Given the extraordinary pedagogical changes made in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester at Tufts and around the world, several exceptional measures for undergraduate students have been established for Spring 2020 (with an extension to Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 in some cases) via faculty vote in Arts and Sciences (including SMFA) and Engineering, including exceptions to our transfer of credit policy. The changes are reflected in text below and details regarding all exceptions can be found online and in the FAQ.
You may use courses taken at other institutions, semesters abroad, and pre-matriculation credits to complete coursework and requirements. There are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get credit for these courses on your Tufts transcript.
Transfer of Credit Policies
- A matriculated student may take courses at other accredited colleges and universities and receive credit for them toward a Tufts degree by obtaining approval in advance from the relevant department through SIS.
- Beginning with the Spring 2022 semester, courses taken at accredited two-year colleges (community colleges) are acceptable for transfer of credit to Tufts, regardless of your matriculation status. Prior to spring 2022, you were only permitted to transfer courses from two-year colleges prior to matriculation. An exception to the prior policy was made due to the extraordinary circumstances of the covid-19 pandemic allowing transfer of credit from two-year colleges for courses taken only in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021.
- Arts and Sciences transfer students are able to transfer in up to 60 credits. Engineering transfer students are able to transfer in up to 60 credits, and potentially more depending on the degree program, including pre-matriculation credits (such as APs, IBs, and SAT subject tests).
- You may not transfer more than 12 credits in one summer, or more than 20 credits from summer schools other than Tufts.
- Courses taken at other institutions may only be transferred for credit if you earn a C- or better. The course and credit will appear on your Tufts transcript, but your grade in the course will not be posted. Exceptions will be made for courses taken in Spring 2020 that received a “Pass” or equivalent if an institution adopted a mandatory Pass/Fail grading scheme. In order to provide an official record of the grade you earn in a course taken at another institution (sometimes required for graduate school or job applications), you would need to provide a copy of your transcript from that institution.
- No on-line, correspondence, or distance-learning courses will be transferred for Tufts credit, with the exception of online courses taken in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 only. No internships will be transferred for Tufts credit. No performance courses in dance or music will be transferred for Tufts credit.
- Transfer credit toward the Tufts degree from a study abroad program or foreign university will be accepted only from students in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of the enrollment in the foreign program.
- Transfer of Credit Representatives determine the acceptability of the course content; the Registrar's office determines the amount of credit the student will receive for the course.
- You must attempt at least 12 credits during a fall or spring semester away to count a semester away as one of the eight semesters of full-time study needed for graduation.
- Any course completed at another institution prior to you completing your High School Degree requires additional documentation. The institution where you completed the course will need to complete the Prior Institution Verification Form: Transfer of Credit Request and return it to us, and a representative from your High School, typically your guidance counselor, will need to complete a separate Prior Institution Verification Form: Request for Transfer Credit.
Important Note about MOOCs and Other Non-Traditional Online Courses
- The faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering voted to waive the usual prohibition of transfer of credit for courses taken online in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021. We ask students to use caution before enrolling in online courses because many MOOCs and other low-cost alternatives do not bestow college credit. This includes well-known options such as Coursera and EdX.
- Many MOOCs and other free or low-cost online courses do not confer college credit, do not offer an official transcript, and do not assess letter grades. Even if the MOOC claims the course may be taken for college credit, please read the fine print carefully before enrolling or paying a fee.
- Tufts will not accept “online certificates” or “badges” for transfer of credit – only an official transcript from a regionally-accredited college or university will be accepted.
- There are a few MOOCs that have partnered with colleges and universities to bestow actual college credit for purposes of transfer of credit; therefore, if you complete a course offered as a MOOC for a grade of C- or higher and you can provide an official transcript from an accredited college or university for Tufts faculty-approved course content, we can accept those credits.
- Please note that all other policies for transfer of credit are still in effect, which include the following requirements: the course content must be evaluated and a course equivalent must be approved by a designated Tufts faculty member; the course must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university; an official transcript recording the credit and grade must be submitted to Tufts Student Services; and the course must be taken for a letter grade, and only grades of C- or higher are eligible for transfer to Tufts.
Transferring Credit from AP, IB, and SAT Subject Tests
Arts and Sciences (BA/BS) students can have a maximum of 5 pre-matriculation course equivalencies regardless of credits Engineering students can have a maximum of 27 credits.
You have the opportunity to receive Tufts credit for earning certain scores on Advanced Placement tests, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests. You should request your scores be sent via the testing agency or provide a score report to Student Services for processing. Students should consult the Exam Equivalencies Chart or review the Bulletin for their year of matriculation.
