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Transfer Credit Policies

Transfer Credit Policies

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Overview •  Deadline •  Criteria for Assessment • International/Abroad Institutions • Non-Stanford Study Abroad Transfer Credit Policies • Ways Transfer Credit Policies 


Undergraduates who have completed (or plan to complete) course work at a non-Stanford, regionally accredited college or university may request an evaluation for transfer credit. External coursework may be considered for transfer credit if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The course work is completed at a regionally accredited institution.

  • The course work is substantially similar to Stanford courses.

  • The final grade posted for each potential transfer course is a 'C-' grade (or better).

  • The course work does not duplicate, overlap, or regress previous work.

  • The university or college offering the courses allows these courses to be used for credit towards its own undergraduate degree.

  • The course work did not count towards secondary school diploma and/or graduation requirements.

  • No more than 45 (90 for transfer students) quarter units of credit for work done elsewhere may be counted toward a bachelor's degree at Stanford.

Transfer work can be used to satisfy a department major or minor requirement. The transfer work must first be officially accepted into the University through the Office of the University Registrar. After the transfer credit has been approved and posted by the Office of the University Registrar, the departments determine if the approved transfer work can be used to satisfy a department major or minor requirement. Students should contact their departments directly for additional details regarding departmental transfer credit policies.

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All requests for transfer credit and official transcripts should be submitted no later than the last day of classes of the quarter a student is conferring their undergraduate degree.

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Criteria for Assessment

The following criteria are used for awarding transfer credit:

  • Courses must have been taken at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or at an officially recognized institution in a foreign country. See the International/Abroad Institutions section below regarding for additional information.

  • Courses must be substantially equivalent to Stanford courses.

  • Courses cannot duplicate, overlap, or regress previous work.

  • Courses cannot have been used to satisfy secondary/high school diploma and/or graduation requirements.

  • Courses must have been completed with a grade of 'C-' (or better). P/Pass grades are accepted only if it can be confirmed via the official transcript key or institution's website that the minimum required grade to earn a 'P' (Pass) grade is a 'C-'.

  • In order for approved transfer credit to be awarded, students must submit an official transcript that clearly indicates all of the following information for each course:

    • Course codes or numbers

    • Course titles or descriptions

    • Final grades earned

    • Course credits earned

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International/Abroad Institutions

Students requesting transfer credit pre-approval or evaluation of course work completed at an international institution prior to enrolling at Stanford, all of below information must be submitted along with the transfer credit evaluation request in order for an assessment to be completed. Please note that all documentation must be in the English language (or all documentation must have a certified English translation).

Students must provide official documentation that clearly states:

  • The Institution's accreditation (must be officially recognized)

  • The Institution's grading scale or system. Note: if a course has a 'P' or 'Pass' grade listed, then the grading scale must explicitly state what the minimum grade is to earn a passing grade. Pass grades are accepted only for courses for which letter grades were not an option and for which the standard of passing is 'B' quality work.

  • The Institution's credit system (quarter, ECTS, semester)

  • The minimum number of credits required to complete the undergraduate Bachelor's program at the Institution (this must be from an official source, such as a course catalog)

  • The level of coursework (transfer credit can only be awarded for college-level work)

Students are encouraged to purchase a third-party, course-by-course international transcript translation and evaluation service, as most of these services include all of the abovementioned information. Some examples of these services are:

See the Stanford Bulletin for the complete policy.

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Non-Stanford Study Abroad Transfer Credit Policies

Students requesting transfer credit pre-approval or evaluation of course work completed at an international institution after enrolling at Stanford should refer to the Bing Overseas Study Program Transfer Credit Request Page.

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Ways Transfer Credit Policies

Pre-approval is required for requests to fulfill a Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing (Ways) requirement with a transfer course, and must be submitted by the specified quarterly deadline.

Courses that have not been pre-approved prior to enrollment at the non-Stanford institution, and online courses, do not fulfill the Ways requirement. See the Ways of Thinking/Ways of Doing web site for additional information regarding Ways Transfer Credit policies. Also see the Registrar's Transfer Credit Procedures page for more information on Ways transfer requests.

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