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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Program FAQs

Not sure which TRU-OL program is right for your future educational goals?

We encourage you to check out our TRU-OL program website and review the specific requirements for each program you are interested in. Your phone calls and/or emails requesting information about our programs will be answered by our helpful advisors who are also able to explain the differences between the programs. To contact an advisor call 1-800-663-9711 or email

TRU-OL also has a Career Planning website, which offers website links to assist with career planning.

What are the admission requirements for TRU-OL programs?

The admission requirements for each TRU-OL program may be different.

Admission requirements for all TRU-OL programs can be located on the TRU-OL program information website at

What is Transfer Credit?

Transfer credit represents the value a course, which has been taken at another accredited institution, is given at the receiving institution. The receiving institution is the institution which you are transferring to while the sending institution is the institution that you are transferring from. For courses to be eligible for transfer credit, the sending institution where you took the courses must be accredited.

Is there a minimum grade for transfer credit?

Yes, courses taken at accredited institutions are only eligible for transfer credit if the grade you received was a passing grade of D or higher. Some programs may have specific grade requirements for specific course requirements. If a course was taken twice, only the course with the higher grade is eligible for transfer credit. All specific program requirements are located on the TRU-OL website at

How can I see if the institution I attended is 'recognized' for TRU-OL transfer credit purposes?

Typically, most credit-based courses taken at institutions that are members of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) or members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (ACCC) are eligible for transfer credit. However, the usability of those courses will depend on the TRU-OL program requirements (See "What are the admission requirements for TRU-OL programs?" above). Courses taken as part of a continuing education program at an ACCC or Universities Canada member institution or high school are typically not accepted for transfer credit. However, continuing education courses may be recognized through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process. If you do not see your particular institution as a member of either ACCC or Universities Canada, you still may be eligible for transfer credit. Please call 1.800.663.9711 or email for more information.

Can I receive credit for courses that I took with private training institutions?

Possibly, however the process for determining the amount of credit available is not the same as it is with a public post-secondary institution. Post-secondary institutions that are members of either the Association of Canadian Community Colleges or Universities Canada may recognize credit from each other through established provincial credit transfer systems, e.g., ACAT or BCCAT, or through formal articulation agreements. However, such credit recognition is not automatic and the evaluation and credit amounts will be subject to the policies and program requirements of each institution. If credit recognition between member ACCC/Universities Canada institutions is available, it is often classified as 'transfer credit'.

TRU-OL has an established history of working with private educational institutions and other organizations that provide training and are not members of either ACCC or Universities Canada. Credit for courses or programs taken from such institutions and organizations is determined in two primary ways. The first is through a formal evaluation of the learning that has been acquired by an individual who has successfully completed such courses or programs. This type of individual evaluation is completed through our department of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. The second form of evaluation is available if such courses or programs have undergone a formal evaluation by our PLAR department. If it has been determined that such courses or programs are eligible for credit recognition, successful graduates would be eligible to claim the pre-assessed credit and apply them to a TRU-OL program. This type of course or program specific evaluation constitutes our Credit Bank service. In either scenario, the credit assigned will appear as PLAR credit on our transcripts. For more information about our individual PLAR or Credit Bank credit evaluation services, please contact our PLAR department directly.

What is a 'Block' of transfer credit?

An individual who has completed a certificate or diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution may receive a 'block' of transfer credit towards a TRU-OL program. If only some of the courses within the certificate or diploma program were completed, then those courses would be individually assessed for transfer credit.

What is an Articulations Agreement? Does it affect my previous credits from another institution?

TRU-OL has partnered with many institutions that provide formal post-secondary education or industry level training. The majority of these partnerships involve the recognition or assignment of credit for courses and programs offered by the partner organization. These articulated agreements are useful to students who have taken a course or have graduated from a program (certificate or diploma) from one of TRU-OL's recognized partners as they can receive a certain amount of block credit towards a higher level credential with TRU-OL. Generally this concept of using the credits from one program (at a lower level) and applying it towards a higher level credential is called 'laddering'.The articulated agreement identifies how much credit a graduate from a particular articulated agreement partner program can normally expect to receive and also identifies what credits must still be completed in order to graduate from the TRU-OL program. To find out if your institution has an articulated agreement with TRU-OL, please visit our Current Partner page or contact our TRU-OL advisors at 1.800.663.9711.

What if the courses I took were over seven years ago? Are these credits still recognized by TRU-OL?

Normally there is no time limit on the transfer of courses. However, in some subject areas and for some programs courses taken more than seven years previously are not automatically awarded transfer credit. Currency of the subject matter may be taken into account.

How many credits can be transferred to a TRU-OL program?

TRU-OL usually accepts up to a maximum of 105 transfer credits towards a 120 credit TRU-OL degree. However, in order to use these transfer credits towards the TRU-OL degree, all courses need to meet the program requirements specific to that TRU-OL program. Please note that all students need to meet the "Residency Requirements" for their program in order to obtain the TRU-OL credential.

What does Residency Requirement mean? Do I have to attend the TRU campus to complete a TRU-OL credential?

Residency Requirement refers to a stipulation which states that before a student can receive a credential from a particular institution, they must complete a predetermined number of that institution's credits, or a certain percentage of their program, through the delivering institution. The number for the Residency Requirement is specific to a post-secondary institution but can be as high as 50% of a total program (60 credits out of 120 credits) for an undergraduate degree and can even stipulate the acceptance of upper (3rd and 4th year) versus lower (1st and 2nd) credit in the completion of the credential.

In support of our mandate to offer the greatest flexibility to our students, TRU-OL has one of the most responsive Residency Requirements in Canada. The actual amount of coursework that must be taken through TRU (campus) or TRU-OL (online and distance) is specific to the TRU-OL program. However, for the majority of our programs the following residency requirements apply:

  • TRU-OL certificate programs - residency requirement is 6 credits
  • TRU-OL diploma programs - residency requirement is 9 credits
  • TRU-OL degree programs - residency requirement is 15 credits

Furthermore, there are three ways to satisfy our Residency Requirements. First, take the required amount of courses with TRU (either on campus or at a distance). Second, take courses with our consortium partners: The University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University. Third, acquire credit through our Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process.

I have attended other colleges and/or universities in the past? What happens to those credits?

After a student has applied to a TRU-OL program and has arranged for the submission of all official transcripts from past academic institutions, an official assessment of transfer credit will be completed. Generally, credits completed at other recognized institutions are eligible for transfer credit; however the applicability of credits from other institutions is specific to the requirements of the TRU-OL program. Our advisors will review all the transfer credit available and create a program plan which outlines the amount of usable transfer credit and identify the remaining amount of credits and course requirements for the program. Once you receive your program plan we encourage students to contact their advisor with any course selection questions they might have.

I have already completed a degree at another accredited institution; can any of these credits be used towards another degree at TRU-OL?

Yes, up to 50% of the credits from a first degree can be used only once towards a further degree. However, the degree must be in a different subject area and approved by the dean (or designate) accountable for the program. For further information, see the Transfer Credit policies at:

How do I apply to a TRU-OL program? Is there a form I need to complete?

You must complete a Program Admission form if you wish to apply to a TRU-OL program. The form is available at You will also need to contact all institutions that you have attended and request they mail your official transcript directly to TRU-OL. Transcripts are only considered "official" if they are sent from one institution to another, usually from one Registrar's Office to another Registrar's Office. Transcripts from students are not official.

Helpful resources that explain transfer credit.