If you're planning to apply directly to a university, you may be wondering why think about transfer. However the path to your education is not always direct. There are a variety of reasons why transfer may become an option for you:
- The program you selected is not the right fit – It can be difficult to know if you will like certain programs or courses until you try them. The good news is most of your courses will transfer into other programs.
- You have to move – sometimes it is not possible to complete your program where you started.
- Some of the courses you need are full – Sometimes required courses fill up fast and you cannot get the particular course you need. It may be possible for you to take the course at either another nearby institution. Once you have completed the course you can transfer it back to your home institution.
- You have courses from years ago – You may have taken some courses or even a whole program years ago and now are thinking about returning to post-secondary. It's possible that some, or even all, of your past courses may still transfer. You will need to do is submit a transfer request to your admissions office and supply them with transcripts and/or course outlines.
Regardless of whether you planned to transfer from the beginning, or as a result of a change of circumstances, it is helpful to be aware of your options so you can continue to move forward.
What is Transfer?
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 sometimes more!) and transfer to a university to finish their degree.
Students can also transfer between non-degree programs. For example, you may start a diploma at one institution 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. Transfer allows students to begin their studies at an institution of their choice, opening up possibilities of taking courses close to home, smaller class sizes, and more affordable tuition fees.
Two Routes to Your Educational Goal:
The Direct Route - enter a post-secondary institution directly from high school.
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
If you’re researching programs for potential transfer, the Program Search here at 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 to which you are applying, 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:
- Individual courses:
All courses listed in the BC Transfer Guide transfer unless otherwise stated
Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses transfer between institutions offering similar ABE programs
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses are transferable, subject to minimum grades
- 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.
- Other courses, such as a course that:
- has not yet been assessed for transfer credit;
- is from outside of BC;
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 outside the effective dates of the transfer agreement
you took the course too long ago
you took too many credits
you took a course at another institution without approval or did not get a high enough grade.
you take two courses that are equivalent to the same course at a receiving institution, you will only receive credit once.
Helpful Links from BCTransferGuide.ca: