Transfer credit and course equivalency

Revised January 2018

Transfer credits: students fulfill up to one-third of their History program with courses from outside McGill.


Required Credits

Transfer credits allowed







Joint Honours






*Note that students in the honours students  may count honours program 21 transfer credits toward their program (i.e. one credit more than one-third).

‘Area” and course level requirements apply to transfer credits counted toward the program. Thus, a course taken at another university that is similar to a 200-level course at McGill will count against the number of 200-level credits allowed for the program. A course in French history taken at another university would count as a Europe Area course for the program. And so on.

Students must obtain approval from a history program advisor to have transfer courses counted toward the program. Students should provide their advisor with the title and topic of the course, a syllabus, and other supporting documents (list of assignments, readings, etc.) so that the advisor can accurately assess how the transfer course should be counted within the program.

Approval of transfer credits for the history program:  this is a two-stage process.

  1. Course Equivalency: First, before registering in a history course at another university, or soon after registering, students should search the online course equivalency system to see if the course is in the database. If yes, that means it has already been evaluated and granted HIST course equivalent. If not, the student must submit a request for the course to be evaluated. Follow the directions provided on the course equivalency website. It is important that you include adequate documentation so that the reviewer can determine the course content, ideally a course syllabus. In most cases, if the course is a history course it will be granted generic HIST XXX equivalency (e.g. 2xx, 3xx or 4xx). In rare cases, a more specific equivalency will be assessed.
  2. Transfer credit approval: Once the course has been reviewed and has been granted an equivalency, it is in the equivalency database. If you are a history program student and you wish to apply the course toward your program, you must apply for transfer credit. This is done ideally after you have completed the course, but you may apply while you are enrolled. Go to Minerva>Student Menu>Student Records Menu>Exchange and Study Away>Request Transfer Credit Assessment and follow the directions. When you have submitted the request, you must contact your history program advisor and notify him or her that you have made a transfer credit request. Your email should include your name, your student ID number, the name of the university where you took the course, and your program (minor, major, joint honours, honours). You should also include supporting documents (course syllabus, list of assignments, etc.). 
  • The advisor will assess the course and give it a final value (e.g. HIST 2xx or 3xx or 4xx or a more specific equivalence). This is what will appear on your final transcript. In some cases, the advisor may change the level from what was indicated on the course equivalency, based on additional information learned about the course. The advisor may note what “Area” the course counts towards. S/he may also determine if the course can be counted toward your program (i.e. if you have too many courses at the 200-level). In any case, students should record the transfer course(s) on their history program advising/audit form.
  • Even if transfer credits for history courses cannot be counted toward the program, they may still be counted as electives and thus count towards the overall degree requirements.
  • Students are encouraged to contact their program advisor regularly in order to anticipate if the course taken at another university can be counted for the program or if it must be applied towards electives.
  • Note: advisors are assigned to program students by last name, consult the list of advisors to be sure that you contact the correct person.

Find more information on course equivalencies and transfer credit assessment.

Back to top