Transfer, Reverse Transfer, AP, and Other Credits

Taking Courses Off Campus

West Chester University students may take courses off campus and transfer the credit toward their degree. All students are required to submit a completed Transfer Credit Permission form to the Office of the Registrar prior to taking any courses off campus.

The Office of the Registrar maintains a list of transfer equivalencies that have been established by the academic departments. West Chester University students who wish to take courses off campus must first check the Transfer Credit Center, which lists established equivalencies to ensure the course has been approved for transfer.

If students are interested in taking courses off campus that do not have an established equivalency, it is the student's responsibility to have the chair of the West Chester University department that offers the course determine an equivalency. Students who took and completed a course at West Chester University may not repeat the course at another institution and have the credit count towards their West Chester degree.

Credit for courses will transfer to West Chester University only if the student received a grade of D or better in the course. Grades received in courses taken at other institutions are not calculated in the West Chester cumulative GPA.  Only the credits are transferred. Students must also meet all minimum grade requirements in courses they wish to have transferred toward their major and/or minor program requirements. The equivalency of the desired course must be established before the student takes the course off campus. Prerequisites also must be met before courses will transfer back to West Chester University.

Transfer of Credit

All college-level credits from regionally accredited institutions will be awarded transfer credit. A list of recognized accrediting organizations may be found on the Registrar's website. Credit for work completed at non-regionally accredited institutions, such as that from military training or other non-regionally accredited organizations, may be awarded when accompanied by a transcript from the American Council on Education (ACE) or Joint Services Commission Transcript (JST). Credits from non-regionally accredited institutions may also be granted on the recommendation of the student’s major department, in consultation with the college dean and Registrar's Office. (See also "Admission to West Chester" and the section on "Taking Courses Off Campus.")

Grades of D or above will be accepted for transfer. Grades in a course submitted for transfer as a major and/or minor program requirement must meet the minimum grade required by the department. For example, if a program requires that a student earn a B or better in a major and/or minor program requirement, then the student requesting transfer credit from another institution must have earned a minimum of a B in the parallel course. If a student earns a lower grade than the requirement, the department may require that the course be repeated at West Chester University.

Individual courses for transfer credit cannot be duplicated.  Duplication of credit occurs if the university deems the student should receive the same equivalency for different courses completed at an external institution. This applies to credit earned through an external institution, test credit or other source.  Equivalencies designated as "repeatable" for credit may be exempt.  See the course descriptions for the "repeatable for credit" designation.  Students can appeal these evaluation decisions through the Transfer Credit Appeal process.

If a student changes their major and/or minor, grades originally approved for transfer will be re-evaluated by the new major/minor department.

No course equivalency transfer credit will be given for WCU courses numbered at the 400 level, unless the courses are taken at an institution that awards baccalaureate degrees. Departments have the right to accept courses for their majors as 199 (e.g., BIO 199) or TRN 199.

Official transcripts will be evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. Students will be sent a copy of the evaluation immediately upon review.

Transfer Credit Conversion

WCU operates on a semester calendar system. Transfer courses taken at institutions on a quarter, unit or other type of calendar systems will be converted to semester credit hours. For quarter transfer institutions, the University awards .67 semester credits per quarter credit hour of study. For transfer courses taken on a unit or other credit system, WCU bases the number of semester credit hours on the number of units required to earn a degree from the institution.

Transfer Credit Appeals Process

All questions regarding the transfer of credit to West Chester University should be directed to the Registrar's Office. If a student wishes to appeal a transfer equivalency decision, they must complete the Transfer Credit Appeal form. Students must complete and submit this form, along with a course description and/or syllabus, to the appropriate academic department for approval. If additional information is needed to further review the student’s appeal, it will be the student’s responsibility to provide this information. Please allow two to three weeks for departments to make a final determination.

Reverse Transfer Program

Through the Reverse Transfer Agreement, established between Pennsylvania Community Colleges and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Universities, West Chester University (WCU) is able to assist students who have transferred to WCU from a PA Community College complete their previously initiated associate degree while pursuing their bachelor’s degree at WCU.  

