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 3.
- The maximum number of transfer credits varies by program.
- Transfer credits will normally be weighted as 0.5 units each (equivalent to one course at Waterloo).
- The transfer credits you receive will be different if you change to a program that requires you to transfer from one faculty to another faculty. Please note that in such a situation, a faculty admissions committee reserves the right to refuse transfer credits.
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 (0.5 units, equivalent to one term course at Waterloo).
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.
Not sure which faculty offers your program of interest? View a list of programs by faculty.
Faculty of Arts, including Accounting and Financial Management, Sustainability and Financial Management
- If the full IB Diploma has been completed, transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 4.0 (equivalent to eight term courses), except the Global Business and Digital Arts and financial management programs.
- Global Business and Digital Arts will consider up to a maximum of 2.5 units (equivalent to five term courses).
- Accounting and Financial Management will consider up to a maximum of 2.0 units (equivalent to four term courses).
- Sustainability and Financial Management will consider up to a maximum of 2.0 units (equivalent to four term courses).
- For individual IB certificate courses, up to a maximum of 2.0 units (equivalent to four term courses) will be considered.
Faculty of Engineering, including Software Engineering and Architecture
- Transfer credit will be considered for an elective credit up to a maximum of 0.5 units (equivalent to one term course).
- All other Engineering programs, including Software Engineering
- We consider IB 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 IB courses. As a result, we don't grant first-year course exemptions for IB courses.
Faculty of Environment
- Transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 1.0 units (equivalent to two term courses) for the full IB Diploma or certificate courses.
- For all programs except Planning
- Transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 4.0 (equivalent to eight term courses) if the full IB Diploma has been completed. For individual IB certificate courses, up to a maximum of 2.0 units (equivalent to four term courses) will be considered.
Faculty of Health
- The Recreation and Leisure Studies program will consider up to a maximum of 4.0 units (equivalent to eight term courses).
- The Health Sciences, Kinesiology, and Public Health programs will consider up to a maximum of 3.0 units (equivalent to six term courses).
Faculty of Mathematics, including Computing and Financial Management
- Up to 1.5 units of transfer credit (the equivalent of three term courses at Waterloo) will be allowed for all eligible IB courses.
- For Business Administration (Laurier) and Mathematics (Waterloo) and Business Administration (Laurier) and Computer Science (Waterloo) double degree students, transfer credit assessment may be subject to change based on cross-registration with Wilfrid Laurier University.
- Faculty of Mathematics does not award transfer credit for Computer Science or for Information Technology in a Global Society.
Faculty of Science
- Transfer credit for 0.5 units (equivalent to one term course) will be allowed for IB Higher Level Mathematics with a minimum grade of 6.
- Transfer credits will be considered up to a maximum of 3.0 units (equivalent to six term courses).
Faculty of Science does not award transfer credit for IB Higher Level Chemistry if a program requires CHEM 121, CHEM 121L, CHEM 125, and CHEM 125L.
"1XX" means that you'll receive first-year credit for an elective in that subject. For example, BUS 1XX means that you'll receive transfer credit for a general first-year course in Business. FINE 2XX means that you'll receive transfer credit for a general second-year course in Fine Arts. Most courses at Waterloo are 0.5 units.
You’ll have a mix of courses you’re required to take as part of your degree and elective courses you can choose. A “1XX” course can be used as an elective. Once you start your course selection as a Waterloo student, your academic advisor can help with any questions about choosing courses and transfer credits.
|Higher Level course||Waterloo course equivalent (0.5 units unless otherwise specified)|
|Analysis and Approaches||No transfer credit|
|Applications and Interpretations||No transfer credit|
|Biology||BIOL 239 and BIOL 130L (0.75 units)|
|Business and Management||BUS 1XX|
|Chemistry||CHEM 120, CHEM 120L, CHEM 123, and CHEM 123L (1.5 units)|
|Classical Greek||GRK 101 and GRK 102|
|Classical Latin||LAT 101 and LAT 102|
|Computer Science||Students in the Faculty of Mathematics, including Computing and Financial Management: No transfer credit
All other students: CS 1XX
|Design Technology||No transfer credit|
|English A||ENGL 1XX|
|Environmental Systems||No transfer credit|
|Global Politics||PSCI 1XX|
|Information Technology in a Global Society||No transfer credit|
|Islamic History||RS 1XX|
|Music||No transfer credit|
|Physics||No transfer credit|
|Psychology||PSYCH 101 and PSYCH 1XX (1.0 units)|
|Social & Cultural Anthropology||No transfer credit|
|Sports, Exercise and Health Science||KIN 1XX|
|Visual Art||FINE 1XX|
- 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 general first-year language transfer credit, e.g., LANG 1XX.