Enrollment at Other Institutions

Once a student has matriculated at SPU, the student should never enroll in a course at another institution without consulting an undergraduate academic counselor and completing an Application for Studying Away. If the student wishes to take courses toward a major or minor, a faculty advisor’s signature will be required on the form. Policies governing transfer of credits include the following:

  1. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that final official transcripts reflecting coursework are received by SPU.
  2. Students may complete no more than 30 credits from other institutions once matriculated at SPU, except through approved study abroad programs or visitor programs.
  3. No coursework completed elsewhere will be transferred if the student has already received credit for equivalent course(s) at SPU. (See “Zero Credit Transfer Policy,” below, for additional information.)
  4. Students may not take courses concurrently from SPU and another institution during the regular academic year (Autumn through Spring quarters), except when participating in approved study abroad.
  5. During the summer, concurrent enrollment in SPU courses and in pre-approved courses at another institution is allowed, provided that: the combined credit total for the term does not exceed 20 quarter credits; the 30-credit limit on non-SPU coursework after matriculation is not exceeded; and a completed Study Away form has been submitted to the undergraduate academic counselor prior to enrollment in courses at another institution.
  6. The average grade in all courses accepted from each school must be “C” (2.0) or higher. This means that for every grade of “D” accepted in transfer there must be another grade of at least B or its equivalent for an equal number of credits. Exception: For ABHE accredited institutions and for courses taken at a non-U.S. school, no grade below “C” (2.0) will be accepted.
  7. No grade below “D” (1.0) will be accepted from any institution.
  8. Only courses taken for a regular grade (not “pass/fail” or “credit/no credit”) will be applied toward requirements in General Education and toward a student's major and minor.
  9. The minimum grade that can be applied toward any major or minor is “C-” (1.7), though some majors may require a higher grade in all or some major courses.
  10. Transfer associate degrees earned after initial matriculation at SPU will not be recognized toward fulfillment of the Exploratory Curriculum, University Core requirements, or the foreign language proficiency requirement. The only exception to this policy occurs when a student participates in the Reverse Transfer DTA Associate’s Degree agreement.
  11. Seattle Pacific University will accept no more than 90 credits combined total from two-year colleges, advanced standing for international 13th year and approved testing programs (i.e., AP, Cambridge International, CLEP, and IB), and institutions that do not hold accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) or its peer accrediting organizations: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges; Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  12. Credits in excess of 20 in any one term will not be transferred. This includes courses taken concurrently by media, correspondence, or extension at more than one institution, as well as non-credit courses. An exception to this policy applies to credits earned through a pre-approved study abroad term.
  13. To be eligible for a degree, an undergraduate transfer student is required to earn a minimum of 45 credits in residence at SPU, including no fewer than 15 upper-division credits in his or her major (more, if specified by the major). See individual majors for additional degree requirements.
  14. SPU credit by exam does not count toward the minimum 45 credits in residence.
  15. Credits will not be transferred for credit by exam at another institution, travel, life experience, or work experience.

Zero credit transfer policy

If a student earns credit for a course at SPU (that is, the course is completed with a “P” grade, or with a “D” grade or better) the student may not take an equivalent course elsewhere and transfer the course to SPU for credit, because:

  • A student may not receive credit for the same academic content twice, and
  • Credit for an SPU course cannot be rescinded and replaced by a course from another institution.

Typically, when a student earns credit in an SPU course with a grade too low to fulfill a particular degree requirement, the student repeats the course at SPU. However, occasionally a student is unable to repeat the class at SPU. In such cases, the student may request from his or her academic department the option of completing the course at another institution and transferring the course to SPU with no credit awarded, a process we call "transfer with zero credit." 

The student's academic department is not obligated to agree to the student's request. However, if the academic department agrees to allow this option, the following steps must be completed:

  • The student will work with his or her faculty advisor and undergraduate academic counselor to identify a comparable course at a regionally-accredited institution.
  • The student will submit to the undergraduate academic counselor a Study Away form that has been completed by the student and the faculty advisor.
  • Once the student has completed the pre-approved course at the other institution, the student will request that an official transcript be sent to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Upon receipt of the official transcript, the academic evaluator will transfer the course with a grade but no credit, then notify the faculty advisor that the course can be viewed in the student's records in the Banner Information System.
  • The faculty advisor will determine whether or not the grade received for the transfer course is acceptable to fulfill the SPU degree requirement and will communicate this to the student and the academic counselor.
  • The faculty advisor also will update the student's major or minor degree checklist in Banner with a comment indicating that the transferred course substitutes for the appropriate SPU requirement.

Through this process, the student proves adequate proficiency in the course material. The grade and credit for the original SPU course will remain a part of the SPU grade point average and academic record.