Transfer Credit Policy

1. Course requirement for transfer credit

Transfer credits are credits that count toward your McGill degree but that are attributed to courses taken at another accredited degree granting institution. You may be granted transfer credits toward a McGill University Bachelor of Arts or Social Work degree for coursework satisfactorily completed at a degree granting institution that is accredited to award three or four year undergraduate degrees by that country's equivalent to a Ministry of Education. Please consult our website for our lists of approved institutions by continent.

In order for a course to be considered for transfer, it must meet the following conditions:

  1. Course must be delivered on-campus and be part of the host university’s undergraduate curriculum
  2. Course must count for credit toward a degree at the host institution for the same purpose (i.e. major, minor, elective etc.) as it would at McGill; courses taken toward a certificate/diploma or courses taken through continuing studies will typically NOT be credited unless they count toward an undergraduate degree at that institution
  3. Course must have a syllabus that includes, at a minimum, contact hours, course objectives, readings, and method of evaluation.
  4. Course generates a final grade that can be recorded on the host school’s official transcript.

Courses that are not accepted for transfer credit toward your degree are:

  1. Continuing education courses applied only toward certificates and/or diploma programs at the host institution.
  2. Courses applied only toward certificates and/or diploma programs at the host institution.
  3. Language courses offered by Language Centers or Institutes not associated with a degree granting institution.
  4. Practicum ("How to") courses: e.g., dance, fashion designing, journalism, orientation photography, sports, web designing, wine tasting, etc.
  5. Skills-improvement courses such as “art workshop”, “civilization”, and “methodology” (“Welcome Program”).
  6. Volunteer programs

Students must verify that they have the required prerequisite for any course they intend to take at the host university. students should not take a course at the host university if they do not have the required academic background to succeed in the course.

Students must complete all components of each of the course(s) they register for at the host school by the end of the term of study.

The grades earned at the host university will NOT appear on your McGill record and will NOT be calculated in your McGill CGPA.

You are expected to maintain your McGill academic standing at the host university. If your host university grade average is not comparable to your final McGill CGPA, the designations of Distinction, Great Distinction or Dean’s Honour List may be withdrawn at graduation.

Arts OASIS reserves the right to refuse to award McGill transfer credit if the host school or any of its courses fail to meet the Arts OASIS study away policies or McGill’s program or degree requirements.

2. Host University

If you are a McGill student completing courses at another university as part of a McGill Exchange or an approved Independent Study Away, you must be registered at the host school as a visiting, non-degree student and take courses that are part of the host university’s three or four year undergraduate degree curriculum, taught by their faculty members. Only courses completed at the approved host university are eligible for transfer credit.  Therefore, students should not enroll in courses at an affiliated or partner university of the host institution.

It is important that you carefully research whether the school you wish to attend allows students to apply as a “Visiting” student. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the entrance requirements of the host school before submitting their Minerva Study Away application.

NOTE: Once your McGill study away application is approved, your Minerva record will be updated to non-resident status for the equivalent McGill term(s) you will be away. This means that if you are already enrolled for courses at McGill during your study away term(s), these courses will be dropped and WILL NOT be re-instated if your plans change. Your McGill transcript will indicate "Term Away" and you will not be able to register for McGill courses in that term.

If you were a McGill student and took courses at another approved institution while registered as a degree student at that host school, credits can only be transferred to your McGill degree once McGill has received confirmation from that institution that you have withdrawn from the university and degree program. You are not permitted to be concurrently registered as an undergraduate degree student at two different universities.

3. U3 students and graduation

If your Minerva record shows that you are in your U3 year of study and you are planning to study away, please consult our Arts OASIS graduation checklist to be sure that you will be meeting all your graduation requirements.

Students who are taking one or more courses at another university during their term of graduation WILL NOT be eligible to graduate at the end of that final term. These students MUST select the NEXT available term of graduation.

Please consult the chart below to select the correct term of graduation.

Study Away Semester I expect my courses to be completed by

Date by when official transcript reflecting courses on Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form must be received

Term of Graduation "Bachelor of Arts Granted" reflected on Minerva record Convocation Ceremony
Winter April August 15 Summer End of October October or November
Summer August December 15 Fall End of February June
Fall December April 1 Winter End of May June

4. Online Policy

Please refer to Online Education.

5. Course Equivalency Assessment

When you plan to take or have taken a course at another institution, that course must be evaluated and approved in order to determine where it best fits into your degree plan. This is referred to as establishing course equivalence. If you would like to peruse courses that have already been approved for study away/exchange, you can access the Course Equivalency Database. Please be advised this database is a reference tool and is not binding. The ultimate approval for the course lies with the department and then the Faculty.

