Transfer Credit Policies

Transfer credit is generally awarded for baccalaureate-oriented courses completed at institutions of higher education that have received accreditation by the Regional Associations of Schools and Colleges. College courses numbered below 100, technical and vocational courses, developmental education or remedial courses, English as a Second Language, sectarian religion courses, credit for life experience/travel, study skills courses, CLEP examination credit, and DANTES credit by examination do not transfer, regardless of an institution’s accreditation.

  • Prospective students may use the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide to understand how courses taken at other colleges and universities will transfer to Western.

  • Students who confirm their intent to enroll at Western will receive a transfer credit evaluation prior to course registration.

Transfer credit limits

A maximum of 135 quarter (90 semester) credits are allowed to transfer from any combination of regionally accredited institutions. Of these, no more than 105 quarter (70 semester) credits may be at the lower division (100 and 200) level. Appropriate coursework which exceeds this limit may be used to meet specific major requirements, but will not apply to the total number of credits accepted in transfer and will not display on students' degree evaluations.

Transferring with a Washington community college DTA associate degree

Transfer students who earn an Associate in Arts or Associate in Arts and Sciences degree from a Washington state community college that meets the Intercollege Relations Commission guidelines for the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) are granted junior standing and will have fulfilled Western's General University Requirements (GUR) provided they

1) complete English Composition with a grade of C- or better, or

2) earn an Advanced Placement (AP) score of 4 or higher on either English Language & Composition or English Literature & Composition exams.

Transferring with a Washington community college Associate in Science - Transfer (AS-T) degree

Transfer students who earn the Associate in Science (AS-T) degree from a Washington state community college are also given junior standing. While DTA degrees automatically fulfill Western’s General University Requirements (GUR), AS-T degrees are designed to ensure students have appropriate math and science prerequisites for their intended major. While your AS-T degree includes many GUR, you will have additional GUR to complete to meet graduation requirements at Western. Students should carefully review their Transfer Equivalency Report (received after enrollment confirmation) to determine which GUR remain.

Please note that Western assigns course equivalencies and GUR the same for all transfer students, as published in our Transfer Course Equivalency Guide. Because the GUR assigned by Western may differ from the distribution area assigned at your community college, you may elect to pursue one of the following options:

  1. All AS-T students have the right to meet their GUR requirements by completing, at Western, the courses needed to meet the general education requirements of the institution which awarded your AS-T. Students who wish to fulfill their general education requirements through this alternate route, must complete the following steps:
  • Request an official degree evaluation from the college that awarded the AS-T. This evaluation must specify the remaining courses needed to earn the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) degree.
  • Bring this evaluation to Bernadette Davidson, Office of the Registrar, Old Main 230. Bernadette will create a new plan of study which requires only those courses.
  1. If you believe the community college distribution designation for any given course would be more beneficial than the GUR assigned by Western, you may petition to have it changed. (Example: a history course is a Social Science at your community college but is a Humanities at WWU.) Likewise, in the event we have not awarded GUR for a course designed as a distribution course at your community college, please let us know so that we can assign you appropriate GUR credit at Western.

Other transfer credit information

  • In calculating the transfer admission GPA, the Office of Admissions uses all transferable academic courses, including repeats, from all regionally accredited colleges the student has attended.

  • Specific letter grades do not transfer and transfer work does not affect the official Western Washington University institutional grade point average.

  • Semester credits are converted to quarter credits. (One semester credit equals 1.5 quarter credits.)

  • Courses transfer to Western Washington University at the same level (lower or upper division) as taken at the original institution.

  • The number of credits earned for an accepted transfer course will be used even if the number of credits for the equivalent Western course differs.

Additional graduation requirements

Western's baccalaureate degrees require completion of General University Requirements (GUR), a minimum of 180 total quarter credit hours with a minimum of 60 quarter hours earned at the upper division (300 and 400) level. A minimum of 45 credits must be earned through Western Washington University courses. For a complete list of bachelor’s degree graduation requirements, please consult the University Catalog.

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge International, military credit and credit for prior learning

Western will grant up to a maximum of 45 credits for any combination of credit by examination, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Cambridge International examinations, military credit or credit for prior learning as detailed below.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Western grants credit for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams completed with a score of three (3) or higher, subject to the maximum 45 credit policy. Credit is granted upon receipt of official scores (AP Transcript) from the College Board according to the chart below.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Western Washington University grants credit for appropriate higher level International Baccalaureate (IB) subject examinations passed with a score of four (4) or above according to the chart below. A student may earn up to 15 credits per exam; subject to the maximum 45 credit policy. Not all subject exams earn credit. The departments of Art and Modern and Classical Language do not grant credit for IB exams, but may use the exam results for purposes of program placement and/or course waivers. Students who have passed higher level exams in subjects not listed on the chart will need to consult with the Registrar's Office; such exams will be considered on an individual basis to determine eligibility for elective or GUR credit.

Cambridge International Exams

WWU will grant 15 credits for approved A-level examinations and 7.5 credits for approved AS-level examinations with passing grades of A-E, subject to the 45 credit maximum. Credit will not be granted for both an A-level and an AS-level exam in the same subject area. Some exams may also apply to GUR. Students should submit official results of the Cambridge International Exams to the Office of Admissions for determination of transfer credit.

Military credit

Veterans may receive up to 30 credits for military service as recommended by the American Council of Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services and in accordance with University and State policies regarding transfer credits. Students may request evaluation of military credit by submitting the Joint Service Transcript (JST) to the Registrar's Office. The JST replaces the Coast Guard Institute Transcript, Army ACE Registry Transcript (AARTS), and the Sailor/Marine ACE Registry Transcript (SMART). Air Force personnel may submit the Community College of the Air Force transcript.

Credit for prior learning

Western Washington University will award credit for prior learning on a case-by-case basis. Students seeking prior learning credit must apply to the Registrar’s Office within six weeks of their first term of enrollment after admission. The Registrar’s Office coordinates and documents the petition review with the applicable academic department. Academic departments and affiliated faculty are considered experts and specialists in their respective disciplines and therefore the authority in evaluating prior learning experience, equivalency in credit and relationship to degree. The Registrar’s Office will award prior learning credit as approved by academic departments.