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How to Transfer Credits from One College to Another


Every year, between 15-40% of newly enrolled undergraduate students are transfers. Maybe you’re considering moving to a better school or one with the capacity to serve your needs. Or perhaps you’re returning to school after a long hiatus. No matter your plans for the future, getting transfer credits for the work you’ve already done can help you graduate faster. 

So how hard is it to transfer to a different college? That depends on your unique situation. But when you move from one accredited school to another, all or most of your transfer credits will go with you. 

Learn how to transfer credits from one college to another. 

Plan Ahead and Choose the Right School 

Maximizing your transfer credits begins before you even apply to a new school. That’s because the school you choose can make a huge difference in what you can transfer. If the schools are both accredited (and with similar accreditations), then you’ll be much more likely to get full credit for the work you’ve already done. 

When weighing your transfer options, ask the following questions: 

  • Which schools share a similar accreditation to my prior school? 
  • Does the school I am considering help students maximize transfer credits? 
  • If I am currently in school, are there classes I can take that are more or less likely to transfer? 
  • What are other students’ experiences with transferring? 
  • Is there someone I can talk to about options for maximizing transfer credits? 

Learn About the Transfer Process

At SNU, it’s not enough for a class to transfer with you. The class also has to give you viable credit toward graduation. For example, if you’re pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), the philosophy classes you took at another school might give you credit hours, but they are not likely to count toward the core requirements for your degree program. So focus on getting credit for required classes. 

In general, the process looks like this: 

  1. Apply and get accepted into a school. 
  2. Submit a transcript and ask for transfer credit. 
  3. Get final notification of which classes will fully transfer. 

Meet with an Enrollment Counselor 

The next step toward getting transfer credit is to talk to an enrollment or transfer counselor at the prospective school you are considering. Every school is unique and has its own process. Understanding this process can maximize your transfer credits and help you estimate how likely you are to get credit for each class. 

Some questions to ask when talking to an enrollment counselor include: 

  • Is there a limit on how many credits I can transfer? 
  • What are the standards for which credits can transfer? 
  • Am I likely to get transfer credit based on the school I previously attended? 
  • How long does it take for the school to review my transcript and offer me credit?
  • Can I earn credits for prior learning?

Get Your Transcripts 

You’ll need an official copy of your college transcript to get transfer credit. In most cases, you will have already submitted this as part of the application process. At SNU, we review each student’s transcripts to assess which classes are eligible for transfer credit. 

Students can use our transcript request form if they have any trouble getting copies from a prior institution. 

Explore Other Options for Getting College Credit 

The purpose of transfer credits is to ensure you get credit for what you already know so you can save money and graduate faster. However, transferring credits isn’t the only path to this end goal. Many schools, including SNU, offer other options for getting college credit. 

If you took AP classes in high school and scored high enough on your AP exams, you can get credit for a wide range of introductory-level classes. Be sure to ask your school about this process. You’ll likely need to contact the College Board about getting your AP test scores. There may be additional requirements, depending on how long ago you took the exam. 

Of course, academic learning isn’t the only way to gain mastery of a subject. Life experience counts! A key goal of education is to prepare you for the challenges life will throw your way. At SNU, students can get up to a year of course credit for prior learning. Our prior learning exam affords you the chance to demonstrate your knowledge and get credit for it. Furthermore, our advanced enhanced standing option allows students to earn up to nine credits from professional licenses and certificates, organizational training, or continuing education and professional development.

At SNU, we understand that your time is valuable. Less time spent in school means fewer expenses and more time to pursue your dreams. We work with you to help you learn as much as possible, then quickly move on to whatever comes next. Learn more in our free guide, “What to Expect as an SNU Professional and Graduate Studies Student.”

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