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International Transfer Credit

For coursework you have completed in the United States

Undergraduate coursework completed in the United States is transferred to your student record 10-15 business days after an official transcript has been received. Although UMSL Global processes the applications for all international applicants, undergraduates are encouraged to contact Transfer Admissions with questions about transfer credit for courses you have completed at a U.S. college or university. 

For coursework you have completed outside the United States

Students who have attended a college or university outside of the U.S. may be eligible for undergraduate transfer credit. Follow the steps below in order to have your international coursework reviewed for credit at UMSL.

Step 1: Apply

The transfer credit process can only be initiated for students who have applied to UMSL. Prospective international students can apply here.  US Citizens or Permanent Residents with foreign coursework should apply through the Office of Admissions, but have their foreign credentials sent to International Student & Scholar Services.

Step 2: Submit Documents

In addition to official transcripts, official course descriptions in English are required for this process.  Course descriptions are needed for each class under review.  In order to be considered official, course descriptions must be:

  • Submitted in an official envelope bearing the institution's stamp across the sealed flap
  • Emailed directly to ISS from an official email address at the issuing institution
  • Posted on the school’s official website (Please email the links to intadmission@umsl.edu)

Note: Documentation that is submitted as a part of the transfer credit process becomes a permanent part of the student's academic file. Original documents cannot be returned.

Step 3: Evaluation and Registration

Once you have submitted your application, official transcripts and course descriptions, we will forward the course descriptions to the appropriate department for review. 

Please note that courses are evaluated by individual faculty members.  The evaluation process can be time consuming and may take 2+ months to complete.

Once you have been admitted, you can meet with an academic advisor in your department to register for classes, even if your transfer credit is still in progress. The advisors will be able to help you select suitable courses that will allow you to make progress towards your degree while you wait for your transfer credit to be evaluated.


Transfer Credit Equivalency

Undergraduate coursework has the potential to transfer to UMSL in one of four ways:

  • Direct Equivalency – The course will transfer in and be equal to a course offered here at UMSL.
  • Hours Earned - The class does not have an equivalent course taught at UMSL, you will receive an equal number of “elective” hours.
  • Free Elective – The course is considered for admission purposes, but do not apply to your UMSL degree in anyway.
  • Unaccepted Transfer - These courses will not satisfy any degree requirements and will not be considered for the purposes of determining admission.

 If, after you have transferred, you are dissatisfied with a determination made about the transfer of a course, there is an appeals process in place to allow you to contest the decision.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I appeal a transfer credit decision?

What is a course description?

How can I obtain an official English translation?

What is the minimum grade I need to transfer a course?

Do I need to get a credential evaluation report?


How can I appeal a transfer credit decision?

The International Transfer Advisor coordinates appeals with the departments in question. Students seeking an appeal should submit the following to 362 SSB:

    • A typed one-page letter that outlines the reasons for the appeal and provides supportive evidence.

    • An official course syllabus, in English, from the term during which you completed the course.

    • A separate letter for each course being appealed.

If dissatisfied with the result of the appeal, students can contact the International Transfer Advisor to initiate an appeal to the dean of the respective unit.

The following, however, cannot be appealed:

    • Courses from non-accredited institutions

    • Courses from technical or vocational institutions

    • Technical, vocational, or remedial courses

    • English as a Second Language courses

    • First-Year Writing or Advanced Expository Writing courses

    • Physical Education courses

    • Courses with insufficient credit hours

    • Incomplete or failed courses

When composing your appeal letter, please keep the following in mind. A letter template can be found here.

    • This is a formal, written request that will be forwarded to a faculty member. It should be professional and persuasive.

    • The letter should provide relevant information with a source the faculty member can reference.

    • Give a complete link to any online resources.

    • If using another university as an example, provide the university name and a link to the institution's transfer credit policy.


What is a course description?

A course description is a detailed paragraph of what topics were covered in class. A sample is below:

POL SCI 1500 Introduction To Comparative Politics: 3 semester hours

This course introduces students to western and non-western systems. It examines similarities and differences in the basic political ideologies, structures, economies, social institutions and governmental processes of developed and developing countries. It also provides frameworks for understanding the cultures of the world that are the basis for formal economic and political institutions. In addition, the course examines the role of non-state institutions, including trans-national ones, in shaping national policies. It uses case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America, as well as Europe, to enhance student understanding of comparative politics. (This course fulfills the cultural diversity requirement.)


My University cannot issue descriptions in English. How can I obtain an English translation?

If a certified translation is needed, please see our translation guidelines.


What is the minimum grade I need to transfer a course?

Grades of D or better will receive full credit at UMSL, provided the courses were completed at an accredited university. All grades will be considered on the same basis as those of an UMSL student. If a program requires an UMSL student to repeat a course with a D grade, then a transfer student would also be required to repeat the same course. Incomplete or failed courses cannot be considered for credit.


Do I need to get a credential evaluation report?

No. Unless a special circumstance requires a third-party evaluation, UMSL conducts its own reviews of international transcripts.

If a student does have an approved evaluation report (i.e. from WES), he or she must still submit official course descriptions to have coursework reviewed for transfer credit.