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Academic Policies

Policy R-32

Number: R-32
Date of Inception: October 15, 1990

Purpose: To establish a policy for accepting transfer credit from other institutions.

Charleston Southern University (CSU) accepts transfer credit from other institutions of higher education based on the following considerations: 

(1)     the educational quality of the learning experience which the student transfers;
(2)     the comparability of the nature, content, and level of the learning experience to that offered by CSU; and
(3)     the appropriateness and applicability of the learning experience to the programs offered by CSU, in light of the students educational goals (i.e., choice of degree program).

The first of the above considerations primarily deals with accreditation. CSU will accept transfer credit issued by institutions academically accredited through the Southern, Western, Northwest, New England, North Central or Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In some cases, CSU will accept other accrediting bodies, but they must be acceptable by the Commission on Higher Education.  For international institutions, and for U.S. colleges with a different institutional accreditation, CSU seeks to review the transferring college's academic standards at the institutional level and at the course level. We want to ensure that course content and rigor is similar to ours. U.S. institutions must have been accredited during the period of the student's enrollment by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Only grades equivalent to a "C" or higher for undergraduate work, and a "B" or higher for graduate work, will be considered. Certain CSU departments also have limitations on how old credit may be to meet major/minor requirements (see policy R-49 "Time Limitations on Credit").   Credit from foreign countries must have English translations (as needed), and normally require an evaluation by an approved evaluation agency.

The second and third of the above considerations deal with comparability and applicability of the transfer credit. Generally, this information is obtained from catalogs and course related materials. The Transfer Credit Evaluator (TCE) in the CSU Office of the Registrar determines the appropriate method of evaluating and awarding credit. For undergraduate credit, the TCE reviews transcripts to determine if an articulation agreement already exists. The TCE performs course by course evaluations and awards credit for comparable courses from all eligible institutions. If course titles and/or descriptions are questionable, the TCE sends the information to the appropriate department chairperson for an evaluation decision. Some departments, such as Education, Music and Nursing routinely review credit to determine appropriateness for their degree programs. Typically, courses in diploma/certificate programs or vocationally focused degree programs are not eligible for transfer.  For graduate credit, the appropriate program director or dean evaluates all transfer credit. CSU evaluates and awards transfer credit without regard to modes of delivery. CSU will not accept transfer credit while a student is suspended or expelled for academic reasons.

Credit will be classified as being (1) equivalent to a current CSU course; or (2) acceptable as a major/minor elective; or (3) acceptable for Liberal Arts Core, or (4) acceptable as general elective credit only. No more than 30 semester credit hours may be accepted as general elective credit. The University will not accept noncredit courses as transfer credit. Certain types of nontraditional credit may be recognized as transfer credit as described in policy R-5 Nontraditional Credit.

The University will accept and place on the transcript the name of the institution (or nontraditional source) from which the credit was received, the course title, grade, and credit hours. Grade points will not be transferred unless an official CSU policy or consortium agreement exists for the specific institution(s), stating approval to do so. Limitations have been set for the maximum number of transfer hours as outlined below:

  • Regionally accredited junior, community and technical colleges where a student did not receive an associates degree: 68 semester credit hours maximum, including all nontraditional credit accepted.
  • Regionally accredited junior, community and technical colleges where a student did receive an associates degree: 89 semester credit hours maximum, including all nontraditional credit accepted.
  • Senior colleges and universities: 89 semester credit hours maximum, including any credit accepted from all other sources (including I. above, and all nontraditional credit accepted.)

Revised and approved by the Faculty Senate on February 26, 2008, and August 2012. Revised by Dean's Council, March 2018.


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