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Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit Criteria

A maximum of 64 transfer credits may be recorded on the Smith transcript. Transfer credit is accepted from accredited institutions of higher education in the United States and abroad. Normally only those courses falling within the scope of Smith's liberal arts curriculum will be approved. Credit is evaluated and transferred on a course-by-course basis with approval from the registrar.

Enrolled Students

Enrolled students interested in studying elsewhere must have their work approved in advance by the registrar for domestic study or the Office for International Study for courses abroad.

For domestic transfer credit, complete the transfer credit application and submit it to the registrar's office with course descriptions for in-person courses and course syllabi for online courses. You will be notified of pre-approval status after all materials are submitted.

Courses Considered for Transfer Credit

  • Courses falling within the scope of Smith's liberal arts curriculum
  • Math courses at the level of pre-calculus and above
  • Computer science courses which involve problem solving and use of a language such as Java, Python, or JavaScript to receive credit. Courses such as Introduction to Data Processing will not receive credit
  • Journalism courses upon review of the syllabus by the registrar and the director of the Jacobson Center
  • Group performance music courses (i.e., choir, orchestra, band)
  • Independent study which has been evaluated and approved by the appropriate academic department at Smith
  • One course in accounting (up to 4 credits)
  • One course in speech (up to 4 credits) upon review of the syllabus by the registrar and director of the Jacobson Center
  • Online courses may be considered for credit for currently enrolled Smith students. Courses that do not count for degree credit at the host institution for their own students are not accepted for transfer credit. See Online Transfer Credit Policies and Criteria below.

Courses Ineligible for Transfer Credit

  • The first semester only of an introductory language taught at Smith in a department that requires a full year of language study (consult the college catalog for departmental policies)
  • Internships of any kind, including those linked to course work
  • Pre-professional courses including but not limited to legal studies, business, marketing and management, communications, criminal justice, nursing, social work
  • English as a Second Language or other remedial courses
  • CLEP or placement examinations
  • ROTC and/or military courses
  • Participation in team sports

Credit Maximums

You may transfer up to 64 credits to your Smith record.

  • 12 approved summer school credits (including pre-matriculation summer credit)
  • 12 approved interterm credits at Smith or elsewhere
  • No more than 4 credits during any one interterm at Smith or elsewhere
  • 16 pre-matriculation credits toward a Smith degree
  • No more than 32 credits of combined summer, interterm, Advanced Placement or other pre-matriculation credits
  • Students are allowed up to 12 credits at any one level of language study; consult with the chair of the relevant department
  • ESS performance courses are normally awarded no more than one semester credit with a combined maximum of 4 transfer and Smith ESS credits allowed toward the degree
  • Dance Performance courses are normally awarded no more than 2 credits with a combined maximum of 12 transfer and Smith dance credits (for non-dance majors) and 20 credits (for dance majors) allowed toward the degree
  • 24 Music performance credits
  • No more than 8 credits may be transferred for courses in expository writing
  • No more than 4 credits may be transferred for math courses at the pre-calculus level

Online Transfer Credit & Criteria

Accepted Summer 2020-Summer 2021

As the global health crisis has temporarily changed the way in which Smith approaches teaching, it has also changed the way in which we approach transfer credit. To ease the burden of students who may have credit shortfalls or wish to complete supplemental course work, the Committee on Academic Priorities has approved an expanded online transfer credit policy that is effective through summer 2021.

Online Transfer Credit Policies and Criteria

Smith’s strategic plan emphasizes the centrality of face-to-face education. In-person discussions among students and between students and instructors deepen understanding of academic content and encourage students to engage with and learn from one another; Smith’s residential model also promotes engagement outside of the classroom. Because online courses vary considerably in their ability to approximate this type of interaction in an online environment, credit for these courses is granted only by student application and determined on a case-by-case basis. 

