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Transfer courses

Transferring courses from another institution

The Graduate Studies Calendar details the University of Waterloo requirements to transfer a course and the limits placed on the transfer of an academic credit.

Number of transfer courses allowed in Engineering: 

  • Course-based Master's programs - three courses
  • Thesis-based Master's programs - maximum of one half of courses required for the degree
  • Doctoral program from a Master's - maximum of one half of courses required for the degree 
  • Doctoral program from a Bachelor's - maximum of one half of courses required for the degree 

How do I have a transfer course approved?

Requests for transfer credits must be approved by your supervisor, department, and the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. This can be done at the time of admission, but is more commonly done after you begin your program.

You can, with the support of your Department, submit a request for transfer credit to the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies which should include the following documents:

  1. Formal request from the department signed by the student, supervisor(s), and Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
  2. Transcript showing the course requested for transfer, clearly indicating the course was unused for another degree.
  3. Course syllabus and/or academic calendar entry providing more details of the course. 

Transferring courses between UWaterloo programs

You can only transfer unused courses from one program to another at the University of Waterloo. Unused courses are those courses that are not a part of the program requirements for a previous degree,  meaning you have not previously graduated using those courses. 

There are two ways you would transfer courses from one program at Waterloo to another:

1. When you are changing programs - Program Change

This is when you would begin a new program without completing the first program. Your term count continues fluidly without a break, but your program requirements will be different due to this Program Change. 

If there are courses to transfer during a program change they must be included on the Program Change form you complete with your supervisor. 

Exception: If you wish to transfer from a diploma program to a degree program and have Waterloo courses transferred, you must withdraw from the diploma program, apply to the degree program through OUAC, and complete the transfer request process mentioned above, excluding the course syllabus component. 

2. When you are starting a new program

First step - Changing a course from credit to extra

This means you are using courses added as extra in a future program. This is typically seen in students who are completing an MASc and beginning a PhD, but can sometimes be seen in students who take graduate courses in their undergraduate program, like those in the Accelerated Master's program. 

When should I change courses from credit to extra?

If you are currently in a degree program at Waterloo, you must have the courses you want to use in your future program designated as extra before you submit your Intent to Graduate form. UWaterloo rules will not allow you to change a course to an extra after you graduate. 

How do I change the course to extra?

To change a course from a credit course to an extra course you must complete a Course Drop/Add form and submit it to your department coordinator once your course instructor and supervisor(s) have signed it. 

These requests will usually only be approved by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies if the student has proof of an accepted offer for a future graduate program. 

Second step - Have your transfer course approved for the new program

Requests for transfer credits must be approved by your supervisor, department, and the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. This can be done at the time of admission, but is more commonly done after you begin your program.

You can, with the support of your Department, submit a request for transfer credit to the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies which should include the following documents:

  1. Formal request from the department signed by the student, supervisor(s), and Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
  2. Transcript showing the course requested for transfer, clearly indicating the course was unused for another degree.