Common questions about transfer credits

What are transfer credits?

Transfer credits are courses you've completed at one school that can used to meet the requirements of a degree or diploma at a different college or university. They're most commonly courses taken at college or university but some high school students can be eligible for transfer credit if they've successfully completed classes approved in our transfer credit policy, such as International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP).

Can you transfer credits from one university or degree to another?

Yes! Generally speaking, you can transfer credits from one university to another. At Waterloo, you can transfer up to 50 per cent of the courses toward the degree you would like to earn. Some programs limit the number of credits which can be transferred. An official assessment is completed after you accept your Waterloo Offer of Admission. You may need to submit some or all of your course syllabi, depending on what we have previously evaluated.

What credits can you transfer?

Transfer credits are reviewed and awarded based on a few factors.

  • The grade achieved in the course.
    • You must have a final grade of at least 60% for a university course or at least 70% for a college course (with the exception of Faculty of Science programs which require 75%) for a course to be considered for transfer credit.
    • Courses with a grade of pass, successful, credit, etc., are not considered for transfer credits.
  • The course content, how rigorous the content was, and how closely it matches a course that Waterloo offers.
  • How long ago you took the course.
  • The relevance of the proposed transfer credits towards your Waterloo degree.

We will consider only courses that are academic in nature. Courses that are vocationally specific, e.g., Nursing Techniques, may not receive any credits.

Is it hard to transfer from college to university?

The transfer process is relatively straightforward. You'll apply for admission through the Ontario Universities' Application Centre and then send your high school and post-secondary transcripts to Waterloo. The admissions committee will then review all of this information to determine admissibility.

While most programs will consider college courses in place of high school courses to meet admission requirements, some programs, such as Engineering, require you to meet the admission requirements based on your academic background from high school (in addition to performing well in your college program).


How do you transfer college credits?

Transfer credits are assessed automatically for students who accept their offer of admission to Waterloo. You may need to submit some or all of your course syllabi, depending on what we have previously evaluated.

If you're transferring from a college or university in Ontario, you can use the course transfer guide to see what courses might be transferred from one institution to another. Your grades, and in some cases, the program you are pursuing will be considered by the university you plan to attend.

Can you choose not to transfer any credits?

No, you're not permitted to decline any college or university transfer credits.

Can you transfer any credits from a degree you've already completed?

Yes! If you have previously completed a full degree, you're eligible to transfer up to 50 per cent of the courses required for a Waterloo degree. The admissions committee will review your entire academic history and will transfer the credits that are most useful towards your Waterloo degree.

How do transfer credits work?

Transfer credits can be used to meet the requirements for your Waterloo degree. If you receive an offer of admission, we'll automatically assess your previous courses for possible credit. This process takes place after you accept your Offer of Admission to Waterloo.

Transfer credits will be awarded in one of two ways.

  • If a course you complete at a different school is equivalent to a course offered at Waterloo, you'll receive credit for the equivalent Waterloo course. For example: University of Guelph PSYC 1000 = Waterloo’s PSYCH 101 (first-year psychology)
  • If a course you complete at a different school is either not offered at Waterloo or is significantly different from a course we teach, then you may receive an indirect or unspecified credit. For example: Wilfrid Laurier University’s PS 101 = Waterloo’s PSYCH 1xx.
    • An unspecified transfer credit can be counted toward the number of courses you take, but cannot be used to replace a specific required course in that discipline. For example, if you receive PSYCH 1xx as a transfer credit and PSYCH 101 is a required course for your program, you would still be required to complete PSYCH 101 at Waterloo. PSYCH 1xx cannot be used to replace a required PSYCH 101 credit but it will count as an elective PSYCH course.

When we transfer any credits from your prior learning, we do not transfer the associated grade from your previous institution. Thus, you'll begin with a “fresh slate” in terms of your average at Waterloo.

Learn more

Read about Waterloo's undergraduate programs, review our transfer credit policies, or search our admission requirements for details on transfer credit for your program(s) of interest.