Transfer Credits

A. General Policy on the Transfer of University Course Credits

To facilitate program completion by undergraduate students seeking to transfer course credit from an accredited university to McMaster, the University has implemented the following principles:

  1. Acceptance of transfer credits from accredited universities shall be based on the recognition that, while learning experiences may differ in a variety of ways, their substance may be essentially equivalent in terms of their content and rigour. Insofar as possible, acceptance of transfer credit shall allow for the maximum recognition of previous learning experience in university-level courses;
  2.  Subject to degree, grade and program requirements, any course offered for credit by an accredited university shall be accepted for credit by McMaster when there is an essential equivalency in course content. However, no course for which a grade of less than C- (60%) has been achieved will be considered.
  3. Evaluation of all possible transfer credits available at the time of admission must be completed within one year of the date of admission to the University.

B. From Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology

Normally, if you are a well-qualified graduate of a three-year program and the college work is appropriate to your chosen university program, you could receive up to 30 units of transfer credit. If you have completed a two-year program and performed well, transfer credit will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Credit beyond this may be given on an individual basis where the college and university programs are in similar areas, and where your academic record warrants special consideration.

In the granting of credit, attention will be given to:

  1. your performance in the college program;
  2. the duration of the college program;
  3. the program taken at the college and the program to which entry is sought;
  4. your secondary school record.

Each case will be considered individually on its own merits for the program desired.


C. I.B./A.P./G.C.E. Credits

Subject to the discretion of the Faculty, advanced credit may be granted if you have completed the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) Diploma, the Advanced Placement (A.P.) Program and the College Board examinations or the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) and you have met the minimum requirements prescribed. Advanced credit may shorten your degree program at McMaster.


D. Credit in Courses by Special Assessment (Challenge Examinations)

Students who have acquired knowledge at a different type of institution or in a manner that makes assessment of their qualifications difficult are permitted to seek degree credit through special assessment (Challenge for Credit).

Challenge for credit is not intended to give credit for skills or knowledge gained through high school, college or previous university instruction. The special assessment may include one or more of the following: written examinations, papers, essays, submissions of a substantial body of work, or portfolios, or laboratory tests. Credit can be granted only for those courses listed in the current McMaster calendar. Not all courses in all disciplines are available for challenge. Faculties and departments are free to determine which, if any, of their courses are open for special assessment. Challenges are assessed on a pass/fail basis. The passing grade for a challenge appears on the transcript as COM (Complete) and is not used in computing averages or evaluating honours or scholarship standing, but is counted as a course attempt. Unsuccessful attempts will be noted on the transcript as a grade of F. Special Assessment is not available for a course taken previously and a course may be attempted only once by special assessment. Once you have registered for a course by such means (known as challenge exams) the registration may not be cancelled and you may not withdraw from the course.

Waivers of prerequisites only (i.e. no degree credit) will be at the discretion of the department.

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Associate Dean of Science (Academic)