Requirements for eligibility through WCU:

  • The student must be enrolled at WCU.
  • The student must have transferred to WCU from a PA Community College, with that PA Community College as the last institution attended.
  • The student must have attended the PA Community College within the previous five years and have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  • The student must have earned a minimum of 45 credits (excluding remedial/developmental coursework) at their most recently attended PA Community College.
  • The student must have successfully completed at least 15 credits at WCU.
  • The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at WCU. Only credits with a C or better from WCU will reverse transfer back to the previously attended degree granting PA Community College.
  • The student must have earned and/or have in-progress a total number of 60 or more college-level credits from the PA Community College and WCU combined.
  • The students must indicate their agreement to participate in this program via completion of the Reverse Transfer Release form.

How it works:

  • WCU will notify eligible students once they have completed a minimum of 60 credits, combined from both the PA Community College and WCU, and give them the opportunity to participate in the Reverse Transfer Program. 
  • Eligible students will complete a Reverse Transfer Release form and return it to the WCU Registrar’s office. A WCU transcript will then be sent to the PA Community College for evaluation.
  • If the PA Community College determines that degree requirements have been satisfied, the PA Community College will award the Associate’s Degree.
  • The PA Community College will send a final transcript to WCU, indicating conferment of the Associate’s Degree.
  • Students will not be charged transcript or graduation fees by either institution for Associate degrees awarded through this program.

Questions may be directed to

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and DSST

Courses and exams taken under the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and DSST programs may be applied toward advanced placement in the University and/or toward credit requirements for graduation. For more information on each program offering, please contact the corresponding organizations for more detail:

  • Advanced Placement: the College Board
  • International Baccalaureate: International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
  • DSST: Defense of Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

For questions about West Chester University's policy, see the information under "Test Credits" in the Transfer Credit Center on the Registrar's website.

Prior Learning Assessment

At West Chester University, the college-level learning students may have acquired outside the traditional classroom setting has value. West Chester University offers three options for students seeking credit for prior learning.

  • CLEP – The College-Level Examination Program through CollegeBoard allows students to demonstrate their mastery of college-level material, through standardized tests, in introductory subjects to earn college credit. West Chester University accepts certain exams, for degree credit only, with a qualifying score of 50 or above. For more information about the exams accepted by West Chester University, please visit the Registrar’s Office website:
  • Credit by Examination – Students may receive credit for a course by taking a test. Students must coordinate the Credit by Examination with the appropriate academic department and submit the completed Credit by Examination form, with proof of payment, to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the Drop/Add period. Additional information about Credit by Exam can be found on the Registrar’s website: or by referring to the Course Policies section of this catalog.
  • Individualized Prior Learning Portfolio – Students may choose to develop a portfolio as a means of demonstrating their competency in a particular course. The portfolio should include an extensive description of the student’s learning and how it aligns with the learning goals of the particular course for which the student is seeking credit. Credit received through portfolio submission will appear as transfer credit. 

Through the Prior Learning Assessment, students demonstrate that what they already know is equivalent to what they would have learned in a particular course. This knowledge could have been acquired through past work, training programs, volunteer service, cultural or artistic pursuits, hobbies and recreational pastimes, community or religious activities, organizational membership, adult education, noncredit courses, military training not evaluated for credit by ACE, or other experiences. 

The process to obtain credit through Prior Learning Assessment is as follows:

  • Students are responsible for identifying the particular course(s) for which they wish to seek credit through Prior Learning Assessment.
  • If the course sought is available through CLEP, that becomes the only PLA option available to the student. Students are responsible for registering for the appropriate CLEP exam and ensuring the official CLEP transcript is sent to the Office of the Registrar. Students can register for CLEP exams through the Professional Testing Center.
  • If the course sought is not available through CLEP, the student should contact the appropriate academic department to determine their best option: Credit by Examination or an Individual Prior Learning Portfolio.
  • Students who will be completing an Individual Prior Learning Portfolio should obtain a syllabus, containing the learning goals, for the identified course or courses. The portfolio should clearly describe how the student’s learning satisfies the identified course(s) competencies/learning goals. Students should be prepared to provide supporting documentation, such as: course descriptions, certificates from training courses, job description, sample work, etc.  

West Chester University will not transfer credit received through Prior Learning Assessments by other institutions. Students who received credit for prior learning from a previous institution will need to adhere to West Chester’s Prior Learning Assessment policy.