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.

Students who matriculated prior to August 2011 may satisfy all or part of the Divisional and Quantitative requirements via transfer credits. However, those who entered Bryn Mawr in August 2011 or later will not be able to fulfill the Approaches to Inquiry, Foreign Language, Emily Balch Seminar or Quantitative and Math requirements through transfer courses.

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.

  • Transfer credit is only given for courses in the liberal arts. (A good rule of thumb: does 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).
  • 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.
  • An official transcript, from the institution you did course work at, must be submitted to the Bryn Mawr Registrar’s office for evaluation.
  • 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.
  • To receive transfer credit for a course, you must receive a grade of at least 2.0 or its equivalent.
  • 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 summer courses for more information.)
  • Bryn Mawr's residency requirement states that students must complete 24 units during semesters registered at Bryn Mawr, either during the regular academic year or during the College's summer sessions.

Additional Guidelines

Students entering Bryn Mawr may transfer up to four units of credit from college work done during high school, including courses taken at community colleges or two-year colleges. 

Courses must have been regular college classes taken with other college students. 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.

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. Before enrolling in any courses at another institution, a student should consult with her Dean and with the Registrar to ensure the course is eligible for transfer. Courses will not be considered for transfer credit without the form, here.

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 and other appropriate departments. The institution and courses must meet the general 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. 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 full-time program during their time away.  For more information, consult the Study Abroad website.

Summer Work in the U.S.

A student who wishes to receive credit for summer school work must obtain advance approval of their plans from the Registrar. For approval to study in the summer, submit the Summer Study Application Form to the Bryn Mawr

Summer courses must be at least four weeks long. 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.

College Registrar's Office for credit evaluation and transfer approval. An official transcript should be sent to Bryn Mawr's Registrar's Office within one semester of completing the course. A total of no more than four units earned in summer school may be counted toward the degree; of these, no more than two units may be earned in any one summer.

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 transfer.

Once your program is approved by the Registrar, ask the program if they require any authorization forms to be completed by Bryn Mawr College (e.g., home institution approval form). Submit any such forms to the Registrar for the appropriate signature.

For more information about Summer Study Abroad, go to the website.

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 credits in residence. Students who bring in eight credits or fewer will normally be expected to earn a minimum of 24 in residence. Those who bring in nine to 16 credits will normally be expected to complete their remaining credits 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 credits or fewer will normally be expected to earn a minimum of 24 in residence. Those who bring in nine to 16 credits will normally be expected to complete their remaining credits in residence.

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Contact Us

Office of the Registrar

Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: 610-526-5142
Fax: 610-526-5139
registrar@brynmawr.edu