Transferring your transcript

How your transfer college will evaluate your previous college credits

Transferring your transcript

Have you ever wondered what happens to your transcript once it arrives at your transfer college? What mysterious process turns your credits from your two-year school into credits accepted at your transfer college?

Believe it or not, there’s no magic involved. As a registrar, here are considerations that I (and many of my colleagues) take when evaluating transcripts.


Official transcripts

Any official evaluation of credits can only be done with an official transcript issued directly from University A to University B. Consult with your admissions contact on where you should have the transcript sent.


Articulation agreements

Many four-year colleges and universities have formal agreements with community colleges known as articulation agreements. Many times, completion of a two-year degree means favored status at your transfer institution.


Your community college grades do matter

However, depending on the transfer policy of the school you’re planning to attend, the grades of the classes you transfer in may or may not count toward your new college GPA. As a general rule, failing grades won’t transfer from school to school. And depending on the institution, grades of “D” may or may not transfer. 


Course hour conversion

If there is one area that causes angst to transfer students, it is the conversion of hours between colleges on different academic calendars. Typically, the basic conversion is:
• Quarter hours x .667 = semester hours
• Semester hours x 1.5 = quarter hours
The other common designation of credits is known as a “unit.” A unit varies from university to university, so make sure you ask your admissions representative.


Developmental coursework

Many times these courses are designated by a number below the 100 level. For example, a pre-college biology class might be named Biology 96. It’s important to know that taking these courses is not a sign of academic inability. In fact, many times they’re a fantastic way to connect with the higher education environment if you have reservations about going to college. Again developmental course credits policies vary from college to college.


General education classes

“Gen eds” are courses such as English, general psychology and Western civilization, just to name a few. Many times your transfer school will determine which gen eds will count, then they send the remaining coursework to the specific academic department for evaluation.


Major courses

Major courses are specific to your major. Many times, the department chair will determine which courses will count toward your transferable credits.

Remember, these are general procedures for transferring courses. Every college and university has different procedures for transfer students. They biggest key to success is to communicate at every step of the process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and research the answers!

Eric E. Davis is registrar of Bluffton University ( in Bluffton, Ohio. E-mail him at


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