Transferring Credits

Students who have spent time in school in other countries may need to have their credits transferred to the Nova Scotia system if they are planning to stay to graduate. Students wishing to have credits transferred need to submit:

  • Translated transcripts indicating the hours per week and/or hours per course studied for any grade of high school attended.
  • An NSISP graduation form sent from your RCE’s ISP department

The following is an excerpt from the “Nova Scotia High School Transcript Guide” produced by the DoEECD (Revised April 2015, p. 13):
High schools outside of Nova Scotia – where possible transfer credits, especially those meeting graduation requirements, should be related to courses outlined in the current Public School Programs document. An exception may be elective courses that are being accepted as transfer credits. It is important to consider shared outcomes, the duration/hours of the course, and the grade level of the course when transferring credits. It is also important to consider the student’s current situation, the grade s/he is in, the opportunity the student has to take the course in a Nova Scotia school, and the student’s anticipated graduation date and her/his transition and or career plan following secondary school.

It is important not to create unnecessary barriers or obstruct a student’s path forward. Therefore, decisions should be made with the student’s best interest in mind. Using this as its basis, NSISP has produced a series of considerations for transferring credits.

A Nova Scotian course has a minimum of 110 hours of in-class instruction. To find these equivalents
from overseas transcripts:

  • Students in a non-semestered school system need a minimum of 3 hours per week (assume 40 weeks per year for a total of 120 hours) to equal a NS credit in that subject area at that grade level
  • Students in a semestered program need to show the equivalent hours (ex. 3 hours per week in Math 1 (20 weeks in a half year= 60 hours) plus 3 hours per week in Math 2 (60 more hours = 120 hours in total)
  • Some courses will not have enough time for a stand-alone credit but combinations are possible (History + Geography; Music + Art, Phys Ed 10 + Phys Ed 11; Chem + Bio; etc)

Other notes:

  •  If courses from the home country are combined the credit given should be a the lower grade level if the courses are across grade level
  • It is recommended no more than 7 credits be transferred in grade 10
  • English 12 should never be a transfer credit. This is true of most grade 12 courses but English 12 is most significant
  • It is important schools not over or under transfer credits. When a student graduates in Nova Scotia it should be with confidence they are prepared to go on to education at the next level
  • Please note: Not all schools in the world run Sept-June. Brazilian and Korean schools follow the calendar year. Japanese schools begin in April, etc.
  • When transferring English credits it is recommended to transfer the credit(s) as English 10/11, not ESL 10/11. The ESL 10 credit is no longer available for use and it is anticipated the ESL 11 credit will be gone too. Transferring credits this way will allow students to theoretically be able to graduate in Nova Scotia in one year if they have fully completed grades 10 and 11 in their own country and have a strong level of ability in English. Please remember, the student will still need to complete English 12 in Nova Scotia to graduate, regardless if they’ve completed grade 12 English in their home country.

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