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Transfer Credit Policies

Transfer credit to Trinity College is considered from two categories of institutions: 1) regionally accredited U.S. institutions of higher education; and 2) the liberal arts universities of other countries that are recognized by their appropriate national educational authorities and have been approved by the Trinity College Office of Study Away. The Office of the Registrar evaluates transfer credit and acts on behalf of the Trinity Curriculum Committee in granting final approval for transfer credits. Students must obtain the signature of their faculty adviser on the application for transfer credit, indicating that the students’ proposed study plan has been reviewed and recommended for transfer of credit. However, final approval of each course rests with the Office of the Registrar.

Credit is transferred on a course-by-course basis, not on a semester-by-semester basis. Course work accepted for transfer must parallel Trinity’s own course offerings and/or be liberal arts in nature. Courses that primarily focus on the acquisition of technical skills related to professional training, rather than requiring exposure to the bases in literary, philosophical, interpretive, or scientific understandings fundamental to the liberal arts, will not be granted credit. Examples of non-liberal arts courses that are not transferable include, but are not limited to, business, management, marketing, advertising, public relations, crafts, public speaking, cooking, interior decorating, fashion design, and professionally oriented courses in law and medicine. Examples of other courses that are not transferable to the College include English as a second language, credit by examination, CLEP (College Level Examination Program) credit, internships without a sufficient academic component, ROTC courses, military courses, and correspondence courses. Courses taken online, via Distance Education, Internet, or through other electronic means of delivery are not accepted for transfer.  Credit will be removed for any course already transferred if the College becomes aware that it was taken online, via Distance Education, Internet or other electronic means of delivery.

Course work that duplicates other work already credited at Trinity may not be transferred. Lower-level courses in mathematics and languages cannot be transferred subsequent to the crediting of higher-level courses in the same discipline.

Credit is not awarded for courses taken to fulfill requirements for either secondary school graduation or graduate or professional degrees.

Transfer credit will not be entered onto the student’s record until all questions concerning particular courses have been resolved. Written notice that transfer credit has been posted will be provided to each student each time credit is posted for him or her by the Office of the Registrar. After credit has been transferred to a student’s record at Trinity, such credit may not be removed unless the student later gains credit for a Trinity course that duplicates the earlier credit. The faculty reserves the right to examine a student on any work presented for transfer before allowing credit. A student who wishes to receive credit for work completed through direct enrollment in a foreign college or university for which Trinity approves enrollment only through the sponsorship of an American institution or program must successfully petition the Office of Study Away. Please see the Office of Study Away for further details.

In order to be considered for transfer credit, course work must appear on the sponsoring institution’s official transcript showing title, credit attempted/awarded, and grade earned for each course, that is issued by the registrar. Official transcripts must be mailed to Trinity’s Office of the Registrar. Hand-delivered transcripts are not accepted.

All attempted and/or earned credits and grades received via a Trinity-administered study away program will be posted to the student’s Trinity transcript, regardless of grades earned. All grades for these courses will be calculated into the grade point average and included in determining rank-in-class and academic standing, such as faculty honors, academic probation, and honors at graduation

For nonTrinity-administered study away programs, all course titles, attempted and/or earned credits and grades received will be posted to the student’s Trinity record; credit will be awarded at Trinity only if the grade earned is equivalent to a C- (70) or better. Work from foreign universities must be assessed to be equivalent to a C- or better according to accepted grade conversion scales to earn credit.

Courses with a grading basis of Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, Credit/No Credit, and the like, are not accepted unless certified by the host school/program as equivalent to a C- or better.

The maximum course credits per academic period that may be transferred to Trinity from other institutions (either before or after matriculation at Trinity) is as follows:

​1 academic year (fall and spring) ​9.0
​1 semester (fall or spring) ​5.0
​1 quarter ​3.0
​Summer ​4.0

‘Credit at Trinity will not be increased over that awarded by the transcripting institution. Normally credit will not be decreased from that awarded by the transcripting institution, but the following exceptions apply: transferred physical education courses are limited to 0.25 course credit each (the amount awarded for such courses at Trinity) and to a maximum of one course credit altogether; courses that overlap work already credited may be accepted for partial credit.

The following conversions are made from semester-hour or quarter-hour systems to Trinity’s course credit system:

​Semester hours ​Trinity course credits ​Quarter hours Trinity course credits
​1 ​0.25 ​1 ​0.00
​2 ​0.50 ​2 ​0.25
​3 or 4* ​1.00 ​3 ​0.50
​5 ​1.50 ​4 ​0.75
​6 to 8* ​2.00 ​5 ​1.00
​9 or 10* ​3.00 ​6 ​1.25

*Courses in science that have full laboratories and are valued elsewhere at 4 semester hours will transfer to Trinity as 1.25 course credits; those valued at eight semester hours will transfer as 2.5 course credits.

