Transfer Credits – Undergraduate

All transfer credits are evaluated for relevance to the College’s programs and policies. Grades earned at another institution are not factored into the calculation of cumulative grade point average at CCS. The College makes every effort to ensure you get credit for your past college-level work, subject to the following conditions:

  • Coursework must have been completed at a college or university accredited by one of the following regional associations of schools and colleges—Middle States (MASAC), New England (NEASC), Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Northwest (NWCCU), Southern (SASAC), Western (WASC)—or by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). International programs and institutions with non-regional accreditation will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • For coursework completed outside of the United States, College for Creative Studies requires all transfer students to obtain a professional course-by-course evaluation of all college or university-level work from a professional credential evaluation service with National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) membership.
  • Courses noted on a transcript as transferred from prior institutions will not be applicable for transfer credit. An official transcript must be submitted to CCS from any institution(s) attended or by the examination agency (for credit by examination) before transfer credit can be awarded.
  • Coursework must meet the majority of the learning outcomes required by the equivalent course at CCS to be approved.
  • CCS reserves the right to limit the transfer of credit to courses completed within the past ten years.
  • Credit will not be awarded for remedial coursework.
  • Courses awarded transfer credit are recorded in permanent academic records. Grades of approved courses are not factored into the calculation of a student’s cumulative grade point average at CCS.
  • Only courses completed with a grade of “C” (2.0) or better will be accepted for transfer credit. If the courses were taken on a Pass/Fail basis, a grade of Pass must be equivalent to a “C” or better.
  • Students may transfer up to 72 credit hours – approximately 605 of their BFA degree requirements from another college or university. On occasion, students transferring to CCS utilizing an: established and current articulation agreement, transfer pathway, or matriculating from a similar program at another AICAD institution, may be eligible for additional credit.
  • Students may be awarded up to 30 credits through Prior Learning. This includes any and all combinations of Credit by Examination: Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Levels, as well as Military Credit.
  • Courses taken at an institution on a quarter or term academic calendar are converted to semester hours before being applied to CCS course requirements.
  • CCS must receive all official final transcripts, test scores or work examples that students wish to have considered for transfer credit
    – before the end of the student’s 1st week of classes (for new/incoming students)
    – within a month of completing the course(s) intended for transfer (for current students)

Frequently Asked Transfer Questions

How Can I Ensure I am Getting the Most Transfer Credit Possible?

Our transfer team works hard to evaluate each student’s experience individually- however- this is a manual and human process. Your involvement is key to ensuring you receive the highest possible transfer credit award possible. Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Plan your transfer with the CCS transfer team. We have lots of tools and resources available for students and counselors but the very best one is a personal coach to guide you through this process and is an expert on what you need to do on the receiving end to make a smooth transition. Once you know CCS is your destination (or in your top 5), contact our transfer team to let them know so we can help you prepare.
  2. If you are taking studio courses- snap photos of everything you complete (and maybe some progress photos). Save them in a folder under your course code name. For more on this see our transfer resources page.
  3. When you receive your transfer credit evaluation- read it front to back. If there are additional items needed, be sure to follow up on these (often a missing or final transcript or perhaps work examples not included in your admissions portfolio). If you feel you are not getting enough credit- express your concerns to your CCS admissions counselor so they can make certain everything has been considered and explain any questions you may have.

What is an Official Transcript?

Only transcripts mailed directly from your previous institution(s) to CCS, as well as transcripts sent directly to you and forwarded to CCS in the original sealed envelope, are considered official. Transcripts received by CCS from a certified digital document service such as Parchment or Clearinghouse are all considered official

How Do I Transfer my Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment, or Early College Credits?

If you have completed any college-level coursework while pursuing your high school diploma or equivalent credential, it is important that you request your official transcript from the institution or credit-granting authority directly and have it sent to the CCS Admissions Office. While grades, credit, or scores indicated on your high school transcript may be helpful in estimating potential transfer credit, only transcripts that are mailed directly from your previous institution(s) to CCS can ensure that you receive these credits towards your undergraduate degree. 

Please note that students who have completed Dual Enrollment courses with CCS, including Precollege Summer Experience courses, are not required to do anything extra. This coursework is already recorded in their academic history and will be applied towards their program requirements.

Credit placement and Course placement… why don’t my numbers match up?

A ‘credit hour’ is a unit of measurement for educational credit earned in college. It is typically determined by the number of ‘contact hours’ (or hours spent meeting in class) per week throughout a term. Almost all CCS courses are three credit hours (the only exceptions being two major studio courses not eligible for Transfer Credit). Students who have taken a 4 credit course at another institution may note a loss in credits accrued upon transfer even if every course they have completed was accepted.

