Transfer of Credit Policy

All transfer students will be expected to adhere to all graduation requirements listed in this Catalog unless noted otherwise below.

Transfer credit is only considered for college courses that are documented on an official transcript sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from the original institution.

Specific courses are approved for transfer credit based on the following considerations:

  1. Existence of comparable courses in the Franklin & Marshall curriculum;*

  2. Accreditation of the institution offering the course (courses taken at institutions accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions are generally eligible for transfer consideration);

  3. Intended field of concentration (including related courses);

  4. General Education requirements; and

  5. Grades earned (“C-” or better is required for courses taken prior to matriculation; “D-” or better is required for courses taken after matriculation; courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis are generally not eligible for transfer credit).    

    *Subjects generally not approved for transfer credit include:

  • Technical courses;
  • Communications courses (including oral communications);
  • Most education courses;
  • Engineering courses;
  • Physical education courses;
  • Criminal justice courses;
  • Secretarial courses;
  • Drafting courses;
  • Courses in military science;
  • Real estate courses;
  • Vocal or instrumental music lesson credits.

Transfer Credit Prior to Matriculation (Transfer Student)

College credit earned prior to matriculation at Franklin & Marshall College is transferred on the basis of courses in which the student has earned grades of “C-” or better. The total amount of Franklin & Marshall transfer credit is determined by dividing the total semester hours of approved credit by four (the number of credit hours per course at Franklin & Marshall College). (Transfers from a quarter-hour system divide total quarter hours by six.)

A student must complete a minimum of 16 course credits at Franklin & Marshall College regardless of the amount of credit transferred and even if all other degree requirements can be met with fewer than 16 course credits.

Grades in transferred courses are not included in the Franklin & Marshall grade point average. Thus, they are not taken into account in the determination of College honors. Grades in transferred courses taken prior to matriculation are not posted on a student’s Franklin & Marshall transcript. Transfer credit for graded college courses will count toward the requirement that a student must pass 21 regularly graded credits to graduate from Franklin & Marshall College.

Online courses may transfer upon approval of the appropriate academic department chairperson. They are awarded general elective credit only.

Franklin & Marshall College grants credit for some nontraditional course work, such as the following:

  • Armed Services Language Institutes (transcripts evaluated with approval of appropriate language department chairperson)

  • Nursing degree (up to eight course credits)

  • Advanced Placement Examinations (see below)

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (see below)

  • CLEP Subject Tests (see below)

  • Proficiency examinations (see Examination Procedures).

Credentials from institutions outside of the United States are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require the services of a course credit evaluation agency at the student’s expense.

Courses in question are referred to the department chairperson, whose decision is the final authority.

Incoming transfer students are granted Franklin & Marshall credit upon receipt of their final official transcript from their previous institution. This transcript must be mailed or sent via a secure electronic transcript service directly from the previous institution to the Franklin & Marshall Registrar’s Office.

Transfer credit for college coursework is part of a student’s official education record. Once transfer credit is awarded for a course, the course cannot be removed from the student record.

Transfer of Credit After Matriculation

No credit may be transferred for courses taken during a fall or spring semester in which the student is enrolled at Franklin & Marshall.

Transfer of credit requires approval of the appropriate department chairperson at Franklin & Marshall College before the course is taken. Credentials from institutions outside of the United States are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require the services of a course credit evaluation agency at the student’s expense.

Transfer courses may not count toward the Natural Science in Perspective (NSP) requirement unless they are determined by the appropriate department chairperson to be the direct equivalent of an existing Franklin & Marshall NSP course.

Online courses may transfer upon approval of the appropriate academic department chairperson. They are awarded general elective credit only.

The amount of transfer credit awarded for a successfully completed, approved course is determined only on the basis of the following equation:

Franklin & Marshall course credits = number of semester hours divided by four, OR number of quarter hours divided by six (to the nearest .25)

By this formula, the following Franklin & Marshall credit equivalencies can be made for a single course:

    1 semester hour    =    .25 F&M course credit

    2 semester hours    =    .50 F&M course credit

    3 semester hours    =    .75 F&M course credit

    4 semester hours    =    1.00 F&M course credit

    1 quarter hour    =    no F&M credit

    2 quarter hours    =    .25 F&M course credit

    3 quarter hours    =    .50 F&M course credit

    4 quarter hours    =    .75 F&M course credit

    5 quarter hours    =    .75 F&M course credit

    6 quarter hours    =    1.00 F&M course credit

It is important to note that while the department chairperson determines what course a student can take to transfer credit and what specific course requirement at Franklin & Marshall College will be met through taking the course (major, minor or elective), the chairperson cannot authorize a student to transfer credit according to any formula other than that explained above.

