How Transfer Works
WHAT IS TRANSFER?
Transfer is when one institution recognizes education completed at another. By transferring, you can start studying at one institution and then finish your program at another. If you get admitted, and if the courses you’ve taken are a good match, you can use the credits you’ve already earned to fulfill some of the requirements for your credential.
BC’s post-secondary institutions offer a variety of programs, and transfer opens up new possibilities for accessing these programs. For example, if a student does not meet the admission requirements for entering a BC university directly, they may be eligible to apply for admission later as a transfer student. Students can complete up to two years credit and transfer to a university to finish their degree.
Students can also transfer between non-degree programs. For example, you may start a Business Diploma at one college and finish it at another. Or you can take distance education courses from a variety of places, and transfer the credits back to your “home” institution.
Beginning your studies at a college offers many advantages. Colleges are close to home, class sizes are smaller, tuition fees are more affordable and quality of education is excellent.
Two Routes to Your Educational Goal:
1. The Direct Route - enter a post-secondary institution directly from high school.
2. The Transfer Route - start at one institution, then transfer. This route can be taken whether or not you are eligible for the direct route.
WHERE CAN YOU TRANSFER?
The BC Transfer Guide lists all courses and programs where transfer agreements have been established between members of the BC Transfer System. You may also receive transfer credit for courses not listed in the BC Transfer Guide, including from institutions outside BC. For more information, please visit
If you’re researching programs for potential transfer, Education Planner is a great place to find information on programs, admission requirements, and more.
Transfer is based on course equivalency. If your courses match the content of the program you are applying to, you will probably get transfer credit. However, if the programs are totally unrelated, you may be unable to transfer any credits. The following are all transfer possibilities:
A. Individual courses:
- All courses listed in the BC Transfer Guide transfer unless otherwise stated
- Adult Basic Education courses transfer between institutions offering similar programs
- Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses are transferable, subject to minimum grades
B. Completed Programs:
- An Associate Degree guarantees 60 transfer credits (i.e. 2 years) towards an Arts or Science degree.
- Many diplomas receive block transfer of one or two years credit towards a specific degree program.
C. Other courses, such as a course that:
- has not yet been assessed for transfer credit;
- is from outside of BC;
- is at the 3rd or 4th year level;
- is being transferred from one university to another.
In these cases, you may need to provide extra information (like course outlines) for transfer credit to be awarded.
WHAT DOESN'T TRANSFER?
It is possible for transfer credit to be denied, even if your courses are listed in the BC Transfer Guide. This can happen if:
- you took only one course where a two-course combination was required.
e.g. COQU ACCT 101 (3) + ACCT 102 (3) = UNBC Commerce 210 (3)
- you failed the course
- you took the course too long ago
- you took too many credits (see Residency)
- you took a course at another institution without approval or did not get a high enough grade. (See After You Transfer)
- you take two courses that are equivalent to the same course at a receiving institution, you will only receive credit once.