The Western Deans' Agreement is a long-standing agreement between universities offering Graduate programs in western Canada. For a list of the participating institutions and for further information go to http://www.wcdgs.ca/western-deans-agreement.html.
The Agreement originally was conceived to assist graduate students at Western Canadian universities in taking courses required for their graduate degree programs but not available at their home university. Over the years, some of the universities have modified this view somewhat in relation to their own programs. The University of Alberta still subscribes to the original intent.
University of Alberta Students Under the WDA (Outgoing)
- The student needs to be currently registered, and in good standing in a degree program at the University of Alberta.
- To apply to register in the course(s) the student completes an official Western Deans' Agreement (WDA) authorization form, including all required signatures. This form is available on the WDA website at www.wcdgs.ca/western-deans-agreement.html.
- By approving the WDA application, the department at the University of Alberta is certifying that the course(s) listed on the form: (a) is not available at the University of Alberta; (b) is required for the student's program; and (c) will be credited to the student's graduate degree program upon successful completion with a satisfactory grade.
- All the requirements and course prerequisites of the university where the student plans to take the course(s) must be met. The university where the student plans to take the course(s) is under no obligation to accept a student into a particular course and that university may restrict the number of courses which a student may take under the WDA.
- For thesis-based master's and doctoral students, up to two half-course equivalents (six units of course weights) may be taken under the WDA. No more than two half-course equivalents will be considered since the policy of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) provides for the transfer credit of a maximum of two half-courses or equivalent into a University of Alberta thesis-based graduate degree program. Courses taken under the WDA are counted toward the two half-course limit for transfer credit. If a student has already received the maximum transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere, the student is not eligible for the WDA.
- For course-based master's students, up to one-third of a course-based master's program may be met through transfer credit or course exemption or a combination of both, if recommended by the department and approved by the FGSR. Therefore the number of courses a student is eligible to take under the WDA depends on meeting this requirement and prior approval of the department and the FGSR.
- For each term of study under the WDA, the student will register at the University of Alberta in an Exchange (EXCH) course, which will be equivalent to the course weight registration at the university where the student is taking the course(s). The student will be assessed fees for that EXCH course at the University of Alberta. In accordance with the provisions of the WDA the student will be assessed general student fees, but no regular instructional fees by the university where the course(s) are being taken. If a course requires additional expenses, the university may require the student to pay these additional expenses.
- Upon completion of the course(s), students shall arrange for official transcripts to be sent to their department at the University of Alberta and request that the department submit a Recommendation for Transfer Credit to the FGSR.
- If students are not eligible for consideration under the WDA, they may be eligible to apply to the university where they wish to take the course(s) as a visiting student (or equivalent) in accordance with that university's normal regulations. Transfer credit regulations will apply.
For information on incoming Visiting WDA students, see “Visiting Graduate Students Under the Western Deans’ Agreement” in 5.12 Categories of Graduate Students.