Skip to content Skip to navigation

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit Policy Overview

You can request transfer credit for university-level course work completed outside Stanford. Once approved, transfer credit can count towards overall University graduation requirements and, if approved by your major department, towards major and minor requirements.

The requirements are very specific, so it is important to be aware of all these policies

  • All work must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or at an officially recognized international institution.

  • Courses must be college-level and count towards a college-level degree. Courses counted towards your high school graduation requirements do not qualify. Life and work experience is not accepted for transfer credit.

  • For Academic Year 2020-21: credit earned in U.S. military training and service may be eligible for transfer to Stanford if the work was completed at an accredited U.S. college or University or if the work appears on an official Joint Services Transcript (JST) and meets all other conditions for transfer credit. Joint Services Transcripts can be requested via the JST website at Students may request evaluation of this work by completing the steps listed here.

  • Provide an official college transcript in English which shows the following for each course:

    • Course codes/numbers

    • Course titles or descriptions

    • Final grades earned

    • Course credits earned

  • The course must have substantial content overlap with Stanford course work. A maximum of 20 quarter units may represent courses which do not parallel specific undergraduate courses at Stanford.

  • The course cannot duplicate, overlap, or regress previous work.

  • You must receive at least a ‘C-’ grade. ‘Pass’ grades are only accepted when that grade is equivalent to a letter grade of 'C-' or above as confirmed by the transcript key, institution web site, or a letter from school official. Your final grades will not be posted to your transcript or count towards your Stanford GPA. Please note: for Academic Year 2020-21, institutions that are only offering credit/no credit graded courses may still be eligible for transfer credit.

  • Your approved transfer credit is a maximum of 45 quarter units (or 90 units for transfer students) and that total includes advanced placement test credit.

See the Stanford Bulletin for the full transfer credit policy.

Requesting Credit

General credit (units)

The Registrar’s Office will evaluate external credit (test and transfer credit) for students who have accepted an offer of admission at Stanford. Prospective applicant transcripts will not be evaluated by the Registrar’s Office.

You can request transfer credit only after you have been unconditionally admitted to Stanford. "Unconditionally" means that there are no further grades to be received or diplomas to be conferred such as your high school diploma.

Make a request for transfer credit by submitting a Request for Transfer Credit Evaluation form in Axess.

If transfer credit is approved, approved credit is converted into quarter units, rounded down to the nearest whole unit, and post it to your student record. Transfer credit appears on your transcript only with the name of the institution and the total number of units awarded; no external course codes or grades appear, nor are they counted towards your Stanford GPA. 

Program Major/Minor, Language, and/or Writing Requirements

If transfer credit is approved through the Office of the University Registrar, then you may request a review of your transfer work to see if it may be used to satisfy a department major or minor requirement, the writing requirement, or the language requirement. If either a student needs to request a transcript be sent to their department or a department needs to request a student’s transcript be sent to them please submit a Support Request to have the transcript forwarded by the Registrar’s Office. We encourage you to discuss transfer credit with your department adviser to learn more about department transfer credit policies.

For Academic Year 2020-21:  Students may reach out to their departments for approval first, or request a review of their transfer coursework after it has been officially accepted by the Office of the University Registrar (i.e. there is not a specific sequence that transfer work must be evaluation in, but the transfer coursework is subject to review/approval by both a department and the Registrar’s Office). Students should note that transfer work approved by the Registrar’s Office can still be denied by a department if it does not meet their department transfer credit criteria. Additionally, transfer work approved by a department may still be denied by the Registrar’s Office if it does not meet the conditions outlined in the Transfer Work policy in the Bulletin.

Ways of Thinking/Doing (Ways) General Education Requirements

If you want to fulfill Ways requirements through transfer work, you must request pre-approval by the quarterly deadline in the quarter prior to the term in which students intend to enroll in the transfer course, as defined on the Ways website. The possible transfer courses are reviewed to determine if they can be certified to fulfill Ways requirements. Courses must be taken for a minimum of 3 quarter units (2 units in the case of Creative Expression only) and must be taken for a letter grade. For additional information regarding the policy and process for requesting Ways credit via transfer credit, see the Ways website.

Transfer Students

For transfer students admitted in 2015-16 and later, all of your defined Ways breadth requirement must be fulfilled at Stanford. Based on the number of qualified transfer units awarded at matriculation, students must complete a number of Ways courses to fulfill the Ways requirement as outlined in the Transfer Credit for Ways section of the Stanford Bulletin. 

GER System

If you are subject to the GER system in place prior to Autumn 2013-14 and you want to fulfill general education requirements through transfer work, the proposed transfer course must match a specific Stanford course that fulfills the same GER requirement; it must be a minimum of 3 quarter units and have been taken for a letter grade.

Help with Transfer Credit

Search our transfer database to determine if your courses are eligible to transfer to Stanford. Then fill in the Transfer Credit form to request credit review.

Search Transfer Courses Transfer Credit Request Form

For additional help, schedule an adviser appointment or submit a help ticket

Schedule Adviser Appointment Submit a Help Ticket

For more information, see our FAQs and the Stanford Bulletin

Transfer Credit FAQs Stanford Bulletin