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Transfer Credit Guidelines

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The scope of these guidelines applies to undergraduate transfer credit. These guidelines serve to elaborate on, but is in no way a replacement for, university policy and procedure and policy outlined in the undergraduate catalog regarding the evaluation of transfer credit and application of transfer credit toward degree requirements. Each academic department may also have policies in place regarding transfer credit that are not directly addressed in these guidelines. Please refer to the Academic Divisions section of the undergraduate catalog and locate the academic department of your intended major for additional information on limitations or restrictions to transfer credit. For questions regarding graduate transfer credit, please refer to the graduate catalog for your academic year of enrollment.

Accreditation and Determination of Transferability

Eastern Kentucky University welcomes transfer students from other colleges and universities. Eastern Kentucky University awards credit in transfer for undergraduate courses completed at colleges and universities accredited by the following regional accrediting agencies:

  • Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Middles States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

Transfer courses must be completed in years during which the transfer college or university was regionally accredited in order to receive credit. To see if your transfer institution is regionally accredited, please visit the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs maintained by the U.S. Department of Education.

Transfer equivalencies are awarded only for courses in which the student earned a D grade or higher or satisfactorily completed the course.

AACSB Accreditation

Upper-division transfer courses (300 level and above) in accounting, business, computer information systems, corporate communications and technology, finance, management, marketing, risk management and insurance, or other similar program must come from an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) to receive a direct equivalency. If a student transfers in an upper-division course in one of the content areas listed above from an institution that is not AACSB accredited, the student will receive elective (X) credit for the course. The AACSB accreditation requirement only applies to upper-division transfer courses (300 level and above) and not to lower-division transfer courses in the content areas listed above. Lower-division transfer courses may not count for upper-division credit even if the institution is AACSB accredited. To see if your transfer institution is AACSB accredited, please visit AACSB Accredited Universities and Schools.

International Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is also awarded for courses completed at accredited colleges and universities outside of the United States based on recommendations from agencies that evaluate foreign educational institutions, including Josef Silney & Associates, Inc. and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). For additional information on courses completed at colleges and university outside of the United States, please review the sections on Credit for International Courses and Credit for Study Abroad Courses.

Determination of Course Equivalencies

When an acceptable transfer course, which has never been evaluated before, is presented to EKU for consideration, EKU records the course as acceptable for credit but unevaluated. These courses are designated with an “N” in the course number. Guided by standard professional practices, the Kentucky General Education Transfer Policy, and academic department guidelines, the Student Outreach and Transition Office (SOTO) evaluates commonly offered lower-division (100 and 200 level) transfer courses. If needed, SOTO forwards the course description to the appropriate academic department for their review and consideration. For all other courses, including upper-division (300 and 400 level) courses, SOTO forwards the course description to the appropriate academic department for their review and consideration.

The Student Outreach and Transition Office (SOTO) or the academic department determines whether a direct equivalency (i.e. ENG 100), a subject/discipline elective (i.e. ENG X100), or a generic free elective (i.e. EKU X100) is awarded depending on course content and learning objectives. In some instances, we will request that the student provide a syllabus in order to evaluate the course. For additional information, please refer to the section on Credit for Courses Requiring a Syllabus to evaluate.

The Student Outreach and Transition Office (SOTO) or academic department can recommend that a course be considered for general education applicability even if an exact equivalency is not awarded. Students may also appeal for a transfer course to be considered for general education applicability if an exact equivalency and general education credit is not awarded. Please refer to the section Transferring General Education Courses from a Private or Out-of-State School for additional information.

There may be additional restrictions on the applicability of course credit depending on your major and associated academic department. These restrictions differ across departments and pertain to admission and progression requirements for a particular major. We recommend students review the college and department sections of the undergraduate catalog for their intended major.

Students wishing to appeal the evaluation of transfer credit should consult with the Student Outreach and Transition Office.

Credit Hour Equivalencies

Credit is converted to semester hour equivalents. In converting quarter hours to semester hours, a conversion factor of two-thirds is used.

If a course at another institution is offered for less credit hours than an equivalent course at EKU (e.g., if a three (3) credit hour course at another institution is reasonably similar in content to a four (4) credit hour course at EKU), the student will be given transfer credit for the equivalent course at EKU but only for the number of credit hours earned at the other institution.

If a course at another institution is offered for more credit hours than an equivalent course at EKU (e.g. if a four (4) credit hour course at another institution is reasonably similar in content to a three (3) credit hour course at EKU), the student will be given transfer credit for the equivalent course at EKU at the number of credit hours listed in the catalog plus elective (X) credit for the remaining excess credit hours. For instance, if BIO 2XX (4 credit hours) at another institution is equivalent to BIO 171 (3 credit hours) at EKU, there is (1) excess credit hour that needs to be assigned. So, the student would receive BIO 171 credit at 3 hours plus BIO X200 elective credit at 1 hour. Additional elective credit in this form will read as “Free Elective” in the equivalent course title on a DegreeWorks audit.

