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Transfer Credit

The Philosophy Department does allow students to take and transfer courses from other institutions to UM for prerequisite and major credit through the departmental approval process (link to procedure).  Transfer courses may be applied toward your major, but at least 16 of your total 25 credits must be completed in residence.  Approval for credit of courses transferred from another institution toward the Philosophy major requirements must go through the Philosophy Department Transfer Credit Evaluation Process

Students at the University of Michigan are permitted to transfer credit from courses taken at other institutions. Credits transfer one of two ways: as a specific course or as department credit.

LSA Transfer Credit Policies

LSA Regulations

  • Up to 60 credits can be transferred.
  • 30 of your last 60 credits must be at UM-Ann Arbor.
  • You must earn a C or better for courses to transfer

Transferring credits to the College of LSA:

  1. Check the Transfer Equivalencies Website
    1. Select Transfer Credit Equivalency Search
    2. Choose either "Search For U.S Transfers" or "Search for Study Abroad"
    3. Choose your host institution by highlighting the state and institution.
    4. Enter the subject in the UM Dept/Subject category.
  2. Determine how the desired courses will transfer.
    1. If they transfer as the equivalent of specific course, no approval is needed.
    2. If they transfer as Departmental Credit, you will need approval from the department to use the course to meet a specific requirement. (See below for further instructions.) 
    3. If the course is not listed (or if the institution is not listed), this means that no other UM student has transferred the course. In this case, you will need to get approval from the UM Admissions/Credit Evaluations Office by filling out a form and submitting it online (Transfer Information & Residence Policy>Transfer Credit Equivalency Request Form)
  3. After completing the course, have the institution send the official transcript to UM Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 515 East Jefferson Street, 1220 Student Activities Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316.
  4. The Credit Evaluations Office will post your credit to your UM transcript within 6 weeks of receiving the transcript.

*If transferring credits within the University of Michigan system (aka, from UM-Dearborn or UM-Flint), your grades and honor points will also transfer. Otherwise the course transfers with a “T” grade.

Specific Course Policies

If you are taking the course for distribution credit:

For courses that transfer with a direct equivalent, no further action is needed. The course will appear in your audit with the appropriate credit.

For courses that transfer as "Dept" credit, make an appointment with your regular academic advisor to complete the exception process (after the credit is posted to your UM transcript).

If you are planning to take a course elsewhere:

  • You are strongly encouraged to request review of this course before you take it.
  • You will need to provide a detailed syllabus as described below, so you must obtain one from the instructor or institution in advance.
  • Once you have completed the course (with a “C” or better), request that an official copy of your transcript be sent to the University of Michigan, Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Even if deemed equivalent, the UM course cannot appear on your UM transcript until an official transcript from the home institution has been received by UM Admissions.

For courses that transfer with a direct equivalent, no further action is needed. The course will appear in your audit with the appropriate credit.

If a course transfers as "Dept" credit, you will need to meet with a program advisor to determine whether this course will satisfy a major or minor requirement.

1. Schedule an appointment with a Philosophy advisor

2. Bring a detailed syllabus from the course to be transferred.

A detailed syllabus includes:

·  Instructor’s name,

·  Term class was offered,

·  Text book used,

·  Days and times of lectures, discussions, labs,

·  Number and duration of exams,

·  Basis of grading, and,

·  A day-by-day schedule of topics covered (i.e., what you covered each time you met in class)

3. Your advisor will evaluate the course and decide whether to count the course as a prerequisite or major requirement.

Guidelines for Course Transfer in Philosophy

For 100/200-level courses, and courses used as enforced prerequisites for other higher-level courses in philosophy, credit is granted if the incoming transfer course teaches the required skills for success in the student’s “next” course at Michigan.  (In particular, the following courses are enforced prerequisites for our 400-level courses: PHIL 288, 289, 345, 361, 366, 367, 381, 383, 388, 389 and PPE 300.  As a general rule of thumb, credit should be granted for one of these courses if the incoming transfer course is sufficient preparation for a 400-level course in a related topic in philosophy.)

For upper-level courses or other courses that count toward the major but do not function as prerequisites, credit is granted if enough of the topics covered by the incoming transfer course (about 75%) are topics that might be covered in the proposed equivalent UM course, at roughly the same level.  (For example, an incoming transfer course could count as PHIL 423: Problems of Space and Time if at least 75% of the material covered in the transfer course would be suitable for inclusion in a syllabus for PHIL 423, and if the course assignments aim at a level of difficulty analogous to our department's 400-level courses.)  When multiple UM courses with different content would each satisfy the same requirement, for purposes of counting a transferred course as fulfilling the requirement the needed overlap may be measured with respect to some combination of the UM courses' content.

Incoming transfer courses that are not logic or formal methods courses must include at least one substantive essay assignment or rigorous essay exam to qualify for direct equivalence to a UM course.

In some cases, an incoming transfer course may qualify on all counts except that no essay or essay exam was assigned. In such a case, advisors are encouraged to refer the case to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will assign a suitable essay. The course will then be accepted for credit if the student completes this essay with a C- or better.


Can I take major prerequisites from a community college?

Yes, LSA students may take a course at a community college and transfer the credit back to UM. See your LSA General Advisor for questions about LSA College policies.

Can I take a major course at another school?

The Philosophy Department strongly encourages you to take all major courses on the Ann Arbor campus—this will put you in the best position to succeed in the major. If, however, this is not possible, you should schedule an appointment with a Philosophy advisor to discuss your options.

The Philosophy Department does not accept credit for any course taken on-line from any institution (including UM Flint and UM Dearborn).