FAQs - Academic Advising


The term "transfer" has several meanings. It may be used in reference to a single course, or used in reference to a block of multiple courses, or for a completed program of study. Generally, transfer refers to the ability to complete course work at one institution that will be accepted as equivalent work at another institution. Further, detailed information is available from the Alberta Transfer Guide. There is also a tutorial on how to use the Alberta Transfer Guide located in your Loop Account.

RDC does not have a policy on the number of times a course may be repeated. However, many institutions have strict policies on the repetition of courses and whether or not a repeated course will be accepted for credit. A good guideline to follow is that a course may only be repeated once, and this includes grades of "Withdraw (WD)" and "F". If you have received a grade of "WD" or "F" and wish to repeat the same course, it is recommended to speak with an Academic Advisor prior to retaking the course.

Admission and transfer information for RDC University transfer programs can be found on the applicable Academic Planning Guide for your program or see an Academic Advisor in the Information Center to discuss your courses. It is also recommended you seek information from the institution which you are planning to attend.

In this circumstance, it is a student's responsibility to contact his/her university of interest for admission and program information and information about the transferability of courses. Consult the university and faculty websites and speak to an academic advisor at that university concerning course selection for the program. Only the receiving institution can give official notification on courses accepted for credit from the sending institution.

Yes. Each university specifies a minimum grade accepted for transfer credit; not all receiving institutions accept minimal passing grades on transfer courses. In addition, a faculty may further specify a minimum grade accepted for specific courses in specific programs. Consult the Academic Planning Guide for your program and the university's calendar and website for admission, transfer and program information.

Yes. Each university has specific coursework required for their degree programs. Also, some courses transfer to one university but not another (i.e. CMPT 261), some transfer at a senior-level to one university but at a junior-level to another (i.e. FILM 201), and some courses transfer with 3 credits to one university and 1.5 credits to another (i.e. KPAC 310). These differences in course transfer may change the number of credits you'll receive should you switch your destination university. Admission requirements and the manner in which the transfer GPA is calculated will vary among universities. Please contact an academic advisor if you are considering changing your university of choice.

Application forms are located on university websites. On-line applications for several Alberta universities and colleges may also be accessed at Apply Alberta for post-secondary admission. Most universities prefer applications submitted electronically and some faculties accept on-line applications only. Be sure to note if the faculty to which you are applying is one of these. If you like, you may print a copy to fill out then insert the information on-line and send the application electronically.

Universities have a first day for application, an application deadline and a document deadline. Some programs may have specific deadlines that differ from the general university deadline. These deadlines are noted in the university websites.

Universities have a residency requirement that specifies how many credits must be earned through their coursework. Generally, students may transfer up to half the credit in a degree to a university. A four-year degree consists of *120 meaning that up to *60 may be taken at other post-secondary institutions. Check the appropriate Academic Planning Guide for your program.


The procedure for course registration is dependent on your program. Some programs are pre-set meaning the Registrar's Office will complete your registration and send your schedule in the mail. Other programs may require you to select courses, make a conflict-free timetable, and register either in-person or by using the RDC automated web registration system. You will receive further instructions about registration procedures from the college after you have been accepted. Also, more information about registration can be found on-line at www.rdc.ab.ca/newstudents

After you have registered for courses, you will be able to complete the "Registration Review Form". This form is located in your Loop account, under "Step 4" of the Academic Advising Channel. Completing this form will send a request to an Academic Advisor who will then review your course selection. The advisor will then e-mail back any recommendations regarding your course selection to your RDC e-mail account.

The terminology of "junior credit" and "senior credit" are related to how the course may be received by another institution. Generally, junior level courses are introductory and senior level courses are advanced. Senior level courses often require other post-secondary courses as a prerequisite. Many university programs have a restriction on the number of junior level courses that can be completed for credit.

Course numbering systems vary by institution. For example, at the University of Alberta courses numbered from 100 to 199 are classified as junior level; any course numbered 200 or higher is a senior level course. However, at the University of Calgary, courses numbered from 200 to 299 are considered junior level while senior level courses start at 300. Further, detailed, information is available from the Alberta Transfer Guide.

