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4. Qualifications and Equivalencies

4.1 Academic Qualifications from Other Countries - Full-Time Students

A Board of Admissions will consider applications for admission from students who have gained their educational qualifications abroad. International applicants must provide proof of academic standing equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma (OSSD).

The following certificates are acceptable for admission to post-secondary certificate or diploma programs:

  • Hong Kong Certificate of Education with credit standing in five academic courses or pass standing in six academic courses.
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong Entrance Examination with a pass in five academic courses.
  • For England, Asian countries, the West Indies and Africa the General Certificate of Education with grades of A, B, C, or 1, 2, 3 in five academic courses at the "O" or ordinary level; or the Caribbean Examination Council Certificate with grades A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 in five academic courses at the general level.

For some programs, there may be selective admission requirements such as a high school credit in science or mathematics. The program information in the calendar will specify any special entrance standards.

Only original documents will be considered. These should be sent by registered mail.

For admission to degree programs, the applicant will be assessed for equivalencies on an individual basis. Secondary school graduation certificates or diplomas should be at the higher or senior level. General Certificates of Education with courses at the general or “O” level should include at least two courses at the Advanced level.

4.2 English Proficiency - Full-Time Students

For direct admission, applicants are expected to have acceptable levels of English proficiency. For applicants whose education has taken place in a country where English is not the only language of common usage, English proficiency must be demonstrated by submitting successful test scores from a recognized English proficiency test: TOEFL; IELTS; MELAB; CAEL. For TOEFL, candidates who score a minimum of 550 (213 computer based), and who demonstrate strength in listening comprehension, will be considered for regular programs. For degree programs, a minimum total TOEFL score of 570 (230 computer based) is required, and for graduate certificate programs, a minimum total TOEFL score of 580 (237 computer based) is required.

For information, contact:

Test of English as a Foreign Language
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151

4.3 Transfer Credit

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in dual credit or postsecondary education institutions that they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College certificate, diploma, or degree. Transfer credit is based on transcripted learning at an accredited postsecondary educational institution. Students who are part of a formal block transfer credit agreement should see their program Chair or designate before applying for additional transfer credits.

A request for transfer credit must be for a specific group of courses. It is the policy of Seneca College that all applications for transfer credit be considered by the School responsible for the program. Criteria for the granting of transfer credit are published by the Degree and Credit Transfer Office and with the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer.

The criteria for approving transfer credits will be the responsibility of each School/Faculty through a fair, reasonable and consistent process. Candidates must present an official transcript and detailed course outline* in order to be considered for transfer credit. In some situations, additional documentation may be required.

A minimum grade of "C" (60%) is generally required for a course to be considered for credit transfer. For credit transfer into degree programs, the minimum grade considered is C+ (65%).

A request for transfer credit should be made as early as possible before the beginning of the semester to ensure changes to class schedules can be accommodated.

Transfer Credit Processing

Communication to students on applying for transfer credits will be conducted through the Degree and Credit Transfer Office. Each School/Faculty is responsible for determining transfer credit requests. Transfer credit decisions will be recorded, tracked and placed in student records by the Registrar’s Office through the transfer credit module in the student system. The status of transfer credit applications will be available to students through the student centre portal and to College administrators through the transfer credit module of the student system.

* If detailed course outlines cannot be acquired, the applicant may request review by a promotion committee to consider the exceptional circumstances.

4.4 Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Seneca College recognizes that in many instances the learning outcomes defined for an individual term course can be achieved by a number of alternative means. These include relevant work/life experience. A student may apply for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at Seneca College, where mastery of the learning outcomes of a Seneca course can be clearly demonstrated through the assessment of a portfolio and/or by means of a challenge process. A subject matter expert will select, administer and evaluate the prior learning assessment to determine whether the outcomes of the desired course have been met. The PLA Facilitator will provide information on the procedure for PLA. PLA credit earned will be communicated to the student by means of a Seneca College transcript.

Applicants obtaining credit through PLA shall proceed through the published admissions process to gain entry into a specific College program.

The granting of prior learning credits does not guarantee entrance into any program of study. However, in keeping with the College's commitment to student access and student success, every effort will be made to facilitate a timely entrance into the candidate's program of choice.

Credit earned through PLA shall be recorded on the transcript, where possible, using a letter grade, when that is the usual practice for that course. When the assignment of a grade is not possible, the designation of SAT shall be used to signify that the essential learning outcomes of the course have been achieved, as evaluated through PLA.

A student has the right to appeal the decision, consistent with Academic Policy.

If a student fails a course, he/she may apply for PLA in that course, only after one year has passed and he/she can offer a reasonable explanation of additional relevant learning.

PLA Credits for Degree Programs
PLA Credit will only be awarded in a degree program for degree level learning. No more than 50% of a degree level program may be awarded credit through PLA.

Administrative Guidelines
PLA decisions are monitored, reviewed and evaluated through Seneca’s Program Review/Quality Assurance process to ensure that the process is fair, reasonable and consistent. Personnel responsible for determining prior learning credit receive training and support as appropriate.