This is a general information and advice page for Faculty of Arts & Science students who received transfer credits from the following programs:
- Advanced Placement [AP exams]
- International Baccalaureate Program [IB – Higher Level (HL) exams]
- French Baccalaureate Program
- General Certificate of Education [Advanced Level (A-level) exams]
- Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level Examinations
- Cambridge Pre-University Diploma
- Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination [CAPE]
Transfer credits awarded for the above programs are all unspecified (e.g. CHM1**Y, HIS1**Y). If the transfer credit has been assigned a Breadth Requirement, the category will be indicated in a note. For example, AP Environmental Science is awarded ENV1**H in transfer, with a note “(BR=4).” In this case, the transfer credit will contribute a half-credit toward Breadth Requirement category 4, Living Things and Their Environment. On your academic record, this note will appear directly under the transfer credit.
In some cases, the unspecified transfer credit is considered to be an equivalent to a specific Faculty of Arts & Science course; the transfer credit will have a note indicating the specific course code. IB Higher Level Geography, for example, is awarded JEG1**H in transfer, with a note “100 (BR=5), and GGR1**H in transfer, with a note “107 (BR=3)”. If you receive these transfer credits, you then have the equivalent of JEG100H1 and GGR107H1, with a half-credit in Breadth Requirement category 5 (Physical and Mathematical Universes) and a half-credit in Breadth Requirement category 3 (Society and Its Institutions). If your transfer credit is considered to be equivalent to a specific course, you can still take the specific course in the Faculty. If you received JEG1**H and GGR1**H in transfer for IB Higher Level Geography, you could still take JEG100H1 and GGR107H1.
Secondary school transfer credits count towards the total number of credits required for your degree and appear on your academic record, although the grade you received is not shown and is not used in the calculation of your Grade Point Average (GPA) in the Faculty. In some cases the transfer credit may be used toward program requirements; refer to the relevant chart above for details and contact the relevant academic unit if you have any questions.
Forfeiting Secondary School Transfer Credits
Since the course work that generates these transfer credits has been done as a compulsory part of a secondary school curriculum, if you are attending university for the first time, you can choose to forfeit these transfer credits. If you are transferring from another division at the University of Toronto or another post-secondary institution, you are not eligible to forfeit secondary school transfer credits. There is no limit on the number of transfer credits that you can forfeit; you can choose to forfeit only some of your transfer credits or all of them.
In 2019-2020 Fall/Winter, the timeframe within which you can forfeit secondary school transfer credits will end on May 29, 2020.
The following are some points to consider when deciding whether to keep or forfeit your transfer credits. If you do choose to forfeit your transfer credits, they will be permanently removed from your academic record and will not be reinstated at a later date. You are strongly encouraged to consult your college registrar's office for further advice if you are unclear about what impact forfeiting your secondary school transfer credits may have.
Frequently Asked Questions & Points to Consider
1. Can the transfer credit fulfill entry requirements for the Program I would like to get into in second year? If so, do I need to have achieved a certain grade in my GCE/IB/AP exam for admission to the program?
Transfer credits are sometimes accepted by academic units for program admission purposes; review the information on the relevant transfer credit chart above and check with the academic unit if you have any questions.
2. Can the transfer credit meet a prerequisite to take higher level courses that I need or wish to take in the future? If so, am I prepared to take the higher level courses without completing the first year courses in the Faculty of Arts & Science?
Many higher level courses (200-level and up) have prerequisites; in some cases, your secondary school transfer credit can be used to meet prerequisites. Refer to the relevant chart above for information.
If your secondary school transfer credit can be used as a prerequisite, you may want to consider how long ago you took the subject/exam in secondary school and how well you did in the course or on the exam. You may find it beneficial to speak to the academic unit offering the higher-level course for advice on whether you should take the relevant introductory course in the Faculty of Arts & Science, even if the transfer credit technically meets the prerequisite. Often taking the introductory course in the Faculty will provide you with a more complete and more recent introduction to content required to be successful in the higher-level course.
