Exchange Agreements for UNBC Students

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.

Requests must be received in the Office of Graduate Administration at least 7 weeks prior to the start of the course (with the exception of requests to attend Athabasca** - see note below).

**Students wishing to enroll 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. 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.

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.

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

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 to permit time to meet the host institution's deadlines (except Athabasca, see note below).

**Students wishing to enroll 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. 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.

Procedure

  •     Students must submit a Western Deans Application Form 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.

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.