Policy on Acceptance of Transfer Credit for Undergraduate Admission Purpose

Policy Number: USC OT-337

Effective Date: Fall 2017

Policy Title: Policy on Acceptance of Transfer Credit for Undergraduate Admission Purpose (view the full SCEP proposal)

Contact: Office of Programs and Academic Assessment

Policy Statement: “Transfer work” and “transfer courses” are used interchangeably in this policy. Regardless of the term, this policy applies to transfer work not in the form of courses, such as credit for military service and credit earned through testing and experiential learning. Transfer work not in the form of courses is evaluated for transfer per the terms of this policy.

  1. Transfer work is evaluated for admission purposes and considered for credit. The University evaluates transfer work completed at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), including institutions under candidacy status. Foreign institutions must be recognized by the ministry of education in the home country or an equivalent government authority.
  2. To be eligible for admission and credit, transfer work must be similar in nature, level, and content to courses in the undergraduate curriculum and/or applicable to an undergraduate academic program. Other transfer work that is deemed nontransferable (such as continuing education courses, graduate-level courses, and courses that are remedial, technical, vocational, or doctrinal in nature as determined by the campus) are not used in admission decisions regardless of the institution’s accreditation.
  3. Credit for transfer courses is either applied as direct equivalents with University courses or applied to a degree in a manner determined by the department and college. Determining how transfer credit is applied varies by campus depending on the process established to implement University policy.
  4. The precise amount of transfer credit awarded and that is applicable toward a particular degree is determined by or in consultation with the UIC college and department concerned.

Reason for Policy: The University of Illinois System's Vice President for Academic Affairs, together with the directors of admission at the three campuses of the University of Illinois, revised the original transfer credit policy, which was enacted in 1977 and modified most recently by the Board of Trustees on November 17, 1983.

Several of the accrediting bodies referenced in the policy have changed names and evolved several times since the policy was approved, making it difficult for staff to determine how best to implement the policy as it stands. More importantly, the landscape of higher education has changed dramatically during this time. Many previously unaccredited institutions have achieved regional or other accreditation status; online education/institutions have risen in prominence and importance; and many more accrediting bodies exist than was previously the case. These changes have made some of the provisions in the existing policy difficult to interpret.

Though the spirit of the policy remains unchanged—admit qualified transfer students from institutions that provide robust preparation—the language is updated for currency and clarity. The policy revisions conform to the accepted practices endorsed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The updated policy is designed to provide the faculty and staff involved in the articulation of transfer course work with clear guidance on how to evaluate the accreditation status of the sending institution, to clarify additional criteria for determining the transferability of course work, and to describe how transfer credit may be awarded.

Who Should Read the Policy:  Faculty, staff and students at UIC.

Policy History: 

  • This policy updates the version approved by the Board of Trustees in November 1983.
  • Policy approved by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) on November 10, 2016.
  • Policy approved by the UIC Faculty Senate on November 30, 2016.