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Incoming Transfer Students

Transfer students are defined as students who have completed at least one full academic year (24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours) at a postsecondary institution prior to entering Northwestern. Once admitted, the Office of Undergraduate Admission will initiate a preliminary transfer credit evaluation on the student’s behalf, which will be conducted by the Office of the Registrar based on transcripts that were submitted at the time of application.

Once the preliminary transfer credit evaluation is complete, a report that lists the courses accepted for transfer credits as well as the estimated total number of transferred units will be made available to the student via their online admissions portal. Transfer credits may appear as a specific Northwestern course (i.e. ECON 201), as an general course at a particular level with a department (i.e. BIOL_SCI 1XX), or as general credit (i.e. GEN_CRED 1XX). The subject and level of the course is determined as closely as possible after reviewing publicly available materials, such as course descriptions, to compare the prior courses with the curriculum at Northwestern. Please review our Transfer Credit Policies to see what Northwestern considers when preliminarily evaluating transfer credit. A student can then work with the relevant department to seek approval for a different articulation after a course's initial evaluation is complete. A form will be made available via your online admissions portal or through your advisor for you to propose courses for re-articulation. 

A credit conversion formula is used to determine the number of NU units a student is awarded. The sum of transferable credits is multiplied by the number of credits required to earn an NU degree (42, 45, 48 or 50), then the result is divided by the number of credits required to earn a degree at the student’s previous institution (we round up or down to nearest integer. We round up if the result has a decimal of .5 or higher).

Formula for transfer credit

Number of credits NU accepts from previous institution X NU school minimum degree requirement / Previous school minimum degree requirement = NU units

16 (transferred credit hours) x 45 (NU degree requirements) ÷ 120 (incoming institution degree requirements) = 6 NU units

Transfer students enrolled in the Robert R. McCormick school of Engineering and Applied Science have their Math, Science, and Engineering courses evaluated by the Northwestern academic departments offering similar courses.

Transfer students enrolled in the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music have their music courses evaluated by the music school.

Admitted students who wish to transfer post-secondary courses completed outside the United States should request evaluation from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) and submit the report to the Office of the Registrar at Northwestern.  ECE reports describe the level of the student’s academic work and the accreditation and credit system of the institution, and inform the degree to which courses taken abroad may transfer to Northwestern University.  The ECE report will enable transfer credit evaluators to make articulation decisions quickly and accurately.  Students must contact ECE directly to 1) request the review and 2) request that the report be issued to Northwestern’s transfer credit evaluators in the Office of the Registrar.  Costs are borne by the student.