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Understanding Transfer Credit

Types of Transfer Credit Evaluations

The university has five varieties of forms to request a transfer credit evaluation (TCE) based on your current admissions status. You can request a TCE only after you are accepted to the university, but prospective students can request a preliminary transfer credit review without completing a TCE form.

You'll find each of these forms in the student ecampus. In all cases, evaluations begin once ALL documents and transcripts have arrived at the university.

TCE Form TypeUse Case
InitialUse this the first time you request a transfer credit evaluation of your previous academic credits and/or training/certifications. This is required of all undergraduate students applying to the university with previous academic credits. Once you submit your initial TCE, you cannot submit additional requests until you receive your results.
UpdateUse this form if you received your initial transfer credit award, but then complete additional coursework from another university or complete training certifications while you are enrolled.
ReadmissionUse this form if you were disenrolled from the university and then re-applied to the same academic program.
New programFor students who completed one program at the university and then apply to a new degree program.
Program changeUsed if you change your major/program of study after you are enrolled. The program requirements heavily influence how transfer credits are awarded. If you change your program, the TCE will need to be redone.

Standards of Acceptable Transfer Credit

When you submit a transfer credit evaluation (TCE) application, the university is committed to reviewing all credits submitted for transfer and providing you with the best possible outcome. Determining how a course will transfer toward your degree program is a complex process that takes into account a number of factors, including:

Unit of Measure

Our university operates on semester hours, but you may have earned credits that were measured differently, such as quarter hours. Any credits earned in a different unit of measure will be converted to the semester hour unit. For example, if you earned 3 credits on a quarter-hour system, they might transfer here as 2 credits.

Course Level

The level of the course submitted for transfer credit must be equivalent to the required course here. For example, undergraduate courses are categorized as freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior, with course numbers listed in the traditional 100, 200, 300, and 400 ranges respectively.

Course Description Review

The course description is reviewed to determine if it is equivalent to an existing course here. When reviewing the course description, we consider the content, primary course objectives, and the assessment tools. If the course description does not provide enough detail to determine an equivalent, we may ask you to provide the course syllabus for further review of the transferability of the course.

Transferring Credits Based on Your Major

There are a number of deciding factors when choosing a college major, and many transfer students consider the ability to transfer credits an important part of that decision.

Knowing which of your credits might transfer to your new program is a question best answered by speaking with one of our admissions representatives who will ask:

  • Are you planning to start over with a new major, but have general education credits to transfer?
  • Are you continuing an academic major you started elsewhere and have core courses to complete here?
  • Did you earn an associate degree at a community college?
  • Have you attended military training programs or academies?

Each of these situations has a different outcome when it comes to transfer credit awards. Your admissions representative can provide a preliminary review of your credits and guide you through the transfer credit evaluation process.

Transfer Credit Limits

Every accredited institution of higher learning has a requirement called “residency” or Residential Limitations, that governs how many credits can be transferred toward a degree at their ‘home’ university. Credit limits, defined as semester hours (SH), set forth by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for APU are as follows:

In addition, there are limits on “non-traditional” transfer credits such as those earned based on assessment, competency testing, experience, and/or determination of knowledge. In general, our non-traditional limits are:

Residential Limitations

APU must adhere to the residential credit requirements and corresponding transfer credit limits set forth by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). These rules govern how many credits can be transferred toward a degree at a student's ‘home’ university.

Traditional Transfer Credit

The university defines Traditional Transfer Credit as:

  • Academic - earned through an accredited institution of higher learning with regional and/or national accreditation.
  • Military - earned through a military school or sponsored program.

Non-Traditional Transfer Credit

These non-academic options for possible transfer credit are based on an assessment, competency testing, experience, determination of knowledge, and military occupations. Acceptable sources include, but are not limited to:

Just Looking for a Few Credits?

If you’re enrolled at another university and need to take a few courses here to complete your degree on schedule, we can help. Simply select the “Non-Degree Seeking Student” status when you submit our admissions application. We strongly recommend that you first check with your primary institution to make sure the credits you earn here will transfer there.

Contact Us

If you need help or have questions, our transfer credit staff is available and will guide you through the process step by step.

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