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How Transfer Works

In Canada and the United States, students may either proceed to university directly from high school or after completing one or two years at a college. The University Transfer Programs offered by colleges allow students to take their first and second year university-level studies in the more personal atmosphere of a smaller college before transferring to second or third year at a university. Some colleges, Columbia College among them, are authorized to offer two-year Associate Degrees. These degrees, awarded upon completion of at least 20 courses (and the fulfillment of certain specific requirements) are useful both as a stand-alone qualification and also as a basis of admission to third year at university.

Transfer credit is pre-arranged for university courses completed at Columbia College with local and regional universities such as the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Capilano University, University of the Fraser Valley, University of Northern British Columbia and Vancouver Island University. It is customary for other universities in Canada and the United States to recognize the transfer credits listed by the British Columbia Commission on Admissions and Transfer, BCCAT (see However, students need to check with the admissions office of the university to which they seek admission (if outside BC) in regard to transferability of particular courses.

The length of time required to achieve an undergraduate degree in Canada can vary from three to five years, depending on the student’s background, the type of undergraduate degree sought, course load and the program requirements of the particular university in which the degree is earned. The average length of time required to obtain a Bachelor’s degree is four years.

In most university programs, the first year is a general year in which students choose a broad range of courses in addition to courses in their area of specialization. Specialization does not usually begin until the second year. A pre-Commerce year has been introduced in several universities. Depending on the university to which a student may go, a one to two-year transfer program at Columbia College usually fulfills requirements for pre-professional degree programs (such as Commerce or Engineering) or for the first one to two years of a four-year degree program (such as Economics or Communication).

For more details see school Calendar.

Joint Degree Program

Columbia College and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) (Kamloops, BC)

Students who wish to complete a degree at TRU may apply for joint admission to Columbia College and TRU.

Interested students should complete both the Columbia College Application Form and the TRU International Students Application for Admission Form (available on the TRU World website, and mail, together with the required documents (see page 4) to Columbia College. Successful applicants will receive a letter of admission to Columbia College together with a conditional letter of acceptance to TRU.

Acceptance to TRU will be conditional on completing English 101 at Columbia College (to complete TRU’s English entrance requirement) together with between 27 (min) and 57 (max) additional credits in Columbia College’s University Transfer Program, each with minimum grade of C- and an overall minimum GPA of 2.33. Credits completed at Columbia College will count toward the degree granted by TRU. The final years of the degree program will be taken at TRU’s campus in Kamloops.

Block Transfer Agreements

Bachelor of Management -- University of Lethbridge (Alberta)

Students who receive the Certificate of Second Year Commerce from Columbia College may transfer to a qualifying program involving four additional courses leading into third year of a Bachelor of Management at the University of Lethbridge.

Bachelor of Commerce -- Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC)

Columbia College has a block transfer arrangement with Royal Roads University for students to transfer into the third year of the Bachelor of Commerce in the Entrepreneurial Management Degree Program. Under the terms of agreement students who complete an Associate of Arts Degree or Associate of Arts Degree (Business Administration Concentration), including certain specified courses (see page 9 of Calendar 2014/2015), are eligible for admission to RRU with full block transfer (provided all other entrance criteria are met and space remains available in the Program).

Students interested in Block Transfer should consult a Counsellor.

Educational Progress Chart

Educational Progress Chart

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