Transfer credit assessment

ACAD may award transfer credit for courses completed at other post-secondary institutions or equivalent prior learning experience (PLAR) upon a student’s successful admission to the College.

The amount of transfer credit awarded is limited by the College’s Residency Policy, which states that at least 50% of a student’s program must be completed at ACAD.

ACAD will consider transfer credit for courses completed at post-secondary institutions to the extent that they are applicable to the ACAD degree programs, as determined by the Registrar’s Office. The following limits and conditions apply to transfer credits:

  • Only those courses completed with a grade of “C” or better will be considered for transfer credit
  • Only those liberal studies courses completed at the university or transfer level, as determined by the Registrar’s Office, will be considered for transfer credit
  • Courses in liberal studies beyond the introductory level and professionally related courses will only be considered for transfer credit if completed within ten years of the current academic year
  • Studio art courses taken more than ten years prior to the current academic year may be considered for transfer credit upon portfolio assessment.

Applicants are encouraged to submit course outlines for any course they are hoping to obtain credit for, if appropriate information is not submitted credit may not be awarded.

Future ACAD Students Applying for Admission with Transfer Credits

All Transfer and Advanced Standing Applicants must meet Canadian, Mature Canadian or International Applicant requirements as listed on the website. You must submit official transcripts from each high school and post-secondary institution intended on or before the supporting document deadline.

If you are a Transfer or Advanced Standing applicant enrolled in courses at the post-secondary level at the time of application, you must submit in-progress transcripts with your application, followed by official transcripts including final grades no later than the required deadlines.

Please note that we will receive documents automatically from Alberta institutions with your application.

Before you are officially admitted to acad here's how you can determine what courses you completed at other institutions may be applied as transfer credit toward an acad degree

Due to limited resources, ACAD does not provide transfer credit assessments for prospective students who have not yet been admitted to our degree program. However, prospective students are encouraged to follow these guidelines to determine for themselves what ACAD courses they have completed that may be eligible for transfer credit. Please note: Courses that are admissible for transfer credit must have a final grade of C (65%) or higher.

Upon admission to ACAD, students can make a request for an official transfer credit assessment be completed.

First year studies program (or introductory 100-level courses)

ACAD may accept transfer credits for course content taken at other post-secondary institutions that meets our BDes and BFA First Year Studies degree programs requirements. Please review specific ACAD course descriptions to make a determination for yourself if you think you have completed learning outcomes in your previous coursework that equates to these courses:

  • AHIS.110 - Visual Arts: Survey I
  • AHIS.120 - Visual Arts: Survey II                
  • HUMN.110 - Art + Design Now
  • HUMN.124 - Critical Practice: Interpretive Research        
  • DRWF.110 - Drawing I or DRWF.115 – Design Drawing I
  • DRWF.120 - Drawing II: Contemporary Investigations or DRWF.125 - Design Drawing II
  • 100-STUDIO 3D
  • 100-STUDIO 2D, 3D, 4D
  • 100-STUDIO 2D, 3D, 4D
  • 100-STUDIO 2D, 3D, 4D

Second year program (or 200-level courses)

Please follow an ACAD program planning guide for your intended major to see a listing of the specific course requirements. Please review specific course listing descriptions to determine whether the coursework completed at another post-secondary institution aligns with ACAD course outcomes.

NOTE: A maximum of 60 credits (or 50% of total ACAD required course credits) from other institutions can be applied as transfer credit equivalency toward ACAD degree program. Students admitted to ACAD as advanced standing transfer students, must complete Intermediate and Advanced 300 and 400 level major program requirements at ACAD.

Third year program (or 300-level courses)

If you have completed two years of study in art or design at the post-secondary level and are hoping to enter the third year of a program, we will also be looking for specific course content to meet the 200-level courses required in the planning guides for the specific intended major.

NOTE: A maximum of 60 credits (or 50% of total ACAD required course credits) from other institutions can be applied as transfer credit equivalency toward ACAD degree programs. Students admitted to ACAD’s Third Year Program as advanced standing transfer students must complete all Intermediate and Advanced 300 and 400 level major program requirements at ACAD.

Other transfer credits (200, 300, 400-level courses)

Many transfer students are able to transfer additional academic courses (i.e. social science, natural science, humanities, or second language courses) and we give transfer credits for these courses wherever possible providing that we have not awarded the maximum 60 transfer credits already.

If students have completed post-secondary studies that were not specific to art and design or it was not a full year of art and design study, we may still consider your previous studies for transfer credits towards courses within our degree programs.

After admission and acceptance to ACAD request an official transfer credit assessment

Students who are admitted to ACAD are required to request a review of official transcripts for possible transfer credits. As part of the application process you will be asked your intended major. It is important that we know which major you intend to study as it enables us to give you more concise information on the courses that you should consider registering for. Note that you will always be able to change your mind when you formally declare a major providing you have completed the pre-requisite courses. Be aware that in some cases not all the course work you have completed will fit a different choice of major.

Prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)

PLAR involves assessing and recognizing a person’s knowledge and skills, acquired through work/life experiences, non-formal, and informal learning, in relation to applicable program or course learning outcomes.

A PLAR assessment may include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Written challenge exam
  • Oral exam or interview
  • Performance assessment
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Course equivalencies involving evaluation of non-university/collegiate and/or non-credit programs, courses, certificates and designations by accredited University and Colleges.

How to Apply for PLAR

Students submit a completed PLAR Form with proof of payment and copies of course outlines corresponding to an official transcript that confirms a minimum C (65%) grade attained in course. For non-course equivalencies, a letter outlining the rationale for granting credit for degree coursework based on non-course work is required. A portfolio submission may also be requested.

PLAR applications will be forwarded to the appropriate Chair or designate, who will determine the evaluation method and appoint a subject area specialist(s) to evaluate prior learning documentation and demonstration. The assessment of prior learning will be conducted by the subject area specialist(s) appointed, who will determine whether the student clearly shows above average knowledge of the subject matter. Applications will be accepted only by registered ACAD students.

Students shall receive written confirmation of the final decision.

The course(s) for which PLAR is granted will appear as CR in the place of a grade on the student's ACAD student academic record (transcript).

PLAR 1: Recognition based on academic or course equivalency

To qualify for PLAR 1, the student must demonstrate completion of 80% of equivalent ACAD course content. The course may have been offered by a post-secondary institution, other training organization, an employer or a community learning resource. PLAR requests must be for courses or projects that fulfill the equivalent number of ACAD course hours or longer. The course must have been completed within 6 years of the PLAR request.

PLAR 2: Recognition based on experience

ACAD may be able to grant credit for knowledge and skills that a student already possesses.

Complete a PLAR form and attach documentation that includes, as a minimum, the following information for each course:

  • name of the course
  • official proof of successful completion of the course
  • name and address of the organization providing the course
  • date and duration (days and hours) of the course
  • course outline including learning outcomes or objectives, showing what course content and experiential exercises were covered on each day.
  • name and brief biographical information on the course instructor
  • any other information that would assist in determining that at least 80% of the course content and experiential learning was comparable to one or more of ACAD courses.

Fee: $75 non-refundable processing fee per course + half tuition for every credit course granted PLAR equivalency.

RESOURCES