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About Transfer

About Transfer

Sometimes students find that they have chosen a program or institution that is not a good fit, or personal circumstances change, and a student needs to move from one program or institution to another. When this happens, students need to know which credits they have already earned will transfer to the new program or institution. 

Transfer in postsecondary education refers, at the most general level, to the movement of students from one institution to another receiving appropriate credit for prior learning. Credit transfer refers to a postsecondary institution awarding credit-equivalency at their institution for credits and learning experiences an applicant has previously acquired.  

The primary goal of credit transfer frameworks and policies is to support student mobility while, at the same time, maintaining the integrity of educational programs and credentials. How the process works varies from province to province and is directly related to the structure of the postsecondary education system, the degree of alignment between programs  and the level of institutional autonomy, especially with regard to curriculum design and institutional policies. Agreements among institutions regarding credit transfer are often published in a central database accessible by students and potential students. 

What is Transfer Credit?

Transfer credit refers to courses taken at one institution that are credited toward a degree or diploma at another institution. Transferring courses is dependent on the degree of similarity between one course and another and/or how the course being transferred applies to the requirements of the new program.  

Transfer credit may also be processed in a block, rather than on a course-by-course basis. This can happen when institutions compare whole programs and award credit on the basis of total hours or credits, rather than for individual courses. Block or program transfer is usually granted when a graduate of a program wishes to transfer credits to another program that is closely related in content, for example a diploma in Accounting to an advanced diploma or degree in Accounting. The receiving institution may list the courses in the block of credit or may simply specify entry to a specific year of the program. 

As noted above, credit transfer may be available to students in a number of ways: 

  • As course transfers, with institutions granting credit for individual courses. 
  • As program transfers, with institutions granting a block of credit from a program and applying it to a similar program. For example: 
    • College diploma and advanced diploma programs to degree programs at colleges and universities; 
    • College certificate to diploma and diploma to advanced diploma programs at other colleges; 
    • Apprenticeship Certificates of Qualification to college diploma programs in related fields; and 
    • Secondary school dual credit courses to college programs. 

Requirements for Credit Transfer

Receiving credit for courses or programs taken at another institution will be dependent on achieving a minimum grade in the course or a minimum overall grade point average in the program. Details of these requirements are listed in the transfer pathways. 

When a course or program was completed may also affect credit transfer decisions. Some subject and program areas have shorter time frames for credit recognition than others to ensure that the curriculum studied is consistent with current expectations. Transfer pathways and policies will include any limitations on when courses were completed. 

Finally, all institutions have residency policies that require a student to complete a minimum amount of credit at the school in order to receive a degree or diploma.  

Transfer Policies and Advisors

Each postsecondary institution in Ontario has its own transfer policy.  Students should be sure to consult the transfer policy at the college or university they wish to attend and consult the institution's transfer advisor

About ONTransfer.ca

ONTransfer.ca gives students information on how programs and course credits may transfer among postsecondary programs in publicly funded colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes in Ontario. For high school students and graduates, this site can help plan a postsecondary route. For postsecondary students and graduates, ONTransfer.ca provides an interactive guide to established transfer routes among programs and institutions. Students can search ONTransfer.ca for course-to-course and program-based transfer options into institutions across Ontario. 

ONTransfer.ca also provides a comprehensive guide on transfer information and policies for all postsecondary institutions in Ontario. 

For more information, check out www.ontransfer.ca