Transfer Credits

Why are there so many types of transfer credits?     

Given the course match (both in content and subject areas taught at Guelph), there are three types of transfer credits:

  1. Exact Equivalent: Transfer credits that appear with a course code and name that can be found in the Academic Calendar are courses that you have been granted exact credit. For example if “CHEM*1040 Chemistry I” appears on your letter, then a course that you took at your previous institution covered the same material as this course. The course will count towards your degree or diploma and program requirements if it fits into the requirements for your specialization.
  2. Guelph Subject Area, Generic Course Code: Transfer credits for which the University of Guelph has a comparable subject area, but not an exact course equivalent will appear as a generic equivalent. For example, “BIOL*9110 First Year Biology” is a generic first year biology course. You have learned enough to earn a credit, but the content does not match one of our existing courses. The pieces of the course code each have meaning. The subject area is Biology, the first digit, '9', means the credit is generic and taken at another institution, the second digit indicates the year level at which the course was taken (1-first year, 2-second year etc.) and the remaining two digits indicate that it is a transfer credit.
  3. Generic Subject Area: When you have taken a course in a subject area not offered by the University of Guelph, a generic subject area is assigned. This means you have learned something of value, but not in an area taught here at Guelph. These credits will typically be of the subject area “FREE”. For example, “FREE*9110 Free Elective” is a first year course in the “FREE” subject area.

If you feel you have learned the content of a required course for your program, but do not have credit for it, Admissions may have determined that you did not have enough overlap to grant you the exact credit. You may discuss this concern with your Program Counsellor. If there is an agreement that you have covered enough of the required course, you may either be given a substitution or a request will be made by the Program Counsellor to change your transfer credits.

Course outlines of your previous courses will be required to redo the assessment of the content of your course. You will also be required to outline (in writing) where you see the overlap in content occurring. If you are granted a substitution this does not mean you have been granted the credit and therefore you do not have the requirement for prerequisites. You would be required to talk to any instructor of a course requiring the course you have a substitution for to see if you are still able to take their course.

You only need to complete this process for courses that are required for your program. This means core courses and restricted electives in your major (if applicable). Free electives can remain as generic credits.

How are my transfer credits used in my new program?

Transfer credits become part of your completed course work and will count towards your credit count. Whether they match a core requirement will depend on the credit given. Exact Equivalent courses will automatically be counted towards your requirements (if they match a required course). Most Generic Course Code and Generic Subject Area courses will count as electives, towards your total credits to graduate. If you feel that one of your transfer credits could count as a restricted elective, a substitution may be granted. Please talk to your Program Counsellor about this possibility.

My Progress lets you see what your academic progress would look like if you were to change your major or degree/diploma program. Click the “View a New Program” button at the top of the page. Please keep in mind that approved substitions will not apprear when using the View a New Program feature.

How long will it take me to graduate?

How long it will take to graduate will depend on the number and type of transfer credits granted.

You are encouraged to rough out your completion timeline in order to gain an approximation of when you may graduate. Neither your Program Counsellor nor your Faculty Advisor can estimate a time frame for you as you will be the one determining which courses you would like to take, which will dictate how long it may take you to complete the requirements.

Starting with your transfer credits and the requirements for your major (if applicable), you can begin to draft a completion plan.

Requirements for your program and specialization can be found in the Academic Calendar.  You may also find My Progress on the Student Planning system through WebAdvisor helpful as it outlines where your transfer credits are being used and highlights what you have left to take. 

Variables to consider when planning your semesters are the prerequisites required for a course, whether it is available in a certain semester (some may be either Fall or Winter only; semester offering is noted as “F”, “W” or “S” beside the course title in the Academic Calendar course descriptions) and if it fits in with your other courses. Using the information in the Academic Calendar, you can begin to estimate your completion time. Your plan may change but it is important to have an insight into the courses that may limit when you can graduate.

Please note that there may not be an opportunity to use all of your transfer credits and you may have to take additional credits in the relevant subject areas to complete the requirements for the program. This may mean you graduate with more than the required credits for your program.

When do I pick my courses?

Once you have accepted your Offer of Admission you will be contacted by Enrolment Services with details on the course selection process.

New Student Registration for the Fall semester typically begins mid-June. If you are an internal transfer student from an undergraduate or diploma program, you will not be considered a New Student and will register during In Course student registration times. It is best to choose your courses as early as possible as courses do fill up. You will be choosing only your Fall courses at this time; course selection for the Winter semester takes place in November.

New Student Registration for students accepted for the Winter semester typically takes place in November and December. You will likely not hear about an offer of admission until late December, so there is a chance courses will be full by the time you are admitted and able to register. There are also limited courses that you may be able to select, depending on your transfer credits. Please consult with your Program Counsellor about course selection if you have questions. There is no guarantee you can be put into full courses or that you will be able to find 2.50 credits to take.

Taking courses out of sequence from the Schedule of Studies is a usual occurrence for transfer students, but since we cannot predict which courses you anticipate taking the scheduling office may create a conflict with your planned courses. In this situation, please contact your Program Counsellor for advice.

Where do I find information on dates, fees, regulations etc.?

The Academic Calendars are comprehensive on-line publications that contain all this information and more. It is a good starting point if you are looking for information. Also each administrative and academic department on campus has a webpage that can be accessed by starting at the main University of Guelph page.

What is the maximum number of credits that can be transferred from my previous studies?

Undergraduate Students: The maximum amount of credits that can be transferred from a completed degree program at another university is 10.00 credits. Up to 10.00 credits may be granted to students from a three-year diploma program, and up to 5.00 credits may be granted to students from a two-year diploma program. Please note that not all transfer credits may be applicable to your program.

Diploma Students: The maximum amount of credits that can be transferred from a diploma program completed at another institution is 6.00 credits. Students completing a second diploma at the University of Guelph may transfer a maximum of 6.00 credits from their first diploma. Please note that not all transfer credits may be applicable to your program.

Pathways and Articulation Agreements

If you entered a program through a pathway or articulation agreement, please contact your Program Counsellor for the courses required to graduate. This may or may not match the undergraduate calendar depending on the pathway or articulation agreement