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Undergraduate Degrees & Programs: Transfer Work

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Academic credit for work done elsewhere may be allowed toward a Stanford bachelor's degree under the following rules and conditions:

  1. Credit may be granted for work completed at institutions in the U.S. only if the institutions are regionally accredited.

  2. Study in institutions outside the U.S., when validated by examination results, tutorial reports, or other official evidence of satisfactory work, may be credited toward a Stanford bachelor's degree, subject to the approval of the credit evaluator and the appropriate departments. See Transfer Work for additional information regarding transfer credit requests for coursework completed abroad.

  3. Credit is officially allowed only after the student has been unconditionally admitted to Stanford.

  4. Credit is allowed for work completed at institutions in the U.S. only on the basis of an official transcript received by the Registrar at Stanford directly from the institution where the credit was earned. In order for transfer credit to be awarded, students must submit an official transcript that clearly indicates all of the below information for each course:

  • Course codes/numbers
  • Course titles or descriptions
  • Final grades earned 
  • Course credits earned
  1. Credit from another institution may be transferred for courses which are substantially equivalent to those offered at Stanford University on the undergraduate level, subject to the approval of the credit evaluator. A maximum of 20 quarter units may represent courses which do not parallel specific undergraduate courses at Stanford, again, subject to the approval of the credit evaluator as to quality and suitability.

  2. Course work cannot duplicate, overlap, or regress previous work. 

  3. Transfer course work cannot count towards secondary school diploma and/or graduation requirements.

  4. For students interested in fulfilling a Ways of Thinking/Doing (Ways) breadth requirement through transfer work, a transfer course evaluation must be submitted to confirm if the course will meet the Ways criteria. Requests for fulfilling Ways requirements in transfer require pre-approval prior to course enrollment and the pre-approval requests must be submitted prior to the term in which students intend to enroll in the transfer course and as defined on the Ways web site. Courses must be taken for a minimum of 3 quarter units (2 units in the case of Creative Expression only) and must be taken for a letter grade.
    For incoming transfer students, a proportion of their Ways requirement must be fulfilled at Stanford based on the number of qualified transfer units awarded at matriculation. Students must complete a number of Ways courses to fulfill the Ways requirement as outlined in the Undergraduate Degrees & Programs Overview.

  5. Transfer work can be used to satisfy a department major or minor requirement. The transfer work must first be officially accepted into the University through the Office of the University Registrar. After the transfer credit has been approved and posted by the Office of the University Registrar, the departments determine if the approved transfer work can be used to satisfy a department major or minor requirement. Students should consult with their departments about a program's transfer credit policies/procedures.

  6. The credit allowed at Stanford for one quarter's work may not exceed the number of units that would have been permissible for one quarter if the work had been done at Stanford; for work done under a system other than the quarter system, the permissible maximum units are calculated at an appropriate ratio of equivalence (i.e. is converted into quarter units). 

  7. Credit is allowed at Stanford for work graded 'C-' (or better) or 'Pass' (where 'Pass' is equivalent to a letter grade of 'C-' or above), but not for work graded 'D' or below.

  8. No more than 45 (90 for transfer students) quarter units of credit for work done elsewhere (including external test credit) may be counted toward a bachelor's degree at Stanford.

  9. Credit earned in extension, correspondence, and online courses is transferable only if the university offering the courses allows that credit toward its own bachelor's degree. Such credit is limited to a maximum of 45 quarter units for extension courses, a maximum of 15 quarter units for correspondence and online study, and a maximum of 45 quarter units for the combination of extension, correspondence, and online courses. Online and independent study courses are not eligible for Ways credit. 

  10. Credit earned in military training and service is not transferable to Stanford, unless offered by an accredited college or university in the U.S. and evaluated as above by the credit evaluator.

See Transfer Credit for additional information regarding transfer credit policies and procedures.


COVID-19 Policies on Undergraduate Transfer Work for Academic Year 2020-21

  • The 15-quarter unit cap on online work was eliminated, students were able to apply for transfer credit for work that was or will be completed via an online/hybrid/correspondence instruction mode. The coursework must still meet all other conditions for transfer credit.

  • Students may reach out to their departments for review/approval of transfer credit without having to first secure a review/approval from the Registrar's Office. Please note: students will want to confirm with departments what their transfer credit process is, if seeking a review of transfer credit for application towards major/minor requirements.

  • Credit earned in U.S. military training and service may be eligible for transfer to Stanford if the work was completed at an accredited U.S. college or University or if the work appears on an official Joint Services Transcript (JST) and meets all other conditions for transfer credit. Joint Services Transcripts can be requested via the JST website