Students in University Transfer programs will be able to receive many different forms of orientation prior to selecting courses; this may occur as a one-on-one contact, group advising, or following the registration steps listed on the Loop. Visiting the New Students Web Page will also give students instructions on how to register for courses, and how to seek out information regarding group sessions. Students should consult the appropriate Academic Planning Guide for information about course selection, and program rules. Academic Advisors are also available to assist with course planning throughout the academic year. Students in diploma and certificate programs will follow the graduation requirements as outlined in the RDC Academic Calendar or consult with the Chairperson of their program.

Many programs have options as part of their overall graduation requirements. Generally, an "option" is your opportunity to take a course of interest, or to become more knowledgeable in a particular area or discipline. There may be some restrictions on the option courses a student may select. Often program regulations include a list of possible course choices, others may only require the course selected to be of an appropriate level. Please see How to Choose Options for further information.

Caution! Taking a course without the proper prerequisite is at your own risk! Pre-requisites are put in place to ensure that you have the proper knowledge required in order to be successful in a course. Taking a course without having the proper prerequisite can result in denial of transfer credit from Universities.  RDC will drop students from courses for which they do not present pre-requisites prior to the start of the term.

"Dropping" is the process of changing your course registration without any formal academic record of your attendance in the course. If you drop a course before the deadline for the term, you are able to receive a refund of any tuition paid for that course.

"Withdraw" is a grade that is assigned to your academic record indicating that you have attempted the course but for whatever reason you chose to withdraw. A grade of WD will go on your academic record, but that course will not count against your GPA. Students are able to Withdraw from a course after the add/drop deadline, but no tuition refunds are available.

Both of these procedures have strict deadlines for their completion. Refer to the Academic Schedule for the appropriate dates. "Late Drops" and "Late Withdrawals" are normally not considered without documentation proving extenuating circumstances.

Students are able to withdraw from a course up until the final day of classes for that term - see the Academic Schedule for more detail. Failing a course can have many different impacts such as affecting your academic standing, admission to another institution, or eligibility to graduate. As such, withdrawing from a course you might fail is a viable option. An Academic Advisor can help identify how a failure might impact your individual academic plan and also suggest other student services that might be useful to you. Services that a student should consider if they are struggling in a course are the Counselling and Learning Support Services area where they can access peer tutoring, a learning strategist, information on study and time management skills as well as personal counselling. These services are free.

Within a program, a major is an academic discipline chosen as an area of specialization. A minor is also an area of specialization and would contain less coursework than a major area of study. If you are in a diploma program, your major must usually be decided by the second year of study. Students in university transfer programs must usually declare their major by their third year of study, but appropriate course planning may need to take place earlier than the third year. Please see an academic advisor for information about specific program planning.

A student attending full-time would normally be registered in a minimum of 3 courses (or 9 academic credits) to a maximum of 5 courses (or 15 academic credits) in each term of study. There are some programs that are an exception. Students balancing other activities such as work, family commitments or athletics with their academic studies might want to consider taking less than the maximum course load. It is not recommended to take more than the maximum course load (15 credits).

The vast majority of RDC Diploma programs and University Transfer programs are designed with the idea that students will take 15 credits per semester and 30 credits per academic year. If you take less than this load, it may increase the time required to progress through your program.

Program requirements and graduation requirements may change from year to year and each student may present unique circumstances that can affect academic planning. It is important to use the most current information available when making decisions about course planning. This includes referring to the current Academic Planning Guide for your program and speaking to an Academic Advisor or your Program Chair with regards to course registration.

The Course Description section of the RDC Academic Calendar lists courses that are normally offered, however, not all courses are offered every year or every term. The RDC Timetable is a listing of the specific courses offered in a given term. If the course is not listed in the timetable it is not offered in that term of study.

Grade Point Average

GPA is an acronym for Grade Point Average. It is the indicator of your academic performance and will provide information for decisions on eligibility for scholarships, continuance in a program of study, and acceptance into other institutions.   There are different GPA's that may be calculated. Examples include:

Cumulative GPA = Combined GPA of all your courses attempted and completed throughout your RDC academic career.

Term GPA = Combined GPA of all your courses attempted and completed for a specific semester.

Admission GPA = GPA that is used by educational institutions to determine entry into a specific program. Admission GPA may be cumulative or only be a combination of a certain amount of credits.

