Understanding University Transfer Credit
Transferring credits is an important part of higher education. If you’ve just transferred to a new college or university, it’s probably important for you to know how you can best do this. In fact, there are several tips and tricks that will make transferring credits easier and more convenient.
First, do not attempt to transfer entire courses. Yes! In general, you cannot transfer all of your credits from one school to another. However, at Waterloo, you are allowed to transfer up to half of the courses, depending on which university you are studying in. Some programs even limit the amount of credits that can be transferred. For example, if you are taking business management classes, it might be more difficult to transfer some of those credits towards a bachelor’s degree program in accounting, due to the differences in the length of those programs.
Second, even though you may be restricted by the number of courses you are allowed to take each semester, it is often possible to meet all of the requirements needed to finish your program. Before you apply for university transfer credit, you may want to take some classes so that you have an idea of what is required. For example, some universities require that you complete a certain number of credit hours before you transfer, while others allow only a certain amount of credit to be transferred. Again, before you apply, make sure to find out what the requirements are for your particular school.
Third, be aware that there may be some requirements that you need to meet before you are allowed to transfer some or all of your credits. Depending on your school’s policy, these may include completion of specific courses or taking the equivalent of a foreign language course. The policy is also likely to state whether you can take the credits you have already earned if your school does not permit transfer of those credits. There is no standard time period within which you must wait to apply for transfer credit, although most policies will give you a reasonable timeframe. Some schools may require that you apply for transfer credit as soon as you complete your first semester or as soon as you are certified. If your school does not specify a specific time, it is probably best to start your studies as soon as possible.
Fourth, do not assume that because you are completing course work in your original Bachelor’s degree program that you will automatically be allowed to transfer credits. Many universities require that you complete specific courses as part of your degree program, and they may have strict criteria for transfer credit. In particular, business administration and law are often difficult subjects to cover adequately with your prior learning, and it is likely that you will have to take additional college courses to satisfy those requirements. Similarly, engineering subjects tend to be very difficult to cover adequately with prior learning, and the information in these courses may not be transferable.
Finally, some universities require applicants to submit letters of recommendation in addition to their application. If you are applying to a university that awards credits based on letters of recommendation, it is important to ensure that each letter focuses on one major area. For example, if you are applying to teach, you should include letters of recommendation regarding your ability to guide the lives of students. Similarly, if you are applying to pursue a degree in paralegal studies, your letters of recommendation should focus on your abilities to assist individuals with legal matters.