Transfer students

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts!

Our Advising Team is ready to help you make the most of your university experience. Let's get started!

Did you transfer from another university or college? Follow the course selection steps below!

Did you transfer to Arts from another University of Waterloo faculty? Your next steps are different. Contact your Arts academic advisor about course selection for your first term as an Arts student!

Get ready for September

Review the Important Dates and Activities below for deadlines and due dates.

Important Dates and Activities

Course selection information

Step 1: Review your degree requirements and transfer credits

Transfer credits are relevant to your degree in several ways:

You may see a mix of specified and unspecified transfer credits.

  • Specified transfer credits have a regular course number (e.g., ECON 101).
  • Unspecified transfer credits don't have a specific course number (e.g., PSYCH 1XX, ENGL 2XX).
    • Transfer credits are labelled “XX” when there is no direct equivalent course at Waterloo

For additional questions related to transfer credits, see the FAQs below.

Step 2: Choose your courses

Wondering what you should take?

  1. All new Arts students are required to take both Arts First courses, ARTS 130 (Inquiry and Communication) and ARTS 140 (Information and Analysis), in order to fulfill the Undergraduate Communication Requirement. The exception is where a transfer student has already completed a BA degree from another Canadian University.
    • Course descriptions of each section of ARTS 130/140 can be found on the Arts First website.
    • It doesn't matter in which order they are taken, but only one Arts First course can be taken at a time.
    • You will add your Fall term Arts First course in Quest starting on July 20 (see Step 4 below).
  2. If you want to declare a major, you'll need to complete specific courses.
  3. Found an interesting course?
  4. All Arts students need courses to complete the BA Breadth Requirements.
    • Depending on your transfer credits, you may have already satisfied these requirements, or you may still need to take some courses to complete them.

Step 3: Get your course choices approved

After you've decided which courses you want to take, email a list of your course requests to your academic advisor who will review and approve them.

Campus of registration Program Academic Advisor
Main Campus

Honours Arts and Liberal Studies

Honours Arts and Business

Lynn Skelly

Kristen Deckert

St. Jerome's Honours Arts, Honours Arts and Business, and Liberal Studies

John Arnou


Honours Arts and Liberal Studies

Social Development Studies

Shari Schultz

See the SDS transfer student course selection webpage

Step 4: Submit your course choices during the Fall New Student Course Selection Period (July 4 - 11, 2023)

If your advisor has approved your course requests, you must log in to Quest and request your courses at any time during this period.

If you have not received a final transfer credit assessment by this time, contact your admissions officer in the Registrar's Office.

Step 5: Review and adjust your Fall schedule during the Course Drop/Add Period (begins July 20, 2023)

You will be able to view your class schedule in Quest beginning July 20. If you need to make adjustments to your schedule, you can do so when the Fall New Student Drop/Add Period begins on July 29.

Current Waterloo students will have access to Quest to add courses as of July 24. This means available spots in classes will fill quickly, so we recommend you adjust your schedule as soon as you can.

  • See all of the classes you requested?
    • The only step left is to enrol in one of ARTS 130 or ARTS 140. Follow the detailed instructions on how to add your Arts First course, found on the Arts First How you'll enrol page.​​​​
  • Don’t see all of the classes you requested?
    • If you didn't get into all of the classes you requested, don’t worry – you can login to Quest to add additional classes (to a maximum of 5 classes in total, including ARTS 130 or ARTS 140).
    • If you decide to swap a class, make sure to use the swap function - it's the best way to try to switch one class for another. See the Quest Undergraduate students page for more helpful instructions.

Frequently asked questions

Why was I admitted to Honours Arts instead of my major?

You cannot be admitted to a major until you have completed 8 courses, with two of those courses being in your major.

Students can use transfer credits to fulfil the first requirement — 8 courses total — but usually need to take at least two Waterloo courses in their major subject before they are eligible to declare their major. You need to establish an average in your major subject, and transfer credits do not include your grades or an average.

My transfer credits haven't been finalized yet. What do I do?

Check that your final official transcript has been received by the University. Final official transcripts are usually available about three weeks after term ends. We strongly recommend you send your final grades to our admissions team as soon as possible.

In addition to a final transcript our admissions team might also require course outlines to assess for transfer credit – if so they will communicate with you directly. If you have submitted your final transcript (and if appropriate, course outlines), then your courses are likely being assessed for transfer credit by the department that teaches the relevant courses at Waterloo. If you have any questions, email our admissions team.

Need more help and advice?

View our list of course selection resources.

You can also contact your academic advisor, visit the Arts Undergraduate Office, or connect with our Student Ambassador Team!