2020-2021 Catalog Winter Update

Transfer Policies for Undergraduate Degree and Certificate Programs

Students who enter City University of Seattle as candidates for associate or bachelor’s degrees or for undergraduate certificates may already have completed courses at other educational institutions, as documented by official transcripts. City University of Seattle accepts the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) for Washington State’s Associate of Science in Business towards the CityU Bachelor of Science Business Administration program and reviews other DTA’s, including the Major Related Programs (MRP), AS-T 1 and AST-2, degrees or applicants with the following proviso:  For any course to be transferred into an undergraduate program, a student must have achieved a cumulative college level grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or higher at each prior institution. Students who meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) may have courses transferred with a minimum course grade of 1.0 (D) or higher. NOTE: Please see Credit from Accredited, Associate Degree-Granting Institutions below for specific restrictions for college composition and Quantitative Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) requirements. 

Undergraduate students seeking to transfer credits with a college level cumulative GPA below 2.0 (C) at each institution will have courses evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Courses with a grade of 2.0 (C) or higher will be eligible for transfer in this instance.

Bachelor of Arts Education programs have specific transfer requirements to meet Washington State standards. Students must earn a per course grade of 2.0 (C) or higher to be considered for transfer. 

Students also may have participated in events outside the classroom that would qualify as learning experiences worthy of credit. Appropriate academic credit may be awarded for such experiences provided they are placed within a well-defined educational plan that is part of a structured degree program

Admission to any City University of Seattle program is not guaranteed, and applicants are strongly encouraged to check with any potential transfer school/institution for specific admission requirements and readiness for a program of study prior to application. 

City University of Seattle states the minimum transfer GPA for program admission, if applicable, within the specific program section.

Note: All grade point average decimal references above are based on a 4 point scale with 4 being the highest grade attainable. 

Associate’s Degrees

CityU accepts up to 65 transfer credits from accredited or recognized colleges, universities and other institutions toward associate degree requirements. Of these 65 credits, up to 20 may be awarded through Prior Learning Assessment portfolios.

To obtain an associate degree, students must earn a minimum of 25 lower-division credits in residency (i.e., CityU courses taken in any delivery format). The following degree program is an exception.

The Associate of Science program in General Studies-Military Only accepts a maximum of 85 approved transfer credits. Only one five-credit (5) capstone course, which is the residency requirement, must be taken through CityU. 

If a student applies upper-division transfer credits toward an associate degree, the credits cannot be used again to fulfill upper-division requirements for a bachelor’s degree program.

Bachelor’s Degrees

CityU accepts a maximum of 135 approved transfer credits from accredited or recognized colleges, universities and other institutions toward fulfillment of bachelor degree requirements. Students may earn advanced standing by transferring credits from two- or four-year institutions, through course challenge examination, or through Prior Learning Assessment.

Students who have earned a Washington state Associates degree under the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) and are entering the same discipline area will be considered to have met general education requirements within the allowed transfer credits with one exception. For example, students transferring to the Bachelor of Science Business Administration program at CityU who are entering with a Washington State DTA in Business will receive 90 credits in transfer at the lower division level and will be considered to be in junior standing.

Students transferring credits into the Bachelor of Arts in Education degree program must earn  a per course grade of 2.0 (C) or higher for the credit to be considered for transfer. 

To complete any bachelor’s degree program a student must earn at least 45 upper division credits in residency (i.e., through CityU courses taken in any delivery format) by completing the upper division courses in an approved Program of Study and its prerequisites.

Undergraduate Certificates

Up to 25% of program credits may be accepted through transfer into undergraduate certificates. Transfer Credit Toward Undergraduate Programs from Institutions, Programs, and by Special Means Transfer Credit from Nationally Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions Credits earned at nationally accredited institutions are evaluated by the same criteria as those applied to credits transferred from regionally accredited institutions.

Exceptions to these transfer thresholds may be made in extraordinary cases such as in support of students displaced by school closures.

(Policy #2100.21)

Credit from Technical and Vocational Institutions

Credits may be transferred from technical and vocational institutes that are not regionally accredited. Similar specialized institutions that have been recognized by CityU are evaluated on the basis of a 16.5 to 1 ratio for lecture/theory classes taken after 1/1/1996, and on a 90 to 1 ratio for laboratory classes and practica. A maximum of 90 lower-division credits may be attained in this way.

