Transfer Credit Policy DRAFT

The Registrar's Office evaluates transcripts from other colleges and universities and test scores for transfer credit according to Bryn Mawr College's transfer credit policy. 

Transfer and Test credit can counts as elective credit towards the 32 units required for graduation. Students are not able to fulfill College Academic Requirements (the Approaches to Inquiry, Foreign Language, Emily Balch Seminar, Quantitative Readiness, or Quantitative Methods) through transfer courses or test credit. Transfer credit may come from courses done prior to matriculation, concurrent with high school, over the summer, or during time away, including Study Abroad; Test credits may come from AP, A-Levels, and IB programs and must be completed before matriculation.

Students entering as freshmen must complete 24 units during semesters registered at Bryn Mawr. Transfer and test credit, including Study Abroad, is limited to total of eight units. 

All pre-matriculation credit, both transfer and test, is banked until needed.

For more details see the full transfer and test credit policies. [links]

Transfer Credit Policy

General Guidelines

All requests for transfer credit are approved by the Registrar. To ensure that work done at other Colleges/Universities will be eligible for credit, students must obtain approval for transfer credit before enrolling in classes elsewhere. These general guidelines apply to all students and the list is not exhaustive. If you have questions about your specific situation, please reach out: we're here to help.


Major Requirements [accordion]

Any student who wishes to use a transfer course towards her major (or minor) must consult her major (or minor) adviser in advance. Departments very seldom permit students to count transfer credits as 300-level courses in their majors.

Deciding on a program, does the credit transfer? [accordion]

  • Credit is only awarded for courses taken at accredited colleges and universities. After a student has matriculated at Bryn Mawr, credit is awarded only for courses taken at accredited four-year colleges that confer a bachelor’s degree (see Transfer Credit for Matriculated Students below).
  • Transfer credit is only given for courses in the liberal arts. (A good rule of thumb: if the department exist at Bryn Mawr, then likely it will transfer.  For example, Business courses don’t transfer, Economics courses do; Journalism courses don’t transfer, Creative Writing does, etc.)
  • No transfer credit is given for online courses.
  • Transfer credit is awarded for full terms/semesters/quarters only.  Credits for courses taken in short academic terms will not transfer (including—but not limited to—short sessions, mini sessions, Jan terms, J-terms and "winterims").
  • One unit of credit at Bryn Mawr is equivalent to four credits (or four “semester hours”) at most schools on the semester system. One unit of credit at Bryn Mawr is also equivalent to six credits (or six “quarter hours”) at most schools on the quarter system.
  • To receive transfer credit for a course, you must receive a grade of at least 2.0 (C) or its equivalent.

What transfers? How will it appear on my Bryn Mawr transcript? [accordion]

  • Credits transfer; grades do not. Grades from transfer courses or courses taken in study abroad programs are not factored into your Bryn Mawr GPA nor will they show on your Bryn Mawr transcript. You should keep a copy of your external college's transcript for your record.
  • Individual transfer courses are not listed on your Bryn Mawr transcript. The transcript states only the institution you attended, the dates you attended, and the units awarded.
  • Summer courses taken at Penn are considered transfer courses. Our agreement with Penn only applies to the Fall and Spring semesters. Students accepted into a Penn summer course are responsible for all associated costs.  (See summer courses for more information.)
  • Keep in mind Bryn Mawr's Residency Requirement (make a link to the catalog pdf - possible??) limits outside credits (transfer and test credit), including study abroad, to a total of 8 units for students who enter as freshmen. Transfer students see the Transfer Student and McBride Scholar section below.
  • An official transcript from the transfer institution must be submitted to the Bryn Mawr Registrar’s office for evaluation.

Guidelines for:

Pre-Matriculation Credit (work done concurrent with HS) [accordion]

Up to four units of credit from college work done during high school may be transferred including courses taken at community colleges, two-year colleges, and through dual enrollment programs. These credits are “banked” – evaluated by the Registrar’s Office and saved, but not posted - until they are needed.  [Should we call out that after your admitted new transfer credit must be at a 4 year college/Univ??? Once a student has matriculated at Bryn Mawr, credit is given only for courses taken at four-year colleges or universities that confer a bachelor’s degree.]

Courses must have been regular college classes taken with other college students on the college campus. College courses taught at the high school, and courses for high school students taught at the college or university do not qualify for transfer credit.

