Missouri State University

Transfer Credit Policy

Introduction

Missouri State University welcomes transfer students from other accredited colleges and universities and endorses the "Joint Statement on Transfer and Award of Academic Credit" approved by the American Council on Education, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the American Association of Community Colleges. Many of the principles of that statement are inherent to this policy. Please refer to the "General Baccalaureate Degree Policies and Requirements" section of this catalog for the transfer policy regarding the catalog of graduation. 

Determination of transferability

Missouri State University awards credit in transfer for undergraduate courses completed at colleges and universities accredited by the following regional accrediting agencies:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges 

In addition, transfer credit is:

  • awarded for regular academic courses taken at institutions accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Mission, theology, doctrine, creation science, homiletics, and religious education courses are not accepted. A limited number of Bible courses (i.e., Old Testament, New Testament, Life of Christ, and Life of Paul) that are substantially similar to courses offered at Missouri State may be accepted. Education courses transfer only as general electives. To be accepted, coursework must have been completed at an institution after it received accreditation or during the time it was granted candidacy status for accreditation from one of the above accrediting associations.
  • awarded for courses completed at colleges and universities outside of the United States that are accredited or approved by the Ministry of Education (or other appropriate governmental agency) of the country in which they are located. Credit and placement decisions are based on recommendations of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, National Association of Foreign Student Advisors, and selected other professional organizations and agencies that evaluate foreign educational institutions.
  • generally not awarded for courses completed at institutions not accredited or approved as indicated above. Exceptions must be approved on a course-by-course basis by the head of the department through which each similar course is offered and by the dean of the department's college. In the case of courses that may be applicable to general education requirements at Missouri State but that do not have specific equivalents, exceptions must be approved by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs.
  • not awarded for remedial courses.
  • generally not awarded toward an undergraduate degree at Missouri State for courses taken for graduate credit at other institutions unless approved by the appropriate academic department head as described in the "Appeal of transferability or course equivalencies" section below.
  • not awarded for courses in vocational-technical programs or programs not offered at Missouri State (e.g., fire science, dental hygiene, occupational therapy). An exception to this policy exists for students who have an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree and who wish to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree at Missouri State. Refer to the "Degrees/Programs and Requirements" section of this catalog for requirements for the BAS degree.
  • awarded and posted to transcripts only for students who enroll at Missouri State subsequent to completing coursework at other institutions.  

Graduate transfer credit

See the Graduate Transfer Credit policy.

Determination of course equivalencies

Initial determinations of transfer credit equivalencies are made by the Missouri State Office of Admissions through a comparison of course descriptions and/or course titles. If substantial similarity exists between a course taken at another institution and a Missouri State course, transfer credit will be awarded for the Missouri State course. If substantial similarity does not exist, but the course is in a subject matter taught at Missouri State under a specific course prefix, elective credit will be awarded under that prefix (e.g., MTH electives for a mathematics course).

If the content of a course includes subject matter offered in more than one Missouri State department or if the course description does not provide sufficient information to assign the credit to a specific prefix, general elective credit will be awarded. In some such cases, the course may be designated as applicable to a portion of the Missouri State general education requirement. Elective credits awarded for upper-division courses taken at four-year colleges and universities will be designated as upper-division for transfer purposes (i.e., will apply to the upper-division credit hour requirement for graduation at Missouri State).

Transfer equivalencies are based on current policies and generally reflect course numbers from the Missouri State catalog at the time the evaluation is conducted. Missouri State courses and course numbers are subject to change; thus, transfer equivalencies are subject to change as well. Missouri State maintains a transfer course equivalency website at www.missouristate.edu/transfer. Course equivalencies for most Missouri and many out-of-state institutions are included. Current Missouri State students who plan to take courses at other institutions are encouraged to consult with their advisors and to confirm transferability of such courses prior to enrolling.

Appeal of transferability or course equivalencies

The ultimate authority for transfer of credit rests with the head of the department through which similar courses are offered at Missouri State (except credit for courses taken at non-accredited institutions, which must also be approved by the dean of the department's college). Students who wish to appeal the evaluation or transferability of a course may do so through the appropriate department head. When making an appeal, students must be prepared to provide supporting documentation (e.g., a course syllabus, course description from the other institution's catalog, examples of work). Department heads who wish to approve a revision to a student's transfer credit evaluation must submit a "Change/Preapproval of Transfer Credit Evaluation" form to the Admissions Office.

