The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials


To facilitate mobility for students wishing to change institutions, prior studies may be recognized under a credit transfer mechanism between recognized universities, up to a maximum of two thirds of credits for a specific program, according to policies that vary between institutions. Since programs vary between institutions as well, a number of mechanisms such as exemption or course substitution are also provided. Such mechanisms are under the responsibility of the host institution and the program committee concerned. Transfers are not automatic and require enrolment in the host institution to become valid.

A mechanism is also available to recognize prior learning in order to grant equivalency for educational or employment experience. Here again, such recognition is not automatic and requires in-depth study of a candidate's file by the host institution.

The cégep-to-university transition can occur through program equivalencies governed by a memorandum of understanding. So-called "DEC-BAC" (college diploma to bachelor's degree) programs are governed by specific agreements between institutions and allow students to obtain a number of university credits for their college studies. These agreements apply only to technical courses, since general-stream courses are prerequisites to university admission in the first place. There is no provincial guide covering equivalencies or transfers, but Quebec university registrars use specific resources, in particular to determine possible equivalencies. One such resource is the Guide des niveaux de formation pour l'admission générale des candidats non québécois published under the auspices of the Bureau de Coopération Interuniversitaire (BCI).

Responsibility for recognizing training from another country lies with Quebec institutions (schools, colleges, and universities). As well, the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion du Québec (MIDI) provides academic equivalency assessments, mostly for labour market purposes, but these can also be used by educational institutions.


Since college programs are authorized by the minister, transfers between colleges are generally smooth. Such transfers are under the responsibility of individual colleges. Cégep admission applications are centralized and processed in regional centres in Montreal, Quebec City, and Saguenay-Lac St-Jean, to ensure uniform province-wide processing. Harmonization of vocational and technical training can fall under individual agreements between colleges and school boards. These are used to harmonize programs and prevent duplication of curriculum in the vocational and technical sector in order to smooth the transition between secondary and college programs.

More and more equivalencies are set between college and university programs, leading to "DEC-BAC" bridges (college diploma to bachelor's degree) in technical fields (see above under Universities - Credit Transfers and Program Equivalencies. Most universities have also made arrangements to admit students with a technical DEC.

Private Subsidized or Non-Subsidized Colleges and Institutes

Because the programs in these institutions are authorized by the minister, transfers between colleges are generally smooth. Such transfers are under the responsibility of individual colleges.

Comprehensive review of this information: January 2019