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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UC Denver

Course & Curriculum Development

Transfer Credit Level Determination Policy

The general rule for determining transfer credit is that the level of credit awarded – lower-division or upper-division – will be determined by the level of the course at the sending institution. If the institution of origin listed the course as 1000 (or 100) or 2000 (or 200), or if the numbering system otherwise indicates lower-division credit, then it automatically will receive lower-division credit for fulfilling college requirements.

This rule will apply in all cases other than those where course- or student-specific exceptions have been made as described in the paragraphs below. Also, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis in instances where the sending institution does not use a four-level course numbering system or otherwise indicate lower-and upper-division credit distinctions.

Academic units retain the authority to determine whether an individual transfer course (taken at either upper or lower division) will count as fulfilling an upper-division major requirement. If the transfer course was taken as lower-division but is deemed to fulfill a UCD upper-division major requirement, the academic unit is additionally responsible for determining whether the course should be awarded upper-division credit toward the CLAS graduation requirement of a minimum of 45 upper-division credit hours. These are separate decisions, thus it is possible for a lower-division transfer course to fulfill an upper-division requirement in the major but not count toward the 45 upper-division hours required by CLAS. In either case, the academic unit’s decision can either be applied to all future students entering with the same transfer course (this is known as course equivalency) or made on a one-time basis (this is known as course substitution). These decisions will be made by the appropriate department chair or undergraduate major advisor. The academic unit that owns the course prefix for the substituted course holds the authority to make these transfer determinations, even in cases where the substituted course fulfills a major requirement for a separate academic unit.

Academic units will report all course substitutions and equivalencies using the Faculty Transfer Credit Review Form. This form requests that the approving chair or major advisor examine the course description and, if possible, the syllabus from the sending institution. When approving major credit for a transfer course taken at the lower division, the chair or major advisor should indicate whether the course should also count toward the CLAS requirement of 45 upper-division (UD) credit hours, or whether the hours should continue to be counted at the lower division (LD). The chair or major advisor should also indicate whether the determination should be applied to all future students entering UCD with the same transfer course (equivalency). This indication may result in revisions to the automated transfer-equivalency tables used for degree audit purposes. One exception made for a given course may then become the standard for all future students sending in that same course. The Advising Office will report such exceptions to the Registrar’s Office for consideration of whether or not to revise the transfer equivalency tables. ​