All existing policies governing transfer credit at Smith College apply to courses taken online. Please see general transfer credit requirements on this page for additional information and Transfer Credit PoliciesIn addition to those general requirements, online courses must also meet the following criteria to be approved for transfer credit:

  • Online courses must be offered by a regionally accredited college or university, and must be applicable to an undergraduate degree at that school. For that reason, MOOCs and other non-credit or credit-optional courses (e.g., edX, Coursera, Udacity, etc.) are not eligible for transfer credit.
  • Online courses must be offered during a defined term/session, with a definite beginning and end date, and may not be self-paced or entirely asynchronous.
  • Online courses may only be taken during the summer or winter break (not overlapping the fall or spring semesters) or while the student is on leave from Smith (for matriculated students). 
  • Online courses must have structured progression through course material.
  • Online courses must include significant student-faculty and student-student interaction, in addition to assignments and feedback.

Online courses will be noted on the transcript to facilitate tracking and policy enforcement.

Students must submit a full syllabus with the transfer credit application form to the registrar’s office for review by the office and the curriculum subcommittee of the Committee on Academic Priorities (if necessary). The syllabus should provide clear indication of the above requirements. Students should provide ample time for the review process and are advised not to register for an online course until pre-approval has been confirmed.

Students who do not disclose that a course taken for transfer credit was offered online and do not follow the petition process described above may have the transfer credit removed from their Smith record.

Study Away Transcripts

If you are submitting a transcript to report credit earned elsewhere for study in the United States, be sure that you have submitted a transfer credit application form.

Send to:

Office of the Registrar
College Hall 102
Smith College
Northampton MA 01063

We accept transcripts in unopened, sealed envelopes or sent by secure electronic transcript providers. Hand delivered transcripts are not accepted if opened.

Transcripts for credit earned abroad should be sent to the Office for International Study.

Five College Interchange

Five College Interchange course are not considered transfer credit and are not subject to transfer credit restrictions; however, normally only those courses falling within the scope of Smith's liberal arts curriculum wil be approved.


Interterm and summer sessions at the University of Massachusetts are not included in the Five College Interchange and therefore are considered transfer credit, subject to the restrictions and procedures required for the acceptance of transfer credit.

AP Credit/College Credit Earned Before Matriculation

Credits completed prior to matriculation as a degree student (college level work, AP, IB, and A-levels) are not applied to the degree immediately upon approval. The courses are added to your record and credit may be applied only in the following circumstances:

  1. to make up a shortage of credit incurred through failure.
  2. to make up a shortage of credit incurred as a result of dropping a course for reasons of health.
  3. to undertake an accelerated course program (completing the degree requirements in six or seven semesters). 

Any credits completed in summer school before matriculation are counted in the 12-credit limit of summer credit allowed toward the degree. A maximum of one semester (16 credits) of any combination of pre-matriculation credit may be counted toward the degree.

Individual academic departments are responsible for determining if the transfer courses may be counted toward the requirements of the major. Pre-matriculation credits may also be used to count toward the 64 credits outside the department of the major.

Pre-matriculation credits may not be used to reduce your course load or to fulfill the distribution requirements for latin honors.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit

Smith accepts AP scores of 4 or 5 on most AP exams and IB scores of 5, 6, and 7 for most higher level exams. 

Exams accepted and course equivalents determined by the departments are listed below.


College Credit Earned Before Matriculation

College credit earned at an accredited college or university before matriculation as a first-year student may be accepted if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The course is taken on a college/university campus with matriculated degree students, and is taught by a college/university professor.
  2. The course is not listed on the high school transcript as a course counting towards the high school diploma.
  3. A grade of B- or better is earned in the course.
  4. The course meets the Smith College guidelines for transfer credit.

To have pre-matriculation credit reviewed a completed pre-matriculation certification form signed by the high school must be submitted to the registrar's office along with an official transcript from the college.

A-Levels, French Baccalaureate, and Other Diploma Programs

Smith accepts A-level grades of A and B on most Advanced level exams. Upon review by the registrar French Baccalaureate and some 13th year programs outside of the United States may be accepted.