VIU Students at Beach

Transfer credit process and definitions

Transfer credit process

We do our best to make the transfer process simple. And as long as we have everything we need from you, it’s a straightforward process. Here’s how it works.

What you need to do

When you apply to VIU you need to send us an official transcript. The sooner you can send us your transcripts the better. Ideally VIU would like to receive your official transcripts at least eight weeks before your registration date.

If you’re transferring from a school in BC, your course equivalencies are likely available in the BC Transfer Guide, and you’ll receive credit according to the guide. If you’re transferring from another province, we look at whether there is an established equivalency in place with your previous school. If there is, we assign credit based on that agreement.


Even if there’s no transfer agreement, we can likely assign credit for the courses you’ve taken. We do this through a process called articulation. This means we look at the course outlines, or syllabus, and determine what credits to apply to them.

What you need to do for articulation

You need to give us a copy of all your official course syllabi or outlines.

What we do for articulation

We give the course outlines to the appropriate faculty chair, and the faculty chair reviews the course to determine if they are a match with something we offer at VIU.

We give you assigned credit for courses that match up with a course taught at VIU and unassigned credit for courses that do not match up with any courses we offer.

We enter unassigned and assigned credit into your student record and you will be notified by email.


As you go through the process, you may need to know some new terms.

General transfer terms

Transfer Credit

Credit applied to a student record recognizing knowledge, training or expertise acquired at another institution

Block Transfer

A group of courses, often in the form of a certificate, diploma or degree, that’s recognized as a whole for transfer credit.

Receiving Institution

The institution that you are transferring credit into.

Sending Institution

The institution that you are transferring credit from.

Advanced Standing

When you are admitted at a higher level than first year. For example, if you have completed a minimum of 54 academic credits, you may be granted third year standing means that you are grouped in the same pool of students that are also in their third year at VIU.

Definitions for items you may need to send to VIU

Official Transcript

An original, sealed copy of a student’s permanent academic record bearing the signature of the Registrar and printed on official transcript paper.

Course outline or course syllabus

a document provided by a department or instructor to a student containing all pertinent information for completion of a course – it is the plan for the class. This generally includes:

  • a course description
  • contact information for the instructor
  • standard policy statements
  • topics, learning objectives and outcomes for the course
  • instructional method and schedule
  • course materials and resources
  • assignments
  • evaluation procedures

This is not to be confused with a course calendar description which is often a single paragraph description.


The learning outcomes for a course
The umbrella term for of learning outcomes, engagement, materials, resources and opportunities for a program or an academic credential.

Types of credit

Articulated Credit

Courses that have previously gone through the assessment process and have been articulated under one of two categories: Assigned Credit or Unassigned Credit. (Unassigned credit can be program specific or general academic credit.)

To-be-articulated Credit

Course that have not yet been through the assessment process for articulation.

Assigned Credit

Credit granted for a course that matches a course or a combination of courses at VIU

Unassigned Subject-specific Credit

Credit granted for a course that covers subject matter which falls under the discipline but does not match a specific course available at VIU.

Unassigned General Credit

Credit granted for a course that covers a subject matter in a discipline not taught at VIU.