Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

Understanding Penn State Transfer Credit Equivalencies

Credits from another institution can transfer into Penn State in a variety of ways. Your adviser in your academic college will determine how your transferred credits may be used to fulfill degree requirements.

Penn State Credit Equivalencies

Course Number:

An incoming course is a direct equivalent to a Penn State course (ex. ENGL 015).

General Education:

An incoming course that fulfills a general education requirement.

  • XFRGA - Arts Courses
  • XFRGH - Humanities Courses
  • XFRGHA - Health and Physical Activity Courses
  • XFRGN - Natural Sciences Courses
  • XFRGS - Social and Behavioral Sciences Courses
  • XFRGQ - General Quantification Courses
  • XFRGWS - General Writing/Speaking Courses
  • XFRIL - International Cultures Courses
  • XFRUS - United States Cultures Courses

General Education with Level Equivalent:

An incoming course that fulfills a general education requirement and meets an academic level (XFRGA0, XFRGH1, XFRGN2, XFRGS3, XFRGA4, etc).

Level Course Equivalent:

An incoming course that is not a direct equivalent that has been assigned a level designation (XFR000, XFR100, XFR200, XFR300, and XFR400).

General Course:

An incoming course that is not a direct equivalent or has not been assigned a level or general education designation (ex. XFRGEN, XFRCNV). Please work with your academic department to determine usability of credits within your degree program.

Non-Transferable:

An incoming course that cannot be used in any area and does not meet the standard of a Penn State transfer course.

Pending Review:

An incoming course that upon receipt of the course syllabus will be submitted for departmental review and equivalency determination (XFRPEN).

Instructions for evaluating a transfer course at Penn State

Students already admitted to Penn State who have completed college courses at another institution:

To expedite the course review process, please email course syllabi for TRN XFRPEN (transfer pending review) courses listed on your Evaluation of Transferable Credit to crediteval@psu.edu. If not available electronically, please mail syllabi to Undergraduate Admissions, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802-1294. You may also fax syllabi to 814-863-7590.

If emailing syllabi, please follow these instructions:

  • Include your name and PSU ID number in the subject line.
  • Indicate the institution and state where course work was taken. Include course credit amount.
  • Attach each syllabus as a separate .pdf or Microsoft Word file.
  • Attach no more than four syllabi per email.
  • Do not send syllabi for multiple institutions in the same email.

Please do not submit brief course descriptions instead of syllabi. Course descriptions are only accepted in extenuating circumstances (e.g. school no longer exists).

It can take up to six weeks from the date a syllabus is received to the time your Penn State record is updated from a TRN XFRPEN to a specific course evaluation. We encourage you to submit course syllabi for transfer pending review courses as soon as you are able. If you do not submit your course information, your transfer pending review credits will be reassigned to general credit (TRN XFRGEN) during your first semester of enrollment at Penn State.

LionPATH is the best place to monitor your transfer credit. Your Transfer Credit Report updates immediately upon departmental review of your XFRPEN courses, or additional transfer credit is added or updated on your Penn State record.

You can access LionPATH at lionpath.psu.edu. To view your course, test, and other transfer credit evaluations, navigate to the Academics tab, select Academic Records within the Academics menu, and click View Transfer Credit Report.

Current Penn State students planning to take transfer courses at another domestic institution:

To expedite the course review process, please email course syllabi to preapproval@psu.edu. If not available electronically, please mail syllabi to Undergraduate Admissions, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802-1294. You may also fax syllabi to 814-863-7590.

If emailing syllabi, please follow these instructions:

  • Include your name and PSU ID number in the subject line.
  • Indicate the institution and state where course work was taken. Include course credit amount.
  • Attach each syllabus as a separate .pdf or Microsoft Word file.
  • Attach no more than four syllabi per email.
  • Do not send syllabi for multiple institutions in the same email.

Please do not submit brief course descriptions instead of syllabi. Course descriptions are only accepted in extenuating circumstances (e.g. school no longer exists).

It can take up to six weeks from the date a syllabus is received to the time you are notified via your PSU email about how the course will transfer to Penn State. Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic adviser before enrolling in courses to determine how transfer credits may apply to their Penn State degree.

Current domestic or international Penn State students planning to take international courses (not through Penn State’s Global Programs Education Abroad Office):

University Park students must collect course syllabi and determine which college/university will provide the official transcript for study abroad courses. You can then meet with an admissions counselor to discuss how study abroad credit will transfer to Penn State. Counselors are available for walk-in appointments Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, 201 Shields Building. If you prefer, you may also email course syllabi to admissions@psu.edu to determine how study abroad credit will transfer to Penn State. Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic adviser before enrolling in the courses to determine how study abroad credits may apply to their Penn State degree.

It can take up to six weeks from the date a syllabus is received to the time you are notified via your PSU email about how the course will transfer to Penn State. Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic adviser before enrolling in courses to determine how transfer credits may apply to their Penn State degree.

Commonwealth campus students must collect course syllabi and determine which college/university will provide the official transcript for study abroad courses. You can then email the Undergraduate Admissions Office at admissions@psu.edu to determine how study abroad credit will transfer to Penn State. Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic adviser before enrolling in the courses to determine how study abroad credits may apply to their Penn State degree.

Current Penn State students participating in an approved study abroad program through Penn State’s Global Programs Education Abroad Office:

The Education Abroad Office will oversee the course equivalency process for your international coursework. Please direct any questions to their office: 4th Floor Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802, EducationAbroad@psu.edu.

Applicants who have not yet been admitted to Penn State:

To expedite the course review process, please email course syllabi to preapproval@psu.edu. If not available electronically, please mail syllabi to Undergraduate Admissions, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802-1294. You may also fax syllabi to 814-863-7590.

If emailing syllabi, please follow these instructions:

  • Include your name and PSU ID number in the subject line.
  • Indicate the institution and state where course work was taken. Include course credit amount.
  • Attach each syllabus as a separate .pdf or Microsoft Word file.
  • Attach no more than four syllabi per email.
  • Do not send syllabi for multiple institutions in the same email.

Please do not submit brief course descriptions instead of syllabi. Course descriptions are only accepted in extenuating circumstances (e.g. school no longer exists).

It can take up to six weeks from the date a syllabus is received to the time you are notified via email about how courses will transfer to Penn State.

Here are some of the things faculty look for when reviewing a syllabus:

  • Name of institution
  • Number of credits the course is worth
  • An official course description (helps determine if the course is for majors or non-majors)
  • Any required co-requisite or pre-requisite courses
  • Topics covered by class meeting (not just course objectives)/ schedule of course content
  • Grading criteria: what was graded and how much was it worth
  • How many exams, paper assignments, textbooks or readings are required
  • Textbook(s) used with chapters/sections/topics covered (course content)
  • Information about any readings besides the textboook
  • Science courses: presence of a lab component with the kinds of labs done and how much the lab counts; be sure to send both the lecture and the lab syllabus
  • Music courses: how many hours a week, what instrument or voice, individual or class lesson, major/minor/non major

If you need to request a course syllabus and no longer have your instructor’s contact information, search the college’s directory online. If you do not remember the instructor or if the instructor is no longer there, search the website for the department chair for the subject for which you need a syllabus. Email the chair and/or assistant with your request.

Please be advised that a student’s tuition will increase when the Penn State transcript reflects 59.1 cumulative credits. If the credits you are transferring or have transferred 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.

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