What if my previous college was on quarter hours?

Colleges operating on a Quarter hour academic calendar have 3-4 main terms spanning 10 to 11 weeks per year (as opposed to the two fifteen-week long terms typical of colleges operating on a ‘semester’ calendar year). Because quarter hour terms are shorter, a ‘credit hour’ will have fewer ‘contact hours’. For this reason, students seeking transfer credit from intuitions that operate on a quarter hour calendar may have their courses combined to equal the instruction time and learning outcomes required in the equivalent CCS course. Generally speaking- a 5 credit (or unit) quarter hour course will be equivalent to a 3 credit semester hour course. This can vary with studio (art and design) class types though. Be sure to talk to your admissions counselor if you have questions.

What’s the Difference Between a Transfer Pathway and an Articulation Agreement for CCS?

Transfer Pathways or Guides- like the Michigan Transfer Agreement or Ohio Transfer Module provide opportunities for exploration and a structured listing of courses that have been pre-approved for transfer to a range of undergraduate programs. Some guides- like the or MiTransfer Pathway for Studio Art- can also include courses that support students seeking opportunities to build a portfolio. Students who are undecided on their undergraduate program or institution can follow these to explore studio interests and earn potential credit toward their program at CCS. It is important to note that, though the use of transfer guides may reduce the number of credits required upon transfer this does not guarantee an accelerated path to degree completion.

Articulation Agreements are more formal, structured agreements between two institutions and may also be termed ‘Transfer Guides’. They outline specific courses at CCS and at the partner institution to create a more seamless transfer process and can even reduce the time required to complete a CCS degree. Instructions for fulfillment of the agreement can be very specific and usually include completion of an associate degree along with selection of specific (CCS recommended) electives- so read and follow them carefully. If seeking admission and transfer through articulation, we recommend establishing contact with the CCS admissions and transfer team no less than one year prior to your intended start. 

How long will it take to complete my degree?

Art and Design colleges like CCS are going to offer more niche areas of study and expertise than most university programs.  Take some time to discover where your passions may fit into our offerings (our online and on campus events are great for this). Many of our single discipline programs have a sequentially structured set of major studio classes, tailored for each of our career-focused majors. Only completion of, or placement out of required major studio courses can shorten the time required to complete a CCS degree. Therefore, the amount of credit awarded upon admission is not indicative of advanced standing (i.e., Sophomore or Junior). Though the number of credits transferred may not affect the number of semesters required to complete a student’s degree, it can lighten the course load.

New students seeking clarification on time required to complete their degree at CCS should follow up with their admissions counselor after receiving their TCE. Current students should meet with their Academic Adviser to review their degree audit for an understanding of remaining requirements and time required to complete them.

Does CCS consider life experience?

The college does not grant life or experiential credit. Students with professional experience may petition the appropriate Department Chair for advanced standing. Students granted advanced standing will not be awarded transfer credit or see a reduction in the number of credits required to complete the degree upon transfer; rather, the Department Chair will substitute the required sequence of courses with approved studio courses.

What If I want to change majors or add Art Education Certification?

Due to the specific coursework required for Art Education students to receive their Teacher Certification, new students wishing to pursue this program as a combined degree at CCS will have restricted requirements for elective and general education credit. This can be limiting when transferring credits. Applicants are encouraged to discuss this with an admissions counselor early.

What happens to my transfer credit if I change my major or Add a Minor Later In My Program? ?

Whenever possible, students will want to ensure that they convey a desire for a change in major before committing to attend. This will allow admissions to re-assess all potential transfer credit for application to the student’s updated major prior to enrolling.

Should a current student change majors at CCS, all applicable courses earned at CCS and those granted transfer credit upon enrollment will be applied toward the student’s updated degree requirements. Courses previously transferred to CCS that no longer fulfill graduation requirements will default to ‘general elective’ credit, remaining in the student’s academic record but not counting towards degree completion. The college does not re-evaluate previously earned credits when current students change majors. If students feel they have previously completed coursework that should be considered after declaring a change of major, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate this review and provide any required documentation or work examples to support the placement of credit.

A maximum of 2 courses (6 credits) may be transferred from an outside source toward a student’s minor. Students who add a minor and want transfer credit or prior learning credit applied toward that minor, must declare this wish to their academic advisor when submitting their minor declaration form. 

January 26, 2018

January 29, 2024

Enrollment and Student Services