The University of Minnesota's Office of Admissions International unit evaluates coursework of institutions outside the U.S. to determine if they are transferable to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and if they fulfill the Liberal Education (LE) requirements. Next, we post transfer credits on the Transfer Record of Articulated Courses (TRAC) report. This evaluation contains courses that have transferred to the University of Minnesota and whether or not any Liberal Education (LE) requirements have been met.
Accreditation and Transferability
The University of Minnesota will transfer credits from colleges and universities recognized by the Ministry of Education, other appropriate ministry, or national government body in the country. Credit for coursework taken at other institutions will be transferred subject to the following considerations:
- Whether the institution is regionally accredited.
- The mission of the institution. Credit normally is not transferred from specialized or proprietary institutions, military schools, or industry-based education programs.
- The comparability of the coursework with University of Minnesota coursework.
- The appropriateness of the coursework for meeting baccalaureate degree requirements at the University of Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota accepts a broad range of academic courses; however, remedial, English as a Second Language (ESL), and military courses are not transferable. English courses from abroad need to be evaluated by the Department of English based on the course syllabus.
Number of Credits and Conversion Rate
Credits may not transfer at a 1 to 1 rate. Credit requirements vary between educational systems. Generally, the Office of Admissions determines the transfer ratio based on the number of credits of transferable work that you have taken in a semester/academic year. We will do a transfer credit evaluation to determine at what ratio your courses transfer. Credits from China usually transfer at 0.6 or 0.7 — i.e. 1 Chinese school credit = 0.6 or 0.7 U of M credits. Credits from Korea transfer at 0.9, and credits from ECTS at 0.5. Most undergraduate degrees at the University of Minnesota are 120 credits, and students usually take 30 credits per academic year (2 semesters), or 15 credits per semester, in order to graduate in 4 years.
Note: A conversion rate you receive at the U of M Twin Cities varies according to assessment of each individual transcript, not according to school, and it may be different from other University of Minnesota campuses or U.S. schools.
Courses will transfer as T (Transfer for passing) or F (Fail). Individual transfer courses, credits, and grades will not appear on your University of Minnesota transcript, nor will they be calculated into your University of Minnesota grade point average (GPA).
You must meet the University of Minnesota Twin Cities' Liberal Education requirements, including the Writing Intensive requirement, in order to complete your degree. In the United States, students must take classes in a variety of "core" classes (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, fine arts, etc.), as well as courses in their chosen degree program in order to meet the undergraduate education requirements. Generally, a student will complete their "core", or Liberal Education (LE) required courses during their first two years of study. This requirement is designed to provide a well-rounded education reflecting both breadth in range of areas and depth in a single subject. If your coursework mostly has been major-specific, you still need to meet these requirements and this could extend your time to degree completion. Students are allowed only 3 partial credit waivers (see below) for meeting LE requirements. More information about LE requirements.
3 LE Partial Credit Waivers
Liberal Education (LE) requirements are at minimum 3 credits, or 4 credits for Biological and Physical Sciences. You are allowed to transfer courses below the credit minimum and this is called "partial credit"; however, you only may use partial credit courses to meet 3 LEs. Additionally, the credit must be at least half of the minimum credit requirement. This means you are only eligible to bring in courses for LEs that have transferred with at least 1.5 credits, or 2 credits for Biological and Physical Sciences.
4th Partial Credit Waiver
Students may qualify for a fourth partial credit waiver for LE Mathematical Thinking if they successfully complete a higher level of math at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Once you have completed the higher level math course, work with your academic adviser to request the fourth partial credit waiver.
Students who have a previous bachelor's degree from an institution outside of the U.S. that is an equivalent bachelor's degree to the U.S. bachelor's degree may be exempt from the Liberal Education requirements as well as the freshman writing and writing intensive requirements. To meet this exemption, the previous degree must be obtained prior to the first term of enrollment at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and determined to be equivalent to the bachelor's degree offered at the University. In order to evaluate the previous bachelor's degree, the Office of Admissions may require additional official documents. If you are unsure whether or not your bachelor's degree is considered as the U.S. equivalency, contact the Office of Admissions.
You may need to supply additional information before you will know if a course you have taken will meet any Liberal Education (LE) or major requirements. If your TRAC report lists a course as "Not meeting any specific requirement" or "Transfer allowed only upon college approval", please bring a detailed document explaining what was taught in the course, or course syllabus, when you come to campus to talk to your academic adviser. A syllabus is a detailed document explaining what was taught in the course. It is not the same as a transcript or course description.
