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Denying Transfer Credit

It is standard but not universal practice for receiving institutions to deny transfer credit in some cases. For example, requests for transfer credit may be denied:

  • to certain categories of students, e.g., those not seeking a credential at the receiving institution

  • for certain types of coursework, e.g.:

    • course work considered to be not at the undergraduate level (e.g. preparatory or development courses);

    • courses in disciplines outside the defined curriculum range at the receiving institution;

    • practicum courses;

    • duplicate courses.

  • based on the type of sending institution, e.g.:

    • course work taken at an unrecognized institution;

    • course work at an institution that is not a member of the BC Transfer System.

  • because of  insufficient performance by the student, e.g.:

    • student receiving a grade in the course below the minimum grade required to receive transfer credit;

    • incomplete or failed courses.

  • because of  the amount of time elapsed since the course was taken (particularly in disciplines where content or knowledge frequently change).

  • if credit for the course has already been used to complete a degree or other credential.

  • if credit for the course cannot be applied to fulfilling the student's planned program of study (e.g. a transferred course accepted for credit towards a Science credential may not be eligible for credit toward a Social Work credential).

While institutions have the right to deny transfer credit for a course that they feel does not meet their institution's or program's standards or expectations, they should also be mindful that denying credit may affect the program completion plans of transferring students. It is recommended that if an evaluation of a transfer request determines that no credit should be awarded, the evaluator should be asked to explain the reasons for their decision - and that, based on that information, other credit options be suggested if any are feasible, such as awarding elective or unassigned credit. However, institutions should also be mindful of the articulation principle of respecting disciplinary expertise (as outlined in How to Articulate). This means that transfer credit can be denied if, in an evaluator's expert opinion, a course does not meet the institution's expectations for course equivalency.

Some institutions may also deny transfer credit based on the degree or graduation requirement for the faculty or program the student is enrolled in, i.e. if the requested amount of transfer credit exceeds the amount of credit the student requires to complete the program. In such situations, it is recommended that the institution award all transfer credit earned, and to use residency and/or graduation requirements to restrict how transfer credits can be used.