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Transfer credits

Approved Institutions | Courses Acceptable/Not Acceptable | Course Equivalency System | Transfer Credits Process |  Our Coordinates

You are granted transfer credits for coursework satisfactorily completed at another University according to the regulations and procedures approved by the Faculty of Science as outlined below.

A. Which institutions are approved for transfer credits:

Transfer credits are accepted from institutions that meet the following criteria:

1. The host university is accredited by a college board, or a degree granting institution.

2. The host university offers a three or four year bachelor's degree or equivalent which is similar to a McGill Faculty of Science or Bachelor of Arts and Science degree.

3. Institutions such as Community Colleges, which offer associate two-year degrees, are acceptable for transfer credits if courses were completed PRE-McGILL ADMISSION. Once admitted to McGill, all courses MUST be taken at university-level institutions.

4.  For a list of institutions already approved for transfer credit, please refer to: List of Approved Universities.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Failure to have your host university/institution pre-approved by SOUSA may result in NOT receiving transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere.  Approval by a department or program adviser outside of Science should be considered as a recommendation only and not as the final decision.  The final decision for approval is made only by SOUSA.

B. Which courses are acceptable/not acceptable for transfer credits:

Courses accepted for transfer credits must meet the following criteria:

1. Have academic content and be comparable in content and in method of evaluation to McGill courses that Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts and Science students are allowed to take for credit at McGill.

2. Must be applicable towards the fulfillment of the host university's own bachelor degree requirements.

3. COURSE OVERLAP:  courses must not overlap with courses already passed at McGill, CEGEP, another university or elsewhere. Please refer to e-calendar.  It is your responsibility to verify your record.

4.  COURSES OUTSIDE OF ARTS & SCIENCE: Courses offered by the host university's faculties and/or schools outside of Arts & Science are bound by the same credit limit as McGill courses: refer to: e-calendar 

5. Practicum ("How to") courses; e.g, dance, fashion designing, journalism, photography, wine tasting, etc. are not permitted.

6.  Distance Education courses (Online courses):  You are allowed a maximum of 6 online credits to be used towards the fulfillment of elective credit requirement of your degree.  Before registering, you must seek prior approval by the Director of Advising Services.  Please submit your written request to mary [dot] gauthier [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Mary Gauthier).   In your email indicate reasons for taking online course and provide a detailed course syllabus, which must include the method of evaluation.

7. Courses must receive final grades and be passed with a grade of "C", or better, at the host university. Grades of C-, Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) will not be accepted for transfer credits. The letter grades achieved at the host university will take precedence over the corresponding numerical grades if both are provided. If the host university does not use a letter grade system, you must consult with the mary [dot] gauthier [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Mary Gauthier) to confirm the minimum grade required for transfer credits.  Please refer to the University e-calendar for more information on Transfer Credits.

8. Transfer Credit Load: For Fall or Winter term away, a maximum of 15 transfer credits is normally granted; for a full academic year away, a maximum of 30 transfer credits is normally granted; for a Summer session, a maximum of 12 transfer credits is normally granted.  It is the host university's full course load for degree students that will determine the calculation of your transfer credits.  Consult our List of Approved Host Universities. If you complete less than the equivalent of a full course load, transfer credits will be pro-rated.

9. Language and Civilization Courses:

  • Pre- and Post- Interviews or Placement Tests: You must consult the appropriate language department(s) before leaving for your study away to determine if a pre-interview or a pre-placement test is required. A pre-interview or pre-placement test is normally waived if you have previously taken a McGill course in the same language. Where appropriate, you must arrange to take a post-interview or post-placement test immediately upon returning to McGill. When you go to the post-interview or post-placement test, take detailed course information, including the method of evaluation, a copy of your host university transcript and an up-to-date copy of your Minerva academic record.
  • Courses taken at language centres are normally not permitted. However, if you obtain written approval from the appropriate Department Chair on the 'Transfer credit assessment form', this will be taken into consideration when assessing your record for transfer credits.
  • A language course which is not offered at McGill is normally assessed by our Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA) Office as generic language transfer credits using course code 'TRNS LANG'.  Send a detailed course syllabus to mary [dot] gauthier [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Mary Gauthier).

9. It is your responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations of the host university to ensure the completion of the courses.

 C. Course Equivalency System

All courses taken abroad (outside of McGill) must be approved using the Course Equivalency System.

Search the database to determine if the course you want to take has already been approved.  You may want to use the “External” course number and then “Country” or “Institution” to determine if the course has already been approved.  Make sure you also tick off “Include Expired Decisions”.  The course may have already been approved, but might be expired, which means you will have to request a “Reassessment”.

