree program. So even if a course appears to have available spots, or if you are able to put your name on a waitlist for a course, you might still be blocked from registering for it. Be prepared to adjust the sequence of your courses due to access and availability. Prerequisites: If one or more of the courses on your list has prerequisites, you will need to prove that you have already completed those prerequisite courses before being able to register. But wait – what is a prerequisite you might be wondering? It's a specific course that must be taken before another course. You can find out if a course has a prerequisite by reading the course description directly in the registration system or in the undergraduate calendar. In some cases you may have already completed the prerequisite course at CEGEP or at another university, and would simply need to complete a prerequisite waiver form, available on the Independent Student Website. Often, you also need to contact the academic department offering the course to ask for a prerequisite waiver specific to that department. Prerequisite waivers can be a time-consuming process, so don't wait until the last minute to start planning out your courses. Be proactive! If you have not previously completed certain prerequisite courses, it's best to fit them into your schedule now, so that you have access to your desired course in a later semester. So once you've compiled your list of courses, it's time to actually register for them on your Student Centre through my.concordia.ca Remember, Independent Students are limited to studying part-time, which means less than 12 credits. And sometimes, you may want to consider even less than that, depending on your work and personal commitments, especially in your first term. And don't forget, studying on a part-time basis could affect important things like your eligibility for loans and bursaries, so be sure to look into the details of how part-time studies could affect you. Pro Tip: When planning out your schedule, keep in mind that to successfully stay on top of university course material and assignments, you'll need to set aside a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of study time a week, in addition to the time you spend in class, for each course you take. There is a Step-by-Step Registration Guide available on the Independent Student website, and if ever you need support navigating the registration system in your Student Centre on my.concordia.ca, you can always contact a Welcome Crew Mentor for help.
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