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Transfer from Outside BC


Students who are currently attending a university in another province often look to transfer to an institution in BC.

Canada’s provinces and territories ratified the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region 1997 — commonly known as the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), demonstrating their commitment to furthering international collaboration on a wide range of issues related to the enhancement of academic and professional mobility and promoting best practices in the assessment and recognition of academic credentials. The LRC became legally binding under international law in 2018.

In addition, many universities have affirmed the principles of the Pan-Canadian Protocol on University Transfer, formulated by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). An excerpt from the protocol is included in the three bullets below:

Pan-Canadian Protocol on University Transfer

Course work completed by transfer students during the first two years of university study in Canada may be recognized and fully credited for the purposes of granting a degree provided that:

  • the transfer student is deemed admissible and has been presented with an offer of admission;
  • the transfer student has achieved a passing grade in his/her course(s) and has obtained grade levels that would normally be required of continuing students; and
  • the credits earned are related to the program of study in which the transfer student will register, or the credits can be counted as electives for the program of study.

In practice this means that students who transfer between universities may receive transfer credit, however the specific credit awarded will not be determined until after an offer of admission is made. Note: The decision to award transfer credit resides with the post-secondary institution to which the student has applied.

How Does It Work?

Many students each year transfer credits to and from BC. Transfer from another province works the same as transfer within BC. Students must first apply to the institution they wish to transfer to and arrange to have official transcripts sent directly from your former institution(s). If the institution admits the student, they can be evaluated for transfer credit. The BC Transfer Guide contains transfer information regarding courses obtained world-wide and how these courses may receive transfer credit at BC institutions, as well as for Athabasca University in Alberta and Yukon University in the Yukon Territory and will provide a good reference to understand what transfer credit a student will receive from the institution. Check with the institution to find out whether your transcript will be automatically evaluated for transfer credit, or whether you have to request an evaluation.

Transfer to BC from Another Province

When a student requests transfer credit for courses completed at another institution, the most important consideration will be the equivalency of the courses to those offered by the BC institution. The closer the match between the original program and the program to which a student is transferring, the more likely transfer credit will be awarded. Receiving transfer credit for specialized programs or courses that are not equivalent, where there is not have a good fit with the institution’s offerings, is more difficult. Students are advised to provide detailed course outlines.

Students will only receive transfer credit if they are admitted to the institution, and to a related program. Application for admission is competitive, and students should be in acceptable academic standing at their current or previous institution. Transfer students normally have completed a full year (24-30 credits) of transferable courses.

For more information, see How Transfer Works.

Transfer from the USA

If the course or program is from an accredited degree granting institution in the United States, transfer credit is normally granted, provided the courses are similar to those in the program to which the student is applying. Students are advised to provide detailed course outlines.

Transfer from Another Country (other than the USA)

Transfer students from a country other than Canada or the USA should inquire with the institution they plan on transferring to about whether there are additional requirements to admission and transfer credit evaluation. Typically, students have to provide proof of English language proficiency and have official translations of their transcripts if they are from a non-English speaking country. Students are advised to provide detailed course outlines or evidence of existing transfer agreements.

Transferring out of BC

In general, students can use the information about transferring in to BC as a guide to transferring out of BC. Transfer to another university in Canada or the USA should be fairly straightforward since transfer is common. In other countries, credit transfer evaluation may require additional documentation.

To maximize the chance of transfer credit to be awarded, students are advised to:

  • Keep course outlines for all courses taken;
  • Refer receiving institutions to the BC Transfer Guide for verification that their courses are transferable to universities within BC

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