Transferring College Credits From Canada to the US

Canadian Transfer Applications to U.S. Universities

Students often can transfer credits earned at colleges in Canada to schools in the United States. Your first step in this process will be to submit a transfer application to the university in the U.S. that you wish to attend as an international applicant.

What Should I Submit with a Transfer Application?

Each university will have its own list of required documentation for international transfer students. Frequent requirements include:

  • a completed university application or common application
  • resume
  • academic records
  • certification of finances
  • passport information page
  • letter of recommendation

If don't have very many college credits yet, you may also have to submit your high school transcript and test scores, such as the SAT. The exact number of credits may vary, but typically if students have less than one year of college credits, this will be a requirement.

In addition, universities may ask students applying for transfer from a university abroad to demonstrate English proficiency. Many Canadian students speak English as their first language, and this will be demonstrated on their academic records. For those who do not, the most common way to demonstrate English proficiency is by taking an academic test, such as the TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT Reading.

Deadlines for transfer applications are often set at a later date in the year than those for freshman students, to ensure the ability to review the academic work completed during the semester. Be sure to check on any deadlines for the university where you'd like to apply.

Transcript Reviews

In order to determine which of your credits will transfer to your new university, the registrar's office or international admissions office will thoroughly review your transcripts to determine which courses may transfer. Be sure to submit transcripts from any post-graduate institution you have attended. Your transcripts might be sent directly from the university, or you may be required to submit a notarized copy of your transcript. If your transcript is in French or in another foreign language, be sure to submit an official English translation. In addition, the student should submit syllabi or other detailed course descriptions, which will help determine how to provide the appropriate credit for the course.

Direct Agreements Between U.S. and Canadian Universities

A few universities in the United States have direct articulation agreements with some Canadian schools. This means that the universities have a plan in place regarding how credits will transfer and map into degree requirements at the U.S. university. If this type of plan is in place, you can easily see how your Canadian credits will transfer directly to the new institution. Other universities have comprehensive transfer credit databases, where you can easily search credits that have transferred in the past from your university. This can help your planning in terms of knowing which of your Canadian college credits will transfer to the new institution.

What are Credit Hours in College?

Students interested in learning about the concept of credit hours can read this article, which provides information about what college credit hours are, how they are earned, and a few different types of credit hours.

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