Types of Transfer Credit Evaluations
The university has five varieties of 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.
Please note: students may only have one active evaluation in progress.
|TCE Evaluation Type||Use Case|
|Initial||Upon enrollment with APUS, in order to have your previous academic and/or military experience reviewed towards your degree program, you will have to complete the Transfer Credit Application. The initial evaluation will proceed once all documents have been received.|
|Update||You may have additional documents reviewed after your initial evaluation has been completed. First, please submit the TCE Update Request Form in your ecampus. Then, have your official documents sent for review. More information can be found within the form.|
|Program Change||Students may request a change of program by submitting a Degree Change Form in their ecampus. Once the change has been finalized by Advising, a transfer credit evaluation is automatically initiated to review all documents on file toward the new degree requirements. Students should contact their Advising team for further assistance. |
|Readmission||Disenrolled students may submit a readmission application to return to the university. A new transfer credit evaluation is automatically initiated as part of the readmission process and will include all documents on file.|
|New Program||Students who have completed a program at APUS may continue their studies with a new program enrollment. Once the new enrollment has been finalized by Advising, a transfer credit evaluation is automatically initiated to review all documents on file toward the new degree requirements. Students should contact their Advising team for further assistance.|
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. Any credits earned in a different unit of measure will be converted to the semester hour unit. For example, credits from institutions that operate on a quarter system are converted into semester hours by dividing quarter hours by 1.5.
Course level has an impact on whether course equivalency may be awarded for incoming transfer credit. For example, undergraduate courses are categorized as lower level (freshman and sophomore) with course numbers listed in the traditional 100 and 200 ranges. Upper level (junior and senior) courses are numbered in the 300 and 400 ranges.
After an evaluation has been completed, students may be directed to provide additional documentation to determine course equivalency. For example, 200-level upward jumps require a syllabus to review for course equivalency (an incoming course code of MTH 118 would represent a 200-level jump to our MATH302 course, which would require a syllabus to determine equivalency). Please note: 300-level jumps are not considered for course equivalency. Military lower level transfer credit is not considered for credit equivalency towards an upper level APUS course.
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:
- 45 credits toward an associate degree
- 90 credits toward a bachelor’s degree
- Master's degrees and certificates vary by program
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:
- 30 credits toward a 60-credit associate degree
- 60 credits toward a 120-credit bachelor’s degree
- Master's degrees and certificates vary by program
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 institutional 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:
- American Council on Education (ACE)
- College Level Exams: ALEKS, AP, CLEP, DSST, Excelsior Exams
- Certifications from industry associations and training academies.
- Distance Learning Systems Indiana
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
- National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) (formerly known as National PONSI)
- Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
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.
If you need help or have questions, our transfer credit staff is available and will guide you through the process step by step.