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Still Undergrad



I know this forum is for graduate students. However, I plan to apply to grad school as soon as I'm finished my undergrad. I'm one class from finishing, and I need advice from others who have faced down the dragons of academic bureaucracy as well.

I've been receiving my education at a well known Canadian research Uni. In my final semester, with one class left to complete, our family moved to Oregon. This was unavoidable, bankruptcy was involved, my family sold our home, and a job was offered in the Pacific Northwest. I needed to move with my family and try to finish my degree in Oregon since on my own, I can't afford the $20,000 that Canada requires in your bank account to extend a Canadian student visa (I'm an international student).

Since moving to the state I've been submitting syllabus after syllabus to the advisers back in Canada, in attempts at finding a match for the one upper level statistics course I need to complete. I've been able to find two matches, the math and psychology departments agree the courses I found are on par. My stumbling block is one person. The "study away" adviser at the school. Despite my department signing off on the courses being equivalent, she's putting her foot down and refusing to let me take a course since Oregon State University is not on  McGill's pre-approved host University list.  When I asked how to get the University on the list she tried to deter me from even trying, telling me it's time consuming for her department. I insisted on applying anyway. It was extremely time consuming for me to do so. I had to call Oregon State and gather five pages of info for an application. I had to find the US department of education serial number for the school. Detail their grading system, and provide access to an adviser at Oregon State for McGill to send further questions to. This process took about four months, sine McGill's advisers refused to answer my emails, phone calls, or provide guidance multiple times.


I started this process in May, and I completed the application in July. I only just heard back from the McGill advisers Oct 2nd. They only spent 30 seconds of their time to refuse my request. The adviser told me that since Oregon State University is on a quarter system instead of a semester system my request is refused. However there are many American Universities on the pre approved study away list on the quarter system, rather than the semester system, and my department had told me the class I'm trying to take *is* equivalent to the McGill stats class. I'd try to take a different equivalent class at a local uni with the semester system, except that all the STEM universities out here are on the quarter system, and the math is so high level, even at the STEM schools it is usually taught as a hybrid course that undergrad students need special permission for

What would you do? I'm running out of time to get my application in for studying away, that's another consideration.

Edited by Jules2003
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This isn't really a graduate school question. It's also a little difficult to understand your problem. The basic outline seems that you've been studying at McGill and you only have one class left, but now you had to move to Oregon with your family and are trying to complete the last class in Oregon. The issue seems to come in with finding an equivalent class for an upper-level statistics course you need.

Is the study away advisor the necessary person you need to sign off on this? Go back to your math or psychology department chair or advisor and ask them for advice in navigating around this. Is there someone higher-level that you could communicate with, like an academic dean for the school within McGill that you're enrolled in? I'd escalate there.

I'd also send an email back to the McGill advisers who denied your request/application saying exactly what you said here - that you don't understand the denial of Oregon State on the grounds that it's on a quarter system since many of the other American universities on the pre-approved list are also on the quarter system. Mention that this will hamstring your attempts to finish the degree at all, since most West Coast American universities are on the quarter system. Ask them what parameters the university you choose to complete this course at need to adhere to, so you can successfully select a university in your new area that will allow you to complete your degree. Call them if they don't respond to emails.

What is the class?

Do you have any trusted advisors at McGill? Are there academic advisors? I would talk to one of the, via phone (since it seems like they take a while to answer emails) and ask for advice.

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