Things to Know When Transferring University Credits

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Earning a college degree is no small task. After you spend months working on applications and choosing the right school, you can be thrown off course by financial constraints, family obligations, a new job, the desire to change majors, or other life changes. Finding a college that’s a better fit for you doesn’t need to be a big educational setback when you know how to navigate the rules for transferring university credits.

Whether you’re currently a student looking for a different experience or you’re just getting back into college after a long hiatus, read on to discover seven things to know when transferring university credits.

1. Some of Your Classes May Not Transfer

After putting in long hours attending classes, doing homework, and studying for exams, this can be a harsh reality to accept. Unfortunately, there are usually a few credits that won’t transfer once you change schools because each college or university has specific courses with unique lesson plans that fulfill their overall curriculum.

General education courses such as college-level mathematics, English, or science will likely transfer without a hitch between schools in the same state, but out-of-state universities may operate under different guidelines. Likewise, the likelihood that courses geared toward a specific major will transfer is not black and white. To maximize your transfer credits, consult with an academic advisor at your selected school to see what courses are eligible for transfer.

2. Your Grades Matter

Colleges and universities have varied rules on what minimum grade you need on a course if you want to transfer credit for it toward your new degree program. Typically, you need a “C” grade or better for a course to transfer. A “D” grade may be accepted on a case-by-case basis depending on the college’s flexibility, but in most cases, it will be denied. Any classes that offer a Pass/Fail grade will require further approval by a professor to ensure that you actually did pass the class. Based on that approval, colleges will likely approve the transfer.

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3. Only So Many Credits Are Accepted

Many colleges have a limit on the number of credits that you can transfer from another college (usually about two academic years’ worth). Generally, 60 credits from a community or two-year college or 60-90 credits from a combination of two- and four-year institutions may be applied toward the degree. After transferring, students are usually required to complete at least the final 30-60 credits at their new institution to earn a degree

4. Quarter Credits Are Not the Same as Semester Credits

Not all college credits are created equal. Colleges on a semester system award semester credits, and those on a quarter system award quarter credits. If you’re considering transferring from a school with a semester system to one with a quarter system (or vice versa), pull out your calculator for a mathematical formula.

Generally, quarter-system colleges convert incoming semester credits to quarter credits by multiplying any transferred credits by 1.5. For example, a student who earned 30 credits at an institution on a semester calendar would earn 45 credits at a school on a quarter calendar. Similarly, students transferring quarter credits to semester credits would need to divide the quarter credits by 1.5. In this case, a student who earned 30 credits at an institution on a quarter calendar would earn 20 at a school on a semester calendar.

5. Credits Earned In the Past May Not Help

Certain college credits may have a shelf-life. Universities may enforce a time limit when it comes to transfer credits, but those stipulations vary for each school. By having long gaps in your educational pursuits, you may run the risk of institutions no longer existing or certain courses becoming obsolete due to changing philosophies and technology. If you’re returning to college after a long hiatus, it may be better for you to start from scratch to ensure that you’re fully prepared for your desired career.

6. Transcripts Are Your Best Resource

Think of your transcript as your ultimate guide to understanding your academic history and how it will apply to your next school. Your transcript will show you every class you’ve enrolled in, followed by the number of credits you’ve earned for each class and overall term, whether quarter or semester. Whenever you meet with an academic counselor or admissions officer, they will request a copy of your most recent college transcript to evaluate how your completed coursework corresponds with their institution’s requirements.

In addition, many universities have monitoring tools that keep track of your progress throughout your coursework and provide insights into what classes you need to fulfill certain degree requirements. If you’re not familiar with these tools, contact your academic advisor to learn what your current university uses so you can stay ahead of the game.

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7. Your GPA Doesn’t Transfer With You

A high GPA can improve your chances for college admissions, but that 4.0 you worked so hard to achieve won’t transfer to your new college. When you are accepted to a new school, your GPA is essentially wiped clean, and your new GPA will be determined by your level of success in your classes at the new institution. But all is not lost. Your academic history is recorded on your official transcript at the school.

NU Makes Transferring Easy

Trying to figure out the rules and guidelines for transferring credits can be as challenging as your first game of chess. The good news is National University follows the same basic guidelines as other major universities throughout the country. Your only job is to fill out an application for admission and make a request for transfer credits from your previous institution.

Afterward, an admissions specialist will review your materials and determine which courses are eligible for transfer. Once you receive your acceptance letter, it will document the number of accepted transfer credits, giving you a good idea of what classes you’ll need to take to advance your education.

National University may be an online university, but its resources and support are anything but remote. Our friendly staff and faculty members are dedicated to making sure that your educational path is one that best honors your past, present, and future. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for transfer, feel free to request an appointment with an academic adviser online or call 855-355-6288, or Start your application here.

Transferring University Credits FAQs

There are several reasons why someone might want to transfer university credits. Maybe you changed your major, have moved to a new city or state, or maybe looking for a more affordable or well-known university.

Not all university credits can be transferred. Every university has different policies and requirements for transferring credits. Because of this, some credits may not meet the academic standards of the new university.

You should contact the admissions office or academic advising office of the university you want to transfer to and ask about their transfer credit policies.

You will usually need to provide transcripts from your previous university, course descriptions, and syllabi for the courses you want to transfer.

The amount of credits that can be transferred varies by university and program. Some universities have a limit on the number of credits that can be transferred, while others may accept all credits.

No, your GPA will not transfer with your credits. However, your grades will be taken into consideration when determining your eligibility for transfer credits

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