Credit by Examination
Students may receive credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Level (A-Level), and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Strong scores may allow for a course waiver or course credit. Students may not receive credit more than once for the same course equivalency (e.g., Spanish 240 credit from both AP and SAT II Subject Test scores). Please note, all credit by examination transfer credit criteria are subject to change without notice.
- Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT II Tests: UMass Amherst grants advanced standing and/or credit for the College Board AP exams, but these credits will vary depending upon scores and subject matter. You may also receive credit for your SAT II Foreign Language scores. Official copies of your AP and/or SAT Subject Test scores should be sent electronically to UMass Amherst. Our CEEB # is 3917. A Level/AS Level Exam Credit: Students may receive credit for exams taken at the Advanced (A-Level) or Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level. Official results must be sent directly from the testing agency to the Office of Admissions.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Program: Students may receive credit for IB Exams taken at the higher level (HL). Official results must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions from IBO. Depending on the subject, students may earn transfer credit (typically 6-8 credits per exam) in which they have received scores of 4 or higher.
- A Level/AS Level Exam Credit: Students may receive credit for exams taken at the Advanced (A-Level) or Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level. Official results must be sent directly from the testing agency to the Office of Admissions.
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP): Credit earned through CLEP will be awarded based on the guidelines established by the UMass Registrar.
UMass Amherst adheres to the VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy. We use the American Council on Education (ACE), CLEP, and DSST guidelines and apply the same standards to credits for military education as those applied to coursework from accredited colleges and universities. The JST military transcript is available in electronic format only and may be requested via the Joint Services Transcript (JST) website. For more information about transferring military credits, please contact Eric Lewison, in the Registrars office (413) 545-0555.
College Course Credit
Transfer credit is generally awarded if your previous coursework is comparable in content and scope to courses offered by UMass Amherst and you earned a grade of C- (1.7) or higher in the course. Internships, co-ops, and technical, vocational, or highly specialized courses are generally not accepted for transfer credit. In the case of a non-traditional grading system, faculty evaluations must be submitted as part of your official transcript. Specific letter grades earned outside UMass Amherst do not transfer.
The Registrars Office evaluates credits within the context of university and department policy. It determines (1) whether or not a course will transfer, (2) if the transfer course has a lower-division UMass Amherst course equivalent, and (3) whether the course fulfills a UMass Amherst General Education requirement. Courses without equivalents may be used for General Education, major electives, or general elective credit towards the bachelor’s degree.
How Transfer Credit May Be Used
Up to 75 transfer or test credits may be applied to UMass Amherst graduation requirements. However, students are required to earn at least 45 semester credits in residence at UMass Amherst. In order to graduate, all students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, completing a bachelor’s degree may require more than 120 credits if students are engineering majors, if they change majors late in their academic careers, or if they do not adequately prepare for their major in the first two years of college study.
Transfer credit may be applied towards the following components of a UMass Amherst degree:
- General Education requirements (Note: Students who have earned the MassTransfer Block will have completed all General Education requirements except for Diversity and Integrative Experience.)
- College requirements – Some colleges require students to complete additional requirements, such as a language.
- Major requirements – Students are advised to begin preparing for their UMass Amherst major while attending their current college in order to assure a smooth transition.
- Elective credits – The number of elective credits varies based on the extent of major requirements.
How to Learn About Transfer Credit and Progress toward Graduation
Admitted transfer students receive a preliminary transfer credit evaluation to view online once admitted. A more detailed transfer credit evaluation will be posted on student records after they have paid their enrollment fee and matriculated. Students will then be able to view their own transfer credit evaluation on the SPIRE student information system. Detailed discussion of course and major evaluation will take place at the Transfer Advising and Registration sessions prior to enrollment.
Matriculated first-year students who have supplied the relevant official transcripts will receive a transfer credit evaluation in the summer preceding their first semester. They will also be able to view their own transfer credit evaluations on the SPIRE student information system after the credits have been posted.
Students may also track their progress towards graduation using the Academic Requirements Report (ARR) on SPIRE. However, courses without equivalents to be used towards the major will not be determined until after students meet with their advisors.
Through Reverse Transfer, students who made progress toward an associate degree prior to transferring may apply credit earned at a four-year institution back to their community college to complete the associate degree requirements. State universities and UMass campuses waive transcript fees and community colleges waive graduation fees for Reverse Transfer students, so you can receive your associate degree without any additional time or expense. Visit the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education website to learn more.