Transfer Credit Policies

Seattle Pacific University will normally accept transfer credit from a U.S. institution that:

  • Is a degree-granting institution that provides a transcript of academic work.
  • Uses a grading system to evaluate learning.
  • Is accredited by an accreditor that has national recognition from the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, the U.S. Department of Education, or both.

If you have earned credit from an institution outside the U.S., see how credit from an international institution transfers. SPU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on C olleges and Universities (NWCCU), which is on par with the following nationally-recognized* accreditors: 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).

NWCCU and its peer accrediting agencies share similar standards and purposes not necessarily shared by other nationally recognized accrediting agencies. Therefore, SPU applies some transfer policies to schools accredited by the organizations named above that do not apply to institutions with accreditation from other agencies. Where such differences in transfer policies exist, they will be noted in the sections below.

  • Only college-level academic courses will be transferred. Vocational, technical, and practicum/internship courses will be transferred only with faculty approval. 
  • The grade point average for your combined courses transferred from each school must be “C” (2.0) or higher. This means that for every grade of “D” (1.0) accepted from an institution, there must be another grade of at least “B” (3.0) or its equivalent for an equal number of credits from that school.
  • No grade below “D” (1.0) will be accepted from any institution.
  • No grade below “C” (2.0) will be accepted from schools outside the U.S., nor from any institution that does not hold accreditation from NWCCU or one of its peer accrediting agencies.
  • The minimum grade that can be applied toward a major or minor is C- (1.7).  Some majors may require a higher grade in some or all classes.
  • Only courses taken for a regular grade (not “pass/fail” or “credit/no credit,” etc.) will be applied toward requirements in General Education, the Common Curriculum and Exploratory Curriculum, and toward your major and minor. 
  • Existing Washington, Oregon, and California community college associate degree transfer agreements will be honored as they apply to General Education requirements, and the University's Foreign Language Competency requirement.
  • Transfer associate degrees earned after matriculation at SPU will not be recognized toward fulfillment of the Exploratory Curriculum, University Core requirements, General Education, or the foreign language proficiency requirement, unless you are participating in the Reverse Transfer Agreement.
  • A combined total of not more than 90 quarter credits will be accepted from all two-year colleges, approved test programs (i.e., AP, Cambridge International Program, CLEP, and IB), and schools not accredited by NWCCU or one of its peer accrediting agencies.
  • No more than 45 quarter credits will be accepted from approved testing programs (i.e., AP, Cambridge International, CLEP, and IB).
  • In transfer, a course retains the same level assigned by the school that awarded credit.
  • Usually, credit will be awarded without regard to the date on which the course was completed.
  • You will not be awarded credit twice for the same course material.
  • Generally, credits in excess of 20 quarter credits 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. 
  • Independent study, internship, field experience, and practicum courses generally do not transfer unless an SPU faculty member, upon reviewing a course, requests that it transfer toward a specific program.
  • Credits will not be transferred for travel, life experience, or work experience.
  • No credit will be awarded for credit by exam except through a recognized testing program.
  • Credit for military service is limited to three credits of physical activity awarded for basic training.
  • To be eligible for a degree, you are required to earn a minimum of 45 credits in residence at SPU, including no fewer than 15 upper-division credits in your major (more, if specified by the major), and at least 5 credits that fulfill SPU Foundations requirements. See individual majors for additional degree requirements. 

Questions about how courses have transferred to SPU (or not transferred) should be directed to an academic evaluator in the Office of the Registrar.

Policies specific to schools not accredited by NWCCU or a peer accrediting organization

  • To be accepted, a course must have received a grade of C (2.0) or higher. 
  • A combined total of not more than 90 quarter credits will be accepted from all two-year colleges, approved test programs (such as AP, Cambridge International Program, CLEP, and IB), and schools not accredited by NWCCU or one of its peer accrediting agencies.
  • Courses may be applied toward Exploratory Curriculum, University Core, Academic Inquiry and Disciplinary Writing (WRI), foreign language, major, or minor requirements if course content is comparable to that of SPU courses that fulfill these categories, as determined by designated faculty members. 
  • A maximum of 15 credits in biblical studies, theology, or church history may be accepted by the University, and will transfer as elective credits only. 
  • No credits may be applied to University Foundations requirements.  

Except as noted here, policies in the previous section apply.

*To be “nationally recognized” means that the institution’s accreditor has been reviewed and accepted as a national accreditor by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education.

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Transfer Student Hub

Find everything you need for your transfer journey — academics, campus life, financial aid, and more.

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Transfer Course Equivalency Guide

Find out how academic credits you received from other institutions and approved testing programs typically transfer to SPU.