Future Students

Transfer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I transfer my credits?

When applying to Saint Mary’s University you must submit official transcripts from every institution attended. To be considered official, a transcript must be sent to Saint Mary’s University directly from the institution. Photocopies and transcripts delivered by the student are not acceptable.

In cases where we have recently reviewed the courses from an institution, the transcript is sufficient documentation. If the course has not previously been reviewed, then an official course outline is required. The outline should include a full description of topics covered, number of hours, methods of assessment and textbook(s). Be sure to make an extra copy of these documents for your records because we cannot return them to you.


When can I apply?

If you are still taking courses at another institution, you do not have to wait until you have a final transcript before applying for admission. If a course is in progress, we will still evaluate it for advanced standing. This evaluation will be based upon the assumption that you will complete the course successfully.  At that time, we will require an official final transcript. If the final grades differ from the preliminary transcript submitted earlier, your evaluation will be changed accordingly. If your grades drop significantly, the University reserves the right to withdraw your offer of admission.


When will I receive my transfer credits?

When a course is reviewed for the first time, it is sent to the chair of the department responsible for the discipline. Reviews may take up to three weeks if we have complete course outlines. Otherwise, reviews should be completed within one week of receiving your application if the course has previously been assessed.


What is the maximum amount of credits I can receive?

Transferring students can receive up to 60 credit hours. To graduate, you must complete at least 50% of your degree requirements and 50% of the concentration, major, honours, and minor requirements at Saint Mary’s University.


Can I register for courses before I receive my advance standing?

You may be permitted to register before your advanced standing is assessed, but prerequisites must be satisfied. Courses beyond first year (those numbered 2000 and above) usually have prerequisites. For this reason, we advise you to submit your final transcript as early as possible so that your registration is not compromised.


What courses do I choose?

As a first step, visit the First Year Course Requirements. After you have completed these, your courses are then determined on what major you choose. Information on this can be found in the Academic Calendar.


Are my transfer credits applicable to any program?

Receiving transfer credit does not automatically imply that that these credits can be applied to a particular program. Some programs have minimum grade requirements for a credit to apply (e.g. B.Sc. students must earn a minimum grade of C in all courses for their major). Each program has provision for elective credit, but you may receive transfer credits for more electives than can be applied to your program.


Do my prior credits factor into my grade point average (GPA) at Saint Mary’s University?

The grades for transfer credit do not factor into your grade point average (GPA) or in the calculations for academic distinction. Credit awarded upon admission appears on your transcript with the name of the institution, course name, Saint Mary’s University equivalent and a grade of TR.


How can I appeal my evaluation?

Students may appeal the evaluation of advanced standing credits by contacting the Registrar at transfer@smu.ca.


Who can I contact for more information?

General information: recruitment@smu.ca

Academic advice: