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How To Find Equivalent College Courses

Prior to transferring to a different university, it can be helpful to check course equivalencies to ensure that a student will not have to repeat classes. This article explains the general process for locating course equivalencies.

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When a student is ready to transfer colleges, one of the most important steps is seeing if courses already taken are equivalent with courses at a destination university. Course equivalency allows transfer students to progress in their degree programs without having to repeat classes. Keep reading to learn about the steps involved in this process.

Step 1: Locate course equivalency lists.

Many universities make a list of equivalent courses available on their websites. Aspiring transfer students may be able to locate such lists by using the keyword 'equivalency' in a college website's search bar. They may also be able to find these lists by searching the admissions section of a college website, looking for terms like 'transfer' and 'credits.' Using an internet search engine may also yield desirable results.

Step 2: Perform an equivalency search if available.

Once an equivalency list has been discovered, students may be able to search for courses they have already taken. Often, these lists allow students to select a college they have attended and then identify courses taken and how they transfer to the destination college. In California, there is a website called ASSIST that documents how courses transfer among California public colleges, so public colleges in that state may rely on that website. It might be helpful to attempt to identify all courses a student has taken before directly asking a college about equivalency.

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Step 3: Submit courses for evaluation.

When a college or course cannot be found on an equivalency list, students may need to contact a school directly. In some cases, prospective students may be able to submit courses to a destination university for evaluation before being admitted there. For example, this is the case at the University of Kentucky, where prospective students are asked to contact Transfer Admissions for course equivalency via email or by phone. However, there are many universities that require students to have already applied and been admitted before evaluating courses for equivalency.

Step 4: Provide information for credit evaluation.

If a student needs to submit courses for equivalency evaluation, they usually must provide pertinent information for evaluators. Important documents might include official transcripts and course syllabi. If a syllabus is not required, such as with pre-admission equivalency evaluation at the University of Kentucky, students might instead need course numbers and correct titles. Keep in mind that at many universities, only the credit transfers, not the grade, and usually only if a grade of 'C' or higher was earned in a course.

Step 5: Contact departments about equivalencies.

Once course equivalency has been established, students may be able to ask about the results. If a student has questions about how equivalency was evaluated, they might be able to discuss it with the department in which the course is usually taught, such as at Clemson University in South Carolina. At Pennsylvania State University, students may discuss courses within their academic department when classes are not evaluated as a direct equivalent. Students should be aware that sometimes courses simply do not transfer.

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