Columbia Southern University (CSU) evaluates transfer credit when a student submits official postsecondary transcripts, military and employer courses that have been reviewed by the American Council on Education (ACE), credit by examination score sheets, or professional training certificates. Courses accepted for transfer credit must be relevant to the program of study and equivalent in both content and degree level. Transfer credit evaluations are conducted in the Office of the Registrar. All exceptions must be approved by the Academic Program Director, College Dean, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs or Provost. Transfer credit appeal decisions are determined by the Dean of the College.
Sources of Transfer Credit
CSU accepts transfer academic credit from institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Transferrable courses with a grade of “D” or above may apply to undergraduate degree requirements unless a minimum grade of “C” is required to satisfy specific program requirements. “D’s” are not accepted as transfer credit for English composition or any mathematics requirement for any degree program. Transferrable courses with a grade of “B” or above may apply to master’s degree program requirements; in some cases, a grade of “C” may be considered.
Transcripts that are not in English must be evaluated by an approved third party, such as those recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Service (NACES), and translated into English or evaluated by a trained transcript evaluator fluent in the language on the transcript. Evaluators possess expertise in the educational practices of the country or origin and must include an English translation of the review. All translated materials must be official.
Credit by Examination
CSU accepts credit by examination and uses guidelines established by ACE to determine if the examinations warrant awarding academic credit. Provided minimum passing scores are met, CSU accepts credit by examination from testing centers, to include but not limited to, the following examples:
Professional Licenses, Certificates, and Training Programs
CSU uses guidelines established by ACE to determine if certain training programs, certificates, professional licenses, and/or military training warrant awarding academic credit. The following ACE publications are used:
- The National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training
- Military Guide: Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services
- Professional training certificates without an ACE recommendation may be considered in cases where industry curriculum standards can be determined and will require approval by the Academic Program Director from the applicable college.
Experiential or Equivalent Learning
CSU takes into consideration that adult learners gain knowledge outside of a traditional academic environment and will consider experiential learning credit through a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) review. A PLA review is performed by subject matter experts with experience in the evaluation of prior learning.
Technical credit will require a review and decision by the appropriate Academic Program Director in order to assess comparable course content and learning outcomes alignment to determine transferability.
Maximum Allowable Transfer Limits
A minimum of 25% of an associate or bachelor's degree must be completed at CSU. Transfer credit for experimental learning may not exceed 25% of the degree program.
A minimum of 33% of a master's degree program must be completed at CSU. Transfer credit for experimental learning may not exceed 25% of the degree program.
Doctoral Degrees (DBA)
A minimum of 33% of a doctoral program must be completed at CSU. Transfer credit for experimental learning only applies to didactic courses and may not exceed 25% of the degree program.
Additional Transfer Credit Limitations
Developmental and remedial coursework is not transferrable towards CSU degree programs. In addition, other transfer credit decisions made at previously attended colleges or universities involving auditing or waiving of program requirements are not applicable at CSU.
Transfer credit may be limited to satisfy specific and relevant degree program requirements. When determining program relevancy, some courses may not meet transfer criteria due to age of credit and will require review and decision by the appropriate qualified faculty. CSU does not typically accept transfer credit from non-accredited institutions; however, transfer credit decisions are not based solely on accreditation. In some cases, CSU qualified faculty conduct a review to determine that courses meet the requirements for the degree the institution awards and that applicable accreditation standards are met.
Transfer Credit Decision Appeal
Students may appeal transfer credit decisions by submitting the Transfer Credit Decision Appeal form to the Office of the Registrar, which will be escalated to the appropriate Academic Program Director or College Dean for consideration. Appeals must be submitted to Registrarappeals@columbiasouthern.edu.
Transfer of CSU Credit
CSU recognizes that students pursue education in a variety of institutional settings to meet educational goals. Transfer credit decisions are made at the discretion of each institution and in accordance with its academic mission and transfer credit policies. It is, therefore, recommended that students seek prior approval of CSU credits for purposes related to transferability of credit, credentialing, tuition reimbursement, or other academic and professional reasons. Students who wish to learn more about transferring CSU credit may send inquiries to Registrar@columbiasouthern.edu.