Transfer Credit Definitions

Transfer credit is credit you receive for university level coursework completed at other recognized institutions. When granted, these credits may be used toward completing your UNBC degree.

Articulation is the process of having this transfer credit reviewed in order to determine the equivalency of the coursework.

Transfer credit definitions below are based on British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) and Pan-Canadian Consortium on Admissions and Transfer (PCCAT) work on transfer credit.  For more information on these bodies visit:

All coursework sent for review comes from a recognized institution that has been reviewed by the Office of the Registrar.

Definition of recognized institution: An institution, authorized by the recognized government authority for university- or college-level higher education in that jurisdiction to be able to award credentials, including Certificates, Diplomas, and (Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctoral) Degrees, that could be considered equivalent to a Canadian credential.

University Transfer Credit

Acceptable transfer includes:

  • University degree courses;
  • College courses (including Associate of Arts or Science);
  • Certificate and Diploma Programs (including Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Applied Arts Technology)


  • University Preparation
  • Vocational course programs

The following will be used as a guideline when assessing transfer credit requests:

Assigned Credit

Specific Credit: Credit is granted for a specific course when the course has a minimum 80% course content overlap of a UNBC course.  Specific credit can be used as a pre-requisite for students to complete additional UNBC courses.  It can be used to fulfill UNBC degree requirements.

                Eg: CNC MATH 101 (3) = UNBC MATH 100 (3)

Combination Credit (Cluster Credit):

When one course is equivalent to more than one UNBC course (either within or across disciplines).

                Eg: UVIC BIOL 184 (1.5) = UNBC BIOL 104 (3) & UNBC BIOL 124 (1)

When more than one course at another institution is equivalent to one UNBC course.

                Eg: VCC PHYS 1083 (4) & VCC PHYS 1083 (4) = UNBC PHYS 115 (4)

When two or more courses are combined to be equivalent to a UNBC course or UNBC courses.

Eg: CNC BIO 107 (3) & CNC 120 (3) = UNBC BIOL 103 (3) & UNBC BIOL 123 (1) & UNBC BIOL 104 (3) & UNBC BIOL 124 (1)

Unassigned Credit

Discipline Credit: Used to assign courses that have no specific UNBC equivalent, are university level and are from the same subject area.

                Eg: CNC ENGL 225 (3) = UNBC ENGL 2XX (3)

Subject Area Credit: Used when UNBC does not have a corresponding subject area, the course is university level and the course could fulfill an elective credit.  Areas to use are ARTS, CRIM, HUMN, PHIL, SCIE, SOSC at the 100, 200, 300 or 400 level.

                Eg: AU PSYC 470 (3) = UNBC SOSC 3XX (3)

Unspecified Credit

University level course work that has not been reviewed by UNBC may be given an unspecified designation at any level when students are admitted to UNBC.  This credit is displayed on a student’s transfer credit summary provided with their admission letter.

                Eg: SFU MATH 461 (3) = UNBC UNSP 4XX (3)

Students who wish to have this course work reviewed for assigned or unassigned credit at UNBC, can submit their course outlines to:

                Tamara Sweet - Registrar Services Officer – Articulation


Submitted course outlines will be reviewed and students will be notified as to the outcome of the review. 

NOTE: Once course outlines have been submitted, please allow 2-3 weeks time before following up on your requests.

Block Credit

Students who are granted admission may be given a block of credit based on a completed credential prior to determining assigned or unassigned credit.  In these cases, transcripts are reviewed and transfer credit awarded as a block of credit rather than on a course by course basis.

Time Limit for Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is not normally awarded for courses completed more than 10 years prior to registration at UNBC.  These courses will be given unspecified credit and can be used as elective credit. Please speak to your Student Advisor about how to best use these credits towards your UNBC degree.


Waiver: A waiver may be granted for specific UNBC course(s) within a degree program based on the content of the external course, diploma or series/block of courses.  Credit hours are not waived, only the specific course requirement.  All UNBC first entry degrees require completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.

                Eg: VCC CMPT 1010 (3) = UNBC CPSC 1XX (3)

     VCC CMPT 1010 (3) & VCC CMPT 1020 (3) = UNBC CPSC 1XX (6). Waive UNBC CPSC 100 (4) & UNBC CPSC 101 (4)

Substitution: A student may substitute a specific UNBC course(s) required within a degree program based on the content of an external course, diploma or series/block of courses. The course concepts are similar, but do not meet the 80% course content overlap to receive specific assigned credit. However, the content fulfills the requirements for the course within the degree program in question and would not impact the students’ ability to complete additional UNBC courses. 

NOTE: Some transfer credit may only be applicable to specific program areas and may be dependent on declaration of major or degree program.

Course Credit Counts and Hours

1 credit at UNBC is based on 3 hours of instruction per week per semester. A semester is based on a 13 week period.

  • 3.0 credits = 39 hours of instruction per semester
  • 4.0 credits = 52 hours of instruction per semester
  • 6.0 credits = 78 hours of instruction per semester

Duplicate Transfer Credit

Where course work completed at an external institution duplicates course work taken at UNBC, the UNBC course work will be given preference. Duplicate transfer credit may be removed from a student’s transfer record.

Students who need to meet a minimum grade for course requirements, can use transfer credit to meet that grade requirement. UNBC course work will still remain on the students record and will be counted towards their GPA calculation.  Transfer credit grades do not affect a student’s UNBC GPA calculation.