Glossary of Transfer Terms
The purpose of this glossary is to define common terms used by post-secondary institutions. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but uses common definitions to terms found both in the BC Transfer Guide, institutional websites, and the Ministry of Advanced Education. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A program of study, usually involving theoretical knowledge and research, and usually leading to a diploma, certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree.
Being allowed into an institution, faculty or program once the entrance requirements are met. Some admission is limited by spaces available, and by selection criteria.
The formal way of notifying a post-secondary institution that you want to be a student there.
The system used by post-secondary institutions to determine which courses are equivalent to one another.
The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degrees are provincial credentials designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students for life as an educated person, and to lay a solid foundation for further study. The associate degree curriculum comprises two years of university level study in a variety of academic areas. For more information, please visit Associate Degrees.
Taking a course for interest, and not for credit. Auditing students usually don't do assignments or exams, and don't get a grade.
Basis of Admission
The evidence, primarily academic, on which your admission decision is based, e.g., high school record, college credits and GPA, etc.
The British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer, who is responsible for the management of BC Transfer Guide and Education Planner.
The process whereby a block of credits is granted to students who have successfully completed a cluster of courses, certificate or diploma, recognized as having an academic wholeness or integrity, and related in a meaningful way to part of the degree program.
The book of rules, regulations, policies, programs (and requirements), and courses for a particular post-secondary institution.
An applied program of study involving theoretical and practical knowledge, usually leading directly to a certificate or diploma in a specific career path.
Recognition of successful completion of a program of study, of varying lengths, often one year.
The head of a program or department. "Coordinator" is sometimes used synonymously with "Chair."
In BC, colleges offer developmental programs that prepare adult learners for post-secondary studies, as well as courses and programs in trades, vocational, career technical and academic studies leading to certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and applied degrees.
A program of study with a required number of courses in a specific discipline. Similar to a Major or Minor, but with fewer requirements.
The system of having paid work placements, usually four to eight months, as a component of a program of study.
A description of the main content, organization and expected outcomes of a course, normally including the number of credits awarded, hours of class time, how it's evaluated, assignments, and texts (also called a syllabus).
The value given to a course. May be related to the number of hours of instruction. The majority of academic courses are worth three credits. Many degrees require 120 credits. (See also Unit.)
Head of a Faculty. For example, the Dean of Science is the Head of the Faculty of Science.
Recognition or implied recognition of academic achievement that (a) is specified in writing to be an associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctoral or similar degree, and (b) is not a degree in theology. For more information, please visit the Ministry of Advanced Education.
An institution in BC that has been given authorization by the Ministry of Advanced Education to offer degree programs. For a list of degree-granting institutions, please visit the Degree Quality Assessment Board.
Faculty and administrators associated with a particular discipline or program (e.g. the Sociology Department).
Recognition of successful completion of a program of study, usually two years in length. Post-degree diplomas are often one year in length.
Also managed by BCCAT, EducationPlannerBC allows students to plan, search, and apply to programs for BC's public post-secondary institutions.
The waiving of a prerequisite or required course for students who have proven they have comparable learning. The student may be required to replace the exempted course with an alternate.
The teachers at a post-secondary institution. Also a grouping of departments and programs in a similar area (e.g., Faculty of Arts).
GPA or Grade Point Average
The average overall grade for all courses taken for credit in a particular semester, year or institution. A cumulative GPA (CGPA) is the average of all grades for courses taken to date at one institution.
The institution from which you are transferring.
In BC, Institutes are organized according to career, vocational and technical specialties, covering a variety of occupations. They may offer credentials from certificates to degrees. One institute (Nicola Valley Institute of Technology) has an Aboriginal focus.
A process which allows you to build upon previously earned credits or credentials, either from secondary or post-secondary institutions.
Letter of Permission (LOP)
A document which gives you permission to take a course at an institution other than the university in which you are currently enrolled. See Attending Multiple Institutions.
Lower division (or lower level)
General introductory courses, usually making up the first two years of a bachelor's degree.
A program of study in a degree where about 25-50% of the courses are in a single discipline (e.g. Philosophy, History).
A program of study requiring fewer courses than a major.
A course taken for learning value. A grade may be assigned, but the course is not usually applicable to a credential.
As in "precludes credit for Anthropology 301." A preclusion indicates you will not receive credit if you take the precluded course later.
A course you must take before you can take a more advanced course in the discipline.
Your informal checklist of the requirements for a program, and how many of those requirements you have satisfied with your various courses (including transferred courses).
The process of enroling in individual courses after completion of all required admission procedures.
A course you must take in order to complete a credential.
The number of courses or credits (or percentage of the program) you must complete at an institution to graduate from that institution.
See Course outline.
The institution to which you are transferring.
An official transcript is the original record verifying your enrolment and achievement, and certified (e.g., by signature and/or seal) by the institution. It is normally sent directly, by mail or electronically, on your request.
Consists of the granting of credit (transfer credit) toward a credential by one institution, for programs or courses completed at another.
Recognition of learning where the course doesn't have a specific equivalent at the receiving institution. See Types of Transfer Credit.
See Credit. Only the University of Victoria uses a unit rather than a credit system: 1 unit = 2 credits.
In BC, universities offer an array of undergraduate degree programs and a range of programs at the graduate level. Some also offer courses and programs in trades, vocational, and career technical studies leading to certificates and diplomas, as well as developmental programs that prepare adult learners for post-secondary studies. Some universities undertake original and applied research in a range of disciplines, while others undertake applied research and scholarly activities in support of their programming.
Upper division (or upper level)
Less general, more focused courses, usually making up most of the final two years of a bachelor's degree.