Credits from the host institution are not usually summed before transfer. In order that the student not lose as much credit as would be the case if credit for courses were transferred individually, the following exceptions may apply:

  • Courses in the same discipline that have low fractional credit values at an institution using the quarter system (i.e., courses valued at fewer than two quarter hours) will be combined in order to attain the minimum threshold of two quarter hours for transfer credit.
  • If a foreign study program awards semester hour credits, and if one-half or more of a student’s courses in any semester are valued at fewer than three semester hours, then the courses valued at fewer than three semester hours for that semester will be summed. A special formula will be applied.

The following rules and procedures concerning restrictions or conditions for transfer credit for courses in several disciplines also apply:

Accounting: A maximum of two course credits in general, introductory coursework will be accepted.
Computer science: Only .50 course credit is awarded for a programming course valued at three or four semester hours elsewhere, and one course credit is the maximum that will be awarded for programming courses.
Economics: Students who transfer both introductory macroeconomics and introductory microeconomics may not enroll in Economics 101, Principles of Economics, at Trinity College. Students who transfer in either introductory macroeconomics or introductory microeconomics may enroll in Economics 101, Principles of Economics, at Trinity College, but will receive 0.50 course credit for the transferred course.
Education: Many “practical” courses are acceptable, but such courses as “Teaching Crafts” are not.
English/Writing and Rhetoric: A maximum of two course credits in introductory expository writing courses will be accepted.
Filmmaking: A maximum of two course credits will be accepted.
Journalism: A maximum of two course credits in journalism courses emphasizing writing will be accepted.
Languages: A lower level course in a language cannot be transferred subsequent to the crediting of higher level course in the same language.
Mathematics: Courses at the calculus level or higher will be accepted; courses of a lower level or those in algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, geometry, or statistics will be reviewed by the chairperson of mathematics to determine their eligibility for credit at Trinity College.
A lower level course in mathematics cannot be transferred subsequent to the crediting of a higher level mathematics course.
Physical education: Only courses like those taught at Trinity will be transferred; credit for intercollegiate sports will not be transferred.
Studio arts: A student desiring credit for courses in the craft disciplines (those using fibers, metals, or clay) must receive the written approval of the director of studio arts before enrolling.

Students wishing to receive transfer credit from another institution after matriculating at Trinity must receive approval in advance by completing an Application for Transfer Credit (also available from the Office of the Registrar) and obtaining all required signatures. Submitting a completed Application for Transfer Credit is the only College-approved method to ensure that particular courses will be accepted for transfer at Trinity.  Informal (verbal or e-mailed) endorsements from faculty or administrators do not constitute official formal approval by the College.

The deadlines for submitting an Application for Transfer Credit to the Office of the Registrar are as follows:

  • For the fall semester or a full academic year away: May 1
  • For the spring semester away: November 15
  • For summer classes: at least two weeks before the summer session begins.

Official course descriptions or syllabi, in English, must be attached to the Application for Transfer Credit; course descriptions transposed by students are not accepted. Course descriptions specific to particular internships, independent studies, and research must also be attached. If official descriptions are not available, a specially prepared summary signed by the director of the host program will be accepted.

Trinity students who have accumulated 18 course credits toward their degree requirements may not transfer credit from two-year colleges.

Upon approval by the associate registrar, photocopies of the Application for Transfer Credit, showing Trinity course credits to be earned upon satisfactory completion of the courses and any other special comments or notations, will be distributed to the student, his or her major department chairperson(s), and his or her minor coordinator(s).

All approved post-matriculation transfer credit shall be posted with applicable credits and grades on the Trinity College transcript and shall be counted toward the requirement of 36 course credits for the bachelor’s degree (except for courses that are repeated). Transfer credit will be posted only after any outstanding questions concerning particular courses are resolved.

Beginning with fall 2006 study away, all grades for transferred courses taken at one of the Trinity-administered study away programs or through the Twelve-College Exchange Program will be calculated into the grade point average and included in determining rank-in-class and academic standing, such as faculty honors, academic probation, and honors at graduation.

Grades from Trinity-approved study abroad programs offered by other colleges, universities, and program providers are not included in calculations of grade point average and rank-in-class.  All course titles, attempted and/or earned credits, and grades awarded, will appear on the Trinity transcript.  Academic credit will be granted only for those courses in which a grade of C- or better (or assessed to be equivalent to a C- or better according to accepted grade conversion scales) is earned.

Students who do not earn at least 4.0 course credits while participating in study away program, or whose grade point average from such a program is less than 1.667, or who fail a class valued at .50 credit or greater, shall be placed on Academic Probation.

Students who wish to use course work that has been accepted for transfer to fulfill requirements for the major or minor must obtain the written approval of the department chairperson, program director, or minor coordinator, using the applicable section(s) of the Application for Transfer Credit. With the approval of the faculty coordinator of a minor, students may use a maximum of three courses taken elsewhere to replace courses in a six-course-credit minor, two in a five-credit minor. Courses not approved to fulfill major or minor requirements will be considered “elective” credit at Trinity.

Students who have matriculated may fulfill no more than two general education requirements through post-matriculation transfer credit; requests may be made using the applicable section of the Application for Transfer Credit.