Credit from Accredited, Associate Degree-Granting Institutions

CityU accepts up to 135 undergraduate transfer credits, and/or associate degrees from regionally or nationally accredited institutions. Students transferring associate degrees from accredited institutions are accepted for upper-division studies.


For all Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs, students are required to meet the following general education requirements:

  • College Composition* - 5 credits
  • Quantitative Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)** - 5 credits
  • Humanities - 15 credits
  • Social Sciences - 15 credits
  • Natural Science/Mathematics - 15 credits

In order to fulfill the college composition requirement, students must achieve a minimum grade of 2.0 in the designated college composition course. 

**Formerly college Mathematics. To meet the QSR requirement via transfer of credit students must have achieved a minimum grade of 1.7 in the designated QSR course unless otherwise noted by the program. 

Upper-division credit may be used to fulfill general education requirements if these have not already been fulfilled through lower division / associate degree coursework. 


Credit from Non-Accredited State Approved / Authorized / Licensed Institutions

Credits earned from state-approved, authorized, or licensed institutions that are not accredited by any recognized accrediting body will be evaluated for transfer on a case-by-case basis. 


Credit for Directly Equivalent Courses

Direct equivalency refers to a course successfully completed at another recognized institution, judged to be the same as a City University of Seattle course in terms of content, duration, level, and credit value.  If the university's credentials evaluation team cannot determine direct equivalency for a course, the student must petition to receive transfer credit. 


If a course is approved as a direct equivalent, credit is granted and the student need not take the corresponding CityU course. Students may petition to receive transfer credit for any course. 


Credit for Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction

In awarding credit for non-collegiate-sponsored instruction, City University of Seattle follows the recommendationsoftheOfficeofEducationalCreditoftheAmericanCouncilonEducation{ACE) and of various state education departments' programs on non-collegiate sponsored instructionUpon request, the University may also do an internal evaluation of non-collegiate sponsored instruction undertaken through local businesses, public agencies, healthcare and hospital facilities, and by any organizations that regularly conduct formal, evaluated, in-house courses relevant to CityU degree programs.


Credit from Military Service Schools and Training

Education acquired through military service schools that offer college-level work, as evaluated by the ACE Office of Educational Credit, is credited toward undergraduate programs. Other types of military training evaluated by ACE may also be accepted for credit. Military credits are not evaluated until a student has applied for admission. All military credit requests should be submitted on a Join Services Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force Transcript, and must be sent directly to CityU.


Credit from Diploma Nursing Schools

Registered nurses applying to City University of Seattle bachelor's degree programs may be awarded up to 90 lower-division credits based on an evaluation of their diploma school records, or for satisfactory scores on standardized examinations such as the Nursing Mobility Profile II and EC exams.


Credit from Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

City University of Seattle recognizes that learning occurs in many different ways and under varied circumstances. As a result, the University has designed its PLA program to enable students to earn credit for knowledge acquired through documented experiential learning. The main principle underlying the assessment of prior learning is the belief that the knowledge acquired is more important than the location or the manner in which it has been learned.


City University of Seattle awards credit to undergraduate students who demonstrate the attainment of skills and knowledge equivalent to that of individuals who have satisfactorily completed specified portions of degree programs. These credits may be obtained in ways other than classroom instruction or supervised, outside-the-classroom learning.

Students who have been away from formal education for a time may find that the PLA program assists them in re-entering academic life. Researching and writing a PLA portfolio directs self­-assessment to where one is educationally and where one needs to focus.


Associate degree candidates may earn up to 20 quarter credits via a PLA portfolio. Bachelor degree candidates may earn up to 45 quarter credits via PLA portfolio. Students may earn credit for wide variety of courses in the PLA process, but some courses are not eligible for PLA, and others require the permission of the appropriate program director.


City University of Seattle will allow transfer of PLA assessment portfolio credits from other higher education institutions which meet the accreditation standards and have clearly marked the prior learning assessment on official transcripts awarding credit for specific coursework. While our regional accreditor places no limits on PLA credits, other schools may differ in their respective policies for accepting transfer or internal evaluation of PLA credits. Students should confirm the policies of other institutions prior to transfer for any restrictions. 