Materials submitted to establish course equivalence are evaluated by a faculty member in the department that most closely resembles the discipline in which the course is located. If there is a direct equivalent, then a McGill course number will be assigned. If there is no direct equivalent in that discipline, but the course is still relevant to the discipline, and the level of the course can be evaluated, this is specified as a McGill-equivalent course (e.g., ANTH 2XX, ANTH 3XX, or ANTH 4XX). When the course is considered university level, but is quite general and is not deemed appropriate for meeting program requirements, the course is assigned an XXX (e.g., ANTH XXX).

Occasionally, when there is no obvious McGill equivalent course, if the academic content of the course is deemed at a university level, one of the following generic codes may be assigned by the Faculty:

TRNS HUMN (for a course in a Humanities subject)
TRNS LANG (for a language course not taught at McGill)
TRNS GNST (for a general studies course not taught at McGill)
TRNS SOSC (for a social science course not taught at McGill)
TRNS MASC (for a math or science course not taught at McGill)

If you would like to use the course you are planning to take or have taken at another institution to meet a program requirement (e.g., towards an honours, major, or minor concentration), you will need department approval. You must send an email to your program advisor. Therefore DEPARTMENTAL APPROVAL on the MINERVA Transfer Credit Assessment form is only required if the course is to be considered a required or complementary course in your program.

Faculty and departments are responsible for assigning course equivalencies; advisors in Arts OASIS are responsible for allocating the number of credits assigned to a course. Given the number of different credit allocation systems across institutions, this function is centralized for the purpose of consistency across disciplines.

6. Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form

The Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form must be completed by all McGill students completing courses at another university as part of a McGill Exchange or an approved Independent Study Away. Once you register for courses at the host university, the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form must accurately reflect the courses you are registered for at the host university. This form will be used to evaluate the courses you are taking at the host school for McGill course equivalencies.

Transfer credit for courses approved on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form will only be processed once McGill obtains an official final transcript from the host institution. (See Transfer Credit Policy #12. Transcript from host school)

Below are the Study Away Semester deadlines by which the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form must be completed and a final transcript must be received by McGill.

Study Away Semester Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form must be updated to reflect courses that will be completed and recorded on the official transcript Final official transcript must be received by
Winter April 15 August 15
Summer Concurrent with application December 15
Fall November 15 April 1

NOTE: A Registrar's Hold may be placed on your record if your Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form does not accurately reflect the courses you are registered for at the host university or if your final official transcript is not received by the deadline you have been given. This hold will prevent you from making changes to your student record or ordering official transcripts on Minerva.

Process for entering courses on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form

To begin the process of selecting the course(s) you wish to take at a host university, access your Minerva Study Away application. To access the request form, log on to Minerva and navigate to: Student Menu > Student Records Menu > Exchange/Study Away Menu > Request for Study Away. For instructions, select the word “HELP” in the upper right hand corner of the Minerva screen.

At the bottom of your Minerva Study Away application, you will find a link to the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form.

Completing the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form is a three part process.

Part 1: COURSE EQUIVALENCE

First, you must have the course you plan to take or have taken at another institution evaluated and approved in order to determine where it best fits into your degree plan. This is referred to as establishing course equivalence. If you would like to peruse courses that have already been approved for study away/exchange, you can access the Course Equivalency System.

Step 1:  Is the Course you want to take on the Course Equivalency System?

  1. When you open the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form, access the direct link to the Course Equivalency System by using the search box at the top of the form. Check to see if the course you wish to take is listed.

  2. If the course you want to take is on the Course Equivalency System, you can add the course to your Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form by clicking on the ‘add’ button.

  3. If you are able to find a course on the Course Equivalency System through the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form but the equivalence has expired you will have the option of requesting a reassessment by following the instructions. (See #8 Expired Equivalency).

  4. If you are NOT able to find a course on the Course Equivalency System through the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form, you will have to request that a new equivalency assessment be done. (See #6 New Course Equivalency). The request will require that you upload a pdf of the course syllabus which must include the textbooks, readings, method of evaluation, and any other relevant information. Please take the time to read the course syllabus checklist.

  5. Once the new course equivalence you have submitted has been assessed and approved, you will receive an email notification that the course has been added to the Course Equivalency System. You will need to go back to the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form to search for the course and then add the course to your list by clicking on the ‘add’ button.

  6. BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS: Students must email both the BSW program director Prof. Ives (nicole.ives [at] mcgill.ca) and Lillian Iannone, the Student Affairs Coordinator (lillian.iannone [at] mcgill.ca) to ask them to access their Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form and enter a note that states that you can count this course towards the BSW degree.

