Before You Transfer
In this section:
1. PLAN AHEAD
The earlier you start planning, the better! A good place to start is by searching Education Planner for information on programs and institutions in BC. Once you know the program and institution you are interested in, do some research:
- look through the academic calendar, review the website, or check Education Planner to find out the requirements of the program;
- talk to an Advisor or someone in the department, and ask about any upcoming information sessions you may attend;
- search the the BC Transfer Guide to see how your courses transfer;
- Hang on to your course outlines! You may need them if you decide to return to school after some time away.
You can’t transfer if you are not admitted! The first thing you need to do is apply to the institution you want to transfer to. You can apply to most public institutions either at their website or through the Post-Secondary Application Service of British Columbia (PASBC). Each institution sets its own admission requirements, so be sure to review the academic calendar for details regarding institutional policies.
Here are some basics regarding admission as a BC transfer student:
* To be considered a transfer student, you must have completed the minimum number of transferable credits with a minimum GPA of C (or 60% or 2.00 average) or better on all courses, as calculated by the university.
* Admission can be to an institution, a faculty, or a program
The Institution: Your grade point average (GPA) and transfer credits will usually determine if you’re admitted to an institution. At some institutions you must apply and be admitted to a specific program, not just to the institution in general.
A Faculty or Program: Admission to a faculty or program may involve additional considerations. A Faculty of Science, for example, may expect you to have taken certain math and science courses.
* You must arrange to send all your official transcripts: Arrange for your sending institution(s) to send a copy of your official final transcript(s) to the receiving institution. This won’t happen automatically – only you can authorize this. Most institutions charge a transcript fee. Check to see if an official interim transcript is required with your application.
* Your grades may be recalculated:
When you apply for admission to a program at another BC public post-secondary institution, credits and courses already earned will be considered for transfer and the Grade Point Average (GPA) that you earned at the "sending institution" (the institution you're transferring from) will be recalculated by the "receiving institution" (the institution you're transferring to). Receiving institutions consider several different factors and employ several different methods when calculating the Admission GPA. Here are some of the things that affect the admission GPA that may be applied differently by different institutions.
- The number of credit used in the calculation
The calculation could be based on credits or on individual courses and the number of credits/courses used in the calculation may not be the same for all institutions or programs.
- The criteria used to decide which credits are used in the calculation
- Not all credits completed are necessarily counted in the recalculated admission GPA. It depends on the institution.
- Credits counted could be the most recent completed up to a maximum number set by a receiving institution.
- Different courses can be used in the calculation depending on the program you are applying for.
- Institutions handle repeated courses differently. Some include the grades of all courses attempted, while others use only the higher grade of the repeated course.
- Failed course grades are included by some institutions, but others don't count them if the course was repeated with a higher grade achieved
- Different course weightings and values
Some institutions give equal weight to all course grades when calculating a GPA, while others may assign greater weight to grades for courses with a higher credit value. For example, three 3-credit courses with grades of 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 average out to a GPA of 3.0, but if the course with the 2.5 grade was a 4 credit course, it would reduce the overall GPA to 2.95 if it was given more weight; i.e., equal to the number of credits assigned to it.
Each institution has its own credit value system. Institutions will not usually assign more credit to a transfer course than they assign to their own course. So if, for example, a 4 credit course at a sending institution transfers as a 3 credit course at the receiving institution, the admission GPA may be affected depending on the other rules in place for calculating it.
Most institutions express the Admission GPA in terms of their own grading scale. This means that the grades from the sending institution are converted into the equivalent grades on the scale at the receiving institution.
Transfer appeals process
If you have a concern with the admission GPA calculated by an institution that you have already followed up on and has not been satisfactorily addressed, you can enquire about the institution’s appeals process. There may be a special transfer appeals process in place or else this may be covered by a general appeals process. Ask at the Registrar's Office at the institution.
3. TRANSFER YOUR CREDIT
At some institutions, credit transfer is automatic – the institution will assess your credits once they have your transcripts. At others, you have to request an assessment and it can take a while, so the sooner you submit your official transcript, the better.
There are a number of reasons that transfer credit can be denied. One reason may be a failure to meet Residency requirements. Residency requirements mean you must take a certain percentage of your coursework from the institution granting the credential. For example, many universities require 120 credits for a degree, 50% of which must be taken at the university. If you transfer more than 60 credits:
- you may get credit for all of your courses, but only be able to use 60 credits; or
- the institution may place a limit on the number you can transfer (e.g. 60 credits max.)
Some institutions have more lenient residency requirements so check the institutional calendar to be sure.
In addition to residency requirements, the minimum grade required of a student to obtain transfer credit for any specific course for which transfer has been established is a “Pass” (normally a “P” or “D”) as defined by the sending institution. Please note that:
a grade of “C” or higher is normally required for courses intended to be used to satisfy pre-requisites;
- some programs may require a course grade of “C” or higher for every course to be counted towards a specific credential; and
- once registered in a degree program, a student requires a Letter of Permission to take courses elsewhere and normally requires a minimum grade of “C” in each course taken at another institution for transfer to the degree program.