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.
Transfer Credit Policy
- Only liberal arts courses taken at accredited four-year colleges and universities will be considered for transfer.
- Four semester credits (or six quarter credits) are equivalent to one unit of credit at Bryn Mawr.
- A minimum grade of 2.0 or C or better is required for transfer. Grades of C minus or “credit” are not acceptable.
- No on-line, correspondence, or distance learning courses, even those sponsored by an accredited four-year institution, are eligible for transfer.
- The Registrar cannot award credit without the receipt of an official transcript from the outside institution recording the course completed and the final grade.
- Transfer credit is only given for courses in the liberal arts. A good rule of thumb: if the department exists 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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. (See the summer work section below for more information.)
- Keep in mind Bryn Mawr's residency requirement 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. See the College Catalog for a full description of the residency requirement.
- For the credit to be evaluated, an official transcript from the transfer institution must be submitted to the Bryn Mawr Registrar’s office for evaluation.
Any student who wishes to use a transfer course towards her major must consult her major adviser in advance. Departments very seldom permit students to count transfer credits as 300-level courses in their majors.
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.
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.
During your time at Bryn Mawr you may want to use your banked credit to replace a unit in a semester in which you completed an underload (3 units rather than 4 units), or to accelerate and graduate a semester or two early. Students should confer with their Dean about plans for using your banked credit. Please contact the Registrar’s Office to talk about posting your credit.
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.
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. There is a continuing enrollment fee for Domestic Study Away. Bryn Mawr awards credit for SEA Semester, Williams Mystic Maritime Studies, and the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, check the Deans' website for more information.
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.
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. A standard full-time load at many Colleges and universities is 15-16 semester credits spread over 5 courses, which will transfer back as 4 Bryn Mawr units. 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 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.
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 (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. 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 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 (see above).
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.
For Transfer Students
Credit for work completed before matriculating at Bryn Mawr will be calculated as described in the General Guidelines above. Ordinarily, the residency requirement means that transfer students will be required to earn all their remaining units in residence. Students who bring in eight units or fewer will normally be expected to earn a minimum of 24 in residence. Those who bring in nine to 16 units will normally be expected to complete their remaining units in residence.
Transfers admitted as sophomores will require the permission of the Special Cases Committee to undertake study abroad. The student will be expected to demonstrate a compelling educational rationale for including study abroad in her major work plan.
For McBride Scholars
McBrides entering Bryn Mawr may transfer up to 16 units of credit for college work taken at community colleges, two-year colleges, or four-year colleges. However, no credit is given if that college work counted towards a student's high school graduation requirements.
Credit will be given only for those community college or two-year college courses taken before the student was admitted to Bryn Mawr.
Students who bring in eight units or fewer will normally be expected to earn a minimum of 24 in residence. Those who bring in nine to 16 units will normally be expected to complete their remaining units in residence.
How credit is evaluated:
When evaluating previous work for transferring students, first a review of content and transferability is done. Then the remaining units are reviewed as a whole to calculate the overall units to be transferred. Bryn Mawr units are equivalent to 4 credits on a semester calendar and 6 credits on a quarter calendar. The total number of transferable credits will be divided by the Bryn Mawr equivalent to arrive at the total number of transfer units. Example: If you completed two semesters at your previous institution, taking 15 credits in Fall and 18 credits in Spring, we would first look to see that all courses are in the liberal arts and meet our transfer grade threshold of 2.0 (C). If all courses are transferrable, we would total the credits and divide by 4 to arrive at the units transferred (15+18=33; 33/4=8.25, rounds to 8 units). Only full and half units may transfer.
Note: Non-graded courses (Pass, Credit, CR, etc) can only transfer if we receive documentation confirming the grade is at least 2.0 or better.
Transfer and McBride students are able to fulfill College Academic Requirements (the Approaches to Inquiry, Foreign Language, Emily Balch Seminar or Quantitative Readiness and Quantitative Methods) through transfer courses.
All transfer students will receive a detailed transfer credit evaluation with admission.