Transfer of College-Level Credit

The Office of Admissions performs an initial evaluation of transfer credit after applicants have been admitted. A complete evaluation of transfer credit cannot be made until all official credentials have been received.

The evaluation is made using the official transcripts sent directly to the university from each one of the applicant’s previous colleges. Official transcripts exhibit the official seal and signature of the registrar. Transcripts that are marked “student copy,” “issued to student,” or “unofficial” are not accepted as official. Faxed transcripts are not accepted.

Course work of comparable content and scope to the CU-Boulder curriculum will generally be transferred if it was completed at colleges or universities accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, or other regional associations at the time the work was completed. For international colleges or universities, the international equivalent of regional accreditation or Ministry of Education recognition will be considered. If course work was completed at a school not regionally accredited, the student may specifically request that their course work be considered for transfer. CU-Bouder will utilize the recommendations of American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) when making its decision.  

These recommendations include but are not limited to:

  • Educational quality of the sending institution
  • Comparability of credit to be transferred to CU-Boulder
  • Applicability of the credit in relation to the programs being offered at CU-Boulder 
  • Additional documentation that students may be required to provide regarding the course work for transferability

Exceptions to Recognition of Regional Accreditation

Transferability is based on the practices of the leading university, as reported to AACRAO, in the state where the institution is located. CU-Boulder will make the decision on transferability based on the above criteria for institutions within the state of Colorado. 

For Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College Level Examination Program, or military credit, refer to the detailed criteria in the corresponding sections.

Evaluation of Credit

Only courses taken at a college or university of recognized standing with grades of C- (1.70) or better are accepted for transfer. All transferred courses are recorded on the student’s academic record. 

Each college and school at CU-Boulder determines:

  • How transferred course semester credit hours are applied toward graduation requirements in accordance with the policies of the college or school
  • The maximum number of semester credit hours that may transfer from a two-year or four-year postsecondary institution 
  • The minimum number of semester credit hours that must be completed on the Boulder campus in order to receive a degree
  • The minimum number of semester credit hours that must be completed as a degree student in residence on the Boulder campus to receive an undergraduate degree
  • The maximum number of semester credit hours earned through correspondence or in a similar format that are accepted toward a baccalaureate degree

Credit hours should have been earned no more than 10 years prior to transferring into an undergraduate degree program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Any determination of acceptance of semester credit hours toward the degree based on the content and the age of the credit is made in the college or school dean’s office or by the student’s major department.

College-level work taken during high school is evaluated in accordance with general guidelines for transfer credit at CU-Boulder. Official college transcripts of work taken must be received in order for transfer credit to be awarded.

Course Work Requiring Additional Review

The following course work will require additional information before a decision can be made on acceptance for transfer credit. 

  • Independent study courses
  • Internships
  • Workshops 
  • Graduate course work
  • Military credit
  • Professional programs

Course Work Not Accepted for Transfer Credit

The following course work will not be accepted for transfer credit and will not count toward a degree at Boulder: 

  • any courses in which the grade earned is below a C- (1.70) 
  • courses identified by CU-Boulder as remedial, such as remedial English, mathematics, science, and developmental reading 
  • vocational-technical courses that are offered at two-year and proprietary institutions (exceptions may be granted only by the CU-Boulder dean responsible for the student’s curriculum—when exceptions appear to be warranted, appropriate department heads make recommendations to their respective deans regarding credit for such courses) 
  • courses in religion that constitute specialized religious training or that are doctrinal in nature 
  • credits earned for work experience or through a cooperative education program 
  • outdoor leadership education course work 
  • credits earned in physical education activity courses 
  • courses or programs identified as college orientation 

Appeals Process

Students who wish to appeal the transferability of course work must write a letter within the first semester after the work is posted on the University of Colorado Boulder record or after receiving notice from the Office of Admissions that the course work was not accepted for transfer credit. The letter must be addressed to the Transfer Credit Department, Office of Admissions and include:

  • The name(s) of the previous institution(s) attended, the course number and title of each course for which the student was denied transfer credit, and the date(s) of enrollment in each course 
  • A copy of the catalog description (from the appropriate year) for each course in question 
  • A copy of the syllabus or course outline (from the appropriate year) for each course in question. This information can be obtained from the sending institution 
  • A statement indicating why the credit(s) should be accepted 

The Admissions Office will re-evaluate the course(s) for which the student is requesting reconsideration in consultation with the appropriate dean or chair. A written response will be delivered to the student in a timely manner once the appropriate faculties have reviewed the course materials, past practices, and the student’s specific circumstances.

