Transfer credit terms


Review commonly used transfer credit terms and their definitions below. 

Term Definition
Articulation Articulation is the formal process of determining if coursework completed at another institution is eligible for transfer credit at UBC. It is a collaborative process involving Admissions Advisors and Transfer Credit staff who determine the appropriate subject and transfer credit values, as well as faculty articulators who compare the original course content to specific UBC courses.
BC Transfer Guide The BC Transfer Guide is an online tool that allows you to search for how courses from another institution in BC and outside BC can be transferred to UBC.
Credit value UBC courses are based on the semester credits. Courses from different credit systems such as quarter credits are converted to equivalent UBC semester credits in the BC Transfer Guide.
Effective date The time period within which the course must be completed to receive transfer credit.
Elective Elective or "ELEV" transfer credit indicates a general form of transfer credit that has no equivalent course at UBC.

An exemption refers to the waiving of a prerequisite or required course even if the original course does not significantly match a specific UBC course.

While the original course is granted General Credit, it can be used to substitute for the Exempted course. You would not need to take the Exempted course at UBC if it is required for your program.

On the Transfer Credit Search Tool, for example, an Exemption would be displayed as "PHYS_O 1st (3). Exempt PHYS_O 111."

First-year credit AP, IB or A-levels exam results that meet the minimum requirements listed on the Undergraduate Programs and Admissions website are eligible for first-year credit. Official final exam results need to be sent to the UBC Undergraduate Admissions Office by the examination boards for credit processing into Workday.
General Credit

Courses from a recognized institution will be assessed as Specific Credit if matching a UBC course or as General Credit to meet non-major specific or elective degree requirements.

When an exact UBC equivalent course does not exist within the same department, general transfer credit is granted as close as possible to the course completed elsewhere. General Credit will indicate the equivalent subject code, year level, and credit value.

Below are examples of how it can be displayed:

  • HIST_V 1st 
    Where an equivalent department does not exist at UBC, general credit will be granted at the faculty level.
  • ARTS_O 1st or SCIE_V 1st
    If there is no equivalent program or faculty at UBC but the course should still be eligible for academic transfer credit, a more general elective credit will be granted.
  • ELEV_O 1st 
    General elective credit might be acceptable to satisfy some degree requirements. You should seek advising from your faculty to determine how general elective credit can be applied to your program.
  • WRCM_V 1st 
    General credit for first-year academic university-level English Writing and Composition courses that meet the Writing and Composition or Communication requirement in all faculties except the Faculty of Arts.
General Credit with Exemption

Courses that do not match a specific UBC course but have sufficient learning outcomes may be assigned General Credit with an Exemption for a specific UBC course.

Students with General Credit with Exemption are considered to have completed the Exempted course.

On the BC Transfer Guide, the general credit with exemption would be displayed as "Okanagan College ASTR 230 = UBC Vancouver ASTR_V 2nd (3), Exempt UBC Vancouver ASTR_V 311".

Letter of Permission (LOP)

A Letter of Permission (LOP) is an approval from your faculty that the course(s) you are planning on taking at another institution will transfer back to your UBC degree.

Current UBC students who wish to register in any course at another institution must obtain prior permission from their faculty, in the form of an LOP, before taking courses elsewhere.

Requests for an LOP are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and approval is not guaranteed.

No Credit

Courses that have been evaluated and deemed not transferrable to UBC such as ESL, high school equivalency, pre-university, foundational, professional, applied, technical or other non-academic courses.

English literature and English writing and composition courses taken at institutions located in countries where English is not the principal language are not transferrable to UBC, regardless of the language of instruction at the institution.

Not for Credit in Science

Some transfer credit agreements on the BC Transfer Guide indicate that another institution's course is eligible for transfer credit, but not in the Faculty of Science or in other Science-based programs, such as Engineering, Forestry, and Land and Food Systems.

The following is an example of how it may be displayed:

  • CHEM_V 1NC
    Although the course may be considered for credit in a Science subject, such as CHEM with corresponding credit value under the “Credits” column indicating the number of transfer credits of general first-year Chemistry, the original course cannot be used to satisfy Faculty of Science degree requirements. Other faculties may apply such transfer credit differently.
Specific Credit

Courses that have significant overlap with a specific UBC course are granted Specific Credit.

Specific transfer credit will be used as if the course was taken at UBC. Unless approved by your faculty, you should not register in the same course at UBC for which you have already received specific transfer credit, as you cannot receive the same credit twice.

Equivalency search tool

Find how a course from one UBC campus would be considered as equivalent to a course at the other UBC campus through the UBC Equivalency Search Tool.

Transfer credit search tool

Find how courses from your institution transfer to UBC through the BC Transfer Guide.

If you have questions

If you're an undergraduate student, please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor (ESA) directly. 

Graduate, postgraduate, and all other students can contact an Enrolment Services Advisor by calling 604 822 9836 or submitting a question through the online form.