Kentucky General Education Transfer Agreement

In an effort to promote a seamless transfer between Kentucky two-year and four-year public institutions, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) developed a policy to facilitate the transfer of credits from one Kentucky public college or university to another. This policy, implemented in 1996 and revised in 2011, is called the General Education Transfer Agreement and allows for the automatic transfer of a block of courses to satisfy general education degree requirements.

Per the undergraduate catalog, students transferring to EKU from another Kentucky public college or university may be (1) category certified or (2) core certified or (3) general education certified by the Registrar of the school where the coursework was taken. EKU will honor any of these designations and is guaranteed to apply the KY public school transferred general education courses into EKU's General Education curriculum in a manner that best serves the transferring student.

Category Certified Students who have completed one or more of the five general education categories of the General Education Transfer Agreement will be category certified.

Core Certified Students who have satisfied all five general education categories of the General Education Transfer Agreement will be general education core certified and receive 33 hours of general education credit at EKU.

General Education Certified Students who have completed a 48-hour general education program at a Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) college will be general education certified in general education as required by the CPE General Education Transfer Agreement. Students who have earned an Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degree from a Kentucky public institution are also considered to be general education certified. Students, however, are subject to any specified general education courses required by the major and, in all cases, are required to complete the minimum number of credit hours established by the university to earn a degree.

Note: After initial transfer to EKU students may not transfer in further general education certifications unless they earn a subsequent AA or AS degree at a KCTCS institution. Students may transfer in further general education certifications after their initial enrollment at EKU, only if they return to a KCTCS institution for a period of at least one semester.

Transferring General Education from a Private or Out-of-State School

Per the undergraduate catalog, EKU will honor transfer general education courses from regionally accredited out-of-state or Kentucky private colleges and universities. Students may bring in documentation, such as a school catalog with relevant general education designations, to the EKU Registrar’s Office.

The Student Outreach and Transition Office (SOTO) may also determine general education applicability of transfer courses from regionally accredited out-of-state or Kentucky private colleges or universities. If a course you completed at another institution fulfills a general education requirement at that institution, please email ekusoto@eku.edu and include documentation as indicated above.

The transfer general education courses will then be applied toward the student’s EKU general education requirements where needed and as appropriate.

Transfer Credit Limit

No limit exists on the number of credits that may be transferred from other institutions before the student can enroll; however, students must meet the minimum residency and upper division requirements outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog in order to graduate. Per the undergraduate catalog, 30 of the 120 credit hour requirements for a bachelor’s degree must be completed at EKU. Also, 42 of the 120 credit hour requirements for a bachelor’s degree must meet upper division requirements.

Once in attendance at EKU, undergraduate students cannot earn more than 21 hours in any one fall or spring term, 15 hours in a summer term. This includes EKU hours and any credit taken simultaneously at another institution and transferred back to EKU. Also, please note that EKU students must secure permission from the dean of their major to attempt more than 18 hours in a single fall/spring term, or 12 hours in a summer term.

Time Limits on Undergraduate Course Work

Credits applicable toward major or supporting course requirements must be earned within eight years prior to the date the degree is awarded. Courses that are more than eight years old are applicable toward completion of major or supporting requirements at the discretion of the student's college dean.

Credits applicable toward nursing major or supporting requirements must be earned within five years of the date the degree is awarded. Nursing courses that are more than five years old are applicable toward completion of major or supporting requirements at the discretion of the student’s college dean.

There is no time limit for credits applicable towards general education requirements or free electives.

Academic Load Acceptance

Full time status is twelve or more semester hours in any academic term. The limitations below apply to all enrollments or combination of enrollments for the term specified, including campus classes, regional campus classes, online study and enrollment at other institutions.

The Registrar will not record credits beyond the following maximums:

Fall/Spring Terms: A full-time student is one who enrolls in 12 or more credit hours during a fall or spring term. Students carrying fewer than 12 credit hours are considered part time. A student who has established superior records may be permitted to enroll for more than 18 hours by the dean of the college of the student's first major. The absolute maximum load is 21 credit hours. The Registrar will not record more than this maximum.

Summer Term: For enrollment verification purposes, 10 credit hours and above is considered full time summer status for undergraduate students, 6 credit hours is full time summer status for graduate students. Twelve (12) credit hours is the maximum enrollment allowed for the summer term. A student who has established a superior academic record may be permitted to enroll in the summer for more than 12 hours by the dean of the college of the student's first major. The absolute maximum load is 15 hours. The Registrar will not record more than this maximum.