Students who have taken courses that do not have specific course equivalencies at Missouri State (i.e., do not fall under the authority of a department head) but that are substantially similar to courses in the general education program may appeal to have those courses applied to the general education program. Such appeals should be submitted to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, who also serves as the Missouri State Articulation Officer. Students should be prepared to provide supporting documentation as indicated above.

Credit hour equivalencies

Credit is converted to semester hour equivalents. In converting quarter hours to semester hours, a conversion factor of two-thirds is used.

If a course at another institution is offered for fewer credit hours than an equivalent course at Missouri State (e.g., if a three credit hour course at another institution is substantially similar in content to a four credit hour course at Missouri State), the student will be given transfer credit for the equivalent course at Missouri State but only for the number of credit hours earned at the other institution. In such cases, the student may need to take an additional course to fulfill credit hour requirements.

Grade equivalencies

Transfer grade equivalents will be determined and recorded with the student's transfer credit. Credit will be awarded for courses in which a passing grade was earned. Grades of "F" are included in the calculation of the transfer grade point average.

Transfer grades and grade point averages are assigned on the basis of the Missouri State University grading policy. Through the 2009 summer semester, MSU used a straight A, B, C, D, F grading scale.  Effective with the fall 2009 semester, a plus/minus scale will be used.  For this reason, plus and minus grades are not transferred for courses taken prior to fall 2009 (so, for example, a B+ is converted to a B in calculating transfer grade point average); however, for courses taken at other institutions during or after the fall 2009 semester, +'s and -'s will be used in determining transfer grade point average. For courses taken at institutions that use combined grades (e.g., "AB"), the lower grade will be used. Courses taken at institutions that use a grading system not comparable to the Missouri State grading system will be evaluated with the transfer grade equivalents of Pass or Not Pass. "Withdraw failing" grades are calculated in a student's transfer grade point average as "F" grades.

Courses for which transfer credit is awarded that are taken at colleges and universities not accredited by a regional accrediting agency or the ABHE will be treated as "Pass/Not Pass" courses for grading purposes.

A student's grade point average at Missouri State is based only on courses completed at this institution. A transfer grade point average is carried as part of the student's total record. The Missouri State and transfer grade point average are combined into an overall grade point average to determine academic standing, eligibility for admission to certain programs, graduation and honors, as described in this catalog.

Repeating courses

As indicated in the repeat policy section of the catalog, the repeat policy is changing for the fall 2009 semester. For courses taken prior to fall 2009, students were only allowed to repeat courses in which they earned a grade of D or F. The second grade replaced the first grade in the calculation of grade point average. Beginning with courses taken during or after the fall 2009 semester, students may repeat any course with no limit on the number of repetitions. Only the final grade will be used in the calculation of the student's grade point average. These same policies will be applied to transfer credit based on when courses were taken. 

Transfer of credit to professional programs

A maximum of thirty hours of transfer credit will be awarded to students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program who have completed RN training in a school of nursing at the time they are admitted to the program by the Department of Nursing. Similar policies exist for the transfer of credit for professional training in medical technology, radiography, and respiratory therapy for students in these programs, as described in this catalog. 

Transfer of general education requirements

Missouri State adheres to the guidelines set forth in Credit Transfer: Guidelines for Student Transfer and Articulation Among Missouri Colleges and Universities, approved by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) in June 2000. Under these guidelines, students who transfer from Missouri public colleges and universities and Missouri private institutions that adhere to these guidelines will be considered as having met the Missouri State lower division general education requirements if they complete:

  • an Associate of Arts (AA) degree; or,
  • the Missouri 42-hour general education core. In accordance with statewide articulation agreement, the student is exempt from the Missouri State University 42-hour core.
  • the designated general education program at the other institution, provided that the institution certifies the student's completion of that program.

Missouri State will also honor an AA degree from any regionally accredited college or university, including private institutions in Missouri and public and private institutions in other states. Students with an AA degree from such an institution will be exempt from the Missouri State lower division general education requirements. This is a policy of Missouri State and may not be recognized by other institutions to which a student may subsequently transfer. Students are not exempt from Missouri Constitution Study Requirement (Senate Bill No. 4) described in the fourth paragraph below.

Students with a two-year degree other than an AA (for example, an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science) are not exempt from Missouri State general education requirements on the basis of their degrees unless approved for an exception by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. Such students will receive a course-by-course evaluation of their transfer credit that will indicate applicability of their courses to Missouri State general education requirements.

Students who have a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies referenced above, and who wish to pursue an additional undergraduate degree will be exempt from all general education requirements at Missouri State but not the Constitution Study Requirement (Senate Bill No. 4). See following paragraph.