A syllabus should:
- Be translated into English, and
- The name of your school
- The name of the course you took
- The term in which you took the course
- The name and email address of your course instructor
- The course website address, if available
- The course textbook and other supplemental materials that were used in the course
- Description of the purpose of the course
Your adviser will address questions regarding your TRAC report at orientation. At that time, you may discuss with them switching your LE awards and questions about meeting major requirements.
Transfer Course Petition Process
Transferability & Liberal Education (LE) Requirements
The Office of Admissions must receive official transcripts from institutions abroad to evaluate coursework. Official documents are those that are original or attested copies of original academic documents that are mailed in a sealed, stamped envelope directly from the college or university, and they must have been issued within the past year. All documents not issued in English must be in the original language and include a certified true English translation. A scanned or electronic copy of an official document is considered unofficial.
Then, the Office of Admissions evaluates transfer courses to determine:
- If they transfer to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities; and
- If they meet any of the University's Liberal Education (LE) requirements.
To learn about each LE course criterion, review the OneStop Student Services Education Requirements page. To request that the Office of Admissions review coursework to satisfy specific LE requirements, visit the Submit a Course for Review page.
If you have questions about a course that is denied transfer or doesn't appear to count toward a LE requirement, contact the Office of Admissions.
Equivalent Course & Major/Minor Requirements
Academic Departments evaluate transfer courses to determine:
- If your course is a direct course match with a University of Minnesota course; often called an equivalent course.
- If your course fits into a major or minor even though it does not have an equivalent course at the U of M; often called a major elective course.
Submit a Course for Review to request departmental review of an individual course from an institution outside the United States.
The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) provides International Course Equivalency Guides for students who have completed some technical courses abroad. For more information, visit the CSE website.
Non-Affiliated Study Abroad Program
Current University of Minnesota students planning to study abroad independently from the University of Minnesota Education Abroad offices, such as the Learning Abroad Center, must contact the Office of Admissions and their Academic Advisor to receive pre-approval for transfer credits.
To determine transferability, the Office of Admissions requires the following information:
- Program or institution information website;
- Name of the organization* issuing the credits/transcript;
- Program start and end dates;
- A list of course(s) you plan to take including course number and course title, along with a syllabus or web link to course descriptions, if available; and
- (Optional) Liberal Education (LE) requirements you wish to fulfill
* If a U.S. school is issuing its resident credits and official transcripts, visit Submit a Course for Review Domestic Credits.
Submit your transfer credit evaluation request using the Office of Admissions online form. Select "Credit Transfer" and include "Non-affiliated Study Abroad Program" in the "Your question:" section, in addition to your U of M ID Number.
Review the U of M Learning Abroad Center (LAC) non-affiliated study abroad information to see if you need to work with LAC on your non-affiliated program. This also will ensure you are informed on important issues such as financial aid and safety while abroad.
China Summer Programs
Summer programs at Chinese universities generally are not transferable to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, because these programs are not recognized by the Ministry of Education in China. At this time, we do not accept summer program credits from Chinese universities or third-party educational programs at Chinese schools. If you are uncertain whether or not your summer program in China is transferable, contact the Office of Admissions.
AP, IB and A-level Transfer Course Awards
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities awards credit for qualifying scores on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and GCE A-Level exams. For detailed information, visit the following pages:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you evaluate my college degree or certificate and transcripts from my home country, before applying for UMN admission?
International transfer credit evaluations are completed after you are admitted and have confirmed your enrollment prior to your college orientation date. We do not provide applicants with international credit evaluations prior to admission.
Can I find out how university coursework in my home country will transfer to the University of Minnesota in Transferology?
No. Currently, you can view how your courses will transfer from another college or university in the U.S. only. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities does not provide international transfer credit evaluation through Transferology.
How many credits will be transferred? How long will it take to complete my degree as an international transfer student?
The timeline varies depending not only on how many credits are transferred, but primarily on how your transfer courses fulfill the Liberal Education requirements and your college or major requirements toward your bachelor's degree at the University of Minnesota. At orientation, your academic advisor will inform you regarding the time frame left to earn your University of Minnesota Bachelor's degree. The Office of Admissions does not provide this information. Even if students have completed 2 years of coursework at a post-secondary school, it may take 3 years or more to complete their degrees at the University of Minnesota because of Liberal Education and major course requirements.
I have already used the allotment of 3 partial credit waivers for the LE requirements. Can I swap any of these requirements for other LE requirements?
Yes. We strongly recommend that you discuss with your academic adviser what your best options would be in terms of meeting degree progress. Afterward, your academic advisor should contact the Office of Admissions.