Academic Credit Transfer Process


This is the way transfer credit generally works for study abroad at ISU. [These instructions are for students who go abroad on programs through the Study Abroad Center (SAC).  If a student went through a program run by your college's international programs office, substitute that office’s name where you read 'The SAC']

1.  The transcript from the host university (where the student studied abroad) comes to the ISU Study Abroad Center (SAC) office. [281 Parks Library]

2.  The SAC will make an approved copy of the transcript and send it to the ISU Office of Admissions credit transfer unit. The student receives a message to invite them to come in to the Study Abroad Center and pick up the original to keep.

3.  Admissions looks at the classes taken at that host university and does what is called the Credit Transfer Evaluation (CTE.)

4.  This is an example of what it will look on the student record: Biology 300 4 A (4 credits of 300-level biology that received an A).

5.  Courses should have a letter grade, if the student intends to transfer credit to ISU. Pass/fail courses generally do not transfer back. The letter grade will appear on the permanent record but will not impact the ISU GPA.

6.  If a student just needs the credits, then this is where the process ends.

7.  If a student needs the courses to satisfy a particular requirement specific to the degree audit, then the academic advisor and student (and sometimes a professor from the department that teaches the same subject at ISU, or a degree audit committee) work together to complete a course waiver form in the degree audit on Access+. Then, to continue with the same example, it would be more than just 4 credits of 300 level biology, it would satisfy the specific need for Bio 321.

If you have any difficulty with this process, there is a senior academic advisor in every college who can assist you.

There is no charge for the transfer credit process. They may, however, have a program fee and/or admin fee for participating in the program. If you look at the programs in ISUAbroad there will either be a budget right there on the page, or you might need to follow the link to the program's homepage.

It is always a good idea for students to bring back their syllabi and examples of major work done in their classes abroad. This may make the advisor’s job easier, when it comes to completing the waiver form. These items also look good in a professional portfolio when the time comes for job or internship interviews.

Encourage the student to pick up the original transcript from the SAC.  If they apply to a graduate school they will need it.  A future employer may also want to see it.

Office of Admissions
Phone: (800) 262-3810 or (515) 294-5836
Iowa State University E-mail:
Enrollment Services Center:
Ames, Iowa 50011-2010

This transfer credit evaluation shows courses submitted for transfer and, subject to departmental approval, are available to be applied to your degree program. The application of transfer credit will be done by your department and will depend on the requirements of your curriculum/major. Acceptance of a course for transfer does not guarantee that it will be applied to your degree program. Please read the Transfer Credit Evaluation instruction sheet available on AccessPlus Student Tab for additional information about your transfer credit evaluation. A pdf version is available for your reference.