Transfer and Acceptance of Academic Credit

Athens State University is an upper-division institution, offering coursework at the 300-level and above. To be admitted as a degree-seeking student, any prospective student must have earned college-level credit as documented on official transcripts from all institutions previously attended.  Learn more about the distinction between transferability, equivalency, applicability, and the different policies/procedures on the acceptance of different types of credit below.

Transferability
Transferability refers to the circumstances under which the University accepts credit from other post-secondary institutions for inclusion in a student’s Athens State record. Athens State University’s policy on Transfer and Acceptance of Academic Credit and the bullets below detail the requirements for the transfer of academic credit to Athens State.

Equivalency
Equivalency refers to the determination as to whether accepted transfer credit is equal, both in hours and content, to coursework offered or required by Athens State University.

  • Lower-level (100/200) equivalencies will be determined by staff in the Office of the Registrar – Student Records. Since Athens State is an upper-division institution and does not offer coursework at the 100/200-level, the Alabama Community College System course directory is used as the baseline for establishing and determining lower-level equivalencies.
  • Upper-level (300/400) equivalencies will be determined by the college/department which houses the discipline and must go through the University’s equivalency approval process. As part of this process, the content and level of instruction of the transfer course are evaluated to ensure that student outcomes and competencies are equivalent to those in a specific course offered by Athens State.

Credit/coursework judged not to be equivalent to any courses required or offered by Athens State University may be accepted and applicable as general electives only.

Applicability
Applicability refers to whether accepted transfer credit will count towards the fulfillment of a specific degree or program requirement. The University reserves the right to determine the applicability of any transfer credit toward the fulfillment of a specific degree, program, or course requirements at Athens State. Transfer courses that are not determined as equivalents to any required coursework may only be applied as general electives and total earned hours. In some cases, a transfer course that is not determined as an equivalent may be eligible as a substitution for a required course.  Such substitutions are considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved through the University’s Curriculum Adjustment process.

Credit Earned at Institutions Accredited by an Institutional Accrediting Agency

Athens State University generally accepts academic credit earned from postsecondary institutions accredited by an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Credit earned (above the remedial level) from such institutions will be included in the Athens State undergraduate student record and may be applicable towards satisfying certain degree requirements. Coursework taken at the graduate level will not be automatically recorded on the Athens State University undergraduate transcript.  Some graduate-level coursework may be added as undergraduate credit on a case-by-case basis at the written request of the student, and when the coursework has been approved by the appropriate College as applicable to the requirements for the undergraduate program being pursued.

Transfer Course Equivalency Guide

For students pursuing graduate degrees at Athens State, any graduate transfer credit/coursework from accredited institutions must be relevant to the requirements for the degree or major being pursued. The content and level of instruction of graduate transfer coursework are evaluated by the appropriate faculty advisors to ensure appropriate student competencies in the coursework. A maximum of six (6) semester hours of graduate coursework from an institution accredited by an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education may be transferred into an Athens State University graduate program. Coursework that is more than five (5) years old at the time of application for graduation may not be used for fulfilling graduate course requirements.

Credit Earned Through Completion of Nationally Recognized Exams

Athens State University recognizes credit earned through examinations completed under the Advanced Placement Program (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) under the Defense Activity for Non-traditional Educational Support (DANTES) provided acceptable examination scores are achieved. Official transcripts of AP, CLEP, or DSST scores must be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions before any credit is awarded. If official examination transcripts cannot be obtained, no credit will be awarded. Since AP, CLEP, and DSST are only accepted as non-graded credit, any credit awarded will not factor into a student’s grade point average. Credit awarded for AP and CLEP examinations is at the 100-200 level; some credit earned through DSST may be eligible for 300-level credit. Credit will be awarded only if it does not duplicate other earned academic credit.

Minimum exam scores required for the award of credit are determined by the American Council on Education (ACE) and are subject to change without notice when ACE issues updated exam reviews and/or recommendations.

General Education/Elective Credit Through SOPHIA or StraighterLine

In some instances, students may be able to earn credit for general education and some pre-professional requirements from SOPHIA Learning or StraighterLine.  Athens State University awards credit for selected courses offered through these providers according to the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations.  SOPHIA or StraighterLine courses that are completed successfully are awarded the ACE-recommended credits as non-graded courses (“pass”) and do not factor into a student’s GPA.

Please note that Athens State does not accept or award credit for all SOPHIA or StraighterLine courses; be sure to review the specific Athens State partner institution or partner college information before signing up for any SOPHIA or StraighterLine courses.  Please contact the Registrar’s Office if you need assistance.