Students who have completed or been exempted from the general education requirements by any of the provisions listed above are not exempt from specific course requirements for their majors, even if those courses may be used to satisfy general education requirements at Missouri State. Such students are also not exempt from the Missouri Senate Bill No. 4, 1947 (Mo. Rev. St. Sec 170.011) requirement, which provides that students must be "given regular courses of instruction in the Constitution of the United States and the State of Missouri, and in American history including the study of American institutions." Students who have been awarded an Associate of Arts or bachelor's degree from a Missouri public college or university will be considered to have met this requirement. Other students who have had a course in American history or American government will meet this requirement with completion of PLS 103 at Missouri State. Students who have not had a course in either American history or American government will meet this requirement by completion of PLS 101.

Missouri 42-hour general education block

Students who are certified by a participating Missouri institution as having completed an approved 42-hour general education block will be considered as having fulfilled the Missouri State 42-hour general education block. To fulfill Missouri State general education requirements, such students will need to complete either HST 121 or HST 122 at Missouri State (unless they took an equivalent course at the other institution). Refer to the "General Education Program and Requirements" section of this catalog for further information.

Transfer of credit from two-year Institutions

Students are generally awarded only lower division credit for courses completed at two-year institutions (community and junior colleges). Departments seldom award upper division credit and typically do so only after the student has completed a validation examination or course at Missouri State.

Professional education courses at Missouri community colleges must be approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to be acceptable in transfer as specific equivalencies for Missouri State professional education courses required for the Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Such courses that are not approved by DESE may transfer as elective credit. Professional education courses are not accepted in transfer from non-Missouri two-year institutions.

If a direct equivalency is not given by an academic department, but the College of Education decides that substantial similarity exists between a course taken at the community college with the DESE approved education program and a Missouri State University course with respect to MoSTEP competencies, a PEU course code will be assigned to the community college course and used to substitute for the Missouri State University course in a given undergraduate education degree program.

Transfer credit limit

No limit exists on the number of credits that may be transferred from other institutions; however, students must meet the minimum residence and upper division requirements in effect at Missouri State to receive a degree, as described in this catalog.

Transfer of dual credit courses

Courses taken for dual credit (courses for which students receive both high school and college credit) are evaluated in the same manner as traditional courses offered by the institution through which they are taken. No limit exists on the number of transfer credit hours that will be awarded for dual credit courses. 

Credit for experiential learning

Credit is not awarded for experiential learning unless validated through the credit by examination provisions referenced above.

Credit for military education and experience

Missouri State University grants credit for armed service education and training according to the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) as stated in "A Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services."  No limit exists on credit awarded in this category.  Credit is also awarded for military experience based on ACE guidelines.  Credit for military experience is limited to a total of 30 credit hours and a maximum of 6 credit hours in any one discipline.  For both education and experience, credit will be awarded in those disciplines that are substantially similar to courses and programs offered by MSU. 

Credit will also be given for most Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) education programs. Veterans should file copies of their DANTES transcripts with the Missouri State Office of Admissions.

Students having additional courses on the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS), or the Sailor/Marine/ACE Registry Transcript (SMART) transcript should request an official copy be sent directly to the Missouri State Office of Admissions for evaluation. Students who do not have any of the transcripts listed above should file copies of their service records (Form DD-214) with Missouri State Veteran Services.

Credit for correspondence courses

Credit is granted for correspondence courses taken through accredited colleges and universities according to the same guidelines described above. Students who wish to apply correspondence credit for educational methods courses toward a Bachelor of Science in Education degree must have written permission from the Dean of the College of Education. 

Authority for policy and right of appeal

The Academic Council approved this policy in April 2001. The Office of Admissions has the primary responsibility for administration of the policy. In accordance with CBHE guidelines, students have the right to appeal decisions regarding transfer of credit. Students with questions regarding initial determinations of transferability or course equivalencies are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for clarification or guidance. Initial appeals of transferability or course equivalency decisions may be submitted as outlined under the "Appeal of transferability or course equivalencies" section of this policy. Students who believe they have been treated unfairly through this level of appeal are encouraged to contact the Missouri State University Articulation Officer (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education). The final level of appeal within the institution is the Provost. Students from Missouri public institutions have the right of further appeal as outlined in Credit Transfer: Guidelines for Student Transfer and Articulation Among Missouri Colleges and Universities. A copy of this policy is available from the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Provost, or the Articulation Officer. The policy is subject to revision.