Credit for Correspondence Courses

Credit is granted for correspondence courses taken through accredited colleges and universities according to the same guidelines described above.

Credit for Courses Requiring a Syllabus to Evaluate

The Student Outreach and Transition Office (SOTO) or the academic department determines whether an exact equivalency (i.e. ENG 101), a subject/discipline elective (i.e. ENG X100), or a generic free elective (i.e. EKU X100) is awarded depending on course content and learning objectives. In some instances, SOTO or the academic department will request that the student provide a syllabus in order to evaluate the course. If this is the case, the equivalent course title will read as “Syllabus Needed” on a DegreeWorks audit for any course requiring a syllabus to evaluate. The purpose of notifying the student that a syllabus is needed is to provide students the opportunity to receive an exact equivalency should the transfer course, after a review of the syllabus, be similar in course content and learning objectives.

The student is responsible for submitting a syllabus. Syllabus submissions can be made by completing the Syllabus Submission for Transfer Credit web form. The course will remain unevaluated until a syllabus is submitted or the student requests in writing elective credit in place of a possible direct equivalency. Requests in writing can be made electronically by emailing ekusoto@eku.edu. Please include your full name, EKU ID, transfer institution, and transfer course prefix and number in the written correspondence.

Credit for Dual Credit Courses

Courses taken for dual credit (courses for which students receive both high school and college credit) are evaluated in the same manner as traditional courses offered by the institution through which they are taken. No limit exists on the number of transfer credit hours that will be awarded for dual credit courses.

Credit for English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses

Credit is not awarded for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. ESL courses are not recorded from a transcript for new first time transfer students.

Credit for Experiential Learning

Credit is not awarded for experiential learning unless validated through the credit by examination provisions referenced above.

Credit for Out-of-Country University Courses

Transfer credit is awarded for courses completed at colleges and universities outside of the United States based on recommendations from agencies that evaluate foreign educational institutions, including Josef Silney & Associates, Inc. and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). We recommend students request a course-by-course evaluation for university level coursework. Determination of transferability of international courses is based on the accreditation of the institution outside of the United States. Accreditation of an institution outside of the U.S. is based on recommendations of an EKU accepted credential evaluation agency as well as additional resources from leading national councils and organizations, including the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Total transfer credit hours from accredited colleges outside of the U.S. are recorded; however, individual transfer courses from unaccredited colleges and universities outside of the U.S. are not recorded. For this reason, transfer courses from unaccredited colleges and universities outside of the U.S. are not evaluated for credit.

Grades for transfer courses from accredited universities outside of the U.S. are recorded as credit (CR). Per the undergraduate catalog, undergraduate coursework with CR grades may be used to fulfill major, minor, certificate, supporting program, and/or concentration area requirements, (unless explicitly prohibited by the appropriate academic department), to a maximum of 20% of the credit hours required for each component of an academic program’s major. Exceptions to this limit may be authorized by the Dean/Associate Dean of the college offering the program. There is no limit to the number of CR credit hours used to meet general education areas or to serve as free electives.

Course descriptions are required to evaluate transfer courses from accredited colleges and universities outside of the U.S. The student is responsible for submitting all course descriptions and the descriptions must be translated in English. Submission of course descriptions can be made electronically by emailing ekusoto@eku.edu.

Per the undergraduate catalog, an EKU international student, who wishes to enroll at another institution for the purpose of earning additional transfer credit, must have prior approval from EKU before accumulating additional transfer coursework. The Registrar will not record onto an existing international student’s EKU academic record any transfer credit for which the student has not secured prior approval.

Credit for Remedial Courses

Transfer credit is not awarded for remedial courses; however, transfer equivalencies for any remedial courses may be used to satisfy course prerequisite requirements. Remedial transfer course numbers usually begin with a 0. Remedial courses may transfer in as EKU remedial courses. EKU remedial courses numbers are those between 000-099.

Credit for Study Abroad Courses

Current university students are advised to contact the Education Abroad Office for additional information on study abroad opportunities through Eastern Kentucky University. The information below is intended for new transfer students that completed a study abroad program or study abroad courses through their transfer institution.

Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS)

All KIIS course credit is awarded by Western Kentucky University. Transcripts are sent automatically to your home institution after grades are posted. When transferring from your home institution to Eastern Kentucky University, you must request an additional transcript from WKU in addition to an official transcript from your home institution. All transcripts should be sent to Admissions.

Each KIIS course is sent for evaluation to the appropriate academic department. On occasion, a course description is not sufficient enough to evaluate. If this is the case, a syllabus is needed to evaluate. If a syllabus is needed, your audit will list “Syllabus Needed” next to the transfer course. It is the student’s responsibility to submit a syllabus using the Syllabus Submission for Transfer Credit web form.