ONLINE COURSES

  1. If you are seeking credit for a non-Arts online elective course, the Faculty administering the course must approve the method of delivery and have indicated so on the Course Equivalency System.

  2. When you open the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form, access the direct link to the Course Equivalency System by using the search box at the top of the form. Check to see if the course you wish to take is listed.

  3. If the course you want to take is on the Course Equivalency System, verify that the comments indicate that the online version is approved, then you can add the course to your Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form by clicking on the ‘add’ button. If it is not specified that the online version is approved, please email at: studyaway.arts [at] mcgill.ca

  4. If you are able to find a course on the Course Equivalency System through the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form but the equivalence has expired you will have the option of requesting a reassessment by following the instructions. (See #8 Expired Equivalency). In the comments section of your reassessment request, you must indicate that the method of delivery of this course is “online”.

  5. If you are NOT able to find a course on the Course Equivalency System through the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form, you will have to request that a new equivalency assessment be done. (See “Students” #6 New Course Equivalency). The request will require that you upload a pdf of the course syllabus which must include the textbooks, readings, method of evaluation, and any other relevant information. Please take the time to read the course syllabus checklist. In the comments section of your equivalency request, you must indicate that the method of delivery of this course is “online”.

Part 2: COURSE APPROVAL

Once a course has been assessed on the Course Equivalency System, and entered on the Minerva Transfer Credit and Assessment Form, the next step is course approval.

Step 2: Receiving course approval on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form

Note: You will not be able to edit specific course information or delete a course you have added to the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form after the approval process has begun for that course.

  1. If you intend to use a course listed on your Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form as an elective, departmental approval will not be required.

  2. If you intend to use a course listed on your Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form towards a program requirement, you will need to email your departmental program advisor to get their approval on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form. Please use the email template below and consult the list of Departmental Program Advisors.

    Please take note of the following before emailing your departmental program adviser:

  • For Economics and Philosophy courses ONLY: Courses will approved as electives in the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form. As is the case for all students, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the economics or philosophy courses taken abroad can be used to meet program requirements by contacting your program advisor.

  • For History courses: An equivalency of HIST XXX will be granted on the Course Equivalency System for all History courses. For program students ONLY, the Department of History will assign specific equivalencies ( i.e. HIST 3XX, HIST 4XX) . Students will have to contact their program advisor to be granted specific equivalencies. For students using these courses as electives, no further assessment will be necessary.

  • For Online courses: Arts courses taught through online education may not be used to complete program requirements, except on an individual basis when serious, documented circumstances warrant it. In such cases, prior approval must be obtained from your departmental academic adviser and the Associate Dean of Arts (Student Affairs). Please refer to Application Procedures in the Online Education section.

  • BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS: Students must email both the BSW program director Prof. Ives (nicole.ives [at] mcgill.ca) and Lillian Iannone, the Student Affairs Coordinator (lillian.iannone [at] mcgill.ca) to ask them to access their Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form and enter a note that states that you can count this course towards the BSW degree.

NOTE: A maximum of 6 credits of elective courses taught through online education may be used towards your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social work degree at McGill. (See Online Policy)

Template Email for Course Approval

Subject Line: Course Approval request

McGill ID: 260XXXXXX

Name: FirstName LastName

Host Institution: ABC University

Term: Fall 2016

I have completed a “Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form” indicating the course I plan to take at another institution while studying away from McGill, and need your help with approving the following course to determine if it can be used to complete a program requirement.

(list only the course(s) relevant to this adviser)

Course Number and Title

Part 3: TRANSFERRING CREDIT

Transfer credit for courses approved on the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form will only be processed once McGill receives an official transcript of completed studies (including course numbers and individual final grades) directly from the host school to McGill’s Enrollment Services immediately upon completion of studies.

Refer to “Transcript from host school”, section # 12 on this page for important information on final official transcripts and deadline dates. 

7. Course overlap & Course outside Arts & Science

You will not receive transfer credit toward your degree for any course that overlaps in content with a course for which you have already received credit at McGill, CEGEP, at another university, or Advanced Placement exams, Advanced Level results, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or French Baccalaureate. See Course Overlap.

You may not receive transfer credit toward your degree for any course that exceeds the maximum of credits that can be taken outside the Faculty of Arts or Science.

BA students are allowed to take a maximum of 12 credits of courses offered by faculties other than the Faculties of Arts or Science. BA students registered in certain designated programs are permitted to take further credits outside arts and science. Please consult the Outside Arts & Sci tab website for further details.