Internships will be awarded .50 course credit provided there is a sufficient academic component, and a grade and credit are awarded by the host school on its transcript.  An internship that is an integral part of the study abroad program (i.e. American University Washington Semester Program, INSTEP), will transfer as 1.0 Trinity course credit as long as it is valued at three or four semester hours at the host institution and has an extensive academic component.

Internships completed away from Trinity are included in the total number of internship credits allowed towards the degree (please refer to the requirements for the bachelor’s degree in the Bulletin).

Course work of any kind may not be repeated for credit. Students who have already earned credit but need to repeat a class in order to improve the grade first earned must attach the written approval of the department chairperson for that course to the Application for Transfer Credit. If approval is granted, the original grade will continue to be included in the grade point average, and the course repeated outside Trinity will be listed with the new grade shown, but not calculated into the Trinity grade point average (unless taken at a Trinity-administered study away site), and without credit awarded.

Once students arrive at their host program, changes in their approved study plan may occur. Students must submit changes on a new Application for Transfer Credit and forward the application directly to their Trinity faculty adviser, with the new course descriptions attached. Students may print off a Transfer Credit Application (it can also be found on the Registrar’s Office Forms Web page). A photocopy of the approved Application for Transfer Credit will be e-mailed to the students’ Trinity e-mail address.

A student who wishes to spend the last semester of undergraduate study (or all of the senior year) away from Trinity must secure the permission of his or her major department chairperson, and, through the registrar, the permission of the dean of the faculty. All transfer credit requirements for a student studying away for his or her last semester must be completed by the established senior grade submission deadline. Further instructions and deadlines are available from the Office of the Registrar.

All approved courses taken through Twelve-College Exchange and the former Hartford Consortium for Higher Education will be posted to a student’s Trinity record, regardless of grade earned.  Courses graded lower than C- will be treated as similarly graded courses at Trinity. Grades for these courses will be included in calculations of GPA, rank-in-class, and other academic standing.

Students participating in the Twelve-College Exchange Program must complete the Application for Transfer Credit and receive advance approval for all courses.

A maximum of 18 course credits taken at other institutions prior to matriculation at Trinity (20 for students who matriculated at Trinity before fall 1996) may be transferred to Trinity. Pre-matriculation courses accepted for transfer will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar for fulfillment of the Trinity general education requirements. A course description or syllabus may be requested for a course if its acceptability is in question. Transfer credit is not awarded for courses transcripted by other colleges or universities if those courses were offered as part of a college-in-high-school program (these are courses with college syllabi that are taught to secondary school students by college teachers or by college-approved secondary school teachers and with enrollment limited to secondary school students).

Transcripts of pre-matriculation work completed in foreign universities will usually be referred to a national credentials evaluation service, such as Educational Credential Evaluators in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for evaluation and transfer credit recommendations. After Trinity has received the evaluation report, the College’s transfer credit policies will be used to determine what portion of the work, if any, will be accepted for transfer credit.

Advanced Placement (AP) credit is awarded according to the departmental policies stated in the Bulletin.

Credit for the International Baccalaureate and certain European examinations is awarded according to the policy stated in the Bulletin.

Trinity College students who are financial aid recipients may use that aid for study away under the following conditions:

Foreign Study

  1. Financial aid may be used only for participation in programs approved by the Curriculum Committee. A list of approved programs is available in the Office of Study Away.
  2. A student must be in good academic standing at Trinity College at the conclusion of the semester just prior to the beginning of the study away program in which he or she wishes to participate.
  3. The proposed study away program must offer the applicant the opportunity to maintain normal progress toward the bachelor’s degree and to earn the equivalent of at least four transferable course credits per semester (three transferable course credits per quarter or trimester).
  4. Financial need will be evaluated on the basis of the cost of the approved study away program, including round-trip transportation and personal expenses. Loans will be available to cover the study abroad administrative fee.
  5. Students who receive any form of financial assistance (including student and/or parent loans) will be required to complete specific Trinity College financial aid paperwork including a student study away agreement (for Trinity and for approved non-Trinity programs) and transfer of aid document (for approved non-Trinity programs).
  6. Students attending an approved non-Trinity program must provide a copy of their itemized bill from their host institution or program to the Financial Aid Office. (The bill must show the program’s or institution’s address.) For students attending a Trinity program or affiliate, regular Trinity billing from the Office of Student Accounts may be expected.

Domestic Study

  1. The use of Trinity-controlled financial aid for domestic study is limited to participation in the following specific programs: Twelve- College Exchange, ACM Chicago, Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program, Columbia University Shape of Two Cities Program, Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program, Marine Biology Lab and SEA Semester at Woods Hole, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Eugene O’Neill National Theatre Institute, Washington Semester Programs of American University. A student may wish to discuss with the director of financial aid his/her desire to use Trinity-controlled financial aid for study elsewhere domestically, but exceptions are rarely made.
  2. Each of the conditions and procedures listed above (2. through 6.) must be followed, substituting “domestic” for “foreign.”