How to Transfer a Degree From Another Country

Sep 29, 2020

Students interested in studying at a United States university who have previously completed a degree outside of the U.S. can benefit from transferring in their degree and coursework, as doing so will save time and money on their U.S. studies. Although a degree in its entirety won't automatically transfer, students may be able to have their degree recognized and transferred by following a few steps.

1. Determine Which School You Want to Attend and Transfer Policies

Students should review different schools and choose some top contenders for their target program. In choosing a school, students should consider a variety of factors, such as which programs are offered, accreditation, program format (online, part-time), cost and more. In addition to things like accreditation and cost, students should consider each school's transfer policies. These policies can be found by contacting each school's admissions office or reading the transfer information online.

Each school sets its own transfer policy. Some schools might accept a full degree from another country if it meets certain criteria. These might include the degree-granting school's credentials, specific courses taken and so on. Students should reach out to the admissions offices of their school choices to see if their coursework and degree will be transferred or if they will need to complete other steps.

2. Have the Degree Evaluated by a Third Party

Many schools won't be able to review courses earned internationally and transfer a degree. For students whose schools don't, there are other options for having international degrees transferred. Students can have their international degree and coursework reviewed by one of several organizations that provide students with equivalent credentials. These organizations review international transcripts, course information and more. They then determine U.S. equivalents for each and create a transcript, so to speak, that shows a student's credentials. It's important that students check with their candidate schools before proceeding to this step, as some schools may prefer one organization's credentials over another. Students do have to pay the third party for the degree equivalency service, and prices vary by provider.

3. Submit Documents to University and Register

Once students have their degree equivalency documents, they can submit them to the admissions offices of the schools that they are interested in. Students should determine how many credits will transfer at each school in order to maximize their transferred courses. When a student knows how many classes are remaining in the program that they want to enroll in, they can better compare the benefits of each school and make a final decision as to which to attend.

Once students have selected their school, they can begin the registration process. Depending on their transferred coursework, they may need to take classes that they previously completed. However, courses with significantly similar content are likely to transfer and bypass repetition. If students are not native English speakers, they may also need to earn a qualifying score on an English proficiency exam.

Some schools may limit the number of courses that students can take when they first register. However, once students are accepted to a school and their transfer credits have been added, they can register for their first semester and begin their program.

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