Transfer Credit

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.

If you would like to view how some of your courses may transfer prior to admission, use our transfer equivalency databases and the following guidelines to help you.

Transfer Course Equivalencies

Depending on the school(s) you have attended, equivalencies for your courses may be listed in one of our online transfer equivalency databases.

  • Transfer Information System (TIS): Freshman- and sophomore-level courses at UW System schools and Wisconsin Technical Colleges
  • Transfer Equivalency Database (TED): Currently includes frequently transferred courses from two-year colleges in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. TED will continue to be updated with more courses and colleges as current offerings are evaluated.

Transfer Credit Policy

Credit is awarded for college-level course work 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.

Credit Hours: 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.

Credit Conversion: 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.

Grades: The grades you received at your previous institution(s) will not be calculated into your UW–Madison grade point average.

Equivalent vs. 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 will 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.

International Language Credit: International students will not be awarded credit for any English coursework or native language coursework completed at a non-US institution since these courses are not taught at the university level in the US.

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 Undergraduate Catalog or the appropriate undergraduate major.

Military Credit

We award up to six credits in military science for students who have completed basic training. In addition, we evaluate military transcripts for possible transfer credit. In general, learning experiences at military schools are occupational in nature and therefore not eligible for transfer credit. Courses must be similar in nature to a course in our undergraduate curriculum and applicable to one of our academic programs to receive transfer credit.

Basic Training: Enrolling students who have completed basic training will receive up to six transfer credits in military science per the approval of a campus ROTC unit commander.

Community College of the Air Force (CCAF): Physical education courses may be accepted for transfer credit, but all other CCAF courses are occupational in nature and are not accepted.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP): Credit is granted for an exam score of 65 when the examination was taken before the student completed 16 semester hours of college credit (review our CLEP Credit Guide for more details).

DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST): We do not award transfer credit for DSSTs.

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC): We accept up to 16 credits for sequential courses in a foreign language (we do not award transfer credit for language courses of an applied or functional nature)

Military Occupational Specialties (MOS): MOS courses (on AARTS or SMART transcripts) are occupational in nature and therefore not accepted for transfer credit.