If the course is not on the course database, then you must login (using your McGill email address and password) and “Submit a Request”. For further information on using the system, please go to Frequently asked questions

Once you have made an independent study away application, you will then have access to the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment Form” (replaces the Course Approval Form).  Only courses that appear on the Course Equivalency System can be added to the Transfer Credit Assessment Form.  For further information, please refer to the Help Field on Minerva.

You cannot assume that you will receive 3 credits for a course equivalency even if the course is 3 credits at McGill.

Online courses must be approved (before being taken) by the Faculty of Science (even if the course has been approved on the course equivalency system).  Send a detailed course syllabus to mary [dot] gauthier [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Mary Gauthier).  The Faculty of Science has the right to request a course syllabus (even if the course is approved on the course equivalency system). 

The Faculty of Science has the final approval for all courses taken by a Faculty of Science (or B.A. & Sc.) student taken outside of McGill.

D. How are Transfer Credits Processed:

Transfer credits are processed according to the following guidelines and regulations:

1.  Course exemptions and transfer credits are indicated for the term(s) in which they were taken.  Courses that do not have direct McGill course equivalencies are indicated using generic or specific subject codes: eg. BIOL 3XX (for a Biology course at the 300 level), TRNS HUMN (for a course in a Humanities subject), or TRNS LANG (for a language course not taught at McGill). 

Courses given the following transfer credit codes can be used only as electives for your McGill Science or B.A. & Sc. degree: SUBJ 1XX; eg. BIOL 1XX (for a course considered as "general" Biology course), TRNS GNST (General Studies), TRNS HUMN (Humanities), TRNS LANG (Language), TRNS MASC (Math and Sciences) or TRNS SOSC (Social Sciences).

The number of credits transfered will reflect the number of credits completed at the host university, and may differ slightly from the credit weight for the equivalent McGill course, where such an equivalent course exists. Students are advised to verify their record and meet with their departmental advisor once the transfer credits are added to the Minerva transcript.

1. The host university's full course load for degree students will determine the calculation of McGill transfer credits. If the host university has a different full course load for International students, the Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA) Office will use this requirement to calculate the number of transfer credits you will receive.

2. The host university's full-year course load is equivalent to 30 McGill credits; their term (Fall or Winter) course load is 15 McGill credits. Consult our list of approved host universities (to be available shortly) to determine what is considered a "full course load".

3. If less than the equivalent of a full course load is completed, credits will be calculated as follows:

  • The number of credits taken at the host university, divided by the number of credits for a full-year course load at the host university, multiplied by 30.
  • Here's an example: 10 units completed at University A ÷ 14 units for a full-year course load at University A x 30: [10/14 x 30 = 21.4] = 21 McGill transfer credits.

4. In Europe, most universities use the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to assign credit weight to courses. Credit ratio is 2 ECTS credits =1 McGill credit; so 60 ECTS credits = 30 McGill credits; 30 ECTS credits = 15 McGill credits.

5. All transfer credits will be displayed on the Minerva transcript regardless of whether the courses have been successfully completed or have been approved towards your McGill degree.

6. The grades achieved at the host university will not appear on the McGill transcript and will not be included in the McGill CGPA; however, you are expected to maintain your McGill academic standing at the host institution. If the host university grade average is not comparable to the final McGill CGPA, the designations of Distinction or Dean's Honour List may be withdrawn at graduation.

7. If your current academic standing is Unsatisfactory or Probationary, credits will only be transferred to your record once you return to Satisfactory standing.

8. Departmental academic advisers in Arts, Science and in other faculties at McGill will evaluate courses (based on content, level and method of evaluation) for approval and make recommendations for transfer credit assessment. However, SOUSA has sole responsibility for the final decision made for granting transfer credits and for the number of transfer credits given. We will do our best to ensure you receive a fair assessment, but we cannot guarantee that the courses you choose will receive full credit.

E. SOUSA Office and Coordinates


Offical Transcript should be sent to: 

Enrolment Services, Student Records
McGill University
3415 McTavish Street, Room MS13
Montreal, Quebec CANADA H3A 0C8

All correspondence relating to TRANSFER CREDITS, must be addressed to:

Science Office for Undergraduate Student Advising (SOUSA) Office
Faculty of Science,Dawson Hall, Room 405
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC, H3A 0G5, CANADA
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 514-398-5442
FAX NUMBER: 514-398-8102
EMAIL: mary [dot] gauthier [at] mcgill [dot] ca