Everything You Need to Know About Your College Transfer Credits

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college transfer credits

The term credit transfer means transferring the credit the student has acquired from one institution to another. A credit transfer can be a course transfer or a program transfer. Transfer credits help a student to switch between schools, maintain academic status, and to complete the degree without doing the course again. A college/university reviews transcripts to determine the credits that are transferable. Keep reading to know more about college transfer credits, how credit transfer works, and how to transfer credits.


Types of College Transfer Credits

There are mainly two types of college transfer credits. Course transfers and program transfers. The transfer credits become useful for a student when he/she wants to transfer to another institution. However, the course transfer credits and program transfer credits are different.

  • Course Transfer: Course transfers are undertaken by students who want to transfer from one educational institution to another.
  • Program Transfer: Program transfer involves transferring a list of courses from one program to another. For example, after completing a diploma program in Accounting the student wants to take an advanced diploma/degree in Accounting.

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How College Credit Transfer Works?

The value of college transfer credits is based on how similar the courses are to the new university. It also depends on how the courses the student has undertaken fit in with the requirements of the new university. Moreover, there are several factors new institutions consider when granting a credit transfer.  For example,  minimum GPA requirements, and duration after completion of the course/program. Aside from this, certain universities have residency policies that require the student to complete a percentage of a program at their institution to receive the credential.

Next Steps for College Credit Transfer

After deciding the college credit transfer pathway to be followed the next step is to find a policy advisor/transfer advisor. A policy advisor can guide a student regarding the question he/she has, and the next steps to be taken.

Lastly, after acceptance, a credit evaluation would be done. The duration taken for credit evaluation can vary between educational institutions. However, it usually includes submitting credit transfer applications, providing official transcripts from previous institutions, and creating a detailed outline of the courses. Moreover, some institutions can charge fees for the same. After credit evaluation, students will be contacted by the university.

Course Eligibility for Receiving Transfer Credits

College transfer credits are reviewed and awarded by the college office of the university. The university’s policies are taken into consideration for the same. Generally, a course receives transfer credit if it meets the basic requirements. These are as follows:

  • The course is completed at an accredited institution 
  • The course is similar to the courses offered at the new university
  • The student has finished the course with a grade of C- or better. (the grade requirement might vary depending on the university)
  • Moreover, the course does not overlap, duplicate, or regress previous coursework

Transferring Credits to an Online Program

College credit transfer can be done to an online program. The colleges online recognize the importance of an online course for a student. The colleges recognize that it is beneficial for non-traditional busy students who want to complete their education and earn a degree. As long as the degree is earned at an accredited institution students can transfer credits to an online program.

How Do You Transfer College Credits?

College credit transfers are done when a student wants to transfer to a new institution. Students can make college credit transfers by taking the steps listed below:

  • First, research the universities and colleges that meet the student’s personal and professional goals.
  • Next, check the transfer policies of the institution to determine how the evaluation of the coursework is done. That is the general evaluation and evaluation of the particular program.
  • The student can request an official transcript from the previous college. The academic record will help the receiving institution determine the number of credits to be counted for the degree.
  • Next, consult the admission counselor for clarity regarding the admission process 
  • Finally, request a transfer of college credits. Each university has a different rule and the student must know about it. Usually, the credit transfer process includes the submission of an application form, an official transcript, and information regarding previous coursework.

Do Transfer Credits Expire?

Generally, university credits do not expire. In fact, they are valid for years and decades. However, there are some exceptions. These are listed below:

  • Fields that undergo rapid change. For example,  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) credits. They come with a 10-year validity period.
  • Graduate courses have a 7-year validity period. It is to prevent older courses from being outdated by new methodologies.
  • General education/core credits tend not to expire. However, every institution has distinct transfer credit policies.

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How Many Credits Can I Transfer?

There is no set standard regarding how many credits a student can transfer. Generally, a student transfers a maximum of 45 credits for associate degrees/90 credits for a bachelor’s degree. However, each institution evaluates college credit transfers differently. Changes usually come up when a student transfers from a private institution to a public institution or vice versa.

How Many Credits Do You Need to Complete a Degree?

To complete a college degree a student must complete a set amount of credits. These are listed below. Do note that the number of credits required may vary depending on the program, course, and university.

Associate degree60 credits
Bachelor’s degree 120 credits
Master’s degree36-60 credits.

Will Transfer Credits Impact my GPA?

Transfer credits do not impact the GPA of the student at a new institution. The previous grades matter for admission decisions. However, they are not a deciding factor for grades in the new school. The GPA secured by the student will be on a clean slate.

Also Read: UK Admission Process for Indian Students


Is Credit Transfer degree valid?

UGC-approved courses are valid for employment abroad and in India. If a student has not completed a course, they are eligible to transfer the degree. Thus, the credit transfer is applicable.

What is the disadvantage of credit transfer?

Credit transfers can result in a possible drop in credit scores. Moreover, it can increase the time it takes to graduate. Thus, resulting in increased overall cost, and longer time commitment. Hence, it is important to know that the college that the student is transferring to accepts the current status and credits.

How many credits can you transfer to Harvard?

Students can transfer a total of 16 semester-long courses to Harvard University.  That is, a college transfer credit of two years of academic work is acceptable. Information regarding the same is available on the Registrar’s Office website.

College credit transfers are done when a student transfers from one school to another. A credit transfer can be of a course or a program. To apply for a transfer credit students must visit the university website, know the policies the university has for college transfer, and apply for the same by providing the essential documents. The university will contact the student after evaluation. To learn more about college credit transfer consult the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu.

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