University of Colorado Campuses 

Course work completed at other campuses in the University of Colorado system will be a part of the student’s cumulative university record and will not be considered as transfer credit. However, the applicability of this course work towards specific CU-Boulder degree requirements will be determined solely by CU-Boulder colleges and schools. External transfer credit presented by students to other University of Colorado campuses will be evaluated by CU-Boulder guidelines upon the student’s matriculation into a degree program at CU-Boulder. 

Number of Credit Hours Required for Graduation

Transfer students are held to the same residency and degree requirements as students who begin their undergraduate degree program on the Boulder campus. This assumes that transfer credit hours are in courses comparable in level and content to those required for graduation from an undergraduate degree program at the Boulder campus. College or school residency requirements, meaning the number of hours required to be taken  as a degree student once admitted on the Boulder campus, are the same for transferring and nontransferring students.

Credit for Correspondence and Online Work

Each college and school determines the maximum number of credits taken through correspondence and online programs that are accepted toward a baccalaureate degree. 

College-Level Work Taken during High School 

College-level work taken during high school is evaluated in accordance with general guidelines for transfer credit at CU-Boulder. College-level work taken concurrently with a high school program may be used to satisfy MAPS requirements. Official college transcripts of work taken must be received for transfer credit to be awarded.

Advanced Placement Examinations

Credit for College Board Advanced Placement examinations cannot be evaluated from college or high school transcripts; score reports from the College Board must be submitted directly to the university for evaluation. For more information, and a guide to equivalencies, refer to Freshman Applicants and the chart in this section or download the PDF at

College-Level Examination Program

Credit for College Board subject examinations of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) in general biology, general chemistry, general psychology, introductory macroeconomics, introductory microeconomics, introductory sociology, and calculus may be granted for a score at or above the 67th percentile. This credit is applied toward degree requirements at the discretion of the student’s dean. Refer to the appropriate dean’s office for the policy of that college or school.

Credit for CLEP subject examinations cannot be evaluated from college or high school transcripts; score reports must be submitted directly from the College Board. CLEP general examinations are not accepted for credit at CU-Boulder.

International Baccalaureate Examinations (IB)

In general, credit is granted for approved IB examinations at the higher level with a score of 4 or better. Credit for IB examinations cannot be evaluated from college or high school transcripts. An IB certificate or diploma must be submitted to the Office of Admissions from the IB organization for evaluation. For more information and a guide to equivalencies, refer to Freshman Applicants.

Military Credit

Credit for military schooling is evaluated upon receipt of Form DD 214, Service Separation Certificate, or the Sailor/Marine American Council on Edwardian Registry Transcript (SMART). Only work that has received an upper-division baccalaureate recommendation by the American Council on Education (ACE) can be awarded credit. This work, however, is transferred and recorded at the lower-division level. Foreign language credit taken through the State Department, Department of Defense, or Defense Language Institute is assigned the recommended ACE credit.

Credit by Examination

This option provides limited opportunities for students to take an examination and earn credit for a course without registering for or taking the course. Specific courses must be approved for credit by examination. Students may want to exercise this option if they do not receive transfer credit for a course they have taken at a previous college. Information on participating colleges and schools, requirements, and an application for credit by examination are available at the Office of the Registrar, Regent Administrative Center 105, University of Colorado Boulder, 20 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0020, 303-492-6970. Permission of the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college or school in which the course is offered, and the student’s dean (if different) is required for approval. An examination fee is charged.

Transfer Credit Conversion

Many campuses operate on the quarter system, with the academic year divided into three terms. Other campuses, including CU-Boulder, operate on a two-term or semester system. Course credits from quarter system institutions must be converted from quarter hours to semester hours or credits. One quarter credit is equivalent to two-thirds of a semester credit. To convert quarter  hours to semester hours, multiply the number of quarter hours by two-thirds and round off the total to the nearest tenth. For example, 4 quarter hours x 2/3 = 2.67 or 2.7 semester hours of credit, or 3 quarter hours x 2/3 = 2 semester hours of credit.