Transferring credit from another university

Since courses change frequently and innumerable institutions and courses are available to students, there is no comprehensive list of qualified universities or courses that we accept for transfer. Each course is evaluated on an individual basis. Engineering courses are generally NOT transferable, unless from an approved study abroad program such as ITESM or EPFL, or explicitly accepted by the Engineering department. For any course to be reviewed for possible transfer credit, students should use the Transfer Credit Form to submit your request (except for Study Abroad—students should then use the SATC form available in the Study Abroad Office, Warner Hall 3rd Floor). Note: The College of Engineering uses a self-signed security certificate. Your browser may warn you about this when attempting to access the site. Rest assured that your transactions with the site are secure (i.e. you must authenticate to use the online form).

Economics courses

  • See: Transfer Credit Form for Economics Courses
  • Please note that students may transfer a total of two courses (including AP, IB, summer study abroad, etc.) towards any degree in Economics
  • Undergraduate Economics DOES NOT accept courses taken at Community Colleges

Business courses

Physics for engineers I & II

  • The Physics course you wish to transfer in must be 4 credits (4 credits = 12 Carnegie Mellon units). If the course is 3 credits, you are required to take the lab (1 credit) that corresponds directly to the lecture you plan to take. If there is no associated lab, the 3 credit course is ineligible for transfer.
  • Detailed SYLLABUS of the physics topics and calculus content 
  • Physics II MUST have a pre-requisite of Physics I
  • A course description for each prerequisite and/or co-requisite in calculus
  • Must be part of a 2-course sequence (no 3-course sequences are permitted)
  • SYLLABI of the other physics course involved in the 2-course sequence
  • Courses meant for biology or pre-med students are NOT applicable

It is difficult finding a physics sequence at another school that is the equivalent of ours. We present physics in a two-course sequence, while most other schools teach it in a three-course sequence. If you are seeking approval to substitute a physics course that you intend to take elsewhere, we will need to understand the following characteristics of the course before we can judge whether or not the course is the equivalent of our physics course.

  1. Is the course calculus-based?
  2. Is it a physics course for engineering or physics majors?
  3. Is the course one of a two-course physics sequence?
  4. Are the topics presented in the course EXACTLY the same topics that are covered in the Carnegie Mellon physics course for which you are seeking a substitute?
In order for us to resolve these questions, you will need to present not only a complete in-depth description (preferably a syllabus) of the particular course that you would like to take, but also descriptions of all of the physics courses in the physics sequence that the course is a part of. Also, pre or co-requisites for the course need to be clearly identified by course name as well as by course number. For example, if MATH 343 is listed as a pre or co-requisite for a physics 2 course offered at a particular college, we will need to know what MATH 343 is.

Biology

For All Requests:

To determine if the course is indeed equivalent, we need a detailed course description such as a syllabus or an outline of course topics. In the case of Biochemistry it is sometimes helpful to list the prerequisites for the course as well. It can also be helpful to provide the textbook used for the course.

Guidelines for 03-121 Modern Biology

One of the most difficult aspects of finding a comparable course to substitute for Modern Biology is its focus on the micro side of biology (i.e. molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry).

The CMU course description states: This is an introductory course that provides the basis for further studies in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and molecular biology. This course emphasizes the chemical principles underlying biological processes and cell structures as well as the analysis of genetics and heredity from a molecular perspective.

General characteristics that should be addressed regarding a possible transfer credit course:

  1. Is it a course for science majors?
  2. Is it part of a two-course sequence in intro bio?
  3. Are the topics presented in the course EXACTLY the same topics that are covered mod bio course? For example, some intro bio courses cover botany and ecology and evolution rather than the emphasis we have on cell and molecular biology.

Guidelines for 03-231/232 Biochemistry

Biochemistry at Carnegie Mellon learns more heavily on the chemistry side, rather than the biology. Organic chemistry is a co-requisite, so the substitution should also require the course.

Central Concepts: The following is a brief list of the central concepts associated with this course.

  1. Constituent parts: Higher order structures (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids)
  2. Protein-ligand interactions:
    • Direct function (e.g. oxygen binding, immunoglobulins)
    • Regulation (Gene regulation)
    • Enzymology (Regulation of metabolism)
  3. Regulation:
    • Energy production (glycolysis, TCA cycle, Oxidative Phosphorylation)
    • Energy consumption (biosynthetic pathways)
    • Template-directed synthesis (DNA, RNA, protein)
    • Recombinant DNA methods

The course description of the course you are looking to substitute should match the course description for the course here at CMU:

"This course provides an introduction to the application of biochemistry to biotechnology. The functional properties of amino acids, nucleotides, lipids, and sugars are presented. This is followed by a discussion of the structural and thermodynamic aspects of the organization of these molecules into higher-order structures, such as proteins, nucleic acids, and membranes. The kinetics and thermodynamics of protein-ligand interactions are discussed for non-cooperative, cooperative, and allosteric binding events. The use of mechanistic and kinetic information in enzyme characterization and drug discovery are discussed. Topics pertinent to biotechnology include: antibody production and use, energy production in biochemical systems, expression of recombinant proteins, and methods of protein purification and characterization." 

Chemistry

  • Name of Chemistry textbook
  • Syllabus
  • Indication that the course is required for Chemistry majors

Statistics

  • Course description and detailed syllabus
  • Course descriptions of all the prerequisite courses

Online courses

The College of Engineering will review online courses for transfer. All online course require a "B" grade or better to transfer. However, the following departments DO NOT accept online transfer courses:

  • Business
  • Economics
  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Any science course w/a lab component

Community college courses

All transfer courses taken at community colleges require a "B" grade or better in order to transfer (unless otherwise specified by the department).

College courses taken in high school

If you've taken college courses while still in high school, we will consider these for transfer credit following the process outlined below.  Please note that we do not accept college courses that were used to fulfill high school degree requirements. All students wishing to transfer in college courses taken in high school must submit a verification letter from your high school that confirms they were not used toward graduation requirements. That letter can be faxed or emailed to Kourtney Bandish in the College of Engineering Dean's Office (fax#: 412.268.6421).

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Complete the transfer credit form completely. The form is submitted directly to the College of Engineering Dean's Office. There it is reviewed and then sent on to the department in which the course in question is housed for evaluation by faculty. We will respond within about a week regarding your request (including what credit you could get and what grade you'd need).

    NOTE: The maximum number of courses you can take outside of CMU during your four years is dictated by the university's Residency Requirement in the catalog and your particular degree requirements. Our submission limit is three requests per summer. So please think carefully about what courses you submit and will be able to enroll in given registration deadlines, etc.

    The College of Engineering does not have standing transfer credit articulation agreements with any other institutions.

  2. If approved, after you take the course, send an official transcript to us at the following address:

    Transfer Credit
    College of Engineering Dean's Office, Scaife Hall 110
    Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

    Please note that ALL courses taken at other institutions must be taken for a letter grade. We will not accept courses taken as Pass/Fail. A grade of "TR" will appear for earned transfer credit (similar to AP for Advanced Placement). This information can be viewed on your SIO account. Although these credits can work toward degree requirements, they will not affect grade point averages.