Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Biology Department Policy on Transfer Credit

Information for requesting summer school or other transfer credit in Biology

Students should contact the associate of the Biology Department. Students should read the sections of the F&M Catalog dealing with transfer credit.  The following information should be provided to the associate chair 4 weeks before the course begins.

  1. Full name and address of the institution (and the specific branch campus, if appropriate) at which the course will be taken, and the URL for the course catalog.
  2. Official information that lists the course number, title, number of credits, and description.  This can be a photocopy from the catalog or a printout from the web site. 
  3. Official information (photocopy or printout from web site) from the semester master schedule that indicates the duration of the semester (number of days/weeks) and the lecture hours per week (or per semester) and laboratory hours per week (or per semester).
  4. Syllabi for both the lecture and laboratory components, as provided by the instructor or department at the institution.
  5. The Registrar’s Approval Form for courses taken at other institutions.


  1. The typical F&M Biology course meets for about 42 lecture periods (50 minutes each) and 13 lab periods (3-4 hours each). Field courses with extended trips will be evaluated in terms of the total lab hours. Courses that fall far short of those values will not be approved as a specific F&M Biology course.  A course with insufficient lab hours could still be considered for credit as a non-lab elective course. 
  2. Courses must have the same or similar prerequisites as the comparable F&M course.  For example, a microbiology course taught without a biology prerequisite will not be approved as an upper level elective, whereas a microbiology course with a prerequisite of one year of biology (and that meets the other criteria) would likely be approved.
  3. Upper level courses for which there is no comparable F&M course could be approved as electives for the major if they satisfy the criteria.
  4. Introductory courses that do not reasonably match the content of BIO 110/220/230/305 may not substitute for those courses, but could be approved as Natural Science Laboratory courses.
  5. The equivalent to one F&M course is 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours at institutions using those systems.  Some institutions list the lecture and lab courses separately; that is acceptable as long as the total credit requirement is met.  Fractional credit can be given, based on F&M’s formula (see the catalog).