The Office of Admissions awards transfer credits to students pursuing a first bachelor's degree according to the guidelines indicated here. UW Tacoma reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at other higher-education institutions.
You can be awarded a maximum of 90 lower-division (100- and 200-level) transferable credits at the time of admission. Additional lower-division credits may be awarded by your school or degree program. The maximum number of lower-division credits you may transfer varies by school, but UW 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 degree program requirements. For some degree 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.
You are required to complete a minimum of 45 of your final 60 quarter credits in residence at UW Tacoma. Some programs may have stricter residency requirements.
UW Tacoma Course Equivalency Guide
The Course Equivalency Guide provides information on how Common Course Numbering (CCN) courses transfer from local Washington state community colleges. For information on how to read the charts, visit the UW Tacoma Equivalency Guide Manual. These charts only include courses from the CCN Database. Visit the UW Equivalency Guide to see a full list of course equivalencies from Washington state community and technical colleges.
Quarter vs. Semester Credits
The UW Tacoma operates on a quarter system and awards quarter credit. To convert semester credits to quarter credits, multiply the semester credit by 1.5.
Credit awarded for an AP score of 3 or better may be accepted to fulfill university admission and proficiency requirements. Please consult with an advisor to determine if AP credits fulfill program prerequisites. Review the Advanced Placement (AP) policies for more information.
UW Tacoma will grant full transfer credit for Running Start courses if they meet college-level equivalencies and are recorded on a college transcript. Normal restrictions on transfer credits apply (see below).
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.
Alternative Credit Options
The UW does not award general credit for work or life experience.
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.
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: Official military transcripts (Joint Services Transcripts) must be submitted to the Office of Admissions for evaluation. Coursework recommended for academic college credit at the lower or upper division level by the American Council on Education (ACE) will be considered for transfer provided that the coursework is applicable to the student's degree program at the University of Washington. Military coursework is not included in the transfer GPA, and transfer credit will not be awarded until after the student has enrolled at the University. A maximum of 30 quarter credits may be awarded for military courses earned through Armed Forces training schools (AFTS). No credit is awarded for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) programs.
- Military Extension credits are not transferable
- Vocational/Technical & Restricted Military credit s are not transferable
- Credits awarded for Armed Forces Training Schools (AFTS) coursework may not exceed 30 quarter credits and are included in the 45- credit limit for extension credit (listed above)
- AFTS coursework is not included in the transfer GPA
- No credit is awarded for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) program
- Official military transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Admissions for evaluation. Credit will not be awarded until after the student has enrolled at the University
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 discipline
World Language Courses: Students who have completed two or more years of a high-school world 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 the UW are eligible to receive transfer credit.
Native Language: First-year (elementary) or second-year (intermediate) world language credit is not granted either by examination or by course completion in a student’s native language. “Native language” is defined as the language spoken in the student’s home during the first six years of his or her life and in which he or she received instruction through the seventh grade.
Out-of-Sequence Courses: Credit is not awarded for prerequisite courses in mathematics or world 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.
Overlapping Content: If a department considers two of its courses to have overlapping content, credit will be awarded for only one. For example, credit is granted for either PHYS 114 or PHYS 121. Other departments in which such overlapping courses occur include Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, World Language, Genetics, Geological Sciences, Linguistics, Psychology, and Statistics. Restrictions of this kind are noted in the Course Catalog.
Physical Education: No more than three quarter credits will be allowed for physical-education activity courses.
Restricted Transfer Credit: 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. Courses in this category are those that ordinarily provide specialized training for an occupation (e.g., allied health, bookkeeping, electronics, or physical therapy assistant). When allowed, these credits will apply only toward the elective credit component of a baccalaureate degree at the UW. Such courses are not included in the transfer GPA.
Students transferring to the University of Washington from a Washington community or technical college before earning a Washington community or technical college associate degree will be able to apply academic credits they earn at UW toward completion of an associate degree from their former Washington community or technical college.
Adding an associate degree to your Washington community or technical college transcript will show that you have completed a higher education program and earned a credential. Having an associate degree on your record may also help build your resume and document applicable job qualifications prior to earning your baccalaureate degree. Here is more information regarding the UW reverse transfer policy and eligibility criteria.