Transfer a Non-Northwestern Credit

Non-Northwestern University Credit Transfer Policy - Undergraduate

General guidelines

Guidelines for credits earned at other U.S. institutions after matriculation to Northwestern University


  1. Consult your advisers (college, major) before deciding to take a course for transfer credit. Obtain appropriate supporting documents, such as course descriptions or syllabi, for the course(s) you propose to take. Links to web materials are acceptable.
  2. Submit the Application for Credit for a Non-Northwestern Course form. The form routes electronically to appropriate approvers based on the information you submit. You must indicate which department at NU might offer a similar course in order for that department to review the proposed transfer course’s content. Secondly, you must indicate how you plan to apply the course to your degree requirements. Once the department reviews the course, the appropriate major/minor/school official(s) will determine whether the course can be applied to your requirements as you have requested. If approved by all school officials, the form will be sent to the Office of the Registrar. The form will be held—and no action taken--until step 3 and 4 below are complete.
  3. Upon completion of the course, have a final, official transcript sent from the offering institution to:
    Northwestern University
    Office of the Registrar
    Attn: Transfer Credit
    633 Clark St.
    Evanston, IL 60208-1118
  4. Once the transcript is received and matched to the approval form, the credit will be articulated to your record. You may then view the entry on CAESAR.


  1. The student's school at Northwestern must grant prior approval for the course.
  2. Work must be in a curricular area generally recognized for credit at Northwestern.
  3. One unit of Northwestern credit will be granted for a course that carries two or three semester hours or three or four quarter hours of credit at the sponsoring institution.
  4. The maximum number of Northwestern units that can be earned in a summer session is two units for any four or five-week session, three units for any six-week session, and four units for any eight- or ten-week session.
  5. Limits on credit earned elsewhere after matriculation at Northwestern University. The Undergraduate Registration Requirement (URR) specifies the minimum number of units of credit a student must earn at Northwestern; it thus limits the amount of non-Northwestern credit that may be counted toward a Northwestern degree. For example, a student entering as a freshman in a four-year degree program must be registered at Northwestern for at least 9 quarters and complete courses worth at least 32 units of credit at the University. (For purposes of the URR, being “registered at Northwestern” for a quarter means that the student is registered for and completes Northwestern course work worth at least two units of credit during that quarter and that the course work is under the supervision of the Northwestern faculty. More details on the URR can be found on the Registrar’s website.)


Two-year or community college credit:
Northwestern University's colleges and schools have specific policies on granting credit for courses taken at a two-year or community college after matriculation at Northwestern:

Weinberg College requirements:
Credit earned at other domestic institutions after matriculation at Northwestern may not be applied towards the Weinberg College distribution requirements or the foreign language requirement. Courses that are to be applied toward a Weinberg College major or minor must have the prior approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies or designated adviser in that department or program.

School of Communication requirements:
Credits earned at other domestic institutions after matriculation at Northwestern may not be counted toward any major or minor in the School of Communication.