Transfer Credit for Students Who Transfer to the College from Another Institution
After admitted transfer students have committed to attending the University of Chicago, College Admissions provides information about how to submit the materials necessary for an evaluation of their previous college course work. Students must also have their previous institution send a final, official transcript to College Admissions. These materials should be submitted no later than June 15. Transfer evaluations cannot be completed before a student has accepted an offer of admission. Note that transfer credit does not count toward the University of Chicago GPA, nor do the grades appear on the University of Chicago transcript. Students may not receive more than 1200 units of transfer credit for one academic year of work, nor may they receive more than 400 units of credit for one summer of study.
Transfer credit must be evaluated and approved by the Office of the Dean of Students in the College. If approved, transfer credit is listed on the student’s University of Chicago transcript only as the number of credits approved to transfer. Students participating in University of Chicago–sponsored direct enrollment programs will have their credits vetted by the Study Abroad office instead of the College Dean of Students office.
Residency Requirements and Enrollment Limits for Transfer Students
A transfer student must be in residence as a degree-seeking student in the College for at least six quarters (excluding summer quarters and University of Chicago–sponsored summer abroad programs) and successfully complete a minimum of 18 courses (1800 units) while in residence. More than half of the requirements for a major and/or minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers. Course credit approved to transfer will count toward the 3800-unit credit minimum students are required to earn via course enrollment.
The Dean of Students in the College expects all students to complete their degrees in a timely fashion, ordinarily within 12 quarters. This expectation will be tailored for transfer students who enter the College with a substantial number of credits. Based on the transfer evaluation, transfer students will be assigned a time frame in which they are expected to complete their requirements—typically six or nine quarters. Transfer students may petition the Dean of Students in the College for one additional quarter of study if academically necessary for the undergraduate degree. Transfer students may not register beyond their allotted quarters without the permission of the Dean of Students in the College.
After acceptance to the College, transfer students may not earn additional credits from schools other than the University of Chicago. Faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by the College may be used to meet both the residency and course requirements. Transfer students will be allowed to participate in direct enrollment study abroad programs affiliated with the College, but these courses cannot be used to satisfy the residency requirement.
On this page, you will find guidelines for what credit may and may not be accepted by the College, as well as additional restrictions on course work in certain fields.
Minimum Requirements for Transfer Eligibility
Courses taken at U.S. or non-U.S. institutions that are similar to courses offered at the University of Chicago are eligible for transfer credit and will follow the eligibility guidelines for such courses listed below.
- Be taken at an accredited institution that grants bachelor’s degrees, subject to review by the Office of the Dean of Students in the College.
- Confer at least three semester hours or four quarter hours of credit. For institutions without standard credit hours, contact hours (normally a minimum of 30) may be used.
- Be completed with a grade of C or above (not C- or P). Students in science majors must earn at least a B in science courses.
- Not duplicate credit that students will earn or have already earned for college-level course work. (For instance, a student could not take PLSC 28701 Introduction to Political Theory and also transfer credit for an Introduction to Political Theory course taken elsewhere.)
- Be in liberal arts subjects similar to those offered in the College at the University of Chicago.
Science course work must follow these additional guidelines:
- Students in any science major must earn at least a B in science courses.
- Courses must have a lab to be considered for the physical sciences general education requirement. At least one course in the biological sciences general education requirement must have a lab component.
- Chemistry course work must be taken at an institution accredited by the American Chemical Society.
- Chemistry majors may only transfer credit for general chemistry. Incoming transfer students may seek to earn credit for organic chemistry via an accreditation exam offered in Autumn Quarter.
- Physics courses must be calculus-based and include a lab component to be considered as a substitute for General Physics (e.g., PHYS 12100-12200-12300 General Physics I-II-III, PHYS 13100-13200-13300 Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism; Waves, Optics, and Heat).
Courses petitioned to count for general education credit in the civilization studies requirement must follow these additional guidelines:
- For the civilization studies requirement, area studies courses in history with an emphasis on primary sources will be favored over courses that focus on political science, anthropology, sociology, etc.
Language course work must follow these additional guidelines:
- Only courses taken in Autumn Quarter 2017 or later are eligible. Courses completed earlier (including Summer Quarter 2017) do not qualify.
- Completion of an approved intermediate- or advanced-level course with a B or above satisfies the language competency requirement.
- Satisfactory completion (grade of C or above) of approved courses equivalent to one year of introductory language study qualifies the student for the on-campus language competency examination offered in Winter Quarter.
- Students planning or considering additional language study on campus should take the language placement test to confirm placement.
- Students may not duplicate credit, so completing the equivalent of, e.g., SPAN 10300 Beginning Elementary Spanish III at another institution and taking SPAN 10300 Beginning Elementary Spanish III at the University of Chicago (or vice versa) results in forfeiture of the transfer credit.
- Courses are subject to all other restrictions and guidelines on this page.
Courses in the following categories are NOT eligible for transfer credit:
- Courses taken during high school, or that were used toward an awarded associate’s degree, are not eligible for transfer credit. Courses taken after acceptance to the College are not eligible.
- Credit for calculus and pre-calculus is not accepted. Credit for calculus will be granted only by College accreditation or AP exam, or on the basis of completion of a higher-level course.
- Any kind of online/distance, tutorial, or independent study course work, including internship credit or prior learning experiences (including work experience, trainings, certifications, etc.).
- Professional or technical courses. This includes such areas as: law, civil/mechanical engineering, speech, education, leadership, and first-year writing. A course in media production will transfer if there is an equivalent course in the College, as verified by the relevant department.
- Undergraduate business courses will be reviewed for transfer credit by the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
- Foreign language courses taken before Autumn Quarter 2017. Advanced literature or topics courses taught in a foreign language may qualify. Placement level is determined by exam.
- Completion of an approved beginning-level language sequence at a different institution does not satisfy the language competency requirement; ordinarily, it will qualify the student to take an on-campus competency exam.
- Depending on the student’s major and on the level of work to be evaluated, credit for some courses in some sciences may also be subject to examination.