A direct equivalency at your home institution for a study abroad course does not guarantee a direct equivalency at EKU for that same course; however, if you are transferring from a Kentucky public university and the study abroad course satisfied a general education requirement at that university, you will receive general education credit for that course at EKU even if there is no direct equivalency.

Other Study Abroad Programs

General, credit-bearing study abroad courses recorded on a domestic university transcript that were intended to maintain full-time enrollment at the institution while abroad and completed on a pass/fail basis will receive IES elective (X) credit.

Each study abroad course recorded on a domestic university transcript is sent for evaluation to the appropriate academic department. If a course description translated in English is needed to evaluate, it is the student’s responsibility to provide this to the Student Outreach and Transition Office. On occasion, a course description is not sufficient enough to evaluate. If this is the case, a syllabus is needed to evaluate. If a syllabus is needed, your audit will list “Syllabus Needed” next to the transfer course. It is the student’s responsibility to submit a syllabus using the Syllabus Submission for Transfer Credit web form.

Credit for Testing and Non-Traditional Academic Experiences

Per the EKU undergraduate catalog, students who have educational experiences other than traditional university instruction may attempt to earn academic credit through the following learning assessment mechanisms:

  • ACE Credit
  • Advanced Placement Program (APP)
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) – AS and A Level Exams
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP®)
  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support, DANTES Standardized Subject Test (DANTES DSST) Exams
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit

In addition, academic credit for prior learning through a portfolio assessment may be granted. For additional information on the portfolio assessment process, please visit http://finish.eku.edu/.

Please refer to the current EKU undergraduate catalog for additional information on how each of these learning assessment mechanisms is accepted. For more information on ACE credit recommendations, please visit http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Adult-Learners-Using-Your-ACE-Cred....

Credit for Courses Taken in Visiting Student Status

After initial admission into EKU, a student, who subsequently wishes to enroll at another institution as a visiting student while simultaneously remaining enrolled at EKU for the purpose of earning transfer credit, may receive credit for the transfer course(s).

Per the undergraduate catalog, an EKU international student, who wishes to enroll at another institution for the purpose of earning additional transfer credit, must have prior approval from EKU before accumulating additional transfer coursework. The Registrar will not record onto an existing international student’s EKU academic record any transfer credit for which the student has not secured prior approval.

Credit is awarded to EKU students for transfer courses taken in visiting student status at a regionally-accredited college or university. Students must have earned a D grade or higher or satisfactorily completed the course in order to obtain a direct equivalent or elective equivalent. Regardless of the grade earned, the coursework will be recorded but only courses for which the student earned a D grade or higher will receive direct or elective equivalent credit. In order for visiting courses to be recorded, a student cannot exceed 21 total semester hours, which is the maximum load that the Registrar will record.

Students must submit their official transcript in order for the coursework to be recorded. When an acceptable transfer course, which has never been evaluated before, is presented to EKU for consideration, EKU records the course as acceptable for credit but unevaluated. These courses are designated with an “N” in the course number. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Student Outreach and Transition Office that the transfer course completed at another institution as a visiting student needs to be evaluated. These courses are evaluated according to the procedures outlined in the Determination of Course Equivalencies section of these guidelines. The Student Outreach and Transition Office cannot guarantee how a course will transfer in unless the student obtains the equivalency prior to enrolling as a visiting student at another institution.

We strongly advise EKU students to obtain the equivalency for a transfer course prior to enrolling at another institution as a visiting student in order to ensure the course will transfer in as the exact course requirement for which the student is seeking to fulfill. In this case, the equivalency will automatically populate on the student’s audit once the coursework is recorded and the student does not need to notify the Student Outreach and Transition Office that the course needs to be evaluated. Students may refer to the Transfer Lookup Guide for a current list of equivalencies by state and institution; however, the lookup guide is a live document and updated daily as new equivalencies are added and existing equivalencies are updated. For this reason, course equivalency listings are subject to change and are not a guarantee of the exact equivalencies that will publish on your record at the time of enrollment or at the time your courses are recorded. For courses not listed in the guide, students should email ekusoto@eku.edu.

Post-Baccalaureate Students

Transfer credit applied toward satisfactory completion of a bachelor’s degree will not be applied toward degree requirements for a second bachelor’s degree at EKU.

A degree-seeking student who has previously attained a post-secondary or graduate-level degree will have that earned degree noted on their EKU academic record. Details of the academic work counting toward that degree earned at another institution will not be recorded, course by course, onto an EKU transcript. However, a degree-seeking student is not required to complete general education requirements. A degree-seeking international student that has previously completed a degree at an international institution is required to complete general education requirements.

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