Transfer and Pre-Matriculation Credit
Transfer credit is awarded using the guidelines established by the College faculty and by the individual academic departments. Because transfer credit policies can be complex, students are always advised to seek pre-approval by consulting with their College advisor, an advisor in the College Center for Advising Services, or with an advisor in an academic department.
In general, courses from accredited degree-granting colleges and universities can be transferred to the University of Rochester, subject to the policies outlined below. Coursework from for-profit online learning platforms will not be accepted for transfer credit.
For further information regarding transfer credit, matriculating first-year students should see the College Courses in High School section of this page.
Before taking courses at another school, students should follow the instructions outlined below to ensure that courses will transfer to the College:
- Pick up or view online the school’s course catalog or summer bulletin.
- Download a Course Approval Form.
- Pick out the courses:
- Courses that have similar content to courses offered by the University of Rochester will typically transfer.
- Students cannot earn credit for a similar course they’ve already successfully completed.
- Transfer credit can be awarded for online courses assuming the course content is similar to courses offered at the University of Rochester. Some departments have policies regarding online courses that will apply to majors and minors.
- Courses for a major or minor must be approved by the authorized faculty member in the appropriate department.
- Courses must be taught at an accredited degree-granting institution.
- List the courses on the Course Approval Form with the attached course descriptions, and seek approval as follows:
- Elective courses can usually be approved by any advisor in CCAS or the Hajim School’s Dean’s Office—in the case of an ambiguous description, or when a department has requested it, the advisor may refer the student to a department for approval.
- Normally, only courses taken at the University of Rochester can be used to fulfill cluster requirements. However, courses completed on a study abroad program may, with department approval, be used in a cluster. Students must submit a Cluster Exception form.
- Courses for the major or minor must be approved by the authorized faculty member in the appropriate department.
- Students planning to study abroad should discuss their course plans with an advisor in the Center for Education Abroad and review the Credit Transfer Procedures outlined on their website.
- Courses to be used toward a certificate first require approval as noted above and may require additional approvals based on the certificate:
- Actuarial studies and mathematical modeling: Request the written approval of the chair of their Certificate Committee and return the Course Approval Form to the attention of the Multidisciplinary Studies Center.
- Polish and central European studies: Request the written approval of their PCE advisor and likewise return the form to the Multidisciplinary Studies Center.
- Credit is not given for CLEP exams.
- Submit the approved Course Approval Form to the Office of the University Registrar at email@example.com.
- Upon completion of the course(s), ask the registrar at the other school to send an official transcript to the Office of the University Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Office of the University Registrar
University of Rochester
127 Lattimore Hall
P.O. Box 270038
Rochester, NY 14627
See the intercollegiate registration page for policies and procedures.
Students do not need any approvals for summer courses taken at the University of Rochester. Summer courses taken at other schools follow normal transfer credit rules.
Independent Study/Experiential Learning
A transfer student who has earned credit for an independent study or internship at another college, is eligible to receive transfer credit as long as approval is granted by the relevant academic department.
Transfer credit is not awarded for work or life experience.
Transfer Credit Maximums
A maximum of 64 credit hours is transferable to the University of Rochester degree from two-year schools. Other than the maximum of 64 credits that can be transferred from a two-year school, there is no specified limit to the amount of credit that can be transferred in from a four-year school. The comparable policy applies to credit earned through online coursework. In all cases involving transfer credit, students are subject to the College's enrollment policy.
First-year students who defer their enrollment are permitted to transfer a maximum of eight credits from another college or university.
Each academic department in the College has the authority to determine the maximum number of transfer courses that can be applied toward a major or minor in that department. In all cases, it is assumed that the majority of courses being used for the major or minor will be completed at the University of Rochester.
Federal regulations require that universities monitor the academic progress of students who are eligible for financial aid. Undergraduate students should be aware that they will reach their maximum time frame for degree completion once they have accumulated a total of 192 attempted credits. While it is rare to reach this threshold, students who transfer in a large number of credits and/or overload while they are enrolled at Rochester, should be aware of this policy. Once the maximum time frame is reached, no additional financial aid is available. For more information, students should discuss their situation with their academic advisor and their financial aid counselor.
Approved courses that are completed with a grade of C or better will transfer.
Grades given by other schools do not transfer and will not affect the GPA. Transfer course grades cannot replace grades earned at the University of Rochester.
Credit for “P”, “S”, and “CR” (or other similar options) will be awarded in those cases where there is not another grading option. In the event that there is an actual grade underneath the "P," "S" or "CR" that is below "C," credit would not ordinarily be awarded. However, special rules will apply for P, S and CR grades earned during the Spring 2020 semester and credit will be awarded in all of these cases.
Credit Hours Transferred
A Transfer Credit Evaluation will be emailed to the student. The number of transfer credit hours to be granted is determined by comparison of total hours required for graduation.
For example, a student who had earned 15 credits at a school requiring 120 credits for the degree would be awarded 16 credits here, based on our degree requirement of 128 hours.
Courses taken while a student was in high school which were sponsored by a college but were taught in the high school are not approved for transfer credit. However, students enrolled in college coursework on a college campus are eligible to receive transfer credit assuming the courses are taught by that college’s faculty and completed with a grade of C or better and are approved.
Students should also note this new policy change for fall 2024. Beginning with first-year and transfer students entering in fall 2024, students will be limited to a maximum of 16 credits total through examination scores (AP, IB, A-Level, CAPE) and college coursework on a college campus while in high school. College credits beyond may still be used for placement purposes, general degree requirements (except as described below) and major/minor requirements as allowed by individual departments. See the credit and placement by examination page for more information.
Students who believe their situations warrant an exception should always speak with a CCAS advisor. A special petition form is available for coursework taught in high school. It requires a comprehensive letter of support from the appropriate faculty member. The final decision then is made by the dean of the College.
Students who have taken credit-bearing courses at the University of Rochester while in high school, through the Taste of College program or otherwise, should be aware of the following:
- Grades for these courses will be factored into the cumulative grade point average and credit will count toward undergraduate degree requirements.
- Students have the option of requesting that these courses be treated as if they were transfer courses, in which case the grade will be removed from the average and credit will be counted toward degree requirements as long as the grade was a “C” or better. Petitions should be submitted to CCAS.
Transcripts and score reports from other institutions that are kept in the student’s academic file are the property of the University of Rochester and, as such, are covered under federal policy. A student has the right to view the documents in his or her file. However, per College policy, the College is not required to provide (or allow the making of) copies of these documents.
Transcripts submitted to the University of Rochester for admission or credit transfer become the property of the University of Rochester and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to other institutions.
Master’s Degrees at Rochester (Transfer Credit Policy)
See the master's degree at Rochester page for information on applying credits to a master’s degree.
Eastman School of Music Transfer Students
Students who transfer to the College from the Eastman School of Music will retain grades and credit for all coursework completed while pursuing a degree at the Eastman School of Music. Coursework completed at the Eastman School of Music can be used toward fulfillment of majors and minors as well as the Rochester Curriculum requirements, and the College's enrollment policy.