Taking courses at another institution

If you wish to complete courses at another institution, you will need to apply for a Letter of Permission from SFU to take courses elsewhere. Please download and complete the Request for Letter of Permission form and submit it to Student Services (MBC-3200).

Should I consult an academic advisor if I am planning to apply for a Letter of Permission? How long does it take for the Letter of Permission to be approved?

All students considering requesting a Letter of Permission should consult an academic advisor. The Faculty advisor (and the department advisor if a program has been declared) will be contacted by Student Services for approval. Students should allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing of their request. Normally, a Letter of Permission will not be approved retroactively.

Can any student apply for a Letter of Permission?

Students must have completed a minimum of 9 units at SFU and must be in good academic standing at the time they submit their request for Letter of Permission to Student Services. Since standing is achieved once all grades for the term have been received, students may have to wait until their third term at SFU to be eligible to take a course elsewhere.

Can I apply for a Letter of Permission to take a course at another institution for any reason?

Permission to take a course at another institution will not be granted unless a valid academic reason is provided. For example, taking a course in a discipline not offered at SFU, such as Czech language, or taking a course in another province if the student will be living there at the time. While an approved Letter of Permission guarantees that the credit will count toward the overall credit requirement, it does not guarantee that the credit will meet a specific program requirement.

What grades must I achieve in the courses in order to receive transfer credit?

Students must achieve a grade of at least C (2.0 numeric equivalent) or 60% in order to receive transfer credit for courses completed at other institutions. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that an official transcript from the host institution is forwarded to Student Services at SFU in order for transfer credit to be granted.

Can my request for Letter of Permission be denied?

Your request for Letter of Permission would be denied for the following reasons:

  • you are not in good academic standing (on academic probation)
  • you are attempting to raise your SFU CGPA by taking courses elsewhere*
  • you are attempting to remove a poor grade from the calculation of your SFU GPA*
  • tuition fees are lower at the other institution
  • the other institution is more conveniently located (e.g. closer to home or work)
  • the course is easier to complete at the other institution
  • the course is full at SFU
  • the course is not being offered in that particular term at SFU
  • the course is in conflict with other SFU courses

* A student cannot remove an F, N or poor grade from their SFU record by repeating the course at another institution. Transfer credit is not used in the calculation of the SFU CGPA.

Can my request for Letter of Permission be approved for no extra credit?

If a student has already reached the maximum allowable transfer credit for their degree, the Letter of Permission will be approved for substitution only.

Important considerations when requesting a Letter of Permission

  • you must complete a minimum of 30 upper division units at SFU for your degree
  • a minimum of 15 of the upper division units in your major must be taken at SFU
  • a minimum of 7 of the upper division units in your minor must be taken at SFU

If you have declared a program (major, minor, etc.), please check your requirements with your department advisor