Transfer Credit, Test Awards, and Liberal Education (General Education) Requirements

In this section:


Visit Transferology to view how your courses will transfer to the University of Minnesota from another college or university.

Submit a Course for Review

Transfer coursework is evaluated by different University offices. The "Submit A Course for Review" section and tool is meant to help you determine whether you need to submit a course to be reviewed by the Office of Admissions or an academic department.

Transfer credit report

Transfer coursework is reviewed in the Office of Admissions to determine:

  1. if the course transfers.
  2. if the course meets any of the University's liberal education requirements, or if the course has been evaluated previously for major requirements.
  3. if the course has a direct U of M course equivalent.

After admission we will review your transfer coursework, and you will receive instructions on how to access your transfer credit report. This report shows the courses and total credits transferred, the courses that did not transfer, as well as how the transfer courses will fulfill any of the University's liberal education requirements (to include the first-year writing and writing intensive requirements). When you attend Orientation & Registration, you will receive an updated version of the transfer credit report, an Academic Progress Audit System (APAS) report that shows how your transfer courses may have fulfilled any college or major requirements.

When you have received instructions on how to access your personalized transfer credit report, you can visit "Understanding Your Transfer Credit Report" for assistance in interpreting the information.

Note for Students with International Credentials: International transfer credit evaluations are completed after you have confirmed your enrollment and prior to your college orientation date.

Important Things To Know About International Transfer Credit

  1. Your credits may not transfer as 1 to 1. 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, such as 9:1, 7:1, or even 5:1. Usually, credits from China transfer at .6 or .7, credits from Korea at .9 and credits from ECTS .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 semesters in order to graduate in 4 years.

  2. You must meet the University of Minnesota Twin Cities' Liberal Education requirements, including Writing Intensive, 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's first two years of university are dedicated to fulfilling the "core", or Liberal Education (LE), required courses. This requirement is designed to provide a well-rounded education that reflects both breadth in range of areas and depth in a single subject. If your coursework has been mostly 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 for meeting LE requirements. More information about LE requirements.

  3. 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 that explains 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 that explains what was taught in the course. It is not the same as a transcript or course description. A syllabus should:

    1. Be translated into English, and
    2. Include
      1. The name of your school
      2. The name of the course you took
      3. The term in which you took the course
      4. The name and email address of your course instructor
      5. The course website address, if available
      6. The course textbook and other supplemental materials that were used in the course
      7. Description of the purpose of the course.

    Your adviser will help you with questions regarding the review of courses for Liberal Education, Writing Intensive, or major requirements.

  4. Your courses will transfer as "T" (transfer for passing) or "F" (fail). The grades that you received in the course will not show on your TRAC report or on your transcript, nor will they be calculated into your University of Minnesota grade point average.

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Transfer credit review criteria

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 is not normally 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.

Conversion of quarter credits: The University follows a semester calendar. Quarter credits from other U.S. institutions are usually converted to semester credits by multiplying the number of quarter credits by 2/3. For example, 30 quarter credits equal 20 semester credits.

Residence requirement for graduation: Regardless of the number of transferable credits, in order to complete a degree at the University a student must take a minimum of 30 semester credits offered through the University campus from which the student is seeking to graduate. Please see our Transfer Credit Policy Statement for a full explanation.

Grade records: Individual transfer courses, credits, and grades will not appear on your University of Minnesota transcript. Your transfer GPA is not computed into your University of Minnesota GPA.

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Specific Transfer Credit Policies

Limit to number of credits transferred: There is no absolute limit on the number of credits in appropriate coursework that may be transferred to the University of Minnesota.

Junior standing: Twin Cities campus colleges do not automatically grant junior standing to students who transfer with associate in arts (A.A.) degrees. Credit is granted for coursework, not degrees.

Religious studies courses: Religious studies courses transfer if they are not doctrinal, confessional, or sectarian in nature. Religious studies courses from public institutions transfer without special review; religious studies courses from all other institutions must be reviewed by the Religious Studies department for transfer approval. Students should consult with their academic advisor to obtain the necessary Evaluation of Credits form and begin the review process.

General education courses: Credits earned in courses comparable to those offered by the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities will usually transfer routinely. General education courses are routinely accepted in transfer (although they will not necessarily fulfill the University's liberal education requirements).

Repeated courses: In those instances when a student has repeated a course, only the last enrollment for the course shall transfer.

Minimum transfer grade: The minimum grade for transfer is D. The college or program determines how the course may be used to meet degree requirements.

Summer programs in China: The University of Minnesota does not grant credit for summer courses from China. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at 612-625-2008.