Credit will be given only for those community college courses taken before the student was admitted to Bryn Mawr. Community college courses may not be taken between admission and your first semester at Bryn Mawr.

(Should there still be a section for Entering students that we would work on with Caitlin ????)

Matriculated Students [accordion]

Once a student has matriculated at Bryn Mawr, credit is given only for liberal arts courses taken at four-year colleges or universities that confer a bachelor’s degree. Before enrolling in any courses at another institution, a student should consult with her Dean to discuss how her plan fits in with her overall program, and with the Registrar to ensure the course is eligible for transfer. Courses will not be considered for transfer credit without the form, here. (Pop out rather than page replace) See the full transfer credit policy here (anchor)

Domestic Study Away [accordion]

A student who wishes to receive credit for a semester or a year away from Bryn Mawr as a full-time student at another institution in the United States must have the institution and her program approved in advance by a Dean, Major Adviser, Registrar, and other appropriate departments. The institution and courses must meet the general transfer credit guidelines outlined above. (link and anchor) 

Normally, a student will receive one unit of Bryn Mawr credit for every 4 credits completed at schools on the semester system and for every six credits completed at schools on the quarter system. For example, a student who successfully completes four 3-credit semester-long liberal arts courses with grades of C (2.0) or better at another four-year institution should expect to receive three units of Bryn Mawr credit. Similarly, a student who successfully completes five 3-credit semester-long liberal arts courses with grades of C or better at another four-year institution should expect to receive four units of Bryn Mawr credit.  A standard full-time load at many Colleges and universities is 15-16 credits spread over 5 course, which will transfer back as 4 Bryn Mawr units.

Domestic Study Away is an alternative to study abroad. It is usually reserved for special programs at US colleges and universities designed for visiting students. Examples are the Georgetown Government semester, Wood Hole semester at sea, Mystic Seaport program???  (let’s vet this list for recent programs and check with MM for ideas) [Bryn Mawr also awards credit for SEA SemesterWilliams Mystic Maritime Studies, and the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts

There is a continuing enrollment fee for Domestic Study Away, see fees page?? [link to costs page somewhere: link to here???? covers financial and other info]]

Study Abroad – During the Academic Year [accordion]

A student who plans foreign study during the academic year must obtain the approval of the Foreign Study Committee in addition to that of a dean, major adviser and other appropriate departments. Students must enroll in a normal standard full-time program during their time away. The standard full-time load for each approved program is included with the program information on the Study Abroad website. For more information about when and how to apply, consult the Study Abroad website.  (Think there needs to be a section on the SA website about credits generally and point students to course load indicators on specific programs.  Talk to TW.  CHANGE THIS SECTION)

Summer Work

Summer Work in the U.S.

Students planning to take course work over the summer for transfer credit must obtain advance approval of their plans from the Registrar. For approval to study in the summer, submit the Summer Study Application Form. 

Summer courses must be at least four weeks long and 3 semester credits (or 5 quarter credits). Standalone .5 units will not transfer. One Bryn Mawr unit equals four credit hours. Many courses at other institutions are only three credit hours. However, as long as the summer course you wish to take is three credit hours on the semester system and at least four weeks long, Bryn Mawr will "round up" the course and accept it as equal to four credit hours (1 Bryn Mawr unit). If the summer course you wish to take is offered on the quarter system, the class has to be five credit hours in order for the credit to be transferred towards your Bryn Mawr degree.

At the completion of the course(s) an official transcript should be sent to the Bryn Mawr College Registrar's Office (mail to) for credit evaluation. Transcripts should be sent no later than October 15th of that year. Up to four units of summer transfer credit may be counted toward the degree; of these, no more than two units may be earned in any one summer.

Reminder: Summer courses taken at Penn are considered transfer courses. Students accepted into a summer course/program (including Penn) are responsible for all associated costs.


Summer Study Abroad

Summer Study Abroad differs from our academic year Study Abroad Program. There is no pre-approved program list. Students pay for summer programs directly. However, when looking for a program, our approved academic year program list is a good place to start, as many of our partners also have summer session. All standard summer transfer credit rules apply.

For approval to study abroad in the summer, submit the Summer Study Abroad Application Form to the Bryn Mawr College Registrar for credit evaluation and approval.

The Registrar’s Office will complete any home school authorization required by summer abroad programs.

More information about Summer Study Abroad may be found on the Summer Global opportunities website.

Note: Students pay for summer study directly unlike during the academic year.