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Glossary of Transfer Terms

  • Academic Year - usually, 12 months running from September 1 of one year to August 31 of the following year.

  • Admissions or Entrance Requirements - a set of criteria stipulating education, training or experience needed for eligibility to enter an educational program or occupation. May include minimal marks, levels of achievement and/or exam scores.

  • Applied Degree - a credential granted by an Alberta college or technical institute for the completion of six semesters (about 3 years) of academic studies and at least 2 semesters (about 1 year) of paid, related, supervised work experience.

  • Baccalaureate or Undergraduate Degree - a credential offered by universities and other institutions authorized to offer accredited degree programs (i.e. private university colleges); normally requires three or four years of full-time study.

  • Block Transfer - a group of courses, such as a completed certificate or diploma program that are accepted for transfer credit into a degree program.

  • Career Laddering - using a previously earned post-secondary credential to enter another program at a higher level.
    For example, a graduate of the Accounting Assistant certificate from NorQuest can transfer to Grant MacEwan into the Management Studies diploma program. Once the diploma is complete, a student can transfer to Athabasca University into the post diploma Bachelor of Administration.

  • Certificate - a credential granted for the completion of one year or less of full-time study in a specific program.

  • Course Equivalent - a course for which credit is given by the receiving institution. Wherever possible, a specific course equivalent will be assigned by the receiving institution (e.g. ENGL 1234 = ENGL 456)

  • Credit - the value given to a course; may be related to the number of hours of instruction.

  • Letter of Permission - a Letter of Permission from your home institution is your guarantee that, if you successfully complete a course at another institution, your home institution will allow it to count towards your program of study.

  • Pan Canadian Protocol - a statement dealing with transfer between universities and between provinces. More information at and

  • Receiving Institution - any post-secondary institution a student transfers to.

  • Residency Requirement - number of credits you must complete at an institution in order to graduate from that program.

  • Sending Institution - any post-secondary institution a student transfers from.

  • Shelf Life - some institutions have time limits for granting transfer credit. Courses with a 'shelf life' are most common in areas such as nursing, business and computer science where up to date curriculum is essential.

  • Transfer Agreement - an agreement between two institutions (a sender and a receiver) that specifies how the sending institution's course or program will be accepted for (transfer) credit at the receiving institution.

  • Transfer Courses - courses designed to transfer to another institution.

  • Transferable Courses - courses designed to complete an institution's own credential, but will transfer to another institution through a transfer agreement.

  • Unspecified Course - a course that is not close enough in content to a receiving institution course to be given credit for a specific receiving institution course. However, it will transfer as an option.

  • University Transfer program - First 2 years of a degree-level program taken at a college before transferring to a university of private college with accredited degree program.

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