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Credit for Previous Learning

KPU recognizes that students may wish to be granted formal recognition for knowledge and skills already acquired. This recognition may be in the form of:

  • transfer credit for courses completed in high school (e.g. Advanced Placement Program, International Baccalaureate Program),
  • transfer credit for courses completed at another post-secondary institution,
  • credit for prior learning assessment where there has been no formal coursework at a recognized post-secondary institution.

Through credit for previous learning, students may be granted credit that can be applied toward the admission requirements of a program, toward the graduation requirements of a program or to meet the prerequisite requirements for individual courses. Applicants should note that the application of credit granted may differ for the purposes of admission, registration or graduation. For information on how the transfer of courses may impact program requirements and graduation, refer to the Graduation section of the University Calendar.

Transfer Credit

Through the transfer credit process, a student who has completed courses at another post-secondary institution may request that these credits be transferred to KPU. Where KPU offers an equivalent course to that taken at the sending institution, the student will be granted transfer credit for the KPU course. Where no direct equivalent is offered at KPU, unassigned credit may be granted.

Courses transferred from another post-secondary institution are not included in the calculation of the institutional grade point average. The transfer of credits and the transfer grade point average become part of the student’s permanent record at KPU. Once transfer credit has been awarded and is reflected on a student's academic record at KPU, the same transfer credit will not be applied or amended for subsequent requests. To receive optimal transfer credit, students should request a transfer credit review as part of the application for admission, or as part of a request submitted prior to the completion of 30 credits at KPU.

Note, according to Policy AR16 a student may not receive two credentials for substantially the same coursework. A minimum of 50% of the course work for the second credential must be from courses or modules, including those transferred to KPU from another institution, that were not used to satisfy the requirements for the first credential.

Any student planning to transfer to another university or other post-secondary institution should be aware that transfer credits granted by KPU are not binding at other post-secondary institutions.

For information regarding transfer credit, please refer to

For further details, see Policy AR12, Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing. All KPU Policies can be viewed at

Letter of Permission

A letter of permission may be requested by KPU students who wish to take courses required in their degree program at another post-secondary institution to transfer back to KPU. More information can be found at

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

All Advanced Placement (AP) courses are considered for admission in combination with an approved high school credential. Transfer credit will be assessed upon receipt of an official College Board AP transcript. Students who have completed Advanced Placement (AP) subjects will receive advanced standing in accordance with the table of equivalencies which has been established in consultation with the faculty.

For further deatils, please refer to

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

International Baccalaureate students are eligible for admission on the basis of successful completion of the IB Diploma. All International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are considered for admission in combination with an approved high school credential.

Students who have completed Higher Level International Baccalaureate subjects will receive advanced standing in accordance with the table of course equivalencies which has been established in consultation with faculty. The table of equivalencies is reviewed and updated by the appropriate Departmental and Divisional Curriculum committees each year. Transfer credit will be assessed upon receipt of an official International Baccalaureate Organization transcript.

For further deatils, please refer to

Prior Learning Assessment

KPU recognizes that students may attain significant learning at a post-secondary level through work, training, and informal experiences outside the formal post-secondary system or from institutions with whom KPU does not have course transfer and articulation agreements. Through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), KPU will grant credit toward a certificate, diploma, or degree for this learning if it fulfills the requirements of the program to which the student has applied.

Applications for PLA credit are available from Student Enrolment Services. Before applying for PLA, a student must meet with the PLA Advisor in his or her program area for detailed information regarding level. Although PLA credit may be granted, a further decision on the applicability of the credits toward program admission or graduation requirements may be required.

Any student planning to transfer to a university or other post-secondary institution should be aware that PLA credit granted by KPU is not binding at another post-secondary institution.

For further details, see Policy AC6, Credit for Prior Learning. All KPU Policies can be viewed at

Methods of Prior Learning Assessment

The following methods of assessment may be used, independently or in combination, to determine if the PLA applicant has met the required standards:

Challenge Exam:

A test or exam (written or oral) that is designed to validate the knowledge of the candidate as it relates to course requirements. A challenge exam may be the same test or exam given to students who formally attend the course. It is limited to questions that are directly related to the learning objectives/outcomes of the course, not to information that would be available only by regular attendance in the classroom.

Standardized Test:

Similar to a Challenge Exam. However, someone from the department other than the assessor usually develops this test or exam. It is focused around widely recognized standards (as set by a department or professional/sectoral organization) that are equivalent to the course objectives.


Documents or objects that have been produced by the candidate and demonstrate tangible proof of accomplishment. These may include, but are not limited to, reports, computer printouts, videos, illustrations, prototype models, or an artist’s portfolio. Students may be asked to demonstrate abilities or answer questions about the portfolio by the assessor.


Simulation or actual presentation of candidate’s abilities, which may be live, recorded, or videotaped. The demonstration may include, but is not limited to, such activities as presenting a speech, role-playing a situation, creating a document on computer, giving a musical performance, performing a lab experiment, interviewing a client, operating equipment, or completing a procedure.


Oral questioning. The PLA interview is focused around course objectives and may include techniques such as open-ended questions, case studies, and prepared analyses. The interview is used to clarify areas of learning, and may be used in parallel with other methods, as a sole method of assessment, and/or as a means to ensure authenticity of products.

Worksite Assessment:

Similar to a demonstration. The candidate is observed performing tasks as a part of normal work routine, or as specifically assigned, in the place of work. Assessment is normally done by faculty assigned to a candidate, but may also be made by a work supervisor or field expert. If performed by an external assessor, may be followed up by a self-assessment and/or interview with a faculty assessor.


Assessment performed by the candidate, usually with the aid of an established form or questionnaire. Normally requires a parallel assessment by a field expert and/or faculty assessor.

External Evaluation:

Assessment provided by an expert other than KPU faculty. Assessment method may include, but is not limited to, performance evaluation, letter of validation, or worksite assessment, and may require follow-up by faculty.

Other forms of assessment:

As agreed on by the assessor and applicant and relevant to the course/program outcomes or objectives.


In some instances, a student does not have formal course work that is equivalent to courses taught at KPU, but does have a combination of education and experience that would permit her or him to be granted an exemption from an introductory or prerequisite course. A student who is granted an exemption must still complete the required number of courses and credits for a degree, associate degree, diploma, certificate or citation. However, the number of elective courses and credits will be increased. A student who has been granted exemption from a course may not subsequently enrol in that course for credit.

Last Updated: 1-Mar-2018

This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email