Each institution will provide information on how a GPA is calculated. Information about GPA calculation at RDC can be found in Academic Policy. For information about GPA calculation at other post-secondary institutions, please see the appropriate section of their Calendar.

Alberta Transfer Guide

The Alberta Transfer Guide indicates the minimum transfer credit which is available for post-secondary educational experience upon admission to a post-secondary institution. It is not a cumulative record of changes in courses or transfer credits and applies only to the year for which it is published. Students should consult the edition of the Transfer Guide for the year the course or program was completed.

Students should be aware that each program and each institution has regulations regarding program and graduation requirements. Although a course may be accepted at an institution for credit, it must also fit into the program requirements. Students must take into account regulations such as the maximum number of junior credits, residency requirements of an institution, and recency of course material when planning. The Academic Planning Guide for your program will assist you in course planning. Speak to an academic advisor if you have any questions about course transferability.

The Alberta Transfer Guide is a guide to transfer credit at Alberta post-secondary institutions and is available on-line (updated throughout the year) or in book form (published in spring/summer). The guide is produced by the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer and governs transferability of courses from Athabasca University and accredited colleges in Alberta to Alberta universities. When looking up a course, use the academic year in which you took the course.

The Alberta Transfer Guide is unable to provide information on college to college transfers, or out of province/out of country transfers.

Courses that do not transfer for credit to a university are not listed in the Alberta Transfer Guide (i.e. HOSP 228, MATH 096). It is also important to make sure that you input the course information correctly when looking up transfer credit. A typo can result in a course not showing up.

There are free video and text tutorials on how to use the Alberta Transfer Guide, and they are available in your Loop Account under "Step 3" in the Academic Advising Channel (located in the student services tab).

If you are having difficulties using the Transfer Guide, please see an academic advisor for assistance

Career and Counselling

This is very common and RDC offers free Career Counseling Services that will help you identify different jobs that are available after completing your desired education. In addition, our Career Counselors are able to assist and provide resources about career exploration to help you make the best possible choice regarding your educational goals. For more information, please click here.

Contact Us

Many ways!

You can drop in to see an Advisor during our walk-in hours. Below is a schedule of a typical week. These times are subject to change. You can call 403.342.3400 to confirm walk-in times on the day you wish to visit:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Wednesday: 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM

You can e-mail us at: advisors [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca

You can phone us at: 403.342.3585 or toll free at 1.888.732.4630

Admissions / Registrars

Any personal information you provide is managed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Act of Alberta. Therefore, for the college to release any personal information, you must submit the Consent to Release Student Personal Information -  Registrar stating that you are designating someone to act on your behalf, enabling them to access to your personal information.

This process might be as simple as completing a Change of Program or Program Major Form, and submitting it for processing to the Office of the Registrar. However, it is extremely important to speak with an Academic Advisor prior to changing your program to ensure you meet new program admission requirements, and to be aware of the rules and changes for your newly desired program.

At RDC a collaborative degree program is one that is offered in partnership with another post-secondary institution to provide degree opportunities to students within the Red Deer community. Students intending to complete a degree program on RDC campus at some point must apply and be admitted to the Collaborative partner institution. For more information about collaborative degree programs, please see the information available about Degree Completion Programs.

Current collaborative degrees that are offered on the RDC campus include:

Bachelor of Business Administration - In collaboration with Mount Royal University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology - In collaboration with the University of Calgary

Bachelor of Education Elementary with a Middle Years Minor - In collaboration with the University of Alberta

Bachelor of Science in Nursing - In collaboration with the University of Alberta

Each institution has its own admission and graduation requirements; therefore RDC admission requirements may not be the same as the university at which you are planning on attending. You may require specific high school or post-secondary course requirements to be eligible for admission. Admission and transfer information for RDC university transfer programs can be found on the applicable Academic Planning Guide for your program or see an Academic Advisor.

Assessment Services will assess coursework and knowledge or competencies through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Students taking university transfer programs apply for RPL if coursework taken at another post-secondary institution could be the equivalent of a pre-requisite needed for a higher-level course or to assist in planning their remaining coursework. Please note that each post-secondary institution assesses courses for transfer credit and is not obliged to recognize transfer credit given by another post-secondary institution.