Waivers and Transfer Credits

June 2016 – DeGroote’s MBA program has been redesigned.

Learn more about DeGroote’s Redesigned MBA



At this time, only Accelerated and Part-time students are eligible to receive transfer credit.

If you have successfully completed the equivalent of one of the first-year (600-level) courses at another university, you may be eligible to apply to receive a waiver(s) or transfer credit(s).

Effective September 2014: Upon admission into the MBA program, transcripts are evaluated for transfer credits and waivers. If you were admitted to the MBA program and did not receive a transfer credit or waiver for a course that you have already taken and think that you may be eligible, you can apply to have the course assessed to see if you are eligible to receive a transfer credit or waiver for the course.

Effective September 2016: Only candidates who have earned their degree from a recognized Canadian or American University will have their courses reviewed for credit. Courses completed outside of North American will no longer be reviewed for credit.

What is a transfer credit and what is a waiver?

Transfer Credit: you will receive credit for an equivalent course you have previously taken, giving you the opportunity reduce the number of courses you need to take.

Course Waiver: you have previously taken an equivalent course and will not have to take that course again, but you will have to replace that course with a 700-level course elective. Waivers do not reduce your course load. You can only waive or receive transfer credits for 600-level courses. If you receive a waiver for a 600-level course you must replace it with a second-year, 700-level course. If you receive a transfer credit you have the option of not replacing it. For your reference, SE-A has compiled a list of previously approved courses that have been waived or approved for transfer credit.

Please note that this list is to be used as a guideline only. Course waiver and transfer credit requests are not guaranteed and need to be approved by the Student Experience – Academic team.


  • The course you completed must be a university, degree-level course.
  • The course must have been completed at a recognized Canadian or American University.
  • You must have earned at least a B in the course (B- if the course was completed at McMaster).
  • You must have completed the degree in which the course was taken within the last ten years (*effective September 2014).

How to apply for a transfer credit or waiver

Newly Admitted Students: The hard deadline for waiver and transfer credit applications is September 2 for those commencing the MBA program in September. For students commencing the program in January, the deadline is January 2.

Required Documentation

If the course you took was at McMaster then please submit:

If the course you took was at another university then further information is required. Please submit:

  • A completed copy of the Course Waiver and Transfer Credit Application
  • A copy of the official course outline issued from the university where the course was taken. For course outlines from universities that are not issued in English, we require the original course outline plus an English-translated version. Translations must be official and completed by the instructor of the course or the institution. A notarized translation will also be accepted (certified by a notary public).
  • The description of the course in the other university’s course calendar. Please include the direct web link in your application.
  • A list of the textbooks used in the course

*Applications without these supporting documents will not be assessed.

Submitting Your Application

Send your documents in a single email to mbawaiver@mcmaster.ca. (If some of your documents are on paper, please scan and attach them). Paper applications will not be accepted.

Please use the following as the subject line of your email, filling in the appropriate information:

  • Waiver/Transfer Credit Application – Year – Your Full Name – Your Student Number
Approval Process

It takes 5 – 7 business days for your application to be reviewed. Once it has been reviewed, you will be notified by email of the decision.

Effective September 2016: Once you have determined whether you are accepting a course as a transfer credit or waiver, that decision is final. (Eg. once the program has begun, you cannot convert a waiver to a transfer credit.)

Replacing a waived course

You must replace your waived first-year (600-level) course(s) with a second-year (700-level) course(s). There are some restrictions on replacement courses:

  • You must have completed the prerequisites for the replacement course.
  • Since P720 is a required second year course, you cannot use it as a replacement.
  • P700 can only be used as a replacement course in second term (if it is offered).
  • You cannot use a course which is only available to students in a particular specialization (such as Health Services Management).
  • Current Students: If you are a co-op or full-time student, the replacement course must be taken in the same term as the course you waived.
  • Part-time students are able to replace their waived course any time before the completion of their MBA degree, providing all course requirements have been met.
  • Effective September 2014: Co-op students and part-time students without work experience can receive a maximum of four transfer credits however they can receive up to an additional six course waivers. It is important to note that all Co-op students must maintain their full-time student status by taking a minimum of four courses per academic term.
  • Effective March 2016: DeGroote’s MBA program redesign is in progress which may result in curriculum changes, course offerings and program requirements (including transfer credits and waivers) for September 2016.  At this time, transfer credits and waivers are not being offered to students entering the Full-time and Co-op MBA program for September 2016.**

In some cases it is possible to take a graduate-level course from another faculty as a replacement. However, while you need to pass such a course to get the credits required for graduation, replacement courses from other faculties are not included in your grade point calculation.


If you have any questions about waivers and transfer credits or the course waiver and transfer credit applications, please email mbawaiver@mcmaster.ca.

DeGroote on Google Plus DeGroote on Twitter DeGroote on Facebook