Transfer of Credit Guidelines

The following are general guidelines regarding the transfer of credits from institutions outside of Wellesley College. 

Courses taken elsewhere must be liberal arts courses and similar but not necessarily identical to Wellesley courses. All courses require pre-approval by an Academic Department via a Transfer of Credit Form or the transfer of credit is not guaranteed.*

The form can be accessed via MyWellesley >>Administrivia tab >> Transfer of Credit Requests & Approval.

*Exceptions for Babson, Brandeis, MIT and Olin:

  • Babson - the "ACC 1000 Intruduction to Financial Accounting" has been pre-approved for credit.
  • Brandeis - follow the link to the Brandeis Cross-Registration page for more information on pre-approved courses.
  • MIT - courses taken while cross-registered at MIT during Fall/Spring automatically receive credit.
  • Olin - courses taken while cross-registered at Olin during Fall/Spring automatically receive credit.

Students must still fill out a Transfer of Credit form for any course which they wish to be evaluated towards a Major, Minor or Distribution Requirement (including 300 level).

Courses for which credit CANNOT be transferred:

  • Distance or online learning  
  • Individual Study or self-paced courses
  • Internships, practica, workshops, how-to courses or experiential learning; Lab-only courses
  • Business (Management, Finance) – except for one Accounting course
  • Communications, including Speech
  • Computer Science courses that cover microcomputer applications or non-programming topics
  • Criminal Justice (to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
  • Freshman Seminars (syllabus required for evaluation)
  • Journalism - Only one course in Journalism can be transferred
  • Mathematics subjects prior to Calculus (Pre-Calculus, College Algebra, Trigonometry)
  • Music lessons
  • Physical Education or Dance
  • Non-academic Studio Art  
  • Courses which are not classified as liberal arts and sciences, courses for which equivalent or similar courses are not offered at Wellesley
  • Courses graded Pass/Fail, unless the student submits a letter from the professor who taught the course, stating that they would have earned a grade of ‘C’ or higher
  • Courses with a grade of C- or below, except for students who participated in a 12-College Exchange program or attended Spelman, Mills or MIT as an exchange or cross-registered student.   
  • Courses which have a credit value of less than .5 Wellesley College units

Other reasons why you might not receive credit for a course:

  • Two semesters of foreign language courses at either the introductory or intermediate levels must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or higher to receive credit for either course (except for courses in Greek, Latin, Russian and languages not taught at Wellesley College).
  • The Economics & Biology departments do not accept transfer credit from community colleges.
  • Chemistry: Credit is not granted for community college chemistry courses except for incoming transfer students. In those cases, students may be asked to take a placement or exemption exam on arrival.
  • Physics: any physics course taken at another institution, during the summer or the academic year,  must be obtain approval from the chair of the Department prior to enrolling in the course. There is a limit of one physics course for which transfer credit may be given. In general, courses from two-year colleges will not be accepted at any level. These restrictions normally apply only to courses taken after enrollment at Wellesley. Transfer students wishing to obtain credit for physics courses taken prior to enrollment at Wellesley should consult the chair of the department.
  • An updated official transcript – listing all your completed work – must be received by the Office of the Registrar.

Additional considerations:

  • One (1) unit of Wellesley College work typically equals 4 semester-hours or 6 quarter-hours.  That means that if you attended an institution where you took 5 courses each semester worth 3 credits each, each course could transfer as .8 or .75 units of Wellesley College work, depending on the total number of credit hours needed for the degree.   
  • Students may transfer in a maximum of 16 units, only 4 units of which may be earned in summer sessions, only 8 units of which may be earned during the academic year.
  • Grades from other institutions do not appear on transcripts and are not included in the calculation of the GPA.
  • Distribution requirements (except for writing) must be fulfilled by taking or transferring in one (1) whole unit of coursework.

If you have questions about earning transfer credit for any course, feel free to contact your Class Dean or the Office of the Registrar.