Study abroad courses: Study abroad courses may or may not transfer, depending on the international institution offering the courses and other variables.

Previous bachelor's degree: Students who have a previous bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university (or an equivalent bachelor's degree from a foreign institution) may be exempt from the University's liberal education requirements and 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 and determined to be equivalent to the bachelor's degree offered at the University of Minnesota. Students may not earn a second degree with the same major that they earned in their first degree.

Courses needing special review to determine transferability: Independent study, workshops, field experience, and internships may or may not transfer, depending on the level and the appropriateness of the learning experience. Review and approval for transfer of these courses is done in the student's college of enrollment.

Courses needing departmental review: Review and approval of these courses takes place in the academic department.

Courses that do not transfer: Credit is usually not allowed for courses that are not designed for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs on the Twin Cities campus. Such courses are usually highly specialized or are vocational in nature. Remedial or developmental courses are not considered college-level and do not transfer.

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Meeting U of M Liberal Education Requirements

To graduate from the University, a student must meet a set of liberal education requirements. Courses taken at other institutions may often be used to fulfill these requirements. The Office of Admissions at the University of Minnesota maintains a set of guides on how specific courses at different institutions may fulfill the U of M requirements.

Liberal Education Course Transfer Guides

Transfer courses are reviewed for Liberal Education requirements according to the criteria established by the U of M Council on Liberal Education. For a complete description of these criteria, you may refer to the Transfer Course Petition Guide.

Review the guide carefully. If you believe, after reviewing the criteria for courses that fulfill the requirements, that one or more of your transfer courses has been missed or identified incorrectly, you may download and submit the Transfer Course Petition Instructions and Transfer Course Petition Form.

If you have problems downloading or printing the PDF files, please contact the Office of Admissions for a Guide and Petition form to be sent to you.

If you attend a college or university that is not listed in one of the above guides, please contact the Office of Admissions for individual assistance in determining how your coursework will transfer to fulfill these requirements.

For information about courses offered at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities that have been approved to fulfill Liberal Education requirements, along with a complete listing of these courses, visit the OneStop link Liberal Education Requirement. The Twin Cities campus undergraduate catalog provides a complete listing of all courses, and details which requirements are met by each course. The class schedule for each academic term also includes information about which requirements are fulfilled by each scheduled course.

We also offer the Transfer Liberal Education Worksheet, which is designed as a helpful checklist for students and their advisers who want to determine how community college courses will transfer to satisfy U of M-TC Liberal Education and graduation requirements.

If you have additional Liberal Education questions not answered by the information and resources indicated above, you may contact us at or 612-625-2008.

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College of Science and Engineering Transfer Plans and Equivalencies

The College of Science and Engineering has prepared detailed plans for transferring from specific schools in Minnesota and a number of other states, as well as tables of course equivalencies.

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Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

To simplify the transfer process, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota state universities, and Minnesota community colleges have developed a Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). If you complete the MnTC (either within or separate from an Associate in Arts [A.A.] degree) at a participating school and then transfer to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, you have completed the core, theme, and first-year writing portion of the University's liberal education requirements (you may still need to complete the writing intensive portion of the writing skills requirement.) Such completion must be noted on the official transcript from your school.

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AP, IB, CLEP, A-Level and Credit by Exam

There are several ways to receive academic credit for non-collegiate learning experiences. You may receive credit by earning satisfactory scores on one of the standardized national exams such as: the Advanced Placement (AP) program, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A-Level). If you served in the armed services and received training or attended school during your term of service, you will receive credit only if the courses taught in the school you attended are similar in level and content to courses we offer on the Twin Cities campus.

The University offers proficiency examinations and special examinations for credit at the discretion of academic departments. If you feel that your knowledge of a subject is equal to that required to complete a course on the Twin Cities campus, you may request to take a department exam for credit (often referred to as "credit by special examination") after you enroll. If you pass the exam at a satisfactory level, you will receive credit for the University course.

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Credit For Military Training/Experience

The University of Minnesota is very conservative in awarding credit for learning experiences at military schools. In order for credit to be granted, the material covered in the school must be like the material taught in a course on the Twin Cities campus. The amount and level of credit given is determined by the faculty in the appropriate University department. Credit is rarely granted, and no credit is awarded for vocational-technical recommendations, Basic Training, or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

The Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Presidio of Monterey, California, is regionally accredited at the higher education level. Courses completed at this institution are evaluated in the same way as transfer credits from other colleges or universities. You will need to have an official DLI transcript sent to the Office of Admissions when you apply.

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