If Franklin & Marshall credit is received for a specific course that was taken elsewhere, then the student may not retake the course at Franklin & Marshall.

Transfer credit for college coursework is part of a student’s official education record. Once transfer credit is awarded, it cannot be removed from the student record.

Grades for Approved Transfer and Study Abroad Credit After Matriculation

  • In order to receive transfer credit, a passing grade must be earned ("D-" or above) and must be reflected on an official transcript sent directly to the Registrar's Office from the host institution.
  • All courses must be taken for a regular grade (not Pass/No Pass).
  • All transferred grades, including failing grades, will be entered onto the Franklin & Marshall transcript but will not be calculated into the Franklin & Marshall cumulative grade point average. One set of exceptions regards work completed at a Central Pennsylvania Consortium institution, the Lancaster Theological Seminary, or through the Millersville Exchange Program.  An additional exception regards courses taken in the fall, spring, or summer sessions of Advanced Studies in England.  All courses taken by Franklin & Marshall students at ASE will be treated the same as courses taken at Franklin & Marshall; the grades for ASE courses will be counted in the Franklin & Marshall cumulative GPA with four semester hour courses receiving one Franklin & Marshall credit.
  • Transfer credit may not be received for a course already taken at Franklin & Marshall College.
  • Courses taken at Franklin & Marshall for which a grade of "D+", "D", "D-", "F", or "NP" was received may not be repeated at another institution.

Students may petition the Committee on Academic Status for exceptions to this policy. Special policies and procedures apply for courses taken as part of a semester (or year-long) study abroad program or a domestic off-campus affiliated program. Interested students should consult the Office of International Programs for policies and procedures in this area.

Advanced Placement

Franklin & Marshall College participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. A student who takes an Advanced Placement examination is given college credit if the subject matter of the Advanced Placement course and examination is comparable to that covered in an elementary course taught by a Franklin & Marshall department. In some cases, only one credit may be awarded for multiple examinations in similar subject areas; please refer to the published list of AP awards for details. Credit is awarded upon receipt of the student's official grade report sent from the College Board to Franklin & Marshall.

Current Advanced Placement Information

When a student is awarded credit and advanced placement, the fact, but no grade, is entered on the student's permanent record, and the number of courses required for graduation is reduced by the number of courses for which credit is given. Such credit will satisfy a major or minor requirement if the course is listed in the Catalog as satisfying that requirement. Whether a student is awarded credit for more than one semester's work in a single subject is determined by the department concerned.

These procedures do not permit the granting of two college credits for the same work (e.g., introductory calculus taken in high school and repeated at Franklin & Marshall College). If a student is officially enrolled at the end of the second week of classes for a course at Franklin & Marshall College for which Advanced Placement credit has been awarded, the student forfeits the awarding of this credit.

There is no limit on the number of Advanced Placement course credits a student may receive, but these credits cannot count toward the 16 course credits that must be earned at Franklin & Marshall College nor toward the 21 course credits that must be earned with standard grades.

College Credits Taken in High School

Franklin & Marshall College will accept, in transfer, only those college credits taken while the student attended high school which meet ALL the following conditions:

1. The course was taught on the campus of a college accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations;

2. The course was taught by a regular member of the college faculty;

3. The student was enrolled in a course with degree candidates of that college; and

4. The course was a regular part of the curriculum of the college.

All other policies listed under "Transfer Credit Prior to Matriculation" apply.

Credit Based on International Academic Credentials

International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma recipients with a total score of 30 or more are awarded eight course credits (one full year) toward the Franklin & Marshall degree. IB Certificate recipients receive one or two course credits (depending on discipline) for each higher level examination passed with a score of 5 or higher. IB credits may be counted toward major or minor requirements or electives contingent upon departmental approval. French Baccalauréat and German Abitur recipients may be granted credit for up to one full year (eight course credits) toward a degree at Franklin & Marshall College.

The College generally awards credit to students who have passed British "A" Level examinations with a grade of "C" or higher in eligible subjects. See the Registrar's Office for details. Other course credits from institutions from outside the Unites States are evaluated on an individual basis. If an accurate evaluation of foreign credentials is not possible, the student may be asked to secure, at his/her expense, a professional evaluation from an appropriate agency.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Franklin & Marshall College participates in the CLEP program of The College Board, accepting scores of 50 or higher in subject area tests as entrance credits. Matriculated students must receive the prior approval of the appropriate department chairperson.

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Policy Maintained by: Registrar's Office, College Registrar and Associate Director of Institutional Research
Last Reviewed:  August 3, 2018