Transfer Your Credit to UW-Madison

Transfer credit can be awarded to any admitted undergraduate student who has completed coursework at a college or university. Once you are admitted, we will begin working on an evaluation of your transfer credits and will email you when your evaluation is available to view in your Student Center.

Transfer Credit Guidelines

Credit is generally awarded for college-level coursework completed at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Foreign institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in that country. Courses must be similar in nature, level, and content to a course in our undergraduate curriculum and applicable to one of our academic programs. Continuing education courses, graduate-level courses, and courses that are remedial, technical, vocational, or doctrinal in nature are not transferable.

Students who take college courses prior to high school graduation (this includes dual enrollment) will receive advanced credit at UW–Madison as long as the credit is: 1) transferable, 2) earned at an accredited college, and 3) listed on an official transcript generated by the college.

To be awarded credit at UW–Madison, enrolling undergraduate students must have their official college-level transcript(s) sent to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Electronic transcripts must be sent through a secure document sending service to etranscripts@admissions.wisc.edu. Transcripts sent through email, as an attachment, will not be accepted as official. Paper transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school’s custom watermarked/security paper.

Students taking courses at a UW System school or Wisconsin Technical College may consult Transferology to determine exactly how credit will be awarded.

Transfer Course Equivalencies

If undergraduates would like to view how some of their courses may transfer to UW-Madison, use Transferology.

Depending on the college(s) they have attended and courses they have taken (or plan to take), transfer equivalents may be listed in Transferology, an online transfer equivalency database.

  • Transferology: Students can see how courses may transfer from public and private colleges across the country.
  • If you are encountering technical or accessibility issues with Transferology (e.g. Error 403), please contact Transferology Support at tfosupport@collegesource.com and briefly identify the problem specifics, i.e. error code or error message.
  • For advisors only, visit this KB to learn about access to and use of TransferologyLab, an administrative portal.

Military Credit

The University of Wisconsin-Madison thanks you for your service and in many cases can award transfer credit for education you received while in the military. Evaluation of transfer credit adheres to the guidelines in the Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit developed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the American Council on Education (ACE). Transfer credit may include direct course equivalencies and/or departmental electives for work that is similar in nature, level, and content to a course in our undergraduate curriculum. However, the majority of military credit will transfer as general electives and may not reduce your time to degree. A large number of general electives could negatively impact your financial aid eligibility and your admission to competitive programs with credit limits.

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Joint Services Transcripts

Academic credit from the JST will be awarded based on American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations and on the nature, level, and content as compared to a course in UW–Madison’s undergraduate curriculum. To have your credits reviewed, please request an official copy of your Joint Services Transcript be sent to UW–Madison.

Community College of the Air Force

Academic credit from the CCAF transcript will be awarded based on the nature, level, and content as compared to a course in UW–Madison’s undergraduate curriculum.

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC)

Associate or baccalaureate level academic credit from the DLIFLC transcript will be awarded based on the nature, level, and content as compared to a course in UW–Madison’s undergraduate curriculum.

DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSSTs)

We do not award transfer credit for DSSTs.

FAQs

Transferability

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How will my courses transfer?

We award transfer credit for college-level, baccalaureate courses (not remedial, technical, doctrinal, vocational, or continuing education/graduate level courses) that apply to academic programs offered by UW-Madison and are taken at a degree-granting, regionally accredited college or university. If the course content and level are similar to a UW-Madison course, a direct equivalent may be given as transfer credit. If it is not similar enough, elective credits in the relevant department will be granted. We award credit for coursework with a grade of D or higher. Please note that elective credits are transfer credits that can fulfill various degree requirements.

What is the maximum number of transferable credits?

The maximum number of transferable semester credits from a two-year college is 72. There is no credit limit on transferable credits from a four-year university.

What is the difference between equivalent and elective credit?

Transfer courses with descriptions that closely match the descriptions of courses taught at UW–Madison will generally transfer as direct course equivalent credits. For example, an introductory macroeconomics course at your previous institution might transfer as our Econ 102 Principles of Macroeconomics. Transfer courses that don’t have direct course equivalents at UW–Madison will transfer as elective credits within the appropriate academic department. For example, a course on the geography of Hawaii would transfer as geography elective credits because UW–Madison does not offer a course with that particular content. Elective credits count toward a degree in the same way that a direct course equivalent does.

How do quarter credits converts?

If you have taken courses at an institution that uses quarter credit or units other than semester credits, we will convert your quarter credits/units to semester credits. If you have attended an institution that uses quarter credits, you will not lose credits in the conversion. For example, if you have 40 quarter credits (40 x .666 = 26.64), you will receive 27 semester credits.

Credits completed at an international institution will be converted to UW–Madison credits using the average number of credits taken by a UW–Madison student (15 credits per semester). Total degree credits granted may not equal total course credits due to rounding in the conversion of fractional credits to semester hours.

How will my credit transfer if my course(s) was graded Pass/Fail?

Students who earn college-level degree credit with “Pass” grades will have their credits evaluated for transfer.

How are transferred credits applied to my degree requirements?

Specific degree requirements differ among the various UW–Madison schools and colleges. Transfer credit applies toward degree requirements appropriately, depending on which major and/or degree you intend to complete. To learn more about degree and major requirements, consult the Guide or the appropriate undergraduate major.

Are grades from my previous institution included in my UW-Madison GPA?

No. Your previous grades are not calculated into your UW-Madison GPA.

Can I get credit for military basic training?

Yes, we will award some credit from a Joint Services transcript (JST) or from Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

Can retroactive language credit transfer to UW–Madison?

UW–Madison  allows you to earn retroactive (retro) credits for prior work completed in a foreign language. In order for retro credit to be transferable, the following requirements must be met: 1) the course must be designated appropriate for earning retro credits by the department; 2) in addition to the qualifying course, the retro credit must be listed on a final, official transcript; 3) you must obtain a grade of “B” or better in the qualifying course; 4) the qualifying course must be the first college course taken in the language; and 5) the course must be completed within the first 30 credits of your college work.

How will my credits transfer if I attend a non-semester institution?

We will conduct a credit conversion to UW-Madison semester hours.  The number of credits taken at your previous institution will not always be equal to the number of credits taken at your previous institution.

Do AP, IB, CLEP, A-Level credits transfer to UW-Madison?

UW–Madison does grant advanced credit for the successful completion of some AP, IB, A-Level, and CLEP exams. Please note that AP and IB must be completed while in high school. CLEP exams must be completed before completing 16 semester hours of college credit. Students can find detailed information on how a score will be awarded credit on our website.

Are my credits/transcripts too old to earn college credit?

No, credits do not expire.

Can I earn college credit for life experiences?

No.

Do college or test credits affect what placement tests I am required to take?

Regardless of transfer credit (from college courses or credit by exam), all incoming Freshmen are required to take the English and Math placement tests. A foreign language placement test is optional.

Placement tests for transfer students are determined upon completion of transfer credit evaluation. Students should carefully read the important notes section on their transfer credit evaluation for placement test information.

Can I receive transfer credit for Project Lead the Way courses?

No.

What is doctrinal coursework?

Doctrinal coursework promotes an ideological, political, and/or religious doctrine. Doctrinal coursework is commonly found at private, religious institutions and in countries that enforce ideological political education. As noted in our Transfer Credit Policy, doctrinal coursework will not receive transfer credit.

The following are examples of coursework that may be considered ‘doctrinal’:

  • Learn & Teach in Latter Days
  • Marxism/Marxist Theory (when taught in Marxist countries)
  • Mao Zedong Theory
  • Missionary Preparation
  • Moral Education/Cultivation
  • Outline of Modern Chinese History
  • Situation and Policy
  • Theoretical System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
  • Social Catholic Teaching
  • Social Practice of Ideology and Politics

How it works

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What will I need to do to get my credits transferred?

You must submit an official transcript that lists both the course(s) and grade(s) to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UW-Madison. It is recommended that it be sent through a secure electronic sending service such as Parchment, Naviance or Credentials Solutions. The previous institution that you attended will likely have instructions on their website for how to request a transcript from their institution. It must first be processed by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment before it can be evaluated by the Credit Evaluation Services.

How do I submit a transcript?

Electronic transcripts must be sent through a secure document sending service to etranscripts@admissions.wisc.edu. Transcripts sent through email, as an attachment, will not be accepted as official. Paper transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school’s custom watermarked/security paper.

Can I get my courses pre-equated?

Unfortunately, we are not able to pre-equate transfer courses for prospective students or for courses taken during the fall and spring semester for enrolled students. However, you may wish to consult Transferology to see if we have previously equated a course you are interested in taking.

Can I request a reevaluation of transfer credit?

Yes. You can request a course to be re-evaluated, but not the number of credits.  In order to have it reevaluated, please visit the Course Re-Evaluation Request page and fill out the form. Follow the instructions carefully. It can take 4-6 weeks in order to process a re-evaluation request.

When will my credit evaluation be completed?

Incoming transfer students will receive a full transfer credit evaluation after being admitted to the University. You will receive your official evaluation of transfer credits by your SOAR date. We make every attempt to complete an evaluation quickly after a student receives an admission decision.

For current UW-Madison students, it can take up to 4-6 weeks after the Office of Admissions receives the transcript for transfer credit to be posted to your student record.

How will I view my credit evaluation?

The transfer credit evaluation will be visible in your Student Center through either the Admissions tile on your Applicant Homepage, or through the Academic Records tile on the Student Center Homepage.

Where can I get help reading my credit evaluation?

The basics of your credit evaluation are explained in the Reading Your Credit Evaluation KB.  You will get assistance understanding how your transfer credit applies to your degree when you attend the Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) program during the break before the next semester begins.

If I am an enrolled student and want to complete summer/winter course work at another institution, how can I find out what credit I will receive for this work, if any?

The Course Equivalency Service is available from March 1 to May 1 for Summer and November 1 to December 1 for Winter.  This is an optional service for enrolled students who plan to complete summer or winter course work at another institution.

Current students should first use Transferology to identify a matching course equivalent. If one does not exist in Transferology, students are able to submit a Course Equivalency Request along with a course syllabus and we will work with academic units to have the syllabus evaluated for transfer credit.

Study Abroad

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What if I study abroad before enrolling at UW-Madison?

If you study abroad prior to enrolling at UW-Madison, you must submit your official transcript for that work to the Admissions Office. It will be processed along with any other transfer credit you have.

What if I study abroad through a non UW-Madison study abroad program or take courses at a foreign institution?

If you are considering taking courses through a non UW-Madison program after enrolling at UW-Madison, please review the information on the Credit Resources page regarding non-approved study abroad programs.

Please note that summer and short winter courses taken at Chinese universities are not eligible for transfer credit.

How will the credit I earn while studying abroad transfer to UW-Madison?

If you study abroad through a UW-Madison program, you will earn “residence” credit and can even graduate abroad.  The courses, grades, and credits you earn abroad will be recorded on your transcript as UW-Madison study abroad work.

If you study abroad through a non UW-Madison program, coursework will generally transfer as long as it is a university-level course similar in content to courses offered at UW-Madison.  The courses must be taken at an accredited, recognized institution. Recognition of institutions varies, depending upon the governmental policies of a given country. We will convert foreign credits/hours to U.S. semester credits; you should not assume that your foreign credits/hours will transfer at face value.  Grades earned at non UW-Madison study abroad programs will not transfer. Instead, courses will generally transfer as elective or course credits. However, you should not expect to satisfy specific requirements, especially in the areas of foreign language, liberal arts, and general education requirements.

Before studying abroad, we highly recommend that you consult with your academic advisor to develop an academic plan appropriate for your major and study abroad program.

Please note that summer and short winter courses taken at Chinese universities are not eligible for transfer credit.

How do I submit my non UW-Madison study abroad courses to receive transfer credit?

Send an official transcript when the course work is completed. Electronic transcripts must be sent through a secure document sending service to etranscripts@admissions.wisc.edu. Transcripts sent through email, as an attachment, will not be accepted as official. Paper transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school’s custom watermarked/security paper. In order to receive transfer credit, the non-approved study abroad program must issue an official transcript from an accredited tertiary-level, degree-granting institution. If you are participating in a program through a study abroad provider (CIEE, CEA, IES, etc), you must obtain an official transcript from the provider’s “School of Record”. Note that some schools of record charge an additional fee to issue an official transcript. You will need to confirm with the host institution or study abroad program that they will provide a transcript that meets these standards.

How do I get approval forms signed for my non-approved program?

Your program may ask for approval from your home institution. You should let program staff know that you are doing this program independently of UW-Madison. If you need verification of your UW-Madison enrollment for your program application, you can obtain an official PDF letter certifying enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc.) through Academic Records in your Student Center. The PDF version is an official letter. Forms requiring verification of academic or disciplinary standing can be sent to the Registrar’s Office at registrar@em.wisc.edu.

UW-Madison study abroad staff and academic advisors will not sign these forms.