Letter of Permission

A Letter of Permission (LOP) is required to take courses at another university as a visiting student and transfer the credit(s) toward your degree at Western. Your LOP must be approved by an academic counsellor before you register at the other university. If you take a course elsewhere without a LOP, you may need to re-apply to Western before continuing with your degree.


  1. You must be in good academic standing at Western. Students on probation are not eligible.
  2. You must have completed at least 4.0 credits at Western with an average of at least 60%. If you are in first year, you will be asked to verify your term marks.
  3. Special Students and students completing second degrees are not eligible.

General Guidelines

  • Students may take a maximum of 5.0 credits during their degree. The number of credits permitted will depend on your overall average and the number of credits required to complete your degree and program requirements. For students with an average between 60%-64%, 2.0 credits are allowed; students with an average between 65%-69%, 3.0 credits are allowed; and for students with averages of 70% or above, 4.0 or 5.0 credits are allowed. 
  • Western's residence regulation states that students in a 3-year program must complete at least 5.0 senior credits at Western, and students in a 4-year program must complete 10.0 senior credits at Western (including 2.0 designated essay credits, and most of your module courses). See the Academic Calendar for full details.
  • We recommend that you consult Financial Services to see whether or not you have to apply for OSAP through the host institution. This is particularly important for winter term courses.
  • Non-refundable fees for the letter of permission will be added to your tuition account.
  • Courses intended to fulfill the designated essay requirements and science courses considered below the 1000-level (e.g. Math 0110A/B) will not be approved.
  • All Departments prefer that module courses are done at Western, but some permissions are granted. If the course you plan to take is a principal course for your program/module, your first step is to contact the Department to ask if that is an option. They will need to sign off on the course you are requesting before our office can approve it.

Before proceeding, make sure you review the instructions provided by the Office of the Registrar, especially what to do if you decide not to register or you withdraw from the course. 

Courses requested from international universities 

Approvals for Letter of Permission requests from International universities not affiliated with Western’s exchange and study abroad partners can be challenging due to our unfamiliarity with these institutions. Requests for courses at these institutions must be vetted carefully to ensure consistency and congruency with the learning outcomes for our courses. As such, a detailed course syllabus for each course you have requested must be submitted to the relevant Department for approval. Course syllabi should include the following: course title and description, number of course hours/credit weight, textbooks required, methods of evaluation being used and their weight, along with a detailed course schedule. Departmental approval of a course must be granted before our office is able to consider your request for a Letter of Permission at an international institution.

Coordinating proper scheduling for distance courses at Athabasca

Distance courses at Athabasca have flexible start and finish dates that may not be the same as the sessional and term dates at Western. If you are taking an Athabasca course as a prerequisite or program requirement, you must schedule the course so that your transcript will be available for review at the appropriate time. Failing to do so may delay or deny your access to related courses and/or programs at Western.