3. What if I wish or need to take a course similar to my transfer credit?
All transfer credits awarded for these programs are unspecified. Refer to the relevant chart above regarding equivalencies and usage of the credit. In all cases, you may keep the transfer credit and take a course in a similar subject area, if you wish.
4. If I do choose to take a course similar to my secondary school transfer credit, should I forfeit the transfer credit?
If you take a Faculty of Arts & Science course similar to your transfer credit, both will appear on your academic record and contribute in some way toward your degree requirements, for example toward Breadth Requirements.
The Faculty has a degree regulation that limits to 6.0 the number of 100-level credits that you may count for degree credit. Credits taken beyond the limit of 6.0 are marked Extra and do not count as degree credits and their marks are not counted in calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA). Courses are designated Extra according to the chronological principle: the last 100-level course taken is designated Extra, no matter how high the mark. If you take a number of 100-level courses simultaneously and your total of 100-level credits is more than 6.0, the course with the lowest mark is chosen as the Extra (to give you the advantage on your GPA).
If your total number of 100-level courses, including transfer credits, will be over the 6.0 credit limit, you may not want to lose the GPA value of the Faculty of Arts & Science courses that you have taken, in which case you could forfeit the transfer credit(s) to reduce your overall number of 100-level credits. The transfer credits that you forfeit will be removed from your academic record and will no longer contribute toward your overall number of 100-level credits.
If, on the other hand, your total number of 100-level credits is more than 6.0 and you have low marks in one or more of your Faculty of Arts & Science courses, you may not want these courses to contribute toward your GPA. In this case, you may want to keep your transfer credits so that your most recent courses in the Faculty are marked Extra.
Your College Registrar’s Office is your best source of advice and perspective on the decision to keep or forfeit your secondary school transfer credits, and you are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to discuss your individual situation.
5. Can the transfer credit be used to fulfill a Breadth Requirement category?
Faculty of Arts & Science students must complete the Breadth Requirement as part of their degree. All courses that you take that have a Breadth Requirement category will contribute toward this requirement, whether or not the course contributes toward your program requirements, and your secondary school transfer credits may also be used to fulfill the Breadth Requirement, if applicable. You can find the Breadth Requirement category for your transfer credits in the relevant chart above; please note that not all transfer credits are assigned a breadth category.
If you choose to forfeit a secondary school transfer credit, the credit is removed from your academic record and will no longer contribute toward the Breadth Requirement.
Example #1: If your main area of study is in the Life Sciences, the majority of the courses in your program(s) will likely be in Breadth Requirement categories 4 and 5. If you received the transfer credit HIS1**Y for IB Higher Level History, it would count as 1.0 credit in Breadth Requirement category 3.
Example #2: If your main area of study will be in English, this program requires the completion of 0.5 credits from Breadth Requirement category 4 or 5. The majority of English courses contribute toward Breadth Requirement category 1; a secondary school transfer credit breadth designation of 4 or 5 would satisfy this program requirement.
6. If I choose not to forfeit my secondary school transfer credits, will this decision affect my fees?
If you have earned at least 4.0 credits in transfer from secondary school exams, you choose not to forfeit any of the credits, and you enrol in a program that has a higher tuition fee (a deregulated program fee) at the end of your first year in the Faculty of Arts & Science, your first-year tuition will be retroactively reassessed. You would therefore see an increase in your first-year tuition, even if you have already paid your fees in full.
Programs that charge a deregulated program fee are the Computer Science Specialist and Major programs, Data Science Specialist program, all Rotman Commerce Specialist programs, and the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Specialist program.
If you choose to forfeit one of your secondary school transfer credits to reduce the number of transfer credits to 3.5 FCE or fewer, you would not be retroactively charged deregulated tuition fees for your first year of study in the Faculty of Arts & Science. Please note that if you were granted two half-credit courses in transfer for the same exam, you cannot forfeit only one half-credit course, and both transfer credits that were awarded for the same exam would be removed from your academic record.
If you have any questions about the deregulated program fee and secondary school transfer credits, your College Registrar’s Office is your best source of advice.