Transfer Credit Questions and Answers

What is the Rice University transfer credit policy?

Rice’s transfer credit policy is stated in the General Announcements ( You should check the General Announcements for the most current academic rules. Rice generally gives transfer credit for courses that are appropriate to the Rice curriculum, taken at accredited institutions of higher education and in which the final grade is a “C -” or greater. Credit can be transferred as TRAN credit or as a specific Rice course equivalency.

How are transcripts evaluated?

For students who transfer to Rice, the Office of the Registrar receives official transcripts from the Office of Admission. Based on the course title that appears on the transcript, credit can be awarded as “TRAN” credit or as “Rice equivalent.”

How is equivalency determined for transfer credit?

The Office of the Registrar awards Rice equivalent credit for introductory courses in most subject areas. Upper-level or major-specific courses will generally require departmental approval. Often the equivalent course is not evident from the course title. In these cases, the Office of the Registrar will award TRAN credit. TRAN credit means that although the hours transfer to Rice, the appropriate academic department must determine the course’s academic equivalency (if any). The student will then have the option to contact the corresponding department and determine an appropriate equivalent. See instructions below on how to obtain departmental approval.

It is any Rice course that is listed on the student’s transcript under the “Transfer Credit” section. For example, if you completed Introduction to Sociology, Rice equivalent credit would list SOCI 101 on your transcript. Rice equivalency satisfies the same university, major or distribution requirements as if the course was taken at Rice. Students can get Rice equivalent credit by obtaining the signature of the departmental Transfer Credit Advisor on a Request for Transfer Credit form. The Business, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, Physics and Political Science departments will not grant Rice equivalent credit to coursework completed at community colleges or twoyear institutions. Chemistry requires that courses are taken at a four-year college or university that offers a degree certified by the American Chemical Society. Additionally, Anthropology, Civil Engineering, Classical Studies, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, and Sociology will not grant Rice equivalent credit to coursework completed online.

What is “TRAN” Credit?

In general, credit transferred from other schools is translated by the Office of the Registrar into “TRAN” credit. TRAN 100 and 300 hours count toward the general hours required for graduation. TRAN 300 hours count toward the upper‐level hours required for graduation.

How is transfer credit used to satisfy my Rice University degree requirements?

Transfer credit granted Rice equivalent course credit can be used to satisfy any university requirements (distribution courses, LPAP, FWIS, upper level credit) or major requirements (courses required for the major) that the Rice course satisfies. The General Announcements explains how many transfer hours can be used to satisfy graduation and major requirements. Some departments have additional restrictions on how much transfer credit can be used to satisfy major requirements.

How do I change TRAN into Rice equivalency? When can I convert TRAN credit?

To receive Rice equivalency credit, students must complete the form “Undergraduate Request for Transfer Credit” available on the Registrar’s website, Indicate the previous institution, course number, and title of course. Take the form to the transfer credit advisor in the appropriate Rice department. Providing the advisor with a course description and syllabus for each course will help in the appropriate assessment of credit. If the transfer credit advisor approves the course(s) for Rice equivalency, the signed, completed form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar along with an official transcript. When a course receives Rice equivalency, a Rice course number appears on the Rice transcript and the TRAN credit is reduced accordingly. Converting TRAN to Rice equivalency can be done at any time with the exception of FWIS transfer credit. New transfer students requesting FWIS equivalency must submit their petitions by the end of O-Week.

What if there is no equivalent course at Rice?

TRAN credit counts as elective credit that can be used to satisfy general degree requirements. TRAN 100 satisfies total hours necessary for graduation and TRAN 300 hours count toward the upper‐level hours required for graduation.

Does Rice accept credit for online courses?

Courses completed online at a regionally-accredited institution are currently eligible to receive transfer credit at Rice. Rice equivalent credit for online courses may not be awarded by some departments.

Do I have to take an FWIS course even if I have transfer credit for an English course?

Yes. All new students must complete a FWIS course in their first year at Rice to meet graduation requirements. If a new transfer student would like a course to be reviewed for FWIS Rice equivalency, the student must follow the petition instructions found at

How are credit hours awarded?

The Registrar does not award Rice equivalency credit for any transfer courses with fewer semester hours than the actual Rice course. For example, if you took Introduction to Statistics for 3 semester hours elsewhere, you would only be eligible for 3 hours of TRAN credit because the equivalent course (STAT 280) is 4 hours here at Rice. If you transfer a course worth more hours than the Rice equivalent course, you will receive credit for the Rice equivalent, and the additional hours are awarded as TRAN credit.

My previous university was on the quarter system. How are my credit hours transferred?

Since Rice University is on a semester system, courses taken on a quarter hour basis will be calculated on a 2/3 value. For example, six quarter hour credit will transfer as four semester hours of credit.

Can I repeat a course for which I received transfer credit?

Yes; however the transfer credit will be removed from your record.

Is there a maximum amount of transfer credit that can be awarded?

No. However, in order to receive a Rice degree, at least 60 semester hours must be completed at Rice. In addition, there is a minimum amount of upper-level credit and upper-level credit in the major that must be completed at Rice. See the General Announcements for specific rules.

I received my official evaluation of transfer credit and noted that some of my courses did not transfer. Why not?

There are several reasons you will not receive hours for courses completed elsewhere. Credit is not awarded for a course with a grade (such as “Pass” or “Credit”) that does not have an equivalent academic value (A, B, C, D, etc.). Credit is only awarded if the grade earned is equivalent to or better than a “C-.” In addition, only courses that are “appropriate to the Rice curriculum” receive transfer credit. Examples of courses not considered to be appropriate to the Rice curriculum include College Algebra, Development Reading, and Orientation to Chemistry.

I know my grades of “P” (Pass), “CR” (Credit) equaled a “C-” or better in value. How can I get the credit?

You need to request a letter from the Registrar of the university where the course was taken attesting that the grade is the academic equivalent of a “C-.”

Are transfer credits computed into my GPA?

No. Grades are not listed for transferred courses. Only Rice courses are used to compute your semester and cumulative GPA.

Can I take a course during the summer at another college or university?

Yes, up to a maximum of 15 credits. This restriction is waived for credit earned during an official summer study abroad program through the Study Abroad Office. If you want to receive specific course credit, you must complete the “Undergraduate Request for Transfer Credit” form which is available on the Office of the Registrar website and receive approval from the appropriate academic department. At the end of the summer, request an official transcript to be sent directly from the college attended to the Rice University Registrar.

How do I monitor my progress towards my degree?

All students are responsible for knowing and understanding degree requirements. Peer Academic Advisors are good resources to use to become familiar with requirements and create an academic plan for graduation. Degree Works (available via indicates degree progress including fulfillment of distribution, composition, LPAP, and credit hour requirements. Progress towards a particular major should be discussed with a major advisor and will follow the requirements outlined in the General Announcements.

Who do I see for further questions?

Contact for assistance with transfer credit questions.


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