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Transfer credit policies

You can be awarded a maximum of 90 lower-division (100- and 200-level) transferrable credits at the time of admission. Additional lower-division credits may be awarded by your academic program. The maximum number of lower-division credits you may transfer varies by academic program, but the University of Washington Tacoma will not accept more than 135 credits in transfer toward the total 180 credits required to graduate.

Upper-division credits (300- and 400-level) from other four-year institutions may apply to some program requirements. For some programs, there is a seven-year limit on upper-division transfer credits that are applied toward required core or concentration courses. Please consult with an adviser for details.

You are required to complete 45 of your final 60 quarter credits in residence at UW Tacoma. Some programs may have stricter residency requirements.

Quarter vs. semester credits

The University of Washington Tacoma operates on a quarter system and awards quarter credit. To convert semester credits to quarter credits, multiply the semester credit by 1.5.

Running Start

UW Tacoma will grant full transfer credit for Running Start courses if they are college level and are recorded on a college transcript. Normal restrictions on transfer credits apply (see below).

Advanced Placement

Credit awarded for an AP score of 3 or better may be accepted to fulfill university admission and proficiency requirements. Please consult with an adviser to determine if AP credits fulfill program prerequisites. Review the Advanced Placement (AP) policies for more information.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program is a nationwide program that allows students to earn college credit by examination. The academic programs have authorized the use of these examinations and determined the scores necessary to receive college credit. CLEP examination equivalencies are determined by UW Tacoma faculty and course credit is available in a wide range of lower-division courses. More information about CLEP.

Restrictions on transfer credit

Lower-division college credit: At the time of admission, a maximum of 90 lower-division (100- or 200-level courses) quarter credits can be awarded toward the student’s degree. Depending on the degree program, students may be allowed to petition the academic program for additional lower-division credit. Under no circumstances will students be awarded in excess of 135 lower-division credits. Some transfer courses labeled 100 and above are not actually college-level and will not be accepted for credit (e.g. Math 100 is developmental math on many campuses). Upper-division credits (300- or 400-level courses) from other four-year institutions may apply to some program requirements. For some programs, there is a seven-year limit on upper-division transfer credits that are applied toward required core or concentration courses. Please consult with an advisor for details.

Vocational or Technical Courses: Transfer credit will not generally be awarded for vocational or technical courses. However, a maximum of 15 quarter credits will be awarded in transfer for college-level vocational-technical courses when they have been allowed as electives within the 90 credits comprising an academic associate degree from a Washington community college. Courses in this category, e.g. allied health, bookkeeping, electronics, etc., will apply only toward the elective credit component of a baccalaureate degree at the UW. Such courses are not included in the transfer GPA.

Foreign Language Courses: Students who have completed two or more years of a high-school foreign language receive no college credit for an entry-level course (e.g., French 101) in the same language when that course is completed after matriculation at the University. Transfer students who complete such a course before matriculation at UW Tacoma are eligible to receive transfer credit.

Native Language: First-year (elementary) or second-year (intermediate) foreign-language credit is not granted either by examination or by course completion in a students native language. "Native Language" is defined as the language spoken in the student's home during the first six years of their life and in which they received instruction through seventh grade.

Out-of-Sequence Courses: Credit is not awarded for prerequisite courses in mathematics or foreign languages completed after a more advanced course has been completed. For example, students will not be awarded credit for Spanish 102 if taken after Spanish 103.

Physical Education: No more than three credits will be allowed for physical-education activity courses.

Overlapping Course Content: If an academic department considers two of its courses to have overlapping content, credit will be awarded for only one. Restrictions of this kind are noted in the catalog or department web pages.

UW Extension distance learning: If permitted by the degree program, up to 90 credits earned in correspondence courses offered by the Distance Learning division of UW Extension may be applied toward a UW degree. However, 45 of the student’s final 60 credits must be taken in residence at UW Tacoma to meet the final-year residency requirement.

Extension credit from other schools: No more than 45 credits earned as extension credit from other schools may be applied toward a UW degree. Military credit, discussed below, is included in the 45 extension credit limit.

Military/ROTC credit: Credit earned in Armed Forces Training Schools (AFTS) and through USAFI and DANTES may not exceed 30 credits and are included in the 45-credit extension limit. Official transcripts or DD-214 or DD-295 forms must be submitted. Scores received in such course work are not included in the GPA.

Courses receiving no credit: The university reserves the right to deny credit for courses that are not compatible with those offered in its baccalaureate degree programs. Some general categories of courses that never receive transfer credit include:

  • Courses below college level (usually numbered below 100)
  • Repeated courses or courses with duplicate subject content
  • Coursework completed at an institution that did not hold at least candidacy status with its regional accrediting association when coursework was taken
  • Courses that provide instruction in a particular religious doctrine
  • Mathematics courses considered below college level (up to and including intermediate algebra)
  • Courses offered for non-credit continuing education units
  • Remedial English
  • Courses providing instruction in English as a Second Language
  • Remedial courses in any academic disciplinem