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What is the University Transfer Program in Canada?

Written by Alexander College in About AC on June 20, 2019

Last Updated: July 27, 2020

Did you know there are two routes you can take to enter a British Columbia University through our University Transfer Program?  

The direct way : Heading to university right after high school graduation.

The alternative way : Students start their academic career in college and transfer to their second/third year of a Bachelor’s Degree Program.

This alternative route represents the University Transfer Program.

What is the University Transfer Program?

Our University Transfer Program is an option for students who don’t meet the admissions requirements from universities in BC right after completing high school.

For example:

Some students don’t have the required GPA or don’t meet the English requirements by universities in BC.

In these cases, the University Transfer Program provides an opportunity to get admitted into a Bachelor’s degree program in the future.   

This is also an alternative for those students who have not yet decided on their career path.

Through the program, students will have the opportunity to explore their academic interests through first and second-year courses while in college. 

Building in Vancouver that is close to the Alexander College campus
College student meeting enrolment advisor at Alexander College to know more about university transfer program

What are the Benefits of the University Transfer Program:

Affordable Tuition Fees

Tuition fees can be costly for students.

Prices may vary depending on the institutions, programs and courses. However, college fees are usually more affordable for students as opposed to universities. 

Some students can pay up to three times less per credit in the University Transfer Program than they would in a Bachelor’s degree program at a university.   

three international students in Canada talking about university transfer program
Gastown steam clock steaming

What are Steps for Students to Adapt to the Canadian University System?

If you are an international student, everything is going to be new for you!

You might feel more comfortable in a smaller classroom, or you might need help since the requirements can be different from your home country.  

At AC, we offer services that will help you in your academic journey.  

One of them is the Writing and Learning CentreWe provide one-on-one tutoring sections for free. Tutors help students build their skills in Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, English, Humanities, Social Sciences and Academic Writing. 

Alexander College also offers academic and emotional support through the Student Services department.  All students may be eligible for up to 10 free, on-site, health and wellness counselling sessions per year.  

There’s also a mentorship program. This program enables students with good academics and who actively participate at AC to help first-year students adapt in the Canadian educational environment.  

Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) is another great opportunity to gain experience in leadership and make new friends with clubs and events occurring monthly. 

Two students studying chemistry while mixing solutions
A student checking Alexander College's university transfer and other programs

How to Meet the English Admissions Requirements?

As a University Transfer Program student at AC, you complete the university level English courses required by the universities in BC/overseas.

Through this, you will not need to present a proficiency exam result, like IELTS or TOEFL to your new university when you transfer. 

IELTS and TOEFL are standardized English exams that evaluate your level of proficiency in the language. 

Test takers are tested in the following four skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. 

Different colleges and universities require a particular score depending on each program offered.  

There are also many other ways to determine a student’s English proficiency requirements at Alexander College.  

Two international students in Vancouver discussing English requirements at Alexander College while enjoying a walk
A student meeting an advisor to verify all college requirements for university transfer program

Admissions into University and Post-Secondary GPA

For students who have 24 to 60 credits to transfer from AC:

Universities in BC will not consider your high school grades to make an admission decision, only your performance at the College.  

In a way, the program allows students to start from scratch without previous good academic performance in high school.

This rule is only valid for students who apply to BC Universities with at least 24 transferable credits.

If a student has fewer credits than 24 to transfer, universities will evaluate your secondary school grades and your college curriculum.  

It’s also important to note that the admissions requirements may vary from institution to institution.


Students throwing their graduation caps at the Alexander College graduation ceremony after finishing their university transfer program
international student at Alexander College carrying balloons to graduation ceremony

Are Study Plans An Essential Part of the University Transfer Program?

To transfer to a university, you will need to meet the admissions requirements of that specific institution and program. That said, universities can change their admissions requirements without notice.  

That is why planning is a crucial part of the process.

At Alexander College, an Academic Advisor will build a personalized study plan for you according to your primary goals 

If you want to have an idea of how these plans work, you can check out AC’s student plans samples. 

Which universities can you transfer to from Alexander College?

There are many universities in British Columbia that you can transfer to from Alexander College.

Here are some examples:

  • University of British Columbia 
  • Simon Fraser University 
  • University of Victoria 
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University 
  • University of the Fraser Valley 
  • University of Northern British Columbia 
  • Capilano University 
  • Royal Roads University 
  • Thompson Rivers University 
  • Vancouver Island University 
A group of happy international students posing at Alexander College Campus
Three international students in Vancouver excited to transfer to university to continue their education after finishing university transfer program

If you transfer from Alexander College to a university within British Columbia, you can use the BC Transfer Guide

Through this guide, you will be able to check how and which college courses transfer over to different universities. 

It is important to point out that if you want to transfer to universities in other provinces or countries (although you still might be able to do it) , you cannot use the BC Transfer guide to build your transfer study plan. The transfer process will be based on an internal evaluation of the institution you want to apply.

BC Transfer Guide: How does it work?

With the BC Transfer Guide, you will be able to check what credits are worth between more than 35 institutions of British Columbia.  

The transfer process depends on each institution’s policy and agreements between colleges and universities.

See below on how to check if your credits are transferable using the BC Transfer Guide:

Instructions on how to check eligibility to transfer credits from Alexander College to a university for university transfer program

Universities the student can transfer to after inputting school information

The process is simple. 

Let’s say:

You took COMM 100 (Introduction to Business) at Alexander College and you want to find out if this course is transferable to UBC or SFU. 

You need to choose the institution where you studied, the subject, the number of the course, and the institution you want to transfer your credits to. The system will immediately show the options.

Learn more about programs and student experience

We hope that this article has helps shed some light on the University Transfer Program available at Alexander College.

Contact us for further information and our team of Enrolment Advisors will guide you towards excellence!



Looking to start the application process? Apply to AC here
You can apply online above or request additional information below.

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