If a test score conflicts with enrollment in a course taken at Tufts, you will forfeit the test score. If a test score conflicts with another test score, Student Services staff will try to give you the most beneficial scenario for your academic record.
Transferring Credit from Other Undergraduate Institutions
Arts and Sciences students are able to transfer in up to 60 credits from other institutions. Engineering students are able to transfer in up to 60 credits, and potentially more depending on the degree program, from other institutions. Students must complete the course in person, courses completed online are not eligible for transfer credit unless completed during a semester in which this policy was waived due to extenuating circumstances. Engineering students may transfer courses only from institutions with accredited engineering programs in those disciplines. BFA students may transfer up to 38 studio art credits and 21 credits of non-studio coursework from other approved institutions.
Determining Course Credits
Transfer of Credit Representatives determine the acceptability of the course content; the Registrar's office applies the overriding policies outlined above and determines the amount of credit the student will receive for the course.
- Where quarter hours are used, 2 credits equals 3 quarter hours, and 3 credits equals 4 quarter hours.
- Internships, performance courses in dance or music, courses taken as Pass/Fail internationally, or courses used toward the completion of your high school diploma will not be transferred to Tufts for credit.
- You need to have a grade of C- or above to receive Tufts credit.
Getting Departmental Approval
You must request departmental approval for courses you wish to take or have already taken at other undergraduate institutions. It is generally best to get approval before you take them. Here’s how:
- Log into SIS, navigate to “Classes” and click “Request Transfer of Credit.” If you do not have access to SIS, you may complete the paper request process.
- Click “Add a New Transfer of Credit Request” and choose the Transfer of Credit Request link for your academic program (major and degree). If you have more than one major, you can select either.
- Search for the institution. You may need to use a combination of abbreviations or search multiple times using variations, but the vast majority of schools and programs are listed. Click “Select” next to the school or program you wish to attend or are attending. (If you absolutely can’t find a school, click “School not listed” and follow the steps.)
- Complete the course information, making sure that the course title and number matches exactly what appears on the school’s Registrar’s website or is printed on their transcripts. If available, provide a link to the course catalog entry or attach the syllabus.
- Select a Tufts department from which to seek approval. Tufts Transfer of Credit Representatives will determine if the course content is acceptable and the Registrar's office will determine the number of credits you will receive.
- Enter the term in which you are taking or plan to take the course and any comments relevant to your request.
- Read and agree to the terms of the Transfer of Credit policies and procedures before submitting your request.
- Click “Create Transfer of Credit Request” to complete the process. An error message will appear if any fields are incomplete.
- You will receive an email confirming your request and follow-up emails about the status of your request (such as approval or denial or the need for additional information). If you have any questions about the timeline for approval, check with the department that you have requested the approval from.
Getting the Credit onto Your Transcript
Once the course has been approved and you’ve completed the course, have a sealed, official transcript sent to Tufts Registrar’s office from the other institution.
- To send by mail: Office of the Registrar, Attn: Transfer of Credit, Dowling Hall, Tufts University, 419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155.
- To send electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org: We will only accept official transcripts sent electronically via a verified vendors.
- Once Tufts receives the transcript, you will receive an email that the transcript has been received.
- Once your course has been approved and we have the transcript, we can post courses to your Tufts transcript. Requests that are incomplete or otherwise don’t match the transcript can slow down the process.
- Once the course has been added to your transcript, you will receive another email and your courses will appear on your transcript.
Fulfilling Requirements with Transfer Courses
Once a department approves a course with a Tufts equivalent, the Tufts course for which the course is approved may have attributes associated with it (such as culture, humanities, arts, etc.). If approved as a Tufts course with attributes, those apply as if the course was taken here.
If there is no Tufts equivalent for the course, the course may be approved with a course number 310, 320, or 330. If the course is approved for one of these course numbers, it may not have attributes. Arts and Sciences (BA/BS) students, if you want the course to count for a distribution requirement, you may either resubmit the request with a comment for the department approver to request the course count for a specific distribution requirement (given the approver is in the distribution area) or you can submit a petition to the Distribution Subcommittee. Any requests for courses to meet the world civilization or culture requirements must be petitioned.
Engineering students should consult the guidance on academic policies page which provides details on degree sheet substitutions and the petition process.
Credit From Undergraduate to Graduate Tufts Programs
As an undergraduate, you must formally petition to reserve courses taken during your undergraduate career to be reserved for graduate school credit prior to earning your Tufts undergraduate degree. These courses will not be calculated into your undergraduate GPA or count toward the credits or requirements for you to earn your undergraduate degree. To complete this process, complete and submit the Reserve Courses form.