Transfer Credit, AP Credit, CLEP, Other Credit

Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policies and Procedures

College-level academic courses with grades of C- or better, completed at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency, are generally accepted. Western accepts up to 90 credits, combined total, from accredited institutions, military credit, AP, IB and CLEP exam.

  • Western only applies grades earned through Western toward the calculation of GPA.
  • Western will only grant upper-division credit if the transfer course is taken at an upper-division level, regardless of Western equivalency.
  • No credit will be granted for remedial or vocational-technical courses, except for some military training or as part of an articulation agreement.
  • Courses recommended by the American Council on Education may be considered for credit.
  • Total combined credit permitted under CLEP, AP and other programs leading to credit by examination is limited to 40 semester credits, with a maximum of 18 semester credits allowed for CLEP.
  • Continuing students must receive approval in advance for transfer credit.

Exceptions to evaluations of transfer credit by the Office of the Registrar may be requested by the appropriate academic department.

Credits accepted in transfer that are comparable to those offered at Western, or are State guaranteed transfer General Education courses (gtPathways), may apply toward satisfying requirements of the major and minor programs. Non-equivalent courses, or those excluded from acceptance toward any of Western’s program requirements, may be accepted as electives.

Transfer credit accepted on a provisional basis from a college, which is a candidate for accreditation (as recommended in the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Transfer Credit Practices), can only be validated by the student completing 30 credits at Western with a 2.000 cumulative grade-point or better.

Foreign Institutions

Credit will be considered for courses taken at foreign institutions that are formally recognized as an institution of higher education by a given country’s Ministry of Education. The same general parameters apply for course content and grades as they do for U.S. credit consideration.

Study Abroad

Credit earned from non-Western Study Abroad programs are treated as transfer credit.

Credit for Advanced Placement

Western awards credit for Advanced Placement in all subject areas. A minimum score of 3 is required for credit to be granted for most AP tests (for some tests, a score of 4 is required). Scores must be submitted by the College Board directly to the Admissions Office.

Credit for International Baccalaureate Program

Western recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Western grants credit based on performance on individual IB exams for students who have completed the IB diploma program as long as all scores are 4 or greater. Students who have not completed the diploma program may be awarded credits for individual IB certificate courses as long as the scores are 4 or greater. For further information on how IB certificates will be awarded credit, contact the Office of the Registrar. Official IB scores must be sent to the Admissions Office from the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Credit for Transfer from Two-Year Colorado Public Colleges

Articulation agreements and transfer guides have been developed with all of the Colorado two-year institutions. Transfer students from Colorado two-year programs who graduate with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree will be considered to have satisfied Western's General Education Program.

Credit for Transfer from Non-Traditional Programs

Western may accept credits for both military service training and non-traditional training as recommended by the American Council of Education. The maximum number accepted by Western toward a Bachelor’s degree is 30 semester credits. Western will not grant credit for “life experience,” that is, credit for experience gained from “work-related” activities, unless demonstrated through CLEP.

Credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Western will award credit for both the general and subject CLEP exams for a maximum award of 18 semester credits for any combination of CLEP and challenge examinations. In awarding credit, Western generally follows the recommendations of the American Council on Education, who award on the basis of a scaled score of 50, with the exception of some foreign language exams. For a list of subjects and courses awarded CLEP credit, contact the Office of the Registrar. Scores must be submitted by the College Board directly to the Office of the Registrar.

Credit for Challenge Examinations

Western will award course credit for prior learning to students who successfully test out of GT Pathways courses by receiving a score equivalent to a grade of “C-“ on a course challenge exam. Challenge exams are created by discipline faculty for GT Pathways courses for which a CLEP exam is not available. A list of GT Pathways courses with challenge exams, as well as challenge exam policies, is available on the Office of the Registrar web page. Western allows a maximum of 18 credits for any combination of CLEP and challenge exams. Credits received through challenge exams will not count toward satisfying Western’s residency requirement.

Resolution of Transfer Disputes among Colorado Institutions

Students transferring from Colorado institutions may file an appeal of Western’s evaluation of their transfer credits by adhering to the following procedure. The Office of the Registrar is responsible for the appeals process. The appeal must be filed in writing to the Office of the Registrar of Western Colorado University within 15 calendar days of notification of the evaluation. Failure to file in this timely manner means that the original evaluation will be binding. Western will respond to any timely appeal in writing within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the appeal.

If the initial appeal does not resolve the dispute, the student may appeal in writing to the student’s previous institution(s) within 15 calendar days. The presidents of the two institutions (or their representatives) may then resolve the dispute. If the issue is still not resolved, the student may file an appeal with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) within 15 calendar days of receipt of written notification by Western of the presidents’ decision. The CCHE may then resolve the dispute. The decision of CCHE will be final and binding