Degrees and Credits at UQAM


| Definition of a Credit

A credit is a unit which allows a numerical value to be attributed to the workload required for a student to meet the objectives for a given course; according to the University's assessment, a credit corresponds to fourty-five hours of learning activities, including evaluation. As a general rule, each course offered is worth three credits. Courses consist of 45 hours of presence with the instructor over 15 weeks (3 hours per week), as well as 90 hours of individual or group work.

1 | Undergraduate Level

Undergraduate studies lead to a bachelor's degree. This degree is comprised of 90 credits and is normally granted upon completion of three years of full-time study.

Different types of bachelor's degrees allow students to adapt their studies according to their interests :

  • Bachelor's Degree with a Concentration;
  • Bachelor's Degree with a Major and a Minor;
  • Bachelor's Degree comprised of Certificates.


Here is an example of each type of bachelor's degree :

1 | a | Bachelor's Degree with a Concentration

For example, a student doing a bachelor's degree in business administration can choose, within his program, one of the following concentrations :

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources Management
  • Information Systems
  • Operations Management
  • International Management
  • Organizational Management


A concentration constitutes a 15-credit specialization in one specific field.

1 | b | Bachelor's Degree with a Major and a Minor

In some programs, students can study both in their main field and in a related field. In such a case, the main field of study is the student's "major," while the related field is his or her "minor."

A major is comprised of 60 credits and the minor of 30 credits.

For example, a student doing a bachelor's degree in Religious Studies would do a major in this same field and a minor in one of the following fields :

  • Classical Studies
  • Feminist Studies
  • Interethnic Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy


1 | c | Bachelor's Degree Comprised of Certificates

A certificate is made up of 30 credits and can usually be completed in one year. A combination of three certificates can lead to a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Bachelor of Science Degree or a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree. The admissible certificate combinations are set by UQAM.

2 | The Master's Level

At the master's level, two degrees are offered :

  • The Specialized Graduate Studies Degree (Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées (D.E.S.S.));
  • The Master's Degree


2 | a | D.E.S.S.

The D.E.S.S. consists of 30 course credits and can normally be completed in one year.

2 | b | The Master's Degree

A master's degree usually has 45 credits. Some master's degrees are research degrees and include a thesis. Other master's degrees are professional-type degrees, having a practicum or some other type of integration activity.

3 | Doctoral Level

3 | Doctorate (Ph.D.)

A doctorate has at least 90 credits, most of which are dedicated to the writing of the thesis. Students at this level must also take some courses and do a synthesis exam.