Transferred from another university or college

Step 1: Review your degree requirements and transfer credits

After you receive your offer of admission, you'll receive an email from an Admissions Officer outlining transfer credits you've been granted from your previous studies.

Transfer credits are relevant to your degree in several ways:

  • Transfer credit courses count as passed courses, so they apply towards the total number of courses needed to complete your Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements and will count towards fulfilling the Bachelor of Arts Breadth requirements.
  • Transfer credit courses help establish your academic level, which is relevant when enrolling in classes that have an academic level pre-requisite. The highest level you can attain solely through transfer credits is 3A, and you will see your academic level in Quest on your transcript.
  • Transfer credit courses can apply towards your academic plan (ie. your major or minor, or for students who don’t wish to major, they apply towards a liberal studies degree plan.)

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

  • Specific 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 or where the content from the transferring course is not exactly equivalent to the content of the course we teach at UW.

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

Step 2: Choose your courses

Wondering what you should take?

  1. All incoming Arts students are required to take two mandatory Arts First courses:
    ARTS 130 (Inquiry and Communication)
    ARTS 140 (Information and Analysis)

    • Each course has several topics to choose from, listed on the Arts First website.
    • Students take one course in the Fall term and one in the Winter term. 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 30 (see Step 5 below).
  2. If you want to complete a major you'll need to complete specific courses. Depending on your transfer credits, you may need to take first year or upper year courses in your subject area of interest. The recommended major courses chart outlines the courses students take for the Arts majors, and the sequencing of these courses.
  3. Found an interesting course? You'll find the course description in the Undergraduate Calendar, including details on whether the course has any prerequisites make a list of courses you're interested in taking and make sure you meet any prerequisites for the course.
    Not every course is offered each term. You can confirm if the course you wish to take is scheduled for Fall by reviewing the online Schedule of Classes.
  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.

Note: All Fall 2020 courses will be offered online . . .  there are no set times, therefore you won't have any course conflicts.

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. The table below provides advisor email links based on campus of registration.

Campus of registration Academic Advisor
Main Campus

Honours Arts and Liberal Studies - Sarah Robertson, Academic Advisor.

Honours Arts and Business - Becky Moore, Academic Advisor.

St. Jerome's Honours Arts, Honours Arts and Business and Liberal Studies - Joe Varamo, Academic Advisor.

Honours Arts and Liberal Studies students email Maria Vermeer, Registrar.

Social Development Studies students refer to the SDS transfer student course selection webpage.

Step 4: Submit your choices during the Fall Course Selection Period (June 30 - July 9, 2020)

You should complete the Quest course selection process at this time if your advisor has approved your course requests. Log in to Quest and request your courses at any time during this week.

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 (July 30 to August 5, 2020)

You will be able to view your class schedule in Quest beginning July 29. The drop/add enrolment period (for any adjustments needed) begins from July 30. 
Current UW students will have access to Quest to add courses as of August 4. 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 your preferred section of ARTS 130 or ARTS 140. Course descriptions are posted on the Arts First website. You will have access to add courses in Quest starting on July 30.
  • Don’t see all of the classes you requested?
    • If you missed out on a class due to available spaces reserved, don’t worry – you can login to Quest to add additional classes (maximum of 5 classes in total, including ARTS 130 or ARTS 140)
    • If you decide to swap a class, we recommend you use the swap function - it's the best way to try to switch one class for another. See the Quest FAQ page for more helpful instructions. 

Step 6: Winter 2021 course requests (late September)

  • Request your Winter 2021 courses in Quest during the Winter course selection period in late September. Your academic advisor will contact you with dates and information.
  • Your Winter course schedule will be available in mid-November.
  • If you need extra help or advice, contact your Academic Advisor.

Frequently asked questions