What is the difference between specific and generic course equivalents? 

Regardless of whether a course transferred back as specific or general, it will have exactly the same credit value here (i.e. 0.5 units).

Specific Course Equivalents: This represents a course overseas that has content that is similar or close to a course offered here at UW. The course will be transferred back your record as a specific transfer credit (i.e. PSYCH 101, SOC 202, ECON 301).

General Course Equivalents: This represents a course overseas that has does not match courses or content offered at UW, but is still relevant to your studies. If this is the case and you are deemed eligible to take the course, the course will be transferred back your record as a generic transfer credit (i.e PSYCH 1XX, SOC 2XX, ECON 3XX). 

How are courses transferred back to UW?

Courses are transferred back to UW on a Pass/Fail basis and will appear on your UW Transcript as "Credit (CR)”. To receive credit for courses completed on exchange, you need to achieve a passing grade as determined by the partner school’s grading system. 

Since credits from your exchage term transfer back on a Pass/Fail basis, they will have no effect on your UW Grade Point Average. In other words, the cumulative average you have before you go on an international exchange will be the same cumulative average when you come back to UW! 

Can I take less than 5 courses overseas?

Yes, you can decide to do fewer than five courses on exchange, as long as you remain a full time student by UW’s definition (i.e. completing a minimum of 3 UW courses per term). However, taking less than the equivalent of five courses does not impact your tuition. Therefore, even if you take less, you will still pay for 5 courses.

How many courses/credits at a partner university constitute a UW "Full Term Load"?

The number of courses you will need to take each term will vary according to how the partner university defines a "full term course load". For precise information on their credit systems, please consult our partner university pages.

  • For United Kingdom partners: Almost all of the UK partners define a "full term course load" as accumulating 60 credits over the term. Some of the universities also express the credits in terms of ECTS’S (European Transfer Credits) where 30 ECTS’S constitutes a "full term course load". A student studying within the British system should consider the credit values of the modules/courses she or he wants to take. Typically, the British universities limit students to a maximum of four modules.
    Example: a student might take four modules at 15 credits each to reach the required 60 credits; OR take three modules at 20 credits each; OR two modules at 30 credits each.  
    Note: the smaller the number of modules taken, the greater the risk of losing transfer credits if the student is unsuccessful in a course. 
  • For Australian and New Zealand partners: These universities place a limit of four courses/modules permitted to be taken per term
  • For Continental European partners: The Continental European universities use the European Transfer Credit System (ECTS). Within this system a “full term course load” is generally defined as representing 30 ECTS. Since courses typically have a value of 6 ECTSs, a full term course load is typically five courses. 
    Note: there can be fluctuation in course values.
    For example: Lund University in Sweden considers a full term load to be four courses at 7.5 ECTS each.
  • For MICEFA and other French partners: A full load at the Paris universities under MICEFA is normally five courses.  However please be aware that MICEFA uses 3 ECTSs as the typical credit value of one term, instead of the 6 ECTS’S normally used in other Paris universities.  A full MICEFA term is therefore 15 ECTSs rather than 30 ECTSs.

If I'm going to the UK/Australia/NZ, how do my two/three/four courses transfer back as Five UW Credits?

In dealing with transfer credits from a partner university, the UW Faculty of Arts operates on the following principle: if the student on exchange successfully completes approved courses equivalent to a “Full Term Load” at the partner university, we will undertake to give the student the equivalent of a “Full Term Load” here (i.e. 2.5 credits). This is done by expanding one or more of the modules taken into two or possibly more credits. Expanding the value of such a module reflects the considerably greater amount of work done in that module in comparison to a single course at UW.