Undergraduates Transferring College Credit

Do I need prior approval for transfer if I only want TRAN credit?

You do not need to complete an Undergraduate Request for Transfer Credit form to receive TRAN credit, provided your transfer work meets all transfer criteria.

If I took a Credit by Exam (CBE) at another college/university and obtained credit for a course, will that course (credit) transfer to Rice?

No. Only courses actually taken and completed at other universities are eligible for transfer credit, provided they meet all transfer criteria.

What are the maximum summer school credits I can transfer?

After matriculation at Rice, students are limited to 15 semester hours of summer school transfer credit. Please note: Enrollment in summer school at Rice is not considered transfer credit, and it appears on your Rice transcript in the same way as your regular Rice semester enrollment. Summer school courses completed before a student attends Rice will not be counted toward the 15 credit hour limit.

Are there any other restrictions on the amount of transfer credit I can use toward my Rice undergraduate degree?

Students with substantial transfer credit should be aware of the general graduation requirements (as documented in the General Announcements). Students must complete at least 60 semester hours at Rice, complete more than half of their upper-level degree work and more than half of their upper-level major work at Rice (students should also check on specific department major requirements).

How do I determine if courses at another college or university are transferable?

You will need to use the process described for obtaining pre-approval.

How do I get prior approval for Rice equivalent transfer credit?

Only the Transfer Credit Advisor in the appropriate academic department can answer questions about specific Rice equivalent credit.

Can I transfer credit from a school outside of the United States?

Students seeking transfer credit for courses taken prematriculation and postmatriculation at institutions outside the United States must present a professional course-by-course evaluation of the foreign official transcript. The professional evaluation must verify that the foreign institution is equivalent to a regionally accredited U.S. academic institution and must include an explanation of credits earned (including U.S. semester hour equivalents), grade equivalents, and course levels (lower or upper level). Two reliable services with course-by-course evaluations that include this required information are:

All professional evaluations should be obtained from one of these two recommended credential services and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Payment for the professional evaluation is the responsibility of the student.

How is the TRAN level determined?

The TRAN level, either lower-level (TRAN 100) or upper-level (TRAN 300), is determined by documentation on your external transcript. If the course in question is an upper-level course at the external institution, generally upper-level TRAN is awarded at Rice.

How can I convert TRAN credit to Rice equivalent credit?

The same process used to obtain prior approval can be used to convert TRAN to a specific Rice equivalent course. First, obtain course descriptions or syllabi for the courses you took at the other school.

  1. Look at Rice’s Course Catalog and match up the transfer classes to Rice classes.
  2. Undergraduates should complete the Undergraduate Request for Transfer Credit available online or in the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Undergraduates must meet with the appropriate Departmental Transfer Credit Advisor and obtain his/her approval signature. The BioSciences, Business, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, and Physics departments will not grant Rice equivalent credit to coursework completed at community colleges or 2-year institutions. Additionally, Anthropology, Civil Engineering, Classical Studies, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Physics, and Sociology will not grant Rice equivalent credit to coursework completed online.
  4. Submit the completed form to the Office of the Registrar.

If courses transferred to Rice as TRAN credit are subsequently granted Rice equivalent course credit by the Office of the Registrar and the academic department, the original TRAN credit is reduced by the number of credit hours allowed for the Rice equivalent course. The Rice equivalent transfer credit is then listed on the student's transcript and satisfies the same university and major requirements as Rice enrollment.

How many transfer hours can be used for my major?

Restrictions will vary from major to major. Be sure to check with your major department for specific information.

How could I get approval for general transfer credit in my department?

In some situations, a department may grant departmentally approved transfer credit using the department prefix (e.g., HIST 3XX, FREN 1XX). Departments use these designations when the transfer credit does not have a direct Rice equivalent. To receive this kind of credit, you must obtain approval as you would for Rice equivalent credit.

Can I transfer courses from community colleges?

Once a student has matriculated at Rice, many departments do not allow Rice equivalent transfer credit from community colleges. The BioSciences, Business, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, and Physics departments will not grant Rice equivalent credit to coursework completed at community colleges or 2-year institutions.

What if I want to transfer credit from a quarter-system school?

Any transfer coursework completed on a quarter system basis will be converted to semester hours for Rice transfer credit. Multiply quarter hours by 2/3 to calculate semester hours. For instance, if you take a 4 quarter hour course at UCLA, you will only receive 2.67 semester hours at Rice.

Will my transfer course grades appear on my Rice transcript or count in my Rice GPA?

The grades from the other institution are not transferred in. Instead, a grade of "TR" is recorded. The TR "grade" has no impact on your Rice GPA.

Will a course taken pass/fail transfer?

No, only courses taken on a letter-grade basis are considered for transfer credit.

Can I receive distribution credit for transfer courses?

Yes, as long as the course is properly approved for Rice equivalent credit and provided that the Rice equivalent course meets distribution requirements during the semester you took the transfer course. You can verify Distribution Credit information by viewing the Rice equivalent course description in the Course Schedule for the appropriate semester or by checking the Distribution Credit List for the appropriate semester.

To what address should I have my official transcript sent?

The official transcript from the external institution should be mailed to: Rice University, Office of the Registrar, MS-57, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005.

Once my official transcript has been delivered to the Rice University Office of the Registrar, how long will it be before the credit is posted?

You should allow a minimum of four weeks (study abroad students should allow six weeks) for transfer credit to post to your record. We will notify you at your Rice e-mail address when the transfer credit updates are complete.

What do I need to do if I intend to transfer my final semester, completing my graduation requirements at another university?

First, you must be approved to “complete degree requirements elsewhere” by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates. You must additionally contact your appointed major advisor and the Senior Associate Registrar for Student Records in the Office of the Registrar to discuss your outstanding graduation and major requirements. Each course you plan to transfer must be pre-approved, and the Office of the Registrar must receive an official transcript at least three weeks before your intended graduation date.

I attended Rice as an undergraduate student. Can I convert some of those credits to graduate level credit?

Departments may consider counting courses taken by a student while an undergraduate at Rice as credit toward a master's degree. The student must submit a Request to Apply Undergraduate Coursework to Graduate Program form, and the following guidelines must be followed:

  • The courses must be chosen from those that normally satisfy requirements for the advanced degree
  • No course can be used simultaneously to satisfy both an undergraduate and a graduate degree requirement
  • Coursework taken as an undergraduate will not be converted to indicate a graduate level in the student's academic history until after the bachelor's degree is awarded
  • Coursework taken as an undergraduate does not indicate the student's matriculation term for the graduate program - the matriculation term will be the the term the student officially enters the program as a graduate student after completing all undergraduate requirements
  • Regardless of the number of graduate courses taken at the undergraduate level, a student must spend as least one semester (fall or spring) in full-time study at Rice as a graduate student
Can transfer credit for a course for which I have already received Rice credit?

Transfer credit will not be articulated for courses previously completed at Rice with a passing grade (D- or better), with the exception of courses designated as repeatable for credit. In the instance where a student fails or withdraws from a Rice course and repeats it at another institution, transfer credit may be awarded.

Does Rice accept courses from providers that are not regionally accredited?

No. Only courses from regionally accredited institutions are eligible to be evaluated for credit. Courses, completed at a provider or institution that is not regionally accredited, are not eligible to be considered for Rice transfer credit, even if the course is accredited by the American Education on Council (ACE). Coursework taken through the StraighterLine network/program are not eligible for Rice transfer credit.