Department of History

Queen's University
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Transfer Credits/Exchange Credits

To contact Advisor for International Exchanges & Transfer Credits,  please see Administrative Faculty list

Receiving Queen's credit for Courses taken at other Canadian Universities on a "Letter of Permission":

Students wishing to take courses at other Canadian universities on a Letter of Permission must initiate the process by going to the Faculty of Arts and Science office at F-200 Mac Corry and filling out the appropriate forms. There is a fee.

If you wish to receive credit for a seminar course, please consult the History Department's Transfer Credit Advisor BEFORE you plan to take the course to ensure that the course qualifies as a Queen's History seminar equivalent.

Normally lecture-style courses from other Canadian universities are recognized on a routine basis, but seminars are different. See below, #5, "What is a Seminar?"

Students wishing to study abroad (in Europe, Australia, etc.) for a year or a term, should:

1) consult with the History Department's Transfer Credit advisor BEFORE they go abroad.

If you are a History Major or Medial, your key concern will be to try to get at least 0.5 seminar credit (if you're away for one semester) or 1.0 seminar credit (if you're away for the whole year) in History during your time abroad. (History Minors need no seminars so this is not a concern; you need lecture credits only.)

2) next, contact the International Program Office in B-206 Mac Corry, across from the cafeteria, to get the actual process under way.

Also, please consult the Arts and Science Calendar to see the section "International Programs and Study Abroad Options"

Rules and Policies

1. The Queen's history department accepts almost all history courses taken at other Canadian universities for transfer credit. Exceptions exist, but are rare.

2. If a course at another university covers roughly the same content as a course offered at Queen's, the equivalent Queen's course number will appear on your transcript. For example, a course in Canadian history which resembles the basic outlines of a Queen's course in Canadian history, will receive the actual Queen's course number. If this is done, you cannot take the same course at Queen's for credit.

3. If the course is not equivalent to a specific Queen's course, it will be assessed according to its level and content. You will receive an "Unspecified" history credit. This is just as good as any other history credit. HIST 1UNS denotes a first-year course (UNS means unspecified credit as opposed to credit for a particular Queen's course); HIST 2LEC denotes a lecture course, HIST 2SEM a second-year seminar, HIST 3SEM a third-year seminar, etc.

4. Most courses at other universities translate as lecture courses (HIST 2LEC). Only legitimate seminar courses will be counted as 2SEM, 3SEM or 4SEM. 3LEC and 4LEC do not exist in History at Queen's, so they do not exist as transfer credits, either.

5. WHAT IS A SEMINAR? To receive seminar credit the course should have fewer than 30 students. Class discussion is required, and normally there is an essay component.

In seminars, evaluation is not based solely on a final exam. Lecture-tutorial classes, such as those common in British universities, count as seminars if tutorial sessions are weekly, and usually do not count as seminars if tutorials are only fortnightly or monthly.

If a student wants seminar credit for a course taken at another university, it is his/her responsibility to prove that the course is in fact a seminar. Most Canadian university course calendars clearly distinguish between seminar and lecture courses, but not always. If the course calendar is unclear, you should collect and submit alternative evidence to prove that the course is a seminar: for example, designation of the course as a seminar in the course syllabus, a note from the professor attesting to the size of the class and/or the importance of participation, or some other evidence.

6. Transcripts: Your Queen's transcript will list the credits for courses taken elsewhere, but will not provide course titles or marks.

Nor will your Queen's transcript figure those marks into your average. Therefore, it is a good idea to obtain an official transcript directly from the other university and to keep it for your records. For those applying to jobs or graduate schools, it is usually enough to attach a photocopy of that other transcript to whatever application you are submitting. You should make sure, however, that the employer or graduate school is satisfied with a photocopy and does not require an official transcript from the other university as well.