8. Residency requirements

Degree residency requirement: You must complete satisfactorily a minimum of 60 credits at McGill University.

Program residency requirement: At least two-thirds of all program requirements (Multi-track, Honours, Faculty program) must normally be completed at McGill. Some departments may require that you complete specific components of your program at McGill. Thus a maximum of one-third of all program requirements may be completed at another university.

9. Credit value assessment

There are numerous credit assignment systems across universities around the world. Establishing the McGill equivalent for those systems is the responsibility of Arts OASIS. Generally, the host university's full course load for their degree students is used to calculate how many credits can be transferred to your McGill degree.

We consider that the host university's full-year course load is equivalent to 30 McGill credits and that their full-time semester term (fall or winter) course load is equivalent 15 McGill credits. Consult our lists of Approved Host Universities by continent to determine what is considered a "full course load per semester".

If you complete less than the equivalent of a full course load, transfer credits will be pro-rated.

Please find below the credit systems most commonly used:

Host credit system Equivalent to 15 credits at McGill
ECTS (European Community Transfer Credit) 30 ECTS
Australia 4 courses
UK credit points 60 credit points
Japan 16-18 credits

10. Grade required for transfer credits

Courses that have been assessed and approved for McGill equivalence are eligible to be considered for transfer credit if the grade earned in the host university course(s) is equal to or higher than the grade/CGPA required to graduate from the host university. Normally, this is equivalent to a grade of C or better according to the host university’s grading scheme. The policy will apply to both elective and required courses.

Grades of C- or less, Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) are not acceptable.

The letter grade earned will take precedence over the corresponding numerical grades if both are indicated on the transcript. Some host universities outside North America do not use the letter grade system. Refer to the following chart for the minimum passing grade for some popular study abroad countries.

Nation Minimum Passing grade
Argentina 4 or greater ( scale of 0-10)
Australia 50%
France 10 (scale of 0-20)
Germany 1,0-4,0 (scale 1,0-6,0 where 1,0 is the highest given)
Netherlands 6 or greater ( scale of 0-10)
Spain 5 or greater (scale of 0-10)
United Kingdom 40% or greater ( Third Class Honours or higher)

11. Placement tests for language courses

If you will be taking a French-as-a-Second-Language course while on an exchange or study away, you must take a post-test at the French Language Centre upon your return.

12. Transcript from host school

An official transcript of completed studies (including course numbers and individual final grades – not pass/fail) must be sent directly from the host school to McGill’s Enrolment Services immediately upon completion of studies. A certificate indicating only the completion of studies is not acceptable.

Please check your record at the host university to ensure that you have fulfilled all your academic obligations and that all outstanding fees have been cleared.

Students on an independent study away must initiate a request for the transcript to be sent to McGill.

Students on a McGill Exchange will have their final official transcript automatically sent to McGill unless the student has an outstanding fee or administrative hold added to their record by the host school preventing the release of the final transcript.

Please consult the chart below to determine the date by which your official final transcript must be received by McGill.

Transcript Deadlines

Study Away Semester Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form must be updated to reflect courses on official transcript by Final transcript must be received by
Winter April 15 August 15
Summer Concurrent with application December 15
Fall November 15 April 1

NOTE: A Registrar's Hold may be placed on your record your final official transcript is not received by the deadline you have been given. This hold will prevent you from making changes to your student record or ordering official transcripts on Minerva.

Please note that you may be charged a fee for any changes that need to be made to your student record after government reporting deadlines have passed.

It is critical that the transcripts are delivered directly from institution to institution. Please have the host university send your official final transcript to this address:

McGill University
Enrolment Services
Management of Academic Records
3415 McTavish Street
Montréal, Québec
Canada, H3A 0C8
ATT: Arts Study Away

McGill cannot provide students with an official transcript of their term away studies. You are advised to order a few official copies for your own future use – e.g. Graduate studies applications, job interviews, etc.

13. Transfer Credits earned prior to McGill

The Transfer Credit Equivalence Form for Arts Student is to be used by students who are currently registered at McGill and have already been assigned non‐specific transfer credit on the basis of course work completed prior to entry to McGill. These non‐specific transfer credits can be seen on the McGill Minerva transcript as TRNS XXX. The process outlined in the form will give students the opportunity to take full advantage of course work already completed and to avoid repeating course work unnecessarily.

Please make sure to follow the step-by step procedure outlined on this form.

If you are NOT currently registered at McGill, you must register for courses on Minerva before completing this form.

Students who have not received transfer credits for which they think they are eligible should not complete this process. They should instead speak with their Faculty Advisor in Arts OASIS.