Transferring Credits to Iowa State

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General Policies on Transfer Credits

It is very common for students to have taken (or plan to take) coursework at other colleges and universities.  Most of the time, these courses can be applied to your degree program at Iowa State.  The University has a few general guidelines on how transfer credits may be applied:

  • A maximum of 65 transfer credits (or 97 quarter hours) from 2-year colleges may be applied to your undergraduate degree program
  • There is no limit to the number of credits that may be transferred from 4-year institutions
  • Up to 16 credits (or 24 quarter hours) of career/technical courses may be accepted, but be aware that these usually count as electives only
  • The grades you earned do not transfer and do not affect your Iowa State GPA, but you may need to have earned a particular grade in a course for the course to count for a degree requirement (i.e., if you take a BIOL 211/212 equivalent at another institution, you still must have a C- or higher for it to count in our major)
  • Remember that your last 32 credits must be taken at Iowa State unless you petition for a waiver

Transfer Credit Evaluation

To receive credit for courses at another institution, have that institution send the transcript to the Office of Admissions at Iowa State.  It will be evaluated by the appropriate offices and eventually be available to you in AccessPlus (it is found in your Student tab under “Admissions”).  If a course transfers in as an ISU equivalent, its application to your degree program is fairly straightforward.  If it does not, talk with your advisor about the course and they can help you apply it appropriately to your degree program.  

If you would like to know how a course is likely to transfer before taking it (i.e., such as planning a study abroad), or before the official evaluation is complete, you can consult course equivalency guides (available for Iowa community colleges and some community colleges for MN and IL), or TRANSIT.  If the course you are interested in taking is not listed in TRANSIT, you may complete a preliminary transfer credit evaluation form to have it assessed.  Application of credits to your degree program should always be discussed with your advisor.  

In some cases, there is reason to do a re-evaluation of transfer credits so it may count for a particular area in your degree program.  Your advisor will guide you through this process.