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How course translations are determined

Course translations are determined by comparing your transfer college’s course catalog descriptions against WCC’s current catalog course descriptions. Course translations can be determined to be:

  1. A direct course match to a WCC catalog course.
  2. If there is not a direct match then a translation can possibly be made by finding a WCC course that is similar/parallel to the transfer course.
  3. If the course is not a match and does not parallel a WCC course, then translations can be made by reviewing the transfer college’s degree requirements or General University Requirements (GURs).


When a transfer course matches a WCC course

  • Example: The transfer college’s HIST 111 matches Whatcom’s HIST 210. It would be noted as HIST 210 TR.  TR identifies a transfer course
  • Exceptions are writing (w) and sustainability(s). In order for a transferred-in course to receive the (w) or (s) designator, the sending institution must have designated the course as a writing intensive or sustainability course. If not, then students must have the college send course syllabi to WCC's evaluation department (Registration & Student Records) so they can be reviewed by a WCC faculty instructor.
  • If the WCC course does not have w, d, s or g designations, but the sending institution designated its course as such, WCC will suffix the course with the appropriate designator (example: HIST 210g).


When a course from another college is not equivalent to a course at WCC

Example: The transfer college’s GEOL 255 does not match any WCC course. Translations then are made by assigning a generic number within the range of 600 to 699. The number ranges do represent the degree categories such as core, humanities, social behavioral, math science, listed transferable electives or unlisted non-transferable electives.

Generic numbers are assigned as follows:

  • 600-674 generally satisfy an AAS distribution category
  • 675-684 generally satisfy an AAS listed elective category
  • 685-699 generally satisfy an AAS unlisted elective category
  • To see how other courses transfer please meet with an academic advisor.


Semester credit conversions

Semester credits are multiplied by 1.5 to convert to quarter credits. For AAS distribution (not electives) a 3 credit semester course will be rounded to 5 credits. This is applicable only to a 4.5 conversion. The rounding-up cannot be applied to a lower credit such as 3.5, 2.5 or 1.5. A minimum of 90 credits is required as an overall graduation requirement. If there is a shortage of credits due to the 4.5 rounding conversion then the credit balance must be satisfied in electives.


Common course numbering (CCN)

Common Course Numbering (CCN with an & suffix) is a state-wide project among the community and technical colleges to share identical Course ID’s (disciplines and numbers) and titles for selected courses. Courses that WCC translates as CCN-& may or may not be considered common at other institutions; therefore, if you plan to transfer from WCC to other institutions, check with their advising centers as to how your prior institution(s) and WCC courses will be accepted.



If you have questions please stop by the Registration & Student Records office in Laidlaw Center 102. We will need to see your photo ID to speak specifically about your academic records.