Please review the requirements for transferring credits to Penn State from another institution, as well as the other ways that you can earn Penn State credit.
Penn State majors determine which transfer courses satisfy the requirements. Some courses transfer as “general” credit, but they can satisfy the degree requirements. These courses, with the help of your adviser, may have to be petitioned in order to be used towards your major requirements.
Please note: We do not evaluate transcripts before an offer of admission is made.
Credit Eligibility Information for Transfer Applicants
Penn State requires an official transcript to consider credits for transfer. Upon review of a student's materials during the application review, we will evaluate any official college or university transcripts that are included with the application.
Course work successfully completed at any college or university recognized by the six regional accrediting associations will be considered for transfer credit.
College-level course work completed at colleges/universities licensed by state boards of education to award associate degrees or higher, but are not members of one of the six regional accrediting associations, may be eligible for credit by validation.
If accepted, students will receive an evaluation of transferable credits. Domestic students will receive the evaluation of credits in the mail with their offer of admission, while international students will receive the evaluation via email.
Course Requirements for Credit Transfer
In order for a course to be eligible for review for transfer credit at Penn State, the following criteria must be met:
- The grade received in the course must be equivalent to a C (2.0) or higher at Penn State.
- Penn State must have a similar program or offering.
- The course should be useful in the student’s program of study at Penn State.
Transfer Credit Evaluation
Learn how your credits will transfer:
- Transfer applicants receive an evaluation of credits with their mailed offer of admission to Penn State. International transfer applicants will receive the evaluation of credits via email. This evaluation will outline the awarded credit, but the academic unit to which the student has been admitted will determine how credits will be used to fulfill degree requirements in a student's program of study.
- Course work from another institution can transfer into Penn State in a variety of ways. Some courses will require the submission of the course syllabus for academic departmental review to determine the Penn State credit equivalency. For a complete review of how credit can transfer into Penn State, please refer to the Understanding Penn State Transfer Credit Equivalencies section.
- Penn State transfers the credits only. The grade(s) earned from transfer credits will not be used for your GPA at Penn State.
- Penn State credits are expressed in semester hours. When transferring credit from institutions that utilize another form of academic credit (quarter hours/units/trimesters), the credits will be converted into semester hours.
To earn a Penn State degree, students transferring credit to Penn State must be aware of the following:
- For a bachelor's degree, 36 of the last 60 credits must be completed at Penn State.
- For an associate's degree, 18 of the last 30 credits must be completed at Penn State.
To determine how your transfer credits might help you meet the degree requirements for your program, review the recommended academic plan for that program.
Credit from Other Sources (exams)
Penn State awards credit from multiple sources, such as Advanced Placement tests or military experience. Please review the Academic Credit section for more information.
Credit by Validation
College-level course work completed at colleges/universities licensed by state boards of education to award associate degrees or higher, but that are not members of one of the six regional accrediting associations, may be eligible for credit by validation.
The credit by validation process involves the following steps:
- After enrolling at Penn State, the student is responsible for initiating the process by requesting a credit by validation form from Undergraduate Admissions.
- The student must complete the form and submit it with copies of course syllabi, descriptions, or outlines to Undergraduate Admissions.
- Undergraduate Admissions staff will then determine if the course is eligible for credit by validation.
In order to pursue credit by validation, eligible courses must:
- Have an equivalent course offering at Penn State, which includes comparable learning outcomes and standard of instruction.
- Be graded at an equivalent to a C (2.0) or higher.
If the course meets the course requirements and is determined to be eligible by Undergraduate Admissions, then the following occurs:
- Undergraduate Admissions sends the information to the academic college/department it determines should validate the course.
- The department shares its decision with Undergraduate Admissions, who notes it in the student record and communicates the result of the evaluation with the student.