Exchange Agreements for UNBC Students

Deadline: All forms are due 7 weeks prior to the start date of the course OR 1 week prior to the deadline for receipt of a completed form at the host institution. See note about Athabasca in the Western Deans section as the deadline is significantly earlier.

Introduction

UNBC students may take coursework at other universities under two agreements. In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, students apply to take external coursework under the Western Deans Agreement. For all other provinces, students can take coursework via the Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA) provided the university is a member of the Canadian Associate of Graduate Schools (CAGS). The key difference between the two agreements is how tuition fees are assessed:

  • The Western Deans' Agreement provides an automatic tuition fee waiver for visiting students. While on a Western Dean's agreement, UNBC students will continue to pay tuition fees at UNBC but will not pay tuition fees at the host institution. However, students may be required to pay student, activity, application, or other ancillary fees to the host institution, according to general policies in effect at the host institution.
  • Students covered by the CUGTA transfer policy will pay tuition for the course concerned and applicable incidental fees at the host institution. Any costs associated with this Agreement are the responsibility of the student (tuition and related fees, living expenses, travel, etc.). For international students, it is important to understand that this rate will be at the international tuition fee rate at the host institution.

Students may also visit any member institution of CAGS for the purpose of conducting research (no coursework permitted) via the Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Protocol (CGSRMP) if approved. This often happens where a supervisor has an existing collaborative research arrangement or in instances where a student has a co-supervisor or committee member at another university.

Requests must be received in the Office of Graduate Administration at least 7 weeks prior to the start of the course OR at least one week prior to the host institution's deadline (which may be earlier). This means that all requests need to come into our office at least 7 weeks prior to the start of the course regardless of the host institutions deadline unless their deadline is earlier. E.g. if a university requires a form be submitted by their registration deadline and that is 3 months before the course starts, the form needs to be in our office at least 1 week prior to that institutions deadline to allow time for our processing. If the host institution's deadline is 3 weeks prior to the start of the semester, we still require it to be in our office 7 weeks prior in order to allow time for processing. We highly recommend forms be submitted as soon as possible.

Western Deans Agreement

The Western Deans' Agreement provides an automatic tuition fee waiver for visiting students. While on a Western Dean's agreement, UNBC students will continue to pay tuition fees at UNBC but will not pay tuition fees at the host institution. However, students may be required to pay student, activity, application, or other ancillary fees to the host institution, according to general policies in effect at the host institution.

Students will qualify for the fee waiver if they:

  •         submit the request prior to the deadline;
  •         are in good standing in a graduate program; and
  •         have no unpaid tuition or fees.

Students must meet all requirements as prescribed by the host university's regulations, deadlines, class capacities, and course prerequisites.

Registration is possible in courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and in credit courses offered through distance education or other means. To be eligible, courses must be an integral part of the applicant's graduate degree program. Fee waiver is not permitted for Audit or non-credit courses.

Deadline

The Western Deans process has a two stage deadline. The first is our internal deadline (7 weeks before the start of a class). The second is a deadline to receive a fully approved and processed request from the home institution to the host institution. This varies widely from months based on a registration deadline to 2 weeks.

We use 7 weeks to ensure that we have a fully approved form in sufficient time to get a request to the host institution.Ideally, courses are planned in advance as a part of a student’s degree. While a host institution MAY accept a form for processing as little as two weeks prior to the start of the semester, that is their absolute final date. The risk would be not getting the request reviewed in time or the seats being full. We strongly encourage you to get your forms in to our office as soon as possible.

Students must submit the Western Dean's request form (signed by the Program Chair) to the Office of Graduate Administration NO LATER THAN 7 weeks prior to the start of the requested course OR 1 week prior to the host institution's deadline (which may be earlier). Some institutions may have a deadline that is earlier than our general 7 week processing deadline (e.g. Athabasca) so we recommend planning early. Some institutions have published links/guidance on the Western Deans website.

Students wishing to enrol at Athabasca University via the Western Deans Agreement must have their application submitted to Athabasca by our office before the application and registration deadline for the course they wish to take. You should plan carefully and give yourself plenty of lead time for processing. Start by reviewing the information on their website, including applicable costs. Depending on the application and registration deadline, you may need to submit your form to our office 2 to 3 months earlier than you would to take coursework at another partner institution.

Eligible Courses

If you would like to verify a course can be accepted by your program prior to completing the paperwork for exchange, you should speak with your supervisor/Chair and submit a program approval revision form. You should specify what the course is replacing (e.g. will fill 3 credits of electives/will replace XX course in the required course list). The program will need to assess whether or not this is graduate level coursework eligible for transfer. Generally speaking, Open Learning/Continuing Studies coursework is not eligible under these agreements.

Procedure

  •     Students must submit a Western Deans Application Form (available on the linked webpage) and must have a valid program of study on file. If the student does not yet have an approved program of study form, this should be included with the Western Deans form. If the student does have a valid program of study, a Program Approval Revision form should accompany the request.
  •     Include an outline of the course work.
  •     Submit the form to grad-office@unbc.ca.
  •     Students will be registered in VRES 951 and pay full tuition and fees to UNBC. Additional fees at the host institution may apply.
  •     Once the course is complete, arrange for a transcript to be sent to UNBC.

Students must have the permission of their supervisor (or Chair, where no supervisor is assigned) prior to requesting enrolment in a Western Dean's course. This should be indicated on a Program Approval form or on a Program Approval Revision form if an approval form has already been submitted and taking this course revises the original approved program of study. This form and the completed Western Dean's form should be submitted to the Program Chair for approval prior to sending the paperwork to the Office of Graduate Administration.

Program Approval and Revision Forms can be found on this page. The Western Deans form is located here.

  • Students must include an outline of the course work that they propose to undertake, including a demonstration of the appropriateness of the selected course to act as a replacement of existing courses in the program of study.
  • The form must be emailed to grad-office@unbc.ca for processing by the deadline. Failure to submit forms on time may result in processing delays or an inability to process registration at the host institution.
  • No more than 6 credits can be taken via the Western Deans Agreement (subject to the program requirements outlined in the Graduate Calendar).
  • Students may not claim fee waivers under the terms of this Agreement for a period of more than 12 months total.

Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA)

Purpose

The CUGTA Agreement provides students in good standing enrolled in a graduate degree or diploma program at a CAGS member university the opportunity to avail themselves of courses offered at another member institution (host) for transfer credit to the program at their institution (home).

The definition of “home” is the institution in which the student applicant is enrolled and is expected to provide the graduate degree or diploma. The “host” is defined as the institution at which course credits can be obtained that can be counted toward a degree or diploma at the home institution.

If you would like to verify a course can be accepted by your program prior to completing the paperwork for exchange, you should speak with your supervisor/Chair and submit a program approval revision form. You should specify what the course is replacing (e.g. will fill 3 credits of electives/will replace XX course in the required course list). The program will need to assess whether or not this is graduate level coursework eligible for transfer. Generally speaking, Open Learning/Continuing Studies coursework is not eligible under these agreements.

Application Process

Students applying to take advantage of this Agreement are not be required to go through the normal application process associated with being accepted as a transfer student. Instead, students complete the CUGTA Agreement Form and submit it to grad-office@unbc.ca.

Eligibility
  • A student applying for consideration under this Agreement must be in good standing at UNBC.
  • The HOST institution must hold membership in CAGS.
  • Courses applied for must be deemed integral to the student’s program by the home institution.
  • The Agreement applies only to graduate level courses.
  • The number of courses taken under this Agreement is limited by the number of courses allowed for transfer credit at the home institution (6 credits at UNBC).
  • Special topic or independent studies courses involving a single individual will normally not be available to applicants under this Agreement.
  • Where course limits are in effect, the HOST institution may give priority to its own students with students applying under the Agreement being offered spaces in classes only where excess capacity allows.
  • Previous acceptance of an application under this Agreement does not imply subsequent approval of such a request by either the home or host institution.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted. All of the identifying information about the applicant requested must be provided, the proposed course and timing for enrolling in it need to be defined, and the appropriate authorizing signatures must be included.
  • Students taking advantage of this Agreement would not be eligible for any form of financial support from the HOST institution.
Fees and Related Study Costs

Students covered by the Agreement will pay tuition for the course concerned and applicable incidental fees at the HOST institution. Any costs associated with this Agreement are the responsibility of the student (tuition and related fees, living expenses, travel, etc.)

Transcripts

Following completion of the course (whether successful, withdrawal, or unsuccessful), it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for the provision of a transcript to UNBC, paying fees currently in effect for that service at the HOST institution.

Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Protocol (CGSRMP)

As research becomes increasingly interdisciplinary and networked, and as research equipment becomes more specialized and expensive, graduate students from one university may have to spend time at another university in order to complete or enhance their research. The Canadian Associate of Graduate Studies encourages graduate student mobility within Canada in order to foster the exchange of ideas, specialized training, research collaboration, and interdisciplinarity.
Any CAGS member institution may accept a visiting graduate research student so you will want to consult the host institutions website for details on how to apply.

Cost

While you are registered as a CGSRMP student at a member university, you will continue to pay your tuition and student fees at UNBC. You will be registered in a VRES course to maintain your active student status. No fee will be charged to visiting graduate research students at the host institution provided they are registered full time, are paying fees at their home institutions, and are not taking courses at the host institutions. However, incidental fees may be charged at the discretion of the host university. You will be registered as a “visiting graduate research students” at the host institution.

Important Information

A faculty member at the host institution must agree to supervise and take responsibility for the visiting graduate research student during their stay. It is the responsibility of the visiting student to find a supervisor at the host institution.
As a visiting graduate research students, you are expected to have access to basic research services (e.g. library, e-mail access, computing) and to basic student services (e.g. recreation facilities, provided that the incidental
fees, if applicable, are paid) at the host institution. You will not have access by default to health and other benefits plans, transit passes, etc. paid from tuition and other student fees at the host institution, although individual institutions may wish to arrange for this.

In order to apply as a CGSRMP student, you will need a written agreement between yourself (as a visiting graduate research students), your UNBC supervisor(s) and the host institution supervisor(s) concerning issues such as intellectual property, stipend and benefits, travel costs, access to research equipment and supplies, research ethics, space etc. Follow the procedures outlined at the host institution.