International Baccalaureate (IB) transfer credits

Effective for students starting at Waterloo in September 2019


The University of Waterloo recognizes International Baccalaureate (IB) courses as excellent academic preparation for success at the university level and will consider awarding transfer credits for individual Higher Level IB courses in which normally a minimum final grade of 5 is attained.

Official final IB results must be sent from the International Baccalaureate Office (IBO) directly to the Admissions Office at Waterloo before transfer credit can be considered. Our university code is 000108. Final IB results must be received by August 3rd.

Transfer credit will be considered for the completion of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay with a minimum grade of B (Good) in both. Waterloo equivalent transfer credit is PHIL 1XX (1.0 units).

You have the option to decline your transfer credits. Further details will be emailed to you in August, once your transfer credits have been assessed.

Maximum number of transfer credits and additional notes

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

  • The Recreation and Leisure Studies degree program will consider up to a maximum of 4.0 units.
  • The Health Studies, Kinesiology, and Public Health programs will consider up to a maximum of 3.0 units.

Faculty of Arts

  • If the full IB Diploma has been completed, transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 4.0, except the Global Business and Digital Arts and Accounting and Financial Management programs. 
    • Global Business and Digital Arts will consider up to a maximum of 2.5 units.
    • Accounting and Financial Management will consider up to a maximum of 2.0 units.
  • For individual IB certificate courses, up to a maximum of 2.0 units will be considered.

Faculty of Engineering, including Software Engineering and Architecture

  • Architecture - transfer credit will be considered for an elective credit up to a maximum of 0.5 units.
  • All other Engineering programs, including Software Engineering - We consider these courses to be a good challenge and good preparation for our programs. You may find that you have covered some of the material in our first term courses but, in most cases, not enough for you to be exempted from the entire course without potentially running into academic difficulties later. The depth and level of problem-solving is very different in our Engineering programs than in the courses in the systems listed above. As a result, we don't grant first-year course exemptions for IB courses.

Faculty of Environment

  • For all programs except Planning, transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 4.0 if the full IB Diploma has been completed. For individual IB certificate courses, up to a maximum of 2.0 units will be considered.
  • For Planning, transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 1.0 units for the full IB Diploma or certificate courses.

Faculty of Mathematics, including Computing and Financial Management, and the Business Administration (Laurier) and Mathematics (Waterloo) Double Degree program

Faculty of Science

  • Transfer credit for 0.5 units will be allowed for IB Higher Level Mathematics with a grade of 6 or 7.
  • Transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 3.0 units.

Course equivalencies

"1XX" means that you'll receive first-year credit for an elective in that subject. For example, AFM 1XX means that you'll receive a general first-year credit in Accounting and Financial Management.

Most courses at Waterloo are 0.5 units.

Higher Level course Waterloo course equivalent (1.0 units unless otherwise specified)
Arabic LANG 1XX
Biology BIOL 239 & BIOL 130 Lab (0.75 units)
Business & Management BUS 1XX
Chemistry CHEM 120 & 120 Lab
CHEM 123 & CHEM 123 Lab (1.5 units)
Cantonese LANG 1XX
Chinese CHINA 1XX
Classical Greek GRK 1XX
Classical Latin LAT 1XX
Computer Science

Students in the Faculty of Mathematics, including Computing and Financial Management: No transfer credit

All other students: CS 1XX

Design Technology SCI 1XX
Dutch DUTCH 1XX
Economics ECON 1XX
English A ENGL 1XX
Environmental Systems ENVS 1XX or SCI 1XX
Film FINE 2XX
French FR 1XX
Geography GEOG 101 & GEOG 102
German GER 1XX
Global Politics PSCI 150
Hebrew LANG 1XX
Hindi LANG 1XX
History HIST 1XX
Information Technology in a Global Society

Students in the Faculty of Mathematics, including Computing and Financial Management: No transfer credit

All other students: CS 1XX

Islamic History RS 1XX
Italian ITAL 1XX
Japanese JAPAN 1XX
Korean KOREA 1XX
Mandarin CHINA 1XX
Mathematics or
Further Mathematics
MATH 1XX (0.5 units) - A grade of 6 or 7 must be attained for Math and Science programs.
Music MUSIC 1XX
Philosophy PHIL 1XX
Physics PHYS 111 & 111L (0.75 units)
Psychology PSYCH 1XX
Social & Cultural Anthropology ANTH 1XX
Spanish SPAN 1XX
Theatre THPERF 1XX
Visual Art FINE 1XX

Notes: 

  1. For the Business Administration (Laurier) and Computer Science (Waterloo) Double Degree, and Business Administration (Laurier) and Mathematics (Waterloo) Double Degree programs, please refer to the program-specific chart.
  2. If you have taken a Higher Level IB language course that is not listed, please submit the grade from IBO as it may qualify for a first-year language transfer credit, e.g., LANG 1XX.