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Topical Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A-2: TRANSFER STUDENT AND TRANSFER COURSE PROCESSES

Penn State admits students who bring academic credit from other institutions. Penn State also accepts academic credit current students may earn at another institution while enrolled at Penn State. The processes for admitting students and accepting credit are guided by the following processes.

Application Requirements:

Applications are available on the web or from an online print form in June for the spring semester and in September for the summer and fall semesters.

An applicant must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and present evidence of having completed the entrance requirements (Carnegie units) for the proposed program of study. Adult learners are allowed to apply and self-certify their graduation by exception without the normal documentation. Self-certification of high school completion is allowed under the regulations that govern Federal student aid eligibility.

An official transcript is required for each college or university attended, and it must be sent directly from the registrar of the originating college or university to the Admissions Office at University Park or to the appropriate campus.

An applicant currently attending a college or university must also submit a schedule of courses for the final term the applicant plans to attend the current institution. An applicant who has attempted less than 18 semester credits (27 quarter credits) is required to submit standardized test scores with the exception of an adult learner as defined by the University. The application is evaluated following the procedures specified in Section A-1. Some programs have deadlines that are published at http://admissions.psu.edu/info/future/transfer/apply.

An applicant to the University Park campus who has attended accredited colleges or universities for consideration of admission must have completed a minimum of 48 semester credits (72 quarter credits), must be in good standing, must be free of probation, and must have a grade-point average of at least  2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). Satisfaction of the minimum academic and semester hour requirements does not guarantee admission.

An applicant who has attended accredited colleges or universities, is in good standing, is free of probation, and has a grade-point average of at least 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) may be considered for admission to a Commonwealth campus.

Eligibility Requirements

An applicant must meet the entrance requirements of the college of enrollment and meet minimum advanced standing requirements of the college of enrollment found at http://admissions.psu.edu/info/future/transfer/requirements

An applicant whose overall grade-point average is less than 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) but has a grade-point average of at least 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) at all institutions attending the four years prior to the requested enrollment semester may apply for admissions as an advanced standing student with forgiveness in accordance with the policies and procedures of Senate Policy 06-57. An applicant who has not attempted any collegiate level course work four years prior to the requested enrollment semester may also apply for advanced standing with forgiveness.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

Undergraduate Admissions evaluates the transcripts to determine if they are eligible for academic credit at Penn State. Courses taken at other accredited institutions more than ten years prior to enrollment at Penn State are not eligible for academic credit. If courses are eligible for academic credit, the Undergraduate Admissions Office will:

  1. Assign credit if the course has previously been approved by faculty in the discipline for general credit, general education, level course equivalent, or a direct transfer; or
  2. Request review from disciplinary faculty. Course equivalence must be determined by faculty in the discipline as specified in Senate Policy 42-82.  An equivalent Penn State course will be awarded when a candidate has satisfactorily completed, at another accredited institution, course work that is substantially equivalent (at least 80% the same) to a specific course at this University, and credit is granted in the University course, except for 400-series courses. For course work that is equivalent to 400-series courses, general credits may be granted. Credit granted for course work that is equivalent to 800-level courses may be applied only toward completion of requirements for a college or major in accordance with the policies established by that college, but not toward General Education.

Students are responsible for providing syllabi for courses completed at prior institutions. The syllabus needs to contain course objectives, assignments, and methods of evaluation. If a syllabus is no longer available, students must work with the academic unit that offers the course equivalent. There are no guarantees that a course will be applied to a Penn State degree.

The Undergraduate Admissions Office is responsible for requesting faculty evaluations and for maintaining a database of evaluated courses in the student information system. Courses that have previously been granted credit can be found in the transfer credit evaluation tool. Courses in the database will be reviewed every five years. If course evaluations are not received from disciplinary faculty, general credit will be initially assigned to the course and will be adjusted when the evaluation is completed. If courses in the database are assigned as general credit but have been substituted more than five times as an equivalent course, the Undergraduate Admissions Office will seek faculty review to verify equivalency.

After a course is determined to be eligible for transfer, Undergraduate Admissions assigns credits as specified in Senate Policies 42-80 and 42-90.

A semester classification is assigned to the candidate in accordance with the policies and procedures given in Senate Policy 37-70. (Ref: Senate Policies 06-30 and 06-70)

Senate Policy:  06-30, Advanced Standing Admission as a Baccalaureate Degree Candidate

Senate Policy:  06-70, Advanced Standing Admission as an Associate Degree Candidate

Approved: ACUI (4-29-76)
Revised: ACUI (4-8-82)
Revised: ACUE (2-7-13)
Revised: ACUE (9-3-15)
Revised: ACUE (6-1-17)