Transfer a Non-Northwestern Credit

Non-Northwestern University Credit Transfer Policy - Undergraduate

A.   General guidelines for students seeking to take courses at other U.S. institutions

A.1. Guidelines for transferring 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 steps 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.

B. General guidelines for matriculated students seeking to take courses outside the United States

C.   General guidelines for matriculated international students, on F1/J1 visas*, seeking to independently enroll in courses at foreign institutions in their countries of permanent residence/citizenship

*Dual citizens and other students who do not hold F1/J1 visas may seek a visa exemption from the Study Abroad Office by sending a copy of the Biographical Page in their passport for the country in which they’re seeking to study to Alicia Stanley at  Such students should ensure they are enrolled in a health care plan in that country; if not, they should consider purchasing NU’s HTH health insurance policy through the Office of Global Safety and Security

C.1. Guidelines for transferring credits earned after matriculation by international students on F1/J1 visas at foreign institutions in their countries of permanent residence/citizenship



  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 (or the equivalent for foreign credentials).
  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.

Credit earned at foreign institutions by international (F1/J1) students after matriculation at Northwestern may not be applied towards the Weinberg College distribution requirements.

Students approved to study abroad by the Study Abroad Office may be authorized to apply some credits earned at foreign institutions toward the Weinberg College distribution requirements.

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:

Transfer credits are not permitted to apply for those major requirements that must be taken in the major department. Transfer credits may be approved (by petition) to count towards courses required in SoC. Courses in the major department may also be accepted as elective credit.