Credit Toward Undergraduate Programs by Examination

City University of Seattle participates in several nationally recognized, standardized testing programs. These exams are designed, monitored, scored and validated by authoritative educational testingagenciesandenjoywideacceptancethroughouthighereducation.Transfer credits will be applied to the program of study dependent on the discipline of the credits being earned.  Additional credits may be applied to the lower division electives if needed. Transfer credits may not exceed the requirements of the program. 


list of the recognized examinations follows. 


  • College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

The AP Exams were designed by the College Entrance Examination Board (College Board) to enable students to pursue college-level studies while still in secondary school. They are specifically intended to stimulate both students and teachers to higher achievement and to help eliminate the needless duplication of studies later in college.

Exams are available in more than 30 different areas, such as biology, calculus, chemistry, classics, European history and psychology. AP exams are graded on a five-point scale in which one (1) is the lowest and five (5) is the highest. Students must achieve a score of three (3) or higher to receive credit at City University of Seattle. 


  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Sponsored by the College Board, the CLEP affords students the opportunity to earn lower-division credit in a variety of college subjects, as well as through a series of general examinations that cover broad areas of collegiate education. Preparation for CLEP exams may be based on self-study or prior formal instruction.

Through CLEP exams it is possible to earn up to 90 lower-division credits. City University of Seattle does not accept CLEP exams for upper-division credit, and CLEP exams that duplicate lower-division coursework previously transferred for credit are not accepted. CLEP exams are offered at testing centers across the nation and by special arrangement at military installations around the world.

City University of Seattle accepts test scores regardless of where the tests are administered. CLEP sponsors two types of exams, general and subject.

The CLEP General Examinations provide a comprehensive measure of achievement in five (5) basic areas of liberal arts and sciences. Each examination assesses the extent to which the student has mastered general knowledge in the area. City University of Seattle awards credit for these CLEP examinations according to the following standards. 

Area of Study Quarter

Credits Minimum


English Composition






College Mathematics



Natural Sciences



Social Science & History



General exams are multiple-choice and each as a 90-minute time limit. If all five sections are passed with a satisfactory score, it is possible to obtain up to 45 quarter credits, equivalent to one full year of college study.

The CLEP Subject Examinations measure achievement in specific undergraduate courses common to U.S. institutions of higher education. Subject exams stress understanding, the ability to perceive relationships, and the student's grasp of principles, concepts and factual materials in individual subjects.

Subject Examinations consist of multiple-choice questions covering more than 30 college-level subjects. To receive credit at City University of Seattle for these exams, students must earn at least the minimum score recommended by the ACE Guide. The awarding of City University of Seattle credit follows College Board recommendations .

  • Excelsior College Examinations (EC Exams)

The battery of EC Exams currently consists of approximately 50 exams designed for the recognition of college-level learning acquired outside the classroom. Formerly administered by ACT-PEP, EC Exams are now administered via computer at Prometric Testing Centers in the U.S., Canada , and the U.S. Territories. The tests are also administered worldwide in paper and pencil format through an agreement with the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support program.

The tests are composed of multiple-choice, essay, and mixed-format items. EC Exams are available in many areas of the arts and sciences, business, education and nursing. Scoring is designed to estimate the level of student knowledge of the subject matter.

  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

The DANTES program administers most of the educational support activities originally undertaken by the U.S. Armed Forces Institute on behalf of the Department of Defense, including testing programs through which college credit may be earned. City University of Seattle awards credit for the following DANTES examinations.

  • Subject standardized tests (DSST)
  • End-of-course tests
  • Subject examinations


Transfer Credit from Thirteenth-Year International Programs

Applicants who hold thirteenth-year credentials, such as the Matura, Abitur, Advanced Levels (A­ Levels) as tested through Cambridge International Examinations of Cambridge University, and the International Baccalaureate, may receive transfer credit toward advanced standing. Appropriate thirteenth-year transfer credits may fulfill up to 25 of the 30 required lower-division general education quarter credits for an associate's degree; and up to 45 of the 55 required lower-division general education quarter credits for a bachelor's degree.



Exceptions to this policy may be made by the provost.

(Policy #2100.22)