Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

Transferring Credits to Penn State

Penn State will evaluate transfer students’ previous course work for possible transfer credit—find out how.

Transfer Student Credit

We are excited that you are interested in transferring to Penn State! We know that a major concern for transfer students is if and how their previous course work is going to transfer to Penn State. To understand how Penn State transfers credit and to search for the transfer evaluation of course work at other institutions, review all of our information and transfer tools below.


More Information on Transferring Credit

Review the requirements for transferring credits to Penn State from another institution, as well as the other ways that you can earn Penn State credit.

Transferring Credit from Another Institution

Penn State requires an official transcript to consider credits for transfer. Upon review of a student's materials during the application review, we will evaluate any official college or university transcripts that are included with the application.

We do not evaluate transcripts before an offer of admission is made.

Course work successfully completed at other colleges and universities recognized by the six regional accrediting associations will be considered for transfer credit.

College-level course work completed at colleges/universities licensed by state boards of education to award associate degrees or higher, but are not members of one of the six regional accrediting associations, may be eligible for credit by validation.

If accepted, students will receive an evaluation of transferable credits. Domestic students will receive the evaluation of credits in the mail with their offer of admission, while international students will receive the evaluation via email.

Sending Official Transcripts:

Penn State requires transfer applicants to submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions where course work was attempted.

Current students should send transcripts of dual enrollment course work or course work completed at a different college/university once the student enrolls at Penn State.

Once transfer credit is posted to a student's record, it cannot be removed.

Transcripts must be sent through mail, fax, Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the university where course work was attempted. If your school requires an email address to send a transcript electronically, please use

In order for a course to be eligible for review for transfer credit at Penn State, the following criteria must be met:

  • The grade received in the course must be equivalent to a C (2.0) or higher at Penn State
  • Penn State must have a similar program or course offering
  • The course should be useful in the student’s program of study at Penn State

Learn how your credits will transfer:

  • Transfer applicants receive an evaluation of credits with their mailed offer of admission to Penn State. International transfer applicants will receive the evaluation of credits via email. This evaluation will outline the awarded credit, but the academic unit to which the student has been admitted will determine how credits will be used to fulfill degree requirements in a student's program of study.
  • Course work from another institution can transfer into Penn State in a variety of ways. Some courses will require the submission of the course syllabus for academic departmental review to determine the Penn State credit equivalency. For a complete review of how credit can transfer into Penn State, please refer to the Understanding Penn State Transfer Credit Equivalencies section
  • If the Transferring Credits Tool does not provide an evaluation for your credit, that typically means we have not evaluated the course before and will require the submission of the course syllabus once your formal offer of admission has been made. Course work cannot be evaluated prior to an offer of admission.
  • Penn State transfers the credits only. The grade(s) earned from transfer credits will not be used for your GPA at Penn State.
  • Penn State credits are expressed in semester hours. When transferring credit from institutions that utilize another form of academic credit (quarter hours/units/trimesters), the credits will be converted into semester hours.

To earn a Penn State degree, students transferring credit to Penn State must be aware of the following:

  • For a bachelor's degree, 36 of the last 60 credits must be completed at Penn State.
  • For an associate's degree, 18 of the last 30 credits must be completed at Penn State.

To determine how your transfer credits might help you meet the degree requirements for your program, review the recommended academic plan for that program.

Penn State awards credit from multiple sources, such as Advanced Placement tests or military experience. Please review the Academic Credit section for more information.

College-level course work completed at colleges/universities licensed by state boards of education to award associate degrees or higher, but that are not members of one of the six regional accrediting associations, may be eligible for credit by validation.

The credit by validation process involves the following steps:

  1. After enrolling at Penn State, the student is responsible for initiating the process by requesting a credit by validation form from Undergraduate Admissions.
  2. The student must complete the form and submit it with copies of course syllabi, descriptions, or outlines to Undergraduate Admissions.
  3. Undergraduate Admissions staff will then determine if the course is eligible for credit by validation.

In order to pursue credit by validation, eligible courses must:

  • Have an equivalent course offering at Penn State, which includes comparable learning outcomes and standard of instruction.
  • Be graded at an equivalent to a C (2.0) or higher.

If the course meets the course requirements and is determined to be eligible by Undergraduate Admissions, then the following occurs:

  • Undergraduate Admissions sends the information to the academic college/department it determines should validate the course.
  • The department shares its decision with Undergraduate Admissions, who notes it in the student record and communicates the result of the evaluation with the student.

Information for Current Penn State Students

In addition to applicants wishing to transfer credit to Penn State upon acceptance, current Penn State students may enroll in classes outside of the University and transfer earned credit to Penn State.

General Transfer Credit Information

Any Penn State students that take classes at different institutions while enrolled at Penn State should send the official transcript directly from the institution in order for the course work to be evaluated for transfer credit. Please note that:

  • Credits are transferred; grades are not.
  • Credits transferred from another school do not affect a student’s grade-point average.
  • Transfer credits are part of a student’s academic history and the college in which the student is enrolled will determine how transfer credits will be used to meet graduation requirements.
  • All transfer credits (from examinations or other institutions) placed on the Penn State transcript will count towards the total number of credits a student has accumulated. 
  • Course work from another institution that is not located on the Transferring Credits Tool will need to be reviewed by faculty in the relevant academic discipline. If a student wishes to seek pre-approval of a transfer course, he/she should email course syllabi to If not available electronically, please mail syllabi to the Undergraduate Admissions Office, 201 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802, or via email to For more details on submitting syllabi electronically for pre-approval view our Transfer Credit Equivalencies information.
  • A $25 processing fee will be posted to your student account once an official college transcript is received and credits are processed on your record in LionPATH. Please note that the $25 fee will be assessed per transcript received regardless of whether transfer credit is earned. A fee will not be assessed for test credits, military experience, or for dual enrollment credits. The fee will be added to your bill and is payable to the Bursar's Office.
  • Once course work from another college/university is added to the Penn State student record, those credits cannot be removed.

Summer Courses in China

Courses taken in programs in China that are not part of the regular degree-granting curriculum will not be considered for transfer credit.

Tuition Advisory

Please be advised that a student’s tuition will increase when the Penn State transcript reflects 59.1 cumulative credits. Credits earned from tests, like AP or IB exams, are considered transfer credits and are included in the cumulative credit total. If the credits you are transferring or have transferred to Penn State place you above 59.1 cumulative credits after the start of the semester, your tuition will increase immediately. You will receive a bill for the additional tuition on the first day of the following month